The nature of marriage

Philosopher Stephen J. Heaney discusses the nature of marriage in the context of the same-sex marriage debate:

Marriage is often characterized today as follows: 1) two people 2) who love each other 3) want to perform sexual acts together, so 4) they consent to combine their lives sexually, materially, economically 5) with the endorsement of the community. Since same-sex couples can meet the first four criteria, how can society refuse the fifth?It is easy to see why this would be a cause of aggravation, not only for same-sex couples who wish community endorsement of their relationships, but for millions of others. If the criteria stated above actually define marriage—and in contemporary Western society, many have come to view marriage as no more than this—then refusal to acknowledge and endorse same-sex relationships is a rank injustice, nothing but an exercise in bigotry or stupidity.

Typically, marriage does in fact have these characteristics. But why does marriage have these characteristics? Remembering why will help us to remember how they show themselves in a relationship that has the essence of marriage—and how that is often different in other relationships.

First, human beings have a powerful hankering to engage in sexual intercourse.

Second, sexual intercourse between a man and a woman naturally and frequently leads to children. Male and female alone each have part of a complete reproductive system. Without both parts, reproduction cannot happen. Without the result of children, it would be a real puzzler why we have these organ systems at all, and why we have such a deep urge to engage in sexual acts.

Third, the rearing of children is a lifetime responsibility. As deeply social beings, we remain connected to each other across generations. Even adults with children of their own need the wisdom and guidance of their fathers and mothers. It is easier for those who enter this project that they have affection for each other, and that they form a self-giving friendship. To perform these actions lovingly is the properly human way.

Fourth, because it leads to children, sexual intercourse has extraordinary public consequences. It is not, as we might like to think, a purely private act. It matters a lot to the community who is doing it, and under what circumstances. So the community endorses certain sexual arrangements; others, which fail to abide by the fullness of truth of human sexuality, the community rejects as unfitting for human beings. To support those that are fitting, it offers the institution of marriage. In marriage, the couple promises before the community to fulfill this project through vows of fidelity and permanence, joining their bodies and their lives to make the project work. The community promises to give the couple the privacy to perform their sexual acts, and care for each other; it further supports the family by means of appropriate protections and benefits. It may be that others could receive similar benefits for different reasons, but this is why benefits accrue to marriage: to help the marriage project flourish.

If sexuality did not naturally bring us offspring, it is hard to explain why it exists, whether you believe in a purely material evolution or a loving designer of the universe, for it would serve no purpose. If sexual acts did not naturally lead to offspring, it is just as hard to explain how marriage would have appeared in human history, for it would serve no purpose.

Religions may bless marriage, but they did not invent it. Because it involves such profoundly important human realities, it is no surprise that sex and marriage have religious significance. But sex and marriage have existed as long as there have been human communities.

If we accept the misdefinition of marriage using non-essential characteristics as the complete story, it would be impossible to reject same-sex marriage. Given the whole truth, however, it is impossible to accept it. No matter how superficially similar they are to real marriages, same-sex relationships cannot function as marriages.

This is a good example of the “natural law” approach to moral reasoning. Does it make sense?  Is there anything exclusively Roman Catholic about it?

HT:  Larry Hughes

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  • Winston Smith

    If either the man and/or woman is infertile, the argument suffers a serious setback. “If sexuality did not naturally bring us offspring, it is hard to explain why it exists … it is just as hard to explain how marriage would have appeared in human history, for it would serve no purpose.”

    That position seems identical to the teaching espoused by the Roman Catholic Church (and certain narrow Protestant groups) that sex exists primarily, nay exclusively, for procreation. That is not the Biblical standard, by the way.

    So, if I wanted to marry a 50-year-old woman who cannot conceive children, I would be contemplating an irrational, immoral act that is no better, in the author’s eyes, than a same-sex marriage.

    It would be better for Bible believers to hold forth the Biblical view of homosexuality and let the state grant marriage licenses to whomever it wants. The state allows a lot of things (divorce, Buddhism, etc.) that are not Biblical.

  • Winston Smith

    If either the man and/or woman is infertile, the argument suffers a serious setback. “If sexuality did not naturally bring us offspring, it is hard to explain why it exists … it is just as hard to explain how marriage would have appeared in human history, for it would serve no purpose.”

    That position seems identical to the teaching espoused by the Roman Catholic Church (and certain narrow Protestant groups) that sex exists primarily, nay exclusively, for procreation. That is not the Biblical standard, by the way.

    So, if I wanted to marry a 50-year-old woman who cannot conceive children, I would be contemplating an irrational, immoral act that is no better, in the author’s eyes, than a same-sex marriage.

    It would be better for Bible believers to hold forth the Biblical view of homosexuality and let the state grant marriage licenses to whomever it wants. The state allows a lot of things (divorce, Buddhism, etc.) that are not Biblical.

  • S Bauer

    This is the dilemma I find myself caught in when trying to figure out how to approach these social issues in the public square. It seems to me Winston’s last paragraph could include abortion on the list. Does an argument designed to move human reason to protect “traditional” marriage or the life of the unborn need to pass biblical muster too?

    How do we fulfill our vocation as citizens in dealing with these issues? Are we to use any argument we can that will bring political success and accomplish the end we seek (but might be theologically distasteful)? Or are we to be “voices in the wilderness”, proclaiming the Biblical worldview, knowing full well it is never going to be listened to by anything approaching a majority of voters. Which approach is more in keeping with being a theologian of the cross?

  • S Bauer

    This is the dilemma I find myself caught in when trying to figure out how to approach these social issues in the public square. It seems to me Winston’s last paragraph could include abortion on the list. Does an argument designed to move human reason to protect “traditional” marriage or the life of the unborn need to pass biblical muster too?

    How do we fulfill our vocation as citizens in dealing with these issues? Are we to use any argument we can that will bring political success and accomplish the end we seek (but might be theologically distasteful)? Or are we to be “voices in the wilderness”, proclaiming the Biblical worldview, knowing full well it is never going to be listened to by anything approaching a majority of voters. Which approach is more in keeping with being a theologian of the cross?

  • kerner

    @1:

    I see your point, but I think there is an anthropological/biological element in defining “marriage”. Marriage exists in all societies, Christian or otherwise. And all of those societies have developed rules concerning the rights and obligations of the parties to the marriage.

    I think Heaney is correct if he claims that the institution of marriage developed so that men could protect and support women while they were occupied gestating, bearing, recovering from bearing, and finally caring for children. This took up a great deal of a woman’s time and energy. And if a man wanted her to be around for, er, companionship, he had to do what it took to keep her comfortable.

    Surely the Bible is the primary source for our arguments on any moral issue. But I don’t think we can simply ignore the anthropological and biological imperatives that drive us to make moral decisions in the first place.

    The same biological imperitive drives the debate on abortion. The young of our species are dependent on their parents for an inordinately long time. Most species don’t care for their young at all. Of those that do, it is for a comparitively short time. If our females, like sea turtles, laid eggs, buried them, and swam away, we wouldn’t be having discussions about whether we have a responsibility to raise our young or when that responsibility begins.

    I realize that, with marriage, the biological and anthropological imperitives don’t always hold true. Every marriage doesn’t always produce children. But you don’t throw out your general rules because exceptions exist in an imperfect world. But also, just because some exceptions exist is no reason to create more exceptions.

    For same sex couples generally, there is no biological/anthropological imperitive mandating a right of support. Each partner in a same sex couple is capable of getting a job and supporting him/herself. Neither need devote time or energy to child bearing or rearing. So there is no imperitive to create a social institution for them . If they want to enter into private arrangements for mutual support I see no reason to stop them, but whatever they do privately is not, nor will it ever be, regardless of what we call it, a marriage.

  • kerner

    @1:

    I see your point, but I think there is an anthropological/biological element in defining “marriage”. Marriage exists in all societies, Christian or otherwise. And all of those societies have developed rules concerning the rights and obligations of the parties to the marriage.

    I think Heaney is correct if he claims that the institution of marriage developed so that men could protect and support women while they were occupied gestating, bearing, recovering from bearing, and finally caring for children. This took up a great deal of a woman’s time and energy. And if a man wanted her to be around for, er, companionship, he had to do what it took to keep her comfortable.

    Surely the Bible is the primary source for our arguments on any moral issue. But I don’t think we can simply ignore the anthropological and biological imperatives that drive us to make moral decisions in the first place.

    The same biological imperitive drives the debate on abortion. The young of our species are dependent on their parents for an inordinately long time. Most species don’t care for their young at all. Of those that do, it is for a comparitively short time. If our females, like sea turtles, laid eggs, buried them, and swam away, we wouldn’t be having discussions about whether we have a responsibility to raise our young or when that responsibility begins.

    I realize that, with marriage, the biological and anthropological imperitives don’t always hold true. Every marriage doesn’t always produce children. But you don’t throw out your general rules because exceptions exist in an imperfect world. But also, just because some exceptions exist is no reason to create more exceptions.

    For same sex couples generally, there is no biological/anthropological imperitive mandating a right of support. Each partner in a same sex couple is capable of getting a job and supporting him/herself. Neither need devote time or energy to child bearing or rearing. So there is no imperitive to create a social institution for them . If they want to enter into private arrangements for mutual support I see no reason to stop them, but whatever they do privately is not, nor will it ever be, regardless of what we call it, a marriage.

  • Winston Smith

    A look at the New Testament, specifically the Book of Acts, is instructive. Even though “the powers that be are ordained of God,” Romans 13:1, we do not see in the acts of the early apostles any move to coerce the civil authorities into enforcing Biblical righteousness against the gentiles. Paul and his fellow first-century church leaders spent their time preaching the Gospel, which was enough to incur the wrath of the civil magistrates. Indeed, the best that the early church could hope for was a magistrate like Gallio who “cared for none of these things,” Acts 18:17.

    In other words, even though it seems self-evident to some American Christians that the secular government of a “Christian nation” ought to be in the business of enforcing Biblical morality, that is NOT the New Testament model. The view that confuses and conflates the work of the government and the church has more in common with a medieval Roman Catholic worldview (or a radical Islamic one) than with the Bible.

    Since we are in the same post-Ascension age as Paul and Barnabas (Acts 29 if you will), the responsibility of Christians in a pagan society is simple: preach the Word and let the Holy Spirit convict who He will of sin, righteousness and judgment. When enough sinners become born again and adopt a Biblical worldview, society will change.

    In a republican form of government (modified democracy), if there are enough Christians, then the secular government may start to reflect their views, if only because they constitute a majority of voters. That was the theory behind the Moral Majority and, later, the Christian Coalition. Those groups did not change our country’s laws, either because 1) Bible-believing Christians really are not a majority or 2) because our Constitution discourages the government from imposing religious dogma as law, as a protection for people of ALL faiths. (What happens when muslims become a majority in a given city and demand sharia law?)

  • Winston Smith

    A look at the New Testament, specifically the Book of Acts, is instructive. Even though “the powers that be are ordained of God,” Romans 13:1, we do not see in the acts of the early apostles any move to coerce the civil authorities into enforcing Biblical righteousness against the gentiles. Paul and his fellow first-century church leaders spent their time preaching the Gospel, which was enough to incur the wrath of the civil magistrates. Indeed, the best that the early church could hope for was a magistrate like Gallio who “cared for none of these things,” Acts 18:17.

    In other words, even though it seems self-evident to some American Christians that the secular government of a “Christian nation” ought to be in the business of enforcing Biblical morality, that is NOT the New Testament model. The view that confuses and conflates the work of the government and the church has more in common with a medieval Roman Catholic worldview (or a radical Islamic one) than with the Bible.

    Since we are in the same post-Ascension age as Paul and Barnabas (Acts 29 if you will), the responsibility of Christians in a pagan society is simple: preach the Word and let the Holy Spirit convict who He will of sin, righteousness and judgment. When enough sinners become born again and adopt a Biblical worldview, society will change.

    In a republican form of government (modified democracy), if there are enough Christians, then the secular government may start to reflect their views, if only because they constitute a majority of voters. That was the theory behind the Moral Majority and, later, the Christian Coalition. Those groups did not change our country’s laws, either because 1) Bible-believing Christians really are not a majority or 2) because our Constitution discourages the government from imposing religious dogma as law, as a protection for people of ALL faiths. (What happens when muslims become a majority in a given city and demand sharia law?)

  • SAL

    If my state were required to provide same-sex marriages or no marriages, I’d vote to abolish marriage as a state institution.

    I don’t think it’s worthwhile to continue marriage if it is emptied of its primary purpose.

  • SAL

    If my state were required to provide same-sex marriages or no marriages, I’d vote to abolish marriage as a state institution.

    I don’t think it’s worthwhile to continue marriage if it is emptied of its primary purpose.

  • WebMonk

    I think Winston has pointed out the main flaw in using strictly Natural Law reasoning as a basis for hetero-only marriages. It gives some reasons, but they’re not good reasons for anyone who disagrees. A mark of a really solid and good argument/reason is that even those who disagree with it have a hard time disagreeing.

    This Natural Law argument uses the fact that since male and female are needed for children and male-female sex can easily lead to children, then marriage ought to be only for male and female pairs. That’s not its only argument, but it’s a major one. For those who agree it is a perfectly good argument, but for someone who disagrees it is nonsense.

  • WebMonk

    I think Winston has pointed out the main flaw in using strictly Natural Law reasoning as a basis for hetero-only marriages. It gives some reasons, but they’re not good reasons for anyone who disagrees. A mark of a really solid and good argument/reason is that even those who disagree with it have a hard time disagreeing.

    This Natural Law argument uses the fact that since male and female are needed for children and male-female sex can easily lead to children, then marriage ought to be only for male and female pairs. That’s not its only argument, but it’s a major one. For those who agree it is a perfectly good argument, but for someone who disagrees it is nonsense.

  • scots

    The purpose of marriage/sex is children? I could have sworn the primary purpose of marriage was to show us by the joining male and female into one flesh (through sexual intercourse APART from breeding!) how the Lord is joined to His bride, the Church … a mystery. I was looking through Eph 5: 31-33 and couldn’t find anything about marriage being defined my reproduction…

  • scots

    The purpose of marriage/sex is children? I could have sworn the primary purpose of marriage was to show us by the joining male and female into one flesh (through sexual intercourse APART from breeding!) how the Lord is joined to His bride, the Church … a mystery. I was looking through Eph 5: 31-33 and couldn’t find anything about marriage being defined my reproduction…

  • Pete

    Wholly apart from the fact that, according to my Bible, God Himself instituted marriage as a male-female deal, there are large, extra-biblical, definitional problems with all of this same-sex marriage stuff. Offspring are a common but not mandatory result of marriage, but it would seem to me that two members of the opposite sex are. It’s the Reese’s peanut butter cup phenomenon. Peanut butter plus peanut butter is just more peanut butter.
    Long-term monogamous, devoted relationships between members of the same sex may (MAY) very well be in the best interest of society, but just don’t call it a marriage. Call it civil union or marriage* or same sex marriage or gay marriage. Any kind of qualified designation will do. But unless we’re going to re-define, it’s not a marriage.
    Maybe I’m just cranky. A dictionary stickler.

  • Pete

    Wholly apart from the fact that, according to my Bible, God Himself instituted marriage as a male-female deal, there are large, extra-biblical, definitional problems with all of this same-sex marriage stuff. Offspring are a common but not mandatory result of marriage, but it would seem to me that two members of the opposite sex are. It’s the Reese’s peanut butter cup phenomenon. Peanut butter plus peanut butter is just more peanut butter.
    Long-term monogamous, devoted relationships between members of the same sex may (MAY) very well be in the best interest of society, but just don’t call it a marriage. Call it civil union or marriage* or same sex marriage or gay marriage. Any kind of qualified designation will do. But unless we’re going to re-define, it’s not a marriage.
    Maybe I’m just cranky. A dictionary stickler.

  • Pete

    And “bravo” to Winston Smith’s insights on this.

  • Pete

    And “bravo” to Winston Smith’s insights on this.

  • Winston Smith

    Thank you, Pete.

    Does anyone else remember those old Reese’s commercials: “You got peanut butter on my chocolate!” etc. ?

  • Winston Smith

    Thank you, Pete.

    Does anyone else remember those old Reese’s commercials: “You got peanut butter on my chocolate!” etc. ?

  • scots

    as an aside, the strongest evidence for the existence of God is the combination of peanut butter and chocolate …

  • scots

    as an aside, the strongest evidence for the existence of God is the combination of peanut butter and chocolate …

  • Cincinnatus

    scots and Winston: The symbolic value of marriage (the joining of male and female in one flesh, picturing Christ and the Church and/or the love between the persons of the Trinity, etc.) is not consummated except in “fruit,” in children. That is not to say that either marriage or sex are meaningless without procreation, but the symbol is not “complete” without children.

    This offends our sensibilities because some of us are unable to have children or simply do not want children, but these aspects of a broken world do not render my argument incorrect.

  • Cincinnatus

    scots and Winston: The symbolic value of marriage (the joining of male and female in one flesh, picturing Christ and the Church and/or the love between the persons of the Trinity, etc.) is not consummated except in “fruit,” in children. That is not to say that either marriage or sex are meaningless without procreation, but the symbol is not “complete” without children.

    This offends our sensibilities because some of us are unable to have children or simply do not want children, but these aspects of a broken world do not render my argument incorrect.

  • scots

    Cincinnatus – the primary purpose of marriage is to picture Christ and the Church. This is pretty clear from Scripture (cf Eph 5 etc) – another purpose of marriage is children, for Christians, we want to bear more disciples for Christ. This is a purpose, but not the primary purpose. I’m not arguing for consummation (that’s another issue), merely stating purpose.

  • scots

    Cincinnatus – the primary purpose of marriage is to picture Christ and the Church. This is pretty clear from Scripture (cf Eph 5 etc) – another purpose of marriage is children, for Christians, we want to bear more disciples for Christ. This is a purpose, but not the primary purpose. I’m not arguing for consummation (that’s another issue), merely stating purpose.

  • EGK

    Pete, check out the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd edition. It has removed the male-female aspect of marriage it its definition, and doesn’t even list the original definition as archaic or obsolete. The excuse: usage must follow the current law!

  • EGK

    Pete, check out the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd edition. It has removed the male-female aspect of marriage it its definition, and doesn’t even list the original definition as archaic or obsolete. The excuse: usage must follow the current law!

  • Porcell

    The Roman Catholics don’t have a corner on natural law. Both Luther and Calvin understood that, however fallen our state, we have the capacity to make reasonable judgments on such subjects as marriage.

    Ideally, according to scripture and natural law reason, marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman in order that they might be fruitful and multiply and provide an essential complementary influence on children. That some couples are unable to have children is beside the point.

  • Porcell

    The Roman Catholics don’t have a corner on natural law. Both Luther and Calvin understood that, however fallen our state, we have the capacity to make reasonable judgments on such subjects as marriage.

    Ideally, according to scripture and natural law reason, marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman in order that they might be fruitful and multiply and provide an essential complementary influence on children. That some couples are unable to have children is beside the point.

  • Booklover

    Birth control was mentioned. . .

    Birth control, by the way, is not just a Catholic issue. Read up on church fathers, including the reformation fathers. They did not accept birth control and cited biblical passages.

    Birth control has changed and redefined marriage and family in many ways. Although our Christianity is not defined by whether or not we use birth control, it wouldn’t hurt to go against the world a bit on this issue.

  • Booklover

    Birth control was mentioned. . .

    Birth control, by the way, is not just a Catholic issue. Read up on church fathers, including the reformation fathers. They did not accept birth control and cited biblical passages.

    Birth control has changed and redefined marriage and family in many ways. Although our Christianity is not defined by whether or not we use birth control, it wouldn’t hurt to go against the world a bit on this issue.

  • Pete

    EGK @15

    Hrmph!

  • Pete

    EGK @15

    Hrmph!

  • Mary Jack

    What? Nobody’s mentioned that “homosexual marriage,” “homosexual” parenting, or purposefully single parenting allows one gender to predominate over the other in both personal and public spheres? 🙂

  • Mary Jack

    What? Nobody’s mentioned that “homosexual marriage,” “homosexual” parenting, or purposefully single parenting allows one gender to predominate over the other in both personal and public spheres? 🙂

  • DonS

    Winston @ 4: Your point is well taken, and I agree that we should not be imposing our biblical morality on secular government. Of course, we are free, in our democratic form of government, to vote for policies that conform to biblical principles.

    However, I would assume that you also agree that secularists should not be imposing their anti-biblical morality on secular government, by recourse to the undemocratic courts, repeatedly overturning the will of the governed. All too often, rather than reasoning things out through the political process, the left resorts to the courts to do exactly that.

  • DonS

    Winston @ 4: Your point is well taken, and I agree that we should not be imposing our biblical morality on secular government. Of course, we are free, in our democratic form of government, to vote for policies that conform to biblical principles.

    However, I would assume that you also agree that secularists should not be imposing their anti-biblical morality on secular government, by recourse to the undemocratic courts, repeatedly overturning the will of the governed. All too often, rather than reasoning things out through the political process, the left resorts to the courts to do exactly that.

  • fws

    “If sexuality did not naturally bring us offspring, it is hard to explain why it exists, whether you believe in a purely material evolution or a loving designer of the universe, for it would serve no purpose. ”

    Cosmological assumtion here: everything, including humans only have meaning if they exist for some utilitarian purpose.

    “Given the whole truth, however, it is impossible to accept it. No matter how superficially similar they are to real marriages, same-sex relationships cannot function as marriages.”

    The whole argument here is pretty simple eh? men and women can breed. For this reason alone (!) only male/female relations can function as marriage.

    Observation from the Lutheran Confessions:

    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_22_marriage.php#para13

    [16}…”Paul accordingly speaks of marriage as a remedy, and on account of these flames commands to marry. Neither can any human authority, any law, any vows remove this declaration: It is better to marry than to burn, because they do not remove the nature or concupiscence. 17] Therefore all who burn, retain the right to marry. By this commandment of Paul: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, all are held bound who do not truly keep themselves continent; the decision concerning which pertains to the conscience of each one. ”

    19] If continence were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift [ of celebacy] . But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all. He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented, just as He wishes to nourish our life in this way, 20] that we use food and drink. Gerson also testifies that there have been many good men who endeavored to subdue the body, and yet made little progress. Accordingly, Ambrose is right in saying: Virginity is only a thing that can be recommended, but not commanded;…We also praise true continence. But now we are disputing concerning the law, and concerning those who do not have the gift of continence. The matter ought to be left free, and snares ought not to be cast upon the weak through this law.

    35] Again, if purity is properly opposed to concupiscence, it signifies purity of heart, i.e., mortified concupiscence, because the Law does not prohibit marriage, but concupiscence, adultery, fornication. Therefore celibacy is not purity. For there may be greater purity of heart in a married man, as in Abraham or Jacob, than in most of those who are even truly continent [who even, according to bodily purity, really maintain their chastity].

    36] Lastly, if they understand that celibacy is purity in the sense that it merits justification more than does marriage, we most emphatically contradict it. For we are justified neither on account of virginity nor on account of marriage, but freely for Christ’s sake, when we believe that for His sake 37] God is propitious to us.

