Girl-Boy Wrestling, pro and con

You’ve doubtless heard of the young man in Iowa who refused to wrestle a girl who was also competing in a championship wrestling tournament.  Here are two takes on the matter.

The first from Caryn Rivadeneira, writing at a Christianity Today site:

When Joel refused to wrestle Cassy, he took an opportunity away from her. An opportunity for her to shine using her own God-given strength and ability. An opportunity to win or lose, fair and square.

I don’t mean to harp on Joel. I’m sure he’s a good kid who clearly meant well. These thoughts aren’t so much for him as they are for the rest of us as we wrestle with these sorts of issues all the time.

As Christians, when faced with less-than-best-case scenarios, we need to be in the business of affording others equal opportunities. Usually this means expanding our view of other people beyond how our culture would have us see them or how we think they are and getting it more in line with how Jesus sees them. Doing this usually means things get awkward. Doing this means we’re stretched way beyond our comfort zone.

Doing this means we might need to step onto a mat and wrestle, not despite our faith but because of it.

via Her.meneutics: The Argument for Girl-Boy Wrestling.

The second from my colleague Mark Mitchell, writing at the Front Porch Republic:

The gentleman is a social role that implies a recognition of forms and limits that constrain action even as those very forms and limits elevate the meaning and nobility of actions they enjoin.

Forms and limits are not welcomed in a culture that sees freedom as the highest good, a culture that fairly worships at the altar of individual choice. The history of the liberal project has been a steady and determined attempt to defy limits, to destroy forms, to expand the idea and practice of liberation to all spheres of existence. How can the idea of the gentleman, the essence of which necessarily depends on the propriety of limits, co-exist with the goals of liberalism? One admits of limits and finds nobility in respect for them; the other finds limits offensive and seeks to break down any hint of limitation, form, or residue of difference. When seen in this light, the gentlemen appears to be a throwback to an older age, an era that progress has left behind, an ideal embraced only by romantics and the hopelessly and helplessly nostalgic.. . .

It seems to me that Joel Northrup was raised to be a gentleman, and when he drew his first opponent at the state tournament, this ideal ran hard into the leveling impulse of the age. Or to put it in old-fashioned terms, gentlemen don’t wrestle with ladies. Reversing the sentence provides another truism: ladies wouldn’t dream of wrestling with gentlemen or of wrestling with anyone for that matter. Now I am on thin ice here, for if I embrace the idea of a gentleman, I am simultaneously embracing the idea of a lady. Doing so must appear, through the caustic lens of liberation, to be suggesting that ladies and gentlemen are substantially different and that a gentleman treats other gentleman in ways markedly different from the way he treats ladies. Precisely.

Richard Weaver once wrote that when the gentleman disappears so too goes the lady. Both ideals depend on each other and a society that provides the space for each will be far different from a society where both are seen as quaint relics from another time. Still it is heartening to see a young man attempt to uphold the ideals of the gentleman. Perhaps that singular ideal can be sustained during our long sojourn through the wilderness of liberalism. If and when we emerge on the other side, it may provide a hopeful reminder of what is possible and how a decent society might be constructed around ideals that foster acts of nobility, deference, propriety, and kindness.

via Gentlemen Don’t Wrestle with Ladies

Notice not just what side both arguments come down on but the assumptions and the implicit philosophies that lie behind their arguments.  Notice too that both writers are “conservatives” of one stripe or the other.  Both are Christians of one stripe or the other.

Which one makes the better case?  What can we conclude from these two arguments beyond the specific issue of boy-girl wrestling?

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.

  • Pete

    The second makes the better case. The truism that, if we lose gentlemen, we also lose ladies is fairly obvious. I doubt that the accusation in the Christianity Today site that the male wrestler “took an opportunity away ” from his potential female opponent is true. If this was a tournament and he refused to wrestle, I would assume that he would have forfeited and she would have advanced to the next round. The only opportunity he would have taken away was the opportunity to wrestle him, specifically. She had obviously wrestled many previously to get to the tournament and, assuming he forfeited, she would get to wrestle at least once again.
    And, if this was indeed a championship tournament, the young gentleman was willingly (and very laudably) giving up something that he was doubtless very good at and towards which he had invested a lot of time and effort. And this was done simply to adhere to a higher principle.
    In fact, in forfeiting, the main opportunity he took away was his own opportunity to advance in the tournament and to possibly win it.

  • Pete

    The second makes the better case. The truism that, if we lose gentlemen, we also lose ladies is fairly obvious. I doubt that the accusation in the Christianity Today site that the male wrestler “took an opportunity away ” from his potential female opponent is true. If this was a tournament and he refused to wrestle, I would assume that he would have forfeited and she would have advanced to the next round. The only opportunity he would have taken away was the opportunity to wrestle him, specifically. She had obviously wrestled many previously to get to the tournament and, assuming he forfeited, she would get to wrestle at least once again.
    And, if this was indeed a championship tournament, the young gentleman was willingly (and very laudably) giving up something that he was doubtless very good at and towards which he had invested a lot of time and effort. And this was done simply to adhere to a higher principle.
    In fact, in forfeiting, the main opportunity he took away was his own opportunity to advance in the tournament and to possibly win it.

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

    Agreed. Second case is better.

    In addition to the principle of being a gentleman, and without going into unnecessary detail, it’s simply opening up a Pandora’s box for future problems to do co-ed contact sports. I suggested on another site that perhaps, if girls really want to wrestle, they should start an all girls wrestling league.

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

    Agreed. Second case is better.

    In addition to the principle of being a gentleman, and without going into unnecessary detail, it’s simply opening up a Pandora’s box for future problems to do co-ed contact sports. I suggested on another site that perhaps, if girls really want to wrestle, they should start an all girls wrestling league.

  • Booklover

    Joel is a gentleman, a rare breed nowadays.

    Refusing to be a gentleman has far greater implications for society than just wrestling a girl. These implications stretch to the work place, the family, the church.

    When I notice young men playing those violent video games, I am sickened when I see that the opponent is a girl.

  • Booklover

    Joel is a gentleman, a rare breed nowadays.

    Refusing to be a gentleman has far greater implications for society than just wrestling a girl. These implications stretch to the work place, the family, the church.

    When I notice young men playing those violent video games, I am sickened when I see that the opponent is a girl.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I think we should be less certain and resist the attempt to draw clear lines.

    The purpose of being a lady or gentleman or any social etiquette or rule is to make life better for others. Indeed the only goal of any moral action is to serve others.

    I have often seen wiser, older or more priviledged people deliberately break a social convention precisely to make a visiting someone feel welcomed, accepted and comfortable. This looks graceful when it happens.

    If others are not served or are harmed by following some principle, in that case, standing on principle is not that. It is an immoral action. It is sacrifice rather than mercy that God demands of us.

    Christians do not believe that Virtue is it´s own reward. We don´t seek reward. We seek to serve others in their needs. The point of a moral life is not to conform to Principles. It is to serve others and make their creaturely life better.

    So the question is this:

    who was served by what this young man decided to do? Did this make his life better? Did it make the life of the girl better? What would have been damaged or subtracted, in evidentiary terms, from the lives of either had he wrestled the girl?

    Is being a gentleman or lady based on some immutable biblical principles, or does the concept change based on social mores? If it changes, is that a good thing, a bad thing, or a morally neutral thing? Is it more polite to conform to changing social mores or to take a stand and resist them? Or does this depend on the circumstance? Why? How?

    I hope you note i am not judging whether what this young man chose to do was good or bad. I can´t know because I don´t know the outcomes or the details. It does seem like the lady in question would have been more pleased to have the gentleman wrestle with her. If morality is essentially about pleasing others, then the question would be this “what sense-ible harm would have been done by pleasing the young lady?”

    Sure a parent does not give candy to a child to rot their teeth just because it would please the child. We are not debating what would be harmful indulgence vs true goodness done.

    But this gentleman was not parent to the lady. His vocation is student, maybe christian, son, sports participant following the local rules of his school. So the morality of the situation would also depend on what his duties are within these various vocations.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I think we should be less certain and resist the attempt to draw clear lines.

    The purpose of being a lady or gentleman or any social etiquette or rule is to make life better for others. Indeed the only goal of any moral action is to serve others.

    I have often seen wiser, older or more priviledged people deliberately break a social convention precisely to make a visiting someone feel welcomed, accepted and comfortable. This looks graceful when it happens.

    If others are not served or are harmed by following some principle, in that case, standing on principle is not that. It is an immoral action. It is sacrifice rather than mercy that God demands of us.

    Christians do not believe that Virtue is it´s own reward. We don´t seek reward. We seek to serve others in their needs. The point of a moral life is not to conform to Principles. It is to serve others and make their creaturely life better.

    So the question is this:

    who was served by what this young man decided to do? Did this make his life better? Did it make the life of the girl better? What would have been damaged or subtracted, in evidentiary terms, from the lives of either had he wrestled the girl?

    Is being a gentleman or lady based on some immutable biblical principles, or does the concept change based on social mores? If it changes, is that a good thing, a bad thing, or a morally neutral thing? Is it more polite to conform to changing social mores or to take a stand and resist them? Or does this depend on the circumstance? Why? How?

    I hope you note i am not judging whether what this young man chose to do was good or bad. I can´t know because I don´t know the outcomes or the details. It does seem like the lady in question would have been more pleased to have the gentleman wrestle with her. If morality is essentially about pleasing others, then the question would be this “what sense-ible harm would have been done by pleasing the young lady?”

    Sure a parent does not give candy to a child to rot their teeth just because it would please the child. We are not debating what would be harmful indulgence vs true goodness done.

    But this gentleman was not parent to the lady. His vocation is student, maybe christian, son, sports participant following the local rules of his school. So the morality of the situation would also depend on what his duties are within these various vocations.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Christians seek out rules to follow.

    when in doubt as to what course of action will contribute to a truly happier life for others, christians meticulously follow the rules they are given.

    They take direction from those God has placed over them. And they trust God to work out a good result from all that.

    when christians are quite certain that following a rule will result in harm, they will break the rule and accept the personal suffering that results from that. But I think that case is a very very rare one indeed.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Christians seek out rules to follow.

    when in doubt as to what course of action will contribute to a truly happier life for others, christians meticulously follow the rules they are given.

    They take direction from those God has placed over them. And they trust God to work out a good result from all that.

    when christians are quite certain that following a rule will result in harm, they will break the rule and accept the personal suffering that results from that. But I think that case is a very very rare one indeed.

  • Pete

    Another thought occurs to me: the fastest man (person) in the world is a highly valued position, traditionally (and not unreasonably) given to the winner of the 100 meter dash in the Olympics. Typically, this is in the men’s division, not the women’s. In theory, the women’s winner could have a faster time, hence claim to the title of fastest human. Applying the principle of eliminating limits and categories, should footraces be pared down? Instead of a men’s and women’s division, there would simply be the 100 meter dash.
    It’s pretty clear to me that the current system is much more fair to women who would otherwise be greatly under-represented in sprint races.
    Doubtless, there was a day when it was felt unseemly for women to be competing on the track (much less, the wrestling mat) and that the more appropriate venue of competition for a woman was perhaps a pie-baking competition. But in terms of athletic competition, it seems to me to be both sensible and (at least in contact sports) safe to have men’s and women’s categories.
    And I expect that, should the time of the women’s 100 meter Olympic champion be faster than that of the men’s, the public demand for a race between the two would be justified.

  • Pete

    Another thought occurs to me: the fastest man (person) in the world is a highly valued position, traditionally (and not unreasonably) given to the winner of the 100 meter dash in the Olympics. Typically, this is in the men’s division, not the women’s. In theory, the women’s winner could have a faster time, hence claim to the title of fastest human. Applying the principle of eliminating limits and categories, should footraces be pared down? Instead of a men’s and women’s division, there would simply be the 100 meter dash.
    It’s pretty clear to me that the current system is much more fair to women who would otherwise be greatly under-represented in sprint races.
    Doubtless, there was a day when it was felt unseemly for women to be competing on the track (much less, the wrestling mat) and that the more appropriate venue of competition for a woman was perhaps a pie-baking competition. But in terms of athletic competition, it seems to me to be both sensible and (at least in contact sports) safe to have men’s and women’s categories.
    And I expect that, should the time of the women’s 100 meter Olympic champion be faster than that of the men’s, the public demand for a race between the two would be justified.

  • http://www.roundunvarnishedtale.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I think the second case is stronger. The first writer’s argument that Joel should have ignored his instinct and his principles and wrestled the young lady as some sort of exercising of his faith is ridiculous. It was not in his nature or his upbringing to do that. We are not called to deny ourselves–except inasmuch as we are sinners–in order to send some message about our faith. From what I understand, Joel did not make a big deal out of it, did not demand a different opponent, did not go around decrying the unfairness of it all, but simply said “I can’t and won’t do this” and accepted the consequences. I have great respect for his decision and how he handled it.

  • http://www.roundunvarnishedtale.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I think the second case is stronger. The first writer’s argument that Joel should have ignored his instinct and his principles and wrestled the young lady as some sort of exercising of his faith is ridiculous. It was not in his nature or his upbringing to do that. We are not called to deny ourselves–except inasmuch as we are sinners–in order to send some message about our faith. From what I understand, Joel did not make a big deal out of it, did not demand a different opponent, did not go around decrying the unfairness of it all, but simply said “I can’t and won’t do this” and accepted the consequences. I have great respect for his decision and how he handled it.

  • Dan Kempin

    I don’t think either argument is terribly strong. I reject the former argument out of hand because it is based on a Christianity that ” . . . need[s] to be in the business of affording others equal opportunities.” The latter argument is weak because it rests on social considerations and is essentially the value of the “old fashioned” over the “new fangled.”

    I think there is a more substantial issue here with the fundamental identity of male and female. To say that our culture and society have “issues” with male and female identity would be an understatement. There is societal pressure to acknowledge that male/female identity is a choice, rather than a given. Thus a person can “change” if they so desire, and demand that society acknowledge the reality of their choice. Please, man-who-is-dressed-like-a-woman, feel free to use the ladies room with my wife or daughter.

    This wrestling tournament is a lower level playing out of the same issue. The young man entered the tournament with the expectation of aggressive and physical (though civil) competition with other males. He was then told that in order to compete, he would have to agree (with his actions) to the inter-changeability of genders. He was to treat this girl like any other boy. Ahem.

    I am impressed that he had the strength of character to decline. Whether or not the girl had the right to compete is really not the issue. She did compete. He also had the right to give up his chance to compete, and he did so.

    I think it is the “thanks, but I don’t agree” message of his actions that really offends some.

  • Dan Kempin

    I don’t think either argument is terribly strong. I reject the former argument out of hand because it is based on a Christianity that ” . . . need[s] to be in the business of affording others equal opportunities.” The latter argument is weak because it rests on social considerations and is essentially the value of the “old fashioned” over the “new fangled.”

    I think there is a more substantial issue here with the fundamental identity of male and female. To say that our culture and society have “issues” with male and female identity would be an understatement. There is societal pressure to acknowledge that male/female identity is a choice, rather than a given. Thus a person can “change” if they so desire, and demand that society acknowledge the reality of their choice. Please, man-who-is-dressed-like-a-woman, feel free to use the ladies room with my wife or daughter.

    This wrestling tournament is a lower level playing out of the same issue. The young man entered the tournament with the expectation of aggressive and physical (though civil) competition with other males. He was then told that in order to compete, he would have to agree (with his actions) to the inter-changeability of genders. He was to treat this girl like any other boy. Ahem.

    I am impressed that he had the strength of character to decline. Whether or not the girl had the right to compete is really not the issue. She did compete. He also had the right to give up his chance to compete, and he did so.

    I think it is the “thanks, but I don’t agree” message of his actions that really offends some.

  • crusxola

    Second argument is stronger.
    but this is stronger yet:
    1 Cor 7:1
    7 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
    KJV

  • crusxola

    Second argument is stronger.
    but this is stronger yet:
    1 Cor 7:1
    7 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
    KJV

  • cruxsola

    my name should read “cruxsola”

  • cruxsola

    my name should read “cruxsola”

  • WebMonk

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  • WebMonk

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    I present to you THIS: http://bit.ly/cFvLTg

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dan @ 8

    “I think there is…issue here with the fundamental identity of male and female. … There is societal pressure to acknowledge that male/female identity is a choice, rather than a given. ”

    Dan , I find it wierd to disagree with you since I resonate with so much of what you write.

    As a gay man, I perceive “societal pressure” in the form of truly sincere and good christians insisting that the Bible says that female/identity is a choice rather than a given.

    Most would urge me to focus on things that will perish and tell me that if I can´t manage to choose correctly, there will be eternal consequences in fact.

    “Thus a person can “change” if they so desire, and demand that society acknowledge the reality of their choice. ”

    Most homosexuals and transgenders would argue that they cannot change certain things. Most don´t really demand that society do anything other than be and let be as long as no one is harmed.

    I don´t know of anyone really who denies in reality (as opposed to rhetoric to make a point or get attention), who denies the biology of male and female physically or mentally. about 99.9 % of gay men value, maybe over value, their masculinity. Ditto lesbians. I can´t really comment on how this looks for transgenders. But I can withhold judgement. Theirs must be a very very difficult life. I cannot imagine anyone chosing it.

    There are lots and lots of incentives to conform to societies norms. It always causes alot of pain not to do that. My best example of this is my Lord Jesus. And by saying that I am not implying that pain is not also caused by our going against norms on account of our sinfulness. So most people instinctively do try to conform as best they can. Any choice in the matter is almost always in the direction of conformity. That is what the Law makes happen so that Goodness and Mercy can happen out of Old Adams of us all.

    “Please, man-who-is-dressed-like-a-woman, feel free to use the ladies room with my wife or daughter. ”

    How someone acts out their sexual identity is a different matter than being who or what they are. Demanding that others conform or accomodate is ok in a republican society. Again it is ok so long as no one is harmed. A man who has had a sex change operation insisting on using a women´s restroom. Problematic to say the least! What are the options to resolve that dilema in way that would not harm or be least offensive and at the same time respect the private choices of all. Would that person do better to go to a men´s restroom? Or is it that that person simply has no right to exist as a transgender, because some say this is pure choice on the part of that person… if only they would read their bibles more….or have more faith… or (fill in the blank). I would be more concerned about my showing respect, mercy and goodness for that person and be able to show them their Christ. This is not easy for me to do. But it seems clear it is what I am supposed to do.

    “This wrestling tournament is a lower level playing out of the same issue.”

    I think you are overreaching here dan. This is about a young man who made a decision based on what he thought were the right principles and accepting the consequences for that. Bravo for him. Was it the right or only choice. I don´t know.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dan @ 8

    “I think there is…issue here with the fundamental identity of male and female. … There is societal pressure to acknowledge that male/female identity is a choice, rather than a given. ”

    Dan , I find it wierd to disagree with you since I resonate with so much of what you write.

    As a gay man, I perceive “societal pressure” in the form of truly sincere and good christians insisting that the Bible says that female/identity is a choice rather than a given.

    Most would urge me to focus on things that will perish and tell me that if I can´t manage to choose correctly, there will be eternal consequences in fact.

    “Thus a person can “change” if they so desire, and demand that society acknowledge the reality of their choice. ”

    Most homosexuals and transgenders would argue that they cannot change certain things. Most don´t really demand that society do anything other than be and let be as long as no one is harmed.

    I don´t know of anyone really who denies in reality (as opposed to rhetoric to make a point or get attention), who denies the biology of male and female physically or mentally. about 99.9 % of gay men value, maybe over value, their masculinity. Ditto lesbians. I can´t really comment on how this looks for transgenders. But I can withhold judgement. Theirs must be a very very difficult life. I cannot imagine anyone chosing it.

    There are lots and lots of incentives to conform to societies norms. It always causes alot of pain not to do that. My best example of this is my Lord Jesus. And by saying that I am not implying that pain is not also caused by our going against norms on account of our sinfulness. So most people instinctively do try to conform as best they can. Any choice in the matter is almost always in the direction of conformity. That is what the Law makes happen so that Goodness and Mercy can happen out of Old Adams of us all.

    “Please, man-who-is-dressed-like-a-woman, feel free to use the ladies room with my wife or daughter. ”

    How someone acts out their sexual identity is a different matter than being who or what they are. Demanding that others conform or accomodate is ok in a republican society. Again it is ok so long as no one is harmed. A man who has had a sex change operation insisting on using a women´s restroom. Problematic to say the least! What are the options to resolve that dilema in way that would not harm or be least offensive and at the same time respect the private choices of all. Would that person do better to go to a men´s restroom? Or is it that that person simply has no right to exist as a transgender, because some say this is pure choice on the part of that person… if only they would read their bibles more….or have more faith… or (fill in the blank). I would be more concerned about my showing respect, mercy and goodness for that person and be able to show them their Christ. This is not easy for me to do. But it seems clear it is what I am supposed to do.

    “This wrestling tournament is a lower level playing out of the same issue.”

    I think you are overreaching here dan. This is about a young man who made a decision based on what he thought were the right principles and accepting the consequences for that. Bravo for him. Was it the right or only choice. I don´t know.

  • cruxsola

    @ WebMonk #11 Thank you….a fine honor!

  • cruxsola

    @ WebMonk #11 Thank you….a fine honor!

  • Dennis Peskey

    I should like to give fair warning to all who favour political correctness; this posting does not.

    Rivadeneira’s opinion is drenched deeply in the political climate of today’s nation. She clearly asserts christians should promote (afford) “others equal opportunity.” In such assertion, she both denies creation and natural law. Her post is not in accord with the creation narative of Genesis; yes, God created both male and female – yet He clearly established an order. Rivadeneira’s point is much more in tune with the foolishness of the Declaration of Independence; i.e., “all men are created equal.” I’m not sure which book Jefferson worked his “cut and paste” routine to procure this phrase, but it certainly did not originate from the Bible.

    All men are not created equal; to wit, including men and women into the assertion complicates and degrades the statement to the absurd. The very nature of creation is its diversity – no two humans are alike (male or female.) While I find no difficulty (nor reasoned application) to deny equality between male and female in cerebial affairs. physical matters remain quite different and distinct. The extent of foolishness in denial of this was demonstrated by our nation’s military training when the PC rush to integrate recruit training programs swept through bootcamps. All, that is, except the U.S. Marines who held fast to the belief that the inherent differences between male and female had not been flushed down the PC toilets. To this point, Dean’s #2 post is the answer; if the girls want to wrestle, start a girls wrestling team. Ya dinna wrestle the guys.

    Mitchell’s response elevated to the high road of civility, a viewpoint I found quite refreshing to ponder. Though the response be eloquent, it’s application of gentlemen/lady categories into the arena of wrestles stretches the terminology too far. Admittedly, I can not fathom gentlemen wrestlers (nor the female counterpart.) What I am not denying is the virtue of the wrestler, Joel.

    If this conduct of refusing to compete physically against a female is to be construed as “gentlemanly,” then certainly this man earned this recognition. I have limited experience with formal wrestling and hereby testify at no time did I experience “gentlemanly” thoughts of my opponent prior to a match. Barbarian would be a closer approximation – yet even barbaric people can demonstrate virtue and honor.

    This incident is the result of overindulgence in political correctness; the state of Iowa should not have sanctioned co-ed wrestling, especially at the tournament level. This poison permeates throughout our society today infecting the social, political, even our religious environment. I believe, teach and confess males are men, females are women; they are not created equal and should not be treated the same. If Genesis will does not convince the christian, try Ephesians.
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    I should like to give fair warning to all who favour political correctness; this posting does not.

    Rivadeneira’s opinion is drenched deeply in the political climate of today’s nation. She clearly asserts christians should promote (afford) “others equal opportunity.” In such assertion, she both denies creation and natural law. Her post is not in accord with the creation narative of Genesis; yes, God created both male and female – yet He clearly established an order. Rivadeneira’s point is much more in tune with the foolishness of the Declaration of Independence; i.e., “all men are created equal.” I’m not sure which book Jefferson worked his “cut and paste” routine to procure this phrase, but it certainly did not originate from the Bible.

    All men are not created equal; to wit, including men and women into the assertion complicates and degrades the statement to the absurd. The very nature of creation is its diversity – no two humans are alike (male or female.) While I find no difficulty (nor reasoned application) to deny equality between male and female in cerebial affairs. physical matters remain quite different and distinct. The extent of foolishness in denial of this was demonstrated by our nation’s military training when the PC rush to integrate recruit training programs swept through bootcamps. All, that is, except the U.S. Marines who held fast to the belief that the inherent differences between male and female had not been flushed down the PC toilets. To this point, Dean’s #2 post is the answer; if the girls want to wrestle, start a girls wrestling team. Ya dinna wrestle the guys.

    Mitchell’s response elevated to the high road of civility, a viewpoint I found quite refreshing to ponder. Though the response be eloquent, it’s application of gentlemen/lady categories into the arena of wrestles stretches the terminology too far. Admittedly, I can not fathom gentlemen wrestlers (nor the female counterpart.) What I am not denying is the virtue of the wrestler, Joel.

    If this conduct of refusing to compete physically against a female is to be construed as “gentlemanly,” then certainly this man earned this recognition. I have limited experience with formal wrestling and hereby testify at no time did I experience “gentlemanly” thoughts of my opponent prior to a match. Barbarian would be a closer approximation – yet even barbaric people can demonstrate virtue and honor.

    This incident is the result of overindulgence in political correctness; the state of Iowa should not have sanctioned co-ed wrestling, especially at the tournament level. This poison permeates throughout our society today infecting the social, political, even our religious environment. I believe, teach and confess males are men, females are women; they are not created equal and should not be treated the same. If Genesis will does not convince the christian, try Ephesians.
    Peace,
    Dennis

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

    I like cruxsola’s argument best, and I’d add that, having wrestled as a kid (not very well, but I tried), I remember joking in junior high about what would happen if girls joined in at weigh-in–which is traditionally done nude. It was not an edifying conversation, to put it mildly.

    In that light–and in light of tight singlets and the requirement of grabbing the opponent basically anywhere on their body–the Hebrew idiom from Leviticus 18 comes to mind; the text does not say “have sexual relations with” as the NIV says, but rather “uncover nakedness.” We need to be very careful about what nakedness we uncover, and for what reason, else we will end up in sexual sin.

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

    I like cruxsola’s argument best, and I’d add that, having wrestled as a kid (not very well, but I tried), I remember joking in junior high about what would happen if girls joined in at weigh-in–which is traditionally done nude. It was not an edifying conversation, to put it mildly.

    In that light–and in light of tight singlets and the requirement of grabbing the opponent basically anywhere on their body–the Hebrew idiom from Leviticus 18 comes to mind; the text does not say “have sexual relations with” as the NIV says, but rather “uncover nakedness.” We need to be very careful about what nakedness we uncover, and for what reason, else we will end up in sexual sin.

  • Joe

    Having grown up in Northern Wisconsin my brother and I have been faced with this exact issue. The answer always was to shut up and wrestle the girl treating her (while on the mat) as not different than any other wrestler. The reason being is that you have trained and honed your skills to put them into use. To forfeit is to waste all that time, energy and effort – it is poor stewardship and if it is a team tournament you let down your team. You draw who you draw in the bracket and you wrestle to win.

    My brother (a much better wrestler than I) had the dubious task of facing a young women in the championship match of a tournament. He finally beat her on points, he could not pin her – she was the second best wrestler that day in that weight class. Maybe she wasn’t a lady, but she was a darn fine wrestler.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dan @ 8

    My point is to not assert or prove that sexual identity is a choice or is not a choice.

    I spent most of my life assuming that all this is about choice, and trying to prove that theory. And that plan didn´t pan out for me or for the 1000s I have met who are in a similar situation. So I am so OVER arguing about whether such things are choice or not. Why does it matter?

    Does heaven or hell hang in the balance for every fag or sissy or tom boy lesbian who can´t get themselves straightened out? Or for some poor soul who is certain he is a woman trapped inside a man´s body? Does this mean they are denying they are sinners or can´t possibly have faith in Jesus if they don´t get it all tidy and straight?

    I see most people in such situations feeling the pain of rejection by their church and society and family such that I find it hard to believe that it is all a matter of choice or rebellion. I know it was not that for me. Most will pay whatever price conformity demands rather than pay the price of non-conformity, until the pain of conformity outweighs the pain of not being honest.

    So I encourage everyone to trust in Jesus who I am most certain and confident will resolve all this at the end sweetly by grace mercy and goodness. and then I encourage them to do nothing that would harm themselves and others. then I tell them, within that limit, that they should seek their own happiness and that of others with all their might. God would want that for them and for others.

  • Joe

    Having grown up in Northern Wisconsin my brother and I have been faced with this exact issue. The answer always was to shut up and wrestle the girl treating her (while on the mat) as not different than any other wrestler. The reason being is that you have trained and honed your skills to put them into use. To forfeit is to waste all that time, energy and effort – it is poor stewardship and if it is a team tournament you let down your team. You draw who you draw in the bracket and you wrestle to win.

    My brother (a much better wrestler than I) had the dubious task of facing a young women in the championship match of a tournament. He finally beat her on points, he could not pin her – she was the second best wrestler that day in that weight class. Maybe she wasn’t a lady, but she was a darn fine wrestler.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dan @ 8

    My point is to not assert or prove that sexual identity is a choice or is not a choice.

    I spent most of my life assuming that all this is about choice, and trying to prove that theory. And that plan didn´t pan out for me or for the 1000s I have met who are in a similar situation. So I am so OVER arguing about whether such things are choice or not. Why does it matter?

    Does heaven or hell hang in the balance for every fag or sissy or tom boy lesbian who can´t get themselves straightened out? Or for some poor soul who is certain he is a woman trapped inside a man´s body? Does this mean they are denying they are sinners or can´t possibly have faith in Jesus if they don´t get it all tidy and straight?

    I see most people in such situations feeling the pain of rejection by their church and society and family such that I find it hard to believe that it is all a matter of choice or rebellion. I know it was not that for me. Most will pay whatever price conformity demands rather than pay the price of non-conformity, until the pain of conformity outweighs the pain of not being honest.

    So I encourage everyone to trust in Jesus who I am most certain and confident will resolve all this at the end sweetly by grace mercy and goodness. and then I encourage them to do nothing that would harm themselves and others. then I tell them, within that limit, that they should seek their own happiness and that of others with all their might. God would want that for them and for others.

  • kerner

    I think the 2nd arguement is better, and I hope I have time to go into why in more detail later.

    To me this is not about the gentility of gender roles.

    I have a lot of experience, professionally, with domestic violence, representing victims and alleged perpetrators for 30 years. This experience has led me to the conclusion that it is NEVER a good idea to teach a young man that it is ok to hit a woman. This, to me includes even those circumstances when the woman wants to be hit.

