Gays in the military, in history

The Senate struck down the  “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, allowing gays to serve openly in the military.  Unlike gay marriage, this is not unprecedented.  In fact, the Greeks sometimes purposefully cultivated homosexual attachments in military units in order to build unit cohesion.   This happened among the Spartans.  The most famous example, though, was the elite fighting force known as the Theban Band, a.k.a., the Sacred Band of Thebes:

Plutarch records that the Sacred Band was made up of male couples, the rationale being that lovers could fight more fiercely and cohesively than strangers with no ardent bonds. According to Plutarch’s Life of Pelopidas[2], the inspiration for the Band’s formation came from Plato’s Symposium, wherein the character Phaedrus remarks,

“And if there were only some way of contriving that a state or an army should be made up of lovers and their beloved, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when fighting at each other’s side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world. For what lover would not choose rather to be seen by all mankind than by his beloved, either when abandoning his post or throwing away his arms? He would be ready to die a thousand deaths rather than endure this. Or who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger?”

The Sacred Band originally was formed of hand-picked men who were couples, each lover and beloved selected from the ranks of the existing Theban citizen-army. The pairs consisted of the older “heníochoi”, or charioteers, and the younger “parabátai”, or companions, all housed and trained at the city’s expense in order to fight as hoplites.  During their early engagements, they were dispersed by Gorgidas throughout the front ranks of the Theban army in an attempt to bolster morale.

via Sacred Band of Thebes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This, of course, is not the kind of unit cohesion our forces try to cultivate today.   The soldiers in these arrangements would live in homosexual relationships during their military commitment, but then afterwards they would usually get married and live normal heterosexual lives.

There is apparently a cultural component, at least in some cases, to homosexual behavior.  I’m not denying that some people seem to have some sort of innate same-sex attraction.  Still, it might help to study homosexuality in the ancient world, which was rampant–contrary to those who think the Biblical authors did not know anything about the subject–and yet it was also fluid–contrary to those who insist that homosexuality is always a fixed condition–with people going back and forth from homosexuality and heterosexuality.

About Gene Veith

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

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    “This, of course, is not the kind of unit cohesion our forces try to cultivate today.”

    Fact: There are more gays and lesbians in the Marine Corp than in any other branch of the military. Why?

    1) Gays think that maybe this will “straighten them out” (It doesn´t). So they join the marines for the same therapeutic motives as do gays who become Roman Catholic priests, pastors, or get married or become very successful professional football players or olympians.

    2) Most gay men tend towards a form of hyper masculinity that fits in well with military life and the marine corp in particular. The effeminate stereotype tends to stick out, and it makes homosexuality feel less threatening actually. It firmly plants “homosexuality” as a “them” that is completely severed from the normal heterosexual “us”.

    This tendency towards hypermasculinity is probably a part of what drives homosexuality, and it is in part a reaction to stereotype.

    When men and women come to a conscious knowing of their orientation at puberty, they carefully study masculine traits and lean harder into them. They want the acceptance that all teens crave. So they tend to be exceptional at being the Prom king and queen, they become the HS jock. They learn how to get the girl. This last one is not hard. If you are the star football player in HS and handsome, and in addition are the perfect gentleman who does not want to get into your girl´s pants and are really able to listen to her…….

    This is why there have been so many gay male role models in history, such as errol flynn, cary grant, marlon brando, rock hudson , etc.

    As to homosexuality being more “fluid” than is currently thought…

    Imagine a society where the societal expectation is to actually perform as a homosexual to meet societies expectations in certain situations. This is hard even for a gay man to wrap his brain around.

    When those societal expectations and requirements have been met, those men will return to what their real orientation is. They will get married and settle down and raise kinds.

    In our society , the reverse happens. Society demands the respect of marriage, so gay men marry and have kids. only after years do they free themselves from doing stuff just to obey the rules of society, and they return to what feels normal and natural to them and form a gay relationship. This is not about sexual orientation being fluid really.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    “This, of course, is not the kind of unit cohesion our forces try to cultivate today.”

    Fact: There are more gays and lesbians in the Marine Corp than in any other branch of the military. Why?

    1) Gays think that maybe this will “straighten them out” (It doesn´t). So they join the marines for the same therapeutic motives as do gays who become Roman Catholic priests, pastors, or get married or become very successful professional football players or olympians.

    2) Most gay men tend towards a form of hyper masculinity that fits in well with military life and the marine corp in particular. The effeminate stereotype tends to stick out, and it makes homosexuality feel less threatening actually. It firmly plants “homosexuality” as a “them” that is completely severed from the normal heterosexual “us”.

    This tendency towards hypermasculinity is probably a part of what drives homosexuality, and it is in part a reaction to stereotype.

    When men and women come to a conscious knowing of their orientation at puberty, they carefully study masculine traits and lean harder into them. They want the acceptance that all teens crave. So they tend to be exceptional at being the Prom king and queen, they become the HS jock. They learn how to get the girl. This last one is not hard. If you are the star football player in HS and handsome, and in addition are the perfect gentleman who does not want to get into your girl´s pants and are really able to listen to her…….

    This is why there have been so many gay male role models in history, such as errol flynn, cary grant, marlon brando, rock hudson , etc.

    As to homosexuality being more “fluid” than is currently thought…

    Imagine a society where the societal expectation is to actually perform as a homosexual to meet societies expectations in certain situations. This is hard even for a gay man to wrap his brain around.

    When those societal expectations and requirements have been met, those men will return to what their real orientation is. They will get married and settle down and raise kinds.

    In our society , the reverse happens. Society demands the respect of marriage, so gay men marry and have kids. only after years do they free themselves from doing stuff just to obey the rules of society, and they return to what feels normal and natural to them and form a gay relationship. This is not about sexual orientation being fluid really.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    One further comment. We all need to be careful to not overlay our own social rules and insert anachronism.

    In greek society, one was not homosexual if one was the active (penetrative ) actor. In addition if one was passive, one was also not homosexual if this was done according to the rules (eg a young soldier being pared with an older man. This was more thought of as a duty or service).

    There were also rules I can´t begin to understand, that even christians of that time seemed to unquestioningly follow at least to some extent, regarding whether the actors were slave or free. For example if one was passive and a free man with an active slave partner , this was considered a moral wrong. In the reverse not so much.

    Finally, those men who were perpetually the passive component , such as eunuchs who assumed the women sexual role in temple rituals (ala leviticus 18) were looked down upon by society much as men use prostitutes and admire the beautiful ones even, but class them as the refuse and rubbish of society and the butt of humor and jokes.

    So , in short, we should be careful not to overlay our own american societies visceral views on all this, those views that we just assume is the natural and ordinary way all societies have always processed this stuff, and assume we understand and can make sense of all of it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    One further comment. We all need to be careful to not overlay our own social rules and insert anachronism.

    In greek society, one was not homosexual if one was the active (penetrative ) actor. In addition if one was passive, one was also not homosexual if this was done according to the rules (eg a young soldier being pared with an older man. This was more thought of as a duty or service).

    There were also rules I can´t begin to understand, that even christians of that time seemed to unquestioningly follow at least to some extent, regarding whether the actors were slave or free. For example if one was passive and a free man with an active slave partner , this was considered a moral wrong. In the reverse not so much.

    Finally, those men who were perpetually the passive component , such as eunuchs who assumed the women sexual role in temple rituals (ala leviticus 18) were looked down upon by society much as men use prostitutes and admire the beautiful ones even, but class them as the refuse and rubbish of society and the butt of humor and jokes.

    So , in short, we should be careful not to overlay our own american societies visceral views on all this, those views that we just assume is the natural and ordinary way all societies have always processed this stuff, and assume we understand and can make sense of all of it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Also this hypermasculity that is typical of homosexuals (that also makes the great majority of homosexuals invisible to most of us) explains why researchers find that virtually all pederasty is a crime and dysfunction of adult heterosexual males who are often fathers with their own children: They are attracted to children for their feminine charactaristics.

    Adult females and homosexuals in contrast would not be attracted to that.

    Both these groups would be attracted to young men who are developing the traits that are making them masculine and men. So most female and homosexual pederasts are attracted to post puberty men of high school age.

    I know this is not to the point of the post on gays in the military

    It further expands on the cultural issues that were also raised and what it is that defines or hallmarks homosexuality.

    Here is further reading on all this that nicely provides fuller background on Dr Veith´s comments on greek and ancient society and brings it up to modern times…

    http://www.internationalorder.org/scandal_response.html

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Also this hypermasculity that is typical of homosexuals (that also makes the great majority of homosexuals invisible to most of us) explains why researchers find that virtually all pederasty is a crime and dysfunction of adult heterosexual males who are often fathers with their own children: They are attracted to children for their feminine charactaristics.

    Adult females and homosexuals in contrast would not be attracted to that.

    Both these groups would be attracted to young men who are developing the traits that are making them masculine and men. So most female and homosexual pederasts are attracted to post puberty men of high school age.

    I know this is not to the point of the post on gays in the military

    It further expands on the cultural issues that were also raised and what it is that defines or hallmarks homosexuality.

    Here is further reading on all this that nicely provides fuller background on Dr Veith´s comments on greek and ancient society and brings it up to modern times…

    http://www.internationalorder.org/scandal_response.html

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Frank, what’s your source on the Marines being the most homosexual-laden service?

    My take on this is to note that I believe Alexander’s army also had this kind of tendencies, and it’s worth noting that Alexander, far from actually conquering the lands he claimed, actually kicked off a couple of centuries of incessant war throughout the Middle East, in part (Maccabean revolt for example) based on the behavior of Macedonian/Syrian armies.

    And so I wonder if this is part of a general trend in our armed services away from the thing which used to enable our Army and Marines to actually conquer; the conquered peoples could expect a certain level of behavior out of our soldiers, and thus did not need to rebel.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Frank, what’s your source on the Marines being the most homosexual-laden service?

    My take on this is to note that I believe Alexander’s army also had this kind of tendencies, and it’s worth noting that Alexander, far from actually conquering the lands he claimed, actually kicked off a couple of centuries of incessant war throughout the Middle East, in part (Maccabean revolt for example) based on the behavior of Macedonian/Syrian armies.

    And so I wonder if this is part of a general trend in our armed services away from the thing which used to enable our Army and Marines to actually conquer; the conquered peoples could expect a certain level of behavior out of our soldiers, and thus did not need to rebel.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bike @ 4

    My information is purely anecdotal. Here it is in outline…

    I lived in los angeles for years and before that in tacoma. so I lived near alot of military. The men I met who were gay in all the forces all said that the highest concentration was in the Marines. And it would then follow, if you can get this… that also the most anxiety (some call this homophobia) would also be there. This is because alot of men also join the marines for the therapeutic reason of trying to overcome a certain degree of homosexual orientation within their own selves.

    It is axiomatic among gays, that gay bashers who look to physically beat up gays are probably, themselves, gay men. Interesting eh? So it can be said that homophobia is probably more a gay phenomena than a heterosexual one where it is acted out in violence.

    Think this way. If you were a young man interested in becoming more manly, disciplined and in addition you were attracted to all the things the marines stand for like brotherhood, male bonding as comrades (I am not talking here sexually), discipline, the physical part of being a man in discipline of the body as well. And in addition you like to be close to men like that….. which branch of the service would YOU join to find all that?

    And the men who join are well aware of the code of military conduct etc. They deeply respect those things and would be the first to encourage the discipline of men who violate that code in the line of duty. So removal of “don´t ask dont tell” really will mean that the same code will now be applied to everyone in exactly the same way. It will me the absence of special rules and accomodations.

    I find that men who are secure in their sexuality dont have a problem with homosexuals or even homosexual advances as in compliments or polite offers as long as someone is not obnoxious or persistent or disrespectful. And gay men have to learn early, especially in situations like locker rooms, to focus their eyes down or away. You have been in the locker room with alot of gay men and you would never know it. So I am pretty sure this all won´t really be an issue in the military. It is called respect. Just as you might be attracted to a female but you will avert your eyes or be demure as respect would demand of any descent person in a situation where personal modesty can be violated.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bike @ 4

    My information is purely anecdotal. Here it is in outline…

    I lived in los angeles for years and before that in tacoma. so I lived near alot of military. The men I met who were gay in all the forces all said that the highest concentration was in the Marines. And it would then follow, if you can get this… that also the most anxiety (some call this homophobia) would also be there. This is because alot of men also join the marines for the therapeutic reason of trying to overcome a certain degree of homosexual orientation within their own selves.

    It is axiomatic among gays, that gay bashers who look to physically beat up gays are probably, themselves, gay men. Interesting eh? So it can be said that homophobia is probably more a gay phenomena than a heterosexual one where it is acted out in violence.

    Think this way. If you were a young man interested in becoming more manly, disciplined and in addition you were attracted to all the things the marines stand for like brotherhood, male bonding as comrades (I am not talking here sexually), discipline, the physical part of being a man in discipline of the body as well. And in addition you like to be close to men like that….. which branch of the service would YOU join to find all that?

    And the men who join are well aware of the code of military conduct etc. They deeply respect those things and would be the first to encourage the discipline of men who violate that code in the line of duty. So removal of “don´t ask dont tell” really will mean that the same code will now be applied to everyone in exactly the same way. It will me the absence of special rules and accomodations.

    I find that men who are secure in their sexuality dont have a problem with homosexuals or even homosexual advances as in compliments or polite offers as long as someone is not obnoxious or persistent or disrespectful. And gay men have to learn early, especially in situations like locker rooms, to focus their eyes down or away. You have been in the locker room with alot of gay men and you would never know it. So I am pretty sure this all won´t really be an issue in the military. It is called respect. Just as you might be attracted to a female but you will avert your eyes or be demure as respect would demand of any descent person in a situation where personal modesty can be violated.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    fws @5

    clarification:

    “I find that men who are secure in their sexuality dont have a problem with homosexuals or even homosexual advances as in compliments or polite offers as long as someone is not obnoxious or persistent or disrespectful. ”

    “Polite offer”. I am not talking about sex here. What would be polite for a young christian man to offer a young single female? The same rules of respect are universal. “Hey would you like to go out for a beer or an ice cream ? ” It looks like that. And that sort of offer can be politely refused.

    And in the military there are rules about fraternization between the ranks etc. So even that would not be the same as in polite civilian society.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    fws @5

    clarification:

    “I find that men who are secure in their sexuality dont have a problem with homosexuals or even homosexual advances as in compliments or polite offers as long as someone is not obnoxious or persistent or disrespectful. ”

    “Polite offer”. I am not talking about sex here. What would be polite for a young christian man to offer a young single female? The same rules of respect are universal. “Hey would you like to go out for a beer or an ice cream ? ” It looks like that. And that sort of offer can be politely refused.

    And in the military there are rules about fraternization between the ranks etc. So even that would not be the same as in polite civilian society.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Bike @ 4

    Interesting observations on the hellenized world. I think you are maybe right in part. What part of that would be about homosexuality probably depends on how much you lean on the dubious historicity of the recent film alexander the great.

    Would that observation also include females in the military? It also might have had something to do with the greek attitude of democracy and leading by example. Greeks were not big on imperialism and the trappings that go with that. Rome was. And that is important for empire. So yes, we americans are probably more like the greeks than like republican pre-empire romans. We would be miserable failures at empire.

    In a way maybe the greek influence was so pervasive because they did not conquer? greek language and culture dominated in ways we cannot really imagine without real conquest didnt it? Isn´t this same thing happening with american culture , ideals and language for the past 80 years or so?

    I think you are onto something here Bike is what I am saying, and it won´t be about gays and women in the military it just occurred to me.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Bike @ 4

    Interesting observations on the hellenized world. I think you are maybe right in part. What part of that would be about homosexuality probably depends on how much you lean on the dubious historicity of the recent film alexander the great.

    Would that observation also include females in the military? It also might have had something to do with the greek attitude of democracy and leading by example. Greeks were not big on imperialism and the trappings that go with that. Rome was. And that is important for empire. So yes, we americans are probably more like the greeks than like republican pre-empire romans. We would be miserable failures at empire.

    In a way maybe the greek influence was so pervasive because they did not conquer? greek language and culture dominated in ways we cannot really imagine without real conquest didnt it? Isn´t this same thing happening with american culture , ideals and language for the past 80 years or so?

    I think you are onto something here Bike is what I am saying, and it won´t be about gays and women in the military it just occurred to me.

  • Cincinnatus

    Now that fws has monopolized the thread with all sorts of anecdotal evidence that doesn’t exist, I’m glad that you, Dr. Veith, mentioned the fluidity of sexuality in (some) ancient cultures. Others have noted this as well, and I’m sure you’re aware that the fluidity of sexuality is an utterly essential tenet of postmodern gender studies . Judith Butler and other queer theorists argue something like the following: gender and sexuality are represented as spectra, not binodal poles. One’s location on the spectrum is determined purely performatively, not due to some intrinsic aspect of the person, etc.

    Yet, academics also tend to be the same ones who insist either that one cannot change one’s sexuality or that one can, but only if it is a personally chosen act. So the APA and the Academy seem fairly…uncertain…on this idea.

    Fortunately, post-modernism has fallen out of vogue in the academy, but that doesn’t make the idea any less appealing to those who need it–i.e., queer theorists and other radicals.

  • Cincinnatus

    Now that fws has monopolized the thread with all sorts of anecdotal evidence that doesn’t exist, I’m glad that you, Dr. Veith, mentioned the fluidity of sexuality in (some) ancient cultures. Others have noted this as well, and I’m sure you’re aware that the fluidity of sexuality is an utterly essential tenet of postmodern gender studies . Judith Butler and other queer theorists argue something like the following: gender and sexuality are represented as spectra, not binodal poles. One’s location on the spectrum is determined purely performatively, not due to some intrinsic aspect of the person, etc.

    Yet, academics also tend to be the same ones who insist either that one cannot change one’s sexuality or that one can, but only if it is a personally chosen act. So the APA and the Academy seem fairly…uncertain…on this idea.

    Fortunately, post-modernism has fallen out of vogue in the academy, but that doesn’t make the idea any less appealing to those who need it–i.e., queer theorists and other radicals.

  • Cincinnatus

    anecdotal evidence against an opponent who doesn’t exist*

    …that’s how I meant to conclude my first sentence.

  • Cincinnatus

    anecdotal evidence against an opponent who doesn’t exist*

    …that’s how I meant to conclude my first sentence.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    No offense, fws, knowing military culture makes anecdotal evidence very hard to believe. If every story the other branches told about the Marines was half true, I’d be afraid to give them a gun to do their job.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    No offense, fws, knowing military culture makes anecdotal evidence very hard to believe. If every story the other branches told about the Marines was half true, I’d be afraid to give them a gun to do their job.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @9

    “anecdotal” does not mean evidence is worthless or invalid. .But it should be honestly identified as such. Which I did. There probably are serious studies that would support what I have said. I do not really care about this stuff much, so I don´t have them at hand. Why would it matter to you?

    It needs to matter to me because I see men and women suffer, every day, first hand, at the Roman catholic, scholastic, philisophical religion you offer on this particular issue and that the Lutheran Confessions reject. The Lutheran confessions categorically reject Aquinas´natural law. Luther calls it the whore of theology. There is no love there. It is the enemy of the Holy Gospel. It is lawless that means.

    The position of the Lutheran Confessions aimed towards troubled consciences in mercy is better both for first table Righeousness and second table love for others that God demands of us all.

    “Judith Butler and other queer theorists argue something like the following: gender and sexuality are represented as spectra, not binodal poles. One’s location on the spectrum is determined purely performatively, not due to some intrinsic aspect of the person, etc.”

    You are distorting their findings. Almost everyone who has done studies seems to agree that sexual orientation lies along a spectrum. They do not conclude from this that ones location on the spectrum is determined by one´s behavior. Behavior is a *possible* consequence of who one is. Just as being a crack addict as opposed to a powder cocaine addict has some correlation to skin color, but not a necessary one.

    I would not argue any of this any more than I would argue with you that there is a law of gravity. This has nothing at all to do with christianity, the bible or faith in Christ does it?

    But cincinatus, I might try to inform you of those perceived realities when I see you encouraging others step to the edge of a high ledge.

    This is called love for neighbor.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @9

    “anecdotal” does not mean evidence is worthless or invalid. .But it should be honestly identified as such. Which I did. There probably are serious studies that would support what I have said. I do not really care about this stuff much, so I don´t have them at hand. Why would it matter to you?

    It needs to matter to me because I see men and women suffer, every day, first hand, at the Roman catholic, scholastic, philisophical religion you offer on this particular issue and that the Lutheran Confessions reject. The Lutheran confessions categorically reject Aquinas´natural law. Luther calls it the whore of theology. There is no love there. It is the enemy of the Holy Gospel. It is lawless that means.

    The position of the Lutheran Confessions aimed towards troubled consciences in mercy is better both for first table Righeousness and second table love for others that God demands of us all.

    “Judith Butler and other queer theorists argue something like the following: gender and sexuality are represented as spectra, not binodal poles. One’s location on the spectrum is determined purely performatively, not due to some intrinsic aspect of the person, etc.”

    You are distorting their findings. Almost everyone who has done studies seems to agree that sexual orientation lies along a spectrum. They do not conclude from this that ones location on the spectrum is determined by one´s behavior. Behavior is a *possible* consequence of who one is. Just as being a crack addict as opposed to a powder cocaine addict has some correlation to skin color, but not a necessary one.

    I would not argue any of this any more than I would argue with you that there is a law of gravity. This has nothing at all to do with christianity, the bible or faith in Christ does it?

    But cincinatus, I might try to inform you of those perceived realities when I see you encouraging others step to the edge of a high ledge.

    This is called love for neighbor.

  • Porcell

    Note that when combat troops were polled on open gay homosexuality, 60% opposed it on the grounds of its effect on unit cohesion during wartime.

    Thomas Mackubin Owens writes cogently about this issue in a WSJ article, The Case Against Gays in the Military:
    Open homosexuality would threaten unit cohesion and military effectiveness.
    , including:

    As Sen. James Webb (D., Va.), who was awarded the Navy Cross for valor as a Marine officer in Vietnam, wrote in the Weekly Standard in 1997, “There is no greater or more natural bias than that of an individual toward a beloved. And few emotions are more powerful, or more distracting, than those surrounding the pursuit of, competition for, or the breaking off of amorous relationships.”

    The destructive impact of such relationships on unit cohesion can be denied only by ideologues. Does a superior order his or her beloved into danger? If he or she demonstrates favoritism, what is the consequence for unit morale and discipline? What happens when jealousy rears its head? These are questions of life and death, and they help to explain why open homosexuality and homosexual behavior traditionally have been considered incompatible with military service.

    Too bad the mostly Democrtic politicians caved to popular sentiment.

  • Porcell

    Note that when combat troops were polled on open gay homosexuality, 60% opposed it on the grounds of its effect on unit cohesion during wartime.

    Thomas Mackubin Owens writes cogently about this issue in a WSJ article, The Case Against Gays in the Military:
    Open homosexuality would threaten unit cohesion and military effectiveness.
    , including:

    As Sen. James Webb (D., Va.), who was awarded the Navy Cross for valor as a Marine officer in Vietnam, wrote in the Weekly Standard in 1997, “There is no greater or more natural bias than that of an individual toward a beloved. And few emotions are more powerful, or more distracting, than those surrounding the pursuit of, competition for, or the breaking off of amorous relationships.”

    The destructive impact of such relationships on unit cohesion can be denied only by ideologues. Does a superior order his or her beloved into danger? If he or she demonstrates favoritism, what is the consequence for unit morale and discipline? What happens when jealousy rears its head? These are questions of life and death, and they help to explain why open homosexuality and homosexual behavior traditionally have been considered incompatible with military service.

    Too bad the mostly Democrtic politicians caved to popular sentiment.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dr Luther @10

    I think Barry Goldwater is right here. He had more military experience than either of us, both in uniform and in congress. Ditto that for collin powell .

    Ditto that for the men and women who compiled the recent study by the pentagon.

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/scotts/bulgarians/barry-goldwater.html

    I believe our military is the best there is. This is something they will step up to and do smartly, just as they did with blacks and women in the military. They are professional. They will follow orders, protect the constitution as they have vowed to do, and they will do their jobs.

    Righteousness is to judge people strictly by what they do and not by who they are. We can and should demand that everyone , gay and straight, abide by the strict code of military conduct. Anyone who´s behavior violates this should and must be disciplined.

    So why do we need a special set of rules for gays? And why should we require, by force of law, men and women of honor who serve with distinction, to not tell the truth or lie?

    What matters is that a soldier can shoot straight, not that he is straight or gay.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dr Luther @10

    I think Barry Goldwater is right here. He had more military experience than either of us, both in uniform and in congress. Ditto that for collin powell .

    Ditto that for the men and women who compiled the recent study by the pentagon.

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/scotts/bulgarians/barry-goldwater.html

    I believe our military is the best there is. This is something they will step up to and do smartly, just as they did with blacks and women in the military. They are professional. They will follow orders, protect the constitution as they have vowed to do, and they will do their jobs.

    Righteousness is to judge people strictly by what they do and not by who they are. We can and should demand that everyone , gay and straight, abide by the strict code of military conduct. Anyone who´s behavior violates this should and must be disciplined.

    So why do we need a special set of rules for gays? And why should we require, by force of law, men and women of honor who serve with distinction, to not tell the truth or lie?

    What matters is that a soldier can shoot straight, not that he is straight or gay.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 12

    Ok I agree with Webb.

    Question:

    Why is this more true for gays in the military than it is for relatives or married couples who both serve it the military?

    Question:

    Aren´t there rules already in existence to deal with exactly this potential problem of married couples and relatives serving together? McCain and Bush Jr were both sons of military or political brass. Favoritism was a real possiblity. It happens.

    So again, why is this issue more accute or different for gays in the military?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 12

    Ok I agree with Webb.

    Question:

    Why is this more true for gays in the military than it is for relatives or married couples who both serve it the military?

    Question:

    Aren´t there rules already in existence to deal with exactly this potential problem of married couples and relatives serving together? McCain and Bush Jr were both sons of military or political brass. Favoritism was a real possiblity. It happens.

    So again, why is this issue more accute or different for gays in the military?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Frank–well, at least that’s some of the “word on the street,” I guess. And yes, I would agree that the military is dealing with the inclusion of women in similar ways, and for the sake of both the military and homosexuals, I hope it doesn’t work out the same way. To draw a picture, the former soldiers/sailors/airmen I know suggest that many women in the military would have only sawdust if they notched their bedposts…..

    Yes, my anecdotal evidence, but there are statistical indications as well that this has become an issue…..and for what it’s worth, my information on Alexander comes from secular histories, as I haven’t been in a movie theater for over a decade. (no particular moral objection, just nothing I want to see)

    Porcell’s link is interesting, too; that the idea behind the “Theban Band” can work both ways. It’s along the same lines as the U.S. War for Independence in the Carolinas–you could basically predict who would win a battle there based on one factor alone.

    Not numerical strength, or leadership, or tactics, or position. Nope, the winners were those who did NOT have liquor at the time. Unit cohesion and morals does make a difference.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Frank–well, at least that’s some of the “word on the street,” I guess. And yes, I would agree that the military is dealing with the inclusion of women in similar ways, and for the sake of both the military and homosexuals, I hope it doesn’t work out the same way. To draw a picture, the former soldiers/sailors/airmen I know suggest that many women in the military would have only sawdust if they notched their bedposts…..

    Yes, my anecdotal evidence, but there are statistical indications as well that this has become an issue…..and for what it’s worth, my information on Alexander comes from secular histories, as I haven’t been in a movie theater for over a decade. (no particular moral objection, just nothing I want to see)

    Porcell’s link is interesting, too; that the idea behind the “Theban Band” can work both ways. It’s along the same lines as the U.S. War for Independence in the Carolinas–you could basically predict who would win a battle there based on one factor alone.

    Not numerical strength, or leadership, or tactics, or position. Nope, the winners were those who did NOT have liquor at the time. Unit cohesion and morals does make a difference.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m actually not opposed to the repeal of DADT, but let’s be frank: the open acceptance of practicing homosexuals in the military is deeply problematic for exactly the same reason the acceptance of women into the uniformed ranks is deeply problematic.

    fws: I’m not sure I understand your response to my previous comment, in which wasn’t really making an argument, but rather just pointing out a stale but dominant trend in the postmodern academy. If I had a point, it was this: today we (including you) insist that homosexuality is inextricably rooted in the identity and nature of a person. It cannot be changed. There are homosexuals and there are heterosexuals. A person is one or the other, and nothing can ever change that. This is why DADT allegedly constituted discrimination in the constitutionally problematic sense: because the government is disadvantaging a certain group of persons on the basis of something that they cannot change because it is intrinsic to their natures. But the same voices who dominate public discourse in our culture also insist that sexuality is a spectrum defined performatively that may or may not have anything whatsoever to do with the intrinsic “nature” of a person. So I was just noting the cognitive dissonance at work, and, furthermore, I was implicitly observing a certain “return” to paganism in our culture, in this case in our attitudes and approaches to human sexuality–a trend that many other worthy thinkers have noticed (including, I think, our hospitable host).

