Martin Luther and James Madison

I came across this recently, a Letter from James Madison to F.L. Schaeffer, dated 1821, in which the Father of the Constitution and the author of the Bill of Rights credits Luther with his doctrine of the Two Kingdoms for the American handling of church and state:

Revd Sir,

–I have received, with your letter of November 19th, the copy of your address at the ceremonial of laying the corner-stone of St Matthew's Church in New York.

It is a pleasing and persuasive example of pious zeal, united with pure benevolence and of a cordial attachment to a particular creed, untinctured with sectarian illiberality. It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction, to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations. The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.

In return for your kind sentiments, I tender assurances of my estaeem and my best wishes.

Notice that this is not the “wall of separation” advocated by Jefferson, but a distinction in which both realms flourish as individual Christian citizens fulfill “both obligations” to both church and state.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • fws

    “Notice that this is not the “wall of separation” advocated by Jefferson, but a distinction in which both realms flourish as individual Christian citizens fulfill “both obligations” to both church and state.”

    The context here is:

    “A DUE DISTINCTION (emphasis mine), to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations.”

    There is nothing in Jefferson´s concept of “wall of separation” that militates in any way against madison´s version. How so?

    further. No religious conservative is truly a son or daughter of madison´s ideas:

    conservative christians opposing gay marriage, do so..

    rejecting republican constitutional government in favor of democracy: favoring pure democracy in the form of referendums over constitutional government…

    Rejecting federalism: favoring a federal law, DOMA that overrides state laws to fix the problems.

    Reject the two kingdoms doctrines: The only argument as to where harm would be done allowing gay marriage are purely religious ones.

    ditto this for methods preferred by conservative christians on all culture war issues. The motto seems truly to be “the end does justify the means. any means necessary to achieve our end.”

  • fws

    “Notice that this is not the “wall of separation” advocated by Jefferson, but a distinction in which both realms flourish as individual Christian citizens fulfill “both obligations” to both church and state.”

    The context here is:

    “A DUE DISTINCTION (emphasis mine), to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations.”

    There is nothing in Jefferson´s concept of “wall of separation” that militates in any way against madison´s version. How so?

    further. No religious conservative is truly a son or daughter of madison´s ideas:

    conservative christians opposing gay marriage, do so..

    rejecting republican constitutional government in favor of democracy: favoring pure democracy in the form of referendums over constitutional government…

    Rejecting federalism: favoring a federal law, DOMA that overrides state laws to fix the problems.

    Reject the two kingdoms doctrines: The only argument as to where harm would be done allowing gay marriage are purely religious ones.

    ditto this for methods preferred by conservative christians on all culture war issues. The motto seems truly to be “the end does justify the means. any means necessary to achieve our end.”

  • fws

    Upon reflection, I am increasingly bothered, not by the “wall of separation” bruha. I think this is a mere destraction.

    The real issue is this one: Where do we think the deviding line is between church and non-church.

    For Lutherans, this needs to remain invisible:

    Article XVIII: Of Free Will.

    Civil society and order, vocation, and religious organizations:

    man’s will has liberty to choose civil righteousness… to work things subject to reason…. in works of this life….”Good” I call those works which spring from the good in nature, such as, willing to labor in the field, to eat and drink, to have a friend, to clothe oneself, to build a house, to marry a wife, to raise cattle, to learn divers useful arts, or whatsoever good 6]pertains to this life. For all of these things are not without dependence on the providence of God; yea, of Him and through Him they are and have their being ….nature is able in a manner to do the outward work, 9] (for it is able to keep the hands from theft and murder,)

    [fws´Note: christians are visibly INdistinguishable here from pagans.]

    The Holy Christian Church (Invisible “salt” and “yeast”):

    But it has no power, without the Holy Ghost, to work the righteousness of God, that is, spiritual righteousness; since the natural man 3] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2:14; but this righteousness is wrought in the heart when the Holy Ghost is received 4] through the Word. …not that it is thereby capable, without God, either to begin, or, at least, to complete aught in things pertaining to God . [we cannot] without the Holy Ghost, by the power of nature alone, we are able to love God above all things; also to do the commandments of God as touching “the substance of the act.” For, although yet it cannot produce the inward motions, such as the fear of God, trust in God, chastity, patience, etc.

  • fws

    Upon reflection, I am increasingly bothered, not by the “wall of separation” bruha. I think this is a mere destraction.

    The real issue is this one: Where do we think the deviding line is between church and non-church.

    For Lutherans, this needs to remain invisible:

    Article XVIII: Of Free Will.

    Civil society and order, vocation, and religious organizations:

    man’s will has liberty to choose civil righteousness… to work things subject to reason…. in works of this life….”Good” I call those works which spring from the good in nature, such as, willing to labor in the field, to eat and drink, to have a friend, to clothe oneself, to build a house, to marry a wife, to raise cattle, to learn divers useful arts, or whatsoever good 6]pertains to this life. For all of these things are not without dependence on the providence of God; yea, of Him and through Him they are and have their being ….nature is able in a manner to do the outward work, 9] (for it is able to keep the hands from theft and murder,)

    [fws´Note: christians are visibly INdistinguishable here from pagans.]

    The Holy Christian Church (Invisible “salt” and “yeast”):

    But it has no power, without the Holy Ghost, to work the righteousness of God, that is, spiritual righteousness; since the natural man 3] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2:14; but this righteousness is wrought in the heart when the Holy Ghost is received 4] through the Word. …not that it is thereby capable, without God, either to begin, or, at least, to complete aught in things pertaining to God . [we cannot] without the Holy Ghost, by the power of nature alone, we are able to love God above all things; also to do the commandments of God as touching “the substance of the act.” For, although yet it cannot produce the inward motions, such as the fear of God, trust in God, chastity, patience, etc.

  • Dan Kempin

    I knew it! I knew there must be some influence of lutheran thought on the founders! How could there not be? The distinction of the two kingdoms is too singular a concept to not have shaped in some degree the understanding of “church and state” in the U.S.

    Thank you for that reference and for your scholarship. That’s why I check this blog. Who else would “come across” a letter from 1821?

  • Dan Kempin

    I knew it! I knew there must be some influence of lutheran thought on the founders! How could there not be? The distinction of the two kingdoms is too singular a concept to not have shaped in some degree the understanding of “church and state” in the U.S.

    Thank you for that reference and for your scholarship. That’s why I check this blog. Who else would “come across” a letter from 1821?

  • Dan Kempin

    FWS, #2, #3,

    “There is nothing in Jefferson´s concept of “wall of separation” that militates in any way against madison´s version. How so?”

    I can’t speak to Madison in particular; the Lutheran concept, however, is not one of separation but of dual citizenship. It is perfectly consistent for a Christian to act in the civil realm, as a citizen, according to their Christian conscience. The Jeffersonian concept, as it has evolved into the present political debate, is more of a “keep your convictions out of the political arena.”

    I am not ascribing this to you or, for that matter, to Jefferson, but I think this is what Dr. Veith was referencing.

    To your point in #3, it may help to add the distinction (boy, we got distinctions aplenty today) between the true and invisible church and the visible church. I believe the referent in discussion of the two kingdoms is, for the most part, the visible church. Otherwise, as you point out, such discussion is impossible.

  • Dan Kempin

    FWS, #2, #3,

    “There is nothing in Jefferson´s concept of “wall of separation” that militates in any way against madison´s version. How so?”

    I can’t speak to Madison in particular; the Lutheran concept, however, is not one of separation but of dual citizenship. It is perfectly consistent for a Christian to act in the civil realm, as a citizen, according to their Christian conscience. The Jeffersonian concept, as it has evolved into the present political debate, is more of a “keep your convictions out of the political arena.”

    I am not ascribing this to you or, for that matter, to Jefferson, but I think this is what Dr. Veith was referencing.

    To your point in #3, it may help to add the distinction (boy, we got distinctions aplenty today) between the true and invisible church and the visible church. I believe the referent in discussion of the two kingdoms is, for the most part, the visible church. Otherwise, as you point out, such discussion is impossible.

  • Mary Jack

    I think I have a question for both my sake and that would interest fws:

    The Lutheran view of vocation teaches us to serve each other in our relationships (ie family, church, state) and in general to serve creation (ie farm, create art, etc). But our religion undergirds all of that. To what extent is “citizen” related to the common dominion over creation given to man? And I ask that, not just to minimize wanton waste in the environment, but because gender plays a role in creation and marriage, not through the church but through creation in general.

    Some of my college friends have been fighting again about whether or not gay marriage should be legal because of the separation of church from state. But are Christian arguments based in creation really “religious”?

    I DON’T MEAN TO SIDETRACK THIS WHOLE THREAD onto the marriage or practices of homosexuals!!! I really would simply like a better definition, so to speak, of how a creation worldview plays out rightly in politics. These days creationism is “religious” and often dismissed without a thought, but philosophy & belief cannot help but inform voting, conversations, and normal daily secular stuff.