    In the world of contact sports, there are a few in which men and women should not compete against each other, because the contestants are required to use their physical strength, fully, as hard as the contestants can, against each other. Football, boxing and other martial arts, are other examples of these. Any opportunity for Cassy to shine as a human being is ,to me at least, overwhelmed by the negative lessons taught to her opponents, and society in general, that it is acceptable for men to try to physically overpower women.

  • kerner

    I think the 2nd arguement is better, and I hope I have time to go into why in more detail later.

    To me this is not about the gentility of gender roles.

    I have a lot of experience, professionally, with domestic violence, representing victims and alleged perpetrators for 30 years. This experience has led me to the conclusion that it is NEVER a good idea to teach a young man that it is ok to hit a woman. This, to me includes even those circumstances when the woman wants to be hit.

    In the world of contact sports, there are a few in which men and women should not compete against each other, because the contestants are required to use their physical strength, fully, as hard as the contestants can, against each other. Football, boxing and other martial arts, are other examples of these. Any opportunity for Cassy to shine as a human being is ,to me at least, overwhelmed by the negative lessons taught to her opponents, and society in general, that it is acceptable for men to try to physically overpower women.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Two points. First, it is entirely inappropriate for highschoolers to touch each other in the way that wrestling demands, and could very easily lead to some agly acts and uglier litigation.

    However, as a wrestler myself, I completely reject the notion that this boy was somehow protecting a woman from a violent contact sport. No punching, striking, gouging, kicking, joint-locks, head-locks (unless at least one arm is included), throat pressure, etc. is allowed. One of my teammates in college (a national champion) drew a foul for pushing his opponent’s head down to quickly – the referee interpreted it as a strike. Wrestling is very, very physically demanding and challenging, but it quite simply isn’t dangerous or violent. I think this particular reasoning is shallow.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Two points. First, it is entirely inappropriate for highschoolers to touch each other in the way that wrestling demands, and could very easily lead to some agly acts and uglier litigation.

    However, as a wrestler myself, I completely reject the notion that this boy was somehow protecting a woman from a violent contact sport. No punching, striking, gouging, kicking, joint-locks, head-locks (unless at least one arm is included), throat pressure, etc. is allowed. One of my teammates in college (a national champion) drew a foul for pushing his opponent’s head down to quickly – the referee interpreted it as a strike. Wrestling is very, very physically demanding and challenging, but it quite simply isn’t dangerous or violent. I think this particular reasoning is shallow.

  • Gary

    The first argument is Gospel reductionism. Natural law says there is a difference between man and woman. Natural law shows that, all things being equal, a man is stronger than a woman. Natural law also shows that those who exercise their bodies increase strength and endurance, so in general male wrestlers will be stronger than their female counterparts. Now wrestling is more than strength, as are many competitive sports. So, it would be possible for a female wrestler to beat a male who made a mental error or is not as experienced as her at wrestling. That also comes from natural law in so far as that the human body is able to learn both mental and physical tasks and perfect them. Yet, to ignore natural law here is to ignore God’s design and purposes for both sexes. So, the question is not should females wrestle or not? The question is should they wrestle males? Does lack of sufficient female competitors justify co-ed wrestling? I think natural law answers those questions no even if a female has the talent to beat a male competitor.

  • Gary

    The first argument is Gospel reductionism. Natural law says there is a difference between man and woman. Natural law shows that, all things being equal, a man is stronger than a woman. Natural law also shows that those who exercise their bodies increase strength and endurance, so in general male wrestlers will be stronger than their female counterparts. Now wrestling is more than strength, as are many competitive sports. So, it would be possible for a female wrestler to beat a male who made a mental error or is not as experienced as her at wrestling. That also comes from natural law in so far as that the human body is able to learn both mental and physical tasks and perfect them. Yet, to ignore natural law here is to ignore God’s design and purposes for both sexes. So, the question is not should females wrestle or not? The question is should they wrestle males? Does lack of sufficient female competitors justify co-ed wrestling? I think natural law answers those questions no even if a female has the talent to beat a male competitor.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #12,

    You, as always, have a very thoughtful response. It may take me some time to consider your words to understand what you are saying.

    The point I was making above was very shallow. I don’t mean to even touch on sexuality–indeed a very complex topic–but merely gender identity. It is one thing for a person to say that they feel uncomfortable with their own gender. It is one thing to act out on it and “cross” in their behavior. It is one thing for a person to struggle with confusion, or impulses and feelings that they cannot control. In the face of such struggle it is a Christian obligation to respond with love. (What that love looks like in a particular case calls for great wisdom–as in a bathroom use policy, for instance.)

    It is another thing for a man to say “I am a woman.” It is another thing to acknowledge the whole idea of “transgender,” that a person can in reality change their gender. Unless they can replace the chromosomes in every cell of their body, it is biologically impossible. This issue at stake, therefore, (or at least one of the issues), is not love, but reality. It is absurd to say that a man is a woman, or vice versa. Nevertheless, there is a certain degree of societal pressure that is brought to bear against any person or practice that emphasizes that particular statement of the obvious.

    (Theologically I think this goes all the way back to the fall and the defiance of God’s created order, but that is an whole other discussion and I have a full schedule today.)

    Anyway, that was my point.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #12,

    You, as always, have a very thoughtful response. It may take me some time to consider your words to understand what you are saying.

    The point I was making above was very shallow. I don’t mean to even touch on sexuality–indeed a very complex topic–but merely gender identity. It is one thing for a person to say that they feel uncomfortable with their own gender. It is one thing to act out on it and “cross” in their behavior. It is one thing for a person to struggle with confusion, or impulses and feelings that they cannot control. In the face of such struggle it is a Christian obligation to respond with love. (What that love looks like in a particular case calls for great wisdom–as in a bathroom use policy, for instance.)

    It is another thing for a man to say “I am a woman.” It is another thing to acknowledge the whole idea of “transgender,” that a person can in reality change their gender. Unless they can replace the chromosomes in every cell of their body, it is biologically impossible. This issue at stake, therefore, (or at least one of the issues), is not love, but reality. It is absurd to say that a man is a woman, or vice versa. Nevertheless, there is a certain degree of societal pressure that is brought to bear against any person or practice that emphasizes that particular statement of the obvious.

    (Theologically I think this goes all the way back to the fall and the defiance of God’s created order, but that is an whole other discussion and I have a full schedule today.)

    Anyway, that was my point.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws,

    I crossed your post at #17. Needless to say, I agree with your gospel perspective. My point was not about conformity, but about the subtle pressure to concede the premise.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws,

    I crossed your post at #17. Needless to say, I agree with your gospel perspective. My point was not about conformity, but about the subtle pressure to concede the premise.

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

    fws,

    How do you reconcile your homosexuality with your Christianity? I certainly hope you’re not justifying it. Or are you, as I heard with regards to somebody else, a “celebate homosexual”?

    Before you answer, let me say that, yes, I as a Christian am still a sinner. God has been dealing with me in several areas as of late, in particular with my selfishness and wandering eyes. While I do not always succeed in mortifying the flesh, I nevertheless confess that this is displeasing to God, and do make attempts to put it away (not to earn salvation, but because of salvation).

    While I confess to not knowing your struggles, I will say this: it is one thing to say we are sinners. It is quite another to shrug it off. Not saying that’s your attitude, per se; but there can be a temptation to say (as I did, unfortunately, with my self-centeredness) “Oh well, that’s just the way I am. C’est la vie” (Or perhaps you may say “Isso é vida”-not sure if that’s precise).

    Just curious to know how you are handling it.

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

    fws,

    How do you reconcile your homosexuality with your Christianity? I certainly hope you’re not justifying it. Or are you, as I heard with regards to somebody else, a “celebate homosexual”?

    Before you answer, let me say that, yes, I as a Christian am still a sinner. God has been dealing with me in several areas as of late, in particular with my selfishness and wandering eyes. While I do not always succeed in mortifying the flesh, I nevertheless confess that this is displeasing to God, and do make attempts to put it away (not to earn salvation, but because of salvation).

    While I confess to not knowing your struggles, I will say this: it is one thing to say we are sinners. It is quite another to shrug it off. Not saying that’s your attitude, per se; but there can be a temptation to say (as I did, unfortunately, with my self-centeredness) “Oh well, that’s just the way I am. C’est la vie” (Or perhaps you may say “Isso é vida”-not sure if that’s precise).

    Just curious to know how you are handling it.

  • Lily

    I say, “Bravo!” to the young man who recognized natural law (the law that is written by our Creator on all men’s hearts) and heeded it. May God richly bless him!

    When I look at writings like the first author, I have to wonder if consciences have been seared. They can no longer recognize the law written on our hearts about gender differences.

  • Lily

    I say, “Bravo!” to the young man who recognized natural law (the law that is written by our Creator on all men’s hearts) and heeded it. May God richly bless him!

    When I look at writings like the first author, I have to wonder if consciences have been seared. They can no longer recognize the law written on our hearts about gender differences.

  • http://nbfzman.blogspot.com nbfzman

    Both arguments are bad, and the young man’s reasoning is the best.

    The first argument is drenched in nihilistic political correctness. It wasn’t the boy who took a chance from the girl; it was Title 13 and the state association’s unwillingness to establish a girls’ division which took a chance from both of them.

    The second argument is advancing a paradigm which has long ceased to exist. Social titles and mannerisms, while most often appropriate, are not necessarily Christian. The boy didn’t refuse to wrestle the girl because he’s a gentleman; he refused because he believes it would be wrong to handle a woman the way he would have to handle her in a wrestling match.

    Also, a lot of the comments seem to suggest a sexual connotation that I haven’t heard in the scant interviews and articles I’ve read in regard to this.

  • http://nbfzman.blogspot.com nbfzman

    Both arguments are bad, and the young man’s reasoning is the best.

    The first argument is drenched in nihilistic political correctness. It wasn’t the boy who took a chance from the girl; it was Title 13 and the state association’s unwillingness to establish a girls’ division which took a chance from both of them.

    The second argument is advancing a paradigm which has long ceased to exist. Social titles and mannerisms, while most often appropriate, are not necessarily Christian. The boy didn’t refuse to wrestle the girl because he’s a gentleman; he refused because he believes it would be wrong to handle a woman the way he would have to handle her in a wrestling match.

    Also, a lot of the comments seem to suggest a sexual connotation that I haven’t heard in the scant interviews and articles I’ve read in regard to this.

  • Orianna Laun

    For the record, I think the second argument is the stronger–he has more valid support for his argument.
    I have heard only the story–the young man wouldn’t wrestle the girl. In fact, I heard the story first on O’Reilly and he posed the question–is he a pinhead or a patriot? I don’t know. I haven’t heard the rationale, the interviews, the media take on it besides the above.
    Let me toss out a hypothetical: What if (again I clarify that I don’t know), but what if the boy wasn’t being noble? Maybe he didn’t want to wrestle a girl, not because he’s a gentleman, but because she’s a girl. You know in the yucky sort of 4th-grade boy way. What if he didn’t want to wrestle her because he thought it was demeaning to him? “I have to wrestle a girl?” Maybe he didn’t want to wrestle her because he felt that he it would be too tempting to keep his hands off her where he knew he shouldn’t be putting them, thereby causing himself to sin.
    No matter how hard society has tried to erase gender lines, they are still there. Besides, he had his motive for not wrestling her, laudable or otherwise. Aren’t we told by those around us to trust our instincts? Maybe I’m off base. . .

  • Orianna Laun

    For the record, I think the second argument is the stronger–he has more valid support for his argument.
    I have heard only the story–the young man wouldn’t wrestle the girl. In fact, I heard the story first on O’Reilly and he posed the question–is he a pinhead or a patriot? I don’t know. I haven’t heard the rationale, the interviews, the media take on it besides the above.
    Let me toss out a hypothetical: What if (again I clarify that I don’t know), but what if the boy wasn’t being noble? Maybe he didn’t want to wrestle a girl, not because he’s a gentleman, but because she’s a girl. You know in the yucky sort of 4th-grade boy way. What if he didn’t want to wrestle her because he thought it was demeaning to him? “I have to wrestle a girl?” Maybe he didn’t want to wrestle her because he felt that he it would be too tempting to keep his hands off her where he knew he shouldn’t be putting them, thereby causing himself to sin.
    No matter how hard society has tried to erase gender lines, they are still there. Besides, he had his motive for not wrestling her, laudable or otherwise. Aren’t we told by those around us to trust our instincts? Maybe I’m off base. . .

  • WebMonk

    Since we’re all speculating all over the place, how about another speculation – the boy actually refused to wrestle the girl because he was afraid she would pin his ass to the mat and he didn’t want to be embarrassed!

  • WebMonk

    Since we’re all speculating all over the place, how about another speculation – the boy actually refused to wrestle the girl because he was afraid she would pin his ass to the mat and he didn’t want to be embarrassed!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I’m with Orianna, #26 and Webmonk, #27 and say con regarding girl-boy wrestling and also say I like the idea of ladies and gentlemen and boys and girls being taught such sensibilities and concern for the other.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I’m with Orianna, #26 and Webmonk, #27 and say con regarding girl-boy wrestling and also say I like the idea of ladies and gentlemen and boys and girls being taught such sensibilities and concern for the other.

  • Pete

    So, WebMonk @11 – cruxsola’s Out-Of-Context Campionship: Men’s, Women’s or Open Division?

  • Pete

    So, WebMonk @11 – cruxsola’s Out-Of-Context Campionship: Men’s, Women’s or Open Division?

  • Stephen

    Is it really necessary to appeal to a philosophical natural law argument and impose that on the bible? In general, boys are biologically physically capable and aggressive than girls. This is easily observed, even in two year olds. This boy seems to have listened to his conscience, and maybe the instruction of his parents as he should, in just that way as far his own statement went. He was taught not to physically hurt girls and so he saw that as superseding other possible concerns. We can impose some idea of “propriety” on it (argument #2), but maybe it is much more simple. He didn’t want to risk hurting her. He was taught that the bottom line between boys and girls is just this very thing. Maybe he really was concerned about his neighbor. I like to think he was.

    Shall we demand they also box with girls to meet some standard of equality? Seems to be the outcome of Argument # 1. In that case, regardless of how you feel about the sport itself, a lot of boys would not box who would otherwise be good at it.

    This is the “push back” of not offering sports to girls for so long. They do deserve equal treatment and resources, but not at the expense of boys losing their opportunity to participate. This kind of thing will continue until we back off. A girl will get killed or maimed in a football game and we will realize it is stupid. Kids always pay the price for adults ideology, which is why we don’t need natural law arguments or event he bible to make the case that boys and girls are different. THEY know that.

  • Stephen

    Is it really necessary to appeal to a philosophical natural law argument and impose that on the bible? In general, boys are biologically physically capable and aggressive than girls. This is easily observed, even in two year olds. This boy seems to have listened to his conscience, and maybe the instruction of his parents as he should, in just that way as far his own statement went. He was taught not to physically hurt girls and so he saw that as superseding other possible concerns. We can impose some idea of “propriety” on it (argument #2), but maybe it is much more simple. He didn’t want to risk hurting her. He was taught that the bottom line between boys and girls is just this very thing. Maybe he really was concerned about his neighbor. I like to think he was.

    Shall we demand they also box with girls to meet some standard of equality? Seems to be the outcome of Argument # 1. In that case, regardless of how you feel about the sport itself, a lot of boys would not box who would otherwise be good at it.

    This is the “push back” of not offering sports to girls for so long. They do deserve equal treatment and resources, but not at the expense of boys losing their opportunity to participate. This kind of thing will continue until we back off. A girl will get killed or maimed in a football game and we will realize it is stupid. Kids always pay the price for adults ideology, which is why we don’t need natural law arguments or event he bible to make the case that boys and girls are different. THEY know that.

  • Neil

    The second article is better argumentative. The first one doesn’t really explain why it is an ideal to allow the girl to wrestle. To be honest, it may have provided a strong case as to the idea that girls shouldn’t be wrestling. It is a similar issue with football. Baseball doesn’t have these issues. Basketball doesn’t. Those are two of the sports that create a serious moral dilema. Real gentlemen will not hit a woman. A gentlemen will take a hit for a woman.

    Recently, I was looking at the appendix to C. S. Lewis’ abolition of man. Two quotes stood out in relation to this issue: “One should never strike a woman; not even with a flower.” (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)

    Also, “There, Thor, you go disgrace, when you beat women.” (Old Norse. Harbarthslijoth 38)

    This is what we call a result of feminism. Refusing to cause harm to a woman is considered sinful and sexist. Where as the patriarchal societies believed that women are to be treated as jewel. Women are never to be struck. Ephesians 5, says that man is to be willing to die for her. Paul, elsewhere says that man is to love the woman as his own body. (I know this refers to marriage, but do you honestly believe that these principles don’t to some extent, extend to other women.)

  • Neil

    The second article is better argumentative. The first one doesn’t really explain why it is an ideal to allow the girl to wrestle. To be honest, it may have provided a strong case as to the idea that girls shouldn’t be wrestling. It is a similar issue with football. Baseball doesn’t have these issues. Basketball doesn’t. Those are two of the sports that create a serious moral dilema. Real gentlemen will not hit a woman. A gentlemen will take a hit for a woman.

    Recently, I was looking at the appendix to C. S. Lewis’ abolition of man. Two quotes stood out in relation to this issue: “One should never strike a woman; not even with a flower.” (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)

    Also, “There, Thor, you go disgrace, when you beat women.” (Old Norse. Harbarthslijoth 38)

    This is what we call a result of feminism. Refusing to cause harm to a woman is considered sinful and sexist. Where as the patriarchal societies believed that women are to be treated as jewel. Women are never to be struck. Ephesians 5, says that man is to be willing to die for her. Paul, elsewhere says that man is to love the woman as his own body. (I know this refers to marriage, but do you honestly believe that these principles don’t to some extent, extend to other women.)

  • Feldman

    The first argument is better, if only because it refreshingly sees the situation from the perspective of the girl, a perspective that the religious right commonly treats with contempt. If the rules allow girls to wrestle, then boys who want to wrestle should abide by the rules, not refuse to do so and expect applause. I suspect Webmonk @27 might be right.

  • Feldman

    The first argument is better, if only because it refreshingly sees the situation from the perspective of the girl, a perspective that the religious right commonly treats with contempt. If the rules allow girls to wrestle, then boys who want to wrestle should abide by the rules, not refuse to do so and expect applause. I suspect Webmonk @27 might be right.

  • DonS

    The worst thing we can do is to ignore our conscience and to do something that we believe is wrong. In the same vein, to insist that someone else violate their conscience because of some notion of giving someone else an “opportunity” is wrong.

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t obey the rules of the competition. Joel did that. He took the harder path, and gave up his own chance to win by forfeiting, which is within the rules. He accepted the consequences of following his conscience. And, as someone else pointed out above, Cassy lost no opportunity, except the chance to wrestle Joel. She got to advance to the next round and continue her quest for the championship.

  • DonS

    The worst thing we can do is to ignore our conscience and to do something that we believe is wrong. In the same vein, to insist that someone else violate their conscience because of some notion of giving someone else an “opportunity” is wrong.

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t obey the rules of the competition. Joel did that. He took the harder path, and gave up his own chance to win by forfeiting, which is within the rules. He accepted the consequences of following his conscience. And, as someone else pointed out above, Cassy lost no opportunity, except the chance to wrestle Joel. She got to advance to the next round and continue her quest for the championship.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Bubba and Joe have it right. I wrestled in High School and as a non Christian at the time, probably would have welcomed that kind of close intimate contact with a female. Teenage boys and girls on the mat rolling around with their hands all over each other is a bad idea.

    What happens (and it inevitably will) when a girl feels she has been touched inappropriately on the mat? (It happened recently between two boy wrestlers.) The girl will be traumatized and the attempted prosecution of the boy could possibly brand him as a sexual offender. This is just a bad idea all around.
    I will say that the first argument proffered in the article reflects a blindness with regard to gender issues that is endemic in liberalism,except in the case of discrimination or sexual harassment.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Bubba and Joe have it right. I wrestled in High School and as a non Christian at the time, probably would have welcomed that kind of close intimate contact with a female. Teenage boys and girls on the mat rolling around with their hands all over each other is a bad idea.

    What happens (and it inevitably will) when a girl feels she has been touched inappropriately on the mat? (It happened recently between two boy wrestlers.) The girl will be traumatized and the attempted prosecution of the boy could possibly brand him as a sexual offender. This is just a bad idea all around.
    I will say that the first argument proffered in the article reflects a blindness with regard to gender issues that is endemic in liberalism,except in the case of discrimination or sexual harassment.

  • Helen F

    DonS,
    Best post of all on this topic. Thank you!

  • Helen F

    DonS,
    Best post of all on this topic. Thank you!

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

    WebMonk, regarding the possibility that the girl would pin him:

    Boy’s record: 35-4, including one prior forfeit to this particular girl

    Girl’s record: 20-13, including one prior win by forfeit at least (according to at least one source I saw)

    In related news, the Packers forfeited to the ViQueens this year because they thought they’d be shut out.

    BTW, the girl lost in the second round, 5-1, to an unranked wrestler. The boy who forfeited was ranked fourth in the state in his weight class.

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

    WebMonk, regarding the possibility that the girl would pin him:

    Boy’s record: 35-4, including one prior forfeit to this particular girl

    Girl’s record: 20-13, including one prior win by forfeit at least (according to at least one source I saw)

    In related news, the Packers forfeited to the ViQueens this year because they thought they’d be shut out.

    BTW, the girl lost in the second round, 5-1, to an unranked wrestler. The boy who forfeited was ranked fourth in the state in his weight class.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dennis @ 14

    “…yet He clearly established an order. .. Natural Law”…. Etc, etc….

    Dennis. This is true. It is the conclusions that Aquinas draws from this, based on a baptism of Aristotelian logic into theology where this starts to war against the Holy Gospel and Christ.

    Dennis, I have nothing against the “natural law” theories of that aristotelian thinker St Thomas Aquinas. Neither do the Lutheran Confessions. Quite to the contrary! St Thomas is favorably quoted in Ap II, and further, Ap art IV says that , concerning morals , nothing more than Aristotle´s Ethics can be demanded!

    Here is the first part that is wrong: Natural Law and all Law will end with this life Dennis! There is nothing eternal about Natural Law. Period. “For both the Law and the Gospel pertain [only] to this earthly existence .” Formula of Concord art VI. Natural Law is not a revelation of the Divine Image and conforming to it is not a returning to the Divine Image this exactly means. Only Christ is Telos. Aristotelian/Aquinan/natural-law telos can only be a small-t telos that will end with this life this means.

    Neither Natural Law nor any other Law is a revelation of the Divine Image or Will of God. Our confessions say that the Divine Image that is restored in Baptism is fear, love and trust in God. Ie it is faith. Alone. In Christ. Alone. The opposite of sin is not goodness-reconformity-to-Natural-Law. It is alone faith alone in Christ. “That which is not of faith is sin” is how St Paul puts this.

    Restored Original Righteousness is alone faith alone in Christ. Period. It is not some conformity to some Divine Design revealed in Nature that is a sort of revealed natural Law. This is wrong. It buries Christ.

    But Aquinas and his natural law theories based on Aristotle do not leave Natural Law as something that will perish with the earth. Instead, it transfers moral ideas from philosophy and inserts them into eternal consequences.

    For example Natural Law proposes the idea that, because of passions, we are neither good nor evil, we are neither deserving of praise nor blame.

    For example there is the idea that nothing is sin, unless it be voluntary. Inner desires and thoughts are not sins, if I do not altogether consent to them. And this is true. On earth. Jurists say, “Lex cogitationis”, thoughts are exempt from custom and punishment. But God searches the hearts; in God’s court and judgment it is different.

    So it must be argued, from Aquinan/Aristotelian Natural Law some other notions, such as, that nature cannot in itself be evil, since God made it. In its proper place this is not wrong, but it is not right to twist it into an extenuation of original sin.

    Aquinan/Aristotelian natural law proposes that original sin is a handicap, birth defect, or heredity trait, that is a burden and imposed penalty but not a sin, and is not such a sin as is subject to death and condemnation. It does not require Christ as Propitiation this means!

    Aquinas/Aristotelian Natural Law rejects the idea for example, that it is only natural for men to see a female and covet her body or her sex. Ie “It´s only natural”. That is the argument. This argument is inseparable from Aquinan/aristotelean Natural Law. Catholic theology, based on aquinan natural law, would say that God does not condemn us for this because this is “natural”. It is like a form of servitude that we inherit like the son of a slave inherits being a slave from his slave mother. Or Rome says that Baptism erases original sin. So that means that sin in Baptized men is not concupiscence. It is something blown onto us. It is something that we catch like a cold from our parents genes or from their nurture or from societal influences. They argue against the Lutheran position by saying that what God makes in Nature and seen in Aquinan Natural Law cannot be of itself sinful, because God made it.

    This inappropriately mingles philosophy or civil doctrine concerning ethics with the Gospel. These ideas nourish confidence in human strength, and suppress the knowledge of Christ’s grace.

    Luther wished to declare the magnitude of original sin and of human infirmity.what a grievous mortal guilt original sin is in the sight of God], taught that these remnants of original sin AFTER BAPTISM are not, by their own nature, adiaphora in man, but that, for their non-imputation, they need the grace of Christ and, likewise for their mortification, the Holy Ghost.

    In this way our confessions condemn the introduction by the scholastics of Saint Aquinas’ baptized aristotelian ideas of natural law into theology. They say that this is an exercise in “burying Christ”.

    So where do our confessions then place the definition of “natural law”? Not as Aquinas/Aristotle do!

    Our confessors, intimately knowing St Thomas Aquinas, deliberately restrict that term “Natural Law ” to be the conscience. Do a word search on the entire confessions to see this is so. The term “natural law” appears many places in the Confessions. It is always restricted in meaning to be “conscience”.

    They further add that the exact same Divinely Revealed Law is found in the decalog, man´s conscience, and things such as city poop scoop ordinances, tax codes, and speed laws. This is the exact basis for asserting that sweeping the floor or changing a diaper is Divinely Revealed Law and Command. We must do these things. We must be confident that God wills and demands them. And we must be certain that doing them is to do no less than the earthly righeousness that God demands of christian and pagan alike.

    To make this all perfectly clear, our confessors add a new category that does not exist for the scholastics or Saint Thomas. The set up a category called “God´s Ordinance” to include those works of God such as the law of gravity, laws of physics and and, specifically, the biological law called the sex drive (AP Art XXIII). The existence and fact that these are God´s Ordinances and are amoral are not proof that original sin does not condemn us and require Christ is why they recategorize here.

    Why?

    They add this category because they differed with Rome and the Scholastics as to what is original sin. That is why.

    The confessors said that Original, or Mortal/Capital Sin consists of two things:
    1) Original sin is a positive thing: It is concupiscence, ie lust or coveteousness. Their context is Romans 7:23 “..a law…that makes us captive to the law if sin the dwells in my members”. It is

    a deep, wicked, horrible, fathomless, inscrutable, and unspeakable corruption of the entire nature and all its powers, especially of the highest, principal powers of the soul in the understanding, heart, and will, so that now, since the Fall, man inherits an inborn wicked disposition and inward impurity of heart, evil lust and propensity; 12] that we all by disposition and nature inherit from Adam such a heart, feeling, and thought as are, according to their highest powers and the light of reason, naturally inclined and disposed directly contrary to God and His chief commandments, yea, that they are enmity against God, especially as regards divine and spiritual things.

    And they say this condemns us and requires the imputation of Christ and the New Birth to overcome it.

    2) “[Original Sin]it is at the same time also a lack of original righeousness
    23] 7. They are rebuked and rejected likewise who teach that the nature has indeed been greatly weakened and corrupted through the Fall, but that nevertheless it has not entirely lost all good with respect to divine, spiritual things, and that what is sung in our churches, Through Adam’s fall is all corrupt, Nature and essence human, is not true, but from natural birth it still has something good, small, little and inconsiderable though it be, namely, capacity, skill, aptness or ability to begin, to effect, or to help effect something in spiritual things.
    http://bookofconcord.org/sd-originalsin.php
    The lack of Original Righeousness. This is the Original Righteousness that is the Justification that is infused into our New Man in our Baptism. Here is now they describe this lack of original righteousness:
    “… ignorance of God, contempt for God, being destitute of fear and confidence in God, hatred of God’s judgment, flight from God [as from a tyrant] when He judges, anger toward God, despair of grace, putting one’s trust in present things money, property, friends, etc. to doubt concerning God’s wrath, concerning God’s grace, concerning God’s Word, to be angry at the judgments of God, to be provoked because God does not at once deliver one from afflictions, to murmur because the wicked enjoy a better fortune than the good, to be urged on by wrath, 43] lust, the desire for glory, wealth, etc.? And yet godly men acknowledge these in themselves, as appears in the Psalms and the prophets. For all tried, Christian hearts know, alas! that these evils are wrapped up in man’s skin, namely to esteem money, goods, and all other matters more highly than God, and to spend our lives in security; again, that after the manner of our carnal security we always imagine that God’s wrath against sin is not as serious and great as it verily is. Again, that we murmur against the doing and will of God, when He does not succor us speedily in our tribulations, and arranges our affairs to please us. Again, we experience every day that it hurts us to see wicked people in good fortune in this world, as David and all the saints have complained. Over and above this, all men feel that their hearts are easily inflamed, now with ambition, now with anger and wrath, now with lewdness.”

    If someone want so follow Aquinas , scholasticism and their ideas of Philosophical righteousness I have no problem with that. If they want to baptize those things into Scripture and and depart from the Lutheran Confessions they they mean to bury Christ. I have a problem with that.

    Let´s assume, for sake of argument, that Aquinas is right. That natural law is the revelation of God´s Law in creation. Therefore “what is= what ought to be”. “IS” implies or becomes “OUGHT”. No where does scripture say this. So this burdens consciences and directs their efforts and attention to a conforming to natural law as an “ought” rather than locating their salvation on things above: Faith alone in Christ alone.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dennis @ 14

    “…yet He clearly established an order. .. Natural Law”…. Etc, etc….

    Dennis. This is true. It is the conclusions that Aquinas draws from this, based on a baptism of Aristotelian logic into theology where this starts to war against the Holy Gospel and Christ.

    Dennis, I have nothing against the “natural law” theories of that aristotelian thinker St Thomas Aquinas. Neither do the Lutheran Confessions. Quite to the contrary! St Thomas is favorably quoted in Ap II, and further, Ap art IV says that , concerning morals , nothing more than Aristotle´s Ethics can be demanded!

    Here is the first part that is wrong: Natural Law and all Law will end with this life Dennis! There is nothing eternal about Natural Law. Period. “For both the Law and the Gospel pertain [only] to this earthly existence .” Formula of Concord art VI. Natural Law is not a revelation of the Divine Image and conforming to it is not a returning to the Divine Image this exactly means. Only Christ is Telos. Aristotelian/Aquinan/natural-law telos can only be a small-t telos that will end with this life this means.