    49] And Epiphanius has elegantly said that these observances ought to be praised ((greek)), i.e., for restraining the body or on account of public morals; just as certain rites were instituted for instructing the ignorant, and not as services that justify.

    51] Sixthly. Although we have so many reasons for disapproving the law of perpetual celibacy, yet, besides these, dangers to souls and public scandals also are added, which even, though the law were not unjust, ought to deter good men from approving such a burden as has destroyed innumerable souls.

    52] For a long time all good men [their own bishops and canons) have complained of this burden, either on their own account, or on account of others whom they saw to be in danger. But no Popes give ear to these complaints. Neither is it doubtful how greatly injurious to public morals this law is, and what vices and shameful lusts it has produced. The Roman satires are extant. In these Rome still recognizes and reads its own morals.

    [61]… The Gospel allows marriage to those to whom it is necessary. Nevertheless, it does not compel those to marry who can be continent, provided they be truly continent. We hold that this liberty should also be conceded to the priests, nor do we wish to compel any one by force to celibacy

  • fws

    “If sexuality did not naturally bring us offspring, it is hard to explain why it exists, whether you believe in a purely material evolution or a loving designer of the universe, for it would serve no purpose. ”

    Cosmological assumtion here: everything, including humans only have meaning if they exist for some utilitarian purpose.

    “Given the whole truth, however, it is impossible to accept it. No matter how superficially similar they are to real marriages, same-sex relationships cannot function as marriages.”

    The whole argument here is pretty simple eh? men and women can breed. For this reason alone (!) only male/female relations can function as marriage.

    Observation from the Lutheran Confessions:

    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_22_marriage.php#para13

    [16}…”Paul accordingly speaks of marriage as a remedy, and on account of these flames commands to marry. Neither can any human authority, any law, any vows remove this declaration: It is better to marry than to burn, because they do not remove the nature or concupiscence. 17] Therefore all who burn, retain the right to marry. By this commandment of Paul: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, all are held bound who do not truly keep themselves continent; the decision concerning which pertains to the conscience of each one. ”

    19] If continence were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift [ of celebacy] . But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all. He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented, just as He wishes to nourish our life in this way, 20] that we use food and drink. Gerson also testifies that there have been many good men who endeavored to subdue the body, and yet made little progress. Accordingly, Ambrose is right in saying: Virginity is only a thing that can be recommended, but not commanded;…We also praise true continence. But now we are disputing concerning the law, and concerning those who do not have the gift of continence. The matter ought to be left free, and snares ought not to be cast upon the weak through this law.

    35] Again, if purity is properly opposed to concupiscence, it signifies purity of heart, i.e., mortified concupiscence, because the Law does not prohibit marriage, but concupiscence, adultery, fornication. Therefore celibacy is not purity. For there may be greater purity of heart in a married man, as in Abraham or Jacob, than in most of those who are even truly continent [who even, according to bodily purity, really maintain their chastity].

    36] Lastly, if they understand that celibacy is purity in the sense that it merits justification more than does marriage, we most emphatically contradict it. For we are justified neither on account of virginity nor on account of marriage, but freely for Christ’s sake, when we believe that for His sake 37] God is propitious to us.

    49] And Epiphanius has elegantly said that these observances ought to be praised ((greek)), i.e., for restraining the body or on account of public morals; just as certain rites were instituted for instructing the ignorant, and not as services that justify.

    51] Sixthly. Although we have so many reasons for disapproving the law of perpetual celibacy, yet, besides these, dangers to souls and public scandals also are added, which even, though the law were not unjust, ought to deter good men from approving such a burden as has destroyed innumerable souls.

    52] For a long time all good men [their own bishops and canons) have complained of this burden, either on their own account, or on account of others whom they saw to be in danger. But no Popes give ear to these complaints. Neither is it doubtful how greatly injurious to public morals this law is, and what vices and shameful lusts it has produced. The Roman satires are extant. In these Rome still recognizes and reads its own morals.

    [61]… The Gospel allows marriage to those to whom it is necessary. Nevertheless, it does not compel those to marry who can be continent, provided they be truly continent. We hold that this liberty should also be conceded to the priests, nor do we wish to compel any one by force to celibacy

  • fws

    From the previous observations from the Lutheran confessions the logic is this:

    Marriage exists as the ONLY God ordained way to mortify (ie control, channel, restrain) the sex drive.

    Their argument is that telling someone that they need control the sex drive any other way is like telling someone that they must resist the law of gravity. To make laws demanding celebacy is futile therefore and even “cruel” (“cruel” is what the confessions call mandatory celebacy).

    There is a larger argument here however that is way more important that the specific argument in article XXIII. It is this:

    True morality is mortification + acts of love. (see the structure of Luther´s small catechism on the ten commandments to see what this looks like…. “do not hurt nor harm neighbor in his body (mortification/self restrait) + help and befriend him in every bodily need (love).

    For most of us, a sexual outlet is a bodily requirement and need (if you do not believe this, then you are arguing against the Lutheran Confessions).

    Rome considered that mortification alone is righteousness. The confessions say that such works are “useless”. It is important to note that this is not merely a side comment. This is THE argument against the works of mortification/sacrifice rome required. those works produced no love for neighbor. For that exact reason, they do not qualify as works pleasing to God.

    The Confessions argue that works are useless as sacrifice (ie things that are done to please God). To be truly God pleasing, any works we do must result in making the lives of others better and happier.

    This is what Christ meant when he broke the sabbath to eat saying 1) that the law is made for man and not man for the law, and 2) God wants mercy (love for neighbor) and not sacrifice (things done to conform God´s will thinking that will make us right before him).

  • fws

    From the previous observations from the Lutheran confessions the logic is this:

    Marriage exists as the ONLY God ordained way to mortify (ie control, channel, restrain) the sex drive.

    Their argument is that telling someone that they need control the sex drive any other way is like telling someone that they must resist the law of gravity. To make laws demanding celebacy is futile therefore and even “cruel” (“cruel” is what the confessions call mandatory celebacy).

    There is a larger argument here however that is way more important that the specific argument in article XXIII. It is this:

    True morality is mortification + acts of love. (see the structure of Luther´s small catechism on the ten commandments to see what this looks like…. “do not hurt nor harm neighbor in his body (mortification/self restrait) + help and befriend him in every bodily need (love).

    For most of us, a sexual outlet is a bodily requirement and need (if you do not believe this, then you are arguing against the Lutheran Confessions).

    Rome considered that mortification alone is righteousness. The confessions say that such works are “useless”. It is important to note that this is not merely a side comment. This is THE argument against the works of mortification/sacrifice rome required. those works produced no love for neighbor. For that exact reason, they do not qualify as works pleasing to God.

    The Confessions argue that works are useless as sacrifice (ie things that are done to please God). To be truly God pleasing, any works we do must result in making the lives of others better and happier.

    This is what Christ meant when he broke the sabbath to eat saying 1) that the law is made for man and not man for the law, and 2) God wants mercy (love for neighbor) and not sacrifice (things done to conform God´s will thinking that will make us right before him).

  • Right as Usual

    Scots said:

    “I was looking through Eph 5: 31-33 and couldn’t find anything about marriage being defined my reproduction…”

    The passage you’re looking for is Malachi 2:15

    “Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring.”

  • Right as Usual

    Scots said:

    “I was looking through Eph 5: 31-33 and couldn’t find anything about marriage being defined my reproduction…”

    The passage you’re looking for is Malachi 2:15

    “Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring.”

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: Even if one of the utilitarian “uses” of marriage is to “mortify” the flesh and tame the sex drive, to reduce marriage to that sole purpose is a mistake.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: Even if one of the utilitarian “uses” of marriage is to “mortify” the flesh and tame the sex drive, to reduce marriage to that sole purpose is a mistake.

  • fws

    cincinatus @24

    To state, as does St Paul no less, that marriage has a utility is not the same as saying that something is worthless unless we can identify the utilitarian purpose for it. Which is what this author explicitly posits.

    We are told to consider the lilies of the field and birds of the air in the exact sense that they are not purpose-driven.

    To say that merely because Christ our Lord uses the earthly vocation of marriage as a metaphor for heavenly things gives marriage some sort of heavenly holiness is a serious error. It is an attack upon the proper distinction of Law and Gospel, and so an attack upon both Law and Gospel. Ditto for vines, etc. The title “Holy Matrimony” is unfortunate. This word “holy” should be reserved soly for earthly things tha convey grace. Baptism, supper, absolution, ordination. Matrimony, according to the Lutheran Confessions is not one bit more holy or sacred than the vocation of being a plumber.

    Marriage is a vocation. As a vocation we can know that it, as with ANY vocation, including that of the office of pastor, is purely and only about earthly kingdom mortification of the flesh. There is nothing on earth you can do in your body that is not about earthly kingdom mortification in preparation for forcing your Old Adam to produce acts of love that make the lives of others better.

    And it is God´s will on earth that we do love to one another. What is the utilitarian purpose in that? Why to put a smile on cincinatus´face and make him feel happy and flourishing and well. That is why. It is the ONLY why. It is God´s will. God is goodness trumps our ideas of fairness or justness. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. The parables twist our thinking because God is good and not fair there. Workers who come late are paid the same as those who toil all day. That just isn´t “right”. It it too good.

    This love produced through mortification is all that is included when we pray the Our Father asking him to give us, this day, our daily bread. He does this “even without our asking”. He does it “even for all the wicked.” (Luther´s Small Catechism) He does it “purely out of fatherly divine goodness and mercy with out any merit or worthiness on our part. For all of which it is for us to thank and to praise, and to serve and obey him.” (ibid)

    And how do we thank and serve him on earth? We do love for our neighbor. God does not need our sacrifice of following his rules. Our neighbor needs this. This is exactly and only why the Lutheran Confessions say “Good works are necessary.” Not to be right with him, but to be right towards our neighbor. The Old Adams of all , driven by the law in Mortification, are how God provides all the first article and 4th petition gifts to us. This fully includes beauty for it´s own sake. This fully includes the curve of your wife that gives you pleasure to look at. And it includes the sex and love and companionship that may serve no useful purpose at all except to give you joy and happiness. Your God wills your hapiness simply because he loves you Cincinatus, even while you were yet a sinner. And only in Christ can you be priviledged to see and have total conficence that it is so. You are in on the divine joke because of your baptism.

  • fws

    cincinatus @24

    To state, as does St Paul no less, that marriage has a utility is not the same as saying that something is worthless unless we can identify the utilitarian purpose for it. Which is what this author explicitly posits.

    We are told to consider the lilies of the field and birds of the air in the exact sense that they are not purpose-driven.

    To say that merely because Christ our Lord uses the earthly vocation of marriage as a metaphor for heavenly things gives marriage some sort of heavenly holiness is a serious error. It is an attack upon the proper distinction of Law and Gospel, and so an attack upon both Law and Gospel. Ditto for vines, etc. The title “Holy Matrimony” is unfortunate. This word “holy” should be reserved soly for earthly things tha convey grace. Baptism, supper, absolution, ordination. Matrimony, according to the Lutheran Confessions is not one bit more holy or sacred than the vocation of being a plumber.

    Marriage is a vocation. As a vocation we can know that it, as with ANY vocation, including that of the office of pastor, is purely and only about earthly kingdom mortification of the flesh. There is nothing on earth you can do in your body that is not about earthly kingdom mortification in preparation for forcing your Old Adam to produce acts of love that make the lives of others better.

    And it is God´s will on earth that we do love to one another. What is the utilitarian purpose in that? Why to put a smile on cincinatus´face and make him feel happy and flourishing and well. That is why. It is the ONLY why. It is God´s will. God is goodness trumps our ideas of fairness or justness. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. The parables twist our thinking because God is good and not fair there. Workers who come late are paid the same as those who toil all day. That just isn´t “right”. It it too good.

    This love produced through mortification is all that is included when we pray the Our Father asking him to give us, this day, our daily bread. He does this “even without our asking”. He does it “even for all the wicked.” (Luther´s Small Catechism) He does it “purely out of fatherly divine goodness and mercy with out any merit or worthiness on our part. For all of which it is for us to thank and to praise, and to serve and obey him.” (ibid)

    And how do we thank and serve him on earth? We do love for our neighbor. God does not need our sacrifice of following his rules. Our neighbor needs this. This is exactly and only why the Lutheran Confessions say “Good works are necessary.” Not to be right with him, but to be right towards our neighbor. The Old Adams of all , driven by the law in Mortification, are how God provides all the first article and 4th petition gifts to us. This fully includes beauty for it´s own sake. This fully includes the curve of your wife that gives you pleasure to look at. And it includes the sex and love and companionship that may serve no useful purpose at all except to give you joy and happiness. Your God wills your hapiness simply because he loves you Cincinatus, even while you were yet a sinner. And only in Christ can you be priviledged to see and have total conficence that it is so. You are in on the divine joke because of your baptism.

  • Cincinnatus

    So just to clarify your position, fws, you actually deny that marriage serves in part as symbol to picture Christ’s relationship to the church (or, alternatively, the love between the members of the Trinity)?

    A simple “yes” or “no” answer would suffice. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a Christian who would answer “yes” to that question.

  • Cincinnatus

    So just to clarify your position, fws, you actually deny that marriage serves in part as symbol to picture Christ’s relationship to the church (or, alternatively, the love between the members of the Trinity)?

    A simple “yes” or “no” answer would suffice. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a Christian who would answer “yes” to that question.

  • fws

    Cincinatus @26

    Insert the word “grape vines” for “marriage”, or “old vs new wineskins (pig stomachs), or any other earthly thing pressed into service as metaphor in what you wrote and you have my full answer.

    This would be the answer of the Lutheran Confessions by the way. So this is not a personal opinion. Marriage is not a sacrament in that it is completely part of those earthly things that will perish with the earth. It is purely, and only, and solely, about sinful Old Adam being forced against his will to serve his neighbor and is not in any way about a sacrificial getting things right with God. God wills and providences this to happen for our earthly, creaturely, temporal benefit purely out of goodness and mercy.

    Luther: “Life is Mortification”. This fully includes marriage Cincinatus. That is if you are with the Lutheran Confessions on this.

  • fws

    Cincinatus @26

    Insert the word “grape vines” for “marriage”, or “old vs new wineskins (pig stomachs), or any other earthly thing pressed into service as metaphor in what you wrote and you have my full answer.

    This would be the answer of the Lutheran Confessions by the way. So this is not a personal opinion. Marriage is not a sacrament in that it is completely part of those earthly things that will perish with the earth. It is purely, and only, and solely, about sinful Old Adam being forced against his will to serve his neighbor and is not in any way about a sacrificial getting things right with God. God wills and providences this to happen for our earthly, creaturely, temporal benefit purely out of goodness and mercy.

    Luther: “Life is Mortification”. This fully includes marriage Cincinatus. That is if you are with the Lutheran Confessions on this.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws, I didn’t claim (in this discussion) that marriage is a sacrament or a “means of grace.” What I asked is whether one of the purposes of marriage is to symbolize Christ and the Church. You still have not directly answered this inquiry.

    Mumbling something cryptic equating marriage and purely literary analogies like those employed in the parable of the “new wineskins” does not answer my question. In any case, that is not the kind of symbol I mean.

    *Note that I am not denying the “vocational” aims of marriage, its uses in properly channeling the sex drive, constituting the fundamental structural unit of social order, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws, I didn’t claim (in this discussion) that marriage is a sacrament or a “means of grace.” What I asked is whether one of the purposes of marriage is to symbolize Christ and the Church. You still have not directly answered this inquiry.

    Mumbling something cryptic equating marriage and purely literary analogies like those employed in the parable of the “new wineskins” does not answer my question. In any case, that is not the kind of symbol I mean.

    *Note that I am not denying the “vocational” aims of marriage, its uses in properly channeling the sex drive, constituting the fundamental structural unit of social order, etc.

  • sg

    Some anthropologists speculate that tolerating homosexuality will hasten its decline. If it is totally unacceptable and persecuted, then gay men will marry and have children potentially contributing the defect to offspring. However, if it is tolerated then it will be a plague to its partakers and contribute to its own demise. This is tenuous because the defect may not be heritable rather congenital or even caused by infection.

  • sg

    Some anthropologists speculate that tolerating homosexuality will hasten its decline. If it is totally unacceptable and persecuted, then gay men will marry and have children potentially contributing the defect to offspring. However, if it is tolerated then it will be a plague to its partakers and contribute to its own demise. This is tenuous because the defect may not be heritable rather congenital or even caused by infection.

  • fws

    cincinatus @28

    “Mumbling something cryptic equating marriage and purely literary analogies like those employed in the parable of the “new wineskins” does not answer my question. In any case, that is not the kind of symbol I mean.”

    I am sincerely sorry that I did not serve you better and mumbled. You deserve better and maybe I am not up to it. Maybe try redirecting your question. It is a very important one.

    Sometimes we need to step back and look at the broad strokes before we can drill down to details. This is what I am trying to do.

    Let me try to be as stark and radical now in my statements as possible (ie still remain within confessional mortification) to afford you something to bounce your comments off of.

    Luther in his sermon on “two kingdoms two kinds of righteousness” tells us that earthly righteousness is “everything and anything we can do in our bodies”. Then he tells us that none of that is included in the Heavenly kingdom. period. this means that marriage and even pastoral duties are all earthly kingdom things that are exclusively about creaturely earthly transitory temporal things. things that will fully perish. things that require not one iota of faith to do.

    You seem to be saying that marriage has some heavenly kingdom purpose or element to it. That was my thought when I used that word “sacrament”. I am saying that marriage, like vines and wineskins and plumbers like all earthly doings, have no eternal consequences whatsoever. These things are all fully excluded from any talk of what gets into the heavenly kingdom.

    So now I would greatly appreciate any correction of what I have ascribed wrongly to your thinking.

  • fws

    cincinatus @28

    “Mumbling something cryptic equating marriage and purely literary analogies like those employed in the parable of the “new wineskins” does not answer my question. In any case, that is not the kind of symbol I mean.”

    I am sincerely sorry that I did not serve you better and mumbled. You deserve better and maybe I am not up to it. Maybe try redirecting your question. It is a very important one.

    Sometimes we need to step back and look at the broad strokes before we can drill down to details. This is what I am trying to do.

    Let me try to be as stark and radical now in my statements as possible (ie still remain within confessional mortification) to afford you something to bounce your comments off of.

    Luther in his sermon on “two kingdoms two kinds of righteousness” tells us that earthly righteousness is “everything and anything we can do in our bodies”. Then he tells us that none of that is included in the Heavenly kingdom. period. this means that marriage and even pastoral duties are all earthly kingdom things that are exclusively about creaturely earthly transitory temporal things. things that will fully perish. things that require not one iota of faith to do.

    You seem to be saying that marriage has some heavenly kingdom purpose or element to it. That was my thought when I used that word “sacrament”. I am saying that marriage, like vines and wineskins and plumbers like all earthly doings, have no eternal consequences whatsoever. These things are all fully excluded from any talk of what gets into the heavenly kingdom.

    So now I would greatly appreciate any correction of what I have ascribed wrongly to your thinking.

  • sg

    Gay marriage is pointless because society has no compelling interest in the friendships of adults. The legal system in the US has already shifted to using parentage, not marriage, as the basis for enforcing support orders. Children are the compelling interest. They must be cared for by someone else. Adults can take care of themselves. No nanny or patron required.

  • sg

    Gay marriage is pointless because society has no compelling interest in the friendships of adults. The legal system in the US has already shifted to using parentage, not marriage, as the basis for enforcing support orders. Children are the compelling interest. They must be cared for by someone else. Adults can take care of themselves. No nanny or patron required.

  • fws

    sg @29 and 31

    According to scriptures and the Lutheran confessions, the entire earthly point purpose and end result of the Law of God and earthly righteousness that is pleasing to God is to do acts of love for each other.

    Acts of love are anything that make the creaturely temporal lives of others be happier or better in any way. This is the biblical definition.

    I would love to see you put your comments in the context of this righteous love that God demands of us.

    imaginary context/scenario: Your son is gay. How would you deploy your thinking to try to make the creaturely life of your son more full of joy, love and happiness?

  • fws

    sg @29 and 31

    According to scriptures and the Lutheran confessions, the entire earthly point purpose and end result of the Law of God and earthly righteousness that is pleasing to God is to do acts of love for each other.

    Acts of love are anything that make the creaturely temporal lives of others be happier or better in any way. This is the biblical definition.

    I would love to see you put your comments in the context of this righteous love that God demands of us.

    imaginary context/scenario: Your son is gay. How would you deploy your thinking to try to make the creaturely life of your son more full of joy, love and happiness?

  • fws

    sg @ 31

    the horses are already out of the barn door on this one sg. no point in closing the door after they are already out.

    About 30% of gay households include children that are being raised. All 50 states actively recruit gays to be foster parents and allow them to be parents. Being gay is no longer a legal factor in child custody cases anywhere.

    These all being the facts, one could argue that the children of gays would do better in many practical ways if their gay custodians were allowed to get a marriage license. So I could use your argument as an argument in favor of gay marriage I am saying.

    Usually the argument is made that children do better with their male/female biological birth parents. I actually believe this to be true. The falacy of producing this fact as an argument is obviously that forbidding gay marriage will in no way result in more children being raised by their biological male/female parents. Lots of red herring arguments about all this eh?

  • fws

    sg @ 31

    the horses are already out of the barn door on this one sg. no point in closing the door after they are already out.

    About 30% of gay households include children that are being raised. All 50 states actively recruit gays to be foster parents and allow them to be parents. Being gay is no longer a legal factor in child custody cases anywhere.

    These all being the facts, one could argue that the children of gays would do better in many practical ways if their gay custodians were allowed to get a marriage license. So I could use your argument as an argument in favor of gay marriage I am saying.

    Usually the argument is made that children do better with their male/female biological birth parents. I actually believe this to be true. The falacy of producing this fact as an argument is obviously that forbidding gay marriage will in no way result in more children being raised by their biological male/female parents. Lots of red herring arguments about all this eh?

  • sg

    “Your son is gay. How would you deploy your thinking to try to make the creaturely life of your son more full of joy, love and happiness?”

    I would recommend the Law and Gospel.

    Repentance, confession, absolution.

  • sg

    “Your son is gay. How would you deploy your thinking to try to make the creaturely life of your son more full of joy, love and happiness?”

    I would recommend the Law and Gospel.

    Repentance, confession, absolution.

  • fws

    so you would thoroughly confuse law and gospel then. ok.

  • sg

    “the horses are already out of the barn door on this one sg. no point in closing the door after they are already out.”

    Huh?

  • fws

    so you would thoroughly confuse law and gospel then. ok.

  • sg

    “the horses are already out of the barn door on this one sg. no point in closing the door after they are already out.”

    Huh?

  • sg

    “so you would thoroughly confuse law and gospel then. ok.”

    Nope, not I. I would send him to his pastor. As a mother, I would just love him but not lie and tell him that what he is doing is right or something he should continue. I would love him by being honest.

  • sg

    “so you would thoroughly confuse law and gospel then. ok.”