  • Mary Jack

    I think I have a question for both my sake and that would interest fws:

    The Lutheran view of vocation teaches us to serve each other in our relationships (ie family, church, state) and in general to serve creation (ie farm, create art, etc). But our religion undergirds all of that. To what extent is “citizen” related to the common dominion over creation given to man? And I ask that, not just to minimize wanton waste in the environment, but because gender plays a role in creation and marriage, not through the church but through creation in general.

    Some of my college friends have been fighting again about whether or not gay marriage should be legal because of the separation of church from state. But are Christian arguments based in creation really “religious”?

    I DON’T MEAN TO SIDETRACK THIS WHOLE THREAD onto the marriage or practices of homosexuals!!! I really would simply like a better definition, so to speak, of how a creation worldview plays out rightly in politics. These days creationism is “religious” and often dismissed without a thought, but philosophy & belief cannot help but inform voting, conversations, and normal daily secular stuff.

  • Joe

    Frank – I think Dan is correct in his post re: the difference between the Jeffersonian wall and Madison’s vision of Church and State. Also, we must always remember that Jefferson is not a good source to go to for the meaning of the Constitution. He was in France while the constitutional convention was held, the document written and (I believe) ratified. He was not a framer. He was also not a fan of it. He thought it was a bad idea to give the federal gov’t the additional powers – he preferred the Articles of Confederation.

    On your other points. You are correct. Many on the right have abandoned the idea of Representative Gov’t and Federalism in their efforts to defeat gay marriage. That is a bad idea.
    For my own part, I have always been a conservative federalist i.e. a libertarian at the federal level and a conservative at the local level. Historically, the referendum and ballot initiative are a direct outcropping of the Progressive Era (1890-1920s). Prior to the Progressive Movement these things were not a part of our system of government. Remember unfettered democracy is not a good thing – it is mob rule. The federal constitution states that one of the enumerated powers it has is to “guarantee to every state in this union a Republican form of government.” Art. IV, Sec. 4. Federal courts have held that whether a state has or does not have a republican form of gov’t is a question for congress to decide. If it decides the state is un-republican it could toss that states reps from the congress and demand reforms. Eventually, it could lead to expulsion from the Union.

  • Joe

    Frank – I think Dan is correct in his post re: the difference between the Jeffersonian wall and Madison’s vision of Church and State. Also, we must always remember that Jefferson is not a good source to go to for the meaning of the Constitution. He was in France while the constitutional convention was held, the document written and (I believe) ratified. He was not a framer. He was also not a fan of it. He thought it was a bad idea to give the federal gov’t the additional powers – he preferred the Articles of Confederation.

    On your other points. You are correct. Many on the right have abandoned the idea of Representative Gov’t and Federalism in their efforts to defeat gay marriage. That is a bad idea.
    For my own part, I have always been a conservative federalist i.e. a libertarian at the federal level and a conservative at the local level. Historically, the referendum and ballot initiative are a direct outcropping of the Progressive Era (1890-1920s). Prior to the Progressive Movement these things were not a part of our system of government. Remember unfettered democracy is not a good thing – it is mob rule. The federal constitution states that one of the enumerated powers it has is to “guarantee to every state in this union a Republican form of government.” Art. IV, Sec. 4. Federal courts have held that whether a state has or does not have a republican form of gov’t is a question for congress to decide. If it decides the state is un-republican it could toss that states reps from the congress and demand reforms. Eventually, it could lead to expulsion from the Union.

  • Dan Kempin

    Mary Jack,

    Brilliant insight. Gender, Marriage, work, civilization–these are all dimensions of creation, not justification. They are at their core civil, not religious, except in the sense that all things are created by God and subject to Him.

    It is true that many reject the basic concept of God as Creator, but Christians cannot be expected to set aside their convictions in the civil realm. We can e expected to be honest, respectful, and courteous in public discourse, and we can still function and work with a political system if we find ourselves in the minority, but it is completely irrational to say that one’s worldview ought to be set aside to participate in politics. It would be like asking someone to participate in the design of a new aircraft, but first they must set aside their belief in physics.

  • Dan Kempin

    Mary Jack,

    Brilliant insight. Gender, Marriage, work, civilization–these are all dimensions of creation, not justification. They are at their core civil, not religious, except in the sense that all things are created by God and subject to Him.

    It is true that many reject the basic concept of God as Creator, but Christians cannot be expected to set aside their convictions in the civil realm. We can e expected to be honest, respectful, and courteous in public discourse, and we can still function and work with a political system if we find ourselves in the minority, but it is completely irrational to say that one’s worldview ought to be set aside to participate in politics. It would be like asking someone to participate in the design of a new aircraft, but first they must set aside their belief in physics.

  • Mary Jack

    I’m with ya, Dan. But somehow when I say that men and women belong together in this world, and particularly in marriage, somehow I am dismissed because of religion. When really my further arguments could be based on a variety of religions, although MY premises are certainly Genesis and the rest of Scripture. Maybe the world just doesn’t listen to reason, but prefers to decry it as religion.

  • Mary Jack

    I’m with ya, Dan. But somehow when I say that men and women belong together in this world, and particularly in marriage, somehow I am dismissed because of religion. When really my further arguments could be based on a variety of religions, although MY premises are certainly Genesis and the rest of Scripture. Maybe the world just doesn’t listen to reason, but prefers to decry it as religion.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Mark Whitford’s book “Tyranny and Resistance” is perhaps the most accessible if not best treatise concerning the influence of Luther’s thought and distinction between the two kingdoms on the founding fathers of this country. It also shows that Luther’s thought was influential in justifying for fighting the Wevolutionary War.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Mark Whitford’s book “Tyranny and Resistance” is perhaps the most accessible if not best treatise concerning the influence of Luther’s thought and distinction between the two kingdoms on the founding fathers of this country. It also shows that Luther’s thought was influential in justifying for fighting the Wevolutionary War.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Revolutionary, not wevolutionary what ever that is.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Revolutionary, not wevolutionary what ever that is.

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Bror, could you explain how, according to Whitford, Luther’s thought was used to justify the revolution?

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Bror, could you explain how, according to Whitford, Luther’s thought was used to justify the revolution?

  • Bill

    Talk to Bonhoeffer about the ‘two kingdoms,’ a theory that was totally discredited by the passivity of German Lutherans, who refused to speak out against the Nazis. It’s the same warped thinking that allows many American Lutherans to pray to the Prince of Peace on Sunday and then cheer on American bombers on Monday. We need to follow Christ into the other six days of the week.

  • Bill

    Talk to Bonhoeffer about the ‘two kingdoms,’ a theory that was totally discredited by the passivity of German Lutherans, who refused to speak out against the Nazis. It’s the same warped thinking that allows many American Lutherans to pray to the Prince of Peace on Sunday and then cheer on American bombers on Monday. We need to follow Christ into the other six days of the week.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Historically he argues it on the basis that Luther’s thought was the mastermind behind the Magdeburg Confession, which then influenced reformed “theologians” whose thought was much more influential in colonial America, but laid the foundation for resistance among lesser magistrates. Though Luther would not have found a tax to be reason enough for war, It was Luther who gave the theological reasoning making it possible to rebel against an unjust government. Whether one was sinning less or more by rebelling or not given an unjust government was overcome by the admonition to “sin boldly.” Which doesn’t mean go get drunk, but carry out your vocation the best you can determine to do, and don’t go to be fretting over whether or not you have done the right or wrong thing there. He actually also argues for a much closer or direct connection between Madison and Luther, as Madison seems to have had quite an affection for Luther’s political thought.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Historically he argues it on the basis that Luther’s thought was the mastermind behind the Magdeburg Confession, which then influenced reformed “theologians” whose thought was much more influential in colonial America, but laid the foundation for resistance among lesser magistrates. Though Luther would not have found a tax to be reason enough for war, It was Luther who gave the theological reasoning making it possible to rebel against an unjust government. Whether one was sinning less or more by rebelling or not given an unjust government was overcome by the admonition to “sin boldly.” Which doesn’t mean go get drunk, but carry out your vocation the best you can determine to do, and don’t go to be fretting over whether or not you have done the right or wrong thing there. He actually also argues for a much closer or direct connection between Madison and Luther, as Madison seems to have had quite an affection for Luther’s political thought.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bill,
    Bonhoeffer far from discredited the two kingdoms theory. As bad a theologian I think he is for coining the term “cheap grace.” He lived and died by Luther’s Two Kingdom theory, which you obviously know nothing about. The Shirer Myth you buy into has been totally discredited by Uwe Siemon-Netto in his book “The Fabricated Luther.” But then one could just read Luther’s superb book, “On Secular Authority” or his great admonitions in “to the German Nobility” or his “Letter to a Christian Soldier,” or “The Freedom of A Christian” and see that you ideas are sorely mistaken.
    And when I cheer our brave soldiers on in the war, I live out my faith in Christ. We have the best trained, and most restrained, Soldiers, Marines, Seamen, and Air Men, the world has ever known. Men and women content who are content with their pay, and go to great lengths to at all possible defend the innocent bystanders, while fighting an enemy that would use them as human shields. And the relatively few, compared to the world’s history of such matters, who do abuse the civilian populace, or kill them without warrant are court marshaled for it, when in the past such things would have been promoted. So if you don’t mind on this veterans day, why don’t you go somewhere else with your self-righteous ignorance, like a bookstore, and educate yourself.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Bill,
    Bonhoeffer far from discredited the two kingdoms theory. As bad a theologian I think he is for coining the term “cheap grace.” He lived and died by Luther’s Two Kingdom theory, which you obviously know nothing about. The Shirer Myth you buy into has been totally discredited by Uwe Siemon-Netto in his book “The Fabricated Luther.” But then one could just read Luther’s superb book, “On Secular Authority” or his great admonitions in “to the German Nobility” or his “Letter to a Christian Soldier,” or “The Freedom of A Christian” and see that you ideas are sorely mistaken.
    And when I cheer our brave soldiers on in the war, I live out my faith in Christ. We have the best trained, and most restrained, Soldiers, Marines, Seamen, and Air Men, the world has ever known. Men and women content who are content with their pay, and go to great lengths to at all possible defend the innocent bystanders, while fighting an enemy that would use them as human shields. And the relatively few, compared to the world’s history of such matters, who do abuse the civilian populace, or kill them without warrant are court marshaled for it, when in the past such things would have been promoted. So if you don’t mind on this veterans day, why don’t you go somewhere else with your self-righteous ignorance, like a bookstore, and educate yourself.