    Neither Natural Law nor any other Law is a revelation of the Divine Image or Will of God. Our confessions say that the Divine Image that is restored in Baptism is fear, love and trust in God. Ie it is faith. Alone. In Christ. Alone. The opposite of sin is not goodness-reconformity-to-Natural-Law. It is alone faith alone in Christ. “That which is not of faith is sin” is how St Paul puts this.

    Restored Original Righteousness is alone faith alone in Christ. Period. It is not some conformity to some Divine Design revealed in Nature that is a sort of revealed natural Law. This is wrong. It buries Christ.

    But Aquinas and his natural law theories based on Aristotle do not leave Natural Law as something that will perish with the earth. Instead, it transfers moral ideas from philosophy and inserts them into eternal consequences.

    For example Natural Law proposes the idea that, because of passions, we are neither good nor evil, we are neither deserving of praise nor blame.

    For example there is the idea that nothing is sin, unless it be voluntary. Inner desires and thoughts are not sins, if I do not altogether consent to them. And this is true. On earth. Jurists say, “Lex cogitationis”, thoughts are exempt from custom and punishment. But God searches the hearts; in God’s court and judgment it is different.

    So it must be argued, from Aquinan/Aristotelian Natural Law some other notions, such as, that nature cannot in itself be evil, since God made it. In its proper place this is not wrong, but it is not right to twist it into an extenuation of original sin.

    Aquinan/Aristotelian natural law proposes that original sin is a handicap, birth defect, or heredity trait, that is a burden and imposed penalty but not a sin, and is not such a sin as is subject to death and condemnation. It does not require Christ as Propitiation this means!

    Aquinas/Aristotelian Natural Law rejects the idea for example, that it is only natural for men to see a female and covet her body or her sex. Ie “It´s only natural”. That is the argument. This argument is inseparable from Aquinan/aristotelean Natural Law. Catholic theology, based on aquinan natural law, would say that God does not condemn us for this because this is “natural”. It is like a form of servitude that we inherit like the son of a slave inherits being a slave from his slave mother. Or Rome says that Baptism erases original sin. So that means that sin in Baptized men is not concupiscence. It is something blown onto us. It is something that we catch like a cold from our parents genes or from their nurture or from societal influences. They argue against the Lutheran position by saying that what God makes in Nature and seen in Aquinan Natural Law cannot be of itself sinful, because God made it.

    This inappropriately mingles philosophy or civil doctrine concerning ethics with the Gospel. These ideas nourish confidence in human strength, and suppress the knowledge of Christ’s grace.

    Luther wished to declare the magnitude of original sin and of human infirmity.what a grievous mortal guilt original sin is in the sight of God], taught that these remnants of original sin AFTER BAPTISM are not, by their own nature, adiaphora in man, but that, for their non-imputation, they need the grace of Christ and, likewise for their mortification, the Holy Ghost.

    In this way our confessions condemn the introduction by the scholastics of Saint Aquinas’ baptized aristotelian ideas of natural law into theology. They say that this is an exercise in “burying Christ”.

    So where do our confessions then place the definition of “natural law”? Not as Aquinas/Aristotle do!

    Our confessors, intimately knowing St Thomas Aquinas, deliberately restrict that term “Natural Law ” to be the conscience. Do a word search on the entire confessions to see this is so. The term “natural law” appears many places in the Confessions. It is always restricted in meaning to be “conscience”.

    They further add that the exact same Divinely Revealed Law is found in the decalog, man´s conscience, and things such as city poop scoop ordinances, tax codes, and speed laws. This is the exact basis for asserting that sweeping the floor or changing a diaper is Divinely Revealed Law and Command. We must do these things. We must be confident that God wills and demands them. And we must be certain that doing them is to do no less than the earthly righeousness that God demands of christian and pagan alike.

    To make this all perfectly clear, our confessors add a new category that does not exist for the scholastics or Saint Thomas. The set up a category called “God´s Ordinance” to include those works of God such as the law of gravity, laws of physics and and, specifically, the biological law called the sex drive (AP Art XXIII). The existence and fact that these are God´s Ordinances and are amoral are not proof that original sin does not condemn us and require Christ is why they recategorize here.

    Why?

    They add this category because they differed with Rome and the Scholastics as to what is original sin. That is why.

    The confessors said that Original, or Mortal/Capital Sin consists of two things:
    1) Original sin is a positive thing: It is concupiscence, ie lust or coveteousness. Their context is Romans 7:23 “..a law…that makes us captive to the law if sin the dwells in my members”. It is

    a deep, wicked, horrible, fathomless, inscrutable, and unspeakable corruption of the entire nature and all its powers, especially of the highest, principal powers of the soul in the understanding, heart, and will, so that now, since the Fall, man inherits an inborn wicked disposition and inward impurity of heart, evil lust and propensity; 12] that we all by disposition and nature inherit from Adam such a heart, feeling, and thought as are, according to their highest powers and the light of reason, naturally inclined and disposed directly contrary to God and His chief commandments, yea, that they are enmity against God, especially as regards divine and spiritual things.

    And they say this condemns us and requires the imputation of Christ and the New Birth to overcome it.

    2) “[Original Sin]it is at the same time also a lack of original righeousness
    23] 7. They are rebuked and rejected likewise who teach that the nature has indeed been greatly weakened and corrupted through the Fall, but that nevertheless it has not entirely lost all good with respect to divine, spiritual things, and that what is sung in our churches, Through Adam’s fall is all corrupt, Nature and essence human, is not true, but from natural birth it still has something good, small, little and inconsiderable though it be, namely, capacity, skill, aptness or ability to begin, to effect, or to help effect something in spiritual things.
    http://bookofconcord.org/sd-originalsin.php
    The lack of Original Righeousness. This is the Original Righteousness that is the Justification that is infused into our New Man in our Baptism. Here is now they describe this lack of original righteousness:
    “… ignorance of God, contempt for God, being destitute of fear and confidence in God, hatred of God’s judgment, flight from God [as from a tyrant] when He judges, anger toward God, despair of grace, putting one’s trust in present things money, property, friends, etc. to doubt concerning God’s wrath, concerning God’s grace, concerning God’s Word, to be angry at the judgments of God, to be provoked because God does not at once deliver one from afflictions, to murmur because the wicked enjoy a better fortune than the good, to be urged on by wrath, 43] lust, the desire for glory, wealth, etc.? And yet godly men acknowledge these in themselves, as appears in the Psalms and the prophets. For all tried, Christian hearts know, alas! that these evils are wrapped up in man’s skin, namely to esteem money, goods, and all other matters more highly than God, and to spend our lives in security; again, that after the manner of our carnal security we always imagine that God’s wrath against sin is not as serious and great as it verily is. Again, that we murmur against the doing and will of God, when He does not succor us speedily in our tribulations, and arranges our affairs to please us. Again, we experience every day that it hurts us to see wicked people in good fortune in this world, as David and all the saints have complained. Over and above this, all men feel that their hearts are easily inflamed, now with ambition, now with anger and wrath, now with lewdness.”

    If someone want so follow Aquinas , scholasticism and their ideas of Philosophical righteousness I have no problem with that. If they want to baptize those things into Scripture and and depart from the Lutheran Confessions they they mean to bury Christ. I have a problem with that.

    Let´s assume, for sake of argument, that Aquinas is right. That natural law is the revelation of God´s Law in creation. Therefore “what is= what ought to be”. “IS” implies or becomes “OUGHT”. No where does scripture say this. So this burdens consciences and directs their efforts and attention to a conforming to natural law as an “ought” rather than locating their salvation on things above: Faith alone in Christ alone.

  • DonS

    Thank YOU, Helen F @ 35. That is kind of you to say.

    BB @ 36, thank you for the follow-up data. That puts to rest the uncharitable notion that Joel forfeited to avoid being embarrassed by losing to a girl, and illuminates the true cost of his decision to follow his conscience.

  • DonS

    Thank YOU, Helen F @ 35. That is kind of you to say.

    BB @ 36, thank you for the follow-up data. That puts to rest the uncharitable notion that Joel forfeited to avoid being embarrassed by losing to a girl, and illuminates the true cost of his decision to follow his conscience.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The truism that, if we lose gentlemen, we also lose ladies is fairly obvious.”

    What about considering that it runs the other way.

    We are losing gentlemen because we have already lost so many ladies.

    That is how it appears in this article. She is the one breaking with tradition and behaving inappropriately.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The truism that, if we lose gentlemen, we also lose ladies is fairly obvious.”

    What about considering that it runs the other way.

    We are losing gentlemen because we have already lost so many ladies.

    That is how it appears in this article. She is the one breaking with tradition and behaving inappropriately.

  • Dan Kempin

    Feldman, #32,

    “the religious right commonly treats [the perspective of a girl] with contempt.”

    Really. Care to give an example?

    ” If the rules allow girls to wrestle, then boys who want to wrestle should abide by the rules . . . ”

    Umm, the girl did wrestle. The boy didn’t break any rules. Why does it bother you that he forfeited the match?

  • Dan Kempin

    Feldman, #32,

    “the religious right commonly treats [the perspective of a girl] with contempt.”

    Really. Care to give an example?

    ” If the rules allow girls to wrestle, then boys who want to wrestle should abide by the rules . . . ”

    Umm, the girl did wrestle. The boy didn’t break any rules. Why does it bother you that he forfeited the match?

  • Porcell

    Christian natural law traces back to Romans 2:14-15 which states essentially that what the moral law requires is written on our hearts. Aquinas based his natural law argument as much or more on this as on Aristotle. Human beings have the capacity to understand right and wrong. Both natural law reasoning and good sense object to boys competitively wrestling with girls.

    In Joel’s case he felt strongly in his Christian heart that this was the wrong thing to do. Too bad that the sports authority, through its unwise decision to allow boys to wrestle girls, forced this brave young man to give up his goal to win a state wrestling championship.

  • Porcell

    Christian natural law traces back to Romans 2:14-15 which states essentially that what the moral law requires is written on our hearts. Aquinas based his natural law argument as much or more on this as on Aristotle. Human beings have the capacity to understand right and wrong. Both natural law reasoning and good sense object to boys competitively wrestling with girls.

    In Joel’s case he felt strongly in his Christian heart that this was the wrong thing to do. Too bad that the sports authority, through its unwise decision to allow boys to wrestle girls, forced this brave young man to give up his goal to win a state wrestling championship.

  • Porcell

    Christian natural law traces back to Romans which states essentially that what the moral law requires is written on our hearts. Aquinas based his natural law argument as much or more on this as on Aristotle. Human beings have the capacity to understand right and wrong. Both natural law reasoning and good sense object to boys competitively wrestling with girls.

    In Joel’s case he felt strongly in his Christian heart that this was the wrong thing to do. Too bad that the sports authority, through its unwise decision to allow boys to wrestle girls, forced this brave young man to give up his goal to win a state wrestling championship.

  • Porcell

    Christian natural law traces back to Romans which states essentially that what the moral law requires is written on our hearts. Aquinas based his natural law argument as much or more on this as on Aristotle. Human beings have the capacity to understand right and wrong. Both natural law reasoning and good sense object to boys competitively wrestling with girls.

    In Joel’s case he felt strongly in his Christian heart that this was the wrong thing to do. Too bad that the sports authority, through its unwise decision to allow boys to wrestle girls, forced this brave young man to give up his goal to win a state wrestling championship.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I don’t find either argument terribly compelling (as excerpted here, maybe I’ll go read them in full in a bit).

    As others have already stated, no opportunity was taken away from Cassy, the female wrestler, except that of facing Joel, the male wrestler. I do think it is interesting, however, that Rivadeneira exhorts us to think of our neighbor when acting, as FWS has expounded on (@4).

    Mitchell’s argument, on the other hand, hinges on the idea that “gentlemen don’t wrestle with ladies”, without ever explaining why that is, or why it should continue to be an idea that we embrace. Merely observing that men and women are “substantially different” does not, of itself, constitute a reason for why “gentlemen don’t wrestle with ladies”.

    Back to the question of showing love to our neighbor. Whose honor was Joel protecting? His? Cassy’s? I don’t think we can know merely from the fact that he forfeited. But nor do I think either option is equivalent as to virtue; protecting one’s own honor at the expense of others isn’t all that gentlemanly, is it?

    Of course, “gentleman” and “lady” are perhaps terms more related to social custom, with all its arbitrariness. We can probably all agree that, per that definition, it was, in fact, quite gentlemanly for Joel to refuse to wrestle with Cassy.

    The more interesting question, at least for me, was whether it was in keeping with Christian love for one’s neighbor. After all, I seriously doubt that Jesus’ eating with prostitues was terribly gentlemanly. It certainly wasn’t well-received by society at the time.

    Nor am I saying that Christian love would necessarily compel him to wrestle her. I don’t think Christian love provides us with a lot of pat answers for every situation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I don’t find either argument terribly compelling (as excerpted here, maybe I’ll go read them in full in a bit).

    As others have already stated, no opportunity was taken away from Cassy, the female wrestler, except that of facing Joel, the male wrestler. I do think it is interesting, however, that Rivadeneira exhorts us to think of our neighbor when acting, as FWS has expounded on (@4).

    Mitchell’s argument, on the other hand, hinges on the idea that “gentlemen don’t wrestle with ladies”, without ever explaining why that is, or why it should continue to be an idea that we embrace. Merely observing that men and women are “substantially different” does not, of itself, constitute a reason for why “gentlemen don’t wrestle with ladies”.

    Back to the question of showing love to our neighbor. Whose honor was Joel protecting? His? Cassy’s? I don’t think we can know merely from the fact that he forfeited. But nor do I think either option is equivalent as to virtue; protecting one’s own honor at the expense of others isn’t all that gentlemanly, is it?

    Of course, “gentleman” and “lady” are perhaps terms more related to social custom, with all its arbitrariness. We can probably all agree that, per that definition, it was, in fact, quite gentlemanly for Joel to refuse to wrestle with Cassy.

    The more interesting question, at least for me, was whether it was in keeping with Christian love for one’s neighbor. After all, I seriously doubt that Jesus’ eating with prostitues was terribly gentlemanly. It certainly wasn’t well-received by society at the time.

    Nor am I saying that Christian love would necessarily compel him to wrestle her. I don’t think Christian love provides us with a lot of pat answers for every situation.

  • kerner

    John:

    I wasn’t knocking wrestling as a sport. Of course it has rules, which are designed to safeguard the participants from injury. But unless you are telling me there are no sports related injuries in wrestling, don’t tell me it’s not dangerous.

    Wrestling falls into the catagory of contact sports that I believe should not be co-ed because it involves the following:

    1. Lots of direct physical contact between the contestants

    2. The exertion of force against ones opponent, usually to the greatest degree possible

    Sure there are plenty of illegal moves in wrestling. I myself played football (badly) and there were, and are, plenty of moves that are illegal because they are likely to cause injury. But in football, you have to hit your opponent with all your strength to win. In wrestling, you have to wrestle with all your strength to win. In both sports, the players have to maintain a certain level of aggression to excel.

    To teach young men that it is acceptable to use all your strength with that level of agressiveness against a woman is simply wrong, even if some individual women can take it or even welcome it. Sometimes the general rule has to be applied in spite of the exceptional cases in which it might not be necessary, because the rule is important enough in the broad sense that its integrity must be maintained.

    Of course the sexual repercussions you are worried about are important too. God help the kid who gets an erection while wrestling a girl. At best, he’ll be in therapy for years.

  • kerner

    John:

    I wasn’t knocking wrestling as a sport. Of course it has rules, which are designed to safeguard the participants from injury. But unless you are telling me there are no sports related injuries in wrestling, don’t tell me it’s not dangerous.

    Wrestling falls into the catagory of contact sports that I believe should not be co-ed because it involves the following:

    1. Lots of direct physical contact between the contestants

    2. The exertion of force against ones opponent, usually to the greatest degree possible

    Sure there are plenty of illegal moves in wrestling. I myself played football (badly) and there were, and are, plenty of moves that are illegal because they are likely to cause injury. But in football, you have to hit your opponent with all your strength to win. In wrestling, you have to wrestle with all your strength to win. In both sports, the players have to maintain a certain level of aggression to excel.

    To teach young men that it is acceptable to use all your strength with that level of agressiveness against a woman is simply wrong, even if some individual women can take it or even welcome it. Sometimes the general rule has to be applied in spite of the exceptional cases in which it might not be necessary, because the rule is important enough in the broad sense that its integrity must be maintained.

    Of course the sexual repercussions you are worried about are important too. God help the kid who gets an erection while wrestling a girl. At best, he’ll be in therapy for years.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, wait, my comment very much mirrors Dan Kempin’s (@8), now that I get to his. Ah well. +1 for Dan.

    I do think all the arguments (or allusions) to the sexual impropriety of a boy wrestling a girl are somewhat odd. Yes, such a match might result in the boy touching the girl in a place that is inappropriate. But such arguments fail to point out that this is equally true for a match involving only boys! It is the nature of the sport! Why is it apparently fine for a boy to potentially grope another boy’s erogenous zone, but not okay once a girl enters the picture?

    If we are to follow such ideas to their inevitable conclusions, shouldn’t we also bar gays from wrestling as well? Or all males for whom physical contact is erotic, regardless of whether they like it or not?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, wait, my comment very much mirrors Dan Kempin’s (@8), now that I get to his. Ah well. +1 for Dan.

    I do think all the arguments (or allusions) to the sexual impropriety of a boy wrestling a girl are somewhat odd. Yes, such a match might result in the boy touching the girl in a place that is inappropriate. But such arguments fail to point out that this is equally true for a match involving only boys! It is the nature of the sport! Why is it apparently fine for a boy to potentially grope another boy’s erogenous zone, but not okay once a girl enters the picture?

    If we are to follow such ideas to their inevitable conclusions, shouldn’t we also bar gays from wrestling as well? Or all males for whom physical contact is erotic, regardless of whether they like it or not?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    By “allowing” young women to wrestle young men, is it possible they are giving her no other option and in a sense “requiring” her to wrestle guys?

    Seems like a separate section in the league for females is a better deal for everyone. They wouldn’t even need separate coaches or facilities or events. They would just be paired by gender in the individual matches.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    By “allowing” young women to wrestle young men, is it possible they are giving her no other option and in a sense “requiring” her to wrestle guys?

    Seems like a separate section in the league for females is a better deal for everyone. They wouldn’t even need separate coaches or facilities or events. They would just be paired by gender in the individual matches.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    You are, of course, correct. Trying to discuss moral issues in terms of Victorian manners has some real limitations.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    You are, of course, correct. Trying to discuss moral issues in terms of Victorian manners has some real limitations.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@30), I don’t always get a chance to disagree with you, so …

    “He was taught not to physically hurt girls and so he saw that as superseding other possible concerns.” But wouldn’t it be equally likely he was taught not to physically hurt boys, too? How would that idea play here?

    “He didn’t want to risk hurting her.” Again, does this mean that it’s wrong for a stronger wrestler to engage in a match with a weaker one, regardless of their sexes? Put differently, what reason is there to think that he necessarily would have hurt her? Merely that he was a boy and she a girl? But she had apparently beat quite a few other boys along the way — doesn’t that speak to her ability to potentially hold her own?

    “This kind of thing will continue until we back off. A girl will get killed or maimed in a football game and we will realize it is stupid.” Of course, several boys already have been killed or maimed in a football game, and in general, no one has realized anything of the sort. Are you sure such an event would mean what you say it would?

    “Kids always pay the price for adults ideology.” So Cassy is not, on her own, capable of making the decision to wrestle, because she’s at the whim of adult ideology? Is this true for Joel, as well — including his decision to not wrestle Cassy?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@30), I don’t always get a chance to disagree with you, so …

    “He was taught not to physically hurt girls and so he saw that as superseding other possible concerns.” But wouldn’t it be equally likely he was taught not to physically hurt boys, too? How would that idea play here?

    “He didn’t want to risk hurting her.” Again, does this mean that it’s wrong for a stronger wrestler to engage in a match with a weaker one, regardless of their sexes? Put differently, what reason is there to think that he necessarily would have hurt her? Merely that he was a boy and she a girl? But she had apparently beat quite a few other boys along the way — doesn’t that speak to her ability to potentially hold her own?

    “This kind of thing will continue until we back off. A girl will get killed or maimed in a football game and we will realize it is stupid.” Of course, several boys already have been killed or maimed in a football game, and in general, no one has realized anything of the sort. Are you sure such an event would mean what you say it would?

    “Kids always pay the price for adults ideology.” So Cassy is not, on her own, capable of making the decision to wrestle, because she’s at the whim of adult ideology? Is this true for Joel, as well — including his decision to not wrestle Cassy?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Patrick Kyle said (@34):

    What happens (and it inevitably will) when a girl feels she has been touched inappropriately on the mat? (It happened recently between two boy wrestlers.) The girl will be traumatized and the attempted prosecution of the boy could possibly brand him as a sexual offender. This is just a bad idea all around.

    Okay, so in this situation “between two boy wrestlers” you mention, what happened? Was one boy traumatized? Was the other one branded as a sexual offender? Was boy-boy wrestling banned as a result?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Patrick Kyle said (@34):

    What happens (and it inevitably will) when a girl feels she has been touched inappropriately on the mat? (It happened recently between two boy wrestlers.) The girl will be traumatized and the attempted prosecution of the boy could possibly brand him as a sexual offender. This is just a bad idea all around.

    Okay, so in this situation “between two boy wrestlers” you mention, what happened? Was one boy traumatized? Was the other one branded as a sexual offender? Was boy-boy wrestling banned as a result?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@33):

    The worst thing we can do is to ignore our conscience and to do something that we believe is wrong. In the same vein, to insist that someone else violate their conscience because of some notion of giving someone else an “opportunity” is wrong.

    Okay, so does this apply in all situations? What if a white wrestler refuses to wrestle a black wrestler for reasons of conscience? What if a straight wrestler refuses to wrestle a gay wrestler for the same reason? What if a Christian wrestler refuses to wrestle an atheist wrestler?

    Though I agree that it is wrong to make someone go against their conscience, I do not agree that that is the end of the matter. Consciences are only useful inasmuch as they conform to God’s Law. A conscience can be wrong and in need of correction.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@33):

    The worst thing we can do is to ignore our conscience and to do something that we believe is wrong. In the same vein, to insist that someone else violate their conscience because of some notion of giving someone else an “opportunity” is wrong.

    Okay, so does this apply in all situations? What if a white wrestler refuses to wrestle a black wrestler for reasons of conscience? What if a straight wrestler refuses to wrestle a gay wrestler for the same reason? What if a Christian wrestler refuses to wrestle an atheist wrestler?

    Though I agree that it is wrong to make someone go against their conscience, I do not agree that that is the end of the matter. Consciences are only useful inasmuch as they conform to God’s Law. A conscience can be wrong and in need of correction.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    The problem is not that the sport endangers the girl. All girl field hockey probably endangers the female players. The problem is the co-ed wrestling teaches us as a society that it is ok for a man to treat a woman in a dangerous and aggressive way.

    And yes, I believe that some level of aggression between men is acceptable. In sport, and maybe even sometimes in life. But in order to teach, as a society, that men subjecting women to violence is wrong, we can’t start making exceptions for sporting events. The degree of damage that is done from male violence against women is far too great to take any chances.

    Again, this is something I know about.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    The problem is not that the sport endangers the girl. All girl field hockey probably endangers the female players. The problem is the co-ed wrestling teaches us as a society that it is ok for a man to treat a woman in a dangerous and aggressive way.

    And yes, I believe that some level of aggression between men is acceptable. In sport, and maybe even sometimes in life. But in order to teach, as a society, that men subjecting women to violence is wrong, we can’t start making exceptions for sporting events. The degree of damage that is done from male violence against women is far too great to take any chances.

    Again, this is something I know about.

  • Grace

    “When Joel refused to wrestle Cassy, he took an opportunity away from her. An opportunity for her to shine using her own God-given strength and ability. An opportunity to win or lose, fair and square.”

    Joel took nothing from her, …. he gave her something she didn’t treasure. What he showed was; he has the strength and character of a young man, one that takes the difference between male and female seriously, according to the Word of God.

    “Doing this means we might need to step onto a mat and wrestle, not despite our faith but because of it.”

    Nonsense – It’s because of OUR FAITH that we choose to honor God, – that means men show respect for women, whether the woman accepts it or not. Getting down to wrestle a woman does not make a man, wanting to wrestle a man, does not make a woman. There are enough men and women who want to ‘blend’ the sexes, it doesn’t work, it’s a hazy instrument, used to blind the unknowing, and those who have no respect for our given sexual roles by God ALMIGHTY.

    Joel won more than the state wrestling championship – he won the respect of many people, many of which have watched the decline and outright disrespect of women and men as well, in their respect rolls.

  • Grace

    “When Joel refused to wrestle Cassy, he took an opportunity away from her. An opportunity for her to shine using her own God-given strength and ability. An opportunity to win or lose, fair and square.”

    Joel took nothing from her, …. he gave her something she didn’t treasure. What he showed was; he has the strength and character of a young man, one that takes the difference between male and female seriously, according to the Word of God.

    “Doing this means we might need to step onto a mat and wrestle, not despite our faith but because of it.”

    Nonsense – It’s because of OUR FAITH that we choose to honor God, – that means men show respect for women, whether the woman accepts it or not. Getting down to wrestle a woman does not make a man, wanting to wrestle a man, does not make a woman. There are enough men and women who want to ‘blend’ the sexes, it doesn’t work, it’s a hazy instrument, used to blind the unknowing, and those who have no respect for our given sexual roles by God ALMIGHTY.

    Joel won more than the state wrestling championship – he won the respect of many people, many of which have watched the decline and outright disrespect of women and men as well, in their respect rolls.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@51), I don’t doubt your expertise on domestic abuse. I do, however, question what you deem as necessary conclusions from the world of sports.

    The problem is the co-ed wrestling teaches us as a society that it is ok for a man to treat a woman in a dangerous and aggressive way.

    Then is it equally true that all-male wrestling teaches us as a society that it is ok for a man to treat a man in a dangerous and aggressive way? You imply that it is not, going so far as to deem it “acceptable”. But you do not explain why.

    Your reply requires me to believe that a sporting event is not a sufficiently distinguishable context from everyday life.

    And yet, on any given Sunday in fall, I can turn on my television and watch one man wearing tights stick his hands into the crotch of a man wearing tights in front of him. So he can take the snap. And most people in our society seem to completely fail to take from this any lessons about acceptable behavior.

    To put a different spin on it, the amount of domestic violence in this country seems vastly, greatly disproportionate to the number of opportunities for men to engage in potentially violent sporting activities with women. I really don’t think sports is the problem.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@51), I don’t doubt your expertise on domestic abuse. I do, however, question what you deem as necessary conclusions from the world of sports.

    The problem is the co-ed wrestling teaches us as a society that it is ok for a man to treat a woman in a dangerous and aggressive way.

    Then is it equally true that all-male wrestling teaches us as a society that it is ok for a man to treat a man in a dangerous and aggressive way? You imply that it is not, going so far as to deem it “acceptable”. But you do not explain why.

    Your reply requires me to believe that a sporting event is not a sufficiently distinguishable context from everyday life.

    And yet, on any given Sunday in fall, I can turn on my television and watch one man wearing tights stick his hands into the crotch of a man wearing tights in front of him. So he can take the snap. And most people in our society seem to completely fail to take from this any lessons about acceptable behavior.

    To put a different spin on it, the amount of domestic violence in this country seems vastly, greatly disproportionate to the number of opportunities for men to engage in potentially violent sporting activities with women. I really don’t think sports is the problem.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 51

    “The degree of damage that is done from male violence against women is far too great to take any chances.”

    Violence against women has sky-rocketed. Anything that promotes force or physical harm isn’t acceptable. If women want to act like men, they can wrestle with themselves, it certainly doesn’t belong in a high school or university – let the bullies play the game as full grown adults.

    “Ultimate Fighting” is another source of excitement for those who love brutal force -

  • Grace

    Kerner – 51

    “The degree of damage that is done from male violence against women is far too great to take any chances.”

    Violence against women has sky-rocketed. Anything that promotes force or physical harm isn’t acceptable. If women want to act like men, they can wrestle with themselves, it certainly doesn’t belong in a high school or university – let the bullies play the game as full grown adults.

    “Ultimate Fighting” is another source of excitement for those who love brutal force -

  • Joe

    tODD @49, I am guessing this is the situation referred to by Patrick Kyle:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/06/104804/california-wrestlers-move-brings.html

    The move at issue is called the Butt Drag. Some claim it is a decades old move – I had never heard of it before this story and I was a wrestler in grade school and my brother wrestled through high school.

    The upshot was that the kid was arrested and charges were filed by the DA. The DA ultimately dropped the charges. Not sure if a DA would drop the charges if the other wrestler were a girl.

    But as I mentioned above, my brother and I wrestled girls in our day and never gave it a second thought. Some of those girls were pretty darn good.

  • Joe

    tODD @49, I am guessing this is the situation referred to by Patrick Kyle:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/06/104804/california-wrestlers-move-brings.html

    The move at issue is called the Butt Drag. Some claim it is a decades old move – I had never heard of it before this story and I was a wrestler in grade school and my brother wrestled through high school.

    The upshot was that the kid was arrested and charges were filed by the DA. The DA ultimately dropped the charges. Not sure if a DA would drop the charges if the other wrestler were a girl.

    But as I mentioned above, my brother and I wrestled girls in our day and never gave it a second thought. Some of those girls were pretty darn good.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    What stood out to me while reading Rivadeneira was her notion that by forfeiting the match Joel some how took away the girls “opportunity to shine using her God-given strength and ability.” She goes on to say that “As Christians …we need to be in the business of affording others equal opportunities.” Perhaps she doesn’t realize it, but what she is suggesting is that Joel actually subvert his conscience in order to give others an opportunity to do something he doesn’t believe in. Maybe I am reading too much into what she is saying but it seems like she is operating on the assumption that “tolerance” means “one should not disagree with the popular opinion.” It is tyranny, not tolerance, that demands a boy give up his God given freedom to obey his conscience for the sake of equal opportunity.

    Further she insists that “…Usually this means expanding our view of other people beyond how our culture would have us see them or how we think they are and getting it more in line with how Jesus sees them.” I think, actually, this is exactly what Joel did. Our cultures view of men and women is so blurry, a clear biblical view of men and women is what is missing; both in our culture and in Rivadeneira article.

    Suppose the situation were turned around, suppose it was the girl who wanted to decline? What if they forced her to wrestle a boy anyway? I dare say that whether she lost or won she would come away feeling violated. How would Rivadeneira feel then? Does equal opportunity really take priority over conscience? What kind of freedom is that?