    Nope, not I. I would send him to his pastor. As a mother, I would just love him but not lie and tell him that what he is doing is right or something he should continue. I would love him by being honest.

  • fws

    sg @31 &b 36

    “the compelling interest is the children”

    30% of gay households are raising children. there would be advantages (health benefits, social security etc) to allowing their gay parents to get married for this very reason.

    preventing gay marriage conversely would not result in more or fewer gay or birth parents raising their children. the effect there would be completely neutral.

  • fws

    sg @31 &b 36

    “the compelling interest is the children”

    30% of gay households are raising children. there would be advantages (health benefits, social security etc) to allowing their gay parents to get married for this very reason.

    preventing gay marriage conversely would not result in more or fewer gay or birth parents raising their children. the effect there would be completely neutral.

  • The last three paragraphs of the argument make it worthless.

    It presents the case as if the argument would work from either a religious or a naturalistic perspective. Then it says things that violate both perspectives.

    “Religions may bless marriage, but they did not invent it.” Sounds innocuous enough. Except that if the Bible is true, then God did institute marriage in Genesis with a particular couple. Yet when Moses gave a civil law, it allowed divorce where God saw people as still married. So God’s people were required to accept a non-ideal law code. If we can accept a non-ideal law code from God, then why not from man? On the other hand, what about this: “If sexuality did not naturally bring us offspring, it is hard to explain why it exists, whether you believe in a purely material evolution or a loving designer of the universe, for it would serve no purpose.” Yet an evolutionary perspective might offer a “selfish gene” account of the origin of homosexuality. In which case it is as natural as heterosexuality. And in evolutionary perspective, human institutions ought to evolve with an understanding of human nature. So it might well make sense to allow new arrangements to better suit an evolutionary understanding of human nature.

    In either case, the “whole truth” will lead to using very different arguments from the ones listed above. Most arguments on either side look more robust than the natural law argument offered. (I think other natural law arguments might fare better. But they should probably take some kind of stance toward creation. Any specific stance will be better than none.)

  • The last three paragraphs of the argument make it worthless.

    It presents the case as if the argument would work from either a religious or a naturalistic perspective. Then it says things that violate both perspectives.

    “Religions may bless marriage, but they did not invent it.” Sounds innocuous enough. Except that if the Bible is true, then God did institute marriage in Genesis with a particular couple. Yet when Moses gave a civil law, it allowed divorce where God saw people as still married. So God’s people were required to accept a non-ideal law code. If we can accept a non-ideal law code from God, then why not from man? On the other hand, what about this: “If sexuality did not naturally bring us offspring, it is hard to explain why it exists, whether you believe in a purely material evolution or a loving designer of the universe, for it would serve no purpose.” Yet an evolutionary perspective might offer a “selfish gene” account of the origin of homosexuality. In which case it is as natural as heterosexuality. And in evolutionary perspective, human institutions ought to evolve with an understanding of human nature. So it might well make sense to allow new arrangements to better suit an evolutionary understanding of human nature.

    In either case, the “whole truth” will lead to using very different arguments from the ones listed above. Most arguments on either side look more robust than the natural law argument offered. (I think other natural law arguments might fare better. But they should probably take some kind of stance toward creation. Any specific stance will be better than none.)

  • sg

    “30% of gay households are raising children. there would be advantages (health benefits, social security etc) to allowing their gay parents to get married for this very reason.”

    No advantage. Parentage already gives children these benefits. Whether the children are biological or natural, the children get benefits based on their relationship to their parents. That is why kids whose parents are divorced are still entitled to such benefits.

    Plus, I am skeptical of the 30% figure.

  • sg

    “30% of gay households are raising children. there would be advantages (health benefits, social security etc) to allowing their gay parents to get married for this very reason.”

    No advantage. Parentage already gives children these benefits. Whether the children are biological or natural, the children get benefits based on their relationship to their parents. That is why kids whose parents are divorced are still entitled to such benefits.

    Plus, I am skeptical of the 30% figure.

  • sg

    Oops, should be

    Whether the children are biological or ADOPTED

  • sg

    Oops, should be

    Whether the children are biological or ADOPTED

  • sg

    Issues etc had a great guest, Frank Turek on the gay pseudomarriage topic.

    Gay marriage false facts part one:
    http://townhall.com/columnists/FrankTurek/2010/08/12/top_ten_gay_marriage_false_“facts”_part_1/page/full

    Gay marriage false facts part two:
    http://townhall.com/columnists/FrankTurek/2010/08/13/top_ten_gay_marriage_false_“facts”_part_2/page/full

  • sg

    Issues etc had a great guest, Frank Turek on the gay pseudomarriage topic.

    Gay marriage false facts part one:
    http://townhall.com/columnists/FrankTurek/2010/08/12/top_ten_gay_marriage_false_“facts”_part_1/page/full

    Gay marriage false facts part two:
    http://townhall.com/columnists/FrankTurek/2010/08/13/top_ten_gay_marriage_false_“facts”_part_2/page/full

  • fws

    sg @ 37

    “so you would thoroughly confuse law and gospel then. ok.”
    Nope, not I. I would send him to his pastor. As a mother, I would just love him but not lie and tell him that what he is doing is right or something he should continue. I would love him by being honest.”

    So for you your definition of motherly “love” would be to “be honest” and serve up your son a loving, warm dollop of loving pure… condemnation and death.

    That is what the law is: condemnation and death.

    But you would be fulfilling your sacrificial duty to God by killing him as sacrifice to God. Interesting spin on motherly love sg. We as sinners are religious and think always that sacrifice=righteousness don´t we? I am no different.

    When a young attorney asked Jesus what he needed to do to be right with God Jesus approved of his saying that that looks like love God and love your neighbor.

    Jesus tells us this story as THE divine illustration of what keeping God´s law of love for our neighbor looks like.

    So who would be your gay son in this story and how was he shown love in this story? Remember that the entire point of Jesus lesson is to teach us what the keeping of the second table of the commandments, love thy neighbor, looks like in practice.

  • fws

    sg @ 37

    “so you would thoroughly confuse law and gospel then. ok.”
    Nope, not I. I would send him to his pastor. As a mother, I would just love him but not lie and tell him that what he is doing is right or something he should continue. I would love him by being honest.”

    So for you your definition of motherly “love” would be to “be honest” and serve up your son a loving, warm dollop of loving pure… condemnation and death.

    That is what the law is: condemnation and death.

    But you would be fulfilling your sacrificial duty to God by killing him as sacrifice to God. Interesting spin on motherly love sg. We as sinners are religious and think always that sacrifice=righteousness don´t we? I am no different.

    When a young attorney asked Jesus what he needed to do to be right with God Jesus approved of his saying that that looks like love God and love your neighbor.

    Jesus tells us this story as THE divine illustration of what keeping God´s law of love for our neighbor looks like.

    So who would be your gay son in this story and how was he shown love in this story? Remember that the entire point of Jesus lesson is to teach us what the keeping of the second table of the commandments, love thy neighbor, looks like in practice.

  • fws

    sg. feel free to be skeptical of the 30% figure. what about gay men and lesbians who become foster parents and then adopt. it is a fact (I know from personal experience), that gays are willing often to adopt special needs children that many heterosexual couples do not want.

    so no. adopted children do not get automatic benefits in a gay household.

    what are you arguing for? if even one child could have his life made more secure in someway by letting their gay parents marry, what would be the problem with that? what would it take from anyone or society sg? I am not getting your overall point here.

    your issue about gays seems sorta visceral. I am not sure why the big fuss. letem get married. it takes nothing from anyone at all and could improve the creaturely existence of children and the adults. more structure is always a good thing.

  • fws

    sg. feel free to be skeptical of the 30% figure. what about gay men and lesbians who become foster parents and then adopt. it is a fact (I know from personal experience), that gays are willing often to adopt special needs children that many heterosexual couples do not want.

    so no. adopted children do not get automatic benefits in a gay household.

    what are you arguing for? if even one child could have his life made more secure in someway by letting their gay parents marry, what would be the problem with that? what would it take from anyone or society sg? I am not getting your overall point here.

    your issue about gays seems sorta visceral. I am not sure why the big fuss. letem get married. it takes nothing from anyone at all and could improve the creaturely existence of children and the adults. more structure is always a good thing.

  • fws

    sg @ 42

    sigh. It would be so great for issues etc to spend their precious resources on proclaiming the Holy Gospel. what a waste of time for everyone. this is all useless stuff. exactly like all the stuff rome was making everyone do that the Confessions call “useless”. for the same exact reason. It does nothing at all to improve the creaturely wellbeing of anyone at all. and it has nothing at all to do with who will end up in heaven or hell.

    worthless. useless. moral mast**bation is what it is.

  • fws

    sg @ 42

    sigh. It would be so great for issues etc to spend their precious resources on proclaiming the Holy Gospel. what a waste of time for everyone. this is all useless stuff. exactly like all the stuff rome was making everyone do that the Confessions call “useless”. for the same exact reason. It does nothing at all to improve the creaturely wellbeing of anyone at all. and it has nothing at all to do with who will end up in heaven or hell.

    worthless. useless. moral mast**bation is what it is.

  • sg

    Not as useless as gay marriage.

  • sg

    Not as useless as gay marriage.

  • sg

    “it takes nothing from anyone at all ”

    Not true. They would get spousal benefits from social security and other sources. That takes away from everyone who contributed.

    Christians, not gays, are more likely to adopt special needs kids.

    Actually, I am pretty tolerant of homosexuality and other sins unfortunately. It is God who has the strong opposition to homosexual behavior. I am just deferring to Him.

  • sg

    “it takes nothing from anyone at all ”

    Not true. They would get spousal benefits from social security and other sources. That takes away from everyone who contributed.

    Christians, not gays, are more likely to adopt special needs kids.

    Actually, I am pretty tolerant of homosexuality and other sins unfortunately. It is God who has the strong opposition to homosexual behavior. I am just deferring to Him.

  • sg

    “if even one child could have his life made more secure in someway by letting their gay parents marry, what would be the problem with that?”

    Ooh, wheee! Talk about begging the question.

    That is a whopper of assuming I agree with your false premise. Gay marriage will not improve a child’s life. Bad does not lead to good.

  • sg

    “if even one child could have his life made more secure in someway by letting their gay parents marry, what would be the problem with that?”

    Ooh, wheee! Talk about begging the question.

    That is a whopper of assuming I agree with your false premise. Gay marriage will not improve a child’s life. Bad does not lead to good.

  • sg

    “So who would be your gay son in this story and how was he shown love in this story? Remember that the entire point of Jesus lesson is to teach us what the keeping of the second table of the commandments, love thy neighbor, looks like in practice.”

    I am pretty sure that Jesus did not tell that story to pressure God fearing mothers to approve a son’s homosexuality and encourage him to continue in it. So what is your point? more Law for me, but not for my son? I need to follow the second table of commandments but he needn’t follow the first? Is that a ” a loving, warm dollop of loving pure… condemnation and death” for me you are suggesting?

  • sg

    “So who would be your gay son in this story and how was he shown love in this story? Remember that the entire point of Jesus lesson is to teach us what the keeping of the second table of the commandments, love thy neighbor, looks like in practice.”

    I am pretty sure that Jesus did not tell that story to pressure God fearing mothers to approve a son’s homosexuality and encourage him to continue in it. So what is your point? more Law for me, but not for my son? I need to follow the second table of commandments but he needn’t follow the first? Is that a ” a loving, warm dollop of loving pure… condemnation and death” for me you are suggesting?

  • fws

    sg @47

    “Actually, I am pretty tolerant of homosexuality and other sins unfortunately. It is God who has the strong opposition to homosexual behavior. I am just deferring to Him.”

    My dear precious sister in Christ. I know that you love your Jesus and want to defer to His Will and please him from your mentioning of Holy Absolution. I hope you do not think it presumptuous for me to imagine that you often stuggle with a bad conscience and because of that struggle and your knowledge that you are sinner, you love your Jesus all the more. I also hope that you do not feel it presumptuous to suggest that you personally suffer alot from your very sacrificial view of what it means to “defer to God.” Your view of what it looks like to please God on earth looks like what John Calvin would tell you. This is what we Lutherans often teach. So I am not surprised.

    For you, an important part of what it means to be a christian is for you to conform to his Holy Law and to teach that law to others. This is almost right. The part that is wrong, and satanic in fact, is that none of this part has anything at all to do with being a christian.

    Could we please engage with each other on the story of the good samaritan as our Lord´s own illustration of what the righteousness that God demands on earth of you and me and everyone looks like and is?

    All the rest of this stuff you are talking about is really a worthless and useless distraction.

    Why?

    It contributes utterly nothing to the earthly creaturely well being of anyone and it will not make any difference at all in the eternal question of heaven or hell.

    You know in your own heart that none of this stuff looks like love or mercy. It looks like the obedience of sacrifice is what it looks like doesn´t it?

    So why are you wasting your time and energy on those talks on issues etc.?

  • fws

    sg @47

    “Actually, I am pretty tolerant of homosexuality and other sins unfortunately. It is God who has the strong opposition to homosexual behavior. I am just deferring to Him.”

    My dear precious sister in Christ. I know that you love your Jesus and want to defer to His Will and please him from your mentioning of Holy Absolution. I hope you do not think it presumptuous for me to imagine that you often stuggle with a bad conscience and because of that struggle and your knowledge that you are sinner, you love your Jesus all the more. I also hope that you do not feel it presumptuous to suggest that you personally suffer alot from your very sacrificial view of what it means to “defer to God.” Your view of what it looks like to please God on earth looks like what John Calvin would tell you. This is what we Lutherans often teach. So I am not surprised.

    For you, an important part of what it means to be a christian is for you to conform to his Holy Law and to teach that law to others. This is almost right. The part that is wrong, and satanic in fact, is that none of this part has anything at all to do with being a christian.

    Could we please engage with each other on the story of the good samaritan as our Lord´s own illustration of what the righteousness that God demands on earth of you and me and everyone looks like and is?

    All the rest of this stuff you are talking about is really a worthless and useless distraction.

    Why?

    It contributes utterly nothing to the earthly creaturely well being of anyone and it will not make any difference at all in the eternal question of heaven or hell.

    You know in your own heart that none of this stuff looks like love or mercy. It looks like the obedience of sacrifice is what it looks like doesn´t it?

    So why are you wasting your time and energy on those talks on issues etc.?

  • sg

    “For you, an important part of what it means to be a christian is for you to conform to his Holy Law and to teach that law to others. This is almost right. The part that is wrong, and satanic in fact, is that none of this part has anything at all to do with being a christian.”

    At my son’s baptism I remember committing to teach my son the commandments and bring him up with the Word of the Lord. Sure the Law doesn’t save, however, obeying the commandments does not condemn. Following the commandments is loving one’s neighbor as you pointed out. As the true church, we are required to refrain from communion with the boldly unrepentant. Homosexuality is just a sin like any other. He can just repent, confess and be absolved. I don’t see the problem. Why do you insist he not repent? I don’t get it. The New Testament is about repentance and forgiveness. Homosexuality is not unforgivable.

  • sg

    “For you, an important part of what it means to be a christian is for you to conform to his Holy Law and to teach that law to others. This is almost right. The part that is wrong, and satanic in fact, is that none of this part has anything at all to do with being a christian.”

    At my son’s baptism I remember committing to teach my son the commandments and bring him up with the Word of the Lord. Sure the Law doesn’t save, however, obeying the commandments does not condemn. Following the commandments is loving one’s neighbor as you pointed out. As the true church, we are required to refrain from communion with the boldly unrepentant. Homosexuality is just a sin like any other. He can just repent, confess and be absolved. I don’t see the problem. Why do you insist he not repent? I don’t get it. The New Testament is about repentance and forgiveness. Homosexuality is not unforgivable.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: I can’t help but notice that you’re obfuscating the real question here by, in quite sinister fashion, reflecting the issue onto sg and making this about her salvation and absolution. You can’t simply write off the issue of homosexual marriage, etc., by claiming that “it has nothing to do with being a Christian”–mostly because a) that’s incorrect and b) we’re not asking what something has or has not to do with being a Christian.

    We’re asking whether marriage is of more than merely utilitarian value and now whether homosexual marriage partakes at all in that value.

    The Gospel does not preclude Christians from calling sin sin. It does not give us excuse, when things get uncomfortable (as I suspect this issue is to you, given your own prejudices), to toss out the issue as something that is mere “Law.” Furthermore, I wasn’t aware that any Christian could in good conscience trot out the tired trop that “this has nothing to do with love or mercy.” Really? So if my son were gay, and I believed homosexual behavior and marriage were sinful arrangements, it would be an act of love to refrain from telling him so and to point him in the direction of repentance and restoration? Really?

    This is why discussions with you, fws, quickly grow insufferable. You aren’t willing to confront the issue itself. You’d rather construct an opportunity to attempt to trigger someone’s conscience with an over-personal sermon.

    I’d explain why I think your conception of marriage is gravely mistaken, but I’m afraid your response would be an attempt to reveal my lack of devotion to the Gospel rather than a logical, unbiased confrontation with facts.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: I can’t help but notice that you’re obfuscating the real question here by, in quite sinister fashion, reflecting the issue onto sg and making this about her salvation and absolution. You can’t simply write off the issue of homosexual marriage, etc., by claiming that “it has nothing to do with being a Christian”–mostly because a) that’s incorrect and b) we’re not asking what something has or has not to do with being a Christian.

    We’re asking whether marriage is of more than merely utilitarian value and now whether homosexual marriage partakes at all in that value.

    The Gospel does not preclude Christians from calling sin sin. It does not give us excuse, when things get uncomfortable (as I suspect this issue is to you, given your own prejudices), to toss out the issue as something that is mere “Law.” Furthermore, I wasn’t aware that any Christian could in good conscience trot out the tired trop that “this has nothing to do with love or mercy.” Really? So if my son were gay, and I believed homosexual behavior and marriage were sinful arrangements, it would be an act of love to refrain from telling him so and to point him in the direction of repentance and restoration? Really?

    This is why discussions with you, fws, quickly grow insufferable. You aren’t willing to confront the issue itself. You’d rather construct an opportunity to attempt to trigger someone’s conscience with an over-personal sermon.

    I’d explain why I think your conception of marriage is gravely mistaken, but I’m afraid your response would be an attempt to reveal my lack of devotion to the Gospel rather than a logical, unbiased confrontation with facts.

  • sg

    ‘It contributes utterly nothing to the earthly creaturely well being of anyone and it will not make any difference at all in the eternal question of heaven or hell.”

    Baloney. Proclaiming the Gospel includes teaching repentance.

    “You know in your own heart that none of this stuff looks like love or mercy. It looks like the obedience of sacrifice is what it looks like doesn´t it?”

    Homosexuality doesn’t look like love or mercy either.

    “So why are you wasting your time and energy on those talks on issues etc.?”

    Have you listened? or are you speaking from the absence of knowledge?

  • sg

    ‘It contributes utterly nothing to the earthly creaturely well being of anyone and it will not make any difference at all in the eternal question of heaven or hell.”

    Baloney. Proclaiming the Gospel includes teaching repentance.

    “You know in your own heart that none of this stuff looks like love or mercy. It looks like the obedience of sacrifice is what it looks like doesn´t it?”

    Homosexuality doesn’t look like love or mercy either.

    “So why are you wasting your time and energy on those talks on issues etc.?”

    Have you listened? or are you speaking from the absence of knowledge?

  • fws

    sg @ 49

    I am very happy that we are talking now from Holy Scriptures rather than all that worthless and useless crap we were exchanging before. You will be able to teach me alot now. Sincerely dear sister I am saying that.

    Worthless and useless.

    Nothing that makes lives happier or will make any difference between heaven or hell for anyone. All the debate about gay marriage on the part of the religious I suggest falls into that category. The pagans in the debate have it right. Their only concern is for enhancing the earthly happiness of gays. This alone looks like the earthly righteousness that God demands of pagan and christian exactly alike.

    So now for your kind response:

    SG: I am pretty sure that Jesus did not tell that story to pressure God fearing mothers to approve a son’s homosexuality and encourage him to continue in it.

    FWS: Good catch! There is nothing in this story about homosexuality is there? That actually is key to the story. God lets his rain fall on the just and unjust alike. God does not withhold any of the things called “daily bread” in the 4th petition or 1st article because we are worthy or not. God uses us to provide these creaturely goods “even to all the wicked, indeed without our prayer,…without any merit, purely out of fatherly Divine goodness and mercy”. So from this we know that how we are to show love to others in no way depends upon their goodness or whether they are acting according to God´s will. The story is generally titled “The good samaritan. To an observant Jew this title would be “The good sinner”. Samaritans did not follow God´s Law did they? There is a reason Jesus stuck a samaritan into the story.

    Why he did this I am not sure. It seems that your hypothetical gay son would be a good standin for this samaritan. But in any case we must remember that the context for the story is an attorney who gave a summation of the law that Jesus accepted saying “do that and you will live”, and then that attorney, seeking to be justified, asked “who is my neighbor?” Jesus is answering that question with this story, and the questioner knows he has been found out. He knows he has not kept the law. So he would, as we should, look for ourself in that story, and look to see who our neighbor then is, and then look to see what our doing love for that neighbor would look like. Agreed so far my dear sg?

    So what is your point? more Law for me, but not for my son?

    FRANK/FWS: First sg, my friends call me Frank. Put yourself in the shoes of that lawyer Jesus was addressing. The story of the Good Samaritan has no gospel . it is all Law. This is what Jesus always does for those who think the point of the Law is to be correct in God´s eyes. Jesus to the contrary treated those differently where he could say “for she loved much”.

    Our Old Adam is religious by nature. We live to sacrifice. We think that being good is about pleasing God. When God tells us in His Word that our neighbor is to be the judge of our goodness and our love we do not like that. We feel it lowers and diminishes us.

    SG: I need to follow the second table of commandments but he needn’t follow the first?

    FWS: Yes I am saying exactly that. Neither you nor he can follow the first commandment. That is actually the only commandment that you and he according to your old adams cannot do at all. The first commandment can only be kept by faith in Jesus Christ. And you know that that is pure gift. “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe” is how the small catechism says this.

    Note that in the small catechism every commandment is about producing love by way of mortification of the old adam. mortification + acts of love = righteousness is the formula for 9 of the 10 commandments. example in commandment 5: we should not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body (mortification/self restraint) + we should help and befriend in every bodily need (love). = righteousness. The first commandment has no mortification. why? no amount of m0rtification can help the old adam keep that first commandment. That´s why. And if you keep that first commandment, then you have kept ALL the rest from the inside out. Truly. From the heart. Your new man does exactly this SG! according to your new man SG you cannot sin! You died to the law and it does not apply to you! To get the hang of this, think of Christ in the blessed Incarnation. That looks exactly like you in your new man. Did christ need the law to be good?

    SG: Is that a ” a loving, warm dollop of loving pure… condemnation and death” for me you are suggesting?

    FWS: Dear sister: Yes. You according to your Old Adam must die. This is called Mortification. This is letting the law have its way with your old adam. But….