  • Bill

    http://www.thegoodsoldier.com/

    No one should think of our veterans today without going the above site.

  • Bill

    http://www.thegoodsoldier.com/

    No one should think of our veterans today without going the above site.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    The unfortunate aspect of protestant and for that matter RC theological vacuity is that too many of our soldiers are burdened with guilt for doing their job. The fifth commandment being translated over and over again “thou shalt not kill” is just but one source of this problem. A one sided pacifist interpretation of “love your enemies” is another.
    Very few have considered that loving your enemies, while also loving your neighbor, and the innocent victims of totalitarian governments, terrorists etc, may require you to put a bullet in your enemies head, with love of course. But love doesn’t play pacifist when it is time to go to war.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    The unfortunate aspect of protestant and for that matter RC theological vacuity is that too many of our soldiers are burdened with guilt for doing their job. The fifth commandment being translated over and over again “thou shalt not kill” is just but one source of this problem. A one sided pacifist interpretation of “love your enemies” is another.
    Very few have considered that loving your enemies, while also loving your neighbor, and the innocent victims of totalitarian governments, terrorists etc, may require you to put a bullet in your enemies head, with love of course. But love doesn’t play pacifist when it is time to go to war.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bill, that movie, Good Soldier is well known as a leftist anti-war screed. Sure, war is Hell and civilians get caught up in it. Most combat veterans are quiet about the experience, though they understand the necessity of war and are proud to have served their nation. A few of them come back bitter about the experience and are glad to mouth off to the media and Hollywood about it.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bill, that movie, Good Soldier is well known as a leftist anti-war screed. Sure, war is Hell and civilians get caught up in it. Most combat veterans are quiet about the experience, though they understand the necessity of war and are proud to have served their nation. A few of them come back bitter about the experience and are glad to mouth off to the media and Hollywood about it.

  • Bill

    “Sure, war is Hell and civilians get caught up in it.” I can’t recall that too many Americans were talking as casually about civilian deaths on 9/11. “Getting caught up in it” then was a big deal.

    As for Good Soldier; it’s only an anti-war “screed” if you believe that combat duty and the horror it entails causes no lasting mental wounds. If you think our soldiers are little more than conscience-less wind-up dolls to send overseas to kill while you kick back with a cold one and watch the NFL, it’s not the movie for you.

  • Bill

    “Sure, war is Hell and civilians get caught up in it.” I can’t recall that too many Americans were talking as casually about civilian deaths on 9/11. “Getting caught up in it” then was a big deal.

    As for Good Soldier; it’s only an anti-war “screed” if you believe that combat duty and the horror it entails causes no lasting mental wounds. If you think our soldiers are little more than conscience-less wind-up dolls to send overseas to kill while you kick back with a cold one and watch the NFL, it’s not the movie for you.

  • Bruce Gee

    It occurs to me that the term that has been used for what Mary Jack and Dan have been discussing is “natural law”. The debate about the place of natural law in our country’s national legislation took place nationally when Robert Bork was nominated for the Supreme Court. As I recall, his failure to win nomination was seen as a victory for those who wanted to bar the extended concepts of natural law from the public marketplace of ideas.

    Is the term helpful here, or am I mistaking something?

  • Bruce Gee

    It occurs to me that the term that has been used for what Mary Jack and Dan have been discussing is “natural law”. The debate about the place of natural law in our country’s national legislation took place nationally when Robert Bork was nominated for the Supreme Court. As I recall, his failure to win nomination was seen as a victory for those who wanted to bar the extended concepts of natural law from the public marketplace of ideas.

    Is the term helpful here, or am I mistaking something?

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bruce, the term is helpful in that natural law assumes that good and evil can be rationally determined, or that the moral law can be discerned through reason. When Mary Jack’s view of marriage being properly between a man and a woman is dismissed as a mere “religious” view, her interlocutor assumes that religion is based on myth or fairy tales not reason or natural law as well as revelation.

    The opposite view to natural law is that right or wrong is mere relative opinion, which essentially leads to nihilism.

    Unfortunately at the commanding heights of our culture natural law or moral law is usually disparaged. Certainly, men like Bork, Madison and Luther favored natural law and rights, though not in the rigid form of medieval scholasticism.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bruce, the term is helpful in that natural law assumes that good and evil can be rationally determined, or that the moral law can be discerned through reason. When Mary Jack’s view of marriage being properly between a man and a woman is dismissed as a mere “religious” view, her interlocutor assumes that religion is based on myth or fairy tales not reason or natural law as well as revelation.

    The opposite view to natural law is that right or wrong is mere relative opinion, which essentially leads to nihilism.

    Unfortunately at the commanding heights of our culture natural law or moral law is usually disparaged. Certainly, men like Bork, Madison and Luther favored natural law and rights, though not in the rigid form of medieval scholasticism.

  • Sears

    It’s interesting that the prohibition against abortion comes not from scripture, but from natural law. And since it comes from that source, we cannot say it comes from God.

  • Sears

    It’s interesting that the prohibition against abortion comes not from scripture, but from natural law. And since it comes from that source, we cannot say it comes from God.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bill, 9/11 was an act of terrorism by evil, irregular combatants. Of course it was a big deal; we properly responded to it by waging war on the terrorists and Afghanistan.

    One hardly regards regular warriors as conscienceless wind-up dolls. Unlike the terrorists who target civilians, they target enemy combatants under rather strict rules of engagement. Most of them, also, have the strength to withstand the hard physical and emotional rigors of war.

    Personally, I am a former Marine officer whose view on these matters goes beyond quaffing a few beers watching an NFL game. You need to curb a distinct tendency to arguments based on reductio ad absurdum.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bill, 9/11 was an act of terrorism by evil, irregular combatants. Of course it was a big deal; we properly responded to it by waging war on the terrorists and Afghanistan.

    One hardly regards regular warriors as conscienceless wind-up dolls. Unlike the terrorists who target civilians, they target enemy combatants under rather strict rules of engagement. Most of them, also, have the strength to withstand the hard physical and emotional rigors of war.

    Personally, I am a former Marine officer whose view on these matters goes beyond quaffing a few beers watching an NFL game. You need to curb a distinct tendency to arguments based on reductio ad absurdum.

  • fws

    #6 joe

    You are probably right about Jefferson now that I think about it. Madison and especially the adams had a very different outlook that was republican to the core. this is precisely why there was no referendum in massachusetts and why the gay marriage law will not be overturned, the process would be very slow and so not useful to for fundraising or to advance the elections of any particular party.

    glad you agree that conservatives are unwise to undo constitutional mechanisms in favor of achieving a just end.

    There is nothing more just than trying to reduce the number of abortions to the full extent possible. even their, means to end matter and matter so very much.

  • fws

    #6 joe

    You are probably right about Jefferson now that I think about it. Madison and especially the adams had a very different outlook that was republican to the core. this is precisely why there was no referendum in massachusetts and why the gay marriage law will not be overturned, the process would be very slow and so not useful to for fundraising or to advance the elections of any particular party.

    glad you agree that conservatives are unwise to undo constitutional mechanisms in favor of achieving a just end.

    There is nothing more just than trying to reduce the number of abortions to the full extent possible. even their, means to end matter and matter so very much.

  • Bill

    Peter, no Marine officer who’s seen combat could speak so callously about our vets. Were you a part timer?

  • Bill

    Peter, no Marine officer who’s seen combat could speak so callously about our vets. Were you a part timer?