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m actually not opposed to the repeal of DADT, but let’s be frank: the open acceptance of practicing homosexuals in the military is deeply problematic for exactly the same reason the acceptance of women into the uniformed ranks is deeply problematic.

    fws: I’m not sure I understand your response to my previous comment, in which wasn’t really making an argument, but rather just pointing out a stale but dominant trend in the postmodern academy. If I had a point, it was this: today we (including you) insist that homosexuality is inextricably rooted in the identity and nature of a person. It cannot be changed. There are homosexuals and there are heterosexuals. A person is one or the other, and nothing can ever change that. This is why DADT allegedly constituted discrimination in the constitutionally problematic sense: because the government is disadvantaging a certain group of persons on the basis of something that they cannot change because it is intrinsic to their natures. But the same voices who dominate public discourse in our culture also insist that sexuality is a spectrum defined performatively that may or may not have anything whatsoever to do with the intrinsic “nature” of a person. So I was just noting the cognitive dissonance at work, and, furthermore, I was implicitly observing a certain “return” to paganism in our culture, in this case in our attitudes and approaches to human sexuality–a trend that many other worthy thinkers have noticed (including, I think, our hospitable host).

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 12

    “Note that when combat troops were polled on open gay homosexuality, 60% opposed it on the grounds of its effect on unit cohesion during wartime”

    This simply does not square with the most recent pentagon study which was the most extensive survey ever done. So you are quoting an older and far more limited survey or taking the current one completely out of context.

    The most recent pentagon study notes the following:

    for those soldiers who have had actual frontline combat experience with gays, the objection to gay troops drops to negligible levels.

    For those who have no actual experience, expectations based on stereotypes govern opinion.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 12

    “Note that when combat troops were polled on open gay homosexuality, 60% opposed it on the grounds of its effect on unit cohesion during wartime”

    This simply does not square with the most recent pentagon study which was the most extensive survey ever done. So you are quoting an older and far more limited survey or taking the current one completely out of context.

    The most recent pentagon study notes the following:

    for those soldiers who have had actual frontline combat experience with gays, the objection to gay troops drops to negligible levels.

    For those who have no actual experience, expectations based on stereotypes govern opinion.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 16

    “I’m actually not opposed to the repeal of DADT, but let’s be frank: the open acceptance of practicing homosexuals in the military is deeply problematic for exactly the same reason the acceptance of women into the uniformed ranks is deeply problematic.”

    So you “exactly ” equate women and gays being allowed to serve in the military.

    How are the two equally problematic? Tell us more.

    I am saying that earthly righeousness demands that we judge others based on their behavior and not on who they are. In that case it should not matter whether a person is a “practicing homosexual” (whatever you mean by that precisely) as long as they follow the same rules as everyone else.

    A practicing homosexual can be much more moral and ethical than either you or I can be. If by practicing you refer to what they do in the privacy of their bedroom or what pictures they pass around to their buddies as their loved ones… sheesh. Why is it that you should care?

    What does homosexuality have to do with what God demand of Cincinatus in terms of the second table righteousness that he demands of you? which is for you to exercise your own self control and for others to do whatever it is you can do to make their creaturely lives truly more happy and flourishing?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 16

    “I’m actually not opposed to the repeal of DADT, but let’s be frank: the open acceptance of practicing homosexuals in the military is deeply problematic for exactly the same reason the acceptance of women into the uniformed ranks is deeply problematic.”

    So you “exactly ” equate women and gays being allowed to serve in the military.

    How are the two equally problematic? Tell us more.

    I am saying that earthly righeousness demands that we judge others based on their behavior and not on who they are. In that case it should not matter whether a person is a “practicing homosexual” (whatever you mean by that precisely) as long as they follow the same rules as everyone else.

    A practicing homosexual can be much more moral and ethical than either you or I can be. If by practicing you refer to what they do in the privacy of their bedroom or what pictures they pass around to their buddies as their loved ones… sheesh. Why is it that you should care?

    What does homosexuality have to do with what God demand of Cincinatus in terms of the second table righteousness that he demands of you? which is for you to exercise your own self control and for others to do whatever it is you can do to make their creaturely lives truly more happy and flourishing?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinatus @ 16

    I am perpetually challenged to know if you are Roman Catholic or Lutheran. If you are Lutheran , you should take the time to understand the position of the Lutheran Confessions against aristotelian philosophical righteousness espoused by one Thomas Aquinas and the roman scholastics.

    If you are roman catholic as your writings mostly seem to suggest on the topic of homosexuality, I would still encourage you to read the Lutheran Confessions. If you are already familiar with aristotle´s virtue ethics, you will immediately get what they are saying.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinatus @ 16

    I am perpetually challenged to know if you are Roman Catholic or Lutheran. If you are Lutheran , you should take the time to understand the position of the Lutheran Confessions against aristotelian philosophical righteousness espoused by one Thomas Aquinas and the roman scholastics.

    If you are roman catholic as your writings mostly seem to suggest on the topic of homosexuality, I would still encourage you to read the Lutheran Confessions. If you are already familiar with aristotle´s virtue ethics, you will immediately get what they are saying.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 17, In that poll, 60% combat troops, as distinct from the back of the line troops, wanted yo keep “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” DJ Richards wrote the following in 2 December Washington Times article:

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, in releasing a study he ordered to meet President Obama’s directive to end the ban on gays in the military, disclosed that the chiefs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army disagree with the report’s conclusion that the impact on combat readiness would be “low.”
    Nearly 60 percent of Army and Marine Corps warriors said open homosexuals in the ranks would damage war-fighting capabilities, the study found.
    “For this reason, the uniformed service chiefs are less sanguine than the working group about the level of risk of repeal with regard to combat readiness,” said Mr. Gates, who supports repeal, as does Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    The Pentagon survey of all troops, be they in desk jobs or in the field, found about 70 percent said open gays would have positive, mixed or no effect on unit cohesion.
    By contrast, combat troops, who live in intimate surroundings while deployed, overwhelming reported that open gays would undermine military readiness, or preparedness for combat.
    Honestly, I don’t know why junior enlisted desk jockeys are being polled in the first place. The top brass knows about management and morale.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 17, In that poll, 60% combat troops, as distinct from the back of the line troops, wanted yo keep “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” DJ Richards wrote the following in 2 December Washington Times article:

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, in releasing a study he ordered to meet President Obama’s directive to end the ban on gays in the military, disclosed that the chiefs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army disagree with the report’s conclusion that the impact on combat readiness would be “low.”
    Nearly 60 percent of Army and Marine Corps warriors said open homosexuals in the ranks would damage war-fighting capabilities, the study found.
    “For this reason, the uniformed service chiefs are less sanguine than the working group about the level of risk of repeal with regard to combat readiness,” said Mr. Gates, who supports repeal, as does Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    The Pentagon survey of all troops, be they in desk jobs or in the field, found about 70 percent said open gays would have positive, mixed or no effect on unit cohesion.
    By contrast, combat troops, who live in intimate surroundings while deployed, overwhelming reported that open gays would undermine military readiness, or preparedness for combat.
    Honestly, I don’t know why junior enlisted desk jockeys are being polled in the first place. The top brass knows about management and morale.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: Keep in mind I’m not fundamentally opposed. But my objection here is a purely pragmatic question of public policy. Before you get your panties in a twist about an affront to equality (our modern god), set aside questions of the capacity of women to fight, of chivalry, of dignity, of comparative assessments of individual morality, etc. The inclusion of women in the military has spawned endless cases of sexual harassment and misconduct. Rape, assault, promiscuity, etc. The inclusion of women is problematic. Regardless of whether “most” women are promiscuous or whether “most” women are assaulted or harassed in the military (I’m sure neither–or at least the former–are true), the possibility itself is dangerous and a distraction from the military’s actual purpose. The same argument applies to open homosexuals. Lawsuits and reports of misconduct will be coming out of the Pentagon’s ears.

    There is a reason I keep my office door open if I will be alone with a woman for a meeting, etc. It has nothing to do with the characters or ethical scruples of those involved; the situation itself is suspect and problematic.

    From reports I’ve read, the inclusion of women in the military has, in fact, been deeply problematic in just the ways I have outlined. Why will the inclusion of homosexuals be any different? My point here is that I can actually understand the military’s past reluctance to permit open homosexuals in its ranks. Believe it or not, it has little to do with bigotry.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws: Keep in mind I’m not fundamentally opposed. But my objection here is a purely pragmatic question of public policy. Before you get your panties in a twist about an affront to equality (our modern god), set aside questions of the capacity of women to fight, of chivalry, of dignity, of comparative assessments of individual morality, etc. The inclusion of women in the military has spawned endless cases of sexual harassment and misconduct. Rape, assault, promiscuity, etc. The inclusion of women is problematic. Regardless of whether “most” women are promiscuous or whether “most” women are assaulted or harassed in the military (I’m sure neither–or at least the former–are true), the possibility itself is dangerous and a distraction from the military’s actual purpose. The same argument applies to open homosexuals. Lawsuits and reports of misconduct will be coming out of the Pentagon’s ears.

    There is a reason I keep my office door open if I will be alone with a woman for a meeting, etc. It has nothing to do with the characters or ethical scruples of those involved; the situation itself is suspect and problematic.

    From reports I’ve read, the inclusion of women in the military has, in fact, been deeply problematic in just the ways I have outlined. Why will the inclusion of homosexuals be any different? My point here is that I can actually understand the military’s past reluctance to permit open homosexuals in its ranks. Believe it or not, it has little to do with bigotry.

  • jb

    I wonder why so many religious rightists who so strenuously oppose gays serving openly in the US military nonetheless coo adoringly at the manly Israeli Defense Forces, where gays have served openly for many years.

  • jb

    I wonder why so many religious rightists who so strenuously oppose gays serving openly in the US military nonetheless coo adoringly at the manly Israeli Defense Forces, where gays have served openly for many years.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinatus @ 16

    I am gay and dont really care about whether homosexuality is about nature or nurture or if it is changeable or not.

    There is NOTHING in this sort of argument that has any eternal consequences whatsoever. None. This has nothing to do with christianity and nothing to do with the morality God demands of christian and pagan alike. Nothing.

    I repeat. homosexuality has no eternal consequences whatsoever according to the Holy Scriptures. This is exactly what Lutherans confess when we say we are saved alone by invisible faith alone. In christ alone. Maybe you do not believe this and are not a Lutheran. Ok . I DO believe it.

    I have no evidence so far from the Exodus-ex-gay-movement or my pretty extensive anecdotal evidence that would suggest even a glimmer of hope that change is possible as to orientation.

    Yes I say hope. If there were actually studies of programs like ex-gay-exodus that showed they worked, those programs would sell better than viagra to geriatrics !

    Dear brother cincinatus. You seem to favor the idea that sexual orientation is a choice. I can tell you that near 100% of the gays I know DID in fact make a choice about their sexuality. They invested time and money and serious time in religion, prayer, etc to realize and actualize the choice they made.

    Their choice was to be hetersexual.

    The closest result to this was celebacy. The orientation did not change. And this is not the same as alchoholism which is behavioral. and it is not the same as pederasty, which is a dis-ease that obviously preys on victims. These are both pathologies. This means techically: they are both clinically identifiable both by unique set of symptoms beyond the behavior, by a predictable progression, and there is the same , predictable pattern of damage and destruction done to others.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinatus @ 16

    I am gay and dont really care about whether homosexuality is about nature or nurture or if it is changeable or not.

    There is NOTHING in this sort of argument that has any eternal consequences whatsoever. None. This has nothing to do with christianity and nothing to do with the morality God demands of christian and pagan alike. Nothing.

    I repeat. homosexuality has no eternal consequences whatsoever according to the Holy Scriptures. This is exactly what Lutherans confess when we say we are saved alone by invisible faith alone. In christ alone. Maybe you do not believe this and are not a Lutheran. Ok . I DO believe it.

    I have no evidence so far from the Exodus-ex-gay-movement or my pretty extensive anecdotal evidence that would suggest even a glimmer of hope that change is possible as to orientation.

    Yes I say hope. If there were actually studies of programs like ex-gay-exodus that showed they worked, those programs would sell better than viagra to geriatrics !

    Dear brother cincinatus. You seem to favor the idea that sexual orientation is a choice. I can tell you that near 100% of the gays I know DID in fact make a choice about their sexuality. They invested time and money and serious time in religion, prayer, etc to realize and actualize the choice they made.

    Their choice was to be hetersexual.

    The closest result to this was celebacy. The orientation did not change. And this is not the same as alchoholism which is behavioral. and it is not the same as pederasty, which is a dis-ease that obviously preys on victims. These are both pathologies. This means techically: they are both clinically identifiable both by unique set of symptoms beyond the behavior, by a predictable progression, and there is the same , predictable pattern of damage and destruction done to others.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    fws, your response had nothing to do with what I wrote. I stated the other branches exaggerate when it comes to the Marines. I said nothing on unit cohesion, or even whether or not they should continue to discriminate. So the Barry Goldwater piece has little bearing on what I wrote.

    My only concern with the repealing of DADT is how will this play out in the Chaplain Corps. If they decide that this repealing requires a gag order on what Chaplains can and cannot preach and counsel then we have a significant problem. The Navy ,at least, already has a history of trying to control the preaching of its chaplains and so this is, I think, a legitimate worry and our rightful concern.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    fws, your response had nothing to do with what I wrote. I stated the other branches exaggerate when it comes to the Marines. I said nothing on unit cohesion, or even whether or not they should continue to discriminate. So the Barry Goldwater piece has little bearing on what I wrote.

    My only concern with the repealing of DADT is how will this play out in the Chaplain Corps. If they decide that this repealing requires a gag order on what Chaplains can and cannot preach and counsel then we have a significant problem. The Navy ,at least, already has a history of trying to control the preaching of its chaplains and so this is, I think, a legitimate worry and our rightful concern.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 21

    I will try to untwist my boxers thanks. Panties are for girly-men! So all gay men scrupulously avoid those.

    Ok . More anecdotal information for ya. I have been in sports most of my life. I don´t think any of those men I played with knew I was a gay man. So I have had a life time of practice dealing with this particular issue.

    If I had decided to be in the military, I would have acted in the same way, especially since there are rules about sexual conduct there that have the force of law.

    I hav to believe that there must be women in the military who respect and follow those rules of the military code on sexual conduct.

    The ones who have alot of sawdust need to be drummed out. it is really that simple.

    So I see where you are coming from.

    So no. Now that I see that, no, there is not an exact parallel between integrating women and integrating gays. Gays have a lifetime of knowing that they need to avoid even the slightest appearance of untowardness in locker room type situations. It becomes instinctive.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 21

    I will try to untwist my boxers thanks. Panties are for girly-men! So all gay men scrupulously avoid those.

    Ok . More anecdotal information for ya. I have been in sports most of my life. I don´t think any of those men I played with knew I was a gay man. So I have had a life time of practice dealing with this particular issue.

    If I had decided to be in the military, I would have acted in the same way, especially since there are rules about sexual conduct there that have the force of law.

    I hav to believe that there must be women in the military who respect and follow those rules of the military code on sexual conduct.

    The ones who have alot of sawdust need to be drummed out. it is really that simple.

    So I see where you are coming from.

    So no. Now that I see that, no, there is not an exact parallel between integrating women and integrating gays. Gays have a lifetime of knowing that they need to avoid even the slightest appearance of untowardness in locker room type situations. It becomes instinctive.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 20

    you are deliberately ignoring the entire study and especially it´s conclusions.

    They DO say that 60% figure as you say. Granted.

    then they go on to note that the frontline combat troops who have actually had know experience with gays have no problem at all with this.

    tell me I am misreading this Peter.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 20

    you are deliberately ignoring the entire study and especially it´s conclusions.

    They DO say that 60% figure as you say. Granted.

    then they go on to note that the frontline combat troops who have actually had know experience with gays have no problem at all with this.

    tell me I am misreading this Peter.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dr Luther @ 23

    great. how was i to know that your REAL point and issue was about chaplains being gagged. You did not really mention that in your initial post did you. MY mistake ;)

    This can be simple Dr Luther: the chaplains can expressly tell the troops that any violation of the military code sexually is wrong. wrongedy wrong wrong wrong. wrong!

    this would include any acting out of sex gay or otherwise in the military including adultery, and lots of other stuff.

    I would hope that our Lutheran chaplains would not feel that gays in the military would hinder their preaching and proclaimation of the Holy Gospel and to offer it freely to all sinners whether of the gay variety or heterosexual variety! Christ died for sinners. Gays qualify every hour of every day of the week! I should know eh?

    The fields are ripe for harvest! So I hope chaplains take advantage of this and make an especial effort to make gay servicemen feel especially welcome and included in their work!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dr Luther @ 23

    great. how was i to know that your REAL point and issue was about chaplains being gagged. You did not really mention that in your initial post did you. MY mistake ;)

    This can be simple Dr Luther: the chaplains can expressly tell the troops that any violation of the military code sexually is wrong. wrongedy wrong wrong wrong. wrong!

    this would include any acting out of sex gay or otherwise in the military including adultery, and lots of other stuff.

    I would hope that our Lutheran chaplains would not feel that gays in the military would hinder their preaching and proclaimation of the Holy Gospel and to offer it freely to all sinners whether of the gay variety or heterosexual variety! Christ died for sinners. Gays qualify every hour of every day of the week! I should know eh?

    The fields are ripe for harvest! So I hope chaplains take advantage of this and make an especial effort to make gay servicemen feel especially welcome and included in their work!

  • Porcell

    JB, at 22, The Knesset, similar to Congress, forced the Israeli military in 1983, largely against its will, to allow open gays in the military. After that gays were not allowed security clearance until the nineties when the Knesset under political pressure from the Left removed even that sensible precaution.

    FWS, assorted questions at 12.

    The fundamental difference is that women are not allowed to serve in combat units. Should gays be allowed to so serve in combat units, inevitably, amorous relationships would develop causing serious morale and combat cohesion problems.

  • Porcell

    JB, at 22, The Knesset, similar to Congress, forced the Israeli military in 1983, largely against its will, to allow open gays in the military. After that gays were not allowed security clearance until the nineties when the Knesset under political pressure from the Left removed even that sensible precaution.

    FWS, assorted questions at 12.

    The fundamental difference is that women are not allowed to serve in combat units. Should gays be allowed to so serve in combat units, inevitably, amorous relationships would develop causing serious morale and combat cohesion problems.

  • Joe

    As a former squad leader and buck Sergeant in the Army reserves, I can attest to the fact that the inclusion of both men and women in our unit was a huge impediment to unit readiness. I won’t blame either sex, but the cohabitation of both sexes in our unit destroyed the chain of command. Officers, NCOs and enlisted would couple-up all two often. Our 17 day annual mini-deployment was little more than spring break for the Army. I spent more time dealing with the fall out from these little hook ups than anything else. I had to recommend that an otherwise terrific soldier be passed over for promotion because of rampant sexual activity with other soldiers. It did not create some vaunted class of lover-warriors; it infected out unit with jealousy and favoritism. Merit became less important and how good a soldier looked in his or her BDUs and what they were willing to do in a military issue sleeping bag became all too important.

    These were good soldiers, who worked well under stress, who knew their jobs. But they were not capable of dealing with opposite sex soldiers in that high stress environment. I have no problem with the inclusion of women in the military – provided they can do the job to the same standards and provided that units are segregated by sex.

    I can’t say for sure if the inclusion of openly gay soldiers will have a similar effect but if it does I am not sure that segregation would work. That would seem to compound the problems I witnessed with male and female soldiers serving side by side.

    All of that said, I have no problem with repealing DADT provided we honestly deal with the issues that may come with it and provided we keep unit readiness and mission as the primary driver of all policies. Securing freedom for others is the mission of the soldier. Sometimes the soldier’s personal freedom is the sacrifice necessary to effectuate that mission.

  • Joe

    As a former squad leader and buck Sergeant in the Army reserves, I can attest to the fact that the inclusion of both men and women in our unit was a huge impediment to unit readiness. I won’t blame either sex, but the cohabitation of both sexes in our unit destroyed the chain of command. Officers, NCOs and enlisted would couple-up all two often. Our 17 day annual mini-deployment was little more than spring break for the Army. I spent more time dealing with the fall out from these little hook ups than anything else. I had to recommend that an otherwise terrific soldier be passed over for promotion because of rampant sexual activity with other soldiers. It did not create some vaunted class of lover-warriors; it infected out unit with jealousy and favoritism. Merit became less important and how good a soldier looked in his or her BDUs and what they were willing to do in a military issue sleeping bag became all too important.

    These were good soldiers, who worked well under stress, who knew their jobs. But they were not capable of dealing with opposite sex soldiers in that high stress environment. I have no problem with the inclusion of women in the military – provided they can do the job to the same standards and provided that units are segregated by sex.

    I can’t say for sure if the inclusion of openly gay soldiers will have a similar effect but if it does I am not sure that segregation would work. That would seem to compound the problems I witnessed with male and female soldiers serving side by side.

    All of that said, I have no problem with repealing DADT provided we honestly deal with the issues that may come with it and provided we keep unit readiness and mission as the primary driver of all policies. Securing freedom for others is the mission of the soldier. Sometimes the soldier’s personal freedom is the sacrifice necessary to effectuate that mission.

  • Porcell

    FWS, some combat troops reported that they had no problems with gays in their units during wartime, though 60% of them polled saw the problems that could result and favored the present policy.

    There is a reason why chiefs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army disagree with the report’s conclusion that the impact on combat readiness would be “low.”

    I am well aware of the study’s conclusions and am not trying to hide this. I am, also, aware that many responsible military men concerned with combat cohesion are opposed to the report’s conclusions.

  • Porcell

    FWS, some combat troops reported that they had no problems with gays in their units during wartime, though 60% of them polled saw the problems that could result and favored the present policy.

    There is a reason why chiefs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army disagree with the report’s conclusion that the impact on combat readiness would be “low.”

    I am well aware of the study’s conclusions and am not trying to hide this. I am, also, aware that many responsible military men concerned with combat cohesion are opposed to the report’s conclusions.

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell, I think you might be *ahem* “barking up the wrong tree,” as it were, in your repeated appeal to what combat troops “think” about the inclusion of homosexuals in their ranks. In short, individual troops don’t get decide the military’s policies or the composition of its forces. Nor should they.

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell, I think you might be *ahem* “barking up the wrong tree,” as it were, in your repeated appeal to what combat troops “think” about the inclusion of homosexuals in their ranks. In short, individual troops don’t get decide the military’s policies or the composition of its forces. Nor should they.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    None of this changes the fact that homosexuality is a sin. In one sense, it’s apples and oranges: a man may be an excellent business executive, but if he’s unfaithful to his wife, he is still in sin. I can compliment the man for his ability to perform his job while still condemning his behavior outside of the office.

    It’s more or less the same principle here. Sin is sin, period, and while we are certainly not saved by our works, we must be very careful of not falling into the trap of Antinomianism and just shrug off sin as if it’s no big deal. There are good soldiers who are sinners, period. Is homosexuality a sin? Absolutely-and an abominable one. So is lying. So is cheating. So is debauchery. So is pride. So is any other sin, whether it’s manifested visibly or not. And I guarantee you that you will find all of these sins among our soldiers, as well as in our general populace.

    What we as Christians need to do is not fall into the worldly habit of “rating” sin, as if God views some sins worse than others. To condemn sexual immorality while justifying gossping about that same immorality is sinful, period. To tell lewd jokes and make raunchy comments about a homosexual is simply using one sin as a base for launching another sin.

    Sin is sin. Period

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    None of this changes the fact that homosexuality is a sin. In one sense, it’s apples and oranges: a man may be an excellent business executive, but if he’s unfaithful to his wife, he is still in sin. I can compliment the man for his ability to perform his job while still condemning his behavior outside of the office.

    It’s more or less the same principle here. Sin is sin, period, and while we are certainly not saved by our works, we must be very careful of not falling into the trap of Antinomianism and just shrug off sin as if it’s no big deal. There are good soldiers who are sinners, period. Is homosexuality a sin? Absolutely-and an abominable one. So is lying. So is cheating. So is debauchery. So is pride. So is any other sin, whether it’s manifested visibly or not. And I guarantee you that you will find all of these sins among our soldiers, as well as in our general populace.

    What we as Christians need to do is not fall into the worldly habit of “rating” sin, as if God views some sins worse than others. To condemn sexual immorality while justifying gossping about that same immorality is sinful, period. To tell lewd jokes and make raunchy comments about a homosexual is simply using one sin as a base for launching another sin.

    Sin is sin. Period

  • jb

    @27
    You seem hostile to the principal of civilian control of the military. But tell us about the adverse effects that gays serving in Israel have caused.

  • jb

    @27
    You seem hostile to the principal of civilian control of the military. But tell us about the adverse effects that gays serving in Israel have caused.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    fws, I don’t fault you for not knowing my concern with the chaplains. I did not express that concern. I only take issue with the fact you did not address my statement that the branches of service are prone to exaggeration when they speak about the Marines. It is this habit of exaggeration that causes me to take anecdotal evidence with a grain of salt.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    fws, I don’t fault you for not knowing my concern with the chaplains. I did not express that concern. I only take issue with the fact you did not address my statement that the branches of service are prone to exaggeration when they speak about the Marines. It is this habit of exaggeration that causes me to take anecdotal evidence with a grain of salt.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    “I would hope that our Lutheran chaplains would not feel that gays in the military would hinder their preaching and proclaimation of the Holy Gospel and to offer it freely to all sinners whether of the gay variety or heterosexual variety! Christ died for sinners. Gays qualify every hour of every day of the week! I should know eh?”

    I agree in that is how it is in the civilian world. However, the military is not the civilian world and as military officers our Chaplains are required to follow orders. I fear that orders will be issued to prevent our Chaplains from calling people to repentance in the name of preventing discrimination.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    “I would hope that our Lutheran chaplains would not feel that gays in the military would hinder their preaching and proclaimation of the Holy Gospel and to offer it freely to all sinners whether of the gay variety or heterosexual variety! Christ died for sinners. Gays qualify every hour of every day of the week! I should know eh?”

    I agree in that is how it is in the civilian world. However, the military is not the civilian world and as military officers our Chaplains are required to follow orders. I fear that orders will be issued to prevent our Chaplains from calling people to repentance in the name of preventing discrimination.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Well, nothing helps as much as a real example:

    Canada crossed this bridge 20 years ago. The dire predictions didn’t come true. Canadian troops have been just as exposed, active and endangered than American ones in Afghanistan.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Well, nothing helps as much as a real example:

    Canada crossed this bridge 20 years ago. The dire predictions didn’t come true. Canadian troops have been just as exposed, active and endangered than American ones in Afghanistan.

  • Porcell

    J. Dean, at 31, you raise a fundamental point. Peter Pace, the Marine Joint Chiefs Chairman who preceded Admiral Mullen, argued, apart from the pragmatic issue of unit cohesio, that homosexual behavior, according to biblical and natural-law reason, is fundamentally immoral and should not be allowed by the military.

    The military, also, takes a firm position on adultery. Officers, particularly, are told in no uncertain terms that evidence of adultery will result in a dishonorable discharge. The military traditionally tries at its best to uphold morality as a matter of truth and honor in a far more rigorous way than civilians.

    The very fact that the issue has been reduced to utilitarian terms is a rather bad sign.

  • Porcell

    J. Dean, at 31, you raise a fundamental point. Peter Pace, the Marine Joint Chiefs Chairman who preceded Admiral Mullen, argued, apart from the pragmatic issue of unit cohesio, that homosexual behavior, according to biblical and natural-law reason, is fundamentally immoral and should not be allowed by the military.

    The military, also, takes a firm position on adultery. Officers, particularly, are told in no uncertain terms that evidence of adultery will result in a dishonorable discharge. The military traditionally tries at its best to uphold morality as a matter of truth and honor in a far more rigorous way than civilians.

    The very fact that the issue has been reduced to utilitarian terms is a rather bad sign.

  • jb

    @31
    Your Lutheran observation that to gossip about, say, fornication is no worse than (or as worse as) committing it is the chief reason I don’t like Lutheran men around my wife.

    But your view that we should, as you say God does, treat all sins alike trivializes sin. It makes a $10 tax fraud the moral equivalent of the Holocaust. Surely, if man’s law finds such a concept repulsive, so must God’s, who says he will judge all by our works. Such a judgment makes sense only if our works are evaluated individually and in context, as only he can do.

  • jb

    @31
    Your Lutheran observation that to gossip about, say, fornication is no worse than (or as worse as) committing it is the chief reason I don’t like Lutheran men around my wife.

    But your view that we should, as you say God does, treat all sins alike trivializes sin. It makes a $10 tax fraud the moral equivalent of the Holocaust. Surely, if man’s law finds such a concept repulsive, so must God’s, who says he will judge all by our works. Such a judgment makes sense only if our works are evaluated individually and in context, as only he can do.

  • Porcell

    JB, at 32, You seem hostile to the principal of civilian control of the military…

    I fully respect the principle of civilian control of the military, though it hardly follows from this that every civilian directive is wise or not debatable.

    As to Israel’s experience with open gays in the military, I am without knowledge. I do know that in Israel and the U.S. the issue of gays in the military has become highly politicized

  • Porcell

    JB, at 32, You seem hostile to the principal of civilian control of the military…

    I fully respect the principle of civilian control of the military, though it hardly follows from this that every civilian directive is wise or not debatable.

    As to Israel’s experience with open gays in the military, I am without knowledge. I do know that in Israel and the U.S. the issue of gays in the military has become highly politicized

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    @37

    I’m not a Lutheran :D

    And you miss the point if you think it means lowering the Holocaust to the level of tax fraud, rather than (as it ought to be) elevating tax fraud to the level of the Holocaust. Or-in your case about your wife-elevating gossip to the level of fornication, rather than trivializing fornication.