    BUT! that old adam is no longer who you are. it is the old you that clings to you like a parasite. You are that new woman that was created in your baptism. as that new woman you cannot and do not sin. you are in christ. can christ sin? no. and so you have nothing to fear by letting that old adam die. But that death is not to please God, it is a death so that you can serve the earthly lives now of that gay son of yours and do what makes him feel love from you and be happy. God does not need your sacrifice. your gay imaginary son desperately does. So you become now a living sacrifice. you dissipate yourself in love to that son.

    How do you know what is love for him? He is to be your judge on the matter. He will let you know if he feels love from you. If he does not, then you are doing something wrong. And this work you do for him will have NO consequence as to eternity. It is strictly about God applying the law to your Old adam´s ego and killing it, so that you can stop being religious and start making others happy. Period.

    You get to do this same thing for your own self SG. You are free! God wants you to be happy and to feel loved by others. How do people make your heart feel warm and loved and dear to them? How do they show you that they not only have that religiously condescending “love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin” sort of sacrifice but that they actually LIKE you SG, that is respect you? You deserve that. If I have made you feel that kind of love in this post, then I have done a righteous act. To the extent that I did not succeed, then I need to confess my sins and God will certainly cover that sin and find a way to bless you even in my sinfulness with this post.

    God bless you dear SG!

  • fws

    sg @ 49

    I am very happy that we are talking now from Holy Scriptures rather than all that worthless and useless crap we were exchanging before. You will be able to teach me alot now. Sincerely dear sister I am saying that.

    Worthless and useless.

    Nothing that makes lives happier or will make any difference between heaven or hell for anyone. All the debate about gay marriage on the part of the religious I suggest falls into that category. The pagans in the debate have it right. Their only concern is for enhancing the earthly happiness of gays. This alone looks like the earthly righteousness that God demands of pagan and christian exactly alike.

    So now for your kind response:

    SG: I am pretty sure that Jesus did not tell that story to pressure God fearing mothers to approve a son’s homosexuality and encourage him to continue in it.

    FWS: Good catch! There is nothing in this story about homosexuality is there? That actually is key to the story. God lets his rain fall on the just and unjust alike. God does not withhold any of the things called “daily bread” in the 4th petition or 1st article because we are worthy or not. God uses us to provide these creaturely goods “even to all the wicked, indeed without our prayer,…without any merit, purely out of fatherly Divine goodness and mercy”. So from this we know that how we are to show love to others in no way depends upon their goodness or whether they are acting according to God´s will. The story is generally titled “The good samaritan. To an observant Jew this title would be “The good sinner”. Samaritans did not follow God´s Law did they? There is a reason Jesus stuck a samaritan into the story.

    Why he did this I am not sure. It seems that your hypothetical gay son would be a good standin for this samaritan. But in any case we must remember that the context for the story is an attorney who gave a summation of the law that Jesus accepted saying “do that and you will live”, and then that attorney, seeking to be justified, asked “who is my neighbor?” Jesus is answering that question with this story, and the questioner knows he has been found out. He knows he has not kept the law. So he would, as we should, look for ourself in that story, and look to see who our neighbor then is, and then look to see what our doing love for that neighbor would look like. Agreed so far my dear sg?

    So what is your point? more Law for me, but not for my son?

    FRANK/FWS: First sg, my friends call me Frank. Put yourself in the shoes of that lawyer Jesus was addressing. The story of the Good Samaritan has no gospel . it is all Law. This is what Jesus always does for those who think the point of the Law is to be correct in God´s eyes. Jesus to the contrary treated those differently where he could say “for she loved much”.

    Our Old Adam is religious by nature. We live to sacrifice. We think that being good is about pleasing God. When God tells us in His Word that our neighbor is to be the judge of our goodness and our love we do not like that. We feel it lowers and diminishes us.

    SG: I need to follow the second table of commandments but he needn’t follow the first?

    FWS: Yes I am saying exactly that. Neither you nor he can follow the first commandment. That is actually the only commandment that you and he according to your old adams cannot do at all. The first commandment can only be kept by faith in Jesus Christ. And you know that that is pure gift. “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe” is how the small catechism says this.

    Note that in the small catechism every commandment is about producing love by way of mortification of the old adam. mortification + acts of love = righteousness is the formula for 9 of the 10 commandments. example in commandment 5: we should not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body (mortification/self restraint) + we should help and befriend in every bodily need (love). = righteousness. The first commandment has no mortification. why? no amount of m0rtification can help the old adam keep that first commandment. That´s why. And if you keep that first commandment, then you have kept ALL the rest from the inside out. Truly. From the heart. Your new man does exactly this SG! according to your new man SG you cannot sin! You died to the law and it does not apply to you! To get the hang of this, think of Christ in the blessed Incarnation. That looks exactly like you in your new man. Did christ need the law to be good?

    SG: Is that a ” a loving, warm dollop of loving pure… condemnation and death” for me you are suggesting?

    FWS: Dear sister: Yes. You according to your Old Adam must die. This is called Mortification. This is letting the law have its way with your old adam. But….

    BUT! that old adam is no longer who you are. it is the old you that clings to you like a parasite. You are that new woman that was created in your baptism. as that new woman you cannot and do not sin. you are in christ. can christ sin? no. and so you have nothing to fear by letting that old adam die. But that death is not to please God, it is a death so that you can serve the earthly lives now of that gay son of yours and do what makes him feel love from you and be happy. God does not need your sacrifice. your gay imaginary son desperately does. So you become now a living sacrifice. you dissipate yourself in love to that son.

    How do you know what is love for him? He is to be your judge on the matter. He will let you know if he feels love from you. If he does not, then you are doing something wrong. And this work you do for him will have NO consequence as to eternity. It is strictly about God applying the law to your Old adam´s ego and killing it, so that you can stop being religious and start making others happy. Period.

    You get to do this same thing for your own self SG. You are free! God wants you to be happy and to feel loved by others. How do people make your heart feel warm and loved and dear to them? How do they show you that they not only have that religiously condescending “love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin” sort of sacrifice but that they actually LIKE you SG, that is respect you? You deserve that. If I have made you feel that kind of love in this post, then I have done a righteous act. To the extent that I did not succeed, then I need to confess my sins and God will certainly cover that sin and find a way to bless you even in my sinfulness with this post.

    God bless you dear SG!

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 52

    ” I can’t help but notice that you’re obfuscating the real question here by, in quite sinister fashion, reflecting the issue onto sg and making this about her salvation and absolution.”

    “sinister”. Ahem. Please explain. That is a strong word. We all have our biases Cincinatus. Most I would agree are sinful. Challenge what I say for what has been said and especially for what I claim to be the authority I cite. Please dear brother, do not do the disservice of attacking what I say in an ad homem way as you have now done. This stuff is too important.

    Our Old Adam wants to depersonalize the law and make it something abstract or about monitoring the law-keeping of others. Feel free in whatever I have written to insert “FWS” in every place where I have inserted “SG”. Even better insert “cincinatus”.

    What do you feel is the “real question”?

    As a Lutheran I assume that the real question for all things religious is to hold to that “one thing needful”.

    Everything else, however important, will perish with the earth. It is transitory. Marriage fully and completely falls within the category of the romans 8 “body/flesh” righteousness that will perish with the earth. And it is fully excluded from any talk of the One Thing Needful.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 52

    ” I can’t help but notice that you’re obfuscating the real question here by, in quite sinister fashion, reflecting the issue onto sg and making this about her salvation and absolution.”

    “sinister”. Ahem. Please explain. That is a strong word. We all have our biases Cincinatus. Most I would agree are sinful. Challenge what I say for what has been said and especially for what I claim to be the authority I cite. Please dear brother, do not do the disservice of attacking what I say in an ad homem way as you have now done. This stuff is too important.

    Our Old Adam wants to depersonalize the law and make it something abstract or about monitoring the law-keeping of others. Feel free in whatever I have written to insert “FWS” in every place where I have inserted “SG”. Even better insert “cincinatus”.

    What do you feel is the “real question”?

    As a Lutheran I assume that the real question for all things religious is to hold to that “one thing needful”.

    Everything else, however important, will perish with the earth. It is transitory. Marriage fully and completely falls within the category of the romans 8 “body/flesh” righteousness that will perish with the earth. And it is fully excluded from any talk of the One Thing Needful.

  • fws

    sg @ 53
    “Baloney. Proclaiming the Gospel includes teaching repentance. ”

    It does indeed! But not in the way you are doing it dear SG.

    You appear to make repentance a condition that we can and we must do in order to be saved. You are instructing your gay son that if he does not “repent” of being homosexual that he then cannot be saved are you not? Lutherans DO teach this crap. example: “suicides go to hell because they would not have a chance to repent”. This is a teaching from hell.

    Why this is bad is that you sg can not then be sure that you are saved. why not? You have not repented of all your sins. you have not repented enough or in the right way to do what God demands. If your salvation depend even in the smallest way upon your repentance SG then you are lost lost lost.

    Now if you do not believe what I have just ascribed to your thinking sg, then accept my sincere apology and I in turn will be happy to know that you reject this sort of pietism-pretending-to-be-Lutheran.

  • fws

    sg @ 53
    “Baloney. Proclaiming the Gospel includes teaching repentance. ”

    It does indeed! But not in the way you are doing it dear SG.

    You appear to make repentance a condition that we can and we must do in order to be saved. You are instructing your gay son that if he does not “repent” of being homosexual that he then cannot be saved are you not? Lutherans DO teach this crap. example: “suicides go to hell because they would not have a chance to repent”. This is a teaching from hell.

    Why this is bad is that you sg can not then be sure that you are saved. why not? You have not repented of all your sins. you have not repented enough or in the right way to do what God demands. If your salvation depend even in the smallest way upon your repentance SG then you are lost lost lost.

    Now if you do not believe what I have just ascribed to your thinking sg, then accept my sincere apology and I in turn will be happy to know that you reject this sort of pietism-pretending-to-be-Lutheran.

  • fws

    sg @ 53

    “Homosexuality doesn’t look like love or mercy either.”

    This means that you are defining that word “homosexuality” in a way that psychiatric and medical professonals do not. The word is a medical term, so that matters.

    Homosexuals are people, not a medical condition on two legs. Homosexuals are a mixed bag exactly like you. Some homosexuals have a greater capacity for love and mercy than you do. Some have less. ditto for pagans, fat persons (gluttons) buddhists, muslims, albinos…and all the people implicated in the 7 deadly sins, of which homosexuality is not one named…

    They have the same capacity for love and sin. exactly the same as you actually sg. St Paul teaches this doesn´t he? Whether or not you believe that romans one is about homosexuality (I do not), Romans 2:1 tells you to believe that there is no difference at all between you and whoever is being discussed in romans 1. None. zip. nada.

  • fws

    sg @ 53

    “Homosexuality doesn’t look like love or mercy either.”

    This means that you are defining that word “homosexuality” in a way that psychiatric and medical professonals do not. The word is a medical term, so that matters.

    Homosexuals are people, not a medical condition on two legs. Homosexuals are a mixed bag exactly like you. Some homosexuals have a greater capacity for love and mercy than you do. Some have less. ditto for pagans, fat persons (gluttons) buddhists, muslims, albinos…and all the people implicated in the 7 deadly sins, of which homosexuality is not one named…

    They have the same capacity for love and sin. exactly the same as you actually sg. St Paul teaches this doesn´t he? Whether or not you believe that romans one is about homosexuality (I do not), Romans 2:1 tells you to believe that there is no difference at all between you and whoever is being discussed in romans 1. None. zip. nada.

  • fws

    sg @ 53

    ‘It contributes utterly nothing to the earthly creaturely well being of anyone and it will not make any difference at all in the eternal question of heaven or hell.”

    Baloney. Proclaiming the Gospel includes teaching repentance. ”

    SG you realize you are saying that we are saved not by grace alone. we are saved by grace + something we have to do. I don´t think you really want to believe that.

    Your statement by itself is correct, but in the context as a response to what I wrote it overthrows faith alone as necessary to salvation.

    What I wrote IS correct. It is not baloney. It is what the Lutheran reformation was all about.

  • fws

    sg @ 53

    ‘It contributes utterly nothing to the earthly creaturely well being of anyone and it will not make any difference at all in the eternal question of heaven or hell.”

    Baloney. Proclaiming the Gospel includes teaching repentance. ”

    SG you realize you are saying that we are saved not by grace alone. we are saved by grace + something we have to do. I don´t think you really want to believe that.

    Your statement by itself is correct, but in the context as a response to what I wrote it overthrows faith alone as necessary to salvation.

    What I wrote IS correct. It is not baloney. It is what the Lutheran reformation was all about.

  • fws

    sg @ 51

    SG : As the true church, we are required to refrain from communion with the boldly unrepentant.

    FWS: So then fat persons who refuse to slim down should be excommunicated sg? Gluttony is one of the 7 deadly sins.

    That word “repentance” has a different meaning depending on the context. The broad meaning can be the meaning that we stop or sinning and demonstrate a sorrow over sin. Judas truly had this repentance.

    The narrow meaning is capture by the greek metanoia. this is a turning or a re-cognition. It is nothing less than the new birth. “Repent and believe the Gospel!” This is not requiring two separate actions. it is rather: “repent, that is, believe the Gospel!”

    So yes, your imaginary gay son cannot be saved without being born again. Your preaching the Law to him however is quite powerless to do anything other than drive him to the solution of Judas. Only the Gospel, alone, can work that true repentance that is the New Birth and delivers Christ and all his blessings.

    SG: Homosexuality is just a sin like any other.

    FWS: Well now. The bible calls out all the sins I know of. The bible never mentions homosexuality. How could it? The word did not exist till 1890, and did not exist in it´s current medical definition till around 1980. So I am guessing that you define that word in a way that is not the common and current understanding of the word. That is ok, but it does not facilitate communication well with others does it? Yeah I am aware that some recent translations of the Bible use the word. It was wrong for them to do this.

    So what part of your understanding of “homosexuality” whatever you mean by that, is wrong? that persons have sex outside of marriage? You dont need to be gay to do this. So why the need for a special sin label to separate out homosexuals? Is the sin that they love each other romantically? That would be a novel definition of “sin” would it not be?

    SG: He can just repent, confess and be absolved. I don’t see the problem. Why do you insist he not repent? I don’t get it.

    FWS: No one can enter the heavenly kingdom without repentance SG. “You MUST be born from above”. Repentance is that. But that kind of true repentance is not something your imaginary gay son can do. neither can you! Neither can I! Only the Holy Gospel can do that. You suggested earlier that your task was to tell him the Law. The law only brings death and despair. This was what it did to Judas.

    SG: The New Testament is about repentance and forgiveness.

    FWS: It is about the Incarnate Christ. We cannot repent. we are powerless to do either. Only he can work this in us.

    SG Homosexuality is not unforgivable.

    FWS: This says that homosexuality is a sin. Ok. let´s go with that even if I don´t agree. It doesnt matter because as humans we all sin and the wages of sin is death. All have sinned. You will die SG. So will I. It is the only cure for our sinful Old Adam.

    Then there is that new man/woman that was planted in you in your baptism. You simply cannot sin in your new man SG! Neither can your imaginary gay son! But that Old adam that is the old you that clings to you and to your imaginary gay son as a parasite must die and can do nothing but sin. It is what the old adam does! flesh gives birth to flesh. God will deal with your son according to his new baptized man and will ignore the sin of his old adam. he will deal with you and your imaginary son according to your new man.

    this is how 1 john now should make sense to you. He says that as a new man you cannot sin” but if you say you have no sin and therefore no old adam you are liar and the truth is not in you.

  • fws

    sg @ 51

    SG : As the true church, we are required to refrain from communion with the boldly unrepentant.

    FWS: So then fat persons who refuse to slim down should be excommunicated sg? Gluttony is one of the 7 deadly sins.

    That word “repentance” has a different meaning depending on the context. The broad meaning can be the meaning that we stop or sinning and demonstrate a sorrow over sin. Judas truly had this repentance.

    The narrow meaning is capture by the greek metanoia. this is a turning or a re-cognition. It is nothing less than the new birth. “Repent and believe the Gospel!” This is not requiring two separate actions. it is rather: “repent, that is, believe the Gospel!”

    So yes, your imaginary gay son cannot be saved without being born again. Your preaching the Law to him however is quite powerless to do anything other than drive him to the solution of Judas. Only the Gospel, alone, can work that true repentance that is the New Birth and delivers Christ and all his blessings.

    SG: Homosexuality is just a sin like any other.

    FWS: Well now. The bible calls out all the sins I know of. The bible never mentions homosexuality. How could it? The word did not exist till 1890, and did not exist in it´s current medical definition till around 1980. So I am guessing that you define that word in a way that is not the common and current understanding of the word. That is ok, but it does not facilitate communication well with others does it? Yeah I am aware that some recent translations of the Bible use the word. It was wrong for them to do this.

    So what part of your understanding of “homosexuality” whatever you mean by that, is wrong? that persons have sex outside of marriage? You dont need to be gay to do this. So why the need for a special sin label to separate out homosexuals? Is the sin that they love each other romantically? That would be a novel definition of “sin” would it not be?

    SG: He can just repent, confess and be absolved. I don’t see the problem. Why do you insist he not repent? I don’t get it.

    FWS: No one can enter the heavenly kingdom without repentance SG. “You MUST be born from above”. Repentance is that. But that kind of true repentance is not something your imaginary gay son can do. neither can you! Neither can I! Only the Holy Gospel can do that. You suggested earlier that your task was to tell him the Law. The law only brings death and despair. This was what it did to Judas.

    SG: The New Testament is about repentance and forgiveness.

    FWS: It is about the Incarnate Christ. We cannot repent. we are powerless to do either. Only he can work this in us.

    SG Homosexuality is not unforgivable.

    FWS: This says that homosexuality is a sin. Ok. let´s go with that even if I don´t agree. It doesnt matter because as humans we all sin and the wages of sin is death. All have sinned. You will die SG. So will I. It is the only cure for our sinful Old Adam.

    Then there is that new man/woman that was planted in you in your baptism. You simply cannot sin in your new man SG! Neither can your imaginary gay son! But that Old adam that is the old you that clings to you and to your imaginary gay son as a parasite must die and can do nothing but sin. It is what the old adam does! flesh gives birth to flesh. God will deal with your son according to his new baptized man and will ignore the sin of his old adam. he will deal with you and your imaginary son according to your new man.

    this is how 1 john now should make sense to you. He says that as a new man you cannot sin” but if you say you have no sin and therefore no old adam you are liar and the truth is not in you.

  • fws

    sg @ 51: “He can just repent, confess and be absolved. I don’t see the problem.”

    Let´s take a look together at what we both confess as our faith in common. I assume that you are Lutheran. Forgive me if this is not correct.

    When Dr Martin Luther tells us to prepare for confessions this is what he says: “Before God we plead guilty to ALL sin. who knows his own heart. cleanse me from secret sins (ie sins we are not aware of that we are guilty of). But before the pastor we confess those sins only that we know and feel in our heart.

    So how do we prepare? again Luther:

    “consider your station in life according to the 10 commandments, have you grieved anyone in word or deed, cheated anyone, etc….”

    He is telling us that we consider our important relationships and what we have done in those relationships. Let´s assume that he is christian. He confesses before God all sins. Before the pastor he confesses those sins he knows where he has hurt someone else or neglected to do some good he should have done.

    Question: what part of his homosexuality would he confess in that part where he is confessing to the pastor as sin? This is not meant to be an abstraction. it is rubber hits road harm to others or failure to love others.

    I think you are saying that if he does not find a way to stop being a homosexual or at least summon the willpower (of course you would say with holy spirit power) to stop acting as a homo, sort of like an alchoholic stops drinking, then there is then no hope for his salvation. Many homos drop out of church because this is the message they hear. If you disagree with this, then please do correct my false impression of your thinking.

    am I wrong in what I understand you to be saying?

  • fws

    sg @ 51: “He can just repent, confess and be absolved. I don’t see the problem.”

    Let´s take a look together at what we both confess as our faith in common. I assume that you are Lutheran. Forgive me if this is not correct.

    When Dr Martin Luther tells us to prepare for confessions this is what he says: “Before God we plead guilty to ALL sin. who knows his own heart. cleanse me from secret sins (ie sins we are not aware of that we are guilty of). But before the pastor we confess those sins only that we know and feel in our heart.

    So how do we prepare? again Luther:

    “consider your station in life according to the 10 commandments, have you grieved anyone in word or deed, cheated anyone, etc….”

    He is telling us that we consider our important relationships and what we have done in those relationships. Let´s assume that he is christian. He confesses before God all sins. Before the pastor he confesses those sins he knows where he has hurt someone else or neglected to do some good he should have done.

    Question: what part of his homosexuality would he confess in that part where he is confessing to the pastor as sin? This is not meant to be an abstraction. it is rubber hits road harm to others or failure to love others.

    I think you are saying that if he does not find a way to stop being a homosexual or at least summon the willpower (of course you would say with holy spirit power) to stop acting as a homo, sort of like an alchoholic stops drinking, then there is then no hope for his salvation. Many homos drop out of church because this is the message they hear. If you disagree with this, then please do correct my false impression of your thinking.

    am I wrong in what I understand you to be saying?

  • sg

    @fws

    I still don’t understand why you insist he shouldn’t repent.

    I understand that you are advising me to repent but not him.

  • sg

    @fws

    I still don’t understand why you insist he shouldn’t repent.

    I understand that you are advising me to repent but not him.

  • sg

    “Question: what part of his homosexuality would he confess in that part where he is confessing to the pastor as sin? This is not meant to be an abstraction. it is rubber hits road harm to others or failure to love others.”

    Really?

    Matthew 5:28 comes to mind:
    “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    Or should I assume that Jesus meant only men looking at women lustfully, not men looking lustfully at men?

    Or how about just because Luther didn’t happen to include sins such as those mentioned in Matthew 5:28, we therefore can sneakily claim a loophole and not confess, cuz Luther didn’t specifically include such in that particular instance? Uh, a little too legalistic and disingenuous in my opinion. Besides, God isn’t fooled by such silly rationalizations.

    We left our last church over this nonsense. No way would we tolerate a pastor pretending homosexuality is not a sin, whether in thought or action. Members have a duty to reject such pastors and their errors.

  • sg

    “Question: what part of his homosexuality would he confess in that part where he is confessing to the pastor as sin? This is not meant to be an abstraction. it is rubber hits road harm to others or failure to love others.”

    Really?

    Matthew 5:28 comes to mind:
    “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    Or should I assume that Jesus meant only men looking at women lustfully, not men looking lustfully at men?

    Or how about just because Luther didn’t happen to include sins such as those mentioned in Matthew 5:28, we therefore can sneakily claim a loophole and not confess, cuz Luther didn’t specifically include such in that particular instance? Uh, a little too legalistic and disingenuous in my opinion. Besides, God isn’t fooled by such silly rationalizations.

    We left our last church over this nonsense. No way would we tolerate a pastor pretending homosexuality is not a sin, whether in thought or action. Members have a duty to reject such pastors and their errors.

  • sg

    “The bible never mentions homosexuality. How could it? The word did not exist till 1890, and did not exist in it´s current medical definition till around 1980.”

    Cool. We can just rename all our sins and then we won’t have to confess anything ever!