  • E-Raj

    Bill, I’ll bet you wouldn’t have made that comment to Peter if you were with him face-to-face…

  • E-Raj

    Bill, I’ll bet you wouldn’t have made that comment to Peter if you were with him face-to-face…

  • Joe

    Bill and Peter – I think I will watch that film, but it is wrong to generalize in either direction. These four men can speak only for themselves. I spent 8 years in the Army Reserves. I never went anywhere or did anything, but dang did we train for it. But in my years in the Army, met lots of men who did go somewhere. I met men who have gone to war and come back messed up, others who have come back fine and many who come back somewhere in between. I know my brother who was in the 82nd Airborne and twice boarder planes bound for combat zones. Both planes turned around before he had to jump, but I saw the impact that those experiences had on him as a person.

    Each man is different and will react differently. Having a debate about it on the general level is a waste of time and energy. All I know is that its personal and we need to be ready as a people to deal with the individual response that each of these men (I guess I should say soldier these days) comes home with.

  • Joe

    Bill and Peter – I think I will watch that film, but it is wrong to generalize in either direction. These four men can speak only for themselves. I spent 8 years in the Army Reserves. I never went anywhere or did anything, but dang did we train for it. But in my years in the Army, met lots of men who did go somewhere. I met men who have gone to war and come back messed up, others who have come back fine and many who come back somewhere in between. I know my brother who was in the 82nd Airborne and twice boarder planes bound for combat zones. Both planes turned around before he had to jump, but I saw the impact that those experiences had on him as a person.

    Each man is different and will react differently. Having a debate about it on the general level is a waste of time and energy. All I know is that its personal and we need to be ready as a people to deal with the individual response that each of these men (I guess I should say soldier these days) comes home with.

  • Mary Jack

    Re #19 & 20

    Thanks for bringing up natural law. That does help me keep things in place in my mind. I hope to study more on natural law. I actually ran across a great article by Rev. Gifford Grobien in “Concordia Theological Quarterly, Vol 73, No 3, July 2009,” titled “A Lutheran Understanding of Natural Law in the Three Estates.” There’s just a whole lot I still need to digest!

  • Mary Jack

    Re #19 & 20

    Thanks for bringing up natural law. That does help me keep things in place in my mind. I hope to study more on natural law. I actually ran across a great article by Rev. Gifford Grobien in “Concordia Theological Quarterly, Vol 73, No 3, July 2009,” titled “A Lutheran Understanding of Natural Law in the Three Estates.” There’s just a whole lot I still need to digest!

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bill, there is no such thing as a Marine part timer. Also, I served as a Marine officer in peace-time Japan shortly after the Korean War, though I knew many Marines who served in WW II and the Korean War. While most of these men were scarred by war, they had the spiritual and physical strength to have overcome it and serve effectively in both the military and private economy. Read Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation, which makes clear that the WWII generation weathered a depression and a major war and then went on to build a great post-war economy.

    You have what amounts to a psycho-babbble stance that American men lack the ability to withstand the serious rigors of war, an essentially defeatist point of view, that, while politically correct of late, is quite mistaken. America, whether you like it or not, fought the Indians hard, the British in a Revolutionary War, a Civil War that held the Union together and ended slavery, two world Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, all of these honorable wars fought by strong men.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Bill, there is no such thing as a Marine part timer. Also, I served as a Marine officer in peace-time Japan shortly after the Korean War, though I knew many Marines who served in WW II and the Korean War. While most of these men were scarred by war, they had the spiritual and physical strength to have overcome it and serve effectively in both the military and private economy. Read Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation, which makes clear that the WWII generation weathered a depression and a major war and then went on to build a great post-war economy.

    You have what amounts to a psycho-babbble stance that American men lack the ability to withstand the serious rigors of war, an essentially defeatist point of view, that, while politically correct of late, is quite mistaken. America, whether you like it or not, fought the Indians hard, the British in a Revolutionary War, a Civil War that held the Union together and ended slavery, two world Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, all of these honorable wars fought by strong men.

  • http://therighthandoffellowship.blogspot.com John H. Guthrie

    There needs to be a clarification of what Jefferson meant by “the wall of seperation between Church and State.” He meant nothing approaching the current notion espoused by liberal judicial activists. He used those words in a letter to Baptists at Danbury Conn. In that letter he was refering to the Church’s freedom from an official government sponsored religion. Jefferson grew up in a Virginia where the Anglican Church had the favor of the Colonial government at the expense of other branches of the Church. It was the memory of such a state of affairs, which included the taxation of non-Anglican churches for the suport the Anglican Church that were the roots of both Jefferson and Madison’s views of Church and State. When Jefferson founded the University of Virginia, he included a Divinity School. He saw no contradiction in a Divinity School existing at a state institution. His only concern was that a particuilar creed not become the official position of the school.

  • http://therighthandoffellowship.blogspot.com John H. Guthrie

    There needs to be a clarification of what Jefferson meant by “the wall of seperation between Church and State.” He meant nothing approaching the current notion espoused by liberal judicial activists. He used those words in a letter to Baptists at Danbury Conn. In that letter he was refering to the Church’s freedom from an official government sponsored religion. Jefferson grew up in a Virginia where the Anglican Church had the favor of the Colonial government at the expense of other branches of the Church. It was the memory of such a state of affairs, which included the taxation of non-Anglican churches for the suport the Anglican Church that were the roots of both Jefferson and Madison’s views of Church and State. When Jefferson founded the University of Virginia, he included a Divinity School. He saw no contradiction in a Divinity School existing at a state institution. His only concern was that a particuilar creed not become the official position of the school.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Mary Jack @27, I remember the feeling as a young person that there was so much to digest. So many ideas and so little life experience to take it all in. You are doing exactly the right thing, raising questions, trying to make sense of it all, and keeping your mind open within the context of being a serious Lutheran Christian person.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Mary Jack @27, I remember the feeling as a young person that there was so much to digest. So many ideas and so little life experience to take it all in. You are doing exactly the right thing, raising questions, trying to make sense of it all, and keeping your mind open within the context of being a serious Lutheran Christian person.

  • Dan Kempin

    Bruce, Peter, and Mary Jack,

    I wonder if the term “natural law” will be helpful in this discussion. True, the concept refers to exactly what we are discussing: God’s law as it is exhibited in nature. (As distinct from God’s Law as it speaks to our spiritual condition.) The assumption is that God is the creator of nature. He wrote the laws of physics, so to speak. (Nor is he bound by them, e.g. Jesus on the water.)

    Today, however, the term “nature” is a concept unto itself, distinct from the idea of a creator. Let’s face it, “nature” is used in many ways as an entirely distinct “god” in the pagan sense. “Mother Nature.” “Mother Earth” How many products advertise themselves as “natural.” (As opposed to . . . ?)

    What I am saying is that the use of the classic term “natural law” may invoke the contemporary idea of “nature,” and thus defeat the intended point.

    How can we be clear about this–not just among ourselves, but in our larger discussions?

  • Dan Kempin

    Bruce, Peter, and Mary Jack,

    I wonder if the term “natural law” will be helpful in this discussion. True, the concept refers to exactly what we are discussing: God’s law as it is exhibited in nature. (As distinct from God’s Law as it speaks to our spiritual condition.) The assumption is that God is the creator of nature. He wrote the laws of physics, so to speak. (Nor is he bound by them, e.g. Jesus on the water.)

    Today, however, the term “nature” is a concept unto itself, distinct from the idea of a creator. Let’s face it, “nature” is used in many ways as an entirely distinct “god” in the pagan sense. “Mother Nature.” “Mother Earth” How many products advertise themselves as “natural.” (As opposed to . . . ?)

    What I am saying is that the use of the classic term “natural law” may invoke the contemporary idea of “nature,” and thus defeat the intended point.

    How can we be clear about this–not just among ourselves, but in our larger discussions?

  • fws

    #5 mary jack

    “But our religion undergirds all of that.”

    Augsburg Confession: Article XVIII: Of Free Will.

    man’s will has liberty to choose civil righteousness… to work things subject to reason…. in works of this life… For all of these things are not without dependence on the providence of God; yea, of Him and through Him they are and have their being …(cf my post #2 above).

    Ok Mary Jack, this is all exactly the same for radical islamicists, pagans, and christians. It is the outward keeping of the second table of the law.

    There is NO faith at all required for this to happen as part of God´s Will and providence, and it happens “indeed without our prayer, even for all the wicked”.

    In light of this fact, I would like to know what you mean by “our RELIGION undergirds all of that.” I can´t as a Lutheran remove faith from what I call my “religion”. You seem to imply that this is possible.

  • fws

    #5 mary jack

    “But our religion undergirds all of that.”

    Augsburg Confession: Article XVIII: Of Free Will.

    man’s will has liberty to choose civil righteousness… to work things subject to reason…. in works of this life… For all of these things are not without dependence on the providence of God; yea, of Him and through Him they are and have their being …(cf my post #2 above).

    Ok Mary Jack, this is all exactly the same for radical islamicists, pagans, and christians. It is the outward keeping of the second table of the law.