    Lucifer’s sin was pride. Annanias and Sapphira’s sin was lying. Elisha’s servant’s sin was greed. Yet God punished these sins with severe consequences. To say that sins should not be “rated” in the eyes of God is not to deny that there are different observable consequences with each sin. Nor is it to suggest that the “greater” sins be marginalized. It is to understand that those things we do in our hearts and minds, those things which God and God alone sees, are as offensive to his holiness and worthy of hell as those blatant and blasphemous acts that have more obvious and catastrophic effects.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    @37

    I’m not a Lutheran :D

    And you miss the point if you think it means lowering the Holocaust to the level of tax fraud, rather than (as it ought to be) elevating tax fraud to the level of the Holocaust. Or-in your case about your wife-elevating gossip to the level of fornication, rather than trivializing fornication.

    Lucifer’s sin was pride. Annanias and Sapphira’s sin was lying. Elisha’s servant’s sin was greed. Yet God punished these sins with severe consequences. To say that sins should not be “rated” in the eyes of God is not to deny that there are different observable consequences with each sin. Nor is it to suggest that the “greater” sins be marginalized. It is to understand that those things we do in our hearts and minds, those things which God and God alone sees, are as offensive to his holiness and worthy of hell as those blatant and blasphemous acts that have more obvious and catastrophic effects.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    J Dean @39 – good answer.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    J Dean @39 – good answer.

  • Kandyce

    Religion and the military are odd bedfellows. Military functions often open and lose with prayer, but the prayer is usually only loosely Christian and may not mention Jesus. Chaplains are considered to be important in the military, and I hope that they may stay true to their beliefs when addressing troops.
    As for DADT? We’ll see how it all shake out. I’m more interested in how the military will handle the subject of dependents in gay relationships, and I see this being another argument that people will use for the legalization of gay marriage. I see this being more of a financial issue and and an issue that may affect civilian life than one that will change much in the military.

  • Kandyce

    Religion and the military are odd bedfellows. Military functions often open and lose with prayer, but the prayer is usually only loosely Christian and may not mention Jesus. Chaplains are considered to be important in the military, and I hope that they may stay true to their beliefs when addressing troops.
    As for DADT? We’ll see how it all shake out. I’m more interested in how the military will handle the subject of dependents in gay relationships, and I see this being another argument that people will use for the legalization of gay marriage. I see this being more of a financial issue and and an issue that may affect civilian life than one that will change much in the military.

  • jb

    @39
    Sorry, I still think you and, apparently, Louis are trivializing sin.
    Where in Scripture does it suggest that God looks at all sin the same? Does he punish all instances of lying with ‘severe consequences’? Of course not. We’ve all lied a thousand times without suffering the fate of Ananias. Context, therefore, must matter to God.

  • jb

    @39
    Sorry, I still think you and, apparently, Louis are trivializing sin.
    Where in Scripture does it suggest that God looks at all sin the same? Does he punish all instances of lying with ‘severe consequences’? Of course not. We’ve all lied a thousand times without suffering the fate of Ananias. Context, therefore, must matter to God.

  • Cincinnatus

    jb:

    Think of it this way: God is infinite. Therefore, any offense against him is of necessity infinitely removed from his goodness/righteousness/holiness/perfection. Both the “white lie” and the Holocaust are actions infinitely removed from the perfect Being of God. This is why we are able to say that “sin is sin,” regardless of its particular name.

    However, this is not to say that we as humans cannot make qualitative distinctions regarding various sinful actions in our attempts to construct communities that best exemplify a common good or public virtue. In that case, I think we could all agree: the Holocaust is definitely “worse” than a dirty joke, and we would make ourselves ridiculous if we tried to argue or legislate otherwise.

  • Cincinnatus

    jb:

    Think of it this way: God is infinite. Therefore, any offense against him is of necessity infinitely removed from his goodness/righteousness/holiness/perfection. Both the “white lie” and the Holocaust are actions infinitely removed from the perfect Being of God. This is why we are able to say that “sin is sin,” regardless of its particular name.

    However, this is not to say that we as humans cannot make qualitative distinctions regarding various sinful actions in our attempts to construct communities that best exemplify a common good or public virtue. In that case, I think we could all agree: the Holocaust is definitely “worse” than a dirty joke, and we would make ourselves ridiculous if we tried to argue or legislate otherwise.

  • Kandyce

    jb
    All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
    My (Lutheran) understanding of this is that all sin, whether they be a lie or adultery remove us from sinlesness, and only those who are sinless may enter into Christ’s kingdom. Acknowledging that both gossip and fornication separate us from God is not a license to fornicate, but an acknowledgement that without Christ, we are all helpless sinners no matter whether or not we committed one particular sin. It helps me to understand the seriousness of my flippancy towards God’s laws and it makes Christ’s sacrifice for me that much more of a big deal, because Christ had to die for me, stubbing his toe would not be Him atoning for my sins, when He died on the cross, he did so for murderers and gossips alike.
    Therefore, knowing that I am no better a person than the adulterer or murderer, but that both of us reach the throne of God by Christ’s virtue alone helps me to look at my brother and say, “we are in this together, and I can offer compassion, because I know how much I need it.”

  • Kandyce

    jb
    All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
    My (Lutheran) understanding of this is that all sin, whether they be a lie or adultery remove us from sinlesness, and only those who are sinless may enter into Christ’s kingdom. Acknowledging that both gossip and fornication separate us from God is not a license to fornicate, but an acknowledgement that without Christ, we are all helpless sinners no matter whether or not we committed one particular sin. It helps me to understand the seriousness of my flippancy towards God’s laws and it makes Christ’s sacrifice for me that much more of a big deal, because Christ had to die for me, stubbing his toe would not be Him atoning for my sins, when He died on the cross, he did so for murderers and gossips alike.
    Therefore, knowing that I am no better a person than the adulterer or murderer, but that both of us reach the throne of God by Christ’s virtue alone helps me to look at my brother and say, “we are in this together, and I can offer compassion, because I know how much I need it.”

  • Porcell

    Reinhold Niebuhr in his book, The Nature and Destiny of Man distinguishes between the equality of sin among men versus the inequality of guilt. As Cincinnatus remarks there is a difference between a white lie and the Holocaust; I should say, also, between a white lie and homosexual behavior or marriage. Paul in Romans makes this clear in Romans as follows:

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    This comes as hard news to advocates of the sexual “revolution” that Congress is essentially following with its finger in the wind.

  • Porcell

    Reinhold Niebuhr in his book, The Nature and Destiny of Man distinguishes between the equality of sin among men versus the inequality of guilt. As Cincinnatus remarks there is a difference between a white lie and the Holocaust; I should say, also, between a white lie and homosexual behavior or marriage. Paul in Romans makes this clear in Romans as follows:

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    This comes as hard news to advocates of the sexual “revolution” that Congress is essentially following with its finger in the wind.

  • SKPeterson

    J. @39 – You’ve got it right, so you get honorary Lutheran bonus points. For God, there is no differentiation in sin; sin is sin and all sins are equally liable for the same punishment – death. Some sins don’t merit more death than others, they all merit death equally. Death is the result of all sin, the direct consequence of the unholy and sinful coming into the presence of the holy – annihilation and death.

    That being said, that is God’s view of sin. For those of us still bound by the strictures of time and this mortal coil, sins do bear different consequences. There are differences in the temporal consequences of sin; the impacts of sin play out differently depending on the type of sin and whether they occur in thought, word, or in deed. Therefore, the consequences to those men who lust after the wife of another man reside in their own hearts, the consequences which may spread to their families, but may not, unless and until those lusts take on a physical manifestation either by word or deed. At that point, the consequences of sin become manifest – lying, divorce, broken relationships, emotional pain, etc.

  • SKPeterson

    J. @39 – You’ve got it right, so you get honorary Lutheran bonus points. For God, there is no differentiation in sin; sin is sin and all sins are equally liable for the same punishment – death. Some sins don’t merit more death than others, they all merit death equally. Death is the result of all sin, the direct consequence of the unholy and sinful coming into the presence of the holy – annihilation and death.

    That being said, that is God’s view of sin. For those of us still bound by the strictures of time and this mortal coil, sins do bear different consequences. There are differences in the temporal consequences of sin; the impacts of sin play out differently depending on the type of sin and whether they occur in thought, word, or in deed. Therefore, the consequences to those men who lust after the wife of another man reside in their own hearts, the consequences which may spread to their families, but may not, unless and until those lusts take on a physical manifestation either by word or deed. At that point, the consequences of sin become manifest – lying, divorce, broken relationships, emotional pain, etc.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 45

    I could heartily agree with all you said. but you are being intellectually undisciplined.

    You don´t define “homosexual behavior” or “homosexual”.

    What do those medical terms that appear nowhere in scripture and have nothing to do with biblical morality mean to you?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 45

    I could heartily agree with all you said. but you are being intellectually undisciplined.

    You don´t define “homosexual behavior” or “homosexual”.

    What do those medical terms that appear nowhere in scripture and have nothing to do with biblical morality mean to you?

  • Cincinnatus

    Attention everyone: do not take fws’s bait @47, or this discussion will be derailed beyond redemption.

  • Cincinnatus

    Attention everyone: do not take fws’s bait @47, or this discussion will be derailed beyond redemption.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kandyce @ 44

    First, does anyone here know what that word “fornication ” means in the scriptures beyond knowing (and we Do know this much..) that it is sexual and it is sin?

    Secondly dear sister, you are right in that the Lutheran Confessions do not say that one sin is worse than another in God´s eyes. Sin kills us. ALL sin kills us. The wages of sin is death. All will die. that is the proof for what the Bible says.

    It is also true as porcell/peter correctly (almost) point out, that earthly effects, damage done among sins does indeed differ. Alot. Which is obvious. Which no sane person would dispute.

    The fact remains that no one will go to hell because of what they do or do not do on earth. Also no one will go to heaven because of what they do or do not do. This is the teaching of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. This fact fully applies to homosexuals.

    It is also true that the ONLY place where homosexuals will hear the One Thing (the Holy Gospel) that has the power to make the eternal difference is what they could here in church.

    But we tell homosexuals that first they must straighten up. Then we will let them in.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kandyce @ 44

    First, does anyone here know what that word “fornication ” means in the scriptures beyond knowing (and we Do know this much..) that it is sexual and it is sin?

    Secondly dear sister, you are right in that the Lutheran Confessions do not say that one sin is worse than another in God´s eyes. Sin kills us. ALL sin kills us. The wages of sin is death. All will die. that is the proof for what the Bible says.

    It is also true as porcell/peter correctly (almost) point out, that earthly effects, damage done among sins does indeed differ. Alot. Which is obvious. Which no sane person would dispute.

    The fact remains that no one will go to hell because of what they do or do not do on earth. Also no one will go to heaven because of what they do or do not do. This is the teaching of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. This fact fully applies to homosexuals.

    It is also true that the ONLY place where homosexuals will hear the One Thing (the Holy Gospel) that has the power to make the eternal difference is what they could here in church.

    But we tell homosexuals that first they must straighten up. Then we will let them in.

  • jb

    I get it.
    When my child gripes about the bedtime I impose, I should tell him that, in God’s eyes, he is the same as a rapist.

    I’m rather skeptical of those here who so confidently speak for God.

  • jb

    I get it.
    When my child gripes about the bedtime I impose, I should tell him that, in God’s eyes, he is the same as a rapist.

    I’m rather skeptical of those here who so confidently speak for God.

  • Porcell

    FWS: But we tell homosexuals that first they must straighten up. Then we will let them in.

    Wrong, every orthodox Christian church welcomes homosexuals and understands the trial of homosexual inclination, though they do make clear that such behavior is a disorder of nature and a grave sin. This is similar to Christ who forgave the adulterer but advised to her go and sin no more.

    Also, please follow Cincinnatus’s advice and stick to the topic of this thread.

  • Porcell

    FWS: But we tell homosexuals that first they must straighten up. Then we will let them in.

    Wrong, every orthodox Christian church welcomes homosexuals and understands the trial of homosexual inclination, though they do make clear that such behavior is a disorder of nature and a grave sin. This is similar to Christ who forgave the adulterer but advised to her go and sin no more.

    Also, please follow Cincinnatus’s advice and stick to the topic of this thread.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 48

    My point there is not to throw out bait.

    My point is this:

    Being homosexual is not sin. Homosexual behavior is not sin.

    Sexual sinning is sin. Homosexuals sin sexually in all the same identical ways as heterosexuals. There is no such thing as homosexual sin. That is not biblical. There is just sin. There are lots of homosexuals who treat others as sexual objects for their gratification and then discard those others as they would throw out the trash. I have seen this done. God hates this. God demands that we treat others in a way that makes them loved , secure, and flourishing. Many many homosexuals self justify and excuse this, and some homosexuals even welcome being treated like that. I suppose because , sadly, they never have experienced anything like real love, so settle for bartering sex for something that resembles love. This is real depravity. Christians can help aleviate the terrible suffering that results from all this. Welcoming “practicing ” homosexuals into church would be a wonderful first step. And you know what? We all know heterosexuals who are doing the same horrible things to themselves and others.

    And further, why is sexual sinning wrong and sinful? Is it because it is breaking God´s rules and so is not the obedience (read sacrifice ) that God demands? That we are breaking the rules of some sovreign infinite god of John Calvin ?

    No.

    God does not need our good works. Our neighbor does.

    Second table sinning is wrong because it a) harms our neigbor, and b) does not provide him the daily bread (aka love) that he needs and that God demands that we show to him or her.

    Jesus broke the sabbath. The sinless Son of God broke the Decalog. He really did. And he was Jewish. God bound the Jews to the Decalog. So how could he do this without sin?

    “The sabbath (by extention the entire Law) was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” “o and find out what it means when God says ‘I would have you do Mercy rather than Sacrifice’”

    Second Table Laws , how we God demands that we treat others, is made for man, for him to flourish and be happy. We can see what this second table law produces out of Old Adam in the First Article and 4th Petition of the Small Catechism. Second Table earthly righeousness is ALL and ONLY about Fatherly Goodness and Mercy.

    The Lutheran Confessions reject that Virtue and Obedience (ie works done as sacrifice to God) are the righeousness that God demands of us on earth. They are “useless” is THE argument. They provide no daily bread to neighbor. The confessions say “good works are necessary”. This is alone, alone, alone to make the life of others truly better. They are necessary for the 1st article and 4th petition to happen.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 48

    My point there is not to throw out bait.

    My point is this:

    Being homosexual is not sin. Homosexual behavior is not sin.

    Sexual sinning is sin. Homosexuals sin sexually in all the same identical ways as heterosexuals. There is no such thing as homosexual sin. That is not biblical. There is just sin. There are lots of homosexuals who treat others as sexual objects for their gratification and then discard those others as they would throw out the trash. I have seen this done. God hates this. God demands that we treat others in a way that makes them loved , secure, and flourishing. Many many homosexuals self justify and excuse this, and some homosexuals even welcome being treated like that. I suppose because , sadly, they never have experienced anything like real love, so settle for bartering sex for something that resembles love. This is real depravity. Christians can help aleviate the terrible suffering that results from all this. Welcoming “practicing ” homosexuals into church would be a wonderful first step. And you know what? We all know heterosexuals who are doing the same horrible things to themselves and others.

    And further, why is sexual sinning wrong and sinful? Is it because it is breaking God´s rules and so is not the obedience (read sacrifice ) that God demands? That we are breaking the rules of some sovreign infinite god of John Calvin ?

    No.

    God does not need our good works. Our neighbor does.

    Second table sinning is wrong because it a) harms our neigbor, and b) does not provide him the daily bread (aka love) that he needs and that God demands that we show to him or her.

    Jesus broke the sabbath. The sinless Son of God broke the Decalog. He really did. And he was Jewish. God bound the Jews to the Decalog. So how could he do this without sin?

    “The sabbath (by extention the entire Law) was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” “o and find out what it means when God says ‘I would have you do Mercy rather than Sacrifice’”

    Second Table Laws , how we God demands that we treat others, is made for man, for him to flourish and be happy. We can see what this second table law produces out of Old Adam in the First Article and 4th Petition of the Small Catechism. Second Table earthly righeousness is ALL and ONLY about Fatherly Goodness and Mercy.

    The Lutheran Confessions reject that Virtue and Obedience (ie works done as sacrifice to God) are the righeousness that God demands of us on earth. They are “useless” is THE argument. They provide no daily bread to neighbor. The confessions say “good works are necessary”. This is alone, alone, alone to make the life of others truly better. They are necessary for the 1st article and 4th petition to happen.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    jb – btw, your initial comment

    “Your Lutheran observation that to gossip about, say, fornication is no worse than (or as worse as) committing it is the chief reason I don’t like Lutheran men around my wife.”

    is as ad hominem, fallicious and just plain nasty as they come. So much for being the one talking about “trivializing sin”.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    jb – btw, your initial comment

    “Your Lutheran observation that to gossip about, say, fornication is no worse than (or as worse as) committing it is the chief reason I don’t like Lutheran men around my wife.”

    is as ad hominem, fallicious and just plain nasty as they come. So much for being the one talking about “trivializing sin”.

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, fws, so there is homosexual behavior that is not sinful?

    (dangit, I took the bait)

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, fws, so there is homosexual behavior that is not sinful?

    (dangit, I took the bait)

  • jb

    Louis @53 “[N]asty as they come”?

    My only mistake was in taking J Dean for a Lutheran, though others here happily have seized on his comments and awarded him honorary status.

    But I stand by my observation. If a man, Lutheran or not, can’t see the moral difference between talking about something and actually doing it, I don’t trust him to restrain himself once he opens his mouth. Hardly trivial. I take a man like that very, very seriously.

  • jb

    Louis @53 “[N]asty as they come”?

    My only mistake was in taking J Dean for a Lutheran, though others here happily have seized on his comments and awarded him honorary status.

    But I stand by my observation. If a man, Lutheran or not, can’t see the moral difference between talking about something and actually doing it, I don’t trust him to restrain himself once he opens his mouth. Hardly trivial. I take a man like that very, very seriously.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    jb -Great, you have indicted our Saviour:

    28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    This was the context of my comment at #40. How is that trivializing?

    But without trying to inquire as to context, or disagreeing with a statement per se, you summarily casted all Lutheran men as perverts. Nice one.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    jb -Great, you have indicted our Saviour:

    28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    This was the context of my comment at #40. How is that trivializing?

    But without trying to inquire as to context, or disagreeing with a statement per se, you summarily casted all Lutheran men as perverts. Nice one.

  • Porcell

    FWS: Homosexuals sin sexually in all the same identical ways as heterosexuals.

    The blatant flaw in your argument is that within an ideal life-long marriage between a man and a woman, sex, far from being a sin, accomplishes the sacred purposes of having and then, complementarily, nurturing children, along with deepening the bond of love, including great pleasure, between a man and a woman.

    Your argument regarding the equality of all sexual sin follows an ancient Greek idealist argument that all physicality is low compared to the ideal of the soul and mind. The Judeo-Christian position from Genesis through Christ is that within proper bounds our physical nature, as well as our soulful one, is a part of Creation.

  • Porcell

    FWS: Homosexuals sin sexually in all the same identical ways as heterosexuals.

    The blatant flaw in your argument is that within an ideal life-long marriage between a man and a woman, sex, far from being a sin, accomplishes the sacred purposes of having and then, complementarily, nurturing children, along with deepening the bond of love, including great pleasure, between a man and a woman.

    Your argument regarding the equality of all sexual sin follows an ancient Greek idealist argument that all physicality is low compared to the ideal of the soul and mind. The Judeo-Christian position from Genesis through Christ is that within proper bounds our physical nature, as well as our soulful one, is a part of Creation.

  • jb

    @56
    I distinguish between the talker (gossip) and the doer, and reiterate that I do not prefer my wife (or myself) to be around men (Lutheran or otherwise) who see the two (the talking and the doing) as morally equivalent. If the shoe fits, …

    How this indicts Christ escapes me.

  • jb

    @56
    I distinguish between the talker (gossip) and the doer, and reiterate that I do not prefer my wife (or myself) to be around men (Lutheran or otherwise) who see the two (the talking and the doing) as morally equivalent. If the shoe fits, …

    How this indicts Christ escapes me.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 54

    I am a homosexual. Ergo: all of my behavior is homosexual behavior is it not? Is it all sinful? No.

    Am I a sinner to the very bottom of my Old Adam heart and will. Absolutely! This would be true whether I did nothing at all , or even if I kept the letter of the law better and truly and more meticulously than anyone on the planet. Let´s say that I suddenly could accessorize properly and perfectly as a gay man is supposed to. Still condemned!

    Sin is not in what we do as in where our sin-broken hearts puts it´s faith.

    Read this from the Lutheran Confessions (in a nutshell!) to get what this looks like for gay and not-so-gay like your kind self:

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

    Now I can´t decorate worth a dang, and I don´t dress that well or know how to accessorize or…

    So look at it this way Cincinatus: How is it that you recognize a homosexual at work or on the street, in a film or on tv?

    Is it our mannerisms (ie behavior?). Is this behavior sinful. Sheesh. It can be FUN girlfriend! It can put the FUN back into disFUNctional even. But sin? I think not.

    But those who live and work with us fags or ARE fags, the ones who are “practicing” because they can´t manage to get even THAT right so we need to practice and practice and… , and the rest of us, hear you say that it is just wrong. Why? I will probably never learn how to dress right. No amount of practicing being a homosexual will help me with that.

    (But that coffee that Tom Hering promised me would overcome my sadness over this….)

    Of course you don´t mean THAT behavior. You are alot of things Cincinatus. From your posts here, very GOOD things. So you are not that silly. But you look that way by not defining your terms like “homosexual lifestyle” and “homosexual behavior ” more carefully. But you had to take the bait didn´t you? That says somn.

    We gays have a “lifestyle”. You get to just have a life. We gays have a “radical agenda”. You get to have a regular day planner. What is with that? I did not hatch from an egg, and I am not really so different from you all.

    Sin in God´s eyes is where we hurt or harm our neighbor or fail to help and befriend him in every bodily and other need.

    Earthly righeousness is alone, about serving love to your gay or other neighbor. It looks like going out of your way to do anything you can to love him, and like him (ie respect him) and make his earthly, creaturely life look as happy as you would like yours to look. (that “do unto others thang). Does this include those non-material things like the enjoyment of a good reputation, romantic love, beauty? Yes. it is what makes most of us curl our toes and feel giddy and make us wanna get up in the morning. And dunkin donuts coffee… natch.

    Or do us homos need to , you know, do it, right there on the street for you to know they are gay cincinnatus? Of course not.

    And are those behaviors you observe that identify someone as gay to you are sinful? You don´t mean that.

    We homos seem to act , well , kinda different eh? Queer makeover for the straight guy…. the entire joke or entertainment value of this is that is it not? and then there is that whole donna summer thang and 70s disco that I would rather forget..very, very gay. the village people… ahem. Definately some sort of infraction .

    (and yes that 70´s way of dressing should merit some sort of Divine condemnation. Remember men in platform shoes, and polyester shirts unbuttoned down to ones navel with gold chains. EEEWWWWW! But I digress).

    This was the OLD gay stuff. We have grown up. Sort of . Now.

    I hope I answered your question dear cincinatus.

    Folks all get all serious about this homosexual stuff and people look and say. Huh? ! Now you maybe can see why?

    Gays men and women are just as screwed up as you and I are Cincinatus. If that doesn´t scare you, I don´t know what would.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 54

    I am a homosexual. Ergo: all of my behavior is homosexual behavior is it not? Is it all sinful? No.

    Am I a sinner to the very bottom of my Old Adam heart and will. Absolutely! This would be true whether I did nothing at all , or even if I kept the letter of the law better and truly and more meticulously than anyone on the planet. Let´s say that I suddenly could accessorize properly and perfectly as a gay man is supposed to. Still condemned!

    Sin is not in what we do as in where our sin-broken hearts puts it´s faith.

    Read this from the Lutheran Confessions (in a nutshell!) to get what this looks like for gay and not-so-gay like your kind self:

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

    Now I can´t decorate worth a dang, and I don´t dress that well or know how to accessorize or…

    So look at it this way Cincinatus: How is it that you recognize a homosexual at work or on the street, in a film or on tv?

    Is it our mannerisms (ie behavior?). Is this behavior sinful. Sheesh. It can be FUN girlfriend! It can put the FUN back into disFUNctional even. But sin? I think not.

    But those who live and work with us fags or ARE fags, the ones who are “practicing” because they can´t manage to get even THAT right so we need to practice and practice and… , and the rest of us, hear you say that it is just wrong. Why? I will probably never learn how to dress right. No amount of practicing being a homosexual will help me with that.

    (But that coffee that Tom Hering promised me would overcome my sadness over this….)

    Of course you don´t mean THAT behavior. You are alot of things Cincinatus. From your posts here, very GOOD things. So you are not that silly. But you look that way by not defining your terms like “homosexual lifestyle” and “homosexual behavior ” more carefully. But you had to take the bait didn´t you? That says somn.

    We gays have a “lifestyle”. You get to just have a life. We gays have a “radical agenda”. You get to have a regular day planner. What is with that? I did not hatch from an egg, and I am not really so different from you all.

    Sin in God´s eyes is where we hurt or harm our neighbor or fail to help and befriend him in every bodily and other need.

    Earthly righeousness is alone, about serving love to your gay or other neighbor. It looks like going out of your way to do anything you can to love him, and like him (ie respect him) and make his earthly, creaturely life look as happy as you would like yours to look. (that “do unto others thang). Does this include those non-material things like the enjoyment of a good reputation, romantic love, beauty? Yes. it is what makes most of us curl our toes and feel giddy and make us wanna get up in the morning. And dunkin donuts coffee… natch.

    Or do us homos need to , you know, do it, right there on the street for you to know they are gay cincinnatus? Of course not.

    And are those behaviors you observe that identify someone as gay to you are sinful? You don´t mean that.

    We homos seem to act , well , kinda different eh? Queer makeover for the straight guy…. the entire joke or entertainment value of this is that is it not? and then there is that whole donna summer thang and 70s disco that I would rather forget..very, very gay. the village people… ahem. Definately some sort of infraction .

    (and yes that 70´s way of dressing should merit some sort of Divine condemnation. Remember men in platform shoes, and polyester shirts unbuttoned down to ones navel with gold chains. EEEWWWWW! But I digress).

    This was the OLD gay stuff. We have grown up. Sort of . Now.

    I hope I answered your question dear cincinatus.

    Folks all get all serious about this homosexual stuff and people look and say. Huh? ! Now you maybe can see why?

    Gays men and women are just as screwed up as you and I are Cincinatus. If that doesn´t scare you, I don´t know what would.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 57

    no i get my view from the Lutheran Confessions here, which in turn gets it´s views from the Word of God.

    It is you , with your clinging to Natural Law Theories of one Thomas Aquinas that clings to the philosophical righteousness of the pagan philosophers rather than the Righeousness that alone saves, in Christ alone.

    You then imagine that Virtue/obedience/sacrifice to God in the keeping of rules = the earthly righeousness that God demands. It does not. This thinking ignores God´s Word.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 57

    no i get my view from the Lutheran Confessions here, which in turn gets it´s views from the Word of God.

    It is you , with your clinging to Natural Law Theories of one Thomas Aquinas that clings to the philosophical righteousness of the pagan philosophers rather than the Righeousness that alone saves, in Christ alone.

    You then imagine that Virtue/obedience/sacrifice to God in the keeping of rules = the earthly righeousness that God demands. It does not. This thinking ignores God´s Word.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws@59:

    “I am a homosexual. Ergo: all of my behavior is homosexual behavior is it not?”

    Um, no. That’s a tremendous category mistake. That’s like saying “I am a black male. Therefore everything I do constitutes ‘black’ ‘masculine’ behavior.” In other words, that’s absurd.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws@59:

    “I am a homosexual. Ergo: all of my behavior is homosexual behavior is it not?”

    Um, no. That’s a tremendous category mistake. That’s like saying “I am a black male. Therefore everything I do constitutes ‘black’ ‘masculine’ behavior.” In other words, that’s absurd.

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, you were right at 48, we have descended into a miasma that has derailed the thread beyond redemption.

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, you were right at 48, we have descended into a miasma that has derailed the thread beyond redemption.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cuincinatus @ 61

    Ok. I bite. great analogy.

    What in your mind would say “yup , that is BLACK masculine behavior”?

    What would make behavior black or gay as opposed to white or heterosexual or whatever your own personally category(ies) are?

    It is a perfect parallel. Thanks for providing it.

    And thanks for pointing out my category error. Point taken. Bravo.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cuincinatus @ 61

    Ok. I bite. great analogy.

    What in your mind would say “yup , that is BLACK masculine behavior”?

    What would make behavior black or gay as opposed to white or heterosexual or whatever your own personally category(ies) are?

    It is a perfect parallel. Thanks for providing it.

    And thanks for pointing out my category error. Point taken. Bravo.

  • Cincinnatus

    Here is an example of “homosexual behavior”: having sexual intercourse with someone of the same gender. Here is an example of masculine behavior (though, of course, masculinity is in large degree culturally constructed): urinating while standing up (sorry, just trying to pick an example that’s for the most part inarguable).

    Saying that something constitutes “x” behavior can mean either that it is behavior typical of the class “x” or that it is something that only members of the class “x” can do. Either way, it is entirely wrong to say that because someone is “x” then everything they do constitutes “x” kind of behavior.

    But yeah, I’m going to go with Porcell: this discussion isn’t going to be any more fruitful than any of the others we’ve had on this topic.

  • Cincinnatus

    Here is an example of “homosexual behavior”: having sexual intercourse with someone of the same gender. Here is an example of masculine behavior (though, of course, masculinity is in large degree culturally constructed): urinating while standing up (sorry, just trying to pick an example that’s for the most part inarguable).

    Saying that something constitutes “x” behavior can mean either that it is behavior typical of the class “x” or that it is something that only members of the class “x” can do. Either way, it is entirely wrong to say that because someone is “x” then everything they do constitutes “x” kind of behavior.