    Semantic tomfoolery. The Bible clearly condemns homosexual behavior and everyone knows it does.

  • sg

    “The bible never mentions homosexuality. How could it? The word did not exist till 1890, and did not exist in it´s current medical definition till around 1980.”

    Cool. We can just rename all our sins and then we won’t have to confess anything ever!

    Semantic tomfoolery. The Bible clearly condemns homosexual behavior and everyone knows it does.

  • fws

    sg @ 60

    “@fws I still don’t understand why you insist he shouldn’t repent. I understand that you are advising me to repent but not him.”

    Let me see…. that would not be right…. ah here is what I am looking for at post 58….

    “FWS: No one can enter the heavenly kingdom without repentance SG. “You MUST be born from above”. Repentance is that. But that kind of true repentance is not something your imaginary gay son can do. neither can you! Neither can I! Only the Holy Gospel can do that. You suggested earlier that your task was to tell him the Law. The law only brings death and despair. This was what it did to Judas.”

    You heard here that I was saying that you need to repent and your imaginary gay son does not from this. Interesting eh sg?

    Let me rephrase here then…

    “FWS: No one can enter the heavenly kingdom without repentance SG. “You MUST be born from above”. Repentance is that. But that kind of true repentance is not something that you can do SG! neither can your imaginary gay son! Neither can I! Only the Holy Gospel can do that. Someone suggested earlier that my task was to tell you the Law. The law only brings you death and despair. This was what it did to Judas.”

    The law cannot work repentance to salvation, that is, the new birth. It can only work in you dear friend sg despair. Because you cannot do what God demands of you, which is to have faith in Christ. To keep the first commandment to fear love and trust in God above all things.

    This might help you dear sister. I am obviously not doing a great job of showing you love. But dr Luther can fill the gap.

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Here too is an excellent resource with a sermon by Dr Luther on our topic, and the related article VI of the formula of Concord.
    I hope that there is utterly nothing original in what I have been saying to you. My sincere desire is to only faithfully repeat in my own words the content and form of what I am now linking to you. If I have failed in this, please forgive me for not serving you better with the love that you obviously deserve. You are a kind person I can see. I am so glad to be getting to know you better dear SG.

    your friend, frank william.

  • fws

    sg @ 60

    “@fws I still don’t understand why you insist he shouldn’t repent. I understand that you are advising me to repent but not him.”

    Let me see…. that would not be right…. ah here is what I am looking for at post 58….

    “FWS: No one can enter the heavenly kingdom without repentance SG. “You MUST be born from above”. Repentance is that. But that kind of true repentance is not something your imaginary gay son can do. neither can you! Neither can I! Only the Holy Gospel can do that. You suggested earlier that your task was to tell him the Law. The law only brings death and despair. This was what it did to Judas.”

    You heard here that I was saying that you need to repent and your imaginary gay son does not from this. Interesting eh sg?

    Let me rephrase here then…

    “FWS: No one can enter the heavenly kingdom without repentance SG. “You MUST be born from above”. Repentance is that. But that kind of true repentance is not something that you can do SG! neither can your imaginary gay son! Neither can I! Only the Holy Gospel can do that. Someone suggested earlier that my task was to tell you the Law. The law only brings you death and despair. This was what it did to Judas.”

    The law cannot work repentance to salvation, that is, the new birth. It can only work in you dear friend sg despair. Because you cannot do what God demands of you, which is to have faith in Christ. To keep the first commandment to fear love and trust in God above all things.

    This might help you dear sister. I am obviously not doing a great job of showing you love. But dr Luther can fill the gap.

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Here too is an excellent resource with a sermon by Dr Luther on our topic, and the related article VI of the formula of Concord.
    I hope that there is utterly nothing original in what I have been saying to you. My sincere desire is to only faithfully repeat in my own words the content and form of what I am now linking to you. If I have failed in this, please forgive me for not serving you better with the love that you obviously deserve. You are a kind person I can see. I am so glad to be getting to know you better dear SG.

    your friend, frank william.

  • fws

    sg @ 61 and 62

    @61 “Or should I assume that Jesus meant only men looking at women lustfully, not men looking lustfully at men? ”

    Lusting is a sin SG. To assume that someone lusts specifically by virtue of being gay is also a sin.

    I can only speak from personal experience SG and from that of other gay men and lesbians that I know. I suppose that many assume that gays look like the “they” in romans 1. vs 27 all the way to the end in vs 32. This would mean that it is characteristic for gay men and lesbians to be simply out of control sexual predators who´s lust for sex has taken them over.

    The fact is that there are some gay men and lesbians like that. And there are also heterosexuals like this witness larry flynt and hustler magazine. In general I would hope you realize that the gay population in this regard is perfectly reflective of the rest of the human population. Gays are no more and no less driven by the sex drive than are anyone else. And it varies greatly from person to person.

    So tell me this based on what I just said: How often do you feel the need to confess to your pastor that you lusted? I, as a gay man, can say that I have never had the need to confess this particular sin. This does not mean that I have never had to confess sexual sinning. I have had to do that. Lust in heart and deed has just not been one of those particular sins for me. Let´s imagine your imaginary gay son to be like me. Or just like you.

    SG “@62 Cool. We can just rename all our sins and then we won’t have to confess anything ever! Semantic tomfoolery. The Bible clearly condemns homosexual behavior and everyone knows it does.”

    Ok SG. I have heard that point of view before. Now if the word “homosexual” never existed before 1890, and didnt mean what it now means clinically only as recently as 1980 (and it IS a technical clinical term, much like the term “clinical depression”), then who has renamed what and is playing word games? Scientific and medical terms change over time. This is not some sinister plot to un-sin sin by calling it something else sg. Even if someone tried to do that, a rose would be a rose by any other name. But then what is that name? There is not one in the bible for what you call “homosexuality”. To insert what is not there in this case is called “anachronism”.

    What did the king james bible written in the 1600s call “it”? Sodomy (the act of a**l s*x?) applies to male/female sex as well. As did the laws against sodomy. The definition of “homosexuality” that is the current understanding is not that in any case. as in “homosexuality” is defined as “whose who commit a certain specific sex act”. The medical definition of homosexuality does not look even remotely like that. As for the biblical definition… where is that?

    You did not hear me say that homosexuals do not sin sexually. You heard me say that the sexual sins of homosexuals are identical to the way you sin sexually. Homos sin daily in thought word and deed and deserve nothing but temporal and eternal punishment. They are sinful and unclean. They sin by what they do and by what they neglect to do. Their sinning is identical to your own sin list.

    Some suffer from disease, like alcoholism, sexual addictions, drugs, mental illness. Most, like probably yourself, do not suffer from any of these things. Being gay is not predictive of whether someone will or will not have one or more of these disfunctions.

    I am saying that there is not a sin-list somewhere in the Bible that has some sexual sin that is unique to homosexuals that you sg would never every find yourself confessing remaining a confirmed and practicing heterosexual. That is what I am saying.

  • fws

    sg @ 61 and 62

    @61 “Or should I assume that Jesus meant only men looking at women lustfully, not men looking lustfully at men? ”

    Lusting is a sin SG. To assume that someone lusts specifically by virtue of being gay is also a sin.

    I can only speak from personal experience SG and from that of other gay men and lesbians that I know. I suppose that many assume that gays look like the “they” in romans 1. vs 27 all the way to the end in vs 32. This would mean that it is characteristic for gay men and lesbians to be simply out of control sexual predators who´s lust for sex has taken them over.

    The fact is that there are some gay men and lesbians like that. And there are also heterosexuals like this witness larry flynt and hustler magazine. In general I would hope you realize that the gay population in this regard is perfectly reflective of the rest of the human population. Gays are no more and no less driven by the sex drive than are anyone else. And it varies greatly from person to person.

    So tell me this based on what I just said: How often do you feel the need to confess to your pastor that you lusted? I, as a gay man, can say that I have never had the need to confess this particular sin. This does not mean that I have never had to confess sexual sinning. I have had to do that. Lust in heart and deed has just not been one of those particular sins for me. Let´s imagine your imaginary gay son to be like me. Or just like you.

    SG “@62 Cool. We can just rename all our sins and then we won’t have to confess anything ever! Semantic tomfoolery. The Bible clearly condemns homosexual behavior and everyone knows it does.”

    Ok SG. I have heard that point of view before. Now if the word “homosexual” never existed before 1890, and didnt mean what it now means clinically only as recently as 1980 (and it IS a technical clinical term, much like the term “clinical depression”), then who has renamed what and is playing word games? Scientific and medical terms change over time. This is not some sinister plot to un-sin sin by calling it something else sg. Even if someone tried to do that, a rose would be a rose by any other name. But then what is that name? There is not one in the bible for what you call “homosexuality”. To insert what is not there in this case is called “anachronism”.

    What did the king james bible written in the 1600s call “it”? Sodomy (the act of a**l s*x?) applies to male/female sex as well. As did the laws against sodomy. The definition of “homosexuality” that is the current understanding is not that in any case. as in “homosexuality” is defined as “whose who commit a certain specific sex act”. The medical definition of homosexuality does not look even remotely like that. As for the biblical definition… where is that?

    You did not hear me say that homosexuals do not sin sexually. You heard me say that the sexual sins of homosexuals are identical to the way you sin sexually. Homos sin daily in thought word and deed and deserve nothing but temporal and eternal punishment. They are sinful and unclean. They sin by what they do and by what they neglect to do. Their sinning is identical to your own sin list.

    Some suffer from disease, like alcoholism, sexual addictions, drugs, mental illness. Most, like probably yourself, do not suffer from any of these things. Being gay is not predictive of whether someone will or will not have one or more of these disfunctions.

    I am saying that there is not a sin-list somewhere in the Bible that has some sexual sin that is unique to homosexuals that you sg would never every find yourself confessing remaining a confirmed and practicing heterosexual. That is what I am saying.

  • sg

    “Gays are no more and no less driven by the sex drive than are anyone else.”

    Not supported by the empirical evidence. Gays typically have far more partners.

  • sg

    “Gays are no more and no less driven by the sex drive than are anyone else.”

    Not supported by the empirical evidence. Gays typically have far more partners.

  • sg

    “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”

    Here Leviticus 18:22 is hardly a graphic description, nor does it mention sodomy. Still clear: no men with men.

    Anyway, if my son had some gay thoughts, I wouldn’t even know, so I sure wouldn’t be telling him to repent. Duh. However, there is no way I would have a supportive attitude towards his having a gay relationship, much less a gay marriage complete with kids as innocent victims who would witness such depravity.

  • sg

    “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”

    Here Leviticus 18:22 is hardly a graphic description, nor does it mention sodomy. Still clear: no men with men.

    Anyway, if my son had some gay thoughts, I wouldn’t even know, so I sure wouldn’t be telling him to repent. Duh. However, there is no way I would have a supportive attitude towards his having a gay relationship, much less a gay marriage complete with kids as innocent victims who would witness such depravity.

  • fws

    sg @ 66

    I am willing to bet money that you got your “empirical evidence” from someone connected to a group called NARTH like satinover or nicoletti or someone in that small radical fringe group. These have been thrown out of groups like the AMA and APA, distort studies such that the authors of the studies have to issue disclaimers, don´t footnote back to the studies they claim support their views (prove me wrong!), publish nothing with professional peer review, and do none of their own original studies.

    What is disturbing however is the lawlessness and unrighteousness of your statement sg. and a certain smugness of certainty of something that is utterly contrary to Gods Word based on what? God´s word. no.

    What you said violates the 8th commandment for if you ever met me, you are telling me that you will assume that I fit a very ugly stereotype or prejudgement. Your prejudices would be very ugly and insulting and demeaning wouldn´t they be? Secondly, it violates God´s Word as to Romans 2:1 in it´s full context. And also the entire argument of St Paul´s epistle to the Romans. You are asserting that gays are sinners in some different way than you are as a class.

  • fws

    sg @ 66

    I am willing to bet money that you got your “empirical evidence” from someone connected to a group called NARTH like satinover or nicoletti or someone in that small radical fringe group. These have been thrown out of groups like the AMA and APA, distort studies such that the authors of the studies have to issue disclaimers, don´t footnote back to the studies they claim support their views (prove me wrong!), publish nothing with professional peer review, and do none of their own original studies.

    What is disturbing however is the lawlessness and unrighteousness of your statement sg. and a certain smugness of certainty of something that is utterly contrary to Gods Word based on what? God´s word. no.

    What you said violates the 8th commandment for if you ever met me, you are telling me that you will assume that I fit a very ugly stereotype or prejudgement. Your prejudices would be very ugly and insulting and demeaning wouldn´t they be? Secondly, it violates God´s Word as to Romans 2:1 in it´s full context. And also the entire argument of St Paul´s epistle to the Romans. You are asserting that gays are sinners in some different way than you are as a class.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: I would sincerely counsel you to stop making this discussion about sg’s “conscience,” “lawlessness,” or what have you. This discussion is about marriage, not sg. You’ve spent more time attempting to accuse sg of various sins than in actually dealing with the issue at hand.

    In the meantime, Google is your friend: http://wigaypedia.com/wiki/Studies:Promiscuity

    On this website–published by gay activists, apparently–a study is analyzed which seems to indicate that homosexual people are more likely than heterosexual people to be either celibate or promiscuous. Heterosexual people are vastly more likely to be monogamous.

    I don’t understand the lust discussion. Lust is lust. Anytime someone lusts after a person who is not his or her spouse, one commits the sin of lust. Since a gay man cannot marry another man, it stands to reason that whenever a gay man looks lustfully upon another man, he is committing the sin of lust. I don’t see why this is such a complicated question.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: I would sincerely counsel you to stop making this discussion about sg’s “conscience,” “lawlessness,” or what have you. This discussion is about marriage, not sg. You’ve spent more time attempting to accuse sg of various sins than in actually dealing with the issue at hand.

    In the meantime, Google is your friend: http://wigaypedia.com/wiki/Studies:Promiscuity

    On this website–published by gay activists, apparently–a study is analyzed which seems to indicate that homosexual people are more likely than heterosexual people to be either celibate or promiscuous. Heterosexual people are vastly more likely to be monogamous.

    I don’t understand the lust discussion. Lust is lust. Anytime someone lusts after a person who is not his or her spouse, one commits the sin of lust. Since a gay man cannot marry another man, it stands to reason that whenever a gay man looks lustfully upon another man, he is committing the sin of lust. I don’t see why this is such a complicated question.

  • fws

    sg @67

    SG “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”
    Here Leviticus 18:22 is hardly a graphic description, nor does it mention sodomy. Still clear: no men with men.”

    FWS Ok. So this is the best you can produce to tell me that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. So you think this says all the stuff you have been asserting about homosexuality being called out in the bible as sin eh? Ok. By the way, I think 1 corinthians is a direct reference to this passage as well. Ok. we are getting somewhere.

    You think that the bible defines homosexuality merely as men raping other men. (this is the context: man lying with man, demeaning him by turning him into a woman. In the cultural context then and now, this is rape). So prison rape is what homosexuality should be characterized as looking at. You are saying to me. Man Sg. excuse me, but again, if you met me, you would be seeing me through the prism of this passage? wow.

    SG Anyway, if my son had some gay thoughts, I wouldn’t even know, so I sure wouldn’t be telling him to repent. Duh.

    FWS I would be terrified at this point to have you as a mom if I were gay sg. Of COURSE I would not have the trust in you to confide that I were gay. That is sort of sad isn´t it? I would not trust your love for me.

    SG However, there is no way I would have a supportive attitude towards his having a gay relationship, much less a gay marriage complete with kids as innocent victims who would witness such depravity.

    FWS so you would look at your son and he would see, written in your face, the horror of thinking that your son is some depraved, sexual predator. wow.

    depravity: Definition: The state of being depraved or corrupted; a vitiated state of moral character; general badness of character; wickedness of mind or heart; absence of religious feeling and principle.

    Ok. So this is what your assumption is about me and my person sg. Ok. Thanks for sharing.

  • fws

    sg @67

    SG “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”
    Here Leviticus 18:22 is hardly a graphic description, nor does it mention sodomy. Still clear: no men with men.”

    FWS Ok. So this is the best you can produce to tell me that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. So you think this says all the stuff you have been asserting about homosexuality being called out in the bible as sin eh? Ok. By the way, I think 1 corinthians is a direct reference to this passage as well. Ok. we are getting somewhere.

    You think that the bible defines homosexuality merely as men raping other men. (this is the context: man lying with man, demeaning him by turning him into a woman. In the cultural context then and now, this is rape). So prison rape is what homosexuality should be characterized as looking at. You are saying to me. Man Sg. excuse me, but again, if you met me, you would be seeing me through the prism of this passage? wow.

    SG Anyway, if my son had some gay thoughts, I wouldn’t even know, so I sure wouldn’t be telling him to repent. Duh.

    FWS I would be terrified at this point to have you as a mom if I were gay sg. Of COURSE I would not have the trust in you to confide that I were gay. That is sort of sad isn´t it? I would not trust your love for me.

    SG However, there is no way I would have a supportive attitude towards his having a gay relationship, much less a gay marriage complete with kids as innocent victims who would witness such depravity.

    FWS so you would look at your son and he would see, written in your face, the horror of thinking that your son is some depraved, sexual predator. wow.

    depravity: Definition: The state of being depraved or corrupted; a vitiated state of moral character; general badness of character; wickedness of mind or heart; absence of religious feeling and principle.

    Ok. So this is what your assumption is about me and my person sg. Ok. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cincinnatus

    By the way, sg: a word to the wise in case you’ve never entered one of these interminable discussions with fws about homosexuality.

    First of all, any discussion on any topic that can be even tenuously connected with homosexuality will be so connected once Frank enters the discussion. Every discussion eventually devolves into an attempt to justify his homosexuality and an assault upon the conscience of those who disagree.

    Second, Frank–correctly, in my opinion–makes a sharp distinction between the condition “homosexuality” and homosexual behavior, in much the same way that we can make a valid distinction between alcoholism and drinking alcohol. But whereas we would be inclined to define alcoholism as a deplorable result of the Fall, Frank thinks that, because homosexuality is natural, it is not blameworthy. Only the behavior is blameworthy. This is where it gets problematic, but in any case, it is essential to make the distinction in any discussion with Frank.

  • Cincinnatus

    By the way, sg: a word to the wise in case you’ve never entered one of these interminable discussions with fws about homosexuality.

    First of all, any discussion on any topic that can be even tenuously connected with homosexuality will be so connected once Frank enters the discussion. Every discussion eventually devolves into an attempt to justify his homosexuality and an assault upon the conscience of those who disagree.

    Second, Frank–correctly, in my opinion–makes a sharp distinction between the condition “homosexuality” and homosexual behavior, in much the same way that we can make a valid distinction between alcoholism and drinking alcohol. But whereas we would be inclined to define alcoholism as a deplorable result of the Fall, Frank thinks that, because homosexuality is natural, it is not blameworthy. Only the behavior is blameworthy. This is where it gets problematic, but in any case, it is essential to make the distinction in any discussion with Frank.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 69

    “I don’t understand the lust discussion. Lust is lust. Anytime someone lusts after a person who is not his or her spouse, one commits the sin of lust. Since a gay man cannot marry another man, it stands to reason that whenever a gay man looks lustfully upon another man, he is committing the sin of lust. I don’t see why this is such a complicated question.”

    Of course you do not understand Cincinatus, because you assume that the sin list in romans 1:27-32 is the characterization of all homosexuals.

    So then gays are incapable of any noble form of love, or any human ideal of romantic love. Did romeo lust for julietta? I dont think they ever consumated their love sexually. was their love based upon lust?

    At the risk of being offensive, we also assume that others act out or think the same way we do…….

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 69

    “I don’t understand the lust discussion. Lust is lust. Anytime someone lusts after a person who is not his or her spouse, one commits the sin of lust. Since a gay man cannot marry another man, it stands to reason that whenever a gay man looks lustfully upon another man, he is committing the sin of lust. I don’t see why this is such a complicated question.”

    Of course you do not understand Cincinatus, because you assume that the sin list in romans 1:27-32 is the characterization of all homosexuals.

    So then gays are incapable of any noble form of love, or any human ideal of romantic love. Did romeo lust for julietta? I dont think they ever consumated their love sexually. was their love based upon lust?

    At the risk of being offensive, we also assume that others act out or think the same way we do…….

  • Cincinnatus

    Why are you equating love and lust?

  • Cincinnatus

    Why are you equating love and lust?

  • Cincinnatus

    But I will say this: we need to parse our definitions of love, as the Greek language did. There is no such thing as homosexual eros (sexual, erotic love) that is appropriate.

  • Cincinnatus

    But I will say this: we need to parse our definitions of love, as the Greek language did. There is no such thing as homosexual eros (sexual, erotic love) that is appropriate.

  • fws

    cincinatus at 71

    “Second, Frank–correctly, in my opinion–makes a sharp distinction between the condition “homosexuality” and homosexual behavior, in much the same way that we can make a valid distinction between alcoholism and drinking alcohol.”

    Ignorance.

    Alcoholism is classified as a disease, a pathology. What makes the list of pathologies? simple. If one were to do a review of 1ooo detailed psychological profiles, the alcoholic could be easily identified in that group. why? an alcoholic will always have the same symptoms. There will be the same invariable progression of the disease that can be documented.

    This simply is not so for the classifications heterosexual or homosexual.

  • fws

    cincinatus at 71

    “Second, Frank–correctly, in my opinion–makes a sharp distinction between the condition “homosexuality” and homosexual behavior, in much the same way that we can make a valid distinction between alcoholism and drinking alcohol.”

    Ignorance.

    Alcoholism is classified as a disease, a pathology. What makes the list of pathologies? simple. If one were to do a review of 1ooo detailed psychological profiles, the alcoholic could be easily identified in that group. why? an alcoholic will always have the same symptoms. There will be the same invariable progression of the disease that can be documented.

    This simply is not so for the classifications heterosexual or homosexual.

  • Cincinnatus

    So there is no distinction between homosexuality and homosexual behavior? I thought we had a rather lengthy discussion on this topic in the past?

  • Cincinnatus

    So there is no distinction between homosexuality and homosexual behavior? I thought we had a rather lengthy discussion on this topic in the past?

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 71

    “Every discussion eventually devolves into an attempt to justify his homosexuality and an assault upon the conscience of those who disagree.”

    I have no more interest in justifying my homosexuality than you do in justifying your heterosexuality . silly comment.

    I DO have an interest in the Holy Gospel and in providing that Holy Gospel to those who have been broken by the law. I really don´t care if someone is gay or not. I DO care that they come to know that same Jesus that died for me and gave himself for me, and daily and richly forgives all my sins.

    I have learned that for most people like sg, homosexuality can be a great diagnostic for views of sanctification and repentance that burden them in a way that they cannot but feel alot of law and no gospel really at all. we all need the same gospel.

    There is not a separate law and gospel for homos. We all have sins we have not repented of sincerely or truly. And we need to repent of that, but more we need to trust in our Jesus for forgiveness for that too.

    Lutherans often are caught saying that a christian will never deliberately sin or will not be dominated by a sin or some evil satanic comment like that. CFW Walther even says something like this in his otherwise wonderful book “Law and Gospel”.