    There is NO faith at all required for this to happen as part of God´s Will and providence, and it happens “indeed without our prayer, even for all the wicked”.

    In light of this fact, I would like to know what you mean by “our RELIGION undergirds all of that.” I can´t as a Lutheran remove faith from what I call my “religion”. You seem to imply that this is possible.

  • fws

    Comment #8
    Mary Jack said:
    “I’m with ya, Dan. But somehow when I say that men and women belong together in this world, and particularly in marriage, somehow I am dismissed because of religion. ”

    Jesus said “The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath.”

    Sex was created, after the creation of man, for man´s benefit, to cure the ONLY thing that was “not good” in a creation that was all “good” before the fall: Man, in his very essence as a human being, was not “good” alone. Sex is a temporary provision of God, not purposed to provide a romantic fe-male counterpart to male. It was purposed to cure the issue of “aloneness”. From this, as pebble thrown into pond, ripples out society of humankind, and the body of Christ.

    No one should be alone. This is quite clear from the revealed Word and not merely from natural law is´t it?

    Some points for consideration:

    (1) So what is more important ? the end or the means to that end? means=sex, end=unaloneness.

    (2) If God created a normal, standard means to an end or good he is seeking to provide mankind and that means does not serve the end for everyone, is it morally wrong to seek an alternative means to seek the same end God would have for all of us?

    (3) Does the fact that God has set up “standards ” or “norms” that are observable in nature mean that that “norm” or “standard” is intended by God to carry moral force? Always? Is it moral to be albino? Is that “natural”? why or why not? Is it moral to be born blind? is this condition due to sin? the sin of the person? the sin of his parents? original sin? the fall? What did Jesus say was the cause of a particular person being born “abnormally” as a blind man? Would it be proper to extend what Jesus says to those born “abnormally” as homosexuals?

    In the new creation, sex will no longer exist. Sex is not an intrinsic, essence-ial part of being human.

    Natural Law Point: Natural Law would lead us to believe that sexuality, male/female is immutable and inseparable from the condition of being fully human. Revealed Holy Scripture clearly says the exact opposite of this doesn´t it? We can only know these facts from Holy Revealed Scripture. Natural Law is useless here and in fact would lead us into error.

    Scripture alone. Let scripture interpret scripture.

  • fws

    Comment #8
    Mary Jack said:
    “I’m with ya, Dan. But somehow when I say that men and women belong together in this world, and particularly in marriage, somehow I am dismissed because of religion. ”

    Jesus said “The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath.”

    Sex was created, after the creation of man, for man´s benefit, to cure the ONLY thing that was “not good” in a creation that was all “good” before the fall: Man, in his very essence as a human being, was not “good” alone. Sex is a temporary provision of God, not purposed to provide a romantic fe-male counterpart to male. It was purposed to cure the issue of “aloneness”. From this, as pebble thrown into pond, ripples out society of humankind, and the body of Christ.

    No one should be alone. This is quite clear from the revealed Word and not merely from natural law is´t it?

    Some points for consideration:

    (1) So what is more important ? the end or the means to that end? means=sex, end=unaloneness.

    (2) If God created a normal, standard means to an end or good he is seeking to provide mankind and that means does not serve the end for everyone, is it morally wrong to seek an alternative means to seek the same end God would have for all of us?

    (3) Does the fact that God has set up “standards ” or “norms” that are observable in nature mean that that “norm” or “standard” is intended by God to carry moral force? Always? Is it moral to be albino? Is that “natural”? why or why not? Is it moral to be born blind? is this condition due to sin? the sin of the person? the sin of his parents? original sin? the fall? What did Jesus say was the cause of a particular person being born “abnormally” as a blind man? Would it be proper to extend what Jesus says to those born “abnormally” as homosexuals?

    In the new creation, sex will no longer exist. Sex is not an intrinsic, essence-ial part of being human.

    Natural Law Point: Natural Law would lead us to believe that sexuality, male/female is immutable and inseparable from the condition of being fully human. Revealed Holy Scripture clearly says the exact opposite of this doesn´t it? We can only know these facts from Holy Revealed Scripture. Natural Law is useless here and in fact would lead us into error.

    Scripture alone. Let scripture interpret scripture.

  • fws

    Comment #31
    Dan Kempin said:
    Bruce, Peter, and Mary Jack,

    I wonder if the term “natural law” will be helpful in this discussion.

    Further: exactly what is missing from God´s Word that requires a “filling in the blank spaces” using “natural law”.

    What is the need, purpose or point of invoking “natural Law”? It makes me twitchy and suspicious as a Lutheran. Is this Reason-Whore-of-Religion sneaking in the back door eclipsing Revealed Word?

    If it is to argue for some point with non-christians or pagans, then it would need to be invoked without reference to God. Define “Natural”. something that occurs with the most frequency? Function that appears to match physical design? Scriptural basis for the words “normal” and “natural”? shaky ground… removed from the Unitary Purpose of Scripture: To know Christ.

    If we want society to conform to God´s Law and Will, then half-measures are of no avail and we should return to the time of the 30 years war and urge the outlawing of non-Lutheran religion in our lands or vote with our feet and move to a Lutheran country. Why would this not be true?

    The Stoics and Aristotle and Budhists have come so extremely close to a near perfect reflection of what the second table of the law says without any need to refer to a divine author.

  • fws

    Comment #31
    Dan Kempin said:
    Bruce, Peter, and Mary Jack,

    I wonder if the term “natural law” will be helpful in this discussion.

    Further: exactly what is missing from God´s Word that requires a “filling in the blank spaces” using “natural law”.

    What is the need, purpose or point of invoking “natural Law”? It makes me twitchy and suspicious as a Lutheran. Is this Reason-Whore-of-Religion sneaking in the back door eclipsing Revealed Word?

    If it is to argue for some point with non-christians or pagans, then it would need to be invoked without reference to God. Define “Natural”. something that occurs with the most frequency? Function that appears to match physical design? Scriptural basis for the words “normal” and “natural”? shaky ground… removed from the Unitary Purpose of Scripture: To know Christ.

    If we want society to conform to God´s Law and Will, then half-measures are of no avail and we should return to the time of the 30 years war and urge the outlawing of non-Lutheran religion in our lands or vote with our feet and move to a Lutheran country. Why would this not be true?

    The Stoics and Aristotle and Budhists have come so extremely close to a near perfect reflection of what the second table of the law says without any need to refer to a divine author.

  • Joe

    frank – it was not good for man to be alone and God responded. But he responded in a specific way. He created woman. Not another man for Adam to hang out with. If we are going to figure out why it is that it was not good for Adam to be alone, perhaps we should begin by looking at what God did to cure the problem. That I think would lead to a conclusion that God created woman because it was not good for Adam to be alone because alone Adam could not procreate or have sex with committing adultery or bestiality. It certainly makes just as much sense as your claim that God just didn’t want Adam to be lonely. If that were that case why would he make a woman with whom he could procreate, marry and have sex? If the only reason for the curing Adam’s aloneness was because of loneliness why do we get all the later prohibitions on how and with whom we can enter into God pleasing relationships? None of this makes sense if the whole point of woman was simply to cure loneliness.

    Perhaps Saint Paul presents a parallel when he discusses his gift of celibacy and recognizes that many burn with sexual desire and that these folks should get married to relieve that urge. Perhaps, Adam even in his perfect stated was not gifted with celibacy and thus that is why it was not good to be alone. Your attempt to equate “not good for Adam to be alone” to simple loneliness seems to be akin to reading it how you need to read it to reach a predetermined conclusion.

  • Joe

    frank – it was not good for man to be alone and God responded. But he responded in a specific way. He created woman. Not another man for Adam to hang out with. If we are going to figure out why it is that it was not good for Adam to be alone, perhaps we should begin by looking at what God did to cure the problem. That I think would lead to a conclusion that God created woman because it was not good for Adam to be alone because alone Adam could not procreate or have sex with committing adultery or bestiality. It certainly makes just as much sense as your claim that God just didn’t want Adam to be lonely. If that were that case why would he make a woman with whom he could procreate, marry and have sex? If the only reason for the curing Adam’s aloneness was because of loneliness why do we get all the later prohibitions on how and with whom we can enter into God pleasing relationships? None of this makes sense if the whole point of woman was simply to cure loneliness.

    Perhaps Saint Paul presents a parallel when he discusses his gift of celibacy and recognizes that many burn with sexual desire and that these folks should get married to relieve that urge. Perhaps, Adam even in his perfect stated was not gifted with celibacy and thus that is why it was not good to be alone. Your attempt to equate “not good for Adam to be alone” to simple loneliness seems to be akin to reading it how you need to read it to reach a predetermined conclusion.

  • fws

    #35 joe

    like pebble in pond, aloneness was cured by the creation of society. the good to delivered was UNaloneness. the method was the temporary provision of sex (by sex I don´t mean the act, I mean male/female and all that goes with that.) Male/female is means to end and not and end unto itself.

    it is a temporary arrangement that will be unnecessary in the new creation. I for one, cannot begin to imagine how sex would not be a part of being human. But God´s Word tells us this once was and will be again.