    But yeah, I’m going to go with Porcell: this discussion isn’t going to be any more fruitful than any of the others we’ve had on this topic.

  • Bob

    Porcell, fws’ comments about being gay have hardly derailed a thread dedicated to (though not exclusively) that very topic. His thoughtful use of the Book of Concord to defend and explain his assertions is quite interesting. To what extent are we defined by our sexuality?

  • Bob

    Porcell, fws’ comments about being gay have hardly derailed a thread dedicated to (though not exclusively) that very topic. His thoughtful use of the Book of Concord to defend and explain his assertions is quite interesting. To what extent are we defined by our sexuality?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    jb, In Matthew Christ clearly teaches that he who commits the thought is as guilty as he who commits the deed. It is within this context, and this context ONLY, that I (and J Dean, I think) made our comments. J Dean’s answer at 39 clearly indicates what the differences between thought and action are. You, however, choose to ignore all that, and thus ignore Christ’s words in Matthew 5.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    jb, In Matthew Christ clearly teaches that he who commits the thought is as guilty as he who commits the deed. It is within this context, and this context ONLY, that I (and J Dean, I think) made our comments. J Dean’s answer at 39 clearly indicates what the differences between thought and action are. You, however, choose to ignore all that, and thus ignore Christ’s words in Matthew 5.

  • Cincinnatus

    Hi, Bob, you must be new here. If you weren’t, you would notice that fws has said exactly the same thing countless times before. I know it’s his soapbox, and I know it’s an important issue generally, but it’s taken this discussion (as it always does) to a place where no new ground can be broken on this particular blog.

  • Cincinnatus

    Hi, Bob, you must be new here. If you weren’t, you would notice that fws has said exactly the same thing countless times before. I know it’s his soapbox, and I know it’s an important issue generally, but it’s taken this discussion (as it always does) to a place where no new ground can be broken on this particular blog.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    The Marines and the Army have proportionally fewer discharges related to homosexual misconduct than the Air Force and Navy.

    Largely the Air Force and Navy are more heavily female and homosexual than the Army and Marines.

    In the Air Force and Navy, I suspect there will be issues with tolerating Christians (particularly Chaplains) who believe the Bible’s injunction on men having sex with other men.

    In the Army and Marines this will be a legal landmine as all sorts will attempt to circumvent discharges by claiming “homophobia”.

    As an Army employee I earnestly hope the services take several years to actually implement this disruptive policy.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    The Marines and the Army have proportionally fewer discharges related to homosexual misconduct than the Air Force and Navy.

    Largely the Air Force and Navy are more heavily female and homosexual than the Army and Marines.

    In the Air Force and Navy, I suspect there will be issues with tolerating Christians (particularly Chaplains) who believe the Bible’s injunction on men having sex with other men.

    In the Army and Marines this will be a legal landmine as all sorts will attempt to circumvent discharges by claiming “homophobia”.

    As an Army employee I earnestly hope the services take several years to actually implement this disruptive policy.

  • Porcell

    Bob, at 65. Martin Luther in his direct way remarks as follows on the subject of homosexuality:

    I for my part do not enjoy dealing with this passage, because so far the ears of the Germans are innocent of and uncontaminated by this monstrous depravity; for even though disgrace, like other sins, has crept in through an ungodly soldier and a lewd merchant, still the rest of the people are unaware of what is being done in secret. The Carthusian monks deserve to be hated because they were the first to bring this terrible pollution into Germany from the monasteries of Italy. (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 251-252)

    …the heinous conduct of the people of Sodom ” as “extraordinary, inasmuch as they departed from the natural passion and longing of the male for the female, which is implanted into nature by God, and desired what is altogether contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature. (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 255)

    The book of Concord speaks of our general sinful nature, though it in no way condones the disorder of nature and grave sin of homosexual behavior. Comparing homosexual sex to that of marital sex, as FWS does, is a gross distortion of Lutheran faith. Using the book of Concord to compare homosexuality to marital sex between a man and a woman is a crude distortion of the text.

  • Porcell

    Bob, at 65. Martin Luther in his direct way remarks as follows on the subject of homosexuality:

    I for my part do not enjoy dealing with this passage, because so far the ears of the Germans are innocent of and uncontaminated by this monstrous depravity; for even though disgrace, like other sins, has crept in through an ungodly soldier and a lewd merchant, still the rest of the people are unaware of what is being done in secret. The Carthusian monks deserve to be hated because they were the first to bring this terrible pollution into Germany from the monasteries of Italy. (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 251-252)

    …the heinous conduct of the people of Sodom ” as “extraordinary, inasmuch as they departed from the natural passion and longing of the male for the female, which is implanted into nature by God, and desired what is altogether contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature. (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 255)

    The book of Concord speaks of our general sinful nature, though it in no way condones the disorder of nature and grave sin of homosexual behavior. Comparing homosexual sex to that of marital sex, as FWS does, is a gross distortion of Lutheran faith. Using the book of Concord to compare homosexuality to marital sex between a man and a woman is a crude distortion of the text.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 64

    Ok. are you saying that having same gender sex is “homosexual behavior”.

    1) What about the fact that non-homosexuals also have same gender sex? Why call this homosexual sex?

    2) What is it that makes this sinful? That it is sex outside of marriage or some other commandment? Or that two guys are doing it so it is unnatural and is sinful by virtue of breaking a “natural law”?

    3) Most importantly: Is there any OTHER behavior you would define as homosexual that you also say is sinful?

    4) Why is it Cincinatus that you are so very irked at these questions?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 64

    Ok. are you saying that having same gender sex is “homosexual behavior”.

    1) What about the fact that non-homosexuals also have same gender sex? Why call this homosexual sex?

    2) What is it that makes this sinful? That it is sex outside of marriage or some other commandment? Or that two guys are doing it so it is unnatural and is sinful by virtue of breaking a “natural law”?

    3) Most importantly: Is there any OTHER behavior you would define as homosexual that you also say is sinful?

    4) Why is it Cincinatus that you are so very irked at these questions?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 64

    “though, of course, masculinity is in large degree culturally constructed”

    people would argue with this wouldn´t they?

    I like your analogy between black man characteristics and gay man characteristics.

    Please continue along that analogy you provided.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 64

    “though, of course, masculinity is in large degree culturally constructed”

    people would argue with this wouldn´t they?

    I like your analogy between black man characteristics and gay man characteristics.

    Please continue along that analogy you provided.

  • Joanne

    So, are we a sinner because of what we are, or because of what we do?

  • Joanne

    So, are we a sinner because of what we are, or because of what we do?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 69

    1) “The book of Concord speaks of our general sinful nature, though it in no way condones the disorder of nature and grave sin of homosexual behavior. ”

    Natural Law ala aquinas and the scholastics is categorically rejected by the Formula of Concord in article XXIII “On Priestly Celebacy. ”

    2) “Comparing homosexual sex to that of marital sex, as FWS does, is a gross distortion of Lutheran faith. Using the book of Concord to compare homosexuality to marital sex between a man and a woman is a crude distortion of the text.”

    There must be another FWS out there. I would never do this. You really should stop slandering people Peter/Porcell, which is what you are doing when you put words into someone´s mouth aren´t you dear brother? :) I don´t know a more polite way to say that or I would have said it more politely.

    3) Porcell/Peter, for the umteenth time, we are not Luther-an. We here are Lutheran. This means precisely that the contents of the Book of Concord binds out consciences, not the private writings of Luther.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 69

    1) “The book of Concord speaks of our general sinful nature, though it in no way condones the disorder of nature and grave sin of homosexual behavior. ”

    Natural Law ala aquinas and the scholastics is categorically rejected by the Formula of Concord in article XXIII “On Priestly Celebacy. ”

    2) “Comparing homosexual sex to that of marital sex, as FWS does, is a gross distortion of Lutheran faith. Using the book of Concord to compare homosexuality to marital sex between a man and a woman is a crude distortion of the text.”

    There must be another FWS out there. I would never do this. You really should stop slandering people Peter/Porcell, which is what you are doing when you put words into someone´s mouth aren´t you dear brother? :) I don´t know a more polite way to say that or I would have said it more politely.

    3) Porcell/Peter, for the umteenth time, we are not Luther-an. We here are Lutheran. This means precisely that the contents of the Book of Concord binds out consciences, not the private writings of Luther.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Joanne @ 72

    “So, are we a sinner because of what we are, or because of what we do?”

    What a great question! Lots of times things like homosexuality tears at nagging questions that affect ALL christians. If we answer those questions wrong to win a culture war battle, we win the culture war and loose the truth.

    So anyone here want to take a shot at this in the current context? Are homosexuals sinners because they are homosexuals or because of things they do or for some other reason beyond that or all of the above? :)

    Thanks. This is what we have all been dancing around. It is a great question!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Joanne @ 72

    “So, are we a sinner because of what we are, or because of what we do?”

    What a great question! Lots of times things like homosexuality tears at nagging questions that affect ALL christians. If we answer those questions wrong to win a culture war battle, we win the culture war and loose the truth.

    So anyone here want to take a shot at this in the current context? Are homosexuals sinners because they are homosexuals or because of things they do or for some other reason beyond that or all of the above? :)

    Thanks. This is what we have all been dancing around. It is a great question!

  • Cincinnatus

    @70:

    “1) What about the fact that non-homosexuals also have same gender sex? Why call this homosexual sex?”

    Um, yes. I’ll leave my argument to the OED: “Homosexual: Involving, related to, or characterized by a sexual propensity for one’s own sex; of or involving sexual activity with a member of one’s own sex, or between individuals of the same sex.”

    “2) What is it that makes this sinful? That it is sex outside of marriage or some other commandment? Or that two guys are doing it so it is unnatural and is sinful by virtue of breaking a “natural law”?

    Both. I know you don’t believe in the natural law or in a natural order at all–which is an idea for a Christian to have–but both.

    “3) Most importantly: Is there any OTHER behavior you would define as homosexual that you also say is sinful?”

    Beyond “homosexual behavior” per the aforementioned definitions, I don’t really know what else I would include under the rubric “homosexual behavior.”

    “4) Why is it Cincin[n]atus that you are so very irked at these questions?”

    Probably because we’ve had this discussion several thousand times before. You always say the same thing, though your arguments have been refuted several thousand times before. But of course, if things proceed as they normally do, the next step will be an inquiry on your part into my own soul and my own soteriological status. I can’t wait.

    And finally:

    “I like your analogy between black man characteristics and gay man characteristics. Please continue along that analogy you provided.”

    Why that analogy and not some other? I was using this, as well as the analogy regarding maleness, to demonstrate the fallacious nature of your earlier argument. Is there such a thing as “black” behavior? I neither know nor care in this case. If so, it is only stereotypical and accidental, not essential. It doesn’t matter at this point. I don’t see why “continuing along that analogy” would be fruitful, as the argument has already served its purpose, and you conceded the point (the point being that it is silly to claim that every single thing a homosexual does in every domain of life constitutes homosexual behavior).

  • Cincinnatus

    @70:

    “1) What about the fact that non-homosexuals also have same gender sex? Why call this homosexual sex?”

    Um, yes. I’ll leave my argument to the OED: “Homosexual: Involving, related to, or characterized by a sexual propensity for one’s own sex; of or involving sexual activity with a member of one’s own sex, or between individuals of the same sex.”

    “2) What is it that makes this sinful? That it is sex outside of marriage or some other commandment? Or that two guys are doing it so it is unnatural and is sinful by virtue of breaking a “natural law”?

    Both. I know you don’t believe in the natural law or in a natural order at all–which is an idea for a Christian to have–but both.

    “3) Most importantly: Is there any OTHER behavior you would define as homosexual that you also say is sinful?”

    Beyond “homosexual behavior” per the aforementioned definitions, I don’t really know what else I would include under the rubric “homosexual behavior.”

    “4) Why is it Cincin[n]atus that you are so very irked at these questions?”

    Probably because we’ve had this discussion several thousand times before. You always say the same thing, though your arguments have been refuted several thousand times before. But of course, if things proceed as they normally do, the next step will be an inquiry on your part into my own soul and my own soteriological status. I can’t wait.

    And finally:

    “I like your analogy between black man characteristics and gay man characteristics. Please continue along that analogy you provided.”

    Why that analogy and not some other? I was using this, as well as the analogy regarding maleness, to demonstrate the fallacious nature of your earlier argument. Is there such a thing as “black” behavior? I neither know nor care in this case. If so, it is only stereotypical and accidental, not essential. It doesn’t matter at this point. I don’t see why “continuing along that analogy” would be fruitful, as the argument has already served its purpose, and you conceded the point (the point being that it is silly to claim that every single thing a homosexual does in every domain of life constitutes homosexual behavior).

  • Cincinnatus

    per item “2″, I meant to say that it is an “odd” idea for a Christian to have*

    per item “1″, the point of the definition was to demonstrate that homosexual behavior is homosexual behavior, whether one professes to “be” homosexual (i.e., a predisposition to favor sexually/erotically members of one’s own gender) or whether one is just “fooling around,” “experimenting,” etc. In other words, I don’t see the relevance of your question. Getting drunk is getting drunk whether one has been diagnosed as an alcoholic or whether one considers oneself a “social drinker” who binges on occasion.

  • Cincinnatus

    per item “2″, I meant to say that it is an “odd” idea for a Christian to have*

    per item “1″, the point of the definition was to demonstrate that homosexual behavior is homosexual behavior, whether one professes to “be” homosexual (i.e., a predisposition to favor sexually/erotically members of one’s own gender) or whether one is just “fooling around,” “experimenting,” etc. In other words, I don’t see the relevance of your question. Getting drunk is getting drunk whether one has been diagnosed as an alcoholic or whether one considers oneself a “social drinker” who binges on occasion.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 75

    ” I’ll leave my argument to the OED: “Homosexual: Involving, related to, or characterized by a sexual propensity for one’s own sex; of or involving sexual activity with a member of one’s own sex, or between individuals of the same sex.”

    Since “homosexuality” is a technical medical term, would suggest you use the medical definition rather than the general usage of the term. It would maybe let you dialog with others who disagree with you in a way that you would not need to complain is fruitless.

    here: http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/index.aspx

    “I know you don’t believe in the natural law or in a natural order at all–which is an idea for a Christian to have”

    I don´t accept scholastic/aquinas natural law theory because the Lutheran Confessions categorically reject it´s categories in article XXIII “on priestly celebacy”. Natural Law theory baptizes the ideas of philosophical righeousness into the church. Let aristotle remain a pagan. There he is right on the money on how Old Adam acquires earthly virtue.

    “Beyond “homosexual behavior” per the aforementioned definitions, I don’t really know what else I would include under the rubric “homosexual behavior.” ”

    Does this mean NOTHING? If so, why not just say that you feel same gender sex or homosexual sex , if you feel you need to insist for some odd reason, is sinful rather than saying “homosexuality” is sinful? This is what I don´t get.

    Why insist on creating an argument or offending people where none of that is necessary?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 75

    ” I’ll leave my argument to the OED: “Homosexual: Involving, related to, or characterized by a sexual propensity for one’s own sex; of or involving sexual activity with a member of one’s own sex, or between individuals of the same sex.”

    Since “homosexuality” is a technical medical term, would suggest you use the medical definition rather than the general usage of the term. It would maybe let you dialog with others who disagree with you in a way that you would not need to complain is fruitless.

    here: http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/index.aspx

    “I know you don’t believe in the natural law or in a natural order at all–which is an idea for a Christian to have”

    I don´t accept scholastic/aquinas natural law theory because the Lutheran Confessions categorically reject it´s categories in article XXIII “on priestly celebacy”. Natural Law theory baptizes the ideas of philosophical righeousness into the church. Let aristotle remain a pagan. There he is right on the money on how Old Adam acquires earthly virtue.

    “Beyond “homosexual behavior” per the aforementioned definitions, I don’t really know what else I would include under the rubric “homosexual behavior.” ”

    Does this mean NOTHING? If so, why not just say that you feel same gender sex or homosexual sex , if you feel you need to insist for some odd reason, is sinful rather than saying “homosexuality” is sinful? This is what I don´t get.

    Why insist on creating an argument or offending people where none of that is necessary?

  • Porcell

    FWS in response to my statement that he compared the sin of sexuality of heterosexual married sex to that of homosexual sex: There must be another FWS out there. I would never do this. You really should stop slandering people Peter/Porcell, which is what you are doing when you put words into someone´s mouth aren´t you dear brother? I don´t know a more polite way to say that or I would have said it more politely.

    FWS at 52: Sexual sinning is sin. Homosexuals sin sexually in all the same identical ways as heterosexuals. There is no such thing as homosexual sin. That is not biblical. There is just sin

    The bible in Genesis and in Christ understands that men and women come together morally to know each other and to have and complementarily nurture children.

    FWS. this is not really the thread to get into the topic of Lutheranism and natural-law reasoning, though I would suggest that you read Antii Raunio’s book <i< Divine and Natural Law in Luther and Melanchthon that can be found online Here.

  • Porcell

    FWS in response to my statement that he compared the sin of sexuality of heterosexual married sex to that of homosexual sex: There must be another FWS out there. I would never do this. You really should stop slandering people Peter/Porcell, which is what you are doing when you put words into someone´s mouth aren´t you dear brother? I don´t know a more polite way to say that or I would have said it more politely.

    FWS at 52: Sexual sinning is sin. Homosexuals sin sexually in all the same identical ways as heterosexuals. There is no such thing as homosexual sin. That is not biblical. There is just sin

    The bible in Genesis and in Christ understands that men and women come together morally to know each other and to have and complementarily nurture children.

    FWS. this is not really the thread to get into the topic of Lutheranism and natural-law reasoning, though I would suggest that you read Antii Raunio’s book <i< Divine and Natural Law in Luther and Melanchthon that can be found online Here.

  • Joanne

    The proper passions that I would have, those I do not. And those improper passions that I would not have, those I do. Oh wretched man that I am.

  • Joanne

    The proper passions that I would have, those I do not. And those improper passions that I would not have, those I do. Oh wretched man that I am.

  • Cincinnatus

    @77

    Why would I want to go to the APA to read (again) the definition of homosexuality as opposed to homosexual behavior (defined adequately in the OED)? You’ve just changed the terms of the discussion (or you’re confusing me with someone else). I haven’t once said in this discussion that homosexuality is sinful. We’ve been talking about specific behaviors.

    But now that you mention it: yes, I do happen to regard homosexuality (i.e., the predisposition to be sexually attracted to members of one’s own gender, etc.) as a “sinful” condition in that it is, in fact, a deviation from the natural order of things. But you don’t believe in any of that and I can’t convince you, so why should I bother talking to a wall? Besides, we all deviate from the natural (i.e., good) order of things in some way or another, so why should we be hung up on this point? Many men have a predisposition to be sexually attracted to young women who aren’t their wives; whether they act on it or not is irrelevant, as said soulish condition is still a deviation from the intended order of the cosmos.

    Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the so-called “natural law” as St. Thomas means it, but in any case, it’s really hard for a Christian to dispense with the idea that God created the universe and mankind intentionally with some desired order in mind. Else why would we speak of sin, etc., in the first place? And why is this idea so repulsive to you? Saying “because the Book of Concord, by my interpretation, says so” isn’t terribly convincing for me. Can you make a logical argument? I’m not saying that it is possible for finite fallen man to conform to the natural order or that succeeding in so conforming would bring salvation (as you seem to think). It just seems to be a difficult idea to discard. Not to mention that it seems that we should _try_ to conform regardless, not because by doing so we can “save” ourselves but because by doing so is an aspect of loving one’s neighbors, because being righteous and godly is, you know, actually a good thing.

  • Cincinnatus

    @77

    Why would I want to go to the APA to read (again) the definition of homosexuality as opposed to homosexual behavior (defined adequately in the OED)? You’ve just changed the terms of the discussion (or you’re confusing me with someone else). I haven’t once said in this discussion that homosexuality is sinful. We’ve been talking about specific behaviors.

    But now that you mention it: yes, I do happen to regard homosexuality (i.e., the predisposition to be sexually attracted to members of one’s own gender, etc.) as a “sinful” condition in that it is, in fact, a deviation from the natural order of things. But you don’t believe in any of that and I can’t convince you, so why should I bother talking to a wall? Besides, we all deviate from the natural (i.e., good) order of things in some way or another, so why should we be hung up on this point? Many men have a predisposition to be sexually attracted to young women who aren’t their wives; whether they act on it or not is irrelevant, as said soulish condition is still a deviation from the intended order of the cosmos.

    Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the so-called “natural law” as St. Thomas means it, but in any case, it’s really hard for a Christian to dispense with the idea that God created the universe and mankind intentionally with some desired order in mind. Else why would we speak of sin, etc., in the first place? And why is this idea so repulsive to you? Saying “because the Book of Concord, by my interpretation, says so” isn’t terribly convincing for me. Can you make a logical argument? I’m not saying that it is possible for finite fallen man to conform to the natural order or that succeeding in so conforming would bring salvation (as you seem to think). It just seems to be a difficult idea to discard. Not to mention that it seems that we should _try_ to conform regardless, not because by doing so we can “save” ourselves but because by doing so is an aspect of loving one’s neighbors, because being righteous and godly is, you know, actually a good thing.

  • Joanne

    God made the world exactly the way he wanted it. In his word he tells us his order of creation and in many places he tells us how he wants his men and women to be. In places where men get frisky with each other, God comes in and makes a mess of the place, signaling great distaste. We need no other (natural) law to tell us God’s design for us.
    God tells us that his design was good and that we were good. But we became bad and lost goodness. Our first father and mother ate a forbidden piece of fruit and died. Who wants to argue about little sins and huge consequences?
    Some of us were so damaged by the loss of goodness that we can’t function in normal society and need to be driven out like Cain who killed his brother. We are dangerous. We know that even our will was damaged so that we cannot even choose good. God drives us away until he has mercy. God demands perfection, but he has mercy.
    Moses allowed divorce so that men could conform to a generally understood need. St. Paul allowed marriage so that men and women could manage their passions till the return of the Savior. They were conforming to a human need. Allowances were made. Jesus would be back soon. If Jesus would just come back right now, I wouldn’t have to write anymore on this thread.

  • Joanne

    God made the world exactly the way he wanted it. In his word he tells us his order of creation and in many places he tells us how he wants his men and women to be. In places where men get frisky with each other, God comes in and makes a mess of the place, signaling great distaste. We need no other (natural) law to tell us God’s design for us.
    God tells us that his design was good and that we were good. But we became bad and lost goodness. Our first father and mother ate a forbidden piece of fruit and died. Who wants to argue about little sins and huge consequences?
    Some of us were so damaged by the loss of goodness that we can’t function in normal society and need to be driven out like Cain who killed his brother. We are dangerous. We know that even our will was damaged so that we cannot even choose good. God drives us away until he has mercy. God demands perfection, but he has mercy.
    Moses allowed divorce so that men could conform to a generally understood need. St. Paul allowed marriage so that men and women could manage their passions till the return of the Savior. They were conforming to a human need. Allowances were made. Jesus would be back soon. If Jesus would just come back right now, I wouldn’t have to write anymore on this thread.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 80.

    You are raising some excellent points and doing it charitably. I started to type a response but I realized it was argumentative.

    Let me work over what I think about your comment in MS Word and post it later. You are touching on some really vital points of theology. Our ongoing deal on homosexuality is really quite minor compared to what you have presented. It is quite good Cincinatus.

    Peace of Our Lord be with you brother!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 80.

    You are raising some excellent points and doing it charitably. I started to type a response but I realized it was argumentative.

    Let me work over what I think about your comment in MS Word and post it later. You are touching on some really vital points of theology. Our ongoing deal on homosexuality is really quite minor compared to what you have presented. It is quite good Cincinatus.

    Peace of Our Lord be with you brother!

  • Porcell

    FWS: no i get my view from the Lutheran Confessions here, which in turn gets it´s views from the Word of God.

    As to the Word of God, you might consider the word Prof. Robert Gagnon, a biblical scholar at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary:

    Scripture’s male-female prerequisite for marriage and its attendant rejection of homosexual behavior is pervasive throughout both Testaments of Scripture (i.e. it is everywhere presumed in sexual discussions even when not explicitly mentioned); it is absolute (i.e. no exceptions are ever given, unlike even incest and polyamory); it is strongly proscribed (i.e. every mention of it in Scripture indicates that it is regarded as a foundational violation of sexual ethics); and it is countercultural (i.e. we know of no other culture in the ancient Near East or Greco-Roman Mediterranean basin more consistently and strongly opposed to homosexual practice). If this doesn’t qualify as a core value in Scripture’s sexual ethics, there is no such thing as a core value in any religious or philosophical tradition.

  • Porcell

    FWS: no i get my view from the Lutheran Confessions here, which in turn gets it´s views from the Word of God.

    As to the Word of God, you might consider the word Prof. Robert Gagnon, a biblical scholar at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary:

    Scripture’s male-female prerequisite for marriage and its attendant rejection of homosexual behavior is pervasive throughout both Testaments of Scripture (i.e. it is everywhere presumed in sexual discussions even when not explicitly mentioned); it is absolute (i.e. no exceptions are ever given, unlike even incest and polyamory); it is strongly proscribed (i.e. every mention of it in Scripture indicates that it is regarded as a foundational violation of sexual ethics); and it is countercultural (i.e. we know of no other culture in the ancient Near East or Greco-Roman Mediterranean basin more consistently and strongly opposed to homosexual practice). If this doesn’t qualify as a core value in Scripture’s sexual ethics, there is no such thing as a core value in any religious or philosophical tradition.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    joanne @ 81

    bless you. You are right. God blesses us and has pity on our human needs and weaknesses. And God works with all that to make his fatherly goodness happen on earth in the middle of the evil and brokenness. That will all perish. It will have no eternal consequences.

    So why do we get worked up about it?

    Then our Lord will return. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    joanne @ 81

    bless you. You are right. God blesses us and has pity on our human needs and weaknesses. And God works with all that to make his fatherly goodness happen on earth in the middle of the evil and brokenness. That will all perish. It will have no eternal consequences.

    So why do we get worked up about it?

    Then our Lord will return. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 78

    I read through the first few pages of the book you recommended.

    Luther agreed with the Apology to the Augsburg confessions which states in the article on justification that “Aristotle writes about civil virtue so well that nothing more can be asked”

    So porcell, Luther and Lutherans have no problem with completely endorsing aristotles virtue ethics. Luther even translated aesops fables for his own children just to give you a flavor of that…

    Lutherans confess, with Luther , that man, aided by reason can completely do the outward righeousness that God demands in the second table, which Lutherans identify as “natural Law ” or “conscience”.

    But here is where the Lutheran Confessions and Luther depart from the scholastics: The Lutherans say that this philosophical righeousness of virtue is not the Righteousness that God demands of us in the first commandment.

    Here is where you can read on this. This selection I call “The Lutheran Confessions in a Nutshell”. Peter, if you understand this short article, you will then understand the entire argument of Lutherans against rome and geneva.

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

    Now this article does not call out the term “Natural Law ” by name, but if you understand this article, you will understand precisely why Lutherans reject aquinas´idea that binds our conscience beyond how the law of gravity might bind our conscience for example.

    Let me know if you get why Lutherans reject aquinas theories after you read this article. If still dont get it, we can discuss.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 78

    I read through the first few pages of the book you recommended.

    Luther agreed with the Apology to the Augsburg confessions which states in the article on justification that “Aristotle writes about civil virtue so well that nothing more can be asked”

    So porcell, Luther and Lutherans have no problem with completely endorsing aristotles virtue ethics. Luther even translated aesops fables for his own children just to give you a flavor of that…

    Lutherans confess, with Luther , that man, aided by reason can completely do the outward righeousness that God demands in the second table, which Lutherans identify as “natural Law ” or “conscience”.

    But here is where the Lutheran Confessions and Luther depart from the scholastics: The Lutherans say that this philosophical righeousness of virtue is not the Righteousness that God demands of us in the first commandment.

    Here is where you can read on this. This selection I call “The Lutheran Confessions in a Nutshell”. Peter, if you understand this short article, you will then understand the entire argument of Lutherans against rome and geneva.

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

    Now this article does not call out the term “Natural Law ” by name, but if you understand this article, you will understand precisely why Lutherans reject aquinas´idea that binds our conscience beyond how the law of gravity might bind our conscience for example.

    Let me know if you get why Lutherans reject aquinas theories after you read this article. If still dont get it, we can discuss.

  • jb

    @66
    Louis, you certainly can speak to what you meant, but I think you misunderstood J Dean. And I’m frankly not sure that you represent Christ’s words accurately. He did not baldly state that thoughts and acts are the same. Rather, I think he said that our sins come from within us, that our thoughts and words represent our corruption, not just our acts. This does not put our thoughts and deeds on the same plane. To sin in fact is always worse than to think it, but thinking it is a sign of our corruption. To lust, for example, is to commit adultery ‘in the heart,’ not in fact. One can’t think he’s simon pure by never committing adultery yet always thinking about it.

  • jb

    @66
    Louis, you certainly can speak to what you meant, but I think you misunderstood J Dean. And I’m frankly not sure that you represent Christ’s words accurately. He did not baldly state that thoughts and acts are the same. Rather, I think he said that our sins come from within us, that our thoughts and words represent our corruption, not just our acts. This does not put our thoughts and deeds on the same plane. To sin in fact is always worse than to think it, but thinking it is a sign of our corruption. To lust, for example, is to commit adultery ‘in the heart,’ not in fact. One can’t think he’s simon pure by never committing adultery yet always thinking about it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    jb @ 85

    Dear brother,

    Louis is not saying that talking and doing have the same indentical effect on one´s neighbor. That would be silly. No one believes that.