    This is a teaching straight from hell. It is an utter confusion of law and gospel.

    Luther and the confessions say the very exact opposite:

    “‘Sin’ in the Scriptures means not only external works of the body but also all those movements within us which bestir themselves and move us to do the external works, namely, the depth of the heart with all its powers. Therefore the word do should refer to a person’s completely falling into sin. No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul.”
    (Luther´s preface to his Romans commentary).

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    This is the poison that you cincinatus and sg suffer from. And I am most certain that both of you DO suffer. I love both of you for your love for our Jesus and for many fine things you have contributed here. Study Luther and the confessions and you will find even more of that Peace of God that passes all human understanding and be better equipped to bring others that look like me to our Jesus.

    God bless you and keep you dear brother Cincinatus.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 71

    “Every discussion eventually devolves into an attempt to justify his homosexuality and an assault upon the conscience of those who disagree.”

    I have no more interest in justifying my homosexuality than you do in justifying your heterosexuality . silly comment.

    I DO have an interest in the Holy Gospel and in providing that Holy Gospel to those who have been broken by the law. I really don´t care if someone is gay or not. I DO care that they come to know that same Jesus that died for me and gave himself for me, and daily and richly forgives all my sins.

    I have learned that for most people like sg, homosexuality can be a great diagnostic for views of sanctification and repentance that burden them in a way that they cannot but feel alot of law and no gospel really at all. we all need the same gospel.

    There is not a separate law and gospel for homos. We all have sins we have not repented of sincerely or truly. And we need to repent of that, but more we need to trust in our Jesus for forgiveness for that too.

    Lutherans often are caught saying that a christian will never deliberately sin or will not be dominated by a sin or some evil satanic comment like that. CFW Walther even says something like this in his otherwise wonderful book “Law and Gospel”.

    This is a teaching straight from hell. It is an utter confusion of law and gospel.

    Luther and the confessions say the very exact opposite:

    “‘Sin’ in the Scriptures means not only external works of the body but also all those movements within us which bestir themselves and move us to do the external works, namely, the depth of the heart with all its powers. Therefore the word do should refer to a person’s completely falling into sin. No external work of sin happens, after all, unless a person commit himself to it completely, body and soul.”
    (Luther´s preface to his Romans commentary).

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    This is the poison that you cincinatus and sg suffer from. And I am most certain that both of you DO suffer. I love both of you for your love for our Jesus and for many fine things you have contributed here. Study Luther and the confessions and you will find even more of that Peace of God that passes all human understanding and be better equipped to bring others that look like me to our Jesus.

    God bless you and keep you dear brother Cincinatus.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 76

    No. Hooker did an important study in the 70s. She did a very very extensive psychological profile of hundreds of humans. She then invited prominent psychiatrists to pick out of that stack of profiles the humans in that study who were homosexual. They were certain this would be an easy task. They discovered to the surprise of all that this could not be done.

    From this it was concluded that little was really known about homosexuality. In the past all studies of homosexuality had been done exclusively among the population of homosexuals in mental institutions. No rocket scientist is needed to draw a few logical conclusions from that.

    This is precisely what led the APA and AMA to eventually remove homosexuality from the list of pathologies.

    It is simply bigotry, prejudice and ignorance to assume that anyone must have a list of characteristics soley by virtue of belonging to a class of persons, such as black,white, etc.

    Assuming that homosexuality is a pathology of course allows one to justify bigotry and prejudice, because any group sharing a pathology will share predictive characteristics, symptoms, etc.

    The inconvenient fact is that there is no evidence for categorizing homosexuality as a pathology for there are no common symptoms or “disease progression and terminal condition”.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 76

    No. Hooker did an important study in the 70s. She did a very very extensive psychological profile of hundreds of humans. She then invited prominent psychiatrists to pick out of that stack of profiles the humans in that study who were homosexual. They were certain this would be an easy task. They discovered to the surprise of all that this could not be done.

    From this it was concluded that little was really known about homosexuality. In the past all studies of homosexuality had been done exclusively among the population of homosexuals in mental institutions. No rocket scientist is needed to draw a few logical conclusions from that.

    This is precisely what led the APA and AMA to eventually remove homosexuality from the list of pathologies.

    It is simply bigotry, prejudice and ignorance to assume that anyone must have a list of characteristics soley by virtue of belonging to a class of persons, such as black,white, etc.

    Assuming that homosexuality is a pathology of course allows one to justify bigotry and prejudice, because any group sharing a pathology will share predictive characteristics, symptoms, etc.

    The inconvenient fact is that there is no evidence for categorizing homosexuality as a pathology for there are no common symptoms or “disease progression and terminal condition”.

  • Cincinnatus

    The question of whether homosexuality is a pathology or not (we obviously disagree on this point) is inapposite to the question of whether homosexuality is distinct from homosexual behavior.

  • Cincinnatus

    The question of whether homosexuality is a pathology or not (we obviously disagree on this point) is inapposite to the question of whether homosexuality is distinct from homosexual behavior.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 73

    ah. before I did not detect that you saw a difference between love and lust. Glad to see otherwise.

    So then are you assuming that gays can have none of the more noble impulses that humans have that are called love or romantic love?

    Is this a sin when that love is directed towards the same gender? Must it always be intertwined with lust for homos or heterosexuals?

    6 year old boys who are gay have puppy love for other little boys. go ahead and call this disfunctional by your definition, or even, for arguments sake say it is some result of the fall. but is it sin? is it something that little boy needs to repent of? left handedness or albinoism may also be a result of the fall. dunno.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 73

    ah. before I did not detect that you saw a difference between love and lust. Glad to see otherwise.

    So then are you assuming that gays can have none of the more noble impulses that humans have that are called love or romantic love?

    Is this a sin when that love is directed towards the same gender? Must it always be intertwined with lust for homos or heterosexuals?

    6 year old boys who are gay have puppy love for other little boys. go ahead and call this disfunctional by your definition, or even, for arguments sake say it is some result of the fall. but is it sin? is it something that little boy needs to repent of? left handedness or albinoism may also be a result of the fall. dunno.

  • fws

    cincinatus @79

    agreed dear brother. So what would be your list of differences in behavior then?

    I will go first as a politeness:

    I , in my 50 of years of observing both heterosexual and homosexual relationships at a detailed level of intimacy can only detect one difference: the gender of the person that is the object of affection. I cannot detect any other predictable difference whatsoever.

    You are so right that classifying homosexuality as pathology or not is not precisely to the point. But it is usually what people do turn to who are not comfortable with nuance or views that challenge their preconceptions. like the one that being gay is like being an alcoholic, that it is a compulsive behavior. It is a behavioral issue.

    Now. I agree with the APA that homosexuality falls along a spectrum. one end is completely heterosexual. the other end is completely homosexual.

    I suspect that some of the religious make this mistake: they maybe are at the far heterosexual end of the spectrum, so for them their gay tendency looks exactly like a compulsive behavior that can be overcome with varying degrees of effort, and that person can lead a conventional heterosexual life truly and really. Their error is to assume that persons on the far end of the spectrum would be able to do the same or that this is some sort of proof that homosexuality can be overcome that way. I think the truth is that. And it is something that serves the agendas of neither homosexuals nor the fundamentalists christians who push for the idea of a 12 step program to overcome homosexuality.

  • fws

    cincinatus @79

    agreed dear brother. So what would be your list of differences in behavior then?

    I will go first as a politeness:

    I , in my 50 of years of observing both heterosexual and homosexual relationships at a detailed level of intimacy can only detect one difference: the gender of the person that is the object of affection. I cannot detect any other predictable difference whatsoever.

    You are so right that classifying homosexuality as pathology or not is not precisely to the point. But it is usually what people do turn to who are not comfortable with nuance or views that challenge their preconceptions. like the one that being gay is like being an alcoholic, that it is a compulsive behavior. It is a behavioral issue.

    Now. I agree with the APA that homosexuality falls along a spectrum. one end is completely heterosexual. the other end is completely homosexual.

    I suspect that some of the religious make this mistake: they maybe are at the far heterosexual end of the spectrum, so for them their gay tendency looks exactly like a compulsive behavior that can be overcome with varying degrees of effort, and that person can lead a conventional heterosexual life truly and really. Their error is to assume that persons on the far end of the spectrum would be able to do the same or that this is some sort of proof that homosexuality can be overcome that way. I think the truth is that. And it is something that serves the agendas of neither homosexuals nor the fundamentalists christians who push for the idea of a 12 step program to overcome homosexuality.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 69

    first, if what you say is true, then it makes one wonder exactly why so many “militant gay activists” are pushing so hard for marriage, which implies at least in our culture a commitment to monogamy.

    I did not come away from those studies or the comments on them with the same conclusions you have come to. The comentator is right. The population studied is skewed. This is pretty typical for this sort of study. It is like penthouse asking for participants for a “study” by posting that announcement in the pages of hustler or penthouse. You would not find me participating in such a study since I don´t read those publications or their hedonistic gay counterparts.

    So the real question is why the intense desire to prove some a bigoted prejudice of gay hedonism?

    This IS what is being done. There is no evidence whatsoever for the proposition that the “conservative christians” who have an itch for all this are starting from the neutral position that gays are humanly identical to themselves. They are not shocked and clutching their pearls when they find evidence that homos can be hedonists. they delight in finding such evidence (which is not evidence of being moral by the way), and they fight tooth and nail against those of us who suggest mildly that the homo population reflects the identical variety one finds in the hetero population.

    why is that?

    people think that romans 1 is about homosexuality. If I believed that romans 1:27-32 described every homo I would likely meet, I would want them all exterminated. Sincerely.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 69

    first, if what you say is true, then it makes one wonder exactly why so many “militant gay activists” are pushing so hard for marriage, which implies at least in our culture a commitment to monogamy.

    I did not come away from those studies or the comments on them with the same conclusions you have come to. The comentator is right. The population studied is skewed. This is pretty typical for this sort of study. It is like penthouse asking for participants for a “study” by posting that announcement in the pages of hustler or penthouse. You would not find me participating in such a study since I don´t read those publications or their hedonistic gay counterparts.

    So the real question is why the intense desire to prove some a bigoted prejudice of gay hedonism?

    This IS what is being done. There is no evidence whatsoever for the proposition that the “conservative christians” who have an itch for all this are starting from the neutral position that gays are humanly identical to themselves. They are not shocked and clutching their pearls when they find evidence that homos can be hedonists. they delight in finding such evidence (which is not evidence of being moral by the way), and they fight tooth and nail against those of us who suggest mildly that the homo population reflects the identical variety one finds in the hetero population.

    why is that?

    people think that romans 1 is about homosexuality. If I believed that romans 1:27-32 described every homo I would likely meet, I would want them all exterminated. Sincerely.

  • Cincinnatus

    Um…obviously Romans 1 isn’t solely about homosexuality. It also discusses slanderers, gossips, and other purveyors of wickedness. But if the part of Romans 1 to which we are referring does not describe homosexuality, then what, pray tell, is it talking about? I think the burden is on you here to prove either that the translation is grievously mistaken or that we are grievously misinterpreting what it says.

    I’m going to bow out of this discussion soon, as debates about the nature of anything sexual with you devolve into interminable semantic debates about homosexuality. These never prove interesting or fruitful for me.

    But until then, I am curious as to your interpretation of Romans 1.

  • Cincinnatus

    Um…obviously Romans 1 isn’t solely about homosexuality. It also discusses slanderers, gossips, and other purveyors of wickedness. But if the part of Romans 1 to which we are referring does not describe homosexuality, then what, pray tell, is it talking about? I think the burden is on you here to prove either that the translation is grievously mistaken or that we are grievously misinterpreting what it says.

    I’m going to bow out of this discussion soon, as debates about the nature of anything sexual with you devolve into interminable semantic debates about homosexuality. These never prove interesting or fruitful for me.

    But until then, I am curious as to your interpretation of Romans 1.

  • fws

    cincinatus at 79

    the only reason this matters to me is that I have an intense desire for you and others like you to be equipped to bring the love of our Jesus to such as I.

    I have no interest in self justifying. I have NO self justification. I confess every sunday that I am sinful and unclean and sin against God daily in thought word and deed and deserve temporal and eternal punishment for that.

    You are so unequipped to bring anyone like me to the Holy Gospel Cincinatus. The opposite is true actually. There are alot of people who are reading what you and I are exchanging without ever commenting.

    Some are the families of gay men and lesbians. Some are very young christians who know they are gay and are chaste. some are pastors who struggle with this. How do I know this? They write to me on the side. Most are non-gay christians who struggle with their sins and find the peace and joy of the holy gospel here.

    when I say “such as me”, I dont me me as a gay man. I mean me as a sinner cincinatus. Any troubled conscience will read the hoops you and sg ask gays to jump through to be saved, and that sincere conscience will appropriately conclude: there is no hope for me either. I stuggle with sins just as that gay man does.

  • fws

    cincinatus at 79

    the only reason this matters to me is that I have an intense desire for you and others like you to be equipped to bring the love of our Jesus to such as I.

    I have no interest in self justifying. I have NO self justification. I confess every sunday that I am sinful and unclean and sin against God daily in thought word and deed and deserve temporal and eternal punishment for that.

    You are so unequipped to bring anyone like me to the Holy Gospel Cincinatus. The opposite is true actually. There are alot of people who are reading what you and I are exchanging without ever commenting.

    Some are the families of gay men and lesbians. Some are very young christians who know they are gay and are chaste. some are pastors who struggle with this. How do I know this? They write to me on the side. Most are non-gay christians who struggle with their sins and find the peace and joy of the holy gospel here.

    when I say “such as me”, I dont me me as a gay man. I mean me as a sinner cincinatus. Any troubled conscience will read the hoops you and sg ask gays to jump through to be saved, and that sincere conscience will appropriately conclude: there is no hope for me either. I stuggle with sins just as that gay man does.

  • fws

    cincinatus @83

    Unfortunately what you are doing to the text you do not get to do gramatically.

    the “they” referred to in romans 1 is the same identical “they” referred to throughout the entire chapter, including through verse 32. So if that “they” in romans one = “homosexuals/lesbians” as you imagine, then you must read vs 27-32 as a list of clinical characteristics that you would expect to find within anyone you would meet who is gay.

    then you also of course, completely gut the impact of 2:1.

  • fws

    cincinatus @83

    Unfortunately what you are doing to the text you do not get to do gramatically.

    the “they” referred to in romans 1 is the same identical “they” referred to throughout the entire chapter, including through verse 32. So if that “they” in romans one = “homosexuals/lesbians” as you imagine, then you must read vs 27-32 as a list of clinical characteristics that you would expect to find within anyone you would meet who is gay.

    then you also of course, completely gut the impact of 2:1.

  • Cincinnatus

    Your comment @84 is positively uncharitable, FWS. Since this discussion devolved into meaningless wrangling over the meaning of homosexuality, not once have I stipulated any “hoops” or “conditions” upon salvation or the reception of the Gospel. Where on earth did you find the basis for such an accusation?!

    The question we are now discussing is a) what homosexuality is and b) whether it is sinful (again, what discussions with you on any subject ultimately become). Where have I indicated that this has any bearing on one’s salvation, etc.? Where did I even hint that homosexuals cannot be saved, etc.? I haven’t even talked about your soul, much less those of your hypothetical anonymous strugglers who might be reading this. I suppose I should be more offended than I am already.

    You know how I counseled you earlier not to make these topical debates into probing discussions about the status of your interlocutors’s souls? Yeah, you should probably keep that advice in mind. If you are incapable of discussing a given topic objectively without launching into accusations about my conscience, my soul, my understanding of the Gospel, then it might be best to remain silent on the matter.

  • Cincinnatus

    Your comment @84 is positively uncharitable, FWS. Since this discussion devolved into meaningless wrangling over the meaning of homosexuality, not once have I stipulated any “hoops” or “conditions” upon salvation or the reception of the Gospel. Where on earth did you find the basis for such an accusation?!

    The question we are now discussing is a) what homosexuality is and b) whether it is sinful (again, what discussions with you on any subject ultimately become). Where have I indicated that this has any bearing on one’s salvation, etc.? Where did I even hint that homosexuals cannot be saved, etc.? I haven’t even talked about your soul, much less those of your hypothetical anonymous strugglers who might be reading this. I suppose I should be more offended than I am already.

    You know how I counseled you earlier not to make these topical debates into probing discussions about the status of your interlocutors’s souls? Yeah, you should probably keep that advice in mind. If you are incapable of discussing a given topic objectively without launching into accusations about my conscience, my soul, my understanding of the Gospel, then it might be best to remain silent on the matter.

  • Cincinnatus

    @85: Huh? I haven’t provided any interpretation of Romans 1, much less a detailed investigation of its usage of plural pronouns.

    The verses in question seem quite obviously to depict homosexual behavior (men lying with men, women exchanging unnatural relations with one another, etc.). You seem to deny that this is what the verse is actually talking about. If that is the case, then what is it talking about?

  • Cincinnatus

    @85: Huh? I haven’t provided any interpretation of Romans 1, much less a detailed investigation of its usage of plural pronouns.

    The verses in question seem quite obviously to depict homosexual behavior (men lying with men, women exchanging unnatural relations with one another, etc.). You seem to deny that this is what the verse is actually talking about. If that is the case, then what is it talking about?

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 83

    Ok you asked for my spin on romans 1.

    “we are all exactly and identically alike in our sins, pagan and jew (and by extension homo and hetero, christian and pagan). God has condemned all that he might have mercy on all” is the overarching theme and argument.

    People gloss over v 27 even while quoting it. They miss the part where the men left THEIR women and lusted after each other. I do know of men who left their women/wives late in life to live as gay men, but this is not really typical, and is decreasingly so with men not feeling the social pressure to conform to convention. They ignor that the first actual mention of sex acts is with the word “fornication ” in , I think, vs 29? What I take from this is that Paul is describing idolatry on steroids, the ultimate and absurd result of idolatry…. which is that the idolator becomes the very object of the idolatry. Idolator becomes idol.

    I do however believe that the most important textual point to make is that the “they” in romans one must be read as the same they throughout. otherwise romans 2:1 makes no sense at all.

    I so do love it Cincinatus when our conversations actually turn to scripture and the holy gospel and away from the uncertain territory of scientific “proof” in support of prejudice on either side of this debate.

    marriage , sexuality and the vocations that surround it are fleeting and will perish. The importance is to do love in them. What will endure is faith in Christ . Alone. The just shall LIVE by faith alone, not by earthly love or deeds or getting right with God by what we do.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 83

    Ok you asked for my spin on romans 1.

    “we are all exactly and identically alike in our sins, pagan and jew (and by extension homo and hetero, christian and pagan). God has condemned all that he might have mercy on all” is the overarching theme and argument.

    People gloss over v 27 even while quoting it. They miss the part where the men left THEIR women and lusted after each other. I do know of men who left their women/wives late in life to live as gay men, but this is not really typical, and is decreasingly so with men not feeling the social pressure to conform to convention. They ignor that the first actual mention of sex acts is with the word “fornication ” in , I think, vs 29? What I take from this is that Paul is describing idolatry on steroids, the ultimate and absurd result of idolatry…. which is that the idolator becomes the very object of the idolatry. Idolator becomes idol.

    I do however believe that the most important textual point to make is that the “they” in romans one must be read as the same they throughout. otherwise romans 2:1 makes no sense at all.

    I so do love it Cincinatus when our conversations actually turn to scripture and the holy gospel and away from the uncertain territory of scientific “proof” in support of prejudice on either side of this debate.

    marriage , sexuality and the vocations that surround it are fleeting and will perish. The importance is to do love in them. What will endure is faith in Christ . Alone. The just shall LIVE by faith alone, not by earthly love or deeds or getting right with God by what we do.

  • Mary Jack

    FWS, I probably shouldn’t get involved, but I’d like to say something since my thought took a relatively concise form.

    If God intends marriage as a connection between the two genders, that does not mean that one gender is better than the other or even that those attracted to their own genders are somehow worse than either “celebate heterosexuals” or “practicing heterosexuals,” married or otherwise. Value or goodness are not the point. Salvation is not the point. But presuming that God intends the two genders to be connected is a fundamental belief most modern Christians have.

    Perhaps the argument could be made that there are other ways than the vast majority of people marrying, but I can’t think of anything in history to suggest a more thorough way. Now, before the fall presumably marriage was not meant to curb sin, yet God gave it is a gift. After the fall, marriage took on the additional function of curbing lust. Of primary importance because sin remains an enslaver and enemy. Yet marriage is a vocation, a place where God Himself works, as He choses, when He choses.

    None of this is to say that I’d treat a “homosexual” as anything other than another human being. But sometimes a wider order of things, like marriage connecting genders, impacts others in a personally–presumably–devastating way. But aren’t the genders supposed to be connected?

    I have other thoughts on the matter too, like vocationally–God’s assignments–in marriage isn’t one the head and the other the body without either having a choice about it? Determined by gender & not personal characteristics? Overall I just don’t Scripturally see that God calls people to same-sex marriages. Though I think gender connection is a reasonable, natural-law kind of argument.

  • Mary Jack

    FWS, I probably shouldn’t get involved, but I’d like to say something since my thought took a relatively concise form.

    If God intends marriage as a connection between the two genders, that does not mean that one gender is better than the other or even that those attracted to their own genders are somehow worse than either “celebate heterosexuals” or “practicing heterosexuals,” married or otherwise. Value or goodness are not the point. Salvation is not the point. But presuming that God intends the two genders to be connected is a fundamental belief most modern Christians have.

    Perhaps the argument could be made that there are other ways than the vast majority of people marrying, but I can’t think of anything in history to suggest a more thorough way. Now, before the fall presumably marriage was not meant to curb sin, yet God gave it is a gift. After the fall, marriage took on the additional function of curbing lust. Of primary importance because sin remains an enslaver and enemy. Yet marriage is a vocation, a place where God Himself works, as He choses, when He choses.

    None of this is to say that I’d treat a “homosexual” as anything other than another human being. But sometimes a wider order of things, like marriage connecting genders, impacts others in a personally–presumably–devastating way. But aren’t the genders supposed to be connected?

    I have other thoughts on the matter too, like vocationally–God’s assignments–in marriage isn’t one the head and the other the body without either having a choice about it? Determined by gender & not personal characteristics? Overall I just don’t Scripturally see that God calls people to same-sex marriages. Though I think gender connection is a reasonable, natural-law kind of argument.

  • fws

    cincinatus @87

    I had a first cousin , since deceased, who was an famous actor and a pal of hugh hefner. Not gay, not bi, but he told me that when the doors of the playboy mansion closed, everything goes. I call this hedonism. I dont call it homosexuality or heterosexuality or bisexuality.

    prison sex is not homosexuality. the repulsive rape scene depicted in leviticus is not homosexuality. I would reach for my gun if another man tried to rape me reducing me to having sex with him as though I were his prison b**ch. The idea of having the sex depicted in leviticus makes me want to vomit. men leaving their wives/and girlfriends in favor of pure unchained predatory lust is not homosexuality. No more than rape scenes in the old testament define or depict the true nature of heterosexuality. sure it is a man and a woman doing it . so?