    If I see that you are thirsty. I will probably decide that you need water. If I then decide that the best way to get water to you is by conveying it through plumbing that does not make a for a moral rule. Where is the logic in that?

    If plumbing is not possible due to circumstances, the important thing is to get water to you. I am not going to let you die of thirst because plumbing is the normal way to get water to you.

    Yeah I say die of thirst. It seems that God place great importance on man not being alone.

    Some humans are not gifted with celibacy, and it would be a horrible sin for them to contemplate marrying someone of the opposite sex. So what then? Try telling a love-sick teen with romantic aspirations who will never morally be able to have a wedding night, that he must contemplate spending the rest of his life alone.

    I am not suggesting any answer at all here Joe. I am suggesting that there are many fine young christians who are tortured by this problem, strive for chastity, and have no other christians to share this with who will not make things worse by saying the only solution is to be “cured” of those romantic aspirations for the same gender.

    Why is it that I need to put more weight, as you seem to be directing me into the means of delivery than the thing God clearly states He needed to deliver?

  • fws

    #35 joe

    like pebble in pond, aloneness was cured by the creation of society. the good to delivered was UNaloneness. the method was the temporary provision of sex (by sex I don´t mean the act, I mean male/female and all that goes with that.) Male/female is means to end and not and end unto itself.

    it is a temporary arrangement that will be unnecessary in the new creation. I for one, cannot begin to imagine how sex would not be a part of being human. But God´s Word tells us this once was and will be again.

    If I see that you are thirsty. I will probably decide that you need water. If I then decide that the best way to get water to you is by conveying it through plumbing that does not make a for a moral rule. Where is the logic in that?

    If plumbing is not possible due to circumstances, the important thing is to get water to you. I am not going to let you die of thirst because plumbing is the normal way to get water to you.

    Yeah I say die of thirst. It seems that God place great importance on man not being alone.

    Some humans are not gifted with celibacy, and it would be a horrible sin for them to contemplate marrying someone of the opposite sex. So what then? Try telling a love-sick teen with romantic aspirations who will never morally be able to have a wedding night, that he must contemplate spending the rest of his life alone.

    I am not suggesting any answer at all here Joe. I am suggesting that there are many fine young christians who are tortured by this problem, strive for chastity, and have no other christians to share this with who will not make things worse by saying the only solution is to be “cured” of those romantic aspirations for the same gender.

    Why is it that I need to put more weight, as you seem to be directing me into the means of delivery than the thing God clearly states He needed to deliver?

  • fws

    #35 Joe

    “If the only reason for the curing Adam’s aloneness was because of loneliness why do we get all the later prohibitions on how and with whom we can enter into God pleasing relationships? None of this makes sense if the whole point of woman was simply to cure loneliness. ”

    In a creation that was all “good” only ONE thing was “not good”. This was man being alone.

    The second table of the law can be fully understood and done by pagans. this is about order in society. society is about not being alone. order protects our UNaloneness. it protects our reputations and goods. society is how God provides ALL first article gifts to us. People have been know to kill out of jealousy or for discovering adultery. lives are ruined. families are destroyed.

    I am not seeing how this does not make sense to you.

    It doesn´t need to make sense does it Joe, since God´s Word is clear.

    “It is not good that man should be alone, therefore, so, … he made woman.”

    pebble in pond. sex. children. society. unaloneness.

    Sex is a temporary arrangement. It is therefore not intrinsic to being human.

    the declaration that “it is not good for man to be alone” means that being a social creature is a very essence and part of both the image of God and and intrinsic, inseparable part of what the definition of being “human” is.

  • fws

    #35 Joe

    “If the only reason for the curing Adam’s aloneness was because of loneliness why do we get all the later prohibitions on how and with whom we can enter into God pleasing relationships? None of this makes sense if the whole point of woman was simply to cure loneliness. ”

    In a creation that was all “good” only ONE thing was “not good”. This was man being alone.

    The second table of the law can be fully understood and done by pagans. this is about order in society. society is about not being alone. order protects our UNaloneness. it protects our reputations and goods. society is how God provides ALL first article gifts to us. People have been know to kill out of jealousy or for discovering adultery. lives are ruined. families are destroyed.

    I am not seeing how this does not make sense to you.

    It doesn´t need to make sense does it Joe, since God´s Word is clear.

    “It is not good that man should be alone, therefore, so, … he made woman.”

    pebble in pond. sex. children. society. unaloneness.

    Sex is a temporary arrangement. It is therefore not intrinsic to being human.

    the declaration that “it is not good for man to be alone” means that being a social creature is a very essence and part of both the image of God and and intrinsic, inseparable part of what the definition of being “human” is.

  • fws

    #35 joe

    “That I think would lead to a conclusion that God created woman because it was not good for Adam to be alone because alone Adam could not procreate or have sex with committing adultery or bestiality. ”

    That would be answered by the part of the creation account where God paraded all animals before adam and adam realized that there was “noone like him” in creation. a counterpart.

    We know from the text that this is not about sex is it. the proof, as you point out , would be that beastiality would then be an option. It was not. ditto: sex for the sake of sex between humans, adultery in the form of sex detached from relationship as in prostitution, hedonism, etc. Those practices use in fragmentation what God has provided wholistically as the cure for aloneness in a way that merely deepens a sense of alienation and aloneness. But again this is not about sex or especially about sex or sex act as the “good” God provided of being UNalone. Even married men and women can engage in this sin. hence the high divorce rates….

    It seems you very narrowly denominate things in terms of sex acts. why is that Joe?

  • fws

    #35 joe

    “That I think would lead to a conclusion that God created woman because it was not good for Adam to be alone because alone Adam could not procreate or have sex with committing adultery or bestiality. ”

    That would be answered by the part of the creation account where God paraded all animals before adam and adam realized that there was “noone like him” in creation. a counterpart.

    We know from the text that this is not about sex is it. the proof, as you point out , would be that beastiality would then be an option. It was not. ditto: sex for the sake of sex between humans, adultery in the form of sex detached from relationship as in prostitution, hedonism, etc. Those practices use in fragmentation what God has provided wholistically as the cure for aloneness in a way that merely deepens a sense of alienation and aloneness. But again this is not about sex or especially about sex or sex act as the “good” God provided of being UNalone. Even married men and women can engage in this sin. hence the high divorce rates….

    It seems you very narrowly denominate things in terms of sex acts. why is that Joe?

  • Joe

    Frank – I think you are missing my point. I am not saying I am right and you are wrong. What I am saying is that you are making an assumption about WHY it was not good for Adam to be alone. You ascribe the not goodness to simple loneliness. I am suggesting that it may have been more than that. That it may have been an innate need to have a wife – not a simple fellow human to talk with, to have sex with defiling himself or an animal or another man and to make babies.

    The point is that there is not a direct answer in the text as to WHY it was not good to be alone. You (the oft-times decrier of the use of natural law) are trying to answer the question by looking at man’s inherent want to be among other humans – our social nature. I am trying to see if other parts of scripture give us guidance on this question. Again, I am not saying I an write but I believe my method for attempting to find an answer is the correct Sola Scriputra method.

  • Joe

    Frank – I think you are missing my point. I am not saying I am right and you are wrong. What I am saying is that you are making an assumption about WHY it was not good for Adam to be alone. You ascribe the not goodness to simple loneliness. I am suggesting that it may have been more than that. That it may have been an innate need to have a wife – not a simple fellow human to talk with, to have sex with defiling himself or an animal or another man and to make babies.

    The point is that there is not a direct answer in the text as to WHY it was not good to be alone. You (the oft-times decrier of the use of natural law) are trying to answer the question by looking at man’s inherent want to be among other humans – our social nature. I am trying to see if other parts of scripture give us guidance on this question. Again, I am not saying I an write but I believe my method for attempting to find an answer is the correct Sola Scriputra method.

  • Joe

    “It seems you very narrowly denominate things in terms of sex acts. why is that Joe?”

    I think that my answer above makes this point not really germane as I have tried to explain what my post was really about. But do you see the humor in you asking this question?

    God Bless you Brother.

  • Joe

    “It seems you very narrowly denominate things in terms of sex acts. why is that Joe?”

    I think that my answer above makes this point not really germane as I have tried to explain what my post was really about. But do you see the humor in you asking this question?

    God Bless you Brother.

  • fws

    #39 jeo
    “What I am saying is that you are making an assumption about WHY it was not good for Adam to be alone. You ascribe the not goodness to simple loneliness. I am suggesting that it may have been more than that. ”

    hmmm. let´s see. “It is not good for man to be alone.”

    It is not speculation to say that this statement is about the essence of human-ness and part of the God-image of man.

    It is also not speculation to say that sex/male/female is a temporary provisional means to an end. it is not something inseparable from being human or in God´s Image.

    I am not going beyond that am I? I am repeating the “what” that scripture says. I am not really going into “why” it is not good for man to be alone, other than that it was “not good” .