    Mitchells article is very archaic and old fashioned. I like it. And I don’t think that it is a weak argument. The principles of nobility and gentlemen-ness are in many ways the product of biblical values informing cultural mores. Even if a man is a liberal and yet a gentleman he is in practice showing “…the work of the law written in [his] heart…” Even a liberal, if he does not ignore his conscience, may become a Christian. Our age knows to much about ambition and not enough about conscience and that is a frightening thing.

    Lastly I must respond to fws @ 4. I don’t agree that our “only goal of any moral action is to serve others.” I think that premise is as solid as a sand bar. I am not called to make the world happy, the purpose of my moral decisions is always primarily to the glory and will of God. Yes, in serving God I do serve others, but I cannot serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    What stood out to me while reading Rivadeneira was her notion that by forfeiting the match Joel some how took away the girls “opportunity to shine using her God-given strength and ability.” She goes on to say that “As Christians …we need to be in the business of affording others equal opportunities.” Perhaps she doesn’t realize it, but what she is suggesting is that Joel actually subvert his conscience in order to give others an opportunity to do something he doesn’t believe in. Maybe I am reading too much into what she is saying but it seems like she is operating on the assumption that “tolerance” means “one should not disagree with the popular opinion.” It is tyranny, not tolerance, that demands a boy give up his God given freedom to obey his conscience for the sake of equal opportunity.

    Further she insists that “…Usually this means expanding our view of other people beyond how our culture would have us see them or how we think they are and getting it more in line with how Jesus sees them.” I think, actually, this is exactly what Joel did. Our cultures view of men and women is so blurry, a clear biblical view of men and women is what is missing; both in our culture and in Rivadeneira article.

    Suppose the situation were turned around, suppose it was the girl who wanted to decline? What if they forced her to wrestle a boy anyway? I dare say that whether she lost or won she would come away feeling violated. How would Rivadeneira feel then? Does equal opportunity really take priority over conscience? What kind of freedom is that?

    Mitchells article is very archaic and old fashioned. I like it. And I don’t think that it is a weak argument. The principles of nobility and gentlemen-ness are in many ways the product of biblical values informing cultural mores. Even if a man is a liberal and yet a gentleman he is in practice showing “…the work of the law written in [his] heart…” Even a liberal, if he does not ignore his conscience, may become a Christian. Our age knows to much about ambition and not enough about conscience and that is a frightening thing.

    Lastly I must respond to fws @ 4. I don’t agree that our “only goal of any moral action is to serve others.” I think that premise is as solid as a sand bar. I am not called to make the world happy, the purpose of my moral decisions is always primarily to the glory and will of God. Yes, in serving God I do serve others, but I cannot serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God.

  • Grace

    Joe – 55

    “But as I mentioned above, my brother and I wrestled girls in our day and never gave it a second thought. Some of those girls were pretty darn good.”

    It depends upon what type of school one attends, and the parents demands that high principles be administered and respected.

    I attended school meetings, I knew what was going on, what was getting through the cracks, and so did the other parents I was friends with. In so doing, we were able to keep things on track, nothing blew by us unaware.

    It all boils down to what is taught at home, how high is the moral bar one sets for their children, and most important, that the child be trained up in the church, understanding God’s Word.

  • Grace

    Joe – 55

    “But as I mentioned above, my brother and I wrestled girls in our day and never gave it a second thought. Some of those girls were pretty darn good.”

    It depends upon what type of school one attends, and the parents demands that high principles be administered and respected.

    I attended school meetings, I knew what was going on, what was getting through the cracks, and so did the other parents I was friends with. In so doing, we were able to keep things on track, nothing blew by us unaware.

    It all boils down to what is taught at home, how high is the moral bar one sets for their children, and most important, that the child be trained up in the church, understanding God’s Word.

  • Grace

    JD Loofbourrow – 56

    I do wish I had stated what you did in 56. It deserves to be posted again.

    “Lastly I must respond to fws @ 4. I don’t agree that our “only goal of any moral action is to serve others.” I think that premise is as solid as a sand bar. I am not called to make the world happy, the purpose of my moral decisions is always primarily to the glory and will of God. Yes, in serving God I do serve others, but I cannot serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God.”

    Thank you JD!!!!!!!

  • Grace

    JD Loofbourrow – 56

    I do wish I had stated what you did in 56. It deserves to be posted again.

    “Lastly I must respond to fws @ 4. I don’t agree that our “only goal of any moral action is to serve others.” I think that premise is as solid as a sand bar. I am not called to make the world happy, the purpose of my moral decisions is always primarily to the glory and will of God. Yes, in serving God I do serve others, but I cannot serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God.”

    Thank you JD!!!!!!!

  • kerner

    tODD:

    Sports are not the problem, but they can agrivate the problem.

    Bt, I do, in fact, see a distinction between men subjecting each other to violence or danger for sporting or entertainment purposes, and men doing that to women.

    I don’t know whether this is an appeal to natural law or not, and I unfortunately don’t have the time I need to think this through as thoroughly as I’d like, but for some reason I don’t have much of a problem with men engaging in physical competition for fun or entertainment. Maybe it’s because it has always been so. We watch football players break each other’s bones for half the year, and I cheered for the Packers as loudly as anyone this post season, even as one of my favorite players broke his collar bone in the Superbowl.

    But adding women to this makes it different somehow. Can we really watch a man beating up a woman as a spectator sport without feeling just a few pangs of squeamishness? And if we no longer feel squeamish about it, what does that say about us?

    And even if wrestling is not, strictly speaking, beating her up, it is still using all the man’s strength to forceably pin a woman to the ground till she is helpless (which is close enough to cause me serious concern). Should this really be our idea of a good time?

  • kerner

    tODD:

    Sports are not the problem, but they can agrivate the problem.

    Bt, I do, in fact, see a distinction between men subjecting each other to violence or danger for sporting or entertainment purposes, and men doing that to women.

    I don’t know whether this is an appeal to natural law or not, and I unfortunately don’t have the time I need to think this through as thoroughly as I’d like, but for some reason I don’t have much of a problem with men engaging in physical competition for fun or entertainment. Maybe it’s because it has always been so. We watch football players break each other’s bones for half the year, and I cheered for the Packers as loudly as anyone this post season, even as one of my favorite players broke his collar bone in the Superbowl.

    But adding women to this makes it different somehow. Can we really watch a man beating up a woman as a spectator sport without feeling just a few pangs of squeamishness? And if we no longer feel squeamish about it, what does that say about us?

    And even if wrestling is not, strictly speaking, beating her up, it is still using all the man’s strength to forceably pin a woman to the ground till she is helpless (which is close enough to cause me serious concern). Should this really be our idea of a good time?

  • WebMonk

    Tsk, tsk Joe. You are a morally degraded and degrading person, and your school was obviously of decidedly low morals!
    (major sarcasm there)

    On my side of things, I never officially wrestled, but I’ve done martial arts for most of my life and fought more than a few women across the decades. Several even rung my bell a few times. My favorite sparring partner was a lady from Israel who also studied Krav Maga – she was nasty in close! Karate doesn’t focus on close-up grappling and striking as KM, and since this was training on our own we tossed out most of the rules and went down and dirty.

    As far as treating women with respect, we all treated every woman there with a LOT of respect. That lady who had just kicked you in los cojones an hour ago got plenty of respect! :-D

  • WebMonk

    Tsk, tsk Joe. You are a morally degraded and degrading person, and your school was obviously of decidedly low morals!
    (major sarcasm there)

    On my side of things, I never officially wrestled, but I’ve done martial arts for most of my life and fought more than a few women across the decades. Several even rung my bell a few times. My favorite sparring partner was a lady from Israel who also studied Krav Maga – she was nasty in close! Karate doesn’t focus on close-up grappling and striking as KM, and since this was training on our own we tossed out most of the rules and went down and dirty.

    As far as treating women with respect, we all treated every woman there with a LOT of respect. That lady who had just kicked you in los cojones an hour ago got plenty of respect! :-D

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

    I have to admit I would struggle to wrestle a female wrestler, because I was raised to understand it is wrong for men to seek to physically harm a woman. I know this is only competition, where the goal isn’t so much physical harm but a test of skill and speed. But, I would still have issue divorcing my upbringing from the actions on the mat.

    I also wonder about the wisdom of gender blindness, where we ignore each other’s gender. I can’t help but feel that some of our male female gender conflicts are sin expressing itself through gender neutrality which in essence encourages guys to treat women like one of the guys and women to treat guys like one of the girls. It is not that I think turning to the days of traditional male-female roles is going to solve problems. It is that I do not think gender blindness wise because God did not create us as the exact same, but as complementary parts of a whole as was to be expressed in perfect marriage in one flesh.

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

    I have to admit I would struggle to wrestle a female wrestler, because I was raised to understand it is wrong for men to seek to physically harm a woman. I know this is only competition, where the goal isn’t so much physical harm but a test of skill and speed. But, I would still have issue divorcing my upbringing from the actions on the mat.

    I also wonder about the wisdom of gender blindness, where we ignore each other’s gender. I can’t help but feel that some of our male female gender conflicts are sin expressing itself through gender neutrality which in essence encourages guys to treat women like one of the guys and women to treat guys like one of the girls. It is not that I think turning to the days of traditional male-female roles is going to solve problems. It is that I do not think gender blindness wise because God did not create us as the exact same, but as complementary parts of a whole as was to be expressed in perfect marriage in one flesh.

  • kerner

    So, Webmonk, which was more edifying for you? Beating up a girl, or getting beat up by a girl?

    (tongue only partly in cheek)

  • kerner

    So, Webmonk, which was more edifying for you? Beating up a girl, or getting beat up by a girl?

    (tongue only partly in cheek)

  • WebMonk

    Not at all tongue in cheek -

    It didn’t make a difference at all. Whether she was a student whom I was teaching, a partner against who I was fighting, or a teacher who was instructing me, being a female didn’t make any difference as to the edification.

    Though, to be honest, I’m not sure exactly how you think edification fits into those situations, so I’m just making a guess as to what you mean. If you have some way in mind that I am edified through those situations I could probably be a bit more precise.

  • WebMonk

    Not at all tongue in cheek -

    It didn’t make a difference at all. Whether she was a student whom I was teaching, a partner against who I was fighting, or a teacher who was instructing me, being a female didn’t make any difference as to the edification.

    Though, to be honest, I’m not sure exactly how you think edification fits into those situations, so I’m just making a guess as to what you mean. If you have some way in mind that I am edified through those situations I could probably be a bit more precise.

  • WebMonk

    Maybe for some people punching a girl in class would make them more likely to abuse their wife/girlfriend, but EVERYTHING I’ve seen in nearly 20 years of martial arts and boxing, points very strongly to the opposite happening.

  • WebMonk

    Maybe for some people punching a girl in class would make them more likely to abuse their wife/girlfriend, but EVERYTHING I’ve seen in nearly 20 years of martial arts and boxing, points very strongly to the opposite happening.

  • The Jones

    On Caryn Rivadeneira’s article in favor of girl-boy wrestling, there is a picture of a t-shirt that says, “I’m a girl. I wrestle. Deal with it.”

    What a wonderfully articulate way to show the difference between a girl and a lady. All it takes to be a girl is a vagina and some ovaries. I hope our society aims higher than that for our young females. Society seems they have abandoned the idea of being a lady. That’s sad. Luckily, there is at least one gentleman in Iowa. The gentleman “who could have kicked your ass but didn’t.” What a wonderful show of gentlemanly restraint. How sad it is that this truly selfless act is seen as insulting.

    The article also said that Mr. Northrup held back an opportunity from Cassie Herkelman, the opportunity to compete. Well, maybe. But she seems to ignore one thing he did offer her, an option which the culture offers women less and less often these days: the opportunity to be held in high regard, in a more exalted position than the regular lot of men. He offered to treat her as a lady.

  • The Jones

    On Caryn Rivadeneira’s article in favor of girl-boy wrestling, there is a picture of a t-shirt that says, “I’m a girl. I wrestle. Deal with it.”

    What a wonderfully articulate way to show the difference between a girl and a lady. All it takes to be a girl is a vagina and some ovaries. I hope our society aims higher than that for our young females. Society seems they have abandoned the idea of being a lady. That’s sad. Luckily, there is at least one gentleman in Iowa. The gentleman “who could have kicked your ass but didn’t.” What a wonderful show of gentlemanly restraint. How sad it is that this truly selfless act is seen as insulting.

    The article also said that Mr. Northrup held back an opportunity from Cassie Herkelman, the opportunity to compete. Well, maybe. But she seems to ignore one thing he did offer her, an option which the culture offers women less and less often these days: the opportunity to be held in high regard, in a more exalted position than the regular lot of men. He offered to treat her as a lady.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    So Cassy is not, on her own, capable of making the decision to wrestle, because she’s at the whim of adult ideology?”

    As a female, yeah probably. Females tend to go with what is popular at a higher rate than males do.

    “Is this true for Joel, as well — including his decision to not wrestle Cassy?”

    Could be, just a little less likely because he is male.

    Obviously it could be reversed.

    I would guess her odds of going along at just over even, his just under.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    So Cassy is not, on her own, capable of making the decision to wrestle, because she’s at the whim of adult ideology?”

    As a female, yeah probably. Females tend to go with what is popular at a higher rate than males do.

    “Is this true for Joel, as well — including his decision to not wrestle Cassy?”

    Could be, just a little less likely because he is male.

    Obviously it could be reversed.

    I would guess her odds of going along at just over even, his just under.

  • Grace

    Sg, – - “As a female, yeah probably. Females tend to go with what is popular at a higher rate than males do.”

    Maybe where you were raised, but not where I come from, or the way my parents raised me.

    Being a female doesn’t mean one goes along with anything that goes against Biblical teaching, or behaving like a lady.

    Males are no different than female, when making a moral, Biblically based decision, that’s a myth. An individual either has the ability to stand for what is right or they don’t.

  • Grace

    Sg, – - “As a female, yeah probably. Females tend to go with what is popular at a higher rate than males do.”

    Maybe where you were raised, but not where I come from, or the way my parents raised me.

    Being a female doesn’t mean one goes along with anything that goes against Biblical teaching, or behaving like a lady.

    Males are no different than female, when making a moral, Biblically based decision, that’s a myth. An individual either has the ability to stand for what is right or they don’t.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 50: I think we agree, as far as it goes. Of course, my statement isn’t universal — it was directed at a particular situation where Joel’s conscience and underlying belief was mainstream and even considered by many to be noble. Were his expressed motivation for forfeiting to be, instead, racist, that would be a very different situation.

    Even in that situation, however, my statement applies, to the extent that the right approach is not to insist that someone violate their conscience, but rather to deal with the issue that their conscience is telling them to do something that is quite clearly immoral. And, ultimately, to acknowledge that the competitor has the right to forfeit, for whatever reasons.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 50: I think we agree, as far as it goes. Of course, my statement isn’t universal — it was directed at a particular situation where Joel’s conscience and underlying belief was mainstream and even considered by many to be noble. Were his expressed motivation for forfeiting to be, instead, racist, that would be a very different situation.

    Even in that situation, however, my statement applies, to the extent that the right approach is not to insist that someone violate their conscience, but rather to deal with the issue that their conscience is telling them to do something that is quite clearly immoral. And, ultimately, to acknowledge that the competitor has the right to forfeit, for whatever reasons.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JD said (@56):

    I don’t agree that our “only goal of any moral action is to serve others.” I think that premise is as solid as a sand bar. I am not called to make the world happy, the purpose of my moral decisions is always primarily to the glory and will of God. Yes, in serving God I do serve others, but I cannot serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God.

    I think it’s curious, JD, that you’ve managed to rework FWS’ point like that. You changed his call to “serve others” and changed it to being about “making the world happy”, about “serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God”. I guess my question would be: why did you do that?

    Yes, our sinful natures, given only the command to serve others, and being willfully ignorant of what else God has to say about that, could easily go awry.

    But it is equally true that our our sinful natures, given only the command to serve God, and being willfully ignorant of what else God has to say about that, could also easily go awry.

    In fact, it is this latter problem that Jesus spends more of his time specifically condemning in the Bible, isn’t it? What else was the Pharisees’ motivation than but to show their love for God? And yet look at how often that resulted in their completely failing to love their neighbor!

    What’s more, not a few people in this discussion appearl to have conflated — a la the Pharisees — long-standing social tradition with living “primarily to the glory and will of God”, all the while poo-pooing the notion that serving one’s neighbor might mean doing something that makes you uncomfortable.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JD said (@56):

    I don’t agree that our “only goal of any moral action is to serve others.” I think that premise is as solid as a sand bar. I am not called to make the world happy, the purpose of my moral decisions is always primarily to the glory and will of God. Yes, in serving God I do serve others, but I cannot serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God.

    I think it’s curious, JD, that you’ve managed to rework FWS’ point like that. You changed his call to “serve others” and changed it to being about “making the world happy”, about “serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God”. I guess my question would be: why did you do that?

    Yes, our sinful natures, given only the command to serve others, and being willfully ignorant of what else God has to say about that, could easily go awry.

    But it is equally true that our our sinful natures, given only the command to serve God, and being willfully ignorant of what else God has to say about that, could also easily go awry.

    In fact, it is this latter problem that Jesus spends more of his time specifically condemning in the Bible, isn’t it? What else was the Pharisees’ motivation than but to show their love for God? And yet look at how often that resulted in their completely failing to love their neighbor!

    What’s more, not a few people in this discussion appearl to have conflated — a la the Pharisees — long-standing social tradition with living “primarily to the glory and will of God”, all the while poo-pooing the notion that serving one’s neighbor might mean doing something that makes you uncomfortable.

  • Grace

    JD’s comment is correct. “I don’t agree that our “only goal of any moral action is to serve others.” I think that premise is as solid as a sand bar” – Taking a stand against what one Believes is a right, especially when it lines up with Scriptre.

    The ” Pharisees” attack doesn’t work.

    Pharisee: Definition:

    1. member of ancient Jewish religious group: a member of an ancient Jewish religious group who followed the Oral Law in addition to the Torah and attempted to live in a constant state of purity
    2. self-righteous or hypocritical person: a self-righteous, hypocritical, or sanctimonious person

    TODD:

    “What’s more, not a few people in this discussion appearl to have conflated — a la the Pharisees — long-standing social tradition with living “primarily to the glory and will of God”, all the while poo-pooing the notion that serving one’s neighbor might mean doing something that makes you uncomfortable.”

    Standing firm against doing something knowingly on moral issues isn’t an issue which can in any way be defined as not “serving one’s neighbor” – - that’s nothing but a hedge to do whatever the other person determines is right in their eyes, denying your conscience.

  • Grace

    JD’s comment is correct. “I don’t agree that our “only goal of any moral action is to serve others.” I think that premise is as solid as a sand bar” – Taking a stand against what one Believes is a right, especially when it lines up with Scriptre.

    The ” Pharisees” attack doesn’t work.

    Pharisee: Definition:

    1. member of ancient Jewish religious group: a member of an ancient Jewish religious group who followed the Oral Law in addition to the Torah and attempted to live in a constant state of purity
    2. self-righteous or hypocritical person: a self-righteous, hypocritical, or sanctimonious person

    TODD:

    “What’s more, not a few people in this discussion appearl to have conflated — a la the Pharisees — long-standing social tradition with living “primarily to the glory and will of God”, all the while poo-pooing the notion that serving one’s neighbor might mean doing something that makes you uncomfortable.”

    Standing firm against doing something knowingly on moral issues isn’t an issue which can in any way be defined as not “serving one’s neighbor” – - that’s nothing but a hedge to do whatever the other person determines is right in their eyes, denying your conscience.

  • Joe

    Grace @57 – I am glad to have you here to point out the failings of both my school and my parents. I only wish someone as smart and Christian as you have been in my life in those days. Perhaps I could have been raised in a way that would have lead me to live a life good enough for God. Too bad we don’t have a God that saves despite our sins, then maybe I would have a chance.

    But in all seriousness, I didn’t give it a second thought because there is nothing inherently wrong with a girl participating in wrestling (provided she is talented enough to make the team). People (even high school kids) are able to differentiate between violence and the skill and techniques of wrestling. They are even able to differentiate between “touching” on a wrestling mat and in another contexts. If you have have a son in high school who can’t do either of these two things you are a failure as a parent.

    Now, should I also admit that some of the schools in my conference let girls on the football team and that suited up for those games?

  • Joe

    Grace @57 – I am glad to have you here to point out the failings of both my school and my parents. I only wish someone as smart and Christian as you have been in my life in those days. Perhaps I could have been raised in a way that would have lead me to live a life good enough for God. Too bad we don’t have a God that saves despite our sins, then maybe I would have a chance.

    But in all seriousness, I didn’t give it a second thought because there is nothing inherently wrong with a girl participating in wrestling (provided she is talented enough to make the team). People (even high school kids) are able to differentiate between violence and the skill and techniques of wrestling. They are even able to differentiate between “touching” on a wrestling mat and in another contexts. If you have have a son in high school who can’t do either of these two things you are a failure as a parent.

    Now, should I also admit that some of the schools in my conference let girls on the football team and that suited up for those games?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@59), your comment, unfortunately, typifies what I find so frustrating about many appeals to “natural law” (even as you yourself are unsure whether it qualifies as such, I get that). Seems to me that not a few appeals to natural law condoning something boil down to “I don’t have much of a problem with it”, whereas condemnations that supposedly stem from natural law boil down to “feeling squeamish about it”. And, in the end, natural law often becomes something one tacks on to an argument when you just know it’s right but can’t prove so from Scripture or other logical arguments.

    Anyhow, you’d said:

    But adding women to this makes it different somehow. Can we really watch a man beating up a woman as a spectator sport without feeling just a few pangs of squeamishness? And if we no longer feel squeamish about it, what does that say about us?

    “Somehow”. Not much to go off there, unfortunately. How? What explicit reason would you give me to distinguish between the squeamishness you feel about viewing men competing against women and the lack of squeamishness when only men are involved?

    And, if you look around for sports injury photos, do you still not feel at all squeamish? One of my friends used to have a photo from a soccer match in which a man’s leg was clearly broken in two. And if that made me feel squeamish, what does that mean about my being justified in demanding an end to all-male soccer? And if seeing such things — to say nothing of the routine pounding and grinding that forms a good part of any football game — doesn’t make you feel squeamish, what does that say about you?

    And why do you resort to the clear hyperbole of “a man beating up a woman as a spectator sport” to make your point? It seems like you may simply lack a decent respect for the rules, tactics, and skill of wrestling.

    “Should this really be our idea of a good time?” A question that has everything to do with wrestling, and nothing to do with whom is wrestling.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@59), your comment, unfortunately, typifies what I find so frustrating about many appeals to “natural law” (even as you yourself are unsure whether it qualifies as such, I get that). Seems to me that not a few appeals to natural law condoning something boil down to “I don’t have much of a problem with it”, whereas condemnations that supposedly stem from natural law boil down to “feeling squeamish about it”. And, in the end, natural law often becomes something one tacks on to an argument when you just know it’s right but can’t prove so from Scripture or other logical arguments.

    Anyhow, you’d said:

    But adding women to this makes it different somehow. Can we really watch a man beating up a woman as a spectator sport without feeling just a few pangs of squeamishness? And if we no longer feel squeamish about it, what does that say about us?

    “Somehow”. Not much to go off there, unfortunately. How? What explicit reason would you give me to distinguish between the squeamishness you feel about viewing men competing against women and the lack of squeamishness when only men are involved?

    And, if you look around for sports injury photos, do you still not feel at all squeamish? One of my friends used to have a photo from a soccer match in which a man’s leg was clearly broken in two. And if that made me feel squeamish, what does that mean about my being justified in demanding an end to all-male soccer? And if seeing such things — to say nothing of the routine pounding and grinding that forms a good part of any football game — doesn’t make you feel squeamish, what does that say about you?

    And why do you resort to the clear hyperbole of “a man beating up a woman as a spectator sport” to make your point? It seems like you may simply lack a decent respect for the rules, tactics, and skill of wrestling.

    “Should this really be our idea of a good time?” A question that has everything to do with wrestling, and nothing to do with whom is wrestling.

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #50,

    “Though I agree that it is wrong to make someone go against their conscience, I do not agree that that is the end of the matter. Consciences are only useful inasmuch as they conform to God’s Law. A conscience can be wrong and in need of correction.”

    Very good point.

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #50,

    “Though I agree that it is wrong to make someone go against their conscience, I do not agree that that is the end of the matter. Consciences are only useful inasmuch as they conform to God’s Law. A conscience can be wrong and in need of correction.”

    Very good point.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@70) said, “Standing firm against doing something knowingly on moral issues isn’t an issue which can in any way be defined as not ‘serving one’s neighbor’.”

    Ah, but that only begs the question: on what grounds would you argue that a boy wrestling a girl is a “moral issue”? That’s kind of the point of the whole discussion here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@70) said, “Standing firm against doing something knowingly on moral issues isn’t an issue which can in any way be defined as not ‘serving one’s neighbor’.”

    Ah, but that only begs the question: on what grounds would you argue that a boy wrestling a girl is a “moral issue”? That’s kind of the point of the whole discussion here.

  • Stephen

    todd@48

    Well, let’s see. I didn’t read everyone else’s posts, so maybe someone has said something similar (kerner maybe), but I will tell you why I will teach my son not to physically harm a girl. This would go whether he turns out to be gay or whatever. Because girls have ovaries. That may not matter when she is twelve (or it might) but down the road, girls become women and they carry children in their bodies, they also bear the brunt of responsibility for caring for them, and boys need to understand that their “role” (can’t think of a better word) is to honor that difference by reserving there generally superior physical strength and aggressive tendencies for things other than directing them at girls. And I will even expect him to use his physical strength to protect weaker people of any kind if he can do so, whether they are women, children, elderly, whomever, because God made him a man. That has nothing to sexuality either. If it means he gets dressed down by a feminist, so what. It’s never happened to me. I get asked for help all the time because I’m tall by otherwise liberated women.

    I think it is about what and how we train children to see other people, and yes, gender plays into it for just the reason I stated. boys grow up to be men and men are stronger. That does not mean women are extra delicate or cannot do for themselves or make there own decisions, but it does have to do with understanding something about others in an embodied way (oh, we’re back to this again!). We are not just thinking automatons with legs that happen to be male and female and because we have technology we do not need each other any longer.

    As far as these two kids are concerned, I don’t see them as completely autonomous either. They still live under the influence of their parents. As far as the girl’s “choice” I really can’t say. I think it is an intrusion into boys sports and it simply means there needs to be girl’s wrestling perhaps, or she needs to take up Judo for now I guess. For what it’s worth, I did Judo when I was a teenager and I had to mix it up with girls and I hated it. It’s psychologically confusing when you are taught boundaries and then encouraged to transgress them quite deliberately and forcefully. Yes, I got pinned by a girl once and I also made one cry once, made them angry and hurt their feelings. My parents didn’t know what was going on at the gym or they probably would not have let me go. I quit after sparring with girls one too many times. I have the feeling as to why that girl has beaten those boys. You can’t really fight a girl. Your heart is not in it.

    We teach those boundaries between boys and girls for reasons of sex AND violence, so that they do not get confused. In this case, its the violence issue that bothers me. Throwing in the gay and/or race thing is a red herring. A gay boy has the same advantages (in general) as any other boy. That’s not to say that in every case a boy can whip a girl. That’s not the point. The point is about what we should be teaching boys about the treatment of girls (I don’t know how to underline or would have done that just now). If we teach boys it is wrong to be violent with girls (and specifically, it’s girl’s bodies I’m concerned about), then we need to follow through.

    How is that different than violence between boys? Well, guess what? Boys do need to learn to fight each other. I am not a pacifist, and I feel like I need to get into some kind of just war theory here. But basically, boys need to learn to defend themselves and/or the weaker among them, and so also to channel their natural aggression. Not pretty. They will do this against other men. They don’t always do it physically, but they do it nonetheless.

    Like I said, this is push back. But in this particular case, the boy obviously chose out of some reservations he had, and like I said, I like to think his choice had to do with what his parents taught him about violence against girls – it’s just not a boundary a boy should cross. It’s never about what other kids are willing to do either, or what their parents let them do, or whether or not she has wrestled other boys. It is about how he was taught to see her I think. Children, obey your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Identity is not something we go out and get. It is actually something conferred on us by others. This girl, and I guess her parents too, think its fine to let their daughter challenge this boundary for some perceived benefit to her self-esteem. Meanwhile, boys may be learning that girls can withstand a little violence. Look up some statistics on violence against women and their children. Throw in the sexual undertones and this seems like a recipe for confusion for a lot of boys who will grow to be married men.

    We are not talking about the US military here, we are talking about kids. If a woman wants to be a Navy Seal then I actually think she ought to be given a shot. But what usually happens is that they simply cannot hack it because in that arena of equality they really do get hammered. They wash out. Every once in a while there is some odd egg to disprove the theory, but generally speaking, women will be too weak to hack the most grueling stuff. It’s not Hollywood.

  • Stephen

    todd@48

    Well, let’s see. I didn’t read everyone else’s posts, so maybe someone has said something similar (kerner maybe), but I will tell you why I will teach my son not to physically harm a girl. This would go whether he turns out to be gay or whatever. Because girls have ovaries. That may not matter when she is twelve (or it might) but down the road, girls become women and they carry children in their bodies, they also bear the brunt of responsibility for caring for them, and boys need to understand that their “role” (can’t think of a better word) is to honor that difference by reserving there generally superior physical strength and aggressive tendencies for things other than directing them at girls. And I will even expect him to use his physical strength to protect weaker people of any kind if he can do so, whether they are women, children, elderly, whomever, because God made him a man. That has nothing to sexuality either. If it means he gets dressed down by a feminist, so what. It’s never happened to me. I get asked for help all the time because I’m tall by otherwise liberated women.

    I think it is about what and how we train children to see other people, and yes, gender plays into it for just the reason I stated. boys grow up to be men and men are stronger. That does not mean women are extra delicate or cannot do for themselves or make there own decisions, but it does have to do with understanding something about others in an embodied way (oh, we’re back to this again!). We are not just thinking automatons with legs that happen to be male and female and because we have technology we do not need each other any longer.

    As far as these two kids are concerned, I don’t see them as completely autonomous either. They still live under the influence of their parents. As far as the girl’s “choice” I really can’t say. I think it is an intrusion into boys sports and it simply means there needs to be girl’s wrestling perhaps, or she needs to take up Judo for now I guess. For what it’s worth, I did Judo when I was a teenager and I had to mix it up with girls and I hated it. It’s psychologically confusing when you are taught boundaries and then encouraged to transgress them quite deliberately and forcefully. Yes, I got pinned by a girl once and I also made one cry once, made them angry and hurt their feelings. My parents didn’t know what was going on at the gym or they probably would not have let me go. I quit after sparring with girls one too many times. I have the feeling as to why that girl has beaten those boys. You can’t really fight a girl. Your heart is not in it.