  • fws

    cincinatus @87

    I had a first cousin , since deceased, who was an famous actor and a pal of hugh hefner. Not gay, not bi, but he told me that when the doors of the playboy mansion closed, everything goes. I call this hedonism. I dont call it homosexuality or heterosexuality or bisexuality.

    prison sex is not homosexuality. the repulsive rape scene depicted in leviticus is not homosexuality. I would reach for my gun if another man tried to rape me reducing me to having sex with him as though I were his prison b**ch. The idea of having the sex depicted in leviticus makes me want to vomit. men leaving their wives/and girlfriends in favor of pure unchained predatory lust is not homosexuality. No more than rape scenes in the old testament define or depict the true nature of heterosexuality. sure it is a man and a woman doing it . so?

  • fws

    mary jack @ 80

    thanks for the brevity and elegance of your post.

    “But presuming that God intends the two genders to be connected is a fundamental belief most modern Christians have. ”

    most pagans also share this view. I share this view. Penis simply fits vagina. procreation is only possible thusly. There is no real need to argue this. 100% of gays are the product of a male/female relationship. Last time I checked. And so you can imagine that we do understand in a fairly intimate way what that all looks like.

    God intended for marriage to be between one man and one woman in lifelong union. I believe this to be the case. Why ? Jesus says so. That is why.

    And that same Jesus, God eternal, made laws for divorce and wrapped laws around polygamy. Man was intended at creation to be vegetarian. Yet Jesus allowed man after the flood to become carnivorous. God intended marriage to serve man. Not for man to serve marriage. As a vocation Marriage is about mortification + love. It is about producing the earthly righteousness that pleases God.

    I agree with the Lutheran confessions that to say mortification alone (enforced celebacy) or marriage as mortification alone (the self sacrifice of obedience to a rule) is useless because there is no love produced, and it is done to please God as a sacrifice to him rather than being the true m0rality that God demands which is always and only horizontal love for neighbor. I agree that the sacrificial demand of celebacy is cruel for the exact reasons that the Lutheran Confessions use that word cruel.

  • fws

    mary jack @ 80

    thanks for the brevity and elegance of your post.

    “But presuming that God intends the two genders to be connected is a fundamental belief most modern Christians have. ”

    most pagans also share this view. I share this view. Penis simply fits vagina. procreation is only possible thusly. There is no real need to argue this. 100% of gays are the product of a male/female relationship. Last time I checked. And so you can imagine that we do understand in a fairly intimate way what that all looks like.

    God intended for marriage to be between one man and one woman in lifelong union. I believe this to be the case. Why ? Jesus says so. That is why.

    And that same Jesus, God eternal, made laws for divorce and wrapped laws around polygamy. Man was intended at creation to be vegetarian. Yet Jesus allowed man after the flood to become carnivorous. God intended marriage to serve man. Not for man to serve marriage. As a vocation Marriage is about mortification + love. It is about producing the earthly righteousness that pleases God.

    I agree with the Lutheran confessions that to say mortification alone (enforced celebacy) or marriage as mortification alone (the self sacrifice of obedience to a rule) is useless because there is no love produced, and it is done to please God as a sacrifice to him rather than being the true m0rality that God demands which is always and only horizontal love for neighbor. I agree that the sacrificial demand of celebacy is cruel for the exact reasons that the Lutheran Confessions use that word cruel.

  • fws

    mary jack @89

    ” But presuming that God intends the two genders to be connected is a fundamental belief most modern Christians have.”

    Most pagans agree. I agree. Are you saying there is a morality that only christians have that pagans do not possess?

    The Lutheran confessions would disagree with you.

    Jesus says that gods intent was for male/female in lifelong union. that same jesus instituted divorce laws and wrapped laws around polygamy contrary to his original intent didnt he? and that same Jesus told man he could eat meat when his original intent was for man to be vegitarian. Ok . this stuff is all true. so what?

    God intends for marriage, the sabbath and morality to serve man´s happiness. Morality is not about pleasing God by following a set of divine instructions . Calvin said that the decalog reflects God´s nature, so when we conform to it we are conforming to God´s nature. so then the entire point of the Gospel is to bring us into conformity once again to God´s holy law. Law, Gospel, Law.

    Many Lutherans believe this crap. And it is crap. But the Lutheran Confessions say otherwise. Formula of Concord art VI . http://www.thirduse.com

    Marriage is intended to serve man and bring him the joy of companionship and offspring who serve them and others as neighbors in society. to do love! now in a fallen world, no love can be done by any Old adam in any vocation, including marriage, without mortification, which is the killing of self and ego. self restraint, practice, discipline. ergo st pauls metaphors about running a race.

    marriage, the sabbath and morality are to serve man by producing that righteousness that God demands here on earth. and what is that? mortification + love. Love is the fulfullment of the law. love is horizontal. it is mercy and not sacrifice.

    our old adams are religous by nature. to be religious is to want sacrifice. God spews this out of his mouth and detest this. It is an offence to the once-only Sacrifice that alone atones.

  • fws

    mary jack @89

    ” But presuming that God intends the two genders to be connected is a fundamental belief most modern Christians have.”

    Most pagans agree. I agree. Are you saying there is a morality that only christians have that pagans do not possess?

    The Lutheran confessions would disagree with you.

    Jesus says that gods intent was for male/female in lifelong union. that same jesus instituted divorce laws and wrapped laws around polygamy contrary to his original intent didnt he? and that same Jesus told man he could eat meat when his original intent was for man to be vegitarian. Ok . this stuff is all true. so what?

    God intends for marriage, the sabbath and morality to serve man´s happiness. Morality is not about pleasing God by following a set of divine instructions . Calvin said that the decalog reflects God´s nature, so when we conform to it we are conforming to God´s nature. so then the entire point of the Gospel is to bring us into conformity once again to God´s holy law. Law, Gospel, Law.

    Many Lutherans believe this crap. And it is crap. But the Lutheran Confessions say otherwise. Formula of Concord art VI . http://www.thirduse.com

    Marriage is intended to serve man and bring him the joy of companionship and offspring who serve them and others as neighbors in society. to do love! now in a fallen world, no love can be done by any Old adam in any vocation, including marriage, without mortification, which is the killing of self and ego. self restraint, practice, discipline. ergo st pauls metaphors about running a race.

    marriage, the sabbath and morality are to serve man by producing that righteousness that God demands here on earth. and what is that? mortification + love. Love is the fulfullment of the law. love is horizontal. it is mercy and not sacrifice.

    our old adams are religous by nature. to be religious is to want sacrifice. God spews this out of his mouth and detest this. It is an offence to the once-only Sacrifice that alone atones.

  • Mary Jack

    FWS, before I ever finish reading your reply, I state very clearly that this is not a religious matter, but a natural law argument with a few Christian assumptions. I am not talking about morality, I am talking about marriage. One can be moral or immoral in marriage. One can be moral or immoral outside marriage.

  • Mary Jack

    FWS, before I ever finish reading your reply, I state very clearly that this is not a religious matter, but a natural law argument with a few Christian assumptions. I am not talking about morality, I am talking about marriage. One can be moral or immoral in marriage. One can be moral or immoral outside marriage.

  • Mary Jack

    FWS said:

    “Marriage is intended to serve man and bring him the joy of companionship and offspring who serve them and others as neighbors in society. to do love! now in a fallen world, no love can be done by any Old adam in any vocation, including marriage, without mortification, which is the killing of self and ego. self restraint, practice, discipline. ergo st pauls metaphors about running a race.”

    MJ: Actually, Luther argued that marriage itself had an ethical power apart from whether or not either spouse was Christian or mortifying the self–there is more to marriage than what sinners bring into it. And that is why it is a vocation–because God hides Himself there. From our point of view, it is a race, but that is not the entire picture.

    FWS:marriage, the sabbath and morality are to serve man by producing that righteousness that God demands here on earth. and what is that? mortification + love. Love is the fulfullment of the law. love is horizontal. it is mercy and not sacrifice.

    MJ: But we do not know what love is apart from God and His revelation. And there IS merciful sacrifice exactly in vocation.

    “our old adams are religous by nature. to be religious is to want sacrifice. God spews this out of his mouth and detest this. It is an offence to the once-only Sacrifice that alone atones”

    There is sacrifice in addition to Christ’s, just not salvific sacrifice. There are, and should be, vocational sacrifices. Husbands sacrifice for their wives and this is NOT an affront to the cross. Nor is it merely for the wife’s pleasure. Only God truly knows what is loving at any moment–not even the recipient.

  • Mary Jack

    FWS said:

    “Marriage is intended to serve man and bring him the joy of companionship and offspring who serve them and others as neighbors in society. to do love! now in a fallen world, no love can be done by any Old adam in any vocation, including marriage, without mortification, which is the killing of self and ego. self restraint, practice, discipline. ergo st pauls metaphors about running a race.”

    MJ: Actually, Luther argued that marriage itself had an ethical power apart from whether or not either spouse was Christian or mortifying the self–there is more to marriage than what sinners bring into it. And that is why it is a vocation–because God hides Himself there. From our point of view, it is a race, but that is not the entire picture.

    FWS:marriage, the sabbath and morality are to serve man by producing that righteousness that God demands here on earth. and what is that? mortification + love. Love is the fulfullment of the law. love is horizontal. it is mercy and not sacrifice.

    MJ: But we do not know what love is apart from God and His revelation. And there IS merciful sacrifice exactly in vocation.

    “our old adams are religous by nature. to be religious is to want sacrifice. God spews this out of his mouth and detest this. It is an offence to the once-only Sacrifice that alone atones”

    There is sacrifice in addition to Christ’s, just not salvific sacrifice. There are, and should be, vocational sacrifices. Husbands sacrifice for their wives and this is NOT an affront to the cross. Nor is it merely for the wife’s pleasure. Only God truly knows what is loving at any moment–not even the recipient.

  • Mary Jack

    Hebrews, the same book that states one sacrifice for completion of salvation says, ” Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16) and of course, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5) These “spiritual sacrifices” are not emotions, but our faith enacting through vocation.

  • Mary Jack

    Hebrews, the same book that states one sacrifice for completion of salvation says, ” Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16) and of course, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5) These “spiritual sacrifices” are not emotions, but our faith enacting through vocation.

  • sg

    “I am willing to bet money that you got your “empirical evidence” from someone connected to a group called NARTH like satinover or nicoletti or someone in that small radical fringe group.”

    Nice try. My source is the GSS.

    http://www.norc.uchicago.edu/GSS+Website/

    Unbiased database for research in the social sciences.

  • sg

    “I am willing to bet money that you got your “empirical evidence” from someone connected to a group called NARTH like satinover or nicoletti or someone in that small radical fringe group.”

    Nice try. My source is the GSS.

    http://www.norc.uchicago.edu/GSS+Website/

    Unbiased database for research in the social sciences.

  • fws

    sg @ 96

    being just a little more specific would be helpful sg… gss is a huge site with lots of data…… I would readily discuss any study you link to that you are saying supports your thesis, which is that gays are more depraved than the rest of the general population .

  • fws

    sg @ 96

    being just a little more specific would be helpful sg… gss is a huge site with lots of data…… I would readily discuss any study you link to that you are saying supports your thesis, which is that gays are more depraved than the rest of the general population .

  • fws

    mary jack @ 93

    “FWS, before I ever finish reading your reply, I state very clearly that this is not a religious matter, but a natural law argument with a few Christian assumptions. I am not talking about morality, I am talking about marriage. One can be moral or immoral in marriage. One can be moral or immoral outside marriage.”

    Definitions matter eh?
    “religious”
    natural law”
    “christian” assumptions
    “morality”

    Let me home in the most important one my dear sister Mary Jack:

    “christian “. Only those things that could never be said apart from the death and resurection of Jesus Christ qualify as being truly christian.

    Nothing else qualifies.

    Many imagine that God´s revealed law like the decalog, or Natural Law are a revelation of God´s nature, so then the task of being a moral person is to conform to the letter of these things. John Calvin was a proponent of this for revealed law. Aquinas for natural law. The Lutheran Confessions reject both of these ideas. It is a case of being 99% right with that 1% that is pure deadly poison.

    as for all the rest of the words you use, a quick google will show that they all mean alot of different things to alot of different people. We all tend to belong to a group where the words important to us have the same understood meaning. I don´t know you well yet, so I will not assume.

  • fws

    mary jack @ 93

    “FWS, before I ever finish reading your reply, I state very clearly that this is not a religious matter, but a natural law argument with a few Christian assumptions. I am not talking about morality, I am talking about marriage. One can be moral or immoral in marriage. One can be moral or immoral outside marriage.”

    Definitions matter eh?
    “religious”
    natural law”
    “christian” assumptions
    “morality”

    Let me home in the most important one my dear sister Mary Jack:

    “christian “. Only those things that could never be said apart from the death and resurection of Jesus Christ qualify as being truly christian.

    Nothing else qualifies.

    Many imagine that God´s revealed law like the decalog, or Natural Law are a revelation of God´s nature, so then the task of being a moral person is to conform to the letter of these things. John Calvin was a proponent of this for revealed law. Aquinas for natural law. The Lutheran Confessions reject both of these ideas. It is a case of being 99% right with that 1% that is pure deadly poison.

    as for all the rest of the words you use, a quick google will show that they all mean alot of different things to alot of different people. We all tend to belong to a group where the words important to us have the same understood meaning. I don´t know you well yet, so I will not assume.

  • fws

    FWS said: “Marriage is intended to …. to do love! now in a fallen world, no love can be done by any Old adam in any vocation, including marriage, without mortification…

    MJ: Actually, Luther argued that marriage itself had an ethical power apart from whether or not either spouse was Christian or mortifying the self–there is more to marriage than what sinners bring into it. And that is why it is a vocation–because God hides Himself there. From our point of view, it is a race, but that is not the entire picture.

    FWS: You don´t give a reference, but this sounds like Luther. He is saying exactly that there is nothing spiritual or christian about any vocation or anything we can do in our body here on earth. No faith is required. God providences all this as 4th petition daily bread even to all the wicked. That is the entire picture! Luther would disagree with you there. Marriage is all about a righteousness that serves others and will perish with the earth. Nothing spiritual or eternal or christian about it at all. Here is a link to a sermon by Dr Luther where he explains how this all fits together. It is the basis for the Formula of Concord article VI which you will also find there.

    http://www.thirduse.com

    FWS:marriage, the sabbath and morality are to serve man by producing that righteousness that God demands here on earth. and what is that? mortification + love. Love is the fulfullment of the law. love is horizontal. it is mercy and not sacrifice.

    MJ: But we do not know what love is apart from God and His revelation.

    FWS: The Lutheran Confessions disagree with you. Article XVIII says that fallen man can know and do every part of the 10 commandments completely without any faith, except for that one commandment that requires the new birth. We believe teach and confess that “there is nothing that can be added to the ethical system of aristotle” in our confessions. Aristotle was pagan of course.

    MJ: And there IS merciful sacrifice exactly in vocation.

    Not exactly. Righteousness is mortification + love. Love is the purpose and fulfillment of righteousness. Love is any act done to you that makes your creaturely transitory life happier MJ. Sacrifice is imagining that righteousness is selfdenial that does nothing for anyone as love, but that makes God happy because it conforms to some rule he set. This the Confessions reject.

    FWS “our old adams are religous by nature. to be religious is to want sacrifice. God spews this out of his mouth and detest this. It is an offence to the once-only Sacrifice that alone atones”

    MJ There is sacrifice in addition to Christ’s, just not salvific sacrifice. There are, and should be, vocational sacrifices. Husbands sacrifice for their wives and this is NOT an affront to the cross.

    FWS: The Lutheran Confessions: “Good works are necessary.” So they strongly agree with you! They are absolutely necessary. If we do not do them willingly, then God will send someone to make us do them.

    But we need to be careful with terms here. Jesus says ” I would have you go and find out what it means when God says ‘ i I would have mercy rather than sacrifice. ” Paul, Luther and the confessions often teach in contrasts. You are using the word “sacrifice” with a shift in meaning from the contrast i was quoting and referencing. You seem want to make sacrifice=mercy. Instead contrast the two.

    I am asserting that mercy is acts of love that fulfill the law specifically by improving the creaturely transitory lives of others. Sacrifice in contrast is mortification/self-sacrifice whose end is to be right with God but that produces no mercy/love. So it is idolatry and not the righteousness that God demands of us here on earth towards others.

    MJ: Nor is it merely for the wife’s pleasure.

    FWS: No not merely. It is for the husband pleasure, and for the pleasure of anyone he serves in this vocation. It is for the earthly pleasure of others. Merely. There is nothing with eternal consequence here. Romans 8 says this kind of love is Gods will , but also that it will perish with the earth. poof.

    MJ: Only God truly knows what is loving at any moment–not even the recipient.

    FWS: Love is how the law is kept. it is the fulfillment of the law. So you are saying that we can never know whether or not we have kept the Law. Are you certain you mean this dear MJ?

    here is a writing of Dr Luther that I think will clear up some important definitions. I know it helped me:

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

  • fws

    FWS said: “Marriage is intended to …. to do love! now in a fallen world, no love can be done by any Old adam in any vocation, including marriage, without mortification…

    MJ: Actually, Luther argued that marriage itself had an ethical power apart from whether or not either spouse was Christian or mortifying the self–there is more to marriage than what sinners bring into it. And that is why it is a vocation–because God hides Himself there. From our point of view, it is a race, but that is not the entire picture.

    FWS: You don´t give a reference, but this sounds like Luther. He is saying exactly that there is nothing spiritual or christian about any vocation or anything we can do in our body here on earth. No faith is required. God providences all this as 4th petition daily bread even to all the wicked. That is the entire picture! Luther would disagree with you there. Marriage is all about a righteousness that serves others and will perish with the earth. Nothing spiritual or eternal or christian about it at all. Here is a link to a sermon by Dr Luther where he explains how this all fits together. It is the basis for the Formula of Concord article VI which you will also find there.

    http://www.thirduse.com

    FWS:marriage, the sabbath and morality are to serve man by producing that righteousness that God demands here on earth. and what is that? mortification + love. Love is the fulfullment of the law. love is horizontal. it is mercy and not sacrifice.

    MJ: But we do not know what love is apart from God and His revelation.

    FWS: The Lutheran Confessions disagree with you. Article XVIII says that fallen man can know and do every part of the 10 commandments completely without any faith, except for that one commandment that requires the new birth. We believe teach and confess that “there is nothing that can be added to the ethical system of aristotle” in our confessions. Aristotle was pagan of course.

    MJ: And there IS merciful sacrifice exactly in vocation.

    Not exactly. Righteousness is mortification + love. Love is the purpose and fulfillment of righteousness. Love is any act done to you that makes your creaturely transitory life happier MJ. Sacrifice is imagining that righteousness is selfdenial that does nothing for anyone as love, but that makes God happy because it conforms to some rule he set. This the Confessions reject.

    FWS “our old adams are religous by nature. to be religious is to want sacrifice. God spews this out of his mouth and detest this. It is an offence to the once-only Sacrifice that alone atones”

    MJ There is sacrifice in addition to Christ’s, just not salvific sacrifice. There are, and should be, vocational sacrifices. Husbands sacrifice for their wives and this is NOT an affront to the cross.

    FWS: The Lutheran Confessions: “Good works are necessary.” So they strongly agree with you! They are absolutely necessary. If we do not do them willingly, then God will send someone to make us do them.

    But we need to be careful with terms here. Jesus says ” I would have you go and find out what it means when God says ‘ i I would have mercy rather than sacrifice. ” Paul, Luther and the confessions often teach in contrasts. You are using the word “sacrifice” with a shift in meaning from the contrast i was quoting and referencing. You seem want to make sacrifice=mercy. Instead contrast the two.

    I am asserting that mercy is acts of love that fulfill the law specifically by improving the creaturely transitory lives of others. Sacrifice in contrast is mortification/self-sacrifice whose end is to be right with God but that produces no mercy/love. So it is idolatry and not the righteousness that God demands of us here on earth towards others.

    MJ: Nor is it merely for the wife’s pleasure.

    FWS: No not merely. It is for the husband pleasure, and for the pleasure of anyone he serves in this vocation. It is for the earthly pleasure of others. Merely. There is nothing with eternal consequence here. Romans 8 says this kind of love is Gods will , but also that it will perish with the earth. poof.

    MJ: Only God truly knows what is loving at any moment–not even the recipient.

    FWS: Love is how the law is kept. it is the fulfillment of the law. So you are saying that we can never know whether or not we have kept the Law. Are you certain you mean this dear MJ?

    here is a writing of Dr Luther that I think will clear up some important definitions. I know it helped me:

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

  • Mary Jack

    FWS, we seem to have a very different perspective (though perhaps not understanding?) of vocation. It seems to me that God can work through the vocation of cab driver which works together with the pastor who preaches the Gospel to the former passenger resulting in salvation. No, the cabbie didn’t “save” the passenger, but vocations work together. The same God is at work through them.

    But we very much disagree about vocation ultimately being about pleasure or happiness. I’ve been taught that vocation is about bearing the cross–faith in a sinful world, love towards all even the unloveable, and life in spite of our own shortcomings. I don’t know where you got pleasure or happiness from. Yes, it’s worldly, temporal and temporary, but that doesn’t reduce vocation (pardon my expression, I can’t think of a less biting phrase) to letting sinners lap up the poison of their desires so they can be happy. I don’t see from Scripture, the Confessions, or Luther where you’re getting this emphasis on a sinner’s happiness. Could you use a different term? Cuz I would use “good” but I can’t see a way in which a sinner’s happiness correlates to good.

    And, not to nitpick, but in Luther’s terminology, only the faithful have vocations while the faithless may have stations. And Scripture uses sacrifice in two different ways, which I tried to point out through the author of Hebrews. But my primary response/ question to you is above.

  • Mary Jack

    FWS, we seem to have a very different perspective (though perhaps not understanding?) of vocation. It seems to me that God can work through the vocation of cab driver which works together with the pastor who preaches the Gospel to the former passenger resulting in salvation. No, the cabbie didn’t “save” the passenger, but vocations work together. The same God is at work through them.

    But we very much disagree about vocation ultimately being about pleasure or happiness. I’ve been taught that vocation is about bearing the cross–faith in a sinful world, love towards all even the unloveable, and life in spite of our own shortcomings. I don’t know where you got pleasure or happiness from. Yes, it’s worldly, temporal and temporary, but that doesn’t reduce vocation (pardon my expression, I can’t think of a less biting phrase) to letting sinners lap up the poison of their desires so they can be happy. I don’t see from Scripture, the Confessions, or Luther where you’re getting this emphasis on a sinner’s happiness. Could you use a different term? Cuz I would use “good” but I can’t see a way in which a sinner’s happiness correlates to good.

    And, not to nitpick, but in Luther’s terminology, only the faithful have vocations while the faithless may have stations. And Scripture uses sacrifice in two different ways, which I tried to point out through the author of Hebrews. But my primary response/ question to you is above.

  • fws

    mary jack at 100

    FWS: The Reformed say there is a difference between “christian morality” and generic morality. This is un-Luther-an and also un-Lutheran. http://www.thirduse.com

    Luther would never make the distinction you made between vocation and station. they are synonyms for Lutherans and Luther.