    The “why” for the creation of eve WAS to cure the “not good” of mankind being alone. No speculation there either is there?

    Are we talking past each other Joe? Am I missing your point? If so, please make your point and tie it to a clear passage or scripture. That would be very useful here for me.

    I really don´t need to think too hard. “not good” “man” “alone”.

    I take that literally and simply Joe. Gay men and Lesbians should never marry, but that does not mean this story excludes them . this is about “mankind” or “the human race” not about why God has given you a wife.

    I assume that the creation of society that came from the offspring was fully contemplated in the mind of God in this, in view of the fact of my eternal election.

    Finally, even this, is all to point us to Christ isn´t it?

  • fws

    #39 jeo
    “What I am saying is that you are making an assumption about WHY it was not good for Adam to be alone. You ascribe the not goodness to simple loneliness. I am suggesting that it may have been more than that. ”

    hmmm. let´s see. “It is not good for man to be alone.”

    It is not speculation to say that this statement is about the essence of human-ness and part of the God-image of man.

    It is also not speculation to say that sex/male/female is a temporary provisional means to an end. it is not something inseparable from being human or in God´s Image.

    I am not going beyond that am I? I am repeating the “what” that scripture says. I am not really going into “why” it is not good for man to be alone, other than that it was “not good” .

    The “why” for the creation of eve WAS to cure the “not good” of mankind being alone. No speculation there either is there?

    Are we talking past each other Joe? Am I missing your point? If so, please make your point and tie it to a clear passage or scripture. That would be very useful here for me.

    I really don´t need to think too hard. “not good” “man” “alone”.

    I take that literally and simply Joe. Gay men and Lesbians should never marry, but that does not mean this story excludes them . this is about “mankind” or “the human race” not about why God has given you a wife.

    I assume that the creation of society that came from the offspring was fully contemplated in the mind of God in this, in view of the fact of my eternal election.

    Finally, even this, is all to point us to Christ isn´t it?

  • http://www.eucharisteojourney.blogspot.com Sharaya Crossan

    Contrary to modernists’ misunderstanding of Jefferson’s “wall of separation” idea, Jefferson was actually concerned about the federal government’s potential to regulate, restrict, or interfere with religious expression. The wall was to protect religious expression and to disallow the federal imposition of a particular denomination of Christianity upon the nation, not to eradicate it from the public square. (And this from one of the least religious founding fathers!)

    For ex., he wrote:

    “[N]o power over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” Kentucky Resolution, 1798

    “In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government.” Second Inaugural Address, 1805

    “[O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary.” Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808

    “I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises.” Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808

    As Jefferson wrote Noah Webster:
    “It had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors . . . and which experience has nevertheless proved they [the government] will be constantly encroaching on if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious [effective] against wrong and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion.”

    In a letter to fellow Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Rush, he emphasized his desire to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination:
    “…as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists. The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes and they believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly.”

    Jefferson’s phrase about the wall of separation occurred in a letter he wrote in 1802 in reply to the Danbury Baptists who raised concerns about the govt.’s interference in the religious life of its citizens. In his reply, Jefferson assured them that they need not fear; that the free exercise of religion would never be interfered with by the federal government BECAUSE this wall existed:
    “…Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties…”

    Jefferson’s reference to “natural rights” invoked an important legal phrase which was part of the rhetoric of that day and which reaffirmed his belief that religious liberties were inalienable rights. “Natural rights” at the time incorporated what God Himself had guaranteed to man in the Scriptures. Thus, when Jefferson assured the Baptists that by following their “natural rights” they would violate no social duty, he was affirming to them that the free exercise of religion was their inalienable God-given right and therefore was protected from federal regulation or interference.

    So clearly did Jefferson understand the Source of America’s inalienable rights that he even doubted whether America could survive if we ever lost that knowledge. He queried:

    “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” (“Notes on the State of Virginia,” 1794)

    Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights and that the government, therefore, was to be prevented from interference with those rights. Very simply, the “fence” of the Webster letter and the “wall” of the Danbury letter were not to limit religious activities in public; rather they were to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with those expressions.

    Earlier courts long understood Jefferson’s intent. In fact, when Jefferson’s letter was invoked by the Supreme Court (only twice prior to the 1947 Everson case – the Reynolds v. United States case in 1878), unlike today’s Courts which publish only his eight-word separation phrase, that earlier Court published Jefferson’s entire letter and then concluded:

    “Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it [Jefferson's letter] may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the Amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.” (Reynolds v. U. S., 98 U. S. 145, 164 (1878)

    That Court then succinctly summarized Jefferson’s intent for “separation of church and state”:

    “[T]he rightful purposes of civil government are for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order. In th[is] . . . is found the true distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State.” (ibid)

    In summary, the “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

  • http://www.eucharisteojourney.blogspot.com Sharaya Crossan

    Contrary to modernists’ misunderstanding of Jefferson’s “wall of separation” idea, Jefferson was actually concerned about the federal government’s potential to regulate, restrict, or interfere with religious expression. The wall was to protect religious expression and to disallow the federal imposition of a particular denomination of Christianity upon the nation, not to eradicate it from the public square. (And this from one of the least religious founding fathers!)

    For ex., he wrote:

    “[N]o power over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” Kentucky Resolution, 1798

    “In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government.” Second Inaugural Address, 1805

    “[O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary.” Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808

    “I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises.” Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808

    As Jefferson wrote Noah Webster:
    “It had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors . . . and which experience has nevertheless proved they [the government] will be constantly encroaching on if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious [effective] against wrong and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion.”

    In a letter to fellow Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Rush, he emphasized his desire to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination:
    “…as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists. The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes and they believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly.”

    Jefferson’s phrase about the wall of separation occurred in a letter he wrote in 1802 in reply to the Danbury Baptists who raised concerns about the govt.’s interference in the religious life of its citizens. In his reply, Jefferson assured them that they need not fear; that the free exercise of religion would never be interfered with by the federal government BECAUSE this wall existed:
    “…Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties…”

    Jefferson’s reference to “natural rights” invoked an important legal phrase which was part of the rhetoric of that day and which reaffirmed his belief that religious liberties were inalienable rights. “Natural rights” at the time incorporated what God Himself had guaranteed to man in the Scriptures. Thus, when Jefferson assured the Baptists that by following their “natural rights” they would violate no social duty, he was affirming to them that the free exercise of religion was their inalienable God-given right and therefore was protected from federal regulation or interference.

    So clearly did Jefferson understand the Source of America’s inalienable rights that he even doubted whether America could survive if we ever lost that knowledge. He queried:

    “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” (“Notes on the State of Virginia,” 1794)

    Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights and that the government, therefore, was to be prevented from interference with those rights. Very simply, the “fence” of the Webster letter and the “wall” of the Danbury letter were not to limit religious activities in public; rather they were to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with those expressions.

    Earlier courts long understood Jefferson’s intent. In fact, when Jefferson’s letter was invoked by the Supreme Court (only twice prior to the 1947 Everson case – the Reynolds v. United States case in 1878), unlike today’s Courts which publish only his eight-word separation phrase, that earlier Court published Jefferson’s entire letter and then concluded:

    “Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it [Jefferson's letter] may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the Amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.” (Reynolds v. U. S., 98 U. S. 145, 164 (1878)

    That Court then succinctly summarized Jefferson’s intent for “separation of church and state”:

    “[T]he rightful purposes of civil government are for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order. In th[is] . . . is found the true distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State.” (ibid)

    In summary, the “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

  • fws

    “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    examples please!

  • fws

    “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

    examples please!

  • Joe

    Frank – I think we are at one of those points where we are just not going to convince each other. I really do think there s a profound difference in how we are reading the text: it was not good for man to be alone.

    In it you see both the What and the Why of the ungoodness. I see only a statement of only What was not good without the Why being explained. I really think that you are inferring the why – it is an inference that is based on logic and it is reasonable. But, I think that there are better inferences to draw that are based on the rest of scripture. I also understand that your position is that the textual support for my inference is simply the results of the cure (i.e. pebble in the pond). But when God is omnipotent can their ever really be a pebble in the pond effect – the ripples are already known, understood, contemplated and judge good before God drops the pebble – I am not sure we can so quickly regulate them to side effects.

  • Joe

    Frank – I think we are at one of those points where we are just not going to convince each other. I really do think there s a profound difference in how we are reading the text: it was not good for man to be alone.

    In it you see both the What and the Why of the ungoodness. I see only a statement of only What was not good without the Why being explained. I really think that you are inferring the why – it is an inference that is based on logic and it is reasonable. But, I think that there are better inferences to draw that are based on the rest of scripture. I also understand that your position is that the textual support for my inference is simply the results of the cure (i.e. pebble in the pond). But when God is omnipotent can their ever really be a pebble in the pond effect – the ripples are already known, understood, contemplated and judge good before God drops the pebble – I am not sure we can so quickly regulate them to side effects.