    Louis is saying that they are both sin, and sin is a poison that will ultimately kill you. So pick your poison, the result will be the same ultimate death. And yes, here on earth , mileage will vary.

    I don´t know your faith background jb, but here is something from the Lutheran Confessions that will exactly state Louis´ idea (as it will for all us Lutherans). It is short , and it it covers about 99% of what the Lutheran Confessions are trying to say in general.

    It is Luther´s Preface to his 1545 Romans Commentary, and forms a part of our Lutheran Confessions in that it is referenced by them as further elucidation on them.

    Note how Luther takes care to define terms, and how he does this by making contrasts in context. It is a gem!

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

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    jb @ 85

    Dear brother,

    Louis is not saying that talking and doing have the same indentical effect on one´s neighbor. That would be silly. No one believes that.

    Louis is saying that they are both sin, and sin is a poison that will ultimately kill you. So pick your poison, the result will be the same ultimate death. And yes, here on earth , mileage will vary.

    I don´t know your faith background jb, but here is something from the Lutheran Confessions that will exactly state Louis´ idea (as it will for all us Lutherans). It is short , and it it covers about 99% of what the Lutheran Confessions are trying to say in general.

    It is Luther´s Preface to his 1545 Romans Commentary, and forms a part of our Lutheran Confessions in that it is referenced by them as further elucidation on them.

    Note how Luther takes care to define terms, and how he does this by making contrasts in context. It is a gem!

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

  • kerner

    jb:

    Try Proverbs 6:16-19

    “These six things doth the LORD hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among the bretheren.”

    I don’t know whether we can infer much from the order in which these are listed, but I do think there should be some inference drawn from what sorts of things are grouped together. Lying is mentioned twice. Pride is listed with shedding innocent blood. “Wicked imaginations” are listed right there with actually running to mischief. “Sowing discord”, which I assume includes gossip, makes the list, while sodomy does not.

    (This is not to say that God does not abhor sodomy, but it is to say that when listing abominations, God’s Word sometimes sees fit to emphasize abominations we overlook because they are more common among us, and because we don’t like to believe that our own sins, or those of our children, are as bad as other people’s)

    But I repeat, pride and wicked immiginations are “sins of the heart”, and it does seem that God hates them just as much as He hates the holocaust (shedding innocent blood). How can you conclude otherwise?

  • kerner

    jb:

    Try Proverbs 6:16-19

    “These six things doth the LORD hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among the bretheren.”

    I don’t know whether we can infer much from the order in which these are listed, but I do think there should be some inference drawn from what sorts of things are grouped together. Lying is mentioned twice. Pride is listed with shedding innocent blood. “Wicked imaginations” are listed right there with actually running to mischief. “Sowing discord”, which I assume includes gossip, makes the list, while sodomy does not.

    (This is not to say that God does not abhor sodomy, but it is to say that when listing abominations, God’s Word sometimes sees fit to emphasize abominations we overlook because they are more common among us, and because we don’t like to believe that our own sins, or those of our children, are as bad as other people’s)

    But I repeat, pride and wicked immiginations are “sins of the heart”, and it does seem that God hates them just as much as He hates the holocaust (shedding innocent blood). How can you conclude otherwise?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 80

    I hope you will see at the end of this why the Lutheran Confessions reject Natural Law theories of the Scholastics and aquinas.

    FWS Great Cincinatus.
    You get that Homosexuality may or may not result in sexual behavior. Therefore sex acts are a possible consequence of homosexuality but not definitional of it. And you know that not everyone who has same gender sex is a homosexual.
    Here is the point I would make: Maybe these “facts” can or will be proven by science or not. And maybe it will be demonstrated whether homosexuality is nature or nurture or both. Now I think we simply don´t know.
    So why does it matter to homosexuals? Homosexuals look around and see only evidence of homosexuals trying to be heterosexual and never succeeding except for the “success” of being celebate, which without miraculous intervention is like defying the law of gravity by making rocks fall up (the Apology to the Augsburg Confession, art XXIII, makes this argument). So what Homosexuals know experientially is exactly what the Book of Concord informs us is the truth.
    Further, since the sex drive is a force of nature that no one can resist short of a rare miracle happening. And the only biblical solution to channeling that force of nature for the “good” is marriage. So st paul says that everyone MUST take a wife ordinarily.
    Marriage is not a moral option for Homosexuals. For a homosexual to marry a female solely to control that force of nature called the sex drive would not control it. It would become worse. It would be done as a religious sacrifice that would sacrifice the “flourishing” of the homosexual, the innocent woman, and the children as well. A homosexual simply would not be able to provide the Eros love that a woman deserves. Eros is not erotic love by the way. It is closer to the romantic love we see in Romeo & Julietta. In English Eros is always about concupiscence and lust. It is always a bad thing. Not so in the greek.
    And the Apology to the Augsburg Confession calls the demand for this sacrificial celibacy “cruel”. Because it is futile and is about offering up sacrifice/obedience to God as Righteousness, when Righeousness is truly alone, invisible faith alone in Christ alone. Further, God DOES demand the Virtue of self-discipline that Rome/Geneva falsely calls “Godly earthly righteousness/morality” . Yet this is not biblical righteousness. Why? It bears no fruit. The proof that the earthly visible righteousness that God demands is happening is that it is “useful”. This means that there is tangible , sense-ible evidence that love-for-others-as-one-loves-oneself is being produced as “Daily bread”. This demands evidence that whatever we do adds to the Aristotelian “flourishing” of others. If we cannot evidence-ially prove that our actions contribute to this “flourishing”, then what we are doing or demanding of others is not the earthly visible righteousness that God demands of us in God´s Word. Period.

    So you say “Homosexuality, and not just the act is a sinful condition” because it is a deviation from the natural order of things, but we all deviate from the natural (i.e., good) order of things in some way or another, so why should we be hung up on this point? Many men have a predisposition to be sexually attracted to young women who aren’t their wives; whether they act on it or not is irrelevant, as said soulish condition is still a deviation from the intended order of the cosmos.
    Ok cincinatus. Your view of second table sinning here is not in agreement with the Lutheran Confessions. Or God´s Word.
    The sin is that a man 1) harmed the woman (this thinking would at some point be acted out in word or deed or attitude) and 2) He is failing to give her the love that God demands.

    Instead , you make the sin as being about the failure to be obedient to the Sovreign, Infinite Grand Poobah of the Universe in that we have offended his Majesty by breaking one of His Rules. He does not need or want this. This is idolatry. He does not want the sacrifice of bulls and goats that are already his. He does not need our burnt offerings. Not even our moral ones! It matters not whether the Rule demonstrates love or not in this thinking. That is just a nice side bonus. The real freight on this road is Obedience and Sacrifice to please the Sovreign or not offend Him. “Virtue is it´s own reward” and God gets to make whatever rules he wants and we don´t get to question him.
    This thinking is contrary to God´s Word as to what constitutes the righteousness-towards-neighbor that God demands of us. This is contrary to God´s Word. Why?
    The Lutheran Confessions say that this is not Godly righteousness precisely because it is “useless”. The righteousness that God demands of us towards others must have tangible , sense-ible evidence of being “useful”. That is: It must be able to be proven, evidentially, that what we say, think or do, contributes to the creaturely “flourishing” of others. Period. If this is not evidential then what we are doing is idolatrous sacrifice. Then the Mercy that God demands in his Law , called love or “daily bread” is missing.

    He is not treating that young woman as that young woman´s father or mother would see as the “good” or “flourishing “ of her. And if this desire or what you call “predisposition” is about coveting someone that belongs to some other man, then in addition damage is done not only to the woman ,but also to her husband and her children and her society and her church as well. This is where God locates the sin: 1) We are not to hurt or harm our neighbor, and 2) we are to help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need . Period. God does not need our obedience to Him. This is idolatry. God instead demands that we become servants to others, and show our obedience to whom we serve in faithfulness and love.

    CINCINATUS “it’s really hard for a Christian to dispense with the idea that God created the universe and mankind intentionally with some desired order in mind. Else why would we speak of sin, etc., in the first place?”
    FWS This is not about Obedience to the Sovreign God. Sin is not about the breaking of some Divine Moral Code of conscience or Nature. This is where you depart from the Lutheran Confessions. The heathen think thussly since reason cannot know the God fully revealed in Jesus Christ. The heathen can know something of the mercy and goodness of God, but they cannot find, apart from Christ, that God forgives them and does not intend to punish them or extract obedience out of them as sacrifice. Reason can only make sacrifice. The smell of burning flesh is what sin and Reason things is necessary because they think this is the way to appease an angry God.
    The entire point of this ordering is found in the Fatherly Goodness and Mercy found in the 1st article and 4th petition of Luther´s Small Catechism. This goodness happens in spite of our sin. God the Holy Spirit makes this happen by killing our Old Adam with the Law of our Conscience. This goodness is forced out of us by the stick of the law as well as the carrot (“get up even though you don’t want to , and go to work so you can buy things you want to buy”).
    CINCINATUS “And why is this idea so repulsive to you?”
    FWS Because it is a philosophical righteousness, that has nothing at all in it about the Righeousness of Christ. Christ is totally unnecessary for what you say to be true. And it is true. I am not denying that it is. God does demand Virtue in the form of doing no harm to others , self discipline, self restraint. Vocation. This is the factory that God demands. But righteousness is only when that well organized factory called old adam driven by conscience produces the daily bread of love. This is biblical righteousness, not virtue. And still this is not the invisible Righteousness of the heart that God demands in the first commandment. This is the outward righteousness that Reason can alone do
    CINCINATUS Saying “because the Book of Concord, by my interpretation, says so” isn’t terribly convincing for me. Can you make a logical argument?
    FWS this is the problem. Aristotle and reason need to be made the servant and not the master of Scripture. The more logical argument is yours. Reason cannot know Christ.
    CINCINATUS: I’m not saying that it is possible for finite fallen man to conform to the natural order
    FWS The Confessions grant that fallen Reason is fully able to know and do the second table Law from their Conscience. The confessions say this explicitly by declaring that nothing more can be asked over pagan aristotles understanding of how earthly morality works. So Lutherans disagree with you here!
    CINCINATUS… or that succeeding in so conforming would bring salvation (as you seem to think).
    FWS: Why not?
    CINCINATUS. It just seems to be a difficult idea to discard.
    FWS: The lifelong and most difficult task that makes one a Christian is to internalize the forgiveness of sins alone, in Christ. When our conscience troubles us, we cast around for something to do instead of surrendering ourselves to the Holy Gospel of invisible faith alone in Christ alone. This is because , if we check our spiritual navel, we see that we are all really phony Christians and trust not in God but in our reason, our own doing or thinking or faith.
    CINCINATUS: Not to mention that it seems that we should _try_ to conform regardless, not because by doing so we can “save” ourselves but because by doing so is an aspect of loving one’s neighbors
    FWS If you stop right their and even add the words “and to serve our neighbor rather than to offer obedience to God as righteousness” even better!
    CINCINATUS: because being righteous and godly is, you know, actually a good thing.
    FWS I hope I have explained what those words “righteousness” and “godly” mean to Lutherans and Holy Scriptures as the Confessions of the Lutheran Church teaches us. Here is reading from those Confessions that better explains what I have presented to you.
    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 80

    I hope you will see at the end of this why the Lutheran Confessions reject Natural Law theories of the Scholastics and aquinas.

    FWS Great Cincinatus.
    You get that Homosexuality may or may not result in sexual behavior. Therefore sex acts are a possible consequence of homosexuality but not definitional of it. And you know that not everyone who has same gender sex is a homosexual.
    Here is the point I would make: Maybe these “facts” can or will be proven by science or not. And maybe it will be demonstrated whether homosexuality is nature or nurture or both. Now I think we simply don´t know.
    So why does it matter to homosexuals? Homosexuals look around and see only evidence of homosexuals trying to be heterosexual and never succeeding except for the “success” of being celebate, which without miraculous intervention is like defying the law of gravity by making rocks fall up (the Apology to the Augsburg Confession, art XXIII, makes this argument). So what Homosexuals know experientially is exactly what the Book of Concord informs us is the truth.
    Further, since the sex drive is a force of nature that no one can resist short of a rare miracle happening. And the only biblical solution to channeling that force of nature for the “good” is marriage. So st paul says that everyone MUST take a wife ordinarily.
    Marriage is not a moral option for Homosexuals. For a homosexual to marry a female solely to control that force of nature called the sex drive would not control it. It would become worse. It would be done as a religious sacrifice that would sacrifice the “flourishing” of the homosexual, the innocent woman, and the children as well. A homosexual simply would not be able to provide the Eros love that a woman deserves. Eros is not erotic love by the way. It is closer to the romantic love we see in Romeo & Julietta. In English Eros is always about concupiscence and lust. It is always a bad thing. Not so in the greek.
    And the Apology to the Augsburg Confession calls the demand for this sacrificial celibacy “cruel”. Because it is futile and is about offering up sacrifice/obedience to God as Righteousness, when Righeousness is truly alone, invisible faith alone in Christ alone. Further, God DOES demand the Virtue of self-discipline that Rome/Geneva falsely calls “Godly earthly righteousness/morality” . Yet this is not biblical righteousness. Why? It bears no fruit. The proof that the earthly visible righteousness that God demands is happening is that it is “useful”. This means that there is tangible , sense-ible evidence that love-for-others-as-one-loves-oneself is being produced as “Daily bread”. This demands evidence that whatever we do adds to the Aristotelian “flourishing” of others. If we cannot evidence-ially prove that our actions contribute to this “flourishing”, then what we are doing or demanding of others is not the earthly visible righteousness that God demands of us in God´s Word. Period.

    So you say “Homosexuality, and not just the act is a sinful condition” because it is a deviation from the natural order of things, but we all deviate from the natural (i.e., good) order of things in some way or another, so why should we be hung up on this point? Many men have a predisposition to be sexually attracted to young women who aren’t their wives; whether they act on it or not is irrelevant, as said soulish condition is still a deviation from the intended order of the cosmos.
    Ok cincinatus. Your view of second table sinning here is not in agreement with the Lutheran Confessions. Or God´s Word.
    The sin is that a man 1) harmed the woman (this thinking would at some point be acted out in word or deed or attitude) and 2) He is failing to give her the love that God demands.

    Instead , you make the sin as being about the failure to be obedient to the Sovreign, Infinite Grand Poobah of the Universe in that we have offended his Majesty by breaking one of His Rules. He does not need or want this. This is idolatry. He does not want the sacrifice of bulls and goats that are already his. He does not need our burnt offerings. Not even our moral ones! It matters not whether the Rule demonstrates love or not in this thinking. That is just a nice side bonus. The real freight on this road is Obedience and Sacrifice to please the Sovreign or not offend Him. “Virtue is it´s own reward” and God gets to make whatever rules he wants and we don´t get to question him.
    This thinking is contrary to God´s Word as to what constitutes the righteousness-towards-neighbor that God demands of us. This is contrary to God´s Word. Why?
    The Lutheran Confessions say that this is not Godly righteousness precisely because it is “useless”. The righteousness that God demands of us towards others must have tangible , sense-ible evidence of being “useful”. That is: It must be able to be proven, evidentially, that what we say, think or do, contributes to the creaturely “flourishing” of others. Period. If this is not evidential then what we are doing is idolatrous sacrifice. Then the Mercy that God demands in his Law , called love or “daily bread” is missing.

    He is not treating that young woman as that young woman´s father or mother would see as the “good” or “flourishing “ of her. And if this desire or what you call “predisposition” is about coveting someone that belongs to some other man, then in addition damage is done not only to the woman ,but also to her husband and her children and her society and her church as well. This is where God locates the sin: 1) We are not to hurt or harm our neighbor, and 2) we are to help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need . Period. God does not need our obedience to Him. This is idolatry. God instead demands that we become servants to others, and show our obedience to whom we serve in faithfulness and love.

    CINCINATUS “it’s really hard for a Christian to dispense with the idea that God created the universe and mankind intentionally with some desired order in mind. Else why would we speak of sin, etc., in the first place?”
    FWS This is not about Obedience to the Sovreign God. Sin is not about the breaking of some Divine Moral Code of conscience or Nature. This is where you depart from the Lutheran Confessions. The heathen think thussly since reason cannot know the God fully revealed in Jesus Christ. The heathen can know something of the mercy and goodness of God, but they cannot find, apart from Christ, that God forgives them and does not intend to punish them or extract obedience out of them as sacrifice. Reason can only make sacrifice. The smell of burning flesh is what sin and Reason things is necessary because they think this is the way to appease an angry God.
    The entire point of this ordering is found in the Fatherly Goodness and Mercy found in the 1st article and 4th petition of Luther´s Small Catechism. This goodness happens in spite of our sin. God the Holy Spirit makes this happen by killing our Old Adam with the Law of our Conscience. This goodness is forced out of us by the stick of the law as well as the carrot (“get up even though you don’t want to , and go to work so you can buy things you want to buy”).
    CINCINATUS “And why is this idea so repulsive to you?”
    FWS Because it is a philosophical righteousness, that has nothing at all in it about the Righeousness of Christ. Christ is totally unnecessary for what you say to be true. And it is true. I am not denying that it is. God does demand Virtue in the form of doing no harm to others , self discipline, self restraint. Vocation. This is the factory that God demands. But righteousness is only when that well organized factory called old adam driven by conscience produces the daily bread of love. This is biblical righteousness, not virtue. And still this is not the invisible Righteousness of the heart that God demands in the first commandment. This is the outward righteousness that Reason can alone do
    CINCINATUS Saying “because the Book of Concord, by my interpretation, says so” isn’t terribly convincing for me. Can you make a logical argument?
    FWS this is the problem. Aristotle and reason need to be made the servant and not the master of Scripture. The more logical argument is yours. Reason cannot know Christ.
    CINCINATUS: I’m not saying that it is possible for finite fallen man to conform to the natural order
    FWS The Confessions grant that fallen Reason is fully able to know and do the second table Law from their Conscience. The confessions say this explicitly by declaring that nothing more can be asked over pagan aristotles understanding of how earthly morality works. So Lutherans disagree with you here!
    CINCINATUS… or that succeeding in so conforming would bring salvation (as you seem to think).
    FWS: Why not?
    CINCINATUS. It just seems to be a difficult idea to discard.
    FWS: The lifelong and most difficult task that makes one a Christian is to internalize the forgiveness of sins alone, in Christ. When our conscience troubles us, we cast around for something to do instead of surrendering ourselves to the Holy Gospel of invisible faith alone in Christ alone. This is because , if we check our spiritual navel, we see that we are all really phony Christians and trust not in God but in our reason, our own doing or thinking or faith.
    CINCINATUS: Not to mention that it seems that we should _try_ to conform regardless, not because by doing so we can “save” ourselves but because by doing so is an aspect of loving one’s neighbors
    FWS If you stop right their and even add the words “and to serve our neighbor rather than to offer obedience to God as righteousness” even better!
    CINCINATUS: because being righteous and godly is, you know, actually a good thing.
    FWS I hope I have explained what those words “righteousness” and “godly” mean to Lutherans and Holy Scriptures as the Confessions of the Lutheran Church teaches us. Here is reading from those Confessions that better explains what I have presented to you.
    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

  • kerner

    More on topic, I cannot improve much on the remarks of Joe @28.

    The major problem with open homosexuals in the military is similar to the problem with women in mixed units with men in the military. Pairing off leads to the breakdown of discipline within the unit. In our military culture at least, the relationship between comrads in arms is incompatible with the relationship between sweethearts.

    Aircraft carriers have crews exceeding 5000. You don’t hear about it much, but every time an aircraft carrier returns to port, a number of female sailors need medical leave because they became pregnant on the cruise.

    Also, more recently that the sacrd band of Thebes, I have read that homosexual relationships between young Zulu warriors, especially prior to marriage, was common. Sort of a bonding ritual.

  • kerner

    More on topic, I cannot improve much on the remarks of Joe @28.

    The major problem with open homosexuals in the military is similar to the problem with women in mixed units with men in the military. Pairing off leads to the breakdown of discipline within the unit. In our military culture at least, the relationship between comrads in arms is incompatible with the relationship between sweethearts.

    Aircraft carriers have crews exceeding 5000. You don’t hear about it much, but every time an aircraft carrier returns to port, a number of female sailors need medical leave because they became pregnant on the cruise.

    Also, more recently that the sacrd band of Thebes, I have read that homosexual relationships between young Zulu warriors, especially prior to marriage, was common. Sort of a bonding ritual.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 89

    the military code needs to be strictly enforced. maybe the gay issue will actually be a help here. Women will not be able to say they are being singled out for discipline. So discipline will perhaps be less problematic.

    But the military code needs to be severely enforced. for everyone. equally.

    You will find no gay men having any problem with that at all. To the exact contrary!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 89

    the military code needs to be strictly enforced. maybe the gay issue will actually be a help here. Women will not be able to say they are being singled out for discipline. So discipline will perhaps be less problematic.

    But the military code needs to be severely enforced. for everyone. equally.

    You will find no gay men having any problem with that at all. To the exact contrary!

  • kerner

    jb @85: “to sin is always worse than to think it”.

    I’m not so sure. CS Lewis claimed tha the worst sins were of the heart. He once gave the example of someone who, in a fit of temporary anger, strikes and kills some one, contrasted with someone who becomes consumed with hatred and bitterness by “murdering” the hated person “in one’s heart” over a long period of time. Lewis took the position that someone who wallows in his hatred is actually worse off before God than someone who in a brief fit of blind passion strikes and kills another. I think Lewis had a point. I don’t know about better or worse, but both seem to be in the same league to me.

  • kerner

    jb @85: “to sin is always worse than to think it”.

    I’m not so sure. CS Lewis claimed tha the worst sins were of the heart. He once gave the example of someone who, in a fit of temporary anger, strikes and kills some one, contrasted with someone who becomes consumed with hatred and bitterness by “murdering” the hated person “in one’s heart” over a long period of time. Lewis took the position that someone who wallows in his hatred is actually worse off before God than someone who in a brief fit of blind passion strikes and kills another. I think Lewis had a point. I don’t know about better or worse, but both seem to be in the same league to me.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’m sure they do, but that doesn’t solve the problem that Joe identifies. I firmly believe that men and women should not serve together in the same units, at least in the combat arms, because no matter how hard you try to enforce the “military code”, human nature will overcome it and way too much energy will be expended on trying to do the impossible.

    Come on, Frank, you of all people should be aware of the inability of the law to change human nature very much.

    As for homosexuals in the military, I was pretty content with DADT. Gays were allowed to serve, but among their comrades in arms they were required to keep their sexuality private. Since heterosexual military personnel are supposed to keep their sexuality private as between each other as well, I don’t see this as that big an imposition for gay military people. In a way, DADT is simply the “military code” at a very high level: when serving with people they are potentially attracted to, don’t even bring your sexuality up (nor must others ask you about it). Repeal of DADT just brings sexuality in the military more out in the open, where it should not be.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’m sure they do, but that doesn’t solve the problem that Joe identifies. I firmly believe that men and women should not serve together in the same units, at least in the combat arms, because no matter how hard you try to enforce the “military code”, human nature will overcome it and way too much energy will be expended on trying to do the impossible.

    Come on, Frank, you of all people should be aware of the inability of the law to change human nature very much.

    As for homosexuals in the military, I was pretty content with DADT. Gays were allowed to serve, but among their comrades in arms they were required to keep their sexuality private. Since heterosexual military personnel are supposed to keep their sexuality private as between each other as well, I don’t see this as that big an imposition for gay military people. In a way, DADT is simply the “military code” at a very high level: when serving with people they are potentially attracted to, don’t even bring your sexuality up (nor must others ask you about it). Repeal of DADT just brings sexuality in the military more out in the open, where it should not be.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 92

    The recent pentagon study says that a very small number of gays were kicked out because they were caught “en flagrante” and that the % of those compares losely with the general population.

    So if gays were able to successfully hide the fact that they are gay in close combat situations, showers, shared sleeping spaces, which is in fact proof that they , up till now, have not been a disruption in any meaningful way….

    Why would letting someone stop lying change anything Kerner? This lying weighs terribly on the conscience of those, as in west point graduates, who have sworn not to lie and always be truthful. It is a great moral travesty.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 92

    The recent pentagon study says that a very small number of gays were kicked out because they were caught “en flagrante” and that the % of those compares losely with the general population.

    So if gays were able to successfully hide the fact that they are gay in close combat situations, showers, shared sleeping spaces, which is in fact proof that they , up till now, have not been a disruption in any meaningful way….

    Why would letting someone stop lying change anything Kerner? This lying weighs terribly on the conscience of those, as in west point graduates, who have sworn not to lie and always be truthful. It is a great moral travesty.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 92

    Further, those front line combat troops who were aware that they were in the foxhole with a gay man or lesbian were actually far more accepting of gays in the military out of that experience according to the pentagon report. This would either indicate that there was alot of fornicating going on and this is why the approval rating shot up, or….. none of the stereotyped fears actually were true. Take yer pick!

    the report says that those who did not have the benefit of that experience to shape their opinion fell back to stereotypes they discovered in the focus groups.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 92

    Further, those front line combat troops who were aware that they were in the foxhole with a gay man or lesbian were actually far more accepting of gays in the military out of that experience according to the pentagon report. This would either indicate that there was alot of fornicating going on and this is why the approval rating shot up, or….. none of the stereotyped fears actually were true. Take yer pick!

    the report says that those who did not have the benefit of that experience to shape their opinion fell back to stereotypes they discovered in the focus groups.

  • Porcell

    FWS, your assumption that the natural law reasoning of Aquinas was rejected by Luther is mistaken. In a First Things article,”Protestants and Natural Law,” J Daryl Charles writes:

    Luther adopts the basic definition of natural law set forth in Philip Melanchthon’s commentary on Romans 2:15, for the natural law is “a common judgment to which all men alike assent, and therefore one which God has inscribed upon the soul of each man.” “Everyone,” observes Luther, “must acknowledge that what the natural law says is right and true.” All carry along with them “in the depth of their hearts a living book which could give them quite adequate instruction about what they ought to do and not to do, how they ought to judge, and what ought to be accepted and rejected.” There is no person who does not sense the effects of the natural law..

    The truth is that biblical and natural law reason clearly regards homosexuality to be a disordered inclination and homosexual behavior to be a grave sin. The military for this and pragmatic reasons having to do with combat unit cohesion has every right to be concerned about openly gay individuals serving in combat units. That’s why the heads of the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force opposed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    Unfortuately, Secretary Gates and Joint Chief of Staff Mullen, given the political and liberal ljudicial pressure, decided to recommend the repeal of DADT. This is yet another example of the militant gay political movement achieving victory, much like their victories with assocations of psychologists and psychiatrists.

  • Porcell

    FWS, your assumption that the natural law reasoning of Aquinas was rejected by Luther is mistaken. In a First Things article,”Protestants and Natural Law,” J Daryl Charles writes:

    Luther adopts the basic definition of natural law set forth in Philip Melanchthon’s commentary on Romans 2:15, for the natural law is “a common judgment to which all men alike assent, and therefore one which God has inscribed upon the soul of each man.” “Everyone,” observes Luther, “must acknowledge that what the natural law says is right and true.” All carry along with them “in the depth of their hearts a living book which could give them quite adequate instruction about what they ought to do and not to do, how they ought to judge, and what ought to be accepted and rejected.” There is no person who does not sense the effects of the natural law..

    The truth is that biblical and natural law reason clearly regards homosexuality to be a disordered inclination and homosexual behavior to be a grave sin. The military for this and pragmatic reasons having to do with combat unit cohesion has every right to be concerned about openly gay individuals serving in combat units. That’s why the heads of the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force opposed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    Unfortuately, Secretary Gates and Joint Chief of Staff Mullen, given the political and liberal ljudicial pressure, decided to recommend the repeal of DADT. This is yet another example of the militant gay political movement achieving victory, much like their victories with assocations of psychologists and psychiatrists.

  • Porcell

    In the above, only the second paragraph is a quote. The rest is mine.

  • Porcell

    In the above, only the second paragraph is a quote. The rest is mine.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 95

    You are sending me to a roman catholic site to teach me what the Lutheran Church teaches. Again: You can only send me to the Lutheran Confessions if you wish to do this.

    The Confessions use the term “Natural Law”. They always mean by it the Law written in man´s heart, ie the Conscience.

    They categorically reject the scholastic schema of categories when doing theology. This includes the idea that Natural Law = moral law (think of the law of gravity as moral law to get their idea here). The embrace Aristotle and his virtue ethics and allow him and his moral system to remain fully pagan.

    Mullin said that it was his personally held opinion that dont ask dont tell was wrong. gates seconded that. and so did colin powell who is considered one of the architects of the policy. I think we can accept these honorable men´s words at face value without having to accuse them to caving to political correctness or political pressure Peter.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 95

    You are sending me to a roman catholic site to teach me what the Lutheran Church teaches. Again: You can only send me to the Lutheran Confessions if you wish to do this.

    The Confessions use the term “Natural Law”. They always mean by it the Law written in man´s heart, ie the Conscience.

    They categorically reject the scholastic schema of categories when doing theology. This includes the idea that Natural Law = moral law (think of the law of gravity as moral law to get their idea here). The embrace Aristotle and his virtue ethics and allow him and his moral system to remain fully pagan.

    Mullin said that it was his personally held opinion that dont ask dont tell was wrong. gates seconded that. and so did colin powell who is considered one of the architects of the policy. I think we can accept these honorable men´s words at face value without having to accuse them to caving to political correctness or political pressure Peter.