    We teach those boundaries between boys and girls for reasons of sex AND violence, so that they do not get confused. In this case, its the violence issue that bothers me. Throwing in the gay and/or race thing is a red herring. A gay boy has the same advantages (in general) as any other boy. That’s not to say that in every case a boy can whip a girl. That’s not the point. The point is about what we should be teaching boys about the treatment of girls (I don’t know how to underline or would have done that just now). If we teach boys it is wrong to be violent with girls (and specifically, it’s girl’s bodies I’m concerned about), then we need to follow through.

    How is that different than violence between boys? Well, guess what? Boys do need to learn to fight each other. I am not a pacifist, and I feel like I need to get into some kind of just war theory here. But basically, boys need to learn to defend themselves and/or the weaker among them, and so also to channel their natural aggression. Not pretty. They will do this against other men. They don’t always do it physically, but they do it nonetheless.

    Like I said, this is push back. But in this particular case, the boy obviously chose out of some reservations he had, and like I said, I like to think his choice had to do with what his parents taught him about violence against girls – it’s just not a boundary a boy should cross. It’s never about what other kids are willing to do either, or what their parents let them do, or whether or not she has wrestled other boys. It is about how he was taught to see her I think. Children, obey your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Identity is not something we go out and get. It is actually something conferred on us by others. This girl, and I guess her parents too, think its fine to let their daughter challenge this boundary for some perceived benefit to her self-esteem. Meanwhile, boys may be learning that girls can withstand a little violence. Look up some statistics on violence against women and their children. Throw in the sexual undertones and this seems like a recipe for confusion for a lot of boys who will grow to be married men.

    We are not talking about the US military here, we are talking about kids. If a woman wants to be a Navy Seal then I actually think she ought to be given a shot. But what usually happens is that they simply cannot hack it because in that arena of equality they really do get hammered. They wash out. Every once in a while there is some odd egg to disprove the theory, but generally speaking, women will be too weak to hack the most grueling stuff. It’s not Hollywood.

  • The Jones

    tODD @74,

    All issues are moral issues. Morality is deciding if something is right or wrong. He decided that this was wrong. It IS a matter of morality.

    It is a matter of morality based on social convention (ladies are to be treated with a different standard of respect than men). This convention comes from a biblical source because husbands are told in the Bible to lay down their lives for their wives. A modest and reasonable extension of that would be to be protective of all women generally, or at least not to body-slam them or choke them out on the mat in order to get to the next round of the bracket.

    If those arguments fail (which I really think it doesn’t. But let’s pretend for the sake of argument), it’s still a morality based issue because of Paul’s caution to the Corinthians about food sacrificed to idols: if it violates the conscience, you shouldn’t do it. If it makes somebody else stumble, don’t do it. That would cut off Rivadeneira’s argument about Northrup “depriving” her of something.

    You also seem to be suggesting that this is a matter of opinion. All matters of opinion are issues where a moral question has been resolved with the answer “They are both right. Now just take your pick.” So, if we’re to move this to a question of mere taste, I’ll have to ask you why it is RIGHT to wrestle women. If you can’t do that, I’ll ask why it is WRONG not to wrestle them.

  • The Jones

    tODD @74,

    All issues are moral issues. Morality is deciding if something is right or wrong. He decided that this was wrong. It IS a matter of morality.

    It is a matter of morality based on social convention (ladies are to be treated with a different standard of respect than men). This convention comes from a biblical source because husbands are told in the Bible to lay down their lives for their wives. A modest and reasonable extension of that would be to be protective of all women generally, or at least not to body-slam them or choke them out on the mat in order to get to the next round of the bracket.

    If those arguments fail (which I really think it doesn’t. But let’s pretend for the sake of argument), it’s still a morality based issue because of Paul’s caution to the Corinthians about food sacrificed to idols: if it violates the conscience, you shouldn’t do it. If it makes somebody else stumble, don’t do it. That would cut off Rivadeneira’s argument about Northrup “depriving” her of something.

    You also seem to be suggesting that this is a matter of opinion. All matters of opinion are issues where a moral question has been resolved with the answer “They are both right. Now just take your pick.” So, if we’re to move this to a question of mere taste, I’ll have to ask you why it is RIGHT to wrestle women. If you can’t do that, I’ll ask why it is WRONG not to wrestle them.

  • Stephen

    Dan @ 73 & todd @50

    And what if I said that the conscience IS the law at work in the human heart?

    That is not to say we can figure out what is right or wrong in every situation. That would be like saying we could predict the future and know all the outcomes of our choices. This is that teleological natural law thing (kind of big on this thread). Under that rubric, Reason can understand and tease out right and wrong that will lead us to good ends (God’s purposes). That’s scholasticism, and it does not take sin seriously.

    But we are Lutherans guys. The conscience is a law barometer of sorts, telling us something is not right and that old Adam he is “not justified.” He needs to drown in baptism. It tells us we need to turn and repent and fall on the mercy of God.

    Read the Confessions fellas. ;)

  • Stephen

    Dan @ 73 & todd @50

    And what if I said that the conscience IS the law at work in the human heart?

    That is not to say we can figure out what is right or wrong in every situation. That would be like saying we could predict the future and know all the outcomes of our choices. This is that teleological natural law thing (kind of big on this thread). Under that rubric, Reason can understand and tease out right and wrong that will lead us to good ends (God’s purposes). That’s scholasticism, and it does not take sin seriously.

    But we are Lutherans guys. The conscience is a law barometer of sorts, telling us something is not right and that old Adam he is “not justified.” He needs to drown in baptism. It tells us we need to turn and repent and fall on the mercy of God.

    Read the Confessions fellas. ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones said (@76), “All issues are moral issues.” Yes, well, I got a bit sloppy with my words there. I should have said (@74), “that only begs the question: on what grounds would you argue that a boy wrestling a girl is morally wrong?”

    “It is a matter of morality based on social convention”. But is social convention a useful guide to what is right and wrong? Isn’t that straight-up relativism? What then would we say about Jesus’ ignoring social convention left and right throughout the Gospels? Was he wrong to eat with sinners? Should he have washed the outside of his cup? What about picking wheat on a Sabbath?

    “This convention comes from a biblical source because husbands …” Hold on there, pardner! Are you telling me that Paul’s specific exhortations to spouses actually applies to all non-marital inter-gender relationships, as well? Does this apply to 1 Corinthians 7:5 then, too? ;) Um, I think not.

    “A modest and reasonable extension of that would be to be protective of all women generally, or at least not to body-slam them or choke them out on the mat in order to get to the next round of the bracket.” Actually, I’m pretty certain that Jesus’ summation of the Law in “love your neighbor as yourself” would have us be protective of all people generally, wouldn’t it? There’s no need to put some specific gender constraints on that. And that would rule out “choking them on the mat”, regardless of their gender, don’t you think? Honestly, do you people just hate legitimate wrestling or something? Do you think it’s the same as the WWF or the WWE or whatever’s on TV? Choking? Honestly?

    “It’s still a morality based issue because of Paul’s caution to the Corinthians about food sacrificed to idols: if it violates the conscience, you shouldn’t do it.” To which I will reply as I already did on this point (@50):

    I agree that it is wrong to make someone go against their conscience, but I do not agree that that is the end of the matter. Consciences are only useful inasmuch as they conform to God’s Law. A conscience can be wrong and in need of correction.

    As to the rest of your comment, it strongly suggests you don’t believe in adiaphora at all, that there is a pat answer for right and wrong behavior in every situation.

    Why is it “RIGHT” for a man to wrestle a woman? Um, because God has gifted him with wrestling skill, he enjoys it, and he wishes to compete with a similar person?

    You treat 1 Corinthians 8 as if all it said was that a man ought not go against his conscience. It says more. Paul educates the Corinthians; he does not leave them in their ignorance:

    We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

    Note also that the person whose conscience is troubled is referred to as the one “weak” in faith. And Paul’s insructions are to the strong in faith not to trouble them. He is not, however, encouraging the weak ones to remain weak in their faith, as you seem to think.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones said (@76), “All issues are moral issues.” Yes, well, I got a bit sloppy with my words there. I should have said (@74), “that only begs the question: on what grounds would you argue that a boy wrestling a girl is morally wrong?”

    “It is a matter of morality based on social convention”. But is social convention a useful guide to what is right and wrong? Isn’t that straight-up relativism? What then would we say about Jesus’ ignoring social convention left and right throughout the Gospels? Was he wrong to eat with sinners? Should he have washed the outside of his cup? What about picking wheat on a Sabbath?

    “This convention comes from a biblical source because husbands …” Hold on there, pardner! Are you telling me that Paul’s specific exhortations to spouses actually applies to all non-marital inter-gender relationships, as well? Does this apply to 1 Corinthians 7:5 then, too? ;) Um, I think not.

    “A modest and reasonable extension of that would be to be protective of all women generally, or at least not to body-slam them or choke them out on the mat in order to get to the next round of the bracket.” Actually, I’m pretty certain that Jesus’ summation of the Law in “love your neighbor as yourself” would have us be protective of all people generally, wouldn’t it? There’s no need to put some specific gender constraints on that. And that would rule out “choking them on the mat”, regardless of their gender, don’t you think? Honestly, do you people just hate legitimate wrestling or something? Do you think it’s the same as the WWF or the WWE or whatever’s on TV? Choking? Honestly?

    “It’s still a morality based issue because of Paul’s caution to the Corinthians about food sacrificed to idols: if it violates the conscience, you shouldn’t do it.” To which I will reply as I already did on this point (@50):

    I agree that it is wrong to make someone go against their conscience, but I do not agree that that is the end of the matter. Consciences are only useful inasmuch as they conform to God’s Law. A conscience can be wrong and in need of correction.

    As to the rest of your comment, it strongly suggests you don’t believe in adiaphora at all, that there is a pat answer for right and wrong behavior in every situation.

    Why is it “RIGHT” for a man to wrestle a woman? Um, because God has gifted him with wrestling skill, he enjoys it, and he wishes to compete with a similar person?

    You treat 1 Corinthians 8 as if all it said was that a man ought not go against his conscience. It says more. Paul educates the Corinthians; he does not leave them in their ignorance:

    We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

    Note also that the person whose conscience is troubled is referred to as the one “weak” in faith. And Paul’s insructions are to the strong in faith not to trouble them. He is not, however, encouraging the weak ones to remain weak in their faith, as you seem to think.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    tODD, in reply to your question at 69,

    The reason I made the statement that I did was because I disagreed with FWS’s stated premise. I took FWS’s presupposition to its logical conclusion. The statement that “the only goal of any moral action is to serve others” seems to me to be saying that the exclusive purpose of moral action is to “make their creaturely life better.” I understand that he was speaking in the context of contrast to being virtuous for virtue’s sake but his idea really has no better grounding than the one he is disputing. If FWS was assuming the greater good of glorifying God then I may have misunderstood his post (@ 4). In his post he seemed to be making the same assumption that the first article made which I also disagree with. Again I may have misunderstood him, but he did not make that distinction in his post. His language seems to indicate that there is no other reason one would be moral.

    I do not feel that it necessarily follows that serving others is always serving God for his glory. On the other hand it can and should be understood implicitly that one who seeks to glorify God would be about serving others even when it is not comfortable. God doesn’t need servants, he is eternally self sufficient, so we are commanded by him to serve others. So when FWS says that the only purpose of acting moral is to serve others, I can not assume that he is saying anything about God (respecting the context). In my experience to serve God for His glory is usually the most (earthly) thankless and unpopular thing to do.

    You said well that the Pharisees were motivated by their desire to show their love for God. What made Jesus angry was that they were not showing their love TO God. In fact their love was not at all genuine. They cared very little about God, thus they rejected His Son. Their “love” was a show, which is why he called them hypocrites. And this really is my point. The road to being a Pharisee (ie a hypocrite) starts with the adoption of a morality whose purpose exists solely to serve horizontally. I hope this clears up any confusion you have.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    tODD, in reply to your question at 69,

    The reason I made the statement that I did was because I disagreed with FWS’s stated premise. I took FWS’s presupposition to its logical conclusion. The statement that “the only goal of any moral action is to serve others” seems to me to be saying that the exclusive purpose of moral action is to “make their creaturely life better.” I understand that he was speaking in the context of contrast to being virtuous for virtue’s sake but his idea really has no better grounding than the one he is disputing. If FWS was assuming the greater good of glorifying God then I may have misunderstood his post (@ 4). In his post he seemed to be making the same assumption that the first article made which I also disagree with. Again I may have misunderstood him, but he did not make that distinction in his post. His language seems to indicate that there is no other reason one would be moral.

    I do not feel that it necessarily follows that serving others is always serving God for his glory. On the other hand it can and should be understood implicitly that one who seeks to glorify God would be about serving others even when it is not comfortable. God doesn’t need servants, he is eternally self sufficient, so we are commanded by him to serve others. So when FWS says that the only purpose of acting moral is to serve others, I can not assume that he is saying anything about God (respecting the context). In my experience to serve God for His glory is usually the most (earthly) thankless and unpopular thing to do.

    You said well that the Pharisees were motivated by their desire to show their love for God. What made Jesus angry was that they were not showing their love TO God. In fact their love was not at all genuine. They cared very little about God, thus they rejected His Son. Their “love” was a show, which is why he called them hypocrites. And this really is my point. The road to being a Pharisee (ie a hypocrite) starts with the adoption of a morality whose purpose exists solely to serve horizontally. I hope this clears up any confusion you have.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen asked (@77), “And what if I said that the conscience IS the law at work in the human heart?” I would agree, given a proper understanding of those terms. But, to pull from the Confessions, I would prefer to state that a different way: “the Law always accuses and terrifies consciences.”

    Those statements are not exactly the same, however. Even you say “The conscience is a law barometer of sorts” (my emphasis), and I think those last two words get at what I’m saying here.

    The fact that someone thinks something is wrong does not mean that God’s Law agrees with him and is pricking his conscience. But, when God’s Law does prick a man’s conscience about something, he feels it is wrong.

    If the first were true, we would have to agree with the racist that his feelings that it’s wrong to work with or eat with minorities is God’s Law at work in his heart. We would have to agree with the Catholics against Luther on the matters of what it was right and wrong for people to do (e.g. wrong for priests to marry).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen asked (@77), “And what if I said that the conscience IS the law at work in the human heart?” I would agree, given a proper understanding of those terms. But, to pull from the Confessions, I would prefer to state that a different way: “the Law always accuses and terrifies consciences.”

    Those statements are not exactly the same, however. Even you say “The conscience is a law barometer of sorts” (my emphasis), and I think those last two words get at what I’m saying here.

    The fact that someone thinks something is wrong does not mean that God’s Law agrees with him and is pricking his conscience. But, when God’s Law does prick a man’s conscience about something, he feels it is wrong.

    If the first were true, we would have to agree with the racist that his feelings that it’s wrong to work with or eat with minorities is God’s Law at work in his heart. We would have to agree with the Catholics against Luther on the matters of what it was right and wrong for people to do (e.g. wrong for priests to marry).

  • Pete

    tODD @78 “Was he (Jesus) wrong to eat with sinners?”

    Unless He ate alone, He was pretty much gonna eat with sinners. Kinda like the deal with the woman caught in adultery. At the end of the scene, all the sinners but one had left. And the only non-sinner present opted not to throw stones at the only remaining sinner.

  • Pete

    tODD @78 “Was he (Jesus) wrong to eat with sinners?”

    Unless He ate alone, He was pretty much gonna eat with sinners. Kinda like the deal with the woman caught in adultery. At the end of the scene, all the sinners but one had left. And the only non-sinner present opted not to throw stones at the only remaining sinner.

  • Stephen

    todd-

    I get it. I misunderstood.

    Then I would say that the racist in your example is not actually following his conscience. Rather, he is following a false moral code imposed from outside himself that he thinks is right. The difference might only show up later. Where? In his conscience.

    It would go like this. He refuses to eat with a black man and because of this “code” the man falls into some kind of trouble – say he actually starves or some other unfortunate thing happens as a result of this man not letting the black man sit with him. He has not followed his conscience. Instead, he has sacrificed this man to a moral standard thinking it pleases God to do this. When this calamity befalls the black man, he feels his guilt.

    It doesn’t always work this way. It may happen that he has no pity at all for the black man. Instead, he finds that because of his choice to exclude him something bad happens to himself. Then he sees the moral consequences of his actions upon himself. Anyway, the whole point is that it isn’t conscience at all. His heart is not involved. Rather, he is conforming to a code imposed from outside himself that he has been taught. But the conscience is something God has placed within us. That is why we see it in others who are not believers. That is why missionaries can make purchase on the hearts of those to which they preach in far away places. There is soil. Some times the soil is ready, and sometimes it isn’t. It is in all sorts of states of greater or lesser preparedness – weedy, rocky, etc.

  • Stephen

    todd-

    I get it. I misunderstood.

    Then I would say that the racist in your example is not actually following his conscience. Rather, he is following a false moral code imposed from outside himself that he thinks is right. The difference might only show up later. Where? In his conscience.

    It would go like this. He refuses to eat with a black man and because of this “code” the man falls into some kind of trouble – say he actually starves or some other unfortunate thing happens as a result of this man not letting the black man sit with him. He has not followed his conscience. Instead, he has sacrificed this man to a moral standard thinking it pleases God to do this. When this calamity befalls the black man, he feels his guilt.

    It doesn’t always work this way. It may happen that he has no pity at all for the black man. Instead, he finds that because of his choice to exclude him something bad happens to himself. Then he sees the moral consequences of his actions upon himself. Anyway, the whole point is that it isn’t conscience at all. His heart is not involved. Rather, he is conforming to a code imposed from outside himself that he has been taught. But the conscience is something God has placed within us. That is why we see it in others who are not believers. That is why missionaries can make purchase on the hearts of those to which they preach in far away places. There is soil. Some times the soil is ready, and sometimes it isn’t. It is in all sorts of states of greater or lesser preparedness – weedy, rocky, etc.

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Stephen (@82) said, “Rather, he is conforming to a code imposed from outside himself that he has been taught.” Like, say, the idea that it is wrong for a boy to wrestle a girl? :)

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Stephen (@82) said, “Rather, he is conforming to a code imposed from outside himself that he has been taught.” Like, say, the idea that it is wrong for a boy to wrestle a girl? :)

  • Stephen

    JD @ 79

    If God is sufficient in himself as you say, why does he need glory from you or any of us? Aren’t you a sinner. How could you, in your sinful state, possibly give him anything glorious? Would it not be, by necessity, something unworthy of God? Isn’t that why he sent his Son to die for us? How is such holiness accomplished so that this glory is returned to the one, true and everlasting God.

    The reason I ask is because if we are indeed saved by grace alone, not of our works, then why is it not appropriate to think of our moral action in the world as directed exclusively towards our neighbor. Is there something else God needs us to give him besides what he has imparted to us – salvation through the precious blood of Christ which has achieved our heavenly righteousness? There is one thing I think. Faith, and that too is a gift.

    “I do not feel that it necessarily follows that serving others is always serving God for his glory.”

    How does one make such a distinction? Are we given secret knowledge on this? Is there something a Christian can do that others cannot in the realm of service?

    It sounds to me like you would rather stand on your own works than on faith in what you already have been given, Jesus Christ, and that sounds like sand. You do not sound like your are free to love your neighbor, but would rather sacrifice his well-being for this project of “giving glory to God,” something he has plenty of already.

    “Yes, in serving God I do serve others, but I cannot serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God.”

    While you are busy making sandwiches for God, there are others out there who will actually eat those sandwiches.

  • Stephen

    JD @ 79

    If God is sufficient in himself as you say, why does he need glory from you or any of us? Aren’t you a sinner. How could you, in your sinful state, possibly give him anything glorious? Would it not be, by necessity, something unworthy of God? Isn’t that why he sent his Son to die for us? How is such holiness accomplished so that this glory is returned to the one, true and everlasting God.

    The reason I ask is because if we are indeed saved by grace alone, not of our works, then why is it not appropriate to think of our moral action in the world as directed exclusively towards our neighbor. Is there something else God needs us to give him besides what he has imparted to us – salvation through the precious blood of Christ which has achieved our heavenly righteousness? There is one thing I think. Faith, and that too is a gift.

    “I do not feel that it necessarily follows that serving others is always serving God for his glory.”

    How does one make such a distinction? Are we given secret knowledge on this? Is there something a Christian can do that others cannot in the realm of service?

    It sounds to me like you would rather stand on your own works than on faith in what you already have been given, Jesus Christ, and that sounds like sand. You do not sound like your are free to love your neighbor, but would rather sacrifice his well-being for this project of “giving glory to God,” something he has plenty of already.

    “Yes, in serving God I do serve others, but I cannot serve others desires at the expense of glorifying God.”

    While you are busy making sandwiches for God, there are others out there who will actually eat those sandwiches.

  • Wayne Almlie

    I live in Des Moines, and there was a second young lady that did wrestle her opponent. They showed part of that match on the news, and from my perspective it seemed inappropiate. A Boy and a girl of that age going at it on the matt, having to grope and grab for any pary of the body you can get your hands on for leverage and advantage.

    I would argue against this on the basis of scripture. Deut 22:5
    5 “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God. NKJV

    I believe this is about more than just clothing, it is about maintaining clear distictions between what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. I know there may be many reasons but I believe one of the reasons we have so much gender confusion in our society today is because many children grow up without fathers, and even when their is an intact family, our culture has blurred the line so much that children grow up not knowing what it means to be a man, or what it means to be a woman.

    Fifty years ago, young boys were challenged to grow up and be a man. Today it doesn’t mean anything, as a matter of fact it’s mocked and laughed at. Just watch the sit-coms and commercials, the man is alway the idiot, the dufus, the fool.

    This again is yet another example in our culture where they are probably purposely blurring the line. Ultimately the goal is to destroy the traditional family, and they are almost there.

  • Wayne Almlie

    I live in Des Moines, and there was a second young lady that did wrestle her opponent. They showed part of that match on the news, and from my perspective it seemed inappropiate. A Boy and a girl of that age going at it on the matt, having to grope and grab for any pary of the body you can get your hands on for leverage and advantage.

    I would argue against this on the basis of scripture. Deut 22:5
    5 “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God. NKJV

    I believe this is about more than just clothing, it is about maintaining clear distictions between what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. I know there may be many reasons but I believe one of the reasons we have so much gender confusion in our society today is because many children grow up without fathers, and even when their is an intact family, our culture has blurred the line so much that children grow up not knowing what it means to be a man, or what it means to be a woman.

    Fifty years ago, young boys were challenged to grow up and be a man. Today it doesn’t mean anything, as a matter of fact it’s mocked and laughed at. Just watch the sit-coms and commercials, the man is alway the idiot, the dufus, the fool.

    This again is yet another example in our culture where they are probably purposely blurring the line. Ultimately the goal is to destroy the traditional family, and they are almost there.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    tODD @ 49

    “Okay, so in this situation “between two boy wrestlers” you mention, what happened? Was one boy traumatized? Was the other one branded as a sexual offender? Was boy-boy wrestling banned as a result?”

    Here is one article -
    http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/12/05/2185736/was-clovis-wrestlers-legal-move.html

    I didn’t follow the case to conclusion, just noted the fact it happened.

    Can you imagine if this move was done to a female wrestler and inadvertently resulted in anal or vaginal penetration? It would be a trainwreck.

    Would you let your adolescent daughter go out on the mat in a skin tight uniform to roll around with testosterone charged teenage boys?
    It is so obviously a bad idea…..

    Just sayin….

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    tODD @ 49

    “Okay, so in this situation “between two boy wrestlers” you mention, what happened? Was one boy traumatized? Was the other one branded as a sexual offender? Was boy-boy wrestling banned as a result?”

    Here is one article -
    http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/12/05/2185736/was-clovis-wrestlers-legal-move.html

    I didn’t follow the case to conclusion, just noted the fact it happened.

    Can you imagine if this move was done to a female wrestler and inadvertently resulted in anal or vaginal penetration? It would be a trainwreck.

    Would you let your adolescent daughter go out on the mat in a skin tight uniform to roll around with testosterone charged teenage boys?
    It is so obviously a bad idea…..

    Just sayin….

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Grace @ 67, just referring to incidence rate. Not saying certainty, just more likely.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Grace @ 67, just referring to incidence rate. Not saying certainty, just more likely.

  • Stephen

    Todd @ 83

    Good one!

    We are talking about kids for one thing, remember. Consider that for a moment. Stick a pin in it. If his father teaches him it is wrong to violently engage a girl, then he’d better not do it. That is his station and vocation. That does not make it a “code” in the same sense of it always being wrong, like say when a cop needs to wrestle and armed woman to the ground who has gun and is threatening to shoot her drunk husband. The cop’s vocation in that situation is to wrestle. The kid’s is to forfeit the match. The parent’s is to teach his son that, while violence and aggression to no purpose is to be avoided in general, violence toward girls is “especially” bad. Sport involves aggression in the form of channeled violence which can be healthy, but my argument is that it is a mixed message to a boy who will grow into a man with vastly superior strength in most instances to women. Teaching him that it is okay to use his physical aggression on a girl is not the right lesson. It feeds a social ill that has always been with us. And come to think of it, this is a school setting, so you might think there would be some concern for what lessons are being taught. Athletics do teach lessons, or they certainly are supposed to.

  • Stephen

    Todd @ 83

    Good one!

    We are talking about kids for one thing, remember. Consider that for a moment. Stick a pin in it. If his father teaches him it is wrong to violently engage a girl, then he’d better not do it. That is his station and vocation. That does not make it a “code” in the same sense of it always being wrong, like say when a cop needs to wrestle and armed woman to the ground who has gun and is threatening to shoot her drunk husband. The cop’s vocation in that situation is to wrestle. The kid’s is to forfeit the match. The parent’s is to teach his son that, while violence and aggression to no purpose is to be avoided in general, violence toward girls is “especially” bad. Sport involves aggression in the form of channeled violence which can be healthy, but my argument is that it is a mixed message to a boy who will grow into a man with vastly superior strength in most instances to women. Teaching him that it is okay to use his physical aggression on a girl is not the right lesson. It feeds a social ill that has always been with us. And come to think of it, this is a school setting, so you might think there would be some concern for what lessons are being taught. Athletics do teach lessons, or they certainly are supposed to.

  • The Jones

    tODD @78,

    Yes, social convention has a huge effect on what is right or wrong. There are certain actions that would be downright rude to the point that they are immoral if you did them, but the impetus to do them only comes from social convention. If a 6th grader in my class calls me “Dude” and not “Mr. Jones,” he could defend himself by citing the changing mores or the relative nature of social convention, but I’d still get him in trouble for it. The Bible tells us to love and be kind to one another. It does not tell us exactly how. Social convention fills the gaps.

    Second, yes there IS a reason from the Bible to treat men and women differently. Namely, it’s that the Bible treats men and women differently. You seem to think that slamming somebody on the mat and choking them is a bad thing. No. I think it is awesome. I just don’t think it is awesome when a man does it to a woman. Things like the Bible calling them the weaker sex, calling men to lay down their lives for their wives, calls for women to be silent, etc. There is no direct verse to say “Thou shalt not wrestle with women” (unless you want to count Prov. 31:3, I don’t exactly want to) , but you can get a pretty good social convention to put these biblical conventions into practice. That’s how it becomes moral.

    The last point about Corinthians was to say that EVEN IF all other arguments failed, it is not a duty of Northrup to go against his conscience (hence the “deprived” language), it is the duty of the others to recognize HIS conscience.

    Also, your reasoning about why it is morally right to wrestle with women was
    “because God has gifted him with wrestling skill, he enjoys it, and he wishes to compete with a similar person.”

    I won’t go into the gender caveat of the loaded phrase “similar person,” but I will point out that your argument basically comes down to
    1. He’s good at it and
    2. He likes it,
    Therefore he should do it.
    That moral reasoning is so full of holes, I don’t know where to begin. I could use the same argument for the morality of binge drinking contests.

  • The Jones

    tODD @78,

    Yes, social convention has a huge effect on what is right or wrong. There are certain actions that would be downright rude to the point that they are immoral if you did them, but the impetus to do them only comes from social convention. If a 6th grader in my class calls me “Dude” and not “Mr. Jones,” he could defend himself by citing the changing mores or the relative nature of social convention, but I’d still get him in trouble for it. The Bible tells us to love and be kind to one another. It does not tell us exactly how. Social convention fills the gaps.

    Second, yes there IS a reason from the Bible to treat men and women differently. Namely, it’s that the Bible treats men and women differently. You seem to think that slamming somebody on the mat and choking them is a bad thing. No. I think it is awesome. I just don’t think it is awesome when a man does it to a woman. Things like the Bible calling them the weaker sex, calling men to lay down their lives for their wives, calls for women to be silent, etc. There is no direct verse to say “Thou shalt not wrestle with women” (unless you want to count Prov. 31:3, I don’t exactly want to) , but you can get a pretty good social convention to put these biblical conventions into practice. That’s how it becomes moral.

    The last point about Corinthians was to say that EVEN IF all other arguments failed, it is not a duty of Northrup to go against his conscience (hence the “deprived” language), it is the duty of the others to recognize HIS conscience.

    Also, your reasoning about why it is morally right to wrestle with women was
    “because God has gifted him with wrestling skill, he enjoys it, and he wishes to compete with a similar person.”

    I won’t go into the gender caveat of the loaded phrase “similar person,” but I will point out that your argument basically comes down to
    1. He’s good at it and
    2. He likes it,
    Therefore he should do it.
    That moral reasoning is so full of holes, I don’t know where to begin. I could use the same argument for the morality of binge drinking contests.

  • Grace

    God gave us all a conscience, some use it, and some ignore it until it doesn’t remind them anymore of their deeds.

    For all you males who think it’s ok to wrestle women, and hold a young man up to ridicule because he refuses to ruff up a female, on a mat, I say:

    SHAME ON YOU!

  • Grace

    God gave us all a conscience, some use it, and some ignore it until it doesn’t remind them anymore of their deeds.

    For all you males who think it’s ok to wrestle women, and hold a young man up to ridicule because he refuses to ruff up a female, on a mat, I say:

    SHAME ON YOU!

  • Dan Kempin

    Stephen, #77,

    So where in the confessions did you read that the conscience is an infallible guide to morality over the scripture? That, I am confident, is what tODD meant by “God’s Law.” Norma Normans. Conscience can err.

    I suppose you may say (#82) that when the conscience errs, it is not really the conscience . . . but how does that help? How do you know what impulse is divine law written in your heart and what is “conforming to a code imposed from the outside?” Wait. I guess you would have to depend on Scripture to sort that out.

    In short, I’m not sure of your confessional point. How did tODD’s comment about the fallibility of conscience invoke reason and scholasticism? And where is that in the confessions?