    “consider your station in life according to the 10 commandments”. Luthers advice in preparation for private confession, small catechism.

    MJ ” I don’t see from Scripture, the Confessions, or Luther where you’re getting this emphasis on a sinner’s happiness. Could you use a different term?

    Why use a different term? God does not want sinners to be happy? He does!

    Holy Scripture: “God makes the rain to fall on the just and unjust alike. While we were yet sinners christ died for us.” “Jesus looked at him and loved him” cf Jesus changing a huge quantity of water into a huge quantity of alcoholic beverage for a wedding where everyone was already drunk and had run out of booze. “Chirst died to save sinners, of whom I am chief”. The fruit of the spirit are ….joy”.

    By the way, our Confessions say there is NO difference between fruit of the spirit done by christians according to their new man and works of the law done by pagans. You believe this if you are a Lutheran.

    The Lutheran Confessions, small catechism:

    First article, God gives us 7 things it says… he still preserves us with 7 things. 7 means everything we need on earth is what God provides us. Good reputation. good and faithful friends are included here. Happiness. Happiness and love is not something we need MJ? Giving others love is the entire and only point of God pleasing righteousness. There are no eternal consequences to this whatsoever.

    bu-bye ego of the old adam that wants the religious sacrifice of conforming to a divine legal code to count as righteousness and wants to set in judgement of others. The truly righteous let others sit in judgement on their righteousness. Have you shown love and mercy and kindness to others? You KNOW when others have done this to you MJ! God wills this MJ. He loves you. Even as a sinner.

    But there is more… “He does this purely out of fatherly devine goodness and mercy with out any merit or worthiness on our part” God uses sinners in vocation, driven by the Holy Spirit using the Law to serve other sinners this says….

    4th petition, “God gives daily bread indeed without our asking even to all the wicked. ” sinners! This happens without any faith or prayer. even to all the wicked.

    FWS: MJ. You mean to say that you do not feel good and loved when someone does something that makes you happy? happiness is totally what you avoid? God does not want you to be happy?

    Our Old Adams want to sacrifice with doing a list of things to please God. I am suggesting to you that the true morality that God demands of you requires that you allow others to judge whether or not you are a truly moral person. If you make their lives better in any way you are a moral person. If you do not, no amount of obedience to the laws of God will make you good in God´s eyes MJ.

    God does not will suffering. He allows it. He promises to use suffering for good when it happens. God did not will the suffering of his Son. Evil men willed it. God allowed it and destroyed sin death and the devil from within that.

  • fws

    mary jack at 100

    FWS: The Reformed say there is a difference between “christian morality” and generic morality. This is un-Luther-an and also un-Lutheran. http://www.thirduse.com

    Luther would never make the distinction you made between vocation and station. they are synonyms for Lutherans and Luther.

    “consider your station in life according to the 10 commandments”. Luthers advice in preparation for private confession, small catechism.

    MJ ” I don’t see from Scripture, the Confessions, or Luther where you’re getting this emphasis on a sinner’s happiness. Could you use a different term?

    Why use a different term? God does not want sinners to be happy? He does!

    Holy Scripture: “God makes the rain to fall on the just and unjust alike. While we were yet sinners christ died for us.” “Jesus looked at him and loved him” cf Jesus changing a huge quantity of water into a huge quantity of alcoholic beverage for a wedding where everyone was already drunk and had run out of booze. “Chirst died to save sinners, of whom I am chief”. The fruit of the spirit are ….joy”.

    By the way, our Confessions say there is NO difference between fruit of the spirit done by christians according to their new man and works of the law done by pagans. You believe this if you are a Lutheran.

    The Lutheran Confessions, small catechism:

    First article, God gives us 7 things it says… he still preserves us with 7 things. 7 means everything we need on earth is what God provides us. Good reputation. good and faithful friends are included here. Happiness. Happiness and love is not something we need MJ? Giving others love is the entire and only point of God pleasing righteousness. There are no eternal consequences to this whatsoever.

    bu-bye ego of the old adam that wants the religious sacrifice of conforming to a divine legal code to count as righteousness and wants to set in judgement of others. The truly righteous let others sit in judgement on their righteousness. Have you shown love and mercy and kindness to others? You KNOW when others have done this to you MJ! God wills this MJ. He loves you. Even as a sinner.

    But there is more… “He does this purely out of fatherly devine goodness and mercy with out any merit or worthiness on our part” God uses sinners in vocation, driven by the Holy Spirit using the Law to serve other sinners this says….

    4th petition, “God gives daily bread indeed without our asking even to all the wicked. ” sinners! This happens without any faith or prayer. even to all the wicked.

    FWS: MJ. You mean to say that you do not feel good and loved when someone does something that makes you happy? happiness is totally what you avoid? God does not want you to be happy?

    Our Old Adams want to sacrifice with doing a list of things to please God. I am suggesting to you that the true morality that God demands of you requires that you allow others to judge whether or not you are a truly moral person. If you make their lives better in any way you are a moral person. If you do not, no amount of obedience to the laws of God will make you good in God´s eyes MJ.

    God does not will suffering. He allows it. He promises to use suffering for good when it happens. God did not will the suffering of his Son. Evil men willed it. God allowed it and destroyed sin death and the devil from within that.

  • fws

    mary jack at 100

    my opinion really is worthless.

    I am repeating what Luther and the Lutheran confessions say.

    You are disagreeing with them.

  • fws

    mary jack at 100

    my opinion really is worthless.

    I am repeating what Luther and the Lutheran confessions say.

    You are disagreeing with them.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: Actually, you’re gravely incorrect. According to our own Dr. Gene Edward Veith’s reading of Luther, there is in fact an important distinction between “station” and “calling”/vocation. The former applies to non-Christians, the latter to Christians.

    http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=881&var3=main

    Care to amend anything you’ve said?

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: Actually, you’re gravely incorrect. According to our own Dr. Gene Edward Veith’s reading of Luther, there is in fact an important distinction between “station” and “calling”/vocation. The former applies to non-Christians, the latter to Christians.

    http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=881&var3=main

    Care to amend anything you’ve said?

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 103

    The Lutheran Confessions instruct christians to “consider their station in life according to the 10 commandments” (small catechism , the part on private confession).

    In addition I know that Dr Vieth agrees with the FC art VI.

    Article VI states, in opposition to the reformed “third use”, that there is absolutely no intrinsic difference in the works of a christian or pagan , not even between the works of the new man and old adam. I think it is safe to draw the logical line from this to say that there is therefore no difference in the vocation/station of a pagan vs a christian.

    Furthermore, article VI states that vocation and everything you can do in your body is ascribed to the sinful, unconverted, unregenerated Old Adam of christians and pagans alike. It is produced by the threat and reward promised by the Law. Alone. There is NO part of the effort of vocation that is a part of sanctification.

    I am dead confident that Dr Veith would never deviate from the teachings of the Lutheran Confessions in even the very slightest way.

    You did not provide a quote or cite in context from Dr Veith.

    So where does that leave us dear brother Cincinatus? I am merely restating what the Lutheran Confessions say. This is how things work for us Lutherans Cincinatus. /

    Check out what Luther and the Confessions say for your own self. These are not my own private opinions dear brother. If they were, you would now be reading a retraction.

    http://www.thirduse.com

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 103

    The Lutheran Confessions instruct christians to “consider their station in life according to the 10 commandments” (small catechism , the part on private confession).

    In addition I know that Dr Vieth agrees with the FC art VI.

    Article VI states, in opposition to the reformed “third use”, that there is absolutely no intrinsic difference in the works of a christian or pagan , not even between the works of the new man and old adam. I think it is safe to draw the logical line from this to say that there is therefore no difference in the vocation/station of a pagan vs a christian.

    Furthermore, article VI states that vocation and everything you can do in your body is ascribed to the sinful, unconverted, unregenerated Old Adam of christians and pagans alike. It is produced by the threat and reward promised by the Law. Alone. There is NO part of the effort of vocation that is a part of sanctification.

    I am dead confident that Dr Veith would never deviate from the teachings of the Lutheran Confessions in even the very slightest way.

    You did not provide a quote or cite in context from Dr Veith.

    So where does that leave us dear brother Cincinatus? I am merely restating what the Lutheran Confessions say. This is how things work for us Lutherans Cincinatus. /

    Check out what Luther and the Confessions say for your own self. These are not my own private opinions dear brother. If they were, you would now be reading a retraction.

    http://www.thirduse.com

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 103.

    Now if you want to correct me and school me according to the Lutheran Confessions, I will be actually very happy if you point out an error to me and give me the chance to correct that error.

    That would be a godly good work on your part that would give me great joy.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 103.

    Now if you want to correct me and school me according to the Lutheran Confessions, I will be actually very happy if you point out an error to me and give me the chance to correct that error.

    That would be a godly good work on your part that would give me great joy.

  • Mary Jack

    Dr. Veith summarizes briefly in “God at Work,” pp. 34-35:

    “Theologians sometimes say that the term vocation ought to be reserved for Christians. To be ‘called’ into a particular work or position is surely a function of being ‘called’ by the Gospel into a life of faith. While agreeing that God works through nonbelievers as well, they use other terms for their roles: office, estate, station. It is certainly true that a Christian, who understands his life in terms of God’s calling, will look at the work placed before him in a completely different way than will a person, doing the same work, who is lost in his sins. I agree with the distinction, though for the purposes of this book, for the sake of simplicity and to minimize terms, I will use the term vocation to apply to both believers and unbelievers, though I will certainly discuss the differences between them.”

    The work is the same, UTTERLY the same, yet Dr. Veith places Christians fulfilling their vocations squarely within the priesthood of all believers. I’d recheck Wingren as a speedy way to search Luther, but I think that book is at my husband’s office.

    But since I’m paging through “God at Work” anyway, pp. 79-80:

    “Marriage is a natural state, common to the whole human race … Marriage is not a sacrament but a vocation. Nevertheless, marriage is a tangible manifestation of the relationship between Christ and the Church, though only CHRISTIAN couples, through the eyes of faith, will be able to glimpse how this is so.”

    I am NOT saying FWS lacks the eyes of faith, but demonstrating Dr. Veith’s written opinion on a subject within these lengthy comments.

    The first article of Luther’s explanation to the Creed does NOT list happiness, and people time and again prove they can be unhappy in spite of every blessing. Feelings do not adequately correlate to blessings or services received. Which is why Lutherans historically emphasize concrete things like means of grace over individual experience. I understand happiness to be a fleeting emotion, though I certainly have received a goodly amount of it. I sure don’t treasure my life, or anyone else’s, on earth based on it. The boundaries certainly have fallen for us in pleasant places, but in this life that’s still bound within the realm of the cross. Christ is our portion. Not dealing out happiness.

  • Mary Jack

    Dr. Veith summarizes briefly in “God at Work,” pp. 34-35:

    “Theologians sometimes say that the term vocation ought to be reserved for Christians. To be ‘called’ into a particular work or position is surely a function of being ‘called’ by the Gospel into a life of faith. While agreeing that God works through nonbelievers as well, they use other terms for their roles: office, estate, station. It is certainly true that a Christian, who understands his life in terms of God’s calling, will look at the work placed before him in a completely different way than will a person, doing the same work, who is lost in his sins. I agree with the distinction, though for the purposes of this book, for the sake of simplicity and to minimize terms, I will use the term vocation to apply to both believers and unbelievers, though I will certainly discuss the differences between them.”

    The work is the same, UTTERLY the same, yet Dr. Veith places Christians fulfilling their vocations squarely within the priesthood of all believers. I’d recheck Wingren as a speedy way to search Luther, but I think that book is at my husband’s office.

    But since I’m paging through “God at Work” anyway, pp. 79-80:

    “Marriage is a natural state, common to the whole human race … Marriage is not a sacrament but a vocation. Nevertheless, marriage is a tangible manifestation of the relationship between Christ and the Church, though only CHRISTIAN couples, through the eyes of faith, will be able to glimpse how this is so.”

    I am NOT saying FWS lacks the eyes of faith, but demonstrating Dr. Veith’s written opinion on a subject within these lengthy comments.

    The first article of Luther’s explanation to the Creed does NOT list happiness, and people time and again prove they can be unhappy in spite of every blessing. Feelings do not adequately correlate to blessings or services received. Which is why Lutherans historically emphasize concrete things like means of grace over individual experience. I understand happiness to be a fleeting emotion, though I certainly have received a goodly amount of it. I sure don’t treasure my life, or anyone else’s, on earth based on it. The boundaries certainly have fallen for us in pleasant places, but in this life that’s still bound within the realm of the cross. Christ is our portion. Not dealing out happiness.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws, are you too lazy to read the article I linked? It’s by Veith and it contains the quote. Since this seems to be quite an effort for you, I’ll post the most relevant quote:

    “Luther actually uses two different words for what I have so far been collapsing under the general term vocation: ‘station’ (Stand) and ‘calling’ (Beruf). Non-Christians are given a station in life, a place where God has assigned them. Christians, though, are the ones who hear God’s voice in his Word, so they understand their station in terms of God’s personal ‘calling.'”

    Personally, I don’t find this a very significant point, but it does call into question your repeated insistence upon the equivalence of the pagan and Christian understanding of righteousness, vocation, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws, are you too lazy to read the article I linked? It’s by Veith and it contains the quote. Since this seems to be quite an effort for you, I’ll post the most relevant quote:

    “Luther actually uses two different words for what I have so far been collapsing under the general term vocation: ‘station’ (Stand) and ‘calling’ (Beruf). Non-Christians are given a station in life, a place where God has assigned them. Christians, though, are the ones who hear God’s voice in his Word, so they understand their station in terms of God’s personal ‘calling.'”

    Personally, I don’t find this a very significant point, but it does call into question your repeated insistence upon the equivalence of the pagan and Christian understanding of righteousness, vocation, etc.

  • fws

    cincinatus at 107.

    No i wss not to lazy to read the link. I didn´t see it. I am having trouble scrolling with this new pc. I will read it now.

  • fws

    cincinatus at 107.

    No i wss not to lazy to read the link. I didn´t see it. I am having trouble scrolling with this new pc. I will read it now.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 107

    “Personally, I don’t find this a very significant point, but it does call into question your repeated insistence upon the equivalence of the pagan and Christian understanding of righteousness, vocation, etc.”

    lets be clear…

    I am reciting what the Lutheran Confessions say. I so far have not seen dr veith contradict the confessions in the quote you gave or mary jane´s.

    The confessions (luther himself) tells christians to “consider their station in life according to the 10 commandments”.

    http://bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php#confession

    Let´s let Luther speak for himself on this eh? And let´s let the confessions and not Veith OR Luther defind what Lutheran teaching is.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 107

    “Personally, I don’t find this a very significant point, but it does call into question your repeated insistence upon the equivalence of the pagan and Christian understanding of righteousness, vocation, etc.”

    lets be clear…

    I am reciting what the Lutheran Confessions say. I so far have not seen dr veith contradict the confessions in the quote you gave or mary jane´s.

    The confessions (luther himself) tells christians to “consider their station in life according to the 10 commandments”.

    http://bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php#confession

    Let´s let Luther speak for himself on this eh? And let´s let the confessions and not Veith OR Luther defind what Lutheran teaching is.

  • fws

    mary jack at 106

    I understand happiness to be synonymous with joy. at least close.

    joy is a fruit of the spirit is it not? It sounds like God puts alot more value on our joy and happiness than you do. why does this point feel like something you need to contend for?

    Luther says that the entire point of the law as to earthly righteousness is for each of us to mind our own business and stay out of the property lives and business of others so each can enjoy the earthly gifts God has given him. I don´t know about you, but I don´t see the need to hairsplit between enjoying life and being happy in life.

    Being happy is in fact a biblical command. “Be joyful always.”

    Ok. you are going to say there is some profound and important biblical distinction between joy and happiness.

    Keep in mind that the confessions say there is zero difference intrinsically between fruits of the spirit done by the new man and works of the law done by pagans.

  • fws

    mary jack at 106

    I understand happiness to be synonymous with joy. at least close.

    joy is a fruit of the spirit is it not? It sounds like God puts alot more value on our joy and happiness than you do. why does this point feel like something you need to contend for?

    Luther says that the entire point of the law as to earthly righteousness is for each of us to mind our own business and stay out of the property lives and business of others so each can enjoy the earthly gifts God has given him. I don´t know about you, but I don´t see the need to hairsplit between enjoying life and being happy in life.

    Being happy is in fact a biblical command. “Be joyful always.”

    Ok. you are going to say there is some profound and important biblical distinction between joy and happiness.

    Keep in mind that the confessions say there is zero difference intrinsically between fruits of the spirit done by the new man and works of the law done by pagans.

  • Cincinnatus

    Do we know the German word employed here in the Confessions? Veith’s point is that Luther, for instance, employs two different words, “Stand” and “Beruf” which mean entirely different things, though we English brutes tend to translate them both as either “station” or “vocation.” It would seem to me that there is, in fact, a difference between a Christian’s and a pagan’s self-understanding.

    Even if Lutheranism, in the end, doesn’t teach it, it is an idea worth considering.

  • Cincinnatus

    Do we know the German word employed here in the Confessions? Veith’s point is that Luther, for instance, employs two different words, “Stand” and “Beruf” which mean entirely different things, though we English brutes tend to translate them both as either “station” or “vocation.” It would seem to me that there is, in fact, a difference between a Christian’s and a pagan’s self-understanding.

    Even if Lutheranism, in the end, doesn’t teach it, it is an idea worth considering.

  • sg

    “being just a little more specific would be helpful sg… gss is a huge site with lots of data…… I would readily discuss any study you link to that you are saying supports your thesis, which is that gays are more depraved than the rest of the general population .”

    Cincinnatus already linked to a document which included a table with the data from the GSS. Besides you said that you wouldn’t believe any info if any group you didn’t approve of had collected the data. I assumed that meant even if all they did was get it directly from GSS. So, I sent you directly to the GSS so you could click with your own finger and the data could remain clear of the taint of a biased organization. Besides, I don’t read such sites anyway. Mostly I read science sites where the overwhelming majority are atheists and the few discussions of homosexuality are in anthropological or evolutionary terms.

    Also, I didn’t say gays are more depraved. I said it is a sin like any other sin. If my son were alcoholic, I would tell him to quit drinking. It is a bad example and creates a bad environment for his kids. Same if he had a gambling problem, etc. Whatever the sin we can repent and be forgiven. Nothing wrong with advising it especially to your nearest and dearest.

  • sg

    “being just a little more specific would be helpful sg… gss is a huge site with lots of data…… I would readily discuss any study you link to that you are saying supports your thesis, which is that gays are more depraved than the rest of the general population .”

    Cincinnatus already linked to a document which included a table with the data from the GSS. Besides you said that you wouldn’t believe any info if any group you didn’t approve of had collected the data. I assumed that meant even if all they did was get it directly from GSS. So, I sent you directly to the GSS so you could click with your own finger and the data could remain clear of the taint of a biased organization. Besides, I don’t read such sites anyway. Mostly I read science sites where the overwhelming majority are atheists and the few discussions of homosexuality are in anthropological or evolutionary terms.

    Also, I didn’t say gays are more depraved. I said it is a sin like any other sin. If my son were alcoholic, I would tell him to quit drinking. It is a bad example and creates a bad environment for his kids. Same if he had a gambling problem, etc. Whatever the sin we can repent and be forgiven. Nothing wrong with advising it especially to your nearest and dearest.

  • fws

    cincinatus 86

    You make assertions that “homosexuals are (fill in the blank)” Most of those comments somehow make homosexuals different than you are morally or otherwise.

    I am a homosexual.

    Logically what you say about homos as a class, in the way you do it, you are saying those things all apply to me. Where is my logic off here.

    Alternatively, my thesis is that me and other homos are no different in any way from you. Not at all. Whenever I drive back to this point by putting you on the same level as homosexuals as a sinner and believer, you feel as though I am attacking your conscience.

    You say: “You know how I counseled you earlier not to make these topical debates into probing discussions about the status of your interlocutors’s souls? Yeah, you should probably keep that advice in mind. If you are incapable of discussing a given topic objectively without launching into accusations about my conscience, my soul, my understanding of the Gospel, then it might be best to remain silent on the matter.”

    Show me where I made an accusation ad homem about you specifically dear cincinatus that looks like this.

  • fws

    cincinatus 86

    You make assertions that “homosexuals are (fill in the blank)” Most of those comments somehow make homosexuals different than you are morally or otherwise.

    I am a homosexual.

    Logically what you say about homos as a class, in the way you do it, you are saying those things all apply to me. Where is my logic off here.

    Alternatively, my thesis is that me and other homos are no different in any way from you. Not at all. Whenever I drive back to this point by putting you on the same level as homosexuals as a sinner and believer, you feel as though I am attacking your conscience.

    You say: “You know how I counseled you earlier not to make these topical debates into probing discussions about the status of your interlocutors’s souls? Yeah, you should probably keep that advice in mind. If you are incapable of discussing a given topic objectively without launching into accusations about my conscience, my soul, my understanding of the Gospel, then it might be best to remain silent on the matter.”

    Show me where I made an accusation ad homem about you specifically dear cincinatus that looks like this.

  • fws

    sg @112

    Also, I didn’t say gays are more depraved.

    @66“Gays are no more and no less driven by the sex drive than are anyone else.”Not supported by the empirical evidence. Gays typically have far more partners.
    @67However, there is no way I would have a supportive attitude towards his having a gay relationship, much less a gay marriage complete with kids as innocent victims who would witness such depravity.

    Ok. So the clear message here you are sending is that you consider your own self to be as equally depraved as any homosexual. That would be the biblical position. Cool! I have no further argument now that you concede this point.

  • fws

    sg @112

    Also, I didn’t say gays are more depraved.

    @66“Gays are no more and no less driven by the sex drive than are anyone else.”Not supported by the empirical evidence. Gays typically have far more partners.
    @67However, there is no way I would have a supportive attitude towards his having a gay relationship, much less a gay marriage complete with kids as innocent victims who would witness such depravity.

    Ok. So the clear message here you are sending is that you consider your own self to be as equally depraved as any homosexual. That would be the biblical position. Cool! I have no further argument now that you concede this point.

  • sg

    “So the clear message here you are sending is that you consider your own self to be as equally depraved as any homosexual.”

    I said that from the outset. I have to repent of my sins as do they.

    However, my marriage was established by God, so I don’t have to repent for following what God established. My kids are exposed to me and my sins but not a general condition where I deny the authority of God to forbid me certain activities. Unmarried folks with children who have different partners coming and going also would be setting a bad example of denying God’s authority to forbid such sexual behavior.

  • sg

    “So the clear message here you are sending is that you consider your own self to be as equally depraved as any homosexual.”

    I said that from the outset. I have to repent of my sins as do they.

    However, my marriage was established by God, so I don’t have to repent for following what God established. My kids are exposed to me and my sins but not a general condition where I deny the authority of God to forbid me certain activities. Unmarried folks with children who have different partners coming and going also would be setting a bad example of denying God’s authority to forbid such sexual behavior.