  • The Jungle Cat

    Actually, I suspect the fluidity of sexual orientation is still fairly common, though it is not much discussed. Though I have never been to the Middle East, I have spoken to individuals who had been stationed there who told me that homosexual relationships are privately common among men who are publicly heterosexual. But I suspect it is common in America as well; the Eric Massa scandal last spring is, I think, an example of how this fluidity plays out. I suspect that it is most common in cultures where there is a significant amount of machismo. It was probably necessary for there to be a woman’s rights movement–to temper the idealization of ubermasculinity–before there could be a significant culture that made homosexuality the central feature of its identity and declared sexual orientation fixed.

  • The Jungle Cat

    Actually, I suspect the fluidity of sexual orientation is still fairly common, though it is not much discussed. Though I have never been to the Middle East, I have spoken to individuals who had been stationed there who told me that homosexual relationships are privately common among men who are publicly heterosexual. But I suspect it is common in America as well; the Eric Massa scandal last spring is, I think, an example of how this fluidity plays out. I suspect that it is most common in cultures where there is a significant amount of machismo. It was probably necessary for there to be a woman’s rights movement–to temper the idealization of ubermasculinity–before there could be a significant culture that made homosexuality the central feature of its identity and declared sexual orientation fixed.

  • kerner

    fws:

    The requirement of DADT was not to compel anyone to lie. DADT required that gay sexuality not be discussed at all. This is not the same as lying. It is simply a strict requirement that sexuality be kept private.

    Theoretically, heterosexuality is likewise supposed to be kept private in the military. But, since it is not really possible to conceal that men and women are of different sexes, the military has had much less success in keeping heterosexualty private as between heterosexual soldiers. Hetersexual soldiers, sailors, etc. share their sexuality all too frequently (see Joe’s commen @ 28). We can now look forward to gay military personnel doing likewise, which will likewise have a detrimental effect on the armed services.

    I suppose this move now drags gay soldiers down to a footing equal to their heterosexual counterparts (which may seem fair in a superficial way), but I frankly believe that the better move would have been to have increased separation between the sexes in the military, thus attempting to elevate the conduct of heterosexual soldiers to a standard more similar to that required to DADT. Alas, we have gone the wrong direction.

  • kerner

    fws:

    The requirement of DADT was not to compel anyone to lie. DADT required that gay sexuality not be discussed at all. This is not the same as lying. It is simply a strict requirement that sexuality be kept private.

    Theoretically, heterosexuality is likewise supposed to be kept private in the military. But, since it is not really possible to conceal that men and women are of different sexes, the military has had much less success in keeping heterosexualty private as between heterosexual soldiers. Hetersexual soldiers, sailors, etc. share their sexuality all too frequently (see Joe’s commen @ 28). We can now look forward to gay military personnel doing likewise, which will likewise have a detrimental effect on the armed services.

    I suppose this move now drags gay soldiers down to a footing equal to their heterosexual counterparts (which may seem fair in a superficial way), but I frankly believe that the better move would have been to have increased separation between the sexes in the military, thus attempting to elevate the conduct of heterosexual soldiers to a standard more similar to that required to DADT. Alas, we have gone the wrong direction.

  • Porcell

    Well, FWS, if you can’t handle an excellent mainly Catholic blogsite, you might try the article, Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal at http://cyberbrethren.com/2010/12/03/natural-law-a-lutheran-reappraisal-coming-january-2011/ run by Paul McCain,a Missouri Synod pastor. The article includes:

    I have mentioned this forthcoming title once before, but I want to underscore and highlight it yet again. I can not emphasize strongly enough how important this issue is and how, if only Lutherans would have kept this doctrine clearly in mind, so many of the horrible problems vexing the Lutheran Church worldwide might have been prevented. I’m referring specifically to the issue of homosexuality, but there are a whole host of moral and ethical issues that are informed by the doctrine of natural law. And it is not merely a “theory” or some kind of abstract “doctrine” in the sense of: something theologians like to talk about, but not useful. The doctrine of natural law is key to recovering a full and robust understanding of what it means to be human in God’s creation.

    Our reason as well as the Bible makes clear that homosexual inclination is disordered and, if acted upon, sinful.

  • Porcell

    Well, FWS, if you can’t handle an excellent mainly Catholic blogsite, you might try the article, Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal at http://cyberbrethren.com/2010/12/03/natural-law-a-lutheran-reappraisal-coming-january-2011/ run by Paul McCain,a Missouri Synod pastor. The article includes:

    I have mentioned this forthcoming title once before, but I want to underscore and highlight it yet again. I can not emphasize strongly enough how important this issue is and how, if only Lutherans would have kept this doctrine clearly in mind, so many of the horrible problems vexing the Lutheran Church worldwide might have been prevented. I’m referring specifically to the issue of homosexuality, but there are a whole host of moral and ethical issues that are informed by the doctrine of natural law. And it is not merely a “theory” or some kind of abstract “doctrine” in the sense of: something theologians like to talk about, but not useful. The doctrine of natural law is key to recovering a full and robust understanding of what it means to be human in God’s creation.

    Our reason as well as the Bible makes clear that homosexual inclination is disordered and, if acted upon, sinful.

  • Porcell

    The link referred to above is Here.

  • Porcell

    The link referred to above is Here.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    jungle cat @98

    come on now. Homosexuality in large parts of the middle east will get you killed. this does not support the idea of sexual orientation fluidity does it? the historical norm is for homosexuals to marry to fit into society. this does not mean that their orientation is fluid. and it does not prove that it is not fluid either I can add.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    jungle cat @98

    come on now. Homosexuality in large parts of the middle east will get you killed. this does not support the idea of sexual orientation fluidity does it? the historical norm is for homosexuals to marry to fit into society. this does not mean that their orientation is fluid. and it does not prove that it is not fluid either I can add.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 99

    “Theoretically, heterosexuality is likewise supposed to be kept private in the military.”

    come ON now. so , theoretically, heterosexuals are not supposed to show fotos of their wives and children. when they are asked where they spent the weekend they are supposed to use the euphemism “friend” when referring to their wife.

    we are talking bout this sorta thing.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 99

    “Theoretically, heterosexuality is likewise supposed to be kept private in the military.”

    come ON now. so , theoretically, heterosexuals are not supposed to show fotos of their wives and children. when they are asked where they spent the weekend they are supposed to use the euphemism “friend” when referring to their wife.

    we are talking bout this sorta thing.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 100

    I greatly respect what Paul mc Cain has done for the LCMS publishing house and other great and wonderful services he has rendered to his denomination.

    If this quote is accurate, Paul has departed at this point from the Lutheran Confessions. This is the scholasticism that the Lutheran Confessions reject.

    IF this quote , taken in the full context truly represents his views, then he is on his way to losing his Lutheran birthright to resolve his anxiety over homosexuality.

    The Confessions deliberately and narrowly define “Natural Law’ as the law written in the Conscience of all men. They were fully aware of how aquinas defined this term differently. They explicitly rejected aquinas categories.

    So what are you trying to prove to me by presenting all this? That Lutherans hold to the aquinan view of natural law? No! I can say that “NO!” because of the Lutheran Confessions.

    Are you trying to demonstrate that some persons who are Lutheran also hold to some Roman Catholic teachings that their own Church has rejected? Ok. You win that point!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 100

    I greatly respect what Paul mc Cain has done for the LCMS publishing house and other great and wonderful services he has rendered to his denomination.

    If this quote is accurate, Paul has departed at this point from the Lutheran Confessions. This is the scholasticism that the Lutheran Confessions reject.

    IF this quote , taken in the full context truly represents his views, then he is on his way to losing his Lutheran birthright to resolve his anxiety over homosexuality.

    The Confessions deliberately and narrowly define “Natural Law’ as the law written in the Conscience of all men. They were fully aware of how aquinas defined this term differently. They explicitly rejected aquinas categories.

    So what are you trying to prove to me by presenting all this? That Lutherans hold to the aquinan view of natural law? No! I can say that “NO!” because of the Lutheran Confessions.

    Are you trying to demonstrate that some persons who are Lutheran also hold to some Roman Catholic teachings that their own Church has rejected? Ok. You win that point!

  • Cincinnatus

    fws:

    In terms of policy, kerner makes a great point (the same point I made much earlier in the thread).

    As for jungle cat, he’s actually making a valid observation as well. Historically (and “scientifically”), sexuality has been demonstrated to be “fluid.” Obviously, this does not make it a normatively acceptable phenomenon, but it does seem to be the case. We moderns are peculiar in our insistence that sexuality is something about us that we absolutely cannot change or manipulate. And he is actually correct about the Middle East. Some research has shown that the Middle East is home to a very high level of homosexual (male/male) behavior; sociologists speculate that the extreme degree to which heterosexual conduct is repressed in these Islamic regimes combined with the fat that males are really the only individuals who can contact one another outside the home (since the behavior and movement of women is minutely regulated) has led to an “epidemic” of homosexual behavior as an outlet.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws:

    In terms of policy, kerner makes a great point (the same point I made much earlier in the thread).

    As for jungle cat, he’s actually making a valid observation as well. Historically (and “scientifically”), sexuality has been demonstrated to be “fluid.” Obviously, this does not make it a normatively acceptable phenomenon, but it does seem to be the case. We moderns are peculiar in our insistence that sexuality is something about us that we absolutely cannot change or manipulate. And he is actually correct about the Middle East. Some research has shown that the Middle East is home to a very high level of homosexual (male/male) behavior; sociologists speculate that the extreme degree to which heterosexual conduct is repressed in these Islamic regimes combined with the fat that males are really the only individuals who can contact one another outside the home (since the behavior and movement of women is minutely regulated) has led to an “epidemic” of homosexual behavior as an outlet.

  • Cincinnatus

    And, fws, in brief reply to your ruminations on natural law: by some readings of Aquinas (including, to some extent, my own) the natural law is something that is written in the conscience of every man. In any case, the distinction you’re trying to make is irrelevant because, for Aquinas (and others), the only way to access and understand the natural law is via the intellect and the conscience, regardless of whether the “location” of the law is the conscience itself (i.e., “written on the heart”) or the patterns and operations of human life and the cosmos. And it’s even more irrelevant for a Christian to dispute this point, as I doubt you’ll find any Christian who would disagree with the idea that God prescribes a proper patter for human life and community. Frame it in whatever terms you want–”natural law,” “earthly righteousness,” “loving your neighbor,” “virtue ethics,” ad infinitum–the basic idea is similar in all these cases.

  • Cincinnatus

    And, fws, in brief reply to your ruminations on natural law: by some readings of Aquinas (including, to some extent, my own) the natural law is something that is written in the conscience of every man. In any case, the distinction you’re trying to make is irrelevant because, for Aquinas (and others), the only way to access and understand the natural law is via the intellect and the conscience, regardless of whether the “location” of the law is the conscience itself (i.e., “written on the heart”) or the patterns and operations of human life and the cosmos. And it’s even more irrelevant for a Christian to dispute this point, as I doubt you’ll find any Christian who would disagree with the idea that God prescribes a proper patter for human life and community. Frame it in whatever terms you want–”natural law,” “earthly righteousness,” “loving your neighbor,” “virtue ethics,” ad infinitum–the basic idea is similar in all these cases.

  • kerner

    So, we’re supposed to compromise military discipline so that gays won’t have to use “euphemisms”? Look Frank, showing pictures of spouses and children implies sexual activity of the only legitimate kind.

    While it is true that men often talk about the women they have had sex with, it used to be unacceptable to talk like that around women. I suspect that women talk about us heterosexual men among themselves too, but I really don’t want to hear it from them.

    Therefore, if gay people spare me the details of discussing their sex lives, I find that to be quite appropriate in almost any context. For gay military personnel to have to not discuss sex when showing pictures of “friends” does not seem to me to be that big of an imposition. Nobody was telling them how “friendly” they could be, only that they could not talk about it among their military colleagues.

  • kerner

    So, we’re supposed to compromise military discipline so that gays won’t have to use “euphemisms”? Look Frank, showing pictures of spouses and children implies sexual activity of the only legitimate kind.

    While it is true that men often talk about the women they have had sex with, it used to be unacceptable to talk like that around women. I suspect that women talk about us heterosexual men among themselves too, but I really don’t want to hear it from them.

    Therefore, if gay people spare me the details of discussing their sex lives, I find that to be quite appropriate in almost any context. For gay military personnel to have to not discuss sex when showing pictures of “friends” does not seem to me to be that big of an imposition. Nobody was telling them how “friendly” they could be, only that they could not talk about it among their military colleagues.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 107

    Ok. I get it. We gays have “life styles” you have lives. We gays have agendas, you all have regular day planners. We gays are flaunting our sexuality by discussing our live and loves as anyone would do.

    Why should it bother you to be shown a picture of a mans significant other who happens to be a male and their adopted children? And why should someone be required to not tell the truth about this?

    Why should everyone be required to abide by the same rules , rather than have special rules for a certain class within society?

    I am still not following your reasoning here.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 107

    Ok. I get it. We gays have “life styles” you have lives. We gays have agendas, you all have regular day planners. We gays are flaunting our sexuality by discussing our live and loves as anyone would do.

    Why should it bother you to be shown a picture of a mans significant other who happens to be a male and their adopted children? And why should someone be required to not tell the truth about this?

    Why should everyone be required to abide by the same rules , rather than have special rules for a certain class within society?

    I am still not following your reasoning here.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 107

    “Therefore, if gay people spare me the details of discussing their sex lives, I find that to be quite appropriate in almost any context. For gay military personnel to have to not discuss sex when showing pictures of “friends” does not seem to me to be that big of an imposition”

    I hope you are not telling me that every time you show pictures of your wife and kids you also discuss your sex life. I agree. that should be kept private.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 107

    “Therefore, if gay people spare me the details of discussing their sex lives, I find that to be quite appropriate in almost any context. For gay military personnel to have to not discuss sex when showing pictures of “friends” does not seem to me to be that big of an imposition”

    I hope you are not telling me that every time you show pictures of your wife and kids you also discuss your sex life. I agree. that should be kept private.

  • Cincinnatus

    “Why should everyone be required to abide by the same rules , rather than have special rules for a certain class within society?”

    You’re the one being treated like you have a “lifestyle” rather than a “life.” Why would you want “special rules”? And how does a desire to “special rules” accord with the principle of equality of the governed before the law?

  • Cincinnatus

    “Why should everyone be required to abide by the same rules , rather than have special rules for a certain class within society?”

    You’re the one being treated like you have a “lifestyle” rather than a “life.” Why would you want “special rules”? And how does a desire to “special rules” accord with the principle of equality of the governed before the law?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 107

    Imagine presenting your wife to your work colleagues and being required , by law, to refer to her as your “friend”.

    Good luck with your wife on keeping that job!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 107

    Imagine presenting your wife to your work colleagues and being required , by law, to refer to her as your “friend”.

    Good luck with your wife on keeping that job!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 110

    huh?

    in what way do homosexuals in the military not want to be treated exactly the same as anyone else?

    I have never heard a homosexual refer to the “gay lifestyle” or the “gay agenda”. this is the post modernistic jingoism of the religious right that use words with pure emotional content without any real content.

    define “gay lifestyle” It means nothing . its use is to be evocative not communicative.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 110

    huh?

    in what way do homosexuals in the military not want to be treated exactly the same as anyone else?

    I have never heard a homosexual refer to the “gay lifestyle” or the “gay agenda”. this is the post modernistic jingoism of the religious right that use words with pure emotional content without any real content.

    define “gay lifestyle” It means nothing . its use is to be evocative not communicative.

  • Leif

    Small interjection here:

    From the Small Catechism:

    “21. What is the moral law?

    The moral law is that law which sets forth our duties to God and man as briefly comprehended in the ten commandments.

    22 Are these three kinds of law binding on all men?

    No the moral law alone is binding on all men ”

    Dunno who this will help in this argument but just thought I’d throw that one in.

  • Leif

    Small interjection here:

    From the Small Catechism:

    “21. What is the moral law?

    The moral law is that law which sets forth our duties to God and man as briefly comprehended in the ten commandments.

    22 Are these three kinds of law binding on all men?

    No the moral law alone is binding on all men ”

    Dunno who this will help in this argument but just thought I’d throw that one in.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 110

    “Why should everyone be required to abide by the same rules , rather than have special rules for a certain class within society?”

    ah. TYPO! “Why should everyone NOT be required to abide by the same rules rather than have special rules…..”

    is , knowing me as you should by now, how it should have been typed….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 110

    “Why should everyone be required to abide by the same rules , rather than have special rules for a certain class within society?”

    ah. TYPO! “Why should everyone NOT be required to abide by the same rules rather than have special rules…..”

    is , knowing me as you should by now, how it should have been typed….

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    This discussion is not going anywhere, it seems. But ignoring the moral / theological side of it for a moment, and just looking at practical issues:

    I’l repeat my comment @35, namely that the dire predictions and worst fears were not realised within the Canadian military, who is, incidentally, just as much on the fronline as the Us or any other military force in Afghanistan. And Canada crossed that bridge 20 years ago.

    This to say that the discussion could centre around moral/ethical/theological issues, but that the practical implementation has been done before, without all the fears coming true.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    This discussion is not going anywhere, it seems. But ignoring the moral / theological side of it for a moment, and just looking at practical issues:

    I’l repeat my comment @35, namely that the dire predictions and worst fears were not realised within the Canadian military, who is, incidentally, just as much on the fronline as the Us or any other military force in Afghanistan. And Canada crossed that bridge 20 years ago.

    This to say that the discussion could centre around moral/ethical/theological issues, but that the practical implementation has been done before, without all the fears coming true.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Leif @ 110

    I would point out brother that this is not the small catechism contained in the Lutheran confessions, but rather what someone in some synod wrote to explain those.

    It would be interesting to see more context to this: three kinds of laws binding on all men?” Which catechism are you quoting out of please?

    This says that there are three laws. This would be wrong. There is only one Law. And that law ALWAYS accuses. the Law always accuses. and that one law, the law of Conscience = moral law for Lutherans. And yes, it applies to all men. Including christians.

    Also important to note: there is NO special law that is a “christian” law or morality that only applies to christians or is just for christians. (Formula of concord art VI “the third [lutheran use] of the law”)

    it is also important to note that Lutherans reject a use of the law that is about working on our sanctification.

    I am guessing that there was a previous reference to “3 uses of the law” before what you quote dear brother.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Leif @ 110

    I would point out brother that this is not the small catechism contained in the Lutheran confessions, but rather what someone in some synod wrote to explain those.

    It would be interesting to see more context to this: three kinds of laws binding on all men?” Which catechism are you quoting out of please?

    This says that there are three laws. This would be wrong. There is only one Law. And that law ALWAYS accuses. the Law always accuses. and that one law, the law of Conscience = moral law for Lutherans. And yes, it applies to all men. Including christians.

    Also important to note: there is NO special law that is a “christian” law or morality that only applies to christians or is just for christians. (Formula of concord art VI “the third [lutheran use] of the law”)

    it is also important to note that Lutherans reject a use of the law that is about working on our sanctification.

    I am guessing that there was a previous reference to “3 uses of the law” before what you quote dear brother.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 106

    I know my post was long and maybe rambling. You seemed to have missed the lutheran confessional argument entirely against natural law as aquinas understood it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 106

    I know my post was long and maybe rambling. You seemed to have missed the lutheran confessional argument entirely against natural law as aquinas understood it.

  • Leif

    fws @116

    Yeah, I realized I probably should have full quoted after the fact…(hindsight and all)

    Luther’s Small Catechism

    The 3 laws laid out are: civil, ceremonial, and moral

  • Leif

    fws @116

    Yeah, I realized I probably should have full quoted after the fact…(hindsight and all)

    Luther’s Small Catechism

    The 3 laws laid out are: civil, ceremonial, and moral

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus, as an obvious non lutheran, I know you may not agree with the arguments I wrote, but it seems like you are not interested in engaging any of the arguments I presented from the Lutheran Confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus, as an obvious non lutheran, I know you may not agree with the arguments I wrote, but it seems like you are not interested in engaging any of the arguments I presented from the Lutheran Confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    so I agree with Louis and your previous comments. this conversation is not going anywhere. we tried didnt we?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    so I agree with Louis and your previous comments. this conversation is not going anywhere. we tried didnt we?

  • Cincinnatus

    I prophesied that this would happen :-p

  • Cincinnatus

    I prophesied that this would happen :-p

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 121

    @ 88 I spent a great deal of time trying to explain to you why the Lutheran Confessions reject the view of the law you hold to.

    This is not just your view on natural law. it is your overall view, as I perceive it, that conformity to the law is a matter of conforming to and obedience to a Divine Moral Code. I could be wrongly characterizing your views. I am accurately reflecting why the Lutheran Confessions reject Natural law for this very reason.

    This is new ground for the two of us.

    The other points you raise as to whether sexual orientation is fluid or not…. who knows? It is my opinion vs your own. my reason or logic vs yours. Meh. Not interested in a discussion like that. Thanks for sharing.

    That can all be said whether christ rose from the dead or not.

    So that stuff will all perish with the earth. Nothing you are talking about has any eternal consequences. None of it.

    And none of it is about increasing happiness or salving suffering on earth. so it is blathering on and has nothing at all to do with the righeousness that God demands of us on earth that is love towards our neighbor. It is morality-by-the-metrics. which is idolatry.

    So it has NOTHING to do with christianity.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 121

    @ 88 I spent a great deal of time trying to explain to you why the Lutheran Confessions reject the view of the law you hold to.

    This is not just your view on natural law. it is your overall view, as I perceive it, that conformity to the law is a matter of conforming to and obedience to a Divine Moral Code. I could be wrongly characterizing your views. I am accurately reflecting why the Lutheran Confessions reject Natural law for this very reason.

    This is new ground for the two of us.

    The other points you raise as to whether sexual orientation is fluid or not…. who knows? It is my opinion vs your own. my reason or logic vs yours. Meh. Not interested in a discussion like that. Thanks for sharing.

    That can all be said whether christ rose from the dead or not.

    So that stuff will all perish with the earth. Nothing you are talking about has any eternal consequences. None of it.

    And none of it is about increasing happiness or salving suffering on earth. so it is blathering on and has nothing at all to do with the righeousness that God demands of us on earth that is love towards our neighbor. It is morality-by-the-metrics. which is idolatry.

    So it has NOTHING to do with christianity.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Lief @ 118

    I would encourage you to just stick to reading the actual Lutheran Confessions. Much better stuff! There are not 3 laws. there is only one law. and that law always accuses us. condemns us, and kills us.

  • Cincinnatus

    “So that stuff will all perish with the earth. Nothing you are talking about has any eternal consequences. None of it.”

    So the created universe is not, in fact, an expression of the mind of the divine?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Lief @ 118

    I would encourage you to just stick to reading the actual Lutheran Confessions. Much better stuff! There are not 3 laws. there is only one law. and that law always accuses us. condemns us, and kills us.

  • Cincinnatus

    “So that stuff will all perish with the earth. Nothing you are talking about has any eternal consequences. None of it.”

    So the created universe is not, in fact, an expression of the mind of the divine?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinnatus @ 124

    “So that stuff will all perish with the earth. Nothing you are talking about has any eternal consequences. None of it.”

    If you want to know the full expression of the Mind of the one true God, then look , alone, to the Incarnate Christ. He is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. And He alone , along with those that are in him, will endure eternally.

    “So that stuff (all that natural law stuff) will all perish with the earth. Nothing you are talking about has any eternal consequences. None of it.”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinnatus @ 124

    “So that stuff will all perish with the earth. Nothing you are talking about has any eternal consequences. None of it.”

    If you want to know the full expression of the Mind of the one true God, then look , alone, to the Incarnate Christ. He is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. And He alone , along with those that are in him, will endure eternally.

    “So that stuff (all that natural law stuff) will all perish with the earth. Nothing you are talking about has any eternal consequences. None of it.”

  • Cincinnatus

    “If you want to know the full expression of the Mind of the one true God, then look , alone, to the Incarnate Christ. He is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. And He alone , along with those that are in him, will endure eternally.”

    Well, that’s true of course. But then what’s the purpose of the universe, the cosmos, of human life, of the natural order of things? It’s just stuff? God had nothing better to do one day so he just threw a few atoms together? He doesn’t care at all what happens to the universe or whether it actually conforms to his intentions? Or, to be even more extreme, do you say that he had no intentions at all for the cosmos and human life?

  • Cincinnatus

    “If you want to know the full expression of the Mind of the one true God, then look , alone, to the Incarnate Christ. He is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. And He alone , along with those that are in him, will endure eternally.”

    Well, that’s true of course. But then what’s the purpose of the universe, the cosmos, of human life, of the natural order of things? It’s just stuff? God had nothing better to do one day so he just threw a few atoms together? He doesn’t care at all what happens to the universe or whether it actually conforms to his intentions? Or, to be even more extreme, do you say that he had no intentions at all for the cosmos and human life?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 124

    “So the created universe is not, in fact, an expression of the mind of the divine?”

    This is an abstract philosophical question. the problem is , you are trying to overlay philosophy and philosophical categories onto the Bible. They simply don´t mix. Reason is a great gift and can know everything there is to know about what true morality is and how it needs to be cultivated and actual do it externally. But….

    Reason can never know Christ. It can never fear, love and trust in the creator. It will trust in created things. Jesus is THE Expression of the mind of the Holy Blessed Trinity. You cannot know this God from reason or your starting point.

    Jews , muslims and other pagans can know that god is merciful, that he is love, that he is good. but they can never know from what you are talking about , that he loves THEM and specifically forgives them and does not will to punish them.

    Reason can only know the morality you espouse that is about a transactional relationship to God. we offer the burnt offering of our obedience to him, and in return he will do what? And if we dont make burnt offerings to him then his attitude towards those of us who dont changes? How? Reason only knows to make sacrifice to such a god.

    A Lutheran practices making his Reason captive to the Word of God.

    Everything that exists is of Him. Nothing could exist without Him. If christ were to cease to exist, so then would that created universe you talk about also cease to exist at once. Without Christ, the stars would fall from the sky and nothing would be that is.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 124

    “So the created universe is not, in fact, an expression of the mind of the divine?”

    This is an abstract philosophical question. the problem is , you are trying to overlay philosophy and philosophical categories onto the Bible. They simply don´t mix. Reason is a great gift and can know everything there is to know about what true morality is and how it needs to be cultivated and actual do it externally. But….

    Reason can never know Christ. It can never fear, love and trust in the creator. It will trust in created things. Jesus is THE Expression of the mind of the Holy Blessed Trinity. You cannot know this God from reason or your starting point.

    Jews , muslims and other pagans can know that god is merciful, that he is love, that he is good. but they can never know from what you are talking about , that he loves THEM and specifically forgives them and does not will to punish them.

    Reason can only know the morality you espouse that is about a transactional relationship to God. we offer the burnt offering of our obedience to him, and in return he will do what? And if we dont make burnt offerings to him then his attitude towards those of us who dont changes? How? Reason only knows to make sacrifice to such a god.

    A Lutheran practices making his Reason captive to the Word of God.

    Everything that exists is of Him. Nothing could exist without Him. If christ were to cease to exist, so then would that created universe you talk about also cease to exist at once. Without Christ, the stars would fall from the sky and nothing would be that is.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 104: The Confessions deliberately and narrowly define “Natural Law’ as the law written in the Conscience of all men. They were fully aware of how [A]quinas defined this term differently. They explicitly rejected [A]quinas categories.

    The truth is that both Luther and Melanchthon following Paul fully understood the reality of natural law and the ability of reasonable men to discern and articulate it. As Paul McCain remarks in that quite accurate quote, the issue of homosexuality and other trying issues can be resolved by reasonable application natural-law reasoning. Your insinuation that Pastor McCain has become an apostate because he believes this is ludicrous.

    Your view of the book of Concord is quite mistaken. Carl Braaten, an orthodox Lutheran scholar, remarks as follows on natural law as related to Lutheran Confessions:

    The Book of Concord reiterated the teaching of the Augsburg Confession that the image of God in humankind is not so totally destroyed by sin and the fall as to leave human beings totally incapable of discerning the difference as to what is right and wrong, good and evil, and true and false. The natural law is essential to the quest for human justice and in defense of human rights. The church needs to respect the search for common justice and law in an imperfect world and promote cooperation between Christians and non.Christians in all spheres of human life.

    Christians are understanding and compassionate regarding the serious difficulty of Homosexual inclination, though they, again, following biblical and natural law reasoning, must speak the truth of the disorder and sin, if acted out, especially now that the militant homosexuals have succeeded, in convincing many young people that homosexuality is merely a “lifestyle” choice. God forbid.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 104: The Confessions deliberately and narrowly define “Natural Law’ as the law written in the Conscience of all men. They were fully aware of how [A]quinas defined this term differently. They explicitly rejected [A]quinas categories.

    The truth is that both Luther and Melanchthon following Paul fully understood the reality of natural law and the ability of reasonable men to discern and articulate it. As Paul McCain remarks in that quite accurate quote, the issue of homosexuality and other trying issues can be resolved by reasonable application natural-law reasoning. Your insinuation that Pastor McCain has become an apostate because he believes this is ludicrous.

    Your view of the book of Concord is quite mistaken. Carl Braaten, an orthodox Lutheran scholar, remarks as follows on natural law as related to Lutheran Confessions:

    The Book of Concord reiterated the teaching of the Augsburg Confession that the image of God in humankind is not so totally destroyed by sin and the fall as to leave human beings totally incapable of discerning the difference as to what is right and wrong, good and evil, and true and false. The natural law is essential to the quest for human justice and in defense of human rights. The church needs to respect the search for common justice and law in an imperfect world and promote cooperation between Christians and non.Christians in all spheres of human life.