  • Dan Kempin

    Stephen, #77,

    So where in the confessions did you read that the conscience is an infallible guide to morality over the scripture? That, I am confident, is what tODD meant by “God’s Law.” Norma Normans. Conscience can err.

    I suppose you may say (#82) that when the conscience errs, it is not really the conscience . . . but how does that help? How do you know what impulse is divine law written in your heart and what is “conforming to a code imposed from the outside?” Wait. I guess you would have to depend on Scripture to sort that out.

    In short, I’m not sure of your confessional point. How did tODD’s comment about the fallibility of conscience invoke reason and scholasticism? And where is that in the confessions?

  • Stephen

    “It is easy for idle men to feign such dreams concerning love, as, that a person guilty of mortal sin can love God above all things, because they do not feel what the wrath or judgment of God is. But in agony of conscience and in conflicts [with Satan] conscience experiences the emptiness of these philosophical speculations. 38] Paul says, Rom. 4:15: The Law worketh wrath. He does not say that by the Law men merit the remission of sins. For the Law always accuses and terrifies consciences. Therefore it does not justify, because conscience terrified by the Law flees from the judgment of God. Therefore they err who trust that by the Law, by their own works, they merit the remission of sins. 39] It is sufficient for us to have said these things concerning the righteousness of reason or of the Law, which the adversaries teach.”

    It’s late Don, and that’s just a little tidbit that does not really do justice to the Confessions. As you probably know, the Confessions deal with the troubled conscience, and I’d say almost exclusively for that matter. Essentially they repeat over and over that the gospel itself matters only to “God and a troubled conscience.” It’s my understanding, as indicated in the quotation above from Art IV, that the conscience is not fallen, though I know this is taught and is in fact the “official” position as such (it’s in the new Lutheran Study Bible unfortunately). I was being a bit tongue in cheek earlier, but I actually think our Confessions say something different. I think they suggest that the conscience is more closely to be associated with what it means when Paul says that the law is spiritual. By that I mean that the conscience IS the law in our hearts – a kind of piercing self-understanding of shame that convinces us of our sinfulness against God and one another.

    This is why Jesus can say to us “You have heard that it was said . . .” and then go on to say that if we think murder is bad, we need to make peace with someone we are angry with. His preaching of the law is an earthquake that breaks every heart that thinks by its own moral reasoning that it can live by the letter, and so make distinctions between good and bad, worse sins and not so bad ones, who is wheat and who is tare, who is righteous and who is not. None of that. All have sinned, right down to the core. Not just shame on you, but shame in you that comes out of you, out of the heart.

    So, the conscience is not there to set us straight about the rules, and thus point us in the right direction so we do the right thing. The end result of having a conscience at peace, a peace that only Christ gives, is not so we can follow the rules better. The conscience is there to . . . trouble us, for lack of a better way to say it. It is there so that while we live in this old Adam body of sin and death that struggles under the law we cling to Christ in faith. In this sense, it is not fallible. It does exactly what it is supposed to do – bother us until we find our peace and rest in Christ alone, alone, alone – not, however, in keeping the law because we think we know what the letter of it is just because it says so in the bible.

    Now I know I will take heat for that last line, but it is the difference between the spirit and the letter, between walking by faith and not by sight. I’m sure you can see that. Neither is that antinomian. The law is on us all the time, accusing the conscience to mortify the flesh for the sake of service to the neighbor. That is our baptismal life, right? We get to do that because our promise is assured in the one in whom we trust. That is Christ in us – the hope of glory.

    I kind of jumped into it there and did not mean to insult you or anything, but I think the conscience gets a bad rap just because we think it is supposed to have some of answer based in the law. Jesus is it’s answer, the answer it is searching for, the reason troubled consciences respond when they hear the gospel preached in far away lands. It leads us to faith. That faith looks just like service to others. In this kingdom, as far as kids go, they need instruction and teaching. Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Train them up in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. Both of those assume a time of letting go and trusting in God’s goodness to go with them. Faith and a conscience.

    Now, I have been thinking, since I’m a daddy, whether forming a conscience is what I am doing. I don’t think that is really something to worry about. I actually do not think I am. Watching little two year olds test boundaries seems to indicate that they know boundaries exist. I mean, how else would they know to test them? When my daughter was two she bit me very hard on the shoulder out of sheer exuberance and I yelped. She was mortified (good word, eh?). She was tormented all evening by what she had done even though I did not scold her. Her reaction was immediate. It is because we love, or we desire to be loved, or something like that, that our conscience is there, deep in our hearts. And so it does not surprise me that the whole of the law is love, that Jesus would express the law this way, all of it, and that Luther put so much emphasis on things being reconciled in the heart just like St. Paul.

    Maybe it is not correct to say “let your conscience be you guide” but perhaps it would not be incorrect to ask “what does you gut tell you?” The latter may not be the best way to decide foreign policy ala GW Bush, but it may clear the air, remind one of who they are in Christ, and give them some clarity to remember their station in a given situation (if you understand what I mean by that – the law is always in view because old Adam is too), and make a decision that is the most faithful one they can make in that moment. And then . . . believe and trust.

  • Stephen

    “It is easy for idle men to feign such dreams concerning love, as, that a person guilty of mortal sin can love God above all things, because they do not feel what the wrath or judgment of God is. But in agony of conscience and in conflicts [with Satan] conscience experiences the emptiness of these philosophical speculations. 38] Paul says, Rom. 4:15: The Law worketh wrath. He does not say that by the Law men merit the remission of sins. For the Law always accuses and terrifies consciences. Therefore it does not justify, because conscience terrified by the Law flees from the judgment of God. Therefore they err who trust that by the Law, by their own works, they merit the remission of sins. 39] It is sufficient for us to have said these things concerning the righteousness of reason or of the Law, which the adversaries teach.”

    It’s late Don, and that’s just a little tidbit that does not really do justice to the Confessions. As you probably know, the Confessions deal with the troubled conscience, and I’d say almost exclusively for that matter. Essentially they repeat over and over that the gospel itself matters only to “God and a troubled conscience.” It’s my understanding, as indicated in the quotation above from Art IV, that the conscience is not fallen, though I know this is taught and is in fact the “official” position as such (it’s in the new Lutheran Study Bible unfortunately). I was being a bit tongue in cheek earlier, but I actually think our Confessions say something different. I think they suggest that the conscience is more closely to be associated with what it means when Paul says that the law is spiritual. By that I mean that the conscience IS the law in our hearts – a kind of piercing self-understanding of shame that convinces us of our sinfulness against God and one another.

    This is why Jesus can say to us “You have heard that it was said . . .” and then go on to say that if we think murder is bad, we need to make peace with someone we are angry with. His preaching of the law is an earthquake that breaks every heart that thinks by its own moral reasoning that it can live by the letter, and so make distinctions between good and bad, worse sins and not so bad ones, who is wheat and who is tare, who is righteous and who is not. None of that. All have sinned, right down to the core. Not just shame on you, but shame in you that comes out of you, out of the heart.

    So, the conscience is not there to set us straight about the rules, and thus point us in the right direction so we do the right thing. The end result of having a conscience at peace, a peace that only Christ gives, is not so we can follow the rules better. The conscience is there to . . . trouble us, for lack of a better way to say it. It is there so that while we live in this old Adam body of sin and death that struggles under the law we cling to Christ in faith. In this sense, it is not fallible. It does exactly what it is supposed to do – bother us until we find our peace and rest in Christ alone, alone, alone – not, however, in keeping the law because we think we know what the letter of it is just because it says so in the bible.

    Now I know I will take heat for that last line, but it is the difference between the spirit and the letter, between walking by faith and not by sight. I’m sure you can see that. Neither is that antinomian. The law is on us all the time, accusing the conscience to mortify the flesh for the sake of service to the neighbor. That is our baptismal life, right? We get to do that because our promise is assured in the one in whom we trust. That is Christ in us – the hope of glory.

    I kind of jumped into it there and did not mean to insult you or anything, but I think the conscience gets a bad rap just because we think it is supposed to have some of answer based in the law. Jesus is it’s answer, the answer it is searching for, the reason troubled consciences respond when they hear the gospel preached in far away lands. It leads us to faith. That faith looks just like service to others. In this kingdom, as far as kids go, they need instruction and teaching. Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Train them up in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. Both of those assume a time of letting go and trusting in God’s goodness to go with them. Faith and a conscience.

    Now, I have been thinking, since I’m a daddy, whether forming a conscience is what I am doing. I don’t think that is really something to worry about. I actually do not think I am. Watching little two year olds test boundaries seems to indicate that they know boundaries exist. I mean, how else would they know to test them? When my daughter was two she bit me very hard on the shoulder out of sheer exuberance and I yelped. She was mortified (good word, eh?). She was tormented all evening by what she had done even though I did not scold her. Her reaction was immediate. It is because we love, or we desire to be loved, or something like that, that our conscience is there, deep in our hearts. And so it does not surprise me that the whole of the law is love, that Jesus would express the law this way, all of it, and that Luther put so much emphasis on things being reconciled in the heart just like St. Paul.

    Maybe it is not correct to say “let your conscience be you guide” but perhaps it would not be incorrect to ask “what does you gut tell you?” The latter may not be the best way to decide foreign policy ala GW Bush, but it may clear the air, remind one of who they are in Christ, and give them some clarity to remember their station in a given situation (if you understand what I mean by that – the law is always in view because old Adam is too), and make a decision that is the most faithful one they can make in that moment. And then . . . believe and trust.

  • Stephen

    I wrote my #92 to Don and I meant it to Dan Kempin @ 91

  • Stephen

    I wrote my #92 to Don and I meant it to Dan Kempin @ 91

  • Dust

    Gee tODD at 83, that is so deeeeep! Why not the idea that a boy should wrestle a girl as one that comes from a code from the outside? That actually would be more truthful, as it conforms to the natural order of things that has been going on much longer than the “new and improved” one imposed on their children from radical folks trying so hard to be so different…do you really think a young man would think up this stuff themselves? Well, perhaps some would, but the vast majority would not, so why impose your code on them? Such a shame truly….you were right on Grace!

  • Dust

    Gee tODD at 83, that is so deeeeep! Why not the idea that a boy should wrestle a girl as one that comes from a code from the outside? That actually would be more truthful, as it conforms to the natural order of things that has been going on much longer than the “new and improved” one imposed on their children from radical folks trying so hard to be so different…do you really think a young man would think up this stuff themselves? Well, perhaps some would, but the vast majority would not, so why impose your code on them? Such a shame truly….you were right on Grace!

  • kerner

    I said earlier that I really didn’t have time to give this topic the thought it deserved. I want to thank Stephen and the Jones for saying a lot of what I was trying to get across @75 and 76. I still don’t have time right now. But tODD, “a man beating a woman as a spectator sport” may be slight hyperbloe, but not very much.

  • kerner

    I said earlier that I really didn’t have time to give this topic the thought it deserved. I want to thank Stephen and the Jones for saying a lot of what I was trying to get across @75 and 76. I still don’t have time right now. But tODD, “a man beating a woman as a spectator sport” may be slight hyperbloe, but not very much.

  • Stephen

    By the way, I don’t know how many read about this story when it came out, but from what I read, the kids parted ways amicably and there was not hard feelings at all. As far as public statements by the parents and the kids, neither party held any ill will toward the other.

    Just thought I’d throw that in there. We’re the ones getting all worked up. I do think the boy got treated badly, not so much by the girl herself, but by the school district that did not come up with a better alternative so that she could have a way to participate in a sport she was interested in that was only available to boys. So in a way, she got treated badly as well.

    No easy answer in a situation of competing values – girl wants to play, her parents are taxpayers and there are no other options available. Boys have that option, why not this kid? Fair question. Or, did the school administrators just lack creativity and take the path of least resistance and not think it through? Meanwhile, the boy must “do the right thing” and give up his sport so that she can play. He should not have to do that. He should not have to wrestle a girl simply because it isn’t a good lesson to teach a boy about how to treat girls, and this is supposed to be education. I think it falls under civility when considered in light of all the historic violence against women. One does not even need to invoke more narrow claims about personal morality. School is supposed to civilize citizens. This flies in the face of that.

    Fire the school board.

  • Stephen

    By the way, I don’t know how many read about this story when it came out, but from what I read, the kids parted ways amicably and there was not hard feelings at all. As far as public statements by the parents and the kids, neither party held any ill will toward the other.

    Just thought I’d throw that in there. We’re the ones getting all worked up. I do think the boy got treated badly, not so much by the girl herself, but by the school district that did not come up with a better alternative so that she could have a way to participate in a sport she was interested in that was only available to boys. So in a way, she got treated badly as well.

    No easy answer in a situation of competing values – girl wants to play, her parents are taxpayers and there are no other options available. Boys have that option, why not this kid? Fair question. Or, did the school administrators just lack creativity and take the path of least resistance and not think it through? Meanwhile, the boy must “do the right thing” and give up his sport so that she can play. He should not have to do that. He should not have to wrestle a girl simply because it isn’t a good lesson to teach a boy about how to treat girls, and this is supposed to be education. I think it falls under civility when considered in light of all the historic violence against women. One does not even need to invoke more narrow claims about personal morality. School is supposed to civilize citizens. This flies in the face of that.

    Fire the school board.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Catching up!

    DonS said (@68):

    Of course, my statement isn’t universal — it was directed at a particular situation where Joel’s conscience and underlying belief was mainstream and even considered by many to be noble. Were his expressed motivation for forfeiting to be, instead, racist, that would be a very different situation.

    But this is just subjecting conscience to popular vote. If your “conscience” tells you something in keeping with “mainstream” belief, that “many consider to be noble”, then listen to your conscience. However, if your “conscience” tells you to do something “racist”, well then, that’s “a very different situation”! Which, of course, boils down to: don’t listen to your conscience, listen to what is mainstream. Which suggestion is the opposite of what you claim to be championing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Catching up!

    DonS said (@68):

    Of course, my statement isn’t universal — it was directed at a particular situation where Joel’s conscience and underlying belief was mainstream and even considered by many to be noble. Were his expressed motivation for forfeiting to be, instead, racist, that would be a very different situation.

    But this is just subjecting conscience to popular vote. If your “conscience” tells you something in keeping with “mainstream” belief, that “many consider to be noble”, then listen to your conscience. However, if your “conscience” tells you to do something “racist”, well then, that’s “a very different situation”! Which, of course, boils down to: don’t listen to your conscience, listen to what is mainstream. Which suggestion is the opposite of what you claim to be championing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JD (@79), let me put it this way. You appear to be drawing a rather sharp distinction between “glorifying God” on the one hand, and “serving others”, on the other. As you put it, “I do not feel that it necessarily follows that serving others is always serving God for his glory.”

    Which causes me to wonder what you think “serving others” means. After all, Jesus, in summarizing all the Law and the Prophets in two commandments, said that the second, “Love your neighbor as yourself”, is like the first commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Do you also think that it doesn’t necessarily follow that loving your neighbor is always loving God?

    Put differently, is there a way to show love to God that does not also show love to your neighbor?

    You said:

    What made Jesus angry was that [the Pharisees] were not showing their love TO God. … The road to being a Pharisee (ie a hypocrite) starts with the adoption of a morality whose purpose exists solely to serve horizontally.

    I’m sorry, but that doesn’t resonate with anything I’ve read in the Gospels at all. Are you accusing the Pharisees of being entirely too focused on loving their neighbors (cf. “serve horizontally”), so that they forgot to show love to God? On what basis could you make such a claim?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    JD (@79), let me put it this way. You appear to be drawing a rather sharp distinction between “glorifying God” on the one hand, and “serving others”, on the other. As you put it, “I do not feel that it necessarily follows that serving others is always serving God for his glory.”

    Which causes me to wonder what you think “serving others” means. After all, Jesus, in summarizing all the Law and the Prophets in two commandments, said that the second, “Love your neighbor as yourself”, is like the first commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Do you also think that it doesn’t necessarily follow that loving your neighbor is always loving God?

    Put differently, is there a way to show love to God that does not also show love to your neighbor?

    You said:

    What made Jesus angry was that [the Pharisees] were not showing their love TO God. … The road to being a Pharisee (ie a hypocrite) starts with the adoption of a morality whose purpose exists solely to serve horizontally.

    I’m sorry, but that doesn’t resonate with anything I’ve read in the Gospels at all. Are you accusing the Pharisees of being entirely too focused on loving their neighbors (cf. “serve horizontally”), so that they forgot to show love to God? On what basis could you make such a claim?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wayne said (@85),

    They showed part of that match on the news, and from my perspective it seemed inappropiate. A Boy and a girl of that age going at it on the matt, having to grope and grab for any pary of the body you can get your hands on for leverage and advantage.

    Once again, would such a match have been any more appropriate if it had been two boys “of that age going at it on the mat, having to grope and grab for any pary of the body you can get your hands on”?

    And, as seems to be popular here today, you then manage to shoehorn in an irrelevant Bible verse to justify this opinion. Even if we somehow manage to ignore the entire context of Deuteronomy — that is, to whom those words were being spoken, and why that law does not apply to Christians today (or do you also believe, Wayne, that every Christian should make tassels on the four corners of his cloak?) — it still remains that you’re ignoring what Deut. 22:5 actually says, preferring instead to read into any number of commands regarding “what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman”.

    In your attempt to use Scripture to back up your cultural ideas, Wayne, you’ve sort of butchered Scripture.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wayne said (@85),

    They showed part of that match on the news, and from my perspective it seemed inappropiate. A Boy and a girl of that age going at it on the matt, having to grope and grab for any pary of the body you can get your hands on for leverage and advantage.

    Once again, would such a match have been any more appropriate if it had been two boys “of that age going at it on the mat, having to grope and grab for any pary of the body you can get your hands on”?

    And, as seems to be popular here today, you then manage to shoehorn in an irrelevant Bible verse to justify this opinion. Even if we somehow manage to ignore the entire context of Deuteronomy — that is, to whom those words were being spoken, and why that law does not apply to Christians today (or do you also believe, Wayne, that every Christian should make tassels on the four corners of his cloak?) — it still remains that you’re ignoring what Deut. 22:5 actually says, preferring instead to read into any number of commands regarding “what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman”.

    In your attempt to use Scripture to back up your cultural ideas, Wayne, you’ve sort of butchered Scripture.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    my take when it happened -
    http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/young-man-refuses-to-wrestle-female.html
    Joel is Homeschooled BTW-
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ Carol-Christian Soldier

    my take when it happened -
    http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/young-man-refuses-to-wrestle-female.html
    Joel is Homeschooled BTW-
    C-CS

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Patrick (@86), thanks for the link. You asked, regarding that story, “Can you imagine if this move was done to a female wrestler and inadvertently resulted in anal or vaginal penetration? It would be a trainwreck.” But … why would it be any different kind of “trainwreck” than has already occurred in the very story you’re pointing me to?

    “Would you let your adolescent daughter go out on the mat in a skin tight uniform to roll around with testosterone charged teenage boys?” Let me turn the question around to you: Would you let your adolescent son go out on the mat in a skin tight uniform to roll around with testosterone charged teenage boys … that might be gay? I don’t have a daughter, nor are any of my children likely to be terribly sporty, if genetics has any say. But I wouldn’t let any of my children play a sport I thought was truly dangerous or so poorly supervised that it was likely to result in sexual assault or injury.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Patrick (@86), thanks for the link. You asked, regarding that story, “Can you imagine if this move was done to a female wrestler and inadvertently resulted in anal or vaginal penetration? It would be a trainwreck.” But … why would it be any different kind of “trainwreck” than has already occurred in the very story you’re pointing me to?

    “Would you let your adolescent daughter go out on the mat in a skin tight uniform to roll around with testosterone charged teenage boys?” Let me turn the question around to you: Would you let your adolescent son go out on the mat in a skin tight uniform to roll around with testosterone charged teenage boys … that might be gay? I don’t have a daughter, nor are any of my children likely to be terribly sporty, if genetics has any say. But I wouldn’t let any of my children play a sport I thought was truly dangerous or so poorly supervised that it was likely to result in sexual assault or injury.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@88) said, “We are talking about kids for one thing, remember. … If his father teaches him it is wrong to violently engage a girl, then he’d better not do it.” I’m not sure. I’d bet we both agree that there is a clear limit to how far a child should follow his father’s instructions and agree with his beliefs. Surely I don’t have to make up an example.

    “The parent’s is to teach his son that, while violence and aggression to no purpose is to be avoided in general, violence toward girls is ‘especially’ bad.” But you haven’t given any reason why it should be considered “especially” bad! Can you point to something Scriptural, since my conscience is clearly deficient? Is there something like “love your neighbor as yourself, but especially love your female neighbors like yourself” that I’m missing somewhere?

    “A boy who will grow into a man with vastly superior strength in most instances to women”. Yes, I keep hearing this, but this obviously does not apply in the context of wrestling, in which the boy is necessarily matched against a girl in his own weight class and, at least in the story we’re discussing, that girl has proven herself stronger than quite a few other boys. Female wrestlers are not average women, anymore than are male wrestlers.

    What’s more, I find particularly specious the argument that the specific actions involved in sport teach us about appropriate behavior in everyday life. If that were so, then anybody wrestling would be subject to the critiques you offer, not just male-female. I took a co-ed fencing class in college, and I did not learn any lessons about how society wants me to stab women with a wee, nimble weapon.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@88) said, “We are talking about kids for one thing, remember. … If his father teaches him it is wrong to violently engage a girl, then he’d better not do it.” I’m not sure. I’d bet we both agree that there is a clear limit to how far a child should follow his father’s instructions and agree with his beliefs. Surely I don’t have to make up an example.

    “The parent’s is to teach his son that, while violence and aggression to no purpose is to be avoided in general, violence toward girls is ‘especially’ bad.” But you haven’t given any reason why it should be considered “especially” bad! Can you point to something Scriptural, since my conscience is clearly deficient? Is there something like “love your neighbor as yourself, but especially love your female neighbors like yourself” that I’m missing somewhere?

    “A boy who will grow into a man with vastly superior strength in most instances to women”. Yes, I keep hearing this, but this obviously does not apply in the context of wrestling, in which the boy is necessarily matched against a girl in his own weight class and, at least in the story we’re discussing, that girl has proven herself stronger than quite a few other boys. Female wrestlers are not average women, anymore than are male wrestlers.

    What’s more, I find particularly specious the argument that the specific actions involved in sport teach us about appropriate behavior in everyday life. If that were so, then anybody wrestling would be subject to the critiques you offer, not just male-female. I took a co-ed fencing class in college, and I did not learn any lessons about how society wants me to stab women with a wee, nimble weapon.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones (@89), you begin by claiming that “yes, social convention has a huge effect on what is right or wrong,” but then immediately undermine your own claim by giving a hypothetical example in which a student, appealing to changing social convention, discovers that his moral obligation to respect authority has not changed. So … which of these two disparate points do you wish me to engage?

    And if “social convention fills the gaps”, telling us how to “love and be kind to one another”, then why are the Gospels filled with stories of Jesus’ acts of love and kindness repeatedly flying in the face of social convention? Did “social convention” tell Father Damien to work with people with leprosy, or did his work fly in the face of such convention?

    What’s more, now that social convention seems to have deemed it okay for boys to wrestle girls, you actually appear to be arguing against social convention, anyhow.

    Second, yes there IS a reason from the Bible to treat men and women differently. Namely, it’s that the Bible treats men and women differently. … Things like the Bible calling them the weaker sex, calling men to lay down their lives for their wives, calls for women to be silent, etc.

    The first two verses, of course, refer to the vocations of wives, not all women, and the last refers to men’s special role as authorities in the church, all of which I agree with. But it appears that what God wants me to think about co-ed wrestling must be found in the penumbras and emanations of Scripture — if I squint, perhaps. And yet, if it is so clear that these verses that apply to specific circumstances should actually be read to apply in all male-female situations, then why is it not clear that not only are all co-ed sports prohibited by Scripture, but in fact any sort of male-female competition whatsoever?

    You seem to think that slamming somebody on the mat and choking them is a bad thing. No. I think it is awesome. I just don’t think it is awesome when a man does it to a woman.

    I’m sorry, but are you thinking of wWE Raw?! If you think a man “choking” another man is “awesome”, you not only don’t know much about actual wrestling, you have other issues, to boot.

    Finally, you said:

    That moral reasoning is so full of holes, I don’t know where to begin. I could use the same argument for the morality of binge drinking contests.

    Well, no, you couldn’t, because the Bible is clear about drunkeness being sinful, see? Whereas it is not clear in prohibiting co-ed wrestling. That was my point. I do not need to go to the Bible to prove why it’s okay to do something that is adiaphora, since such adiaphoron would (by definition) not preclude anyone from loving their neighbor or God. You might as well demand that I provide reasons for why it is “right” to eat a slice of bread before I do so.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones (@89), you begin by claiming that “yes, social convention has a huge effect on what is right or wrong,” but then immediately undermine your own claim by giving a hypothetical example in which a student, appealing to changing social convention, discovers that his moral obligation to respect authority has not changed. So … which of these two disparate points do you wish me to engage?

    And if “social convention fills the gaps”, telling us how to “love and be kind to one another”, then why are the Gospels filled with stories of Jesus’ acts of love and kindness repeatedly flying in the face of social convention? Did “social convention” tell Father Damien to work with people with leprosy, or did his work fly in the face of such convention?

    What’s more, now that social convention seems to have deemed it okay for boys to wrestle girls, you actually appear to be arguing against social convention, anyhow.

    Second, yes there IS a reason from the Bible to treat men and women differently. Namely, it’s that the Bible treats men and women differently. … Things like the Bible calling them the weaker sex, calling men to lay down their lives for their wives, calls for women to be silent, etc.

    The first two verses, of course, refer to the vocations of wives, not all women, and the last refers to men’s special role as authorities in the church, all of which I agree with. But it appears that what God wants me to think about co-ed wrestling must be found in the penumbras and emanations of Scripture — if I squint, perhaps. And yet, if it is so clear that these verses that apply to specific circumstances should actually be read to apply in all male-female situations, then why is it not clear that not only are all co-ed sports prohibited by Scripture, but in fact any sort of male-female competition whatsoever?

    You seem to think that slamming somebody on the mat and choking them is a bad thing. No. I think it is awesome. I just don’t think it is awesome when a man does it to a woman.

    I’m sorry, but are you thinking of wWE Raw?! If you think a man “choking” another man is “awesome”, you not only don’t know much about actual wrestling, you have other issues, to boot.

    Finally, you said:

    That moral reasoning is so full of holes, I don’t know where to begin. I could use the same argument for the morality of binge drinking contests.

    Well, no, you couldn’t, because the Bible is clear about drunkeness being sinful, see? Whereas it is not clear in prohibiting co-ed wrestling. That was my point. I do not need to go to the Bible to prove why it’s okay to do something that is adiaphora, since such adiaphoron would (by definition) not preclude anyone from loving their neighbor or God. You might as well demand that I provide reasons for why it is “right” to eat a slice of bread before I do so.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@92), I’m having a hard time seeing how your quote from Article IV of the Apology backs up your claim that the Confessions and Scripture teach that “the conscience is not fallen”.

    We all agree that, as per your quote, “the Law always accuses and terrifies consciences.” The question for debate here, though, is: does a terrified conscience (as with a boy’s that considers it immoral to wrestle a girl, say) necessarily always signal the teaching of God’s Law?

    I would think that more relevant sections on the interaction of conscience and tradition could be found in Article IV of the Apology:

    But just as Alexander once for all solved the Gordian knot by cutting it with his sword when he could not disentangle it, so the apostles once for all free consciences from traditions, especially if they are taught to merit justification. …

    This topic concerning traditions contains many and difficult questions of controversy, and we have actually experienced that traditions are truly snares of consciences. When they are exacted as necessary, they torture in wonderful ways the conscience

    Again, I don’t think the Confessions speak directly to this question, per se, but I think that part of the Apology shows how a conscience can be unnecessarily — indeed, immorally — troubled by human tradition. Which would mean that such a tortured, snared conscience could not itself be trusted to discern God’s will in a matter.

    As always, as Dan indicated, we must turn to Scripture to see if we have things right.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@92), I’m having a hard time seeing how your quote from Article IV of the Apology backs up your claim that the Confessions and Scripture teach that “the conscience is not fallen”.

    We all agree that, as per your quote, “the Law always accuses and terrifies consciences.” The question for debate here, though, is: does a terrified conscience (as with a boy’s that considers it immoral to wrestle a girl, say) necessarily always signal the teaching of God’s Law?

    I would think that more relevant sections on the interaction of conscience and tradition could be found in Article IV of the Apology:

    But just as Alexander once for all solved the Gordian knot by cutting it with his sword when he could not disentangle it, so the apostles once for all free consciences from traditions, especially if they are taught to merit justification. …

    This topic concerning traditions contains many and difficult questions of controversy, and we have actually experienced that traditions are truly snares of consciences. When they are exacted as necessary, they torture in wonderful ways the conscience

    Again, I don’t think the Confessions speak directly to this question, per se, but I think that part of the Apology shows how a conscience can be unnecessarily — indeed, immorally — troubled by human tradition. Which would mean that such a tortured, snared conscience could not itself be trusted to discern God’s will in a matter.

    As always, as Dan indicated, we must turn to Scripture to see if we have things right.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But this is just subjecting conscience to popular vote. If your “conscience” tells you something in keeping with “mainstream” belief, that “many consider to be noble”, then listen to your conscience. However, if your “conscience” tells you to do something “racist”, well then, that’s “a very different situation”! Which, of course, boils down to: don’t listen to your conscience, listen to what is mainstream. Which suggestion is the opposite of what you claim to be championing.”

    Bravo!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But this is just subjecting conscience to popular vote. If your “conscience” tells you something in keeping with “mainstream” belief, that “many consider to be noble”, then listen to your conscience. However, if your “conscience” tells you to do something “racist”, well then, that’s “a very different situation”! Which, of course, boils down to: don’t listen to your conscience, listen to what is mainstream. Which suggestion is the opposite of what you claim to be championing.”

    Bravo!

  • Dan Kempin

    Stephen, #92,

    First, I am by no means offended, though I do have a tendency to make sure that those claiming to be “confessional” are actually dealing with the confessions.

    I think you are chewing on a good and provocative point. In what sense can the conscience be considered Divine Law, “written on the heart?” That is a good question, but in your discussion of it you seem to be blurring the distinction between conscience and Law in the proper sense. As a result, you speak against yourself: On the one hand, you say that the “conscience IS the Law in our hearts.” Further on, you say that that, “the conscience is not there to set us straight about the rules.” It cannot be the Law, and not there to set us straight. That’s what the Law does, as your quote from the confessions emphasizes.

    Tha Law works IN the heart, but the heart is not the Law. Man’s heart is fallible and able to be deceived. God’s Word is infallible. Holy Scripture is the anchor for the conscience.