  • fws

    “In it you see both the What and the Why of the ungoodness.”

    what was not good was man´s aloneness why? dunno. More than an assumption to assume that this fact was part and parcel of being in God´s Image? I think not. That this need to be unalone is intrinsic to being fully human as conjecture? how so?

    Eve was created. Why? to make mankind UNalone.

    Male/female/sex will cease in the new creation. ergo, male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human. However the need to be UNalone is.

    I am really not seeing where I seek to answer “why”. Show me where I am doing that.

    I am not seeing how you could possibly disagree with any of these statements.

    Why would the “why” really matter Joe.

    Maybe you are reading into what I am saying some further or additional unstated point or conclusion. That would be unfair on your part, would it not?

    There really is none.

  • fws

    “In it you see both the What and the Why of the ungoodness.”

    what was not good was man´s aloneness why? dunno. More than an assumption to assume that this fact was part and parcel of being in God´s Image? I think not. That this need to be unalone is intrinsic to being fully human as conjecture? how so?

    Eve was created. Why? to make mankind UNalone.

    Male/female/sex will cease in the new creation. ergo, male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human. However the need to be UNalone is.

    I am really not seeing where I seek to answer “why”. Show me where I am doing that.

    I am not seeing how you could possibly disagree with any of these statements.

    Why would the “why” really matter Joe.

    Maybe you are reading into what I am saying some further or additional unstated point or conclusion. That would be unfair on your part, would it not?

    There really is none.

  • fws

    Joe: why would I try to convince you when the apparent meaning of the text of Holy Scripture is so very clear.

    To oppose the points I have made from clear scripture is like the zwinglians looking to other texts to excape the plain and self-evident meaning of the words of institution “this Is my body”

  • fws

    Joe: why would I try to convince you when the apparent meaning of the text of Holy Scripture is so very clear.

    To oppose the points I have made from clear scripture is like the zwinglians looking to other texts to excape the plain and self-evident meaning of the words of institution “this Is my body”

  • fws

    #44 Joe.

    I guess I am saying that I do not see where you disagree. which point do you think is wrong or in any way speculative in my comment #45?

  • fws

    #44 Joe.

    I guess I am saying that I do not see where you disagree. which point do you think is wrong or in any way speculative in my comment #45?

  • fws

    and by the way Joe. I appreciate your politeness and thoughtfulness.

  • fws

    and by the way Joe. I appreciate your politeness and thoughtfulness.

  • Joe

    Hey Frank

    This statement of yours sums up why the why matters:

    “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human. However the need to be UNalone is.”

    You can’t really assert that is is true unless we know why it was bad for man to be alone. If my why is correct then this statement falls and honestly Frank to get to this conclusion you have to make a huge assumption that the statement that it was not good for man to be alone equates to simple loneliness. That is not supported by the text – the text simply does not say why it was not good for man to be alone. I am not looking for extra-textual support. I am looking to related passages. Specifically, what did God do to fix this aloneness – he created Eve, he created marriage, he created procreation. I think that is a pretty good clue as to what was wrong with man being alone. And would seem to suggest that “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human.”

    But we are simply repeating ourselves.

  • Joe

    Hey Frank

    This statement of yours sums up why the why matters:

    “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human. However the need to be UNalone is.”

    You can’t really assert that is is true unless we know why it was bad for man to be alone. If my why is correct then this statement falls and honestly Frank to get to this conclusion you have to make a huge assumption that the statement that it was not good for man to be alone equates to simple loneliness. That is not supported by the text – the text simply does not say why it was not good for man to be alone. I am not looking for extra-textual support. I am looking to related passages. Specifically, what did God do to fix this aloneness – he created Eve, he created marriage, he created procreation. I think that is a pretty good clue as to what was wrong with man being alone. And would seem to suggest that “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human.”

    But we are simply repeating ourselves.

  • Joe

    Hey Frank

    This statement of yours sums up why the why matters:

    “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human. However the need to be UNalone is.”

    You can’t really assert that is is true unless we know why it was bad for man to be alone. If my why is correct then this statement falls and honestly Frank to get to this conclusion you have to make a huge assumption that the statement that it was not good for man to be alone equates to simple loneliness. That is not supported by the text – the text simply does not say why it was not good for man to be alone. I am not looking for extra-textual support. I am looking to related passages. Specifically, what did God do to fix this aloneness – he created Eve, he created marriage, he created procreation. I think that is a pretty good clue as to what was wrong with man being alone. And would seem to suggest that “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human.”

    But we are simply repeating ourselves.

    “and by the way Joe. I appreciate your politeness and thoughtfulness.”

    Thanks Frank – And, I your’s.

  • Joe

    Hey Frank

    This statement of yours sums up why the why matters:

    “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human. However the need to be UNalone is.”

    You can’t really assert that is is true unless we know why it was bad for man to be alone. If my why is correct then this statement falls and honestly Frank to get to this conclusion you have to make a huge assumption that the statement that it was not good for man to be alone equates to simple loneliness. That is not supported by the text – the text simply does not say why it was not good for man to be alone. I am not looking for extra-textual support. I am looking to related passages. Specifically, what did God do to fix this aloneness – he created Eve, he created marriage, he created procreation. I think that is a pretty good clue as to what was wrong with man being alone. And would seem to suggest that “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human.”

    But we are simply repeating ourselves.

    “and by the way Joe. I appreciate your politeness and thoughtfulness.”

    Thanks Frank – And, I your’s.

  • fws

    #50 Joe

    “And would seem to suggest that “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human.” ”

    is this a typo on your part? or do you believe that this all seems to suggest that male/female/marriage sex are NOT intrinsic to being human?

  • fws

    #50 Joe

    “And would seem to suggest that “male/female/marriage/sex not intrinsic to being human.” ”

    is this a typo on your part? or do you believe that this all seems to suggest that male/female/marriage sex are NOT intrinsic to being human?

  • Joe

    Nope -its a typo. Sorry about that.

  • Joe

    Nope -its a typo. Sorry about that.

  • fws

    if male/female/marriage/sex will NOT exist in the resurrection, then how do you figure that these things are “intrinsic” to being human? intrinsic means that without these things, humans become in-human.

    tell me more Joe.

    btw: I never said alone-ness=lonliness. THAT would be pure conjecture and a romantic gloss.

    Mankind not being truly in a “good” or completely human state without being a social creature means wayyyyy more than having people around to not feel lonely.

    Conjecture alert: then sex or at least, sex that results in procreation, would not be necessary: eve created, adam not alone, end of story. I am saying that the cure for aloneness appears to be the creation of humankind, human society.

    Non conjecture: sex/male/female IS a means to an end. That that was the means God chose could and probably does mean and have significance beyond what the text tells us. That God chose that means of delivery does NOT logically mean that means = moral law. I would not know what passages to go to to unpack all that without speculation. Christ/church as groom/bride maybe… but no more so than vine/branches. Vine/branches helps me understand my relation to christ. I am not sure it would be wise to turn that to better understand the meaning of being of a vine or a branch…. follow me Joe? that WOULD be speculation….

    I am sensing that you are reading between the lines of what I wrote.

  • fws

    if male/female/marriage/sex will NOT exist in the resurrection, then how do you figure that these things are “intrinsic” to being human? intrinsic means that without these things, humans become in-human.

    tell me more Joe.

    btw: I never said alone-ness=lonliness. THAT would be pure conjecture and a romantic gloss.

    Mankind not being truly in a “good” or completely human state without being a social creature means wayyyyy more than having people around to not feel lonely.

    Conjecture alert: then sex or at least, sex that results in procreation, would not be necessary: eve created, adam not alone, end of story. I am saying that the cure for aloneness appears to be the creation of humankind, human society.

    Non conjecture: sex/male/female IS a means to an end. That that was the means God chose could and probably does mean and have significance beyond what the text tells us. That God chose that means of delivery does NOT logically mean that means = moral law. I would not know what passages to go to to unpack all that without speculation. Christ/church as groom/bride maybe… but no more so than vine/branches. Vine/branches helps me understand my relation to christ. I am not sure it would be wise to turn that to better understand the meaning of being of a vine or a branch…. follow me Joe? that WOULD be speculation….

    I am sensing that you are reading between the lines of what I wrote.

  • fws

    It is good for us to force each other to stick to the text, and to not avoid the plain meaning of the text by hop-scotching, jehovah´s witness style, around the bible.

    a clear text IS a clear text.

    here clearly:

    end=UnAloneness means=sex/male/female.

    means are NEVER more important than the desired end.

    I can not think of a case where different means are immoral or important in the sense that they are different means, if the same end IS truly achieved. Can you?

  • fws

    It is good for us to force each other to stick to the text, and to not avoid the plain meaning of the text by hop-scotching, jehovah´s witness style, around the bible.

    a clear text IS a clear text.

    here clearly:

    end=UnAloneness means=sex/male/female.

    means are NEVER more important than the desired end.

    I can not think of a case where different means are immoral or important in the sense that they are different means, if the same end IS truly achieved. Can you?


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