    Christians are understanding and compassionate regarding the serious difficulty of Homosexual inclination, though they, again, following biblical and natural law reasoning, must speak the truth of the disorder and sin, if acted out, especially now that the militant homosexuals have succeeded, in convincing many young people that homosexuality is merely a “lifestyle” choice. God forbid.

  • Leif

    fws @123

    But that’s the point of this commentary.

    The one law that is binding is the “moral law” as it condemns and kills us. The commentaries, explanations, etc. only further emphasize that fact.

    In reality, I don’t see how this doesn’t do anything but help your argument.

    Porcell @128

    “Your insinuation that Pastor McCain has become an apostate because he believes this is ludicrous.”

    Maybe he’s not apostate but it doesn’t help his “this is completely Lutheran” argument that the “what others are saying” section of that post are from 2 Catholics and a Presbyterian. I mean, he couldn’t get a Lutheran to comment?

  • Leif

    fws @123

    But that’s the point of this commentary.

    The one law that is binding is the “moral law” as it condemns and kills us. The commentaries, explanations, etc. only further emphasize that fact.

    In reality, I don’t see how this doesn’t do anything but help your argument.

    Porcell @128

    “Your insinuation that Pastor McCain has become an apostate because he believes this is ludicrous.”

    Maybe he’s not apostate but it doesn’t help his “this is completely Lutheran” argument that the “what others are saying” section of that post are from 2 Catholics and a Presbyterian. I mean, he couldn’t get a Lutheran to comment?

  • Leif

    er. read: “it does help his “this isn’t completely Lutheran”

  • Leif

    er. read: “it does help his “this isn’t completely Lutheran”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 126

    FWS now we are discussing stuff that is worthy.

    CINCINNATUS Well, that’s true of course.

    FWS Good: I am glad you agree with that.

    May I ask what your religious background is dear brother? It would help us get to the point along the way eh? I was raised Lutheran and plan to stay that way. So you can know everything I believe by going to the Book of Concord. That would be my profession of faith to you. And yes, I have my opinions on art and philosophy etc.

    . I know you here to have a very sharp mind, clear logic and you are willing to change your opinion when you need to. That last sentence is to say that you are a very sincere and honest man. I am saying this not to butter you up and have you for breakfast, but rather to let you know that I do sincerely respect you ok?

    Could you PLEASE look at post @88 and try to catch the logical outline of the argument I make there about what is righteousness, why it is righteousness, and why God cares about righeousness?

    Out of respect for what you presented to me, I tried hard to present the case of the Lutheran Confessions for what true godly righeousness on earth is about and why God demands it.

    If I may, let´s make your response into 3 questions?

    CINCINNATUS
    1) But then what’s the purpose of the universe, the cosmos, of human life, of the natural order of things? It’s just stuff? God had nothing better to do one day so he just threw a few atoms together?

    FWS My answer (that I think is Christ´s as well): pretty much. “consider the lilies of the field, they toil not nor do they spin. ” “Consider the birds of the air”. The father, son and holy spirit, which all appear in the Genesis creation account, made the creation just because it gave Them pleasure to do so.

    It is fallen Old Adam who is oppressed with the idea that everything has to happen or be for some purpose. Usually utilitarian.

    CINCINNATUS 2) He doesn’t care at all what happens to the universe or …

    I don´t know if you are Lutheran. Go to Luthers Small catechism on the 1st article of the apostles creed and the 4th petition of the Lords Prayer (aka the Our Father) and you will see how Lutherans view what it is that God intends to happen by the Holy spirit driving the fallen pagan Old Adams in us all. God makes his Fatherly Goodness and Mercy happen out of the wicked , without any prayer or faith required, This is reflected exactly in the parable of the lawless judge driven by a conscience widowed from love in Luke 18

    CINCINNATUS 3) whether it actually conforms to his intentions?

    That is obedience/sacrifice/burnt offering talk. God is love. His intention is to have the creation serve man and make him happy. His intention is to provide his fatherly divine goodness and mercy to cincinnatus by having the Old Adam of frank and others give cincinnatus the daily bread (which is everything cincinnatus needs to flourish and experience toe curling , giddy joy) which is love. THAT is his intention. Reason can know alot of this. That God is good, and merciful.

    What reason cannot know is that God does this 24/7 for Cincinnatus out of pure fatherly mercy without any merit or worthiness at all on the part of Cincinnatus. Without the prayers or asking of cincinnatus he makes this all happen. even though cincinnatus IS wicked in his Old Adam , God makes this happen.

    How? In, with and under the form of other wicked unbelieving pagan old adams, like the old adam of fws/frank for example.

    Reason logically concludes that God is pissed when we dont behave. so logic says sacrifice must be made. obedience must be done to soften up God and make him be nice rather than punish us.

    Only in christ can faith see that Gods arms are permanently nailed wide open in blessing. No prayer or faith is necessary for this goodness and mercy to happen on earth.

    The death of Jesus on the cross changed none of God´s mind about sin or the world. God has always been about fatherly goodness and mercy and not our conformity to his metrics. Jesus is the manifestation and the full revelation that this has always been so about God.

    CINCINNATUS 4) Or, to be even more extreme, do you say that he had no intentions at all for the cosmos and human life?

    FWS Again, fallen reason can have historical faith. reason can believe that christ died for the sins of the world, can believe everything in the bible is true. can believe that christ died on the cross. The devil believes all this is true eh? But this is all law for reason. The law always accuses. the law always accuses. Christ dead on the cross is the most terrifying and horible preachment of our condemnation that there is. it is not gospel. reason will result in becoming a self justifying pharisee or a despairing Judas.

    until….

    The Holy spirit comes and plants that invisible faith that informs cincinnatus and fws that christ is there , dead on the cross “for ME!”
    This is alone , the righteousness that reason cannot do. Reason cannot keep the first commandment , which alone, of all the 10 commandments is not about doing anything at all. It is about a heart that fears, loves and trusts in God above all things. This alone can only happen in the New Birth. So the small catechism says (thrd article of the apostles creed) : “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, nor come to him.but the Holy spirit…”.

    Reason CAN do EVERYTHING else Lutherans say.

    This invisible trust or faith, is alone what will endure. everything else. EVERYTHING else falls into the category of that “flesh/body” in romans 8 that st paul says will perish with the earth.

    This “flesh” that will perish, fully includes baptism and the administration of the sacraments, and even the preaching of the law, and even the holy gospel. why? these are all things that we can see and do in our bodies. so “flesh”. it will all perish.

    The scholastics imagined that romans 8 was the movement from vice to Virtue, from the profane to the sacred. Lutherans say: no. romans 8 is about the movement from Virtue to invisible faith alone in christ alone.

    invisible faith alone, in christ , alone is that romans 8 “spírit ” that will endure forever. The just shall live … by invisible faith.

    Here is another way the Lutheran Confessions explain this and whicb i truly believes hits all those questions of yours head on!:

    God is the ruler of two kingdoms Cincinnatus: one is an earthly visible kingdom that includes everything that we can see and do in our bodies. In that kingdom he demands a visible, evidential righteousness that is purely horizontal and is about doing love in the creation that he loves. God demands that this love happens. He WILL make it happen whether we are willing or not.

    Then there is a heavenly kingdom that God is ruler of. That kingdom includes nothing that we can see or do in our bodies. how could it? that stuff is already ALL in the earthly kingdom that will perish. So we teach the two kingdoms and law and gospel so that we are clear that the heavenly kingdom includes alone, invisible faith, in christ alone, which is meaningless in that other earthly kingdom, except to God and a troubled conscience.

    I am paraphrasing closely the lutheran confessions that you can read for your own self. I think it would answer alot of your questions Cincinnatus. I hope I can entice you into reading it. it is a gem!

    you can find it here:

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinnatus @ 126

    FWS now we are discussing stuff that is worthy.

    CINCINNATUS Well, that’s true of course.

    FWS Good: I am glad you agree with that.

    May I ask what your religious background is dear brother? It would help us get to the point along the way eh? I was raised Lutheran and plan to stay that way. So you can know everything I believe by going to the Book of Concord. That would be my profession of faith to you. And yes, I have my opinions on art and philosophy etc.

    . I know you here to have a very sharp mind, clear logic and you are willing to change your opinion when you need to. That last sentence is to say that you are a very sincere and honest man. I am saying this not to butter you up and have you for breakfast, but rather to let you know that I do sincerely respect you ok?

    Could you PLEASE look at post @88 and try to catch the logical outline of the argument I make there about what is righteousness, why it is righteousness, and why God cares about righeousness?

    Out of respect for what you presented to me, I tried hard to present the case of the Lutheran Confessions for what true godly righeousness on earth is about and why God demands it.

    If I may, let´s make your response into 3 questions?

    CINCINNATUS
    1) But then what’s the purpose of the universe, the cosmos, of human life, of the natural order of things? It’s just stuff? God had nothing better to do one day so he just threw a few atoms together?

    FWS My answer (that I think is Christ´s as well): pretty much. “consider the lilies of the field, they toil not nor do they spin. ” “Consider the birds of the air”. The father, son and holy spirit, which all appear in the Genesis creation account, made the creation just because it gave Them pleasure to do so.

    It is fallen Old Adam who is oppressed with the idea that everything has to happen or be for some purpose. Usually utilitarian.

    CINCINNATUS 2) He doesn’t care at all what happens to the universe or …

    I don´t know if you are Lutheran. Go to Luthers Small catechism on the 1st article of the apostles creed and the 4th petition of the Lords Prayer (aka the Our Father) and you will see how Lutherans view what it is that God intends to happen by the Holy spirit driving the fallen pagan Old Adams in us all. God makes his Fatherly Goodness and Mercy happen out of the wicked , without any prayer or faith required, This is reflected exactly in the parable of the lawless judge driven by a conscience widowed from love in Luke 18

    CINCINNATUS 3) whether it actually conforms to his intentions?

    That is obedience/sacrifice/burnt offering talk. God is love. His intention is to have the creation serve man and make him happy. His intention is to provide his fatherly divine goodness and mercy to cincinnatus by having the Old Adam of frank and others give cincinnatus the daily bread (which is everything cincinnatus needs to flourish and experience toe curling , giddy joy) which is love. THAT is his intention. Reason can know alot of this. That God is good, and merciful.

    What reason cannot know is that God does this 24/7 for Cincinnatus out of pure fatherly mercy without any merit or worthiness at all on the part of Cincinnatus. Without the prayers or asking of cincinnatus he makes this all happen. even though cincinnatus IS wicked in his Old Adam , God makes this happen.

    How? In, with and under the form of other wicked unbelieving pagan old adams, like the old adam of fws/frank for example.

    Reason logically concludes that God is pissed when we dont behave. so logic says sacrifice must be made. obedience must be done to soften up God and make him be nice rather than punish us.

    Only in christ can faith see that Gods arms are permanently nailed wide open in blessing. No prayer or faith is necessary for this goodness and mercy to happen on earth.

    The death of Jesus on the cross changed none of God´s mind about sin or the world. God has always been about fatherly goodness and mercy and not our conformity to his metrics. Jesus is the manifestation and the full revelation that this has always been so about God.

    CINCINNATUS 4) Or, to be even more extreme, do you say that he had no intentions at all for the cosmos and human life?

    FWS Again, fallen reason can have historical faith. reason can believe that christ died for the sins of the world, can believe everything in the bible is true. can believe that christ died on the cross. The devil believes all this is true eh? But this is all law for reason. The law always accuses. the law always accuses. Christ dead on the cross is the most terrifying and horible preachment of our condemnation that there is. it is not gospel. reason will result in becoming a self justifying pharisee or a despairing Judas.

    until….

    The Holy spirit comes and plants that invisible faith that informs cincinnatus and fws that christ is there , dead on the cross “for ME!”
    This is alone , the righteousness that reason cannot do. Reason cannot keep the first commandment , which alone, of all the 10 commandments is not about doing anything at all. It is about a heart that fears, loves and trusts in God above all things. This alone can only happen in the New Birth. So the small catechism says (thrd article of the apostles creed) : “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, nor come to him.but the Holy spirit…”.

    Reason CAN do EVERYTHING else Lutherans say.

    This invisible trust or faith, is alone what will endure. everything else. EVERYTHING else falls into the category of that “flesh/body” in romans 8 that st paul says will perish with the earth.

    This “flesh” that will perish, fully includes baptism and the administration of the sacraments, and even the preaching of the law, and even the holy gospel. why? these are all things that we can see and do in our bodies. so “flesh”. it will all perish.

    The scholastics imagined that romans 8 was the movement from vice to Virtue, from the profane to the sacred. Lutherans say: no. romans 8 is about the movement from Virtue to invisible faith alone in christ alone.

    invisible faith alone, in christ , alone is that romans 8 “spírit ” that will endure forever. The just shall live … by invisible faith.

    Here is another way the Lutheran Confessions explain this and whicb i truly believes hits all those questions of yours head on!:

    God is the ruler of two kingdoms Cincinnatus: one is an earthly visible kingdom that includes everything that we can see and do in our bodies. In that kingdom he demands a visible, evidential righteousness that is purely horizontal and is about doing love in the creation that he loves. God demands that this love happens. He WILL make it happen whether we are willing or not.

    Then there is a heavenly kingdom that God is ruler of. That kingdom includes nothing that we can see or do in our bodies. how could it? that stuff is already ALL in the earthly kingdom that will perish. So we teach the two kingdoms and law and gospel so that we are clear that the heavenly kingdom includes alone, invisible faith, in christ alone, which is meaningless in that other earthly kingdom, except to God and a troubled conscience.

    I am paraphrasing closely the lutheran confessions that you can read for your own self. I think it would answer alot of your questions Cincinnatus. I hope I can entice you into reading it. it is a gem!

    you can find it here:

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    clarification:

    CINCINNATUS 4) Or, to be even more extreme, do you say that he had no intentions at all for the cosmos and human life?

    his purpose is that which is fully revealed in the Incarnate Christ is the only possibly christian answer. nothing apart from this answer is truly christian. it is only “christian” or “christianism”.

    and this purpose is to love the world.

    ” For God so loved the world….(john 3:16)

    it is the same purpose manifest in the 1st article that happens fully apart from faith in christ or what christ did!

    What christ did is the result of that love, and more importantly, it is the full revelation of that purpose of God which is love.

    Love is not law. that is what sacrifice/obedience things based on reason.

    Love is the fulfillment of the law. It is love that is God´s Eternal Will cincinnatus. And how do we know what love is and looks like? Jesus as law . Jesus as example. “A new commandment give i unto you, that you love one another EVEN AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. ”

    We “put on christ” in two ways. We put him on as example and law. and remember the law always accuses. Then we put him on as savior. We dont really need him as example. our conscience is fully sufficient there. But we desperately need him as savior! (riffing here from Luther´s Commentary on Galatians).

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    clarification:

    CINCINNATUS 4) Or, to be even more extreme, do you say that he had no intentions at all for the cosmos and human life?

    his purpose is that which is fully revealed in the Incarnate Christ is the only possibly christian answer. nothing apart from this answer is truly christian. it is only “christian” or “christianism”.

    and this purpose is to love the world.

    ” For God so loved the world….(john 3:16)

    it is the same purpose manifest in the 1st article that happens fully apart from faith in christ or what christ did!

    What christ did is the result of that love, and more importantly, it is the full revelation of that purpose of God which is love.

    Love is not law. that is what sacrifice/obedience things based on reason.

    Love is the fulfillment of the law. It is love that is God´s Eternal Will cincinnatus. And how do we know what love is and looks like? Jesus as law . Jesus as example. “A new commandment give i unto you, that you love one another EVEN AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. ”

    We “put on christ” in two ways. We put him on as example and law. and remember the law always accuses. Then we put him on as savior. We dont really need him as example. our conscience is fully sufficient there. But we desperately need him as savior! (riffing here from Luther´s Commentary on Galatians).

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    leif at 129

    you are right that the confessions say that the SAME law applies to everyone and they locate the moral law in the conscience.

    they explicitly say in fact that Aristotle writes so well about moral law that nothing more can be asked. (article of the apology on justification). So there you have it!

    Thanks. I was homing in on the 3 laws part sorry. That 3 law thang is what got american lutherans in alot of trouble. It is a reformed or neo-scholastic influence on american lutheranism that needs to be rejected. it makes sanctification into something we can do. this is reformed thinking. so I tripped. saw-ree! :)

    it is not easy being blonde…..or norwegian…..

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    leif at 129

    you are right that the confessions say that the SAME law applies to everyone and they locate the moral law in the conscience.

    they explicitly say in fact that Aristotle writes so well about moral law that nothing more can be asked. (article of the apology on justification). So there you have it!

    Thanks. I was homing in on the 3 laws part sorry. That 3 law thang is what got american lutherans in alot of trouble. It is a reformed or neo-scholastic influence on american lutheranism that needs to be rejected. it makes sanctification into something we can do. this is reformed thinking. so I tripped. saw-ree! :)

    it is not easy being blonde…..or norwegian…..

  • Leif

    “it is not easy being blonde…..or norwegian…..”

    Ain’t that the truth.

  • Leif

    “it is not easy being blonde…..or norwegian…..”

    Ain’t that the truth.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 128

    I am asserting, directly from the Lutheran confessions, that they categorically reject aquinan and scholastic categories.

    prove me wrong directly from those same confessions. I dont give a hoot what anyone says is “Lutheran ” unless they show me DIRECTLY from the Lutheran Confesssions. That includes you and braaten (whom none in the LCMS consider very confessional) etc etc.

    I never said paul mc cain was apostate. (hear this in a deadpan voice please) dont get silly again on me peter.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 128

    I am asserting, directly from the Lutheran confessions, that they categorically reject aquinan and scholastic categories.

    prove me wrong directly from those same confessions. I dont give a hoot what anyone says is “Lutheran ” unless they show me DIRECTLY from the Lutheran Confesssions. That includes you and braaten (whom none in the LCMS consider very confessional) etc etc.

    I never said paul mc cain was apostate. (hear this in a deadpan voice please) dont get silly again on me peter.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 128

    try this. you can download a searchable pdf version of the book of concord. My assertion is that everywhere in the confessions “natural law” has the narrow meaning of conscience. period. and then there is an expression “ordinance of God” which is split out as a separate category (again with the full awareness that aquinas had different ideas) .

    “ordinance of God” exactly means those orderings of God in the universe such as the law of gravity, into which category lutherans also place the sex drive (apology art XXIII). So think of “ordinance of God” being the category that includes the law of gravity and things that, of themselves, are moral adiaphoron.

    Prove me wrong from the confessions. directly peter. Feel free to quote people, roman catholics, lutherans, wiccans…. I do not care who, who can back up that they represent the truly Lutheran position on this by QUOTING DIRECTLY FROM THE CONFESSIONS in context please. not some wierd proof texting thing ripping a phrase out the context of an argument that is being made….

    Your googling wont cut it peter. dear peter. I know you mean well.

    I tell you what is the only evidence that will count for me as “Lutheran” and you ignore me. Why. this is an effete exercise Peter.

    Where´s the beef?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 128

    try this. you can download a searchable pdf version of the book of concord. My assertion is that everywhere in the confessions “natural law” has the narrow meaning of conscience. period. and then there is an expression “ordinance of God” which is split out as a separate category (again with the full awareness that aquinas had different ideas) .

    “ordinance of God” exactly means those orderings of God in the universe such as the law of gravity, into which category lutherans also place the sex drive (apology art XXIII). So think of “ordinance of God” being the category that includes the law of gravity and things that, of themselves, are moral adiaphoron.

    Prove me wrong from the confessions. directly peter. Feel free to quote people, roman catholics, lutherans, wiccans…. I do not care who, who can back up that they represent the truly Lutheran position on this by QUOTING DIRECTLY FROM THE CONFESSIONS in context please. not some wierd proof texting thing ripping a phrase out the context of an argument that is being made….

    Your googling wont cut it peter. dear peter. I know you mean well.

    I tell you what is the only evidence that will count for me as “Lutheran” and you ignore me. Why. this is an effete exercise Peter.

    Where´s the beef?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Leif @ 134

    ah. the voice of understanding. rare to find that here in Brasil. ;) welcome to Veith´s blog. Veith is da man.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Leif @ 134

    ah. the voice of understanding. rare to find that here in Brasil. ;) welcome to Veith´s blog. Veith is da man.

  • Leif

    @137

    so what you’re saying is that the vikings may need to send an expeditionary force?

    but as far as “Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal ” is concerned:

    What strikes me is that why is there a need for a reappraisal at all? If for no other reason than to “reform” a “suspect” belief. And if this belief is suspect then what else from the foundations of Lutheranism is?

    Perhaps all of Lutheranism should be “reappraised” then? no?

  • Leif

    @137

    so what you’re saying is that the vikings may need to send an expeditionary force?

    but as far as “Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal ” is concerned:

    What strikes me is that why is there a need for a reappraisal at all? If for no other reason than to “reform” a “suspect” belief. And if this belief is suspect then what else from the foundations of Lutheranism is?

    Perhaps all of Lutheranism should be “reappraised” then? no?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 128

    lets be clear and amicable. and not disagree where there is no disagreement.

    That term “natural law” means different things to different people.

    I do think that aquinas theories include what Lutherans call and categorize as natural law very narrowly as being “conscience”, but it also includes what the Lutheran confessions very deliberately split out as a separate category called “gods ordinance”.

    The Lutheran confessions do this obviously (from the argument they wrap around this split) intending for “God´s Ordinance ” to be a category that has the moral weight of things such as the law of gravity.

    This can be seen by context and the development of their argument in article XXIII “on priestly celebacy”.

    They place the sex drive into this category of “god´s ordinance”. then…. their argument looks like this:

    to demand celebacy of anyone is the moral equivalent of demanding that they make rocks fall up to please God. Then they say this is cruel. why cruel? because it is an exercise in futility.

    And then they argue that since the sex drive is an irrisistable force of nature like gravity, that it is a natural right for anyone to seek marriage in order to have a happy life, which is the goal of God with earthly morality, as they argue almost everywhere. which no one could have if they had to dedicate their life to trying to make rocks fall up by a constant moral juggling act.

    So see. My argument is not that Lutherans reject “Natural Law”. My argument is that the Lutheran Confessions define what that term means. and they very consciously re-categorized, deliberately, knowing aquinas intimately, in ways that depart radically from the categories of the scholastics which are wholy and entirely based on the philosophical categories of aristotle.

    Lutherans FULLY accept aristotelian morals and philosophical categories in the areas of morality and philosophy. fully!

    but they insist that aristotle and his categories be ushered out of the church when the task is to understand Holy Scriptures.

    I am not trying to argue with you porcell. I am trying to just explain what the Lutheran Confessions teach. and you dont really need me or braaten or whoever to know this stuff. it is really very easy to look up for yourself, evaluate what the lutheran confessions say with your own eyes, and form your own conclusions.

    I know you could do that peter.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 128

    lets be clear and amicable. and not disagree where there is no disagreement.

    That term “natural law” means different things to different people.

    I do think that aquinas theories include what Lutherans call and categorize as natural law very narrowly as being “conscience”, but it also includes what the Lutheran confessions very deliberately split out as a separate category called “gods ordinance”.

    The Lutheran confessions do this obviously (from the argument they wrap around this split) intending for “God´s Ordinance ” to be a category that has the moral weight of things such as the law of gravity.

    This can be seen by context and the development of their argument in article XXIII “on priestly celebacy”.

    They place the sex drive into this category of “god´s ordinance”. then…. their argument looks like this:

    to demand celebacy of anyone is the moral equivalent of demanding that they make rocks fall up to please God. Then they say this is cruel. why cruel? because it is an exercise in futility.

    And then they argue that since the sex drive is an irrisistable force of nature like gravity, that it is a natural right for anyone to seek marriage in order to have a happy life, which is the goal of God with earthly morality, as they argue almost everywhere. which no one could have if they had to dedicate their life to trying to make rocks fall up by a constant moral juggling act.

    So see. My argument is not that Lutherans reject “Natural Law”. My argument is that the Lutheran Confessions define what that term means. and they very consciously re-categorized, deliberately, knowing aquinas intimately, in ways that depart radically from the categories of the scholastics which are wholy and entirely based on the philosophical categories of aristotle.

    Lutherans FULLY accept aristotelian morals and philosophical categories in the areas of morality and philosophy. fully!

    but they insist that aristotle and his categories be ushered out of the church when the task is to understand Holy Scriptures.

    I am not trying to argue with you porcell. I am trying to just explain what the Lutheran Confessions teach. and you dont really need me or braaten or whoever to know this stuff. it is really very easy to look up for yourself, evaluate what the lutheran confessions say with your own eyes, and form your own conclusions.

    I know you could do that peter.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    leif @ 138

    that really leaped out at me too.

    what needs to happen is that Lutherans need to read more of what, alone gives them the right to the name Lutheran, which is the Book of Concord.

    Why am I interested in seeing this happen? Because the philosophical righteousness that the scholastics peddled left no room for the Righeousness of Christ. That´s why.

    The law and gospel , or the two kingdoms , or two kinds of righeousness is what the Confessions exist to teach us. So that in the law, or kingdom of earth or the category of visible righteousness we place EVERYTHING we can see or do in our bodies, so that alone, in the gospel heavenly kingdom of invisible righeousness is , alone, christ, alone.

    so that the romans 8 flesh vs body is not again the scholastic movement from fleshly vice to spiritual virtue , from the secular profane to the churchly sacred. That it remains the movement from bodily Virtue to invisible faith alone, in Christ alone.

    May God grant us the grace of preserving us in this.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    leif @ 138

    that really leaped out at me too.

    what needs to happen is that Lutherans need to read more of what, alone gives them the right to the name Lutheran, which is the Book of Concord.

    Why am I interested in seeing this happen? Because the philosophical righteousness that the scholastics peddled left no room for the Righeousness of Christ. That´s why.

    The law and gospel , or the two kingdoms , or two kinds of righeousness is what the Confessions exist to teach us. So that in the law, or kingdom of earth or the category of visible righteousness we place EVERYTHING we can see or do in our bodies, so that alone, in the gospel heavenly kingdom of invisible righeousness is , alone, christ, alone.

    so that the romans 8 flesh vs body is not again the scholastic movement from fleshly vice to spiritual virtue , from the secular profane to the churchly sacred. That it remains the movement from bodily Virtue to invisible faith alone, in Christ alone.

    May God grant us the grace of preserving us in this.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Leif @ 138

    If the vikings send an expeditionary force to Brasil, I will buy them ALL the cold brasilian beer they can gracefully handle! or lots of coffee.

    The attempt to reintroduce scholastic philosophical righteousness into the Lutheran Church is, exactly, an assault in the very foundation of Lutheranism.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Leif @ 138

    If the vikings send an expeditionary force to Brasil, I will buy them ALL the cold brasilian beer they can gracefully handle! or lots of coffee.

    The attempt to reintroduce scholastic philosophical righteousness into the Lutheran Church is, exactly, an assault in the very foundation of Lutheranism.

  • Porcell

    FWS: Locating moral law only in individual conscience, while true in part, neglects the wisdom the of orthodox religions, including the Lutherans, that are confident enough of their judgments to carefully formulate catechisms, all of which, based on biblical and natural-law reason, view homosexuality as a disorder of nature and sinful when acted out.

    Fixing the moral law on private judgment or individual conscience is the fundamental fallacy of the secular modern regime. That FWS bends the Lutheran Church to this ignores both the Lutheran Small and Large Catechism is telling. The Missouri Synod explanation of its catechism remarks under the Sixth Commandment remarks as follows:

    C. God forbids sexual sins such as rape, homosexual activity, incest, sexual child abuse, obscenity, and the use of pornographic materials

    What could be more clear. That the political class and its sycophantic media view the matter otherwise is mere ephemeral trivia.

  • Porcell

    FWS: Locating moral law only in individual conscience, while true in part, neglects the wisdom the of orthodox religions, including the Lutherans, that are confident enough of their judgments to carefully formulate catechisms, all of which, based on biblical and natural-law reason, view homosexuality as a disorder of nature and sinful when acted out.

    Fixing the moral law on private judgment or individual conscience is the fundamental fallacy of the secular modern regime. That FWS bends the Lutheran Church to this ignores both the Lutheran Small and Large Catechism is telling. The Missouri Synod explanation of its catechism remarks under the Sixth Commandment remarks as follows:

    C. God forbids sexual sins such as rape, homosexual activity, incest, sexual child abuse, obscenity, and the use of pornographic materials

    What could be more clear. That the political class and its sycophantic media view the matter otherwise is mere ephemeral trivia.

  • Leif

    What’s creepy is that the natural law argument, while maybe not terrible in theory, instantly allows for a legalistic worldview to creep in and take over the person. Righteousness becomes determined by what one does and doesn’t do and from there it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump away from pietism, works righteousness, fear, guilt, indulgences, etc.

    In my old church (ELCA) there was a thing about having “card tables” because, well, you know you can play cards on those! Demon cards! Demon cards that’ll send you to hell!

  • Leif

    What’s creepy is that the natural law argument, while maybe not terrible in theory, instantly allows for a legalistic worldview to creep in and take over the person. Righteousness becomes determined by what one does and doesn’t do and from there it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump away from pietism, works righteousness, fear, guilt, indulgences, etc.

    In my old church (ELCA) there was a thing about having “card tables” because, well, you know you can play cards on those! Demon cards! Demon cards that’ll send you to hell!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Leif @ 142
    sounds like a twisted quentin tarrantino film. I even pictured it in my head. the basement of a lutheran church in brannerd minnesota… all the little old blue haird church ladies are smokin in the kitchen as they prepare krumkake…..