    I think I understand the point you are exploring, but be careful not to pit the conscience against the Word of revealed Scripture. To use a phrase like “just because it says so in the bible” seems very treacherous for a confessional Lutheran.

  • Dan Kempin

    Stephen, #92,

    First, I am by no means offended, though I do have a tendency to make sure that those claiming to be “confessional” are actually dealing with the confessions.

    I think you are chewing on a good and provocative point. In what sense can the conscience be considered Divine Law, “written on the heart?” That is a good question, but in your discussion of it you seem to be blurring the distinction between conscience and Law in the proper sense. As a result, you speak against yourself: On the one hand, you say that the “conscience IS the Law in our hearts.” Further on, you say that that, “the conscience is not there to set us straight about the rules.” It cannot be the Law, and not there to set us straight. That’s what the Law does, as your quote from the confessions emphasizes.

    Tha Law works IN the heart, but the heart is not the Law. Man’s heart is fallible and able to be deceived. God’s Word is infallible. Holy Scripture is the anchor for the conscience.

    I think I understand the point you are exploring, but be careful not to pit the conscience against the Word of revealed Scripture. To use a phrase like “just because it says so in the bible” seems very treacherous for a confessional Lutheran.

  • Stephen

    Dan @ 106 (and todd who just skims what I write!!!)

    What I want to get away from is moving back to scripture as Divine rule book as in “my conscience is leading me somewhere, check scripture for a rule.” That doesn’t work because what we will find is more accusing law that binds the conscience and gives no rest. I think the conscience in the sense the Confessions are showing us is connected to the law in the way I was meaning more as barometer – pressure is building. Like Augustine said his soul could not rest until it found rest in thee, the conscience does not rest in the law, in rules and codes of conduct. It can only rest in faith and trust Christ, in the promises of baptism.

    So what I meant by holding up the bible in the way that I was hearing it being used was that rather than it revealing faith in Christ, it was there to give us more rules and be some kind of arbitrator. We are always asking it to do this.

    I probably did not use the most precise way of saying it, but my sense is that the conscience is in fact the law “written on men’s hearts” working on it constantly. But it’s action is not necessarily to determine right from wrong as in making correct moral choices from a list of options. It is to seek to do what is faithful. How is that different? Well, it has to do with vocation. Man was not made for the Sabbath. I desire mercy not sacrifice. In the case of this boy who was called on to wrestle a girl, my sense is he obeyed his parents. That is his vocation and the overriding concern of troubled conscience. Does he go to scripture for that? Well, in this case, yes, sort of. Honor your father and mother and not “do not wrestle girls.” That is faith, not rules, telling him to mortify himself (old Adam) under his vocation, even though it might look like we construe it as “doing the right thing.”

    His father, on the other hand, is called to raise him into a young man who does not harm women with violence, which has always been a problem for men. Where does this ethic come from? A number of places. Did it exist before Moses descended the mountain with the tablets? Probably. It exists in other cultures. It is bad and we know it because women carry babies in their bodies and men should protect and care for those bodies as a general rule because they are stronger. Nevertheless, the bible is helpful IF we need it to be a rule book in this instance, but I think all we need is conscience actually. It is what we have in common with others who do not look to scripture for a rule when something is messed up and we agree it is messed up.

    The school failed to live up to its role to do two things: provide a sport for a girl, and teach civility. Someone could have made the second argument without a bible and troubled some consciences about boys, domestic violence and such and maybe they would have had a girls wrestling league. The law is there in the heart. Jesus could have preached his sermon to the Chinese. He has actually, through missionaries.

    Maybe that is more clear. I need to be off to work. Todd, reread what I wrote. I gave lots of reasons why it is not a good idea to TEACH a young boy to be physically violent with a GIRL IN PARTICULAR. It has to do with eventual outcomes. your analogy of fencing is silly. That is college when one is a young adult and experimenting with one’s freedom – ya know, sex and marijuana and stuff. These are teenagers and there parents are standing right there and they are supposed to be learning something and adults are supposed to be teaching them something. This kid seems to have learned well and been taught well. Bully for the girl, but she’s in a confusing mess and the adults are not helping her.

  • Stephen

    Dan @ 106 (and todd who just skims what I write!!!)

    What I want to get away from is moving back to scripture as Divine rule book as in “my conscience is leading me somewhere, check scripture for a rule.” That doesn’t work because what we will find is more accusing law that binds the conscience and gives no rest. I think the conscience in the sense the Confessions are showing us is connected to the law in the way I was meaning more as barometer – pressure is building. Like Augustine said his soul could not rest until it found rest in thee, the conscience does not rest in the law, in rules and codes of conduct. It can only rest in faith and trust Christ, in the promises of baptism.

    So what I meant by holding up the bible in the way that I was hearing it being used was that rather than it revealing faith in Christ, it was there to give us more rules and be some kind of arbitrator. We are always asking it to do this.

    I probably did not use the most precise way of saying it, but my sense is that the conscience is in fact the law “written on men’s hearts” working on it constantly. But it’s action is not necessarily to determine right from wrong as in making correct moral choices from a list of options. It is to seek to do what is faithful. How is that different? Well, it has to do with vocation. Man was not made for the Sabbath. I desire mercy not sacrifice. In the case of this boy who was called on to wrestle a girl, my sense is he obeyed his parents. That is his vocation and the overriding concern of troubled conscience. Does he go to scripture for that? Well, in this case, yes, sort of. Honor your father and mother and not “do not wrestle girls.” That is faith, not rules, telling him to mortify himself (old Adam) under his vocation, even though it might look like we construe it as “doing the right thing.”

    His father, on the other hand, is called to raise him into a young man who does not harm women with violence, which has always been a problem for men. Where does this ethic come from? A number of places. Did it exist before Moses descended the mountain with the tablets? Probably. It exists in other cultures. It is bad and we know it because women carry babies in their bodies and men should protect and care for those bodies as a general rule because they are stronger. Nevertheless, the bible is helpful IF we need it to be a rule book in this instance, but I think all we need is conscience actually. It is what we have in common with others who do not look to scripture for a rule when something is messed up and we agree it is messed up.

    The school failed to live up to its role to do two things: provide a sport for a girl, and teach civility. Someone could have made the second argument without a bible and troubled some consciences about boys, domestic violence and such and maybe they would have had a girls wrestling league. The law is there in the heart. Jesus could have preached his sermon to the Chinese. He has actually, through missionaries.

    Maybe that is more clear. I need to be off to work. Todd, reread what I wrote. I gave lots of reasons why it is not a good idea to TEACH a young boy to be physically violent with a GIRL IN PARTICULAR. It has to do with eventual outcomes. your analogy of fencing is silly. That is college when one is a young adult and experimenting with one’s freedom – ya know, sex and marijuana and stuff. These are teenagers and there parents are standing right there and they are supposed to be learning something and adults are supposed to be teaching them something. This kid seems to have learned well and been taught well. Bully for the girl, but she’s in a confusing mess and the adults are not helping her.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dan @ 106

    stephen is not saying heart=conscience. he is saying that the conscience is written in the heart. ap art IV says that the judgement of conscience is devinely revealed law and that it agrees with the written version of divine law because it is the SAME law.

    This is not divine revelation that is apart from the Word of God. It is the same word of God in , with and under the form of conscience even as it is in , with, and under the form of the paper and ink. And it is the same Law or Word of God therefore that is in, with and under city poop scoop ordinances, tax codes and speed laws that all our Old Adams hate and resent. This is precisely why Luther says we can be certain that do change a diaper is to do what God´s Word tells us and be certain that we are doing God´s Word even though the codified Law says nowhere “change diapers! ” or “have you grieved anyone by word or deed?” (small catechism on confessions) or “if you hate in your heart you have murdered.” Yes Jesus says this. so it is in that printed word. But Jesus says it to make the point I am precisely making now.

    Paul says that the pagans have the same Word of God without having ever seen the Bible. And he says that the same Holy Spirit is driving that Word of God home to their hearts. This is precisely what makes missionary work possible. And that conscience IS God´s Word that the HS is active in!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dan @ 106

    stephen is not saying heart=conscience. he is saying that the conscience is written in the heart. ap art IV says that the judgement of conscience is devinely revealed law and that it agrees with the written version of divine law because it is the SAME law.

    This is not divine revelation that is apart from the Word of God. It is the same word of God in , with and under the form of conscience even as it is in , with, and under the form of the paper and ink. And it is the same Law or Word of God therefore that is in, with and under city poop scoop ordinances, tax codes and speed laws that all our Old Adams hate and resent. This is precisely why Luther says we can be certain that do change a diaper is to do what God´s Word tells us and be certain that we are doing God´s Word even though the codified Law says nowhere “change diapers! ” or “have you grieved anyone by word or deed?” (small catechism on confessions) or “if you hate in your heart you have murdered.” Yes Jesus says this. so it is in that printed word. But Jesus says it to make the point I am precisely making now.

    Paul says that the pagans have the same Word of God without having ever seen the Bible. And he says that the same Holy Spirit is driving that Word of God home to their hearts. This is precisely what makes missionary work possible. And that conscience IS God´s Word that the HS is active in!

  • Dennis Peskey

    FWS – I am a bit muddled by your stated positions. Specifically, in post #37 you stated, “Neither Natural Law nor any other Law is a revelation of the Divine Image or Will of God.” In post #106, you state, “the judgement of conscience is devinely revealed law and that it agrees with the written version of divine law because it is the SAME law.” Then you conclude with extending this divinely revealed law to all peoples, including pagans. Would you please elaborate further or clarify my misunderstanding (if such is possible given my fallen state.)
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    FWS – I am a bit muddled by your stated positions. Specifically, in post #37 you stated, “Neither Natural Law nor any other Law is a revelation of the Divine Image or Will of God.” In post #106, you state, “the judgement of conscience is devinely revealed law and that it agrees with the written version of divine law because it is the SAME law.” Then you conclude with extending this divinely revealed law to all peoples, including pagans. Would you please elaborate further or clarify my misunderstanding (if such is possible given my fallen state.)
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dear brother / pastor Denis Peskey.

    This is alot more than I can put in message here. my email is fwsonnek@gmail.com shoot me an email or send me yours and I will send you an MS Word document that breaks this all down, based strictly on the Lutheran Confessions.

    You basically have down what I said but don´t see how I connect the two statements or how I could possibly assert them both as true from our Confessions. Cool. that is a great start!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dear brother / pastor Denis Peskey.

    This is alot more than I can put in message here. my email is fwsonnek@gmail.com shoot me an email or send me yours and I will send you an MS Word document that breaks this all down, based strictly on the Lutheran Confessions.

    You basically have down what I said but don´t see how I connect the two statements or how I could possibly assert them both as true from our Confessions. Cool. that is a great start!

  • DanInesanto

    Though I rarely post here, I do read the threads pretty regularly. As I read through the comments here, I think there are two words which sum up the overall thoughts. I wish I could take credit for these words myself, but Stephen in 107 beat me to them. Down at the bottom of his post:

    “confusing mess”

    That’s about what I’m getting from both the thoughts of individuals as spaced across this thread, and especially the interactions of those thoughts. The first may tend to exacerbate the second.

    Based on this, I highly suspect that this topic is one that should reflect a LOT of leeway granted to positions with which one tends to disagree. Making harsh statements about those who would or wouldn’t support mixed wrestling seems to be entirely misplaced.

  • DanInesanto

    Though I rarely post here, I do read the threads pretty regularly. As I read through the comments here, I think there are two words which sum up the overall thoughts. I wish I could take credit for these words myself, but Stephen in 107 beat me to them. Down at the bottom of his post:

    “confusing mess”

    That’s about what I’m getting from both the thoughts of individuals as spaced across this thread, and especially the interactions of those thoughts. The first may tend to exacerbate the second.

    Based on this, I highly suspect that this topic is one that should reflect a LOT of leeway granted to positions with which one tends to disagree. Making harsh statements about those who would or wouldn’t support mixed wrestling seems to be entirely misplaced.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, (And Stephen),

    I am not disputing that the conscience manifests the divine law written on the heart, or that in the specific case of discerning how to love my neighbor, conscience guides us in the specifics beyond the word of Scripture. (e.g. poop scoop ordinance or whether or not to wrestle a girl.)

    I merely spoke in support of tODD’s observation that conscience ALONE (divorced from or pitted against the written Word) is not a reliable guide. This is most certainly true.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, (And Stephen),

    I am not disputing that the conscience manifests the divine law written on the heart, or that in the specific case of discerning how to love my neighbor, conscience guides us in the specifics beyond the word of Scripture. (e.g. poop scoop ordinance or whether or not to wrestle a girl.)

    I merely spoke in support of tODD’s observation that conscience ALONE (divorced from or pitted against the written Word) is not a reliable guide. This is most certainly true.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dan @ 112

    that would be like pitting the Word against baptism, the supper and absolution. It would be to separate the Word of God from those external things on the basis of a “sola scriptura ” that is not that. it would exclude the word of God that God locates where ? “in with and under” this Word of God is invisible and is seen alone by faith. This Word of God does not come in the form of the printed page. But at the same time faith knows it is there because faith hears that this is so from that scripture we know as the bible.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dan @ 112

    that would be like pitting the Word against baptism, the supper and absolution. It would be to separate the Word of God from those external things on the basis of a “sola scriptura ” that is not that. it would exclude the word of God that God locates where ? “in with and under” this Word of God is invisible and is seen alone by faith. This Word of God does not come in the form of the printed page. But at the same time faith knows it is there because faith hears that this is so from that scripture we know as the bible.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    tODD @101

    “Would you let your adolescent son go out on the mat in a skin tight uniform to roll around with testosterone charged teenage boys … that might be gay?”

    Having wrestled in HS it is not something that even crosses my mind.
    You are comparing apples and oranges. To what end, I am not sure.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    tODD @101

    “Would you let your adolescent son go out on the mat in a skin tight uniform to roll around with testosterone charged teenage boys … that might be gay?”

    Having wrestled in HS it is not something that even crosses my mind.
    You are comparing apples and oranges. To what end, I am not sure.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 97: Hmmm, no. I didn’t mean that. But, I can see how you could think I did, as my comment was hurried and not so clear.

    I Cor. 10: 28-29 — “28 But if anyone says to you, ‘This is meat sacrificed to idols,’ do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; 29 I means not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience?”

    So, what I am trying to say is I’m not talking about my conscience, I am talking about Joel’s conscience. Joel withdrew from the competition, saying that he didn’t believe it was right, under the principles he was raised by and according to his interpretation of his faith, for him to wrestle a girl. OK, fine. He withdrew according to the rules, and accepted the consequences of his withdrawal, according to the rules. I don’t see anything unbiblical about what he did. In fact, I think there is reasonable biblical support for his view of loving his neighbor, by not wrestling the physically weaker vessel and by avoiding inappropriate touching of a female. So why would I attempt to impose my views on him, if I believed differently, and try to persuade him to go against his conscience in this matter? There is absolutely no reason that I can see to do that, unless I’m just the kind of person who thinks everyone needs to agree with how I see the world and Christian faith in every aspect. Now, if he asks me what I think, I will tell him. But I’m not going to force my view down his throat. I am going to respect his conscience on the matter.

    Another example you might think of is the Amish. They believe, according to their faith, that using modern conveniences, such as electricity, is wrong. I disagree, obviously, as I sit here and type this comment on my computer. But, I’m not going to insist on wiring their homes and forcing them onto the grid, or awarding them a free car, or give them a shopping spree to Nordstrom. I am going to leave them alone. If they ask me for my views on the matter I will tell them why I think they are wrong. But, that’s as far as it goes. It’s a matter of conscience for them.

    I John 5:3 points out that we love God by obeying Him — by keeping His commandments. We all have a bit of a different view of what that means — how do we do that? How do we love our neighbor? Scripture does not make this black and white. So I am not about to impose my black and white views on my neighbor. The important thing is obedience. And Scripture says that your conscience, unless seared by repeated deliberate disobedience, is a guide to assist you in that obedience. If you violate your conscience, and what you believe to be biblical teaching, such that you believe you are disobeying God, well, that is not any different than actually disobeying God. Because it is your heart attitude that He is really interested in, not the legalism.

    Now, to your question of whether things would be different if Joel had withdrawn for a different reason, such as racism. Well, if he just withdrew, without giving a reason I probably would just let it go. But, if he insisted on explaining why he withdrew, and I had the opportunity to instruct him as to why racism is unbiblical, because it is not loving your neighbor of a different race, I would do that. I am not going to worry about protecting his conscience in that instance, because it is obviously distorted. This is what I meant by “mainstream”. Not culturally mainstream. Biblically mainstream. Meaning that the reason falls within the bounds of reasonable biblical interpretation.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 97: Hmmm, no. I didn’t mean that. But, I can see how you could think I did, as my comment was hurried and not so clear.

    I Cor. 10: 28-29 — “28 But if anyone says to you, ‘This is meat sacrificed to idols,’ do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; 29 I means not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience?”

    So, what I am trying to say is I’m not talking about my conscience, I am talking about Joel’s conscience. Joel withdrew from the competition, saying that he didn’t believe it was right, under the principles he was raised by and according to his interpretation of his faith, for him to wrestle a girl. OK, fine. He withdrew according to the rules, and accepted the consequences of his withdrawal, according to the rules. I don’t see anything unbiblical about what he did. In fact, I think there is reasonable biblical support for his view of loving his neighbor, by not wrestling the physically weaker vessel and by avoiding inappropriate touching of a female. So why would I attempt to impose my views on him, if I believed differently, and try to persuade him to go against his conscience in this matter? There is absolutely no reason that I can see to do that, unless I’m just the kind of person who thinks everyone needs to agree with how I see the world and Christian faith in every aspect. Now, if he asks me what I think, I will tell him. But I’m not going to force my view down his throat. I am going to respect his conscience on the matter.

    Another example you might think of is the Amish. They believe, according to their faith, that using modern conveniences, such as electricity, is wrong. I disagree, obviously, as I sit here and type this comment on my computer. But, I’m not going to insist on wiring their homes and forcing them onto the grid, or awarding them a free car, or give them a shopping spree to Nordstrom. I am going to leave them alone. If they ask me for my views on the matter I will tell them why I think they are wrong. But, that’s as far as it goes. It’s a matter of conscience for them.

    I John 5:3 points out that we love God by obeying Him — by keeping His commandments. We all have a bit of a different view of what that means — how do we do that? How do we love our neighbor? Scripture does not make this black and white. So I am not about to impose my black and white views on my neighbor. The important thing is obedience. And Scripture says that your conscience, unless seared by repeated deliberate disobedience, is a guide to assist you in that obedience. If you violate your conscience, and what you believe to be biblical teaching, such that you believe you are disobeying God, well, that is not any different than actually disobeying God. Because it is your heart attitude that He is really interested in, not the legalism.

    Now, to your question of whether things would be different if Joel had withdrawn for a different reason, such as racism. Well, if he just withdrew, without giving a reason I probably would just let it go. But, if he insisted on explaining why he withdrew, and I had the opportunity to instruct him as to why racism is unbiblical, because it is not loving your neighbor of a different race, I would do that. I am not going to worry about protecting his conscience in that instance, because it is obviously distorted. This is what I meant by “mainstream”. Not culturally mainstream. Biblically mainstream. Meaning that the reason falls within the bounds of reasonable biblical interpretation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    It is getting increasingly difficult for me to wrap my head around this discussion about conscience — there are 10 comments here I could reply to (starting @92, perhaps), and I’m just trying to figure out if we’re all talking about the same thing. I suspect we are not.

    I’m beginning to wonder if the definition of the word “conscience” is the issue. After all, in my experience, the Confessions tend to use the word differently than we do in everyday speaking, or at least in a more limited fashion. Consider Article IV of the Apology, as FWS points us to. Note that the word “conscience” is only applied to those subject to the corrupt teaching of the (Catholic) Church — that is, to believers. It is not a word ever applied to the “adversaries”.

    In keeping with this usage, it would make sense for FWS to write (@108) that the “[Apology] art IV says that the judgement of conscience is devinely revealed law and that it agrees with the written version of divine law because it is the SAME law.” Okay then.

    But assuming that “conscience” only applies to believers raises another problem — namely that FWS says in that same comment (@108) that:

    Paul says that the pagans have the same Word of God without having ever seen the Bible. And he says that the same Holy Spirit is driving that Word of God home to their hearts. This is precisely what makes missionary work possible. And that conscience IS God´s Word that the HS is active in!

    Moreover, I’m not sure that Romans 1 (which I believe is what FWS refers to) says exactly what FWS says it does. It says that, even for pagans, God’s “eternal power and divine nature” are obvious, though in spite of that pagans have chosen to worship creation and not the Creator.

    What’s more, Romans 1 appears to point us to what is being discussed here, namely a corrupt conscience (in the everyday usage of the word)! After all, the pagans “did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”

    So can these same pagans — the ones who have a conscience, and yet have not retained the knowledge of God — fully trust their consciences to guide them as to right and wrong, or do they have depraved minds that might mislead them, for the very reason that they did not retain the knowledge of God?

    That is the first question for consideration here. To think of it from a different perspective, consider the ruler that asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus points him to some of the Commandments, and what does the ruler say? “All these I have kept since I was a boy.” Quite frankly, that doesn’t sound like the response of what the Confessions call a “devout conscience” or a “terrified conscience”. That is a comfortable conscience talking — and, as such, I would argue, a corrupt conscience, at least in part. Accordingly, Jesus does not comfort him with the Gospel, but terrifies him with the Law.

    So, question one: are our consciences always informed in full keeping with God’s Law? I have argued from that example that they don’t.

    It is not hard to find examples from the Confessions, either. Consider this passage:

    the adversaries teach nothing but the righteousness of reason, or certainly of the Law, upon which they look just as the Jews upon the veiled face of Moses; and, in secure hypocrites who think that they satisfy the Law, they excite presumption and empty confidence in works [they place men on a sand foundation, their own works] and contempt of the grace of Christ. On the contrary, they drive timid consciences to despair, which laboring with doubt, never can experience what faith is, and how efficacious it is; thus, at last they utterly despair.

    [Again, see how “timid consciences” of believers are contrasted with “secure hypocrites”. Do these latter hypocrites have consciences in keeping with God’s Law if they believe that they can satisfy the Law themselves?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    It is getting increasingly difficult for me to wrap my head around this discussion about conscience — there are 10 comments here I could reply to (starting @92, perhaps), and I’m just trying to figure out if we’re all talking about the same thing. I suspect we are not.

    I’m beginning to wonder if the definition of the word “conscience” is the issue. After all, in my experience, the Confessions tend to use the word differently than we do in everyday speaking, or at least in a more limited fashion. Consider Article IV of the Apology, as FWS points us to. Note that the word “conscience” is only applied to those subject to the corrupt teaching of the (Catholic) Church — that is, to believers. It is not a word ever applied to the “adversaries”.

    In keeping with this usage, it would make sense for FWS to write (@108) that the “[Apology] art IV says that the judgement of conscience is devinely revealed law and that it agrees with the written version of divine law because it is the SAME law.” Okay then.

    But assuming that “conscience” only applies to believers raises another problem — namely that FWS says in that same comment (@108) that:

    Paul says that the pagans have the same Word of God without having ever seen the Bible. And he says that the same Holy Spirit is driving that Word of God home to their hearts. This is precisely what makes missionary work possible. And that conscience IS God´s Word that the HS is active in!

    Moreover, I’m not sure that Romans 1 (which I believe is what FWS refers to) says exactly what FWS says it does. It says that, even for pagans, God’s “eternal power and divine nature” are obvious, though in spite of that pagans have chosen to worship creation and not the Creator.

    What’s more, Romans 1 appears to point us to what is being discussed here, namely a corrupt conscience (in the everyday usage of the word)! After all, the pagans “did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”

    So can these same pagans — the ones who have a conscience, and yet have not retained the knowledge of God — fully trust their consciences to guide them as to right and wrong, or do they have depraved minds that might mislead them, for the very reason that they did not retain the knowledge of God?

    That is the first question for consideration here. To think of it from a different perspective, consider the ruler that asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus points him to some of the Commandments, and what does the ruler say? “All these I have kept since I was a boy.” Quite frankly, that doesn’t sound like the response of what the Confessions call a “devout conscience” or a “terrified conscience”. That is a comfortable conscience talking — and, as such, I would argue, a corrupt conscience, at least in part. Accordingly, Jesus does not comfort him with the Gospel, but terrifies him with the Law.

    So, question one: are our consciences always informed in full keeping with God’s Law? I have argued from that example that they don’t.

    It is not hard to find examples from the Confessions, either. Consider this passage:

    the adversaries teach nothing but the righteousness of reason, or certainly of the Law, upon which they look just as the Jews upon the veiled face of Moses; and, in secure hypocrites who think that they satisfy the Law, they excite presumption and empty confidence in works [they place men on a sand foundation, their own works] and contempt of the grace of Christ. On the contrary, they drive timid consciences to despair, which laboring with doubt, never can experience what faith is, and how efficacious it is; thus, at last they utterly despair.

    [Again, see how “timid consciences” of believers are contrasted with “secure hypocrites”. Do these latter hypocrites have consciences in keeping with God’s Law if they believe that they can satisfy the Law themselves?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Question two is similar: if we feel that something is wrong (the common understanding of “conscience”), does that necessarily mean that this is because the Holy Spirit is telling me/us it’s wrong? Or is it possible for someone to feel something is wrong that God actually doesn’t condemn? Is it possible for our consciences to be unnecessarily burdened by tradition?

    Obviously, I think it is, as I previously alluded to (@104) when I quoted from Article XIV of the Apology:

    But just as Alexander once for all solved the Gordian knot by cutting it with his sword when he could not disentangle it, so the apostles once for all free consciences from traditions, especially if they are taught to merit justification. …

    This topic concerning traditions contains many and difficult questions of controversy, and we have actually experienced that traditions are truly snares of consciences. When they are exacted as necessary, they torture in wonderful ways the conscience …

    This resonates very much with what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:

    So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” … But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

    How can a conscience be “weak” if, as FWS argues (@108), “the judgement of conscience is devinely revealed law and that it agrees with the written version of divine law”? How can this divinely-revealed conscience-law conclude that eating idol meat is wrong, even as God’s Word tells us it is nothing?

    Now, to bring it all back, is it possible that this young man’s conscience is weak, and though he feels it is sinful for him to wrestle a girl, it is actually nothing — he is no worse if he does not wrestle her, and no better if he does?

    That is what I am arguing (though I am only arguing for the possibility, not that this is actually the case). As I obviously cannot read the boy’s mind, nor judge his heart, Christian love compels me to assume that he made this decision only out of love for his neighbor, the female wrestler. And that’s that.

    But I still feel this discussion is bumping into people’s own feelings as to the rightness or wrongness of co-ed wrestling (and what do we say about that, that my conscience tells me there’s nothing wrong with it, while Stephen is greatly troubled by the matter? Is my conscience corrupt? Or is the rightness of the matter different for each person — and, if so, to what other areas does this relativity apply?).

    What if the young man felt it was wrong to wrestle a gay boy, that his conscience told him not to? What if the young man’s conscience told him it was wrong to wrestle an atheist? Or a black boy? Would that change anyone’s opinion as to whether he should listen to his conscience or not?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Question two is similar: if we feel that something is wrong (the common understanding of “conscience”), does that necessarily mean that this is because the Holy Spirit is telling me/us it’s wrong? Or is it possible for someone to feel something is wrong that God actually doesn’t condemn? Is it possible for our consciences to be unnecessarily burdened by tradition?

    Obviously, I think it is, as I previously alluded to (@104) when I quoted from Article XIV of the Apology:

    But just as Alexander once for all solved the Gordian knot by cutting it with his sword when he could not disentangle it, so the apostles once for all free consciences from traditions, especially if they are taught to merit justification. …

    This topic concerning traditions contains many and difficult questions of controversy, and we have actually experienced that traditions are truly snares of consciences. When they are exacted as necessary, they torture in wonderful ways the conscience …

    This resonates very much with what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:

    So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” … But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

    How can a conscience be “weak” if, as FWS argues (@108), “the judgement of conscience is devinely revealed law and that it agrees with the written version of divine law”? How can this divinely-revealed conscience-law conclude that eating idol meat is wrong, even as God’s Word tells us it is nothing?

    Now, to bring it all back, is it possible that this young man’s conscience is weak, and though he feels it is sinful for him to wrestle a girl, it is actually nothing — he is no worse if he does not wrestle her, and no better if he does?

    That is what I am arguing (though I am only arguing for the possibility, not that this is actually the case). As I obviously cannot read the boy’s mind, nor judge his heart, Christian love compels me to assume that he made this decision only out of love for his neighbor, the female wrestler. And that’s that.

    But I still feel this discussion is bumping into people’s own feelings as to the rightness or wrongness of co-ed wrestling (and what do we say about that, that my conscience tells me there’s nothing wrong with it, while Stephen is greatly troubled by the matter? Is my conscience corrupt? Or is the rightness of the matter different for each person — and, if so, to what other areas does this relativity apply?).

    What if the young man felt it was wrong to wrestle a gay boy, that his conscience told him not to? What if the young man’s conscience told him it was wrong to wrestle an atheist? Or a black boy? Would that change anyone’s opinion as to whether he should listen to his conscience or not?

  • Grace

    The most important reference is the Bible – “conscience” isn’t missing from Scripture, the definition is not difficult to understand.

    Without a “conscience” man has no moral compass. An individual who has repented, believed and has faith in Christ has a new nature, because of this transformation, the new nature produces a conscience towards the things of God.

    12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

    13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

    14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

    15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

    16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

    17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

    18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 1 Peter 3

    Keep in mind the Greek Dictionary’s definition of “conscience” –

    Definition conscience”

    suneidesis – soon-i’-day-sis

    co-perception, i.e. moral consciousness:–conscience.

  • Grace

    The most important reference is the Bible – “conscience” isn’t missing from Scripture, the definition is not difficult to understand.

    Without a “conscience” man has no moral compass. An individual who has repented, believed and has faith in Christ has a new nature, because of this transformation, the new nature produces a conscience towards the things of God.

    12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

    13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

    14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

    15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

    16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

    17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

    18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 1 Peter 3

    Keep in mind the Greek Dictionary’s definition of “conscience” –

    Definition conscience”

    suneidesis – soon-i’-day-sis

    co-perception, i.e. moral consciousness:–conscience.

  • Stephen

    Todd

    If someone says it goes against their conscience, who is anyone to tell them different? Are you expecting there to be some kind of uberconscience with which all should agree? Would that somehow prove that the conscience is indeed divine law? I think you are asking conscience to determine things it does not do, like right and wrong in every instance. I think that rightly understood it tells us when something is not what ought to be, but it does not necessarily offer a concrete solution except to turn from something based on whatever our faithful commitments are in that situation. We live in a world of relationships, not on paper.

    You seem to be concerned about this boy’s responsibility to the girl and leave out the fact that he had parents and is a high school student. We do not make our moral commitments in a vacuum. They exist in relation to others. The law/conscience nags us exactly in this way – others are involved, including and foremost our unfaithfulness to God, to rely on Him in every way for all things. When is the last time your conscience nagged you outside of a relationship to another person or to God or all three. How is it resolved? Rules and then you are done? Is that love and mercy? It must be lived out.

    As for weak consciences, they are still consciences. Weak things can be made stronger by being trained. I’d say this kid was well-trained to obey his conscience in light of his station in life – a boy who obeys the things his parents taught him about respecting the body of a girl no matter what, even to the point of sacrificing your sport, and even if the girl does not understand it. It is not just about that one girl, it is about all girls. That is what his parents taught his young conscience to understand.

  • Stephen

    Todd

    If someone says it goes against their conscience, who is anyone to tell them different? Are you expecting there to be some kind of uberconscience with which all should agree? Would that somehow prove that the conscience is indeed divine law? I think you are asking conscience to determine things it does not do, like right and wrong in every instance. I think that rightly understood it tells us when something is not what ought to be, but it does not necessarily offer a concrete solution except to turn from something based on whatever our faithful commitments are in that situation. We live in a world of relationships, not on paper.

    You seem to be concerned about this boy’s responsibility to the girl and leave out the fact that he had parents and is a high school student. We do not make our moral commitments in a vacuum. They exist in relation to others. The law/conscience nags us exactly in this way – others are involved, including and foremost our unfaithfulness to God, to rely on Him in every way for all things. When is the last time your conscience nagged you outside of a relationship to another person or to God or all three. How is it resolved? Rules and then you are done? Is that love and mercy? It must be lived out.

    As for weak consciences, they are still consciences. Weak things can be made stronger by being trained. I’d say this kid was well-trained to obey his conscience in light of his station in life – a boy who obeys the things his parents taught him about respecting the body of a girl no matter what, even to the point of sacrificing your sport, and even if the girl does not understand it. It is not just about that one girl, it is about all girls. That is what his parents taught his young conscience to understand.

  • Lily

    Sadly, the arguments for girls wrestling boys reminds me of the arguments for women being pastors. There seems to be a real disconnect in this age about gender differences and how to handle those differences. :(

  • Lily

    Sadly, the arguments for girls wrestling boys reminds me of the arguments for women being pastors. There seems to be a real disconnect in this age about gender differences and how to handle those differences. :(

  • Stephen

    And by “anyone telling them different” what I meant was that unless one is a cop, a teacher, a judge, a parent, a pastor, or friend, or perhaps a trusted coworker, we all have our place in relation to each other. We transgress this and need forgiveness. But still, not everyone has the moral authority to say what the conscience of another ought to demand of them in terms of some outcome or moral choice it would lead them to make. We can’t just pass judgment on what others say is the heeding of their conscience and decide it does not meet some external standard, then say by that measure they have a faulty conscience. That is going by the letter and not the spirit.

    Unless one is in relationship to this boy and actually has some authority to speak to his conscience, or is given that authority (DonS hints at this when he says effectively “unless they ask my opinion”) it really is none of anyone else’s business what someone judges to be against their conscience. It needs to be respected as just that. I get the sense that is exactly what the girl and her parents did in fact do when I read this story on Yahoo.

    There is certainly the possibility that someone may lie about what their conscience tells them, but that is a lie and sin and not the law, which will just further accuse their conscience. People are in all kinds of denial. We say we love and trust God above all things when what we really love and trust are our paychecks, and having a car that runs, and house with air conditioning and credit card in our pockets in case we get in a jam. So we spend most of our days lying to ourselves about ourselves and about our relationship to God, to our Lord Jesus who has given us everything and promises to be with us in everything always. We say we’d be just fine if all these things were taken, but we wouldn’t. We get upset when we lose our cell phones. We are liars and sinners.

    Anyone out there got a conscience? What does it tell you?

  • Stephen

    And by “anyone telling them different” what I meant was that unless one is a cop, a teacher, a judge, a parent, a pastor, or friend, or perhaps a trusted coworker, we all have our place in relation to each other. We transgress this and need forgiveness. But still, not everyone has the moral authority to say what the conscience of another ought to demand of them in terms of some outcome or moral choice it would lead them to make. We can’t just pass judgment on what others say is the heeding of their conscience and decide it does not meet some external standard, then say by that measure they have a faulty conscience. That is going by the letter and not the spirit.

    Unless one is in relationship to this boy and actually has some authority to speak to his conscience, or is given that authority (DonS hints at this when he says effectively “unless they ask my opinion”) it really is none of anyone else’s business what someone judges to be against their conscience. It needs to be respected as just that. I get the sense that is exactly what the girl and her parents did in fact do when I read this story on Yahoo.

    There is certainly the possibility that someone may lie about what their conscience tells them, but that is a lie and sin and not the law, which will just further accuse their conscience. People are in all kinds of denial. We say we love and trust God above all things when what we really love and trust are our paychecks, and having a car that runs, and house with air conditioning and credit card in our pockets in case we get in a jam. So we spend most of our days lying to ourselves about ourselves and about our relationship to God, to our Lord Jesus who has given us everything and promises to be with us in everything always. We say we’d be just fine if all these things were taken, but we wouldn’t. We get upset when we lose our cell phones. We are liars and sinners.

    Anyone out there got a conscience? What does it tell you?

  • Grace

    - – “When Joel refused to wrestle Cassy, he took an opportunity away from her. An opportunity for her to shine using her own God-given strength and ability. An opportunity to win or lose, fair and square. Caryn Rivadeneira” – Christianity Today

    Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
    James 4:17

    Cassy’s opportunity vs. Joel’s beliefs as a young man, had nothing to do with Cassy shinning, – his God given conscience trumped her wishes, his backbone of moral muscle took the win, hands down. He won what many young men and women lack today. The sexes through the media, liberal schools have all but erased the lines of male and female, ….. making chivalry slip off the cliff.

    If adults want their children to grow up and honor each other as male and female, they need to understand the differences between the sexes – we as women are to be a help meet to our husbands – learning to wrestle them to the ground as a sport, smacks of female dominance of the worst kind.

  • Grace

    - – “When Joel refused to wrestle Cassy, he took an opportunity away from her. An opportunity for her to shine using her own God-given strength and ability. An opportunity to win or lose, fair and square. Caryn Rivadeneira” – Christianity Today

    Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
    James 4:17

    Cassy’s opportunity vs. Joel’s beliefs as a young man, had nothing to do with Cassy shinning, – his God given conscience trumped her wishes, his backbone of moral muscle took the win, hands down. He won what many young men and women lack today. The sexes through the media, liberal schools have all but erased the lines of male and female, ….. making chivalry slip off the cliff.

    If adults want their children to grow up and honor each other as male and female, they need to understand the differences between the sexes – we as women are to be a help meet to our husbands – learning to wrestle them to the ground as a sport, smacks of female dominance of the worst kind.

  • Dan Kempin

    Stephen, #119 & #121,

    I am having a hard time following your argument. I’m not sure if you are not being clear or if I am just not getting it. You say:

    “If someone says it goes against their conscience, who is anyone to tell them different?”

    “We live in a world of relationships, not on paper.”

    “How is it resolved? Rules and then you are done? Is that love and mercy? It must be lived out.”

    “We can’t just pass judgment on what others say is the heeding of their conscience and decide it does not meet some external standard, then say by that measure they have a faulty conscience.” [I would very much consider scripture to be an "external standard," btw.]

    “. . .it really is none of anyone else’s business what someone judges to be against their conscience. It needs to be respected as just that. ”

    I don’t know, Stephen. Put those all together, and it sounds a lot like saying, “External authority is fine to a point, but you have to trust your conscience.” Which is essentially to say, “Trust your feelings.”

    You had a valid point on the importance of heeding conscience, but I think you are pushing it too far.

  • Dan Kempin

    Stephen, #119 & #121,

    I am having a hard time following your argument. I’m not sure if you are not being clear or if I am just not getting it. You say:

    “If someone says it goes against their conscience, who is anyone to tell them different?”

    “We live in a world of relationships, not on paper.”

    “How is it resolved? Rules and then you are done? Is that love and mercy? It must be lived out.”

    “We can’t just pass judgment on what others say is the heeding of their conscience and decide it does not meet some external standard, then say by that measure they have a faulty conscience.” [I would very much consider scripture to be an "external standard," btw.]

    “. . .it really is none of anyone else’s business what someone judges to be against their conscience. It needs to be respected as just that. ”

    I don’t know, Stephen. Put those all together, and it sounds a lot like saying, “External authority is fine to a point, but you have to trust your conscience.” Which is essentially to say, “Trust your feelings.”

    You had a valid point on the importance of heeding conscience, but I think you are pushing it too far.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But this is just subjecting conscience to popular vote. If your “conscience” tells you something in keeping with “mainstream” belief, that “many consider to be noble”, then listen to your conscience. However, if your “conscience” tells you to do something “racist”, well then, that’s “a very different situation”! Which, of course, boils down to: don’t listen to your conscience, listen to what is mainstream. Which suggestion is the opposite of what you claim to be championing.”

    I thought about this idea a lot. In particular, “don’t listen to your conscience, listen to what is mainstream.”

    This whole wrestling scenario is a sort of no-win situation, a pitfall in our way of thinking.

    The young man can only choose from two things he doesn’t want.

    The young woman can’t wrestle in the girl’s league/section because there isn’t one.

    The young man’s problem is with the adult leadership; the young woman’s is with nature.

    Hers is with nature because nature doesn’t provide enough other interested girls for competition.

    The adult leadership are going with the mainstream notion that people cannot be denied what they want. It is not their fault there aren’t enough girls interested in this sport, but it is their fault, and maybe ours that we have so much difficulty with our mortal limitations. Rather than facing that she can’t have an opportunity to participate because of just the natural order, they shift the discomfort of having to say no to her competitors. Ironically, he was actually up to the challenge and experienced, I imagine, considerable discomfort at having to tell her no.

    It seems like dereliction of duty to leave it to the youth to make these judgement calls.

    Anxiously awaiting the young man who insists on playing on a female team where no male league is available.

    Will we see equality, or a burlesque of sportsmanship?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But this is just subjecting conscience to popular vote. If your “conscience” tells you something in keeping with “mainstream” belief, that “many consider to be noble”, then listen to your conscience. However, if your “conscience” tells you to do something “racist”, well then, that’s “a very different situation”! Which, of course, boils down to: don’t listen to your conscience, listen to what is mainstream. Which suggestion is the opposite of what you claim to be championing.”

    I thought about this idea a lot. In particular, “don’t listen to your conscience, listen to what is mainstream.”

    This whole wrestling scenario is a sort of no-win situation, a pitfall in our way of thinking.

    The young man can only choose from two things he doesn’t want.

    The young woman can’t wrestle in the girl’s league/section because there isn’t one.

    The young man’s problem is with the adult leadership; the young woman’s is with nature.

    Hers is with nature because nature doesn’t provide enough other interested girls for competition.

    The adult leadership are going with the mainstream notion that people cannot be denied what they want. It is not their fault there aren’t enough girls interested in this sport, but it is their fault, and maybe ours that we have so much difficulty with our mortal limitations. Rather than facing that she can’t have an opportunity to participate because of just the natural order, they shift the discomfort of having to say no to her competitors. Ironically, he was actually up to the challenge and experienced, I imagine, considerable discomfort at having to tell her no.

    It seems like dereliction of duty to leave it to the youth to make these judgement calls.

    Anxiously awaiting the young man who insists on playing on a female team where no male league is available.

    Will we see equality, or a burlesque of sportsmanship?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dan @ 123
    Stephen, #119 & #121,
    Let me try to help with what Stephen is saying here…

    I am having a hard time following your argument. I’m not sure if you are not being clear or if I am just not getting it.

    Maybe it is because, as a Lutheran, you were taught as I was. I was taught this:

    “Conscience is the image of God. Since the fall, that image was damaged or broken. And so God was obligated to clarify things by reissuing that Law in the form of the Decalog, SOTM and other written codifications. ”

    This says that the Image of God is revealed in the Law. It also says that the Image of God, or Original Righeousness was not entirely lost. It was only impaired or damaged. This idea of conscience a) being the Image of God, and b) that God´s Law (in the form of conscience) has fallen in the fall are two potently deadly ideas aren´t they Dan?

    I would suggest that it is not conscience that has fallen or is damaged, since Ap art IV says that conscience always agrees with the decalog because it is the same, intrinsically identical Revealed Law of God. The problem is instead original sin. It is a heart problem. Original Sin is that a) vicious heart-that-covets and b) the utter and total loss of Original Righeousness that alone Holy Baptism can restore.

    So the fact that we have a conscience is proof that the Law cannot be the revelation of the Divine Image. Faith alone. In Christ alone. Those are alone what Original Righeousness consists of and so is the Divine Image that alone Holy Baptism can restore.

    This by the way is precisely why the Confessions explicitly reject the Aquinan/Aristotelian idea that Law=Telsos=Image of God. Rome and Calvin both believe that reconformity to the Law is the restoration of the Image of God. Reconformity to the Law is the Telos of the Gospel that means. Gospel serves the Law this means.

    So now with that foundation, Let´s look at what brother Stephen says ok? We can address all this directly from our confessions Dan. Send me your email and I will send you a longer treatise I worked up on this from our Confessions. my email is fwsonnek@gmail.com

    You say:

    “If someone says it goes against their conscience, who is anyone to tell them different?”

    It is good advice to tell someone to not sin against their conscience. We know that a good beer and meat sacrificed to idols is fine to consume. But we would not tell someone to consume against their conscience. Why ? Answering that why is where things get interesting.

    “We live in a world of relationships, not on paper.”

    This is how the Small Catechism teaches us that Godly morality works. It is situational. It is contextual. It is ALL about relationships with others. Why? God´s ONLY purpose in morality is for us to serve others. Period. It is not to glorify God. God will be and is glorified indeed without our prayer, worthiness, doing, or faith, or faith-fullness.

    “How is it resolved? Rules and then you are done? Is that love and mercy? It must be lived out.”

    Rules are absolutely necessary here on earth. But they are strictly means to end . They are not end. This is exactly what Jesus means when he says that the Law is made for man, not man for the law. If sacrificially following a rule means to sacrifice the sense-ible goodness, mercy or happiness of others, then God would have us break that rule is what this means. Jesus broke the sabbath Law precisely to enlighten us on this point. The entire point of the Law is goodness and mercy done for others. Period. God does not need our works or for us to glory-fy Him.

    If the point is to follow a list of do´s and don´ts then Law becomes about sacrifice. This is idolatry and is precisely an increase in mortal sin, which is faith in what we do. By the Law sin increases. Reason can only know that the Law demands sacrifice. And so we sacrifice and put our faith in that sacrifice.

    “We can’t just pass judgment on what others say is the heeding of their conscience and decide it does not meet some external standard, then say by that measure they have a faulty conscience.”

    [I would very much consider scripture to be an "external standard," btw.]

    Ok Dan. Consider that the Word of God that is in, with and under that external standard of paper and ink, is at the same time in, with and under Holy Baptism, Holy Supper, Holy Absolution, our Old Adam that has in, with and under it, that same Word of God named Jesus. And that same Word of God in the form of Divine Revealed Law is also in , with and under the Old Adam of christian and pagan alike in the form of Divinely Revealed Law/Conscience, and that Divinely Revealed Law/Conscience is therefore in with and under poop scoop ordinances, tax codes, speed laws, and yo mama tellin you to take out the trash, sweep the floor or change a diaper.

    And you are right. How would we know and see this “in, with, and under ” Word of God , unless God sent his “sent ones to tell us this Word of God, also in, with and under the form of a sinful pastor, and in, with and under the spoken word that hits our ear drums in an external way as well? Great point Dan. Don´t separate by distinguishing. God works through means. Christ fills all things. The heavenly kingdom is here now in the earthly kingdom in, with and under. And the HS as Holy Terrorist is in with and under all Old Adams always accusing us all with the Law of God. Where is that Law of God? In our conscience.

    And the Lutheran Confessions say that even Pagan Aristotle can both know and do the external Law to such an extent that nothing more can be demanded. No Scripture is necessary as a corrective to conscience this means. The Law of God , even in conscience, is it´s own corrective.

    “. . .it really is none of anyone else’s business what someone judges to be against their conscience. It needs to be respected as just that. ”

    He is saying this in the context of our Small Catechism and it´s instructions for Private Confession and Holy Absolution. There we are told that morality is about considering all the relationships God has placed us into and THEN thinking of how we have dealt with those relationships according to the ten commandments. Aha! You say. “There is that external regulator”. Luther isn´s saying that. He says what: “Before God we confess to all sins [ie we confess to what that external word tells us], “but before the pastor we confess [what? !] those sins ONLY that we know and feel in our hearts.” This is to say what the Law as our conscience tells us and accuses and terrifies us with.

    In fact the entire confessions constantly address the terrified what? The terrified conscience. That´s what. We do not dare separate the external Law from the exact same Law God reveals to us supernaturally in our hearts as conscience.

    AND THEN DAN K SAYS THIS: I don’t know, Stephen. Put those all together, and it sounds a lot like saying, “External authority is fine to a point, but you have to trust your conscience.” I don’t know, Stephen. Put those all together, and it sounds a lot like saying, “External authority is fine to a point, but you have to trust your conscience.” Which is essentially to say, “Trust your feelings.”

    No. Stephen is not saying “trust your feelings”. He is saying that no more than Luther is saying that in his instructions for preparation for Private Confessions Dan.

    I hope now you see that Stephen is merely trying to express what our Lutheran Confessions do teach about the conscience as being the exact same revealed Law of God as is found in scriptures.

    You had a valid point on the importance of heeding conscience, but I think you are pushing it too far.

    No. He is really just pushing it as far as our Lutheran Confessions do. And this is necessary so that we do not bury Christ with a false or weak understanding of the Law of God and so start to trust in the Law in our dealings with God rather than by invisible faith alone in Christ alone.

    It is no mistake to note that about 70% of the entire Lutheran Confessions are about the Law. This is because Old Adam is endlessly creative in trying to make salvation be about Christ+Law.

    I have even had Lutheran pastors do this by telling me that Baptism kills the Old Adam or drowns him. This turns Baptism into Christ+law. It defines “christian” and “to be a christian” as faith+law.

    Baptism “works/delivers-from/gives” in invisible faith alone. in christ alone.

    The “significance” of Baptism is that we live a life that is pure Law in all that we can see or do now as Just Ones who find Life in faith alone and Christ alone. Killing the Old Adam is something we do with the HS, it is not something Baptism works or gives per se.

    I hope this clarifies. Send me your email if you want a more expansive response riddled with quotes from our Lutheran Confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dan @ 123
    Stephen, #119 & #121,
    Let me try to help with what Stephen is saying here…

    I am having a hard time following your argument. I’m not sure if you are not being clear or if I am just not getting it.

    Maybe it is because, as a Lutheran, you were taught as I was. I was taught this:

    “Conscience is the image of God. Since the fall, that image was damaged or broken. And so God was obligated to clarify things by reissuing that Law in the form of the Decalog, SOTM and other written codifications. ”

    This says that the Image of God is revealed in the Law. It also says that the Image of God, or Original Righeousness was not entirely lost. It was only impaired or damaged. This idea of conscience a) being the Image of God, and b) that God´s Law (in the form of conscience) has fallen in the fall are two potently deadly ideas aren´t they Dan?

    I would suggest that it is not conscience that has fallen or is damaged, since Ap art IV says that conscience always agrees with the decalog because it is the same, intrinsically identical Revealed Law of God. The problem is instead original sin. It is a heart problem. Original Sin is that a) vicious heart-that-covets and b) the utter and total loss of Original Righeousness that alone Holy Baptism can restore.

    So the fact that we have a conscience is proof that the Law cannot be the revelation of the Divine Image. Faith alone. In Christ alone. Those are alone what Original Righeousness consists of and so is the Divine Image that alone Holy Baptism can restore.

    This by the way is precisely why the Confessions explicitly reject the Aquinan/Aristotelian idea that Law=Telsos=Image of God. Rome and Calvin both believe that reconformity to the Law is the restoration of the Image of God. Reconformity to the Law is the Telos of the Gospel that means. Gospel serves the Law this means.

    So now with that foundation, Let´s look at what brother Stephen says ok? We can address all this directly from our confessions Dan. Send me your email and I will send you a longer treatise I worked up on this from our Confessions. my email is fwsonnek@gmail.com

    You say:

    “If someone says it goes against their conscience, who is anyone to tell them different?”

    It is good advice to tell someone to not sin against their conscience. We know that a good beer and meat sacrificed to idols is fine to consume. But we would not tell someone to consume against their conscience. Why ? Answering that why is where things get interesting.

    “We live in a world of relationships, not on paper.”

    This is how the Small Catechism teaches us that Godly morality works. It is situational. It is contextual. It is ALL about relationships with others. Why? God´s ONLY purpose in morality is for us to serve others. Period. It is not to glorify God. God will be and is glorified indeed without our prayer, worthiness, doing, or faith, or faith-fullness.

    “How is it resolved? Rules and then you are done? Is that love and mercy? It must be lived out.”

    Rules are absolutely necessary here on earth. But they are strictly means to end . They are not end. This is exactly what Jesus means when he says that the Law is made for man, not man for the law. If sacrificially following a rule means to sacrifice the sense-ible goodness, mercy or happiness of others, then God would have us break that rule is what this means. Jesus broke the sabbath Law precisely to enlighten us on this point. The entire point of the Law is goodness and mercy done for others. Period. God does not need our works or for us to glory-fy Him.

    If the point is to follow a list of do´s and don´ts then Law becomes about sacrifice. This is idolatry and is precisely an increase in mortal sin, which is faith in what we do. By the Law sin increases. Reason can only know that the Law demands sacrifice. And so we sacrifice and put our faith in that sacrifice.

    “We can’t just pass judgment on what others say is the heeding of their conscience and decide it does not meet some external standard, then say by that measure they have a faulty conscience.”

    [I would very much consider scripture to be an "external standard," btw.]

    Ok Dan. Consider that the Word of God that is in, with and under that external standard of paper and ink, is at the same time in, with and under Holy Baptism, Holy Supper, Holy Absolution, our Old Adam that has in, with and under it, that same Word of God named Jesus. And that same Word of God in the form of Divine Revealed Law is also in , with and under the Old Adam of christian and pagan alike in the form of Divinely Revealed Law/Conscience, and that Divinely Revealed Law/Conscience is therefore in with and under poop scoop ordinances, tax codes, speed laws, and yo mama tellin you to take out the trash, sweep the floor or change a diaper.

    And you are right. How would we know and see this “in, with, and under ” Word of God , unless God sent his “sent ones to tell us this Word of God, also in, with and under the form of a sinful pastor, and in, with and under the spoken word that hits our ear drums in an external way as well? Great point Dan. Don´t separate by distinguishing. God works through means. Christ fills all things. The heavenly kingdom is here now in the earthly kingdom in, with and under. And the HS as Holy Terrorist is in with and under all Old Adams always accusing us all with the Law of God. Where is that Law of God? In our conscience.

    And the Lutheran Confessions say that even Pagan Aristotle can both know and do the external Law to such an extent that nothing more can be demanded. No Scripture is necessary as a corrective to conscience this means. The Law of God , even in conscience, is it´s own corrective.

    “. . .it really is none of anyone else’s business what someone judges to be against their conscience. It needs to be respected as just that. ”

    He is saying this in the context of our Small Catechism and it´s instructions for Private Confession and Holy Absolution. There we are told that morality is about considering all the relationships God has placed us into and THEN thinking of how we have dealt with those relationships according to the ten commandments. Aha! You say. “There is that external regulator”. Luther isn´s saying that. He says what: “Before God we confess to all sins [ie we confess to what that external word tells us], “but before the pastor we confess [what? !] those sins ONLY that we know and feel in our hearts.” This is to say what the Law as our conscience tells us and accuses and terrifies us with.

    In fact the entire confessions constantly address the terrified what? The terrified conscience. That´s what. We do not dare separate the external Law from the exact same Law God reveals to us supernaturally in our hearts as conscience.

    AND THEN DAN K SAYS THIS: I don’t know, Stephen. Put those all together, and it sounds a lot like saying, “External authority is fine to a point, but you have to trust your conscience.” I don’t know, Stephen. Put those all together, and it sounds a lot like saying, “External authority is fine to a point, but you have to trust your conscience.” Which is essentially to say, “Trust your feelings.”

    No. Stephen is not saying “trust your feelings”. He is saying that no more than Luther is saying that in his instructions for preparation for Private Confessions Dan.

    I hope now you see that Stephen is merely trying to express what our Lutheran Confessions do teach about the conscience as being the exact same revealed Law of God as is found in scriptures.

    You had a valid point on the importance of heeding conscience, but I think you are pushing it too far.

    No. He is really just pushing it as far as our Lutheran Confessions do. And this is necessary so that we do not bury Christ with a false or weak understanding of the Law of God and so start to trust in the Law in our dealings with God rather than by invisible faith alone in Christ alone.

    It is no mistake to note that about 70% of the entire Lutheran Confessions are about the Law. This is because Old Adam is endlessly creative in trying to make salvation be about Christ+Law.

    I have even had Lutheran pastors do this by telling me that Baptism kills the Old Adam or drowns him. This turns Baptism into Christ+law. It defines “christian” and “to be a christian” as faith+law.

    Baptism “works/delivers-from/gives” in invisible faith alone. in christ alone.

    The “significance” of Baptism is that we live a life that is pure Law in all that we can see or do now as Just Ones who find Life in faith alone and Christ alone. Killing the Old Adam is something we do with the HS, it is not something Baptism works or gives per se.

    I hope this clarifies. Send me your email if you want a more expansive response riddled with quotes from our Lutheran Confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @ 124

    before I forget sister, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your contributions here. I love your analyses of statistics and I find them extremely useful. This is true especially when I disagree with you. You shed light on stuff and not just heat.

    Ok . That said. I agree. This thread is great tool to think through all the things about what conscience is and what it does.

    Do a word search on the Lutheran Confessions. The troubled conscience is the exact target audience for our Confessions. This means that the Confessions are all over this topic.

    And that means that pondering this alot as you are doing is exactly what the Confessions invite us to do. I would invite you to read them till you can successfully paraphrase them as I am in the process of doing. It will be worth your effort!

    Thanks for your contributions here sg!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @ 124

    before I forget sister, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your contributions here. I love your analyses of statistics and I find them extremely useful. This is true especially when I disagree with you. You shed light on stuff and not just heat.

    Ok . That said. I agree. This thread is great tool to think through all the things about what conscience is and what it does.

    Do a word search on the Lutheran Confessions. The troubled conscience is the exact target audience for our Confessions. This means that the Confessions are all over this topic.

    And that means that pondering this alot as you are doing is exactly what the Confessions invite us to do. I would invite you to read them till you can successfully paraphrase them as I am in the process of doing. It will be worth your effort!

    Thanks for your contributions here sg!

  • Stephen

    Dan @123

    I guess I am saying that, but not in the Hollywood way. “Feelings” is such a shallow word for all the things we want it convey (or not), but I’ll try to run with it. I’m going to have to get sort of philosophical so hang on . . .

    One thing I have tried to say is that we do not make any of these decisions outside the bounds of relationships. The entire point of the Decalogue is relationships – restored and maintained community – with God and with one another. So, as I criticized Todd for leaving out the relationship this boy has with his parents, we never make any moral decisions without the presence of others. This doe snot mean they are merely a factor to consider. It means we can’t actually make a decision without them. Ethics only has meaning because we live together. I think moderns believe they peer out from behind their eyes and see a world of choices and it happens to include other people and that this is a fundamentally flawed way of understanding what it means to be human. Those people don’t just exist “out there” but they also exist within.

    This is why Jesus can preach to our conscience about anger and lust and make that in some sense WORSE than murder and adultery. I was using the term “external” to talk about those things we think are concrete, like hard and fast rules that should define all relationships written down somewhere (anywhere), against the movements in our conscience which nags at us that our world is troubling us and we need to make a shift. The exact shift we make, I think, moves away from what it is that conscience works on us, which is the conviction that things are not right (we are not justified). In my example from what Jesus says, he moves past the written law (external standard as you seem to want to emphasize about the bible) and heads straight to the heart. Is that an appeal to feelings? It sure isn’t a direct appeal to the bible. It is an appeal to the heart, to the conscience, but it is not disconnected to the spirit of the written law. It is the very heart of it.

    It seems to me that the point preaching the law is not to point out the best options among good ones and bad ones. That IS what you hear a lot – a kind of rationalism that makes Christianity a good idea for living your life, in which case it is all law and no Christ. Instead, the preaching of the law is to convict the heart, to get people to see and, yes, perhaps down deep, feel their sin for what it is – a matter of the heart, something to do with the trouble their conscience has in resolving things even though they are always trying to do the right thing. It’s not working and they are troubled. The only FINAL and eternal answer for that is forgiveness in Christ, nothing else.

    How does that help us while we live with out Old Adam? He needs to die under the law for those relationships that are always present. They will set his priorities and define the ethics of the situation. Who is my neighbor? Whoever lands in your path that day. Apply the list of rules from the list of moral codes in the book? No, apply yourself and be a living sacrifice according to your relationships (station). Will you fail in that. Of course. Sin boldly, and believe more boldly in Christ.

    Now, does any of that leave out teaching my children the Catechism. NO!!!!! They are going to learn it because it is Christian teaching in its entirety. If it were a list of Christian morals on right behavior it would be about as useful as the 2nd grade lesson on Rights, Respect and Responsibility that I got in school. But it’s not. It is law and gospel, word and sacrament – the whole story and confessions we live inside of. They will be taught this foundation as it says in Proverbs 22:6 I quoted earlier:

    Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

    When I hear that, I hear law and gospel. The first part is “teach them to obey” and the second line is baptismal promise and faith. Is faith a feeling? It’s not law, is it? The Confessions say keeping that 1st commandment requires “new heart movements” so what does that mean? It means that in, with and under stuff FWS was pointing to that we have as baptized Christians, things that God makes happen by his spirit. No more troubled conscience. We believe and trust that they are so, and that they will be so. You know all that. But do you trust your knowledge or do you trust your feelings? I think we at least say we trust a word of promise, but we don’t really know what that means or how it shakes out. Sometimes we feel it, sometimes we think we know it. It comes to us from beyond us, but we are not distinct from it in the sense that God put it into words, words that are spoken into ears, read into minds and hearts, and lived out in relationships that pass through time and into history. The bible apart from any of that is a dead museum piece, or worse, an idol.

    Maybe that is even less clear. I think one thing more is that God judges the heart. We don’t get to do that. I did mention some authorities that are given license to wield power over others in terms of right and wrong. These are all relationships in which we have to live, ones that live inside us as well as outside. There is a