    What allowed pietism to happen was that lutherans lost the idea that the two kingdoms is not some social theory about the civil vs the churchly estate. that would be law/law it would be about one vocation vs anohter. then that allows entry for neo-scholasticism, which is really what calvinism, er pietism is.

    read this from the Lutheran Confessions to see how Lutherans DO teach an earthly visible righteousness that includes everything we can do in our bodies. This is the romans eight “flesh” with the Lutheran understanding that “flesh” = bodily Virtue.

    We teach earthly righeousness precisely so that we can be clear that that other invisible heavenly Righteousness is alone, invisible faith, in christ alone “that is meaningless on earth except to God and a troubled conscience. ”

    let me know. we lutherans are deer blinded by headlights when geneva or rome throw st james at us, because we no longer see that the two kingdoms and two kinds of righeousness are just other modalities for teaching law and gospel. and those two modalities are what take law and gospel from the theological exercise and place it into the world we live in of vocations and such.

    see if you agree. this is an amazing sermon of dr luther referred to by the formula of concord article VI so it is really part of our Lutheran Confessions by virtue of that….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Leif @ 142
    sounds like a twisted quentin tarrantino film. I even pictured it in my head. the basement of a lutheran church in brannerd minnesota… all the little old blue haird church ladies are smokin in the kitchen as they prepare krumkake…..

    What allowed pietism to happen was that lutherans lost the idea that the two kingdoms is not some social theory about the civil vs the churchly estate. that would be law/law it would be about one vocation vs anohter. then that allows entry for neo-scholasticism, which is really what calvinism, er pietism is.

    read this from the Lutheran Confessions to see how Lutherans DO teach an earthly visible righteousness that includes everything we can do in our bodies. This is the romans eight “flesh” with the Lutheran understanding that “flesh” = bodily Virtue.

    We teach earthly righeousness precisely so that we can be clear that that other invisible heavenly Righteousness is alone, invisible faith, in christ alone “that is meaningless on earth except to God and a troubled conscience. ”

    let me know. we lutherans are deer blinded by headlights when geneva or rome throw st james at us, because we no longer see that the two kingdoms and two kinds of righeousness are just other modalities for teaching law and gospel. and those two modalities are what take law and gospel from the theological exercise and place it into the world we live in of vocations and such.

    see if you agree. this is an amazing sermon of dr luther referred to by the formula of concord article VI so it is really part of our Lutheran Confessions by virtue of that….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

  • Porcell

    FWS, The Missouri Synod explanation of its catechism remarks under the Sixth Commandment remarks as follows:

    C. God forbids sexual sins such as rape, homosexual activity, incest, sexual child abuse, obscenity, and the use of pornographic materials

    Do you accept this as an honest statement of this synod’s conscience?

  • Porcell

    FWS, The Missouri Synod explanation of its catechism remarks under the Sixth Commandment remarks as follows:

    C. God forbids sexual sins such as rape, homosexual activity, incest, sexual child abuse, obscenity, and the use of pornographic materials

    Do you accept this as an honest statement of this synod’s conscience?

  • Porcell

    FWS, you might consider the following MSLC of explanation of the Sixth commandment>

    FWS: you [Lief] are right that the confessions say that the SAME law applies to everyone and they locate the moral law in the conscience.

    Locating moral law only in individual conscience, while true in part, neglects the wisdom the of orthodox religions, including the Lutherans, that are confident enough of their judgments to carefully formulate catechisms, all of which, based on biblical and natural-law reason, view homosexuality as a disorder of nature and sinful when acted out.

    Fixing the moral law on private judgment or individual conscience is the fundamental fallacy of the secular modern regime. That FWS bends the Lutheran Church to this ignores both the Lutheran Small and Large Catechism is telling. The Missouri Synod explanation of its catechism remarks under the Sixth Commandment remarks as follows:

    C. God forbids sexual sins such as rape, homosexual activity, incest, sexual child abuse, obscenity, and the use of pornographic materials

    Would this be a reasonable expression of that Christian church’s conscience?

  • Porcell

    FWS, you might consider the following MSLC of explanation of the Sixth commandment>

    FWS: you [Lief] are right that the confessions say that the SAME law applies to everyone and they locate the moral law in the conscience.

    Locating moral law only in individual conscience, while true in part, neglects the wisdom the of orthodox religions, including the Lutherans, that are confident enough of their judgments to carefully formulate catechisms, all of which, based on biblical and natural-law reason, view homosexuality as a disorder of nature and sinful when acted out.

    Fixing the moral law on private judgment or individual conscience is the fundamental fallacy of the secular modern regime. That FWS bends the Lutheran Church to this ignores both the Lutheran Small and Large Catechism is telling. The Missouri Synod explanation of its catechism remarks under the Sixth Commandment remarks as follows:

    C. God forbids sexual sins such as rape, homosexual activity, incest, sexual child abuse, obscenity, and the use of pornographic materials

    Would this be a reasonable expression of that Christian church’s conscience?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lief @ 142

    your argument is EXACLY the argument made against the philosophical righeousness of the scholastics. I think you will find that in the article of the apology on works and love. article IV(? ) i am having a senior moment….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lief @ 142

    your argument is EXACLY the argument made against the philosophical righeousness of the scholastics. I think you will find that in the article of the apology on works and love. article IV(? ) i am having a senior moment….

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 139, The Missouri Synod Lutherans in their explanation of the Sixth commandment [part C] clearly condemn homosexual behavior as a violation of the Sixth Commandment. Do you question this as a misinterpretation of that commandment?

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 139, The Missouri Synod Lutherans in their explanation of the Sixth commandment [part C] clearly condemn homosexual behavior as a violation of the Sixth Commandment. Do you question this as a misinterpretation of that commandment?

  • Leif

    I’ll have to read the links, etc. tonight-got me a convsersation with a man who became a pastor over the internet to engage in so I’ll close with this:

    “we lutherans are deer blinded by headlights when geneva or rome throw st james at us, ”

    I joined the LCMS to escape the Demon Card Table (DCT) and got me educated rightly in the Confessions(sans pietism–sorry for the link to the early catechism…it was a hasty slip) but now I find myself in a difficult spot as the church I’m in now is going the way of Beth Moore and the like. What to do? Where’s Josey Wales and the last of the holdouts when you need them? And the problem, I think, is close-if not exactly-what you point out. Turning away from the Confessions and everything that makes a lutheran a lutheran allows for misc. doctrine and theory to come in and blind you to your own. I should have known there would be issues when the intro class to Lutheranism(we had to take it to join the church) didn’t crack open the Confessions aside from the Creed and Small Catechism stuff (and even that was rushed through and semi-brushed aside).

    It’s classic Philip and the Ethiopian: how can one learn if they aren’t taught?

    How can one defend against works righteousness when one semi-believes that you have to do good to be saved? If I don’t “do” God won’t “bless”. And then we’re right back to the DCTs.

  • Leif

    I’ll have to read the links, etc. tonight-got me a convsersation with a man who became a pastor over the internet to engage in so I’ll close with this:

    “we lutherans are deer blinded by headlights when geneva or rome throw st james at us, ”

    I joined the LCMS to escape the Demon Card Table (DCT) and got me educated rightly in the Confessions(sans pietism–sorry for the link to the early catechism…it was a hasty slip) but now I find myself in a difficult spot as the church I’m in now is going the way of Beth Moore and the like. What to do? Where’s Josey Wales and the last of the holdouts when you need them? And the problem, I think, is close-if not exactly-what you point out. Turning away from the Confessions and everything that makes a lutheran a lutheran allows for misc. doctrine and theory to come in and blind you to your own. I should have known there would be issues when the intro class to Lutheranism(we had to take it to join the church) didn’t crack open the Confessions aside from the Creed and Small Catechism stuff (and even that was rushed through and semi-brushed aside).

    It’s classic Philip and the Ethiopian: how can one learn if they aren’t taught?

    How can one defend against works righteousness when one semi-believes that you have to do good to be saved? If I don’t “do” God won’t “bless”. And then we’re right back to the DCTs.

  • boaz

    Fws, have you read Finnis’s take on natural law? It seems to be the view you hold: moral actions are those that aid human flourishing. It rejects the scholastic categories and reasoning from natural order, except what is natural to humans for their flourishing. Thus, I think his interpretation of natural law is perfectly in accord with the Lutheran Confessions.

    But judging conduct by whether it aids human flourishing doesn’t get you anywhere in arguing same-gender sex is not sin. Gods law identifies what is good for human flourishing in reality. Marital sex is a good for human flourishing; both as an avenue for erotic passion towards ones spouse strengthening marriage, and as the means by which families are created and children conceived. Marital sex is good only insofar as it relates to these goods. Marital sex solely for pleasure is no different than masturbation or gay sex. These sex acts do not promote human flourishing, they are sinful, they promote no human good. They reduce us from beings created in Gods image to animals. They undermine the self-giving love for spouse that is good and essential for marital sex (mutually giving and promoting the marital union) by making marriage irrelevant to the sex act. They exclude the good that marital sex promotes and promote nothing good themselves. While surely those with same gender inclinations may get less pleasure from the marital sex act, it does promote human flourishing and goods for both parties, marital union and commitment and family, even if it provides little sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure for oneself, ie, sexual servicing or depersonalized sex, is not a human good, it is selfishness. But marital sex, which promotes strength of family, is love for neighbor, specifically, one’s spouse, one’s children, and in fact, all of society.

    I would like to hear how you thing gay sex, or any sex that is not marital in the sense of mutually giving and promoting mutual commitment to marriage, promotes human flourishing, and could be considered good, moral, or not a sin.

    This also raises the isse of why lutheran pastors don’t preach on the sins of fellatio or anal sex in marriage. Its just as wrong as gay sex or masturbation.

  • boaz

    Fws, have you read Finnis’s take on natural law? It seems to be the view you hold: moral actions are those that aid human flourishing. It rejects the scholastic categories and reasoning from natural order, except what is natural to humans for their flourishing. Thus, I think his interpretation of natural law is perfectly in accord with the Lutheran Confessions.

    But judging conduct by whether it aids human flourishing doesn’t get you anywhere in arguing same-gender sex is not sin. Gods law identifies what is good for human flourishing in reality. Marital sex is a good for human flourishing; both as an avenue for erotic passion towards ones spouse strengthening marriage, and as the means by which families are created and children conceived. Marital sex is good only insofar as it relates to these goods. Marital sex solely for pleasure is no different than masturbation or gay sex. These sex acts do not promote human flourishing, they are sinful, they promote no human good. They reduce us from beings created in Gods image to animals. They undermine the self-giving love for spouse that is good and essential for marital sex (mutually giving and promoting the marital union) by making marriage irrelevant to the sex act. They exclude the good that marital sex promotes and promote nothing good themselves. While surely those with same gender inclinations may get less pleasure from the marital sex act, it does promote human flourishing and goods for both parties, marital union and commitment and family, even if it provides little sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure for oneself, ie, sexual servicing or depersonalized sex, is not a human good, it is selfishness. But marital sex, which promotes strength of family, is love for neighbor, specifically, one’s spouse, one’s children, and in fact, all of society.

    I would like to hear how you thing gay sex, or any sex that is not marital in the sense of mutually giving and promoting mutual commitment to marriage, promotes human flourishing, and could be considered good, moral, or not a sin.

    This also raises the isse of why lutheran pastors don’t preach on the sins of fellatio or anal sex in marriage. Its just as wrong as gay sex or masturbation.

  • boaz

    Also, I believe aristotle also held nonmarital sex to be harmful to society.

  • boaz

    Also, I believe aristotle also held nonmarital sex to be harmful to society.

  • kerner

    Frank, relax will you.

    Your problem is that you are looking at this from the point of personal liberty, not military discipline. All members of the military give up significant personal liberties when they serve. This is difficult for all of them, but is certainly more difficult for some than for others. I myself am pretty much an individualist, which may be one reason why I never served in the military. It is also probably one reason why the great majority of servicemen and women leave military service after a few years. But if an open expression of homosexuality is bad for military discipline and morale, then gays who choose to serve should keep their sexuality to themselves. Period.

    You are expanding the topic when you compare me introducing my wife as my friend to co-workers to a homosexual having to introduce his lover as a friend. Leaving aside husbands (like Oliver North) who do refer to their wives as their best friends, my wife is in fact my spouse. A homosexual soldier’s “friend” may be a lover, but he is not a spouse. I have had female “friends” who were not my wife. I will not discuss how “close” any of those friendships were. If a military officer introduced me to a male friend of his at some social gathering, I would not ask him if they were in a sexual relationship, nor would I want him to tell me. For that matter, if a male friend of mine in any context were to introduce a female friend of his to me, I would not ask him if he were having sex with her, nor would I want him to tell me. Today our whole society thinks we have to discuss our sex lives with anyone and everyone. We don’t, and while gays may decide to share their sex lives with everyone in the civilian world, I see no reason that desire needs to be indulged in military regulations.

    So, spare me the dramatics about lifestyles versus lives, etc.

  • kerner

    Frank, relax will you.

    Your problem is that you are looking at this from the point of personal liberty, not military discipline. All members of the military give up significant personal liberties when they serve. This is difficult for all of them, but is certainly more difficult for some than for others. I myself am pretty much an individualist, which may be one reason why I never served in the military. It is also probably one reason why the great majority of servicemen and women leave military service after a few years. But if an open expression of homosexuality is bad for military discipline and morale, then gays who choose to serve should keep their sexuality to themselves. Period.

    You are expanding the topic when you compare me introducing my wife as my friend to co-workers to a homosexual having to introduce his lover as a friend. Leaving aside husbands (like Oliver North) who do refer to their wives as their best friends, my wife is in fact my spouse. A homosexual soldier’s “friend” may be a lover, but he is not a spouse. I have had female “friends” who were not my wife. I will not discuss how “close” any of those friendships were. If a military officer introduced me to a male friend of his at some social gathering, I would not ask him if they were in a sexual relationship, nor would I want him to tell me. For that matter, if a male friend of mine in any context were to introduce a female friend of his to me, I would not ask him if he were having sex with her, nor would I want him to tell me. Today our whole society thinks we have to discuss our sex lives with anyone and everyone. We don’t, and while gays may decide to share their sex lives with everyone in the civilian world, I see no reason that desire needs to be indulged in military regulations.

    So, spare me the dramatics about lifestyles versus lives, etc.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dear boaz @ 147

    BOAZ Fws, …Finnis’s take on natural law? … moral actions are those that aid human flourishing. It rejects the scholastic categories and reasoning from natural order, except what is natural to humans for their flourishing. Thus, I think his interpretation of natural law is perfectly in accord with the Lutheran Confessions.

    FWS I am not sure. Let me ponder that. It feels like something important is missing.
    I have some questions for you for clarification but first let me restate what you said so you can tell me if I understand your argument ok? This is important stuff!

    Gods law identifies what is good for human flourishing in reality.
    Marital sex is a good for human flourishing
    as an avenue for erotic passion towards ones spouse
    strengthening marriage
    the means by which families are created and strengthened
    children conceived
    marital sex is love for neighbor, specifically, one’s spouse,
    marital sex is love for one’s children,
    and in fact, marital sex is love for all of society.

    Masturbation, gay sex and marital sex just for pleasure, and oral sex and anal sex….
    do not promote human flourishing
    they are sinful
    they are just as wrong as gay sex.
    they produce no human good.
    They reduce us from beings created in Gods image to animals.
    They undermine the self-giving love by making marriage irrelevant to the sex act,
    it is selfishness
    Even if it could be demonstrated that any of these things aid human flourishing they would still be sin because it is God´s revealed law in the bible that decides what is or is not human flourishing not natural law.

    those who are devoid of romantic and sexual attraction for the opposite gender should still marry
    because while they MAY get less pleasure from the marital sex act, it still does promote human flourishing and goods for both parties
    marital union
    commitment
    and family
    [and the creation of children]
    [and ALL the other goods previously listed? or not?]

    How could gay sex, or any sex that is not a mutually giving and promoting mutual commitment to marriage,
    promotes human flourishing,
    and could be considered good, moral,
    or not a sin.

    Did I do ok at regurgitating your thesis? did I miss anything brother boaz? let me know

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dear boaz @ 147

    BOAZ Fws, …Finnis’s take on natural law? … moral actions are those that aid human flourishing. It rejects the scholastic categories and reasoning from natural order, except what is natural to humans for their flourishing. Thus, I think his interpretation of natural law is perfectly in accord with the Lutheran Confessions.

    FWS I am not sure. Let me ponder that. It feels like something important is missing.
    I have some questions for you for clarification but first let me restate what you said so you can tell me if I understand your argument ok? This is important stuff!

    Gods law identifies what is good for human flourishing in reality.
    Marital sex is a good for human flourishing
    as an avenue for erotic passion towards ones spouse
    strengthening marriage
    the means by which families are created and strengthened
    children conceived
    marital sex is love for neighbor, specifically, one’s spouse,
    marital sex is love for one’s children,
    and in fact, marital sex is love for all of society.

    Masturbation, gay sex and marital sex just for pleasure, and oral sex and anal sex….
    do not promote human flourishing
    they are sinful
    they are just as wrong as gay sex.
    they produce no human good.
    They reduce us from beings created in Gods image to animals.
    They undermine the self-giving love by making marriage irrelevant to the sex act,
    it is selfishness
    Even if it could be demonstrated that any of these things aid human flourishing they would still be sin because it is God´s revealed law in the bible that decides what is or is not human flourishing not natural law.

    those who are devoid of romantic and sexual attraction for the opposite gender should still marry
    because while they MAY get less pleasure from the marital sex act, it still does promote human flourishing and goods for both parties
    marital union
    commitment
    and family
    [and the creation of children]
    [and ALL the other goods previously listed? or not?]

    How could gay sex, or any sex that is not a mutually giving and promoting mutual commitment to marriage,
    promotes human flourishing,
    and could be considered good, moral,
    or not a sin.

    Did I do ok at regurgitating your thesis? did I miss anything brother boaz? let me know

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 149

    I still dont see why there needs to be a separate set of rules just for fags in the military. especially after the latest pentagon study.

    My thoughts boil down to just that. same rules for everyone. and enforce them. it seems fair.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 149

    I still dont see why there needs to be a separate set of rules just for fags in the military. especially after the latest pentagon study.

    My thoughts boil down to just that. same rules for everyone. and enforce them. it seems fair.

  • kerner

    boaz, re the last paragraph @147:

    Ew.

    Having said that, I disagree. You correctly point out that one purpose of marital sex is “an avenue for erotic passion towards one’s spouse strengthening marriage”. Just about anything a husband and wife can do in private may fall under this heading. Sex does not only involve the selfish taking of pleasure, but also includes the selfless giving of it, and hopefully the mutual sharing of it; thus strengthening the marriage bond. How married couples go about doing that is a highly individual thing and their own business. I see no reason for Lutheran pastors to try to choreograph the sex lives of married couples in their sermons.

  • kerner

    boaz, re the last paragraph @147:

    Ew.

    Having said that, I disagree. You correctly point out that one purpose of marital sex is “an avenue for erotic passion towards one’s spouse strengthening marriage”. Just about anything a husband and wife can do in private may fall under this heading. Sex does not only involve the selfish taking of pleasure, but also includes the selfless giving of it, and hopefully the mutual sharing of it; thus strengthening the marriage bond. How married couples go about doing that is a highly individual thing and their own business. I see no reason for Lutheran pastors to try to choreograph the sex lives of married couples in their sermons.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    boaz @ 147

    my first comment will be happy winter solstice. as in, where is Jesus christ in ANYTHING you had to tell me?

    does that matter? why or why not? so why does anything you have told me matter?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    boaz @ 147

    my first comment will be happy winter solstice. as in, where is Jesus christ in ANYTHING you had to tell me?

    does that matter? why or why not? so why does anything you have told me matter?

  • kerner

    fws:

    Fags schmags.

    The reason the rules need to be different is that men and women are different. The goal is to discourage sexual activity between military personel in the same chain of command.

    The solution to sexual attraction between military men and women is to identify who is who and keep them sufficiently separated. Distinguishing between men and women is not difficult.

    But homosexuals are not so easy to distinguish from heterosexuals, and homosexuals are comparitively few in number. To try to identify and isolate them from heterosexual service persons would not only result in ostricizing them, it would defeat the purpose of the policy (i.e. putting homosexuals all in one unit would NOT be likely to inhibit sexual attraction).

    The earlier solution was to not allow gays to serve at all. This has been rejected. But that leaves requiring gays in the military to compartmentalize their lives. A sacrifice to be sure, but military life is full of sacrifices.

    It may not seem fair, but I did not invent biology nor sexuality.

  • kerner

    fws:

    Fags schmags.

    The reason the rules need to be different is that men and women are different. The goal is to discourage sexual activity between military personel in the same chain of command.

    The solution to sexual attraction between military men and women is to identify who is who and keep them sufficiently separated. Distinguishing between men and women is not difficult.

    But homosexuals are not so easy to distinguish from heterosexuals, and homosexuals are comparitively few in number. To try to identify and isolate them from heterosexual service persons would not only result in ostricizing them, it would defeat the purpose of the policy (i.e. putting homosexuals all in one unit would NOT be likely to inhibit sexual attraction).

    The earlier solution was to not allow gays to serve at all. This has been rejected. But that leaves requiring gays in the military to compartmentalize their lives. A sacrifice to be sure, but military life is full of sacrifices.

    It may not seem fair, but I did not invent biology nor sexuality.

  • kerner

    fws @ 153:

    Isn’t it summer solstice where you live? :)

  • kerner

    fws @ 153:

    Isn’t it summer solstice where you live? :)

  • Porcell

    Kerner: Your problem is that you are looking at this from the point of personal liberty, not military discipline.

    Exactly, the militant homosexuals who have agitated this issue couldn’t care less about military discipline. Their fundamental interest is promoting the immoral gay “lifestyle.”

    The sad part about this is that the military, mostly due to a fear of a peremptory court decision, has had to bow to the political and legal pressure surrounding this issue. The gay militants have gulled much of the public that some sort of gay civil rights are involved on the fallacious assumption that discrimination against is equivalent to that against blacks and women.

    I know, as a former Marine officer, that this will cause real problems with unit cohesion in both peace and war time, though most commanders will effectively manage to deal with this.

    I admire former Marine Joint Chiefs of Staff, Peter Pace, who argued that both in terms of unit cohesion and the morality of the issue it would be wrong to allow gays to openly serve in combat units.

    In my Marine combat intelligence company we had one likely gay guy, though he knew enough to be discreet about this. He was once attacked by a crude fellow who justifiably was then thoroughly beaten up by other Marines who respected the gay guy. I knew about this and was delighted at the justice of it, though fighting amongst other Marines is a technically serious offense against the military code.

    BTW, the Packers played very well Sunday and by all rights should have defeated the Pats who had an off day. That quarterback, Flynn, actually outplayed Brady.

  • Porcell

    Kerner: Your problem is that you are looking at this from the point of personal liberty, not military discipline.

    Exactly, the militant homosexuals who have agitated this issue couldn’t care less about military discipline. Their fundamental interest is promoting the immoral gay “lifestyle.”

    The sad part about this is that the military, mostly due to a fear of a peremptory court decision, has had to bow to the political and legal pressure surrounding this issue. The gay militants have gulled much of the public that some sort of gay civil rights are involved on the fallacious assumption that discrimination against is equivalent to that against blacks and women.

    I know, as a former Marine officer, that this will cause real problems with unit cohesion in both peace and war time, though most commanders will effectively manage to deal with this.

    I admire former Marine Joint Chiefs of Staff, Peter Pace, who argued that both in terms of unit cohesion and the morality of the issue it would be wrong to allow gays to openly serve in combat units.

    In my Marine combat intelligence company we had one likely gay guy, though he knew enough to be discreet about this. He was once attacked by a crude fellow who justifiably was then thoroughly beaten up by other Marines who respected the gay guy. I knew about this and was delighted at the justice of it, though fighting amongst other Marines is a technically serious offense against the military code.

    BTW, the Packers played very well Sunday and by all rights should have defeated the Pats who had an off day. That quarterback, Flynn, actually outplayed Brady.

  • kerner

    Thanks, but HOW DID THE PACKERS ALLOW AN OFFENSIVE GUARD TO RETURN A PUNT 73 YARDS?!?!? (tearing hair our at the mere memory)

  • kerner

    Thanks, but HOW DID THE PACKERS ALLOW AN OFFENSIVE GUARD TO RETURN A PUNT 73 YARDS?!?!? (tearing hair our at the mere memory)

  • kerner

    I mean a kick off…I think God is mercifully erasing the event from my memory.

  • kerner

    I mean a kick off…I think God is mercifully erasing the event from my memory.

  • Porcell

    Kerner, a 315 lb. lineman who somehow caught the kick, held the ball wrong, ran 73 yards slowly, and stiff armed several hapless Packers; we Pats fans will cherish that memory. This was one of the few things the Pats did right Sunday.

  • Porcell

    Kerner, a 315 lb. lineman who somehow caught the kick, held the ball wrong, ran 73 yards slowly, and stiff armed several hapless Packers; we Pats fans will cherish that memory. This was one of the few things the Pats did right Sunday.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 155

    yes summer solstice. Which is why I really dont get so exercised about the fag smag thang that you mentioned gurl friend.

    It will all perish with the earth. summer soltice. natural law. Meh. Yawn. gays in the military. next.

    In my church, since I am new there (4 years) I make sure the pastor knows my life situation. I will not go to church that is about the Truth and the Light and live in dishonesty and shaddow. and I go to confessions every week, so that would not be very feasable anyhow.

    But I dont tell other folk in the congregation about my personal life. Church needs to be about Christ.

    But here is the deal. If someone asks, I will judiciously tell. I will not lie. Period. But then that means that probably that persons in church, who has known me as a regular joe, is interested in friendship as well. So I give them that chance.

    Just as I gave my close family members an opportunity to truly love all of who I am. That seems fair and honest. How can I say I am allowing someone to love me intimately as a friend or family member and not let them into my life. For everyone, their significant relationships are not just a thing. they are a part of who you are.

    I suspect it will now be exactly the same in the military. 99% of gays will choose to keep their life to themselves, but the ones who are christian at least, will not lie when asked. and the one´s who are christian and gay at least, will remember that the christian life is not about themselves, it is about being a servant to others in Christ.

    Has the fact that I am honest here about my sexuality been a furtherance to the Holy Gospel or a hindrance dear Kerner.

    God works his goodness even from people like me who, in our Old Adam , are exactly like that lawless judge in luke 18 driven by a conscience for which love has died. And God still uses that Old Adam to do justice. This is how it works in the earthly kingdom of the winter and summer solstice of the Law and Natural Law and earthly visible righteousness.

    This is also how it works, without any law or even gospel or faith at all in that Heavenly Kingdom that is Christ Alone that comes by invisible faith in Him. feliz natal! Merry CHRISTmas. gone with the old law and natural law and solstice. welcome Christ our King born in a manger!

    Bless you brother Kerner.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 155

    yes summer solstice. Which is why I really dont get so exercised about the fag smag thang that you mentioned gurl friend.

    It will all perish with the earth. summer soltice. natural law. Meh. Yawn. gays in the military. next.

    In my church, since I am new there (4 years) I make sure the pastor knows my life situation. I will not go to church that is about the Truth and the Light and live in dishonesty and shaddow. and I go to confessions every week, so that would not be very feasable anyhow.

    But I dont tell other folk in the congregation about my personal life. Church needs to be about Christ.

    But here is the deal. If someone asks, I will judiciously tell. I will not lie. Period. But then that means that probably that persons in church, who has known me as a regular joe, is interested in friendship as well. So I give them that chance.

    Just as I gave my close family members an opportunity to truly love all of who I am. That seems fair and honest. How can I say I am allowing someone to love me intimately as a friend or family member and not let them into my life. For everyone, their significant relationships are not just a thing. they are a part of who you are.

    I suspect it will now be exactly the same in the military. 99% of gays will choose to keep their life to themselves, but the ones who are christian at least, will not lie when asked. and the one´s who are christian and gay at least, will remember that the christian life is not about themselves, it is about being a servant to others in Christ.

    Has the fact that I am honest here about my sexuality been a furtherance to the Holy Gospel or a hindrance dear Kerner.

    God works his goodness even from people like me who, in our Old Adam , are exactly like that lawless judge in luke 18 driven by a conscience for which love has died. And God still uses that Old Adam to do justice. This is how it works in the earthly kingdom of the winter and summer solstice of the Law and Natural Law and earthly visible righteousness.

    This is also how it works, without any law or even gospel or faith at all in that Heavenly Kingdom that is Christ Alone that comes by invisible faith in Him. feliz natal! Merry CHRISTmas. gone with the old law and natural law and solstice. welcome Christ our King born in a manger!

    Bless you brother Kerner.

  • kerner

    Bless you too, hermano, and

    God rest you merry gentleman, let nothing you dismay
    remember, Christ Our Savior was born on Christmas day
    to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.

    Tidings of comfort and joy, Frank.

    [my second favorite Christmas carol :) ]

  • kerner

    Bless you too, hermano, and

    God rest you merry gentleman, let nothing you dismay
    remember, Christ Our Savior was born on Christmas day
    to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.

    Tidings of comfort and joy, Frank.

    [my second favorite Christmas carol :) ]

  • Porcell

    fws, Merry Christmas to you. Despite our differences, I hope and pray that in Christ we may talk frankly together as Christian human beings.

  • Porcell

    fws, Merry Christmas to you. Despite our differences, I hope and pray that in Christ we may talk frankly together as Christian human beings.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 167

    bless you and your family to this christmas!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 167

    bless you and your family to this christmas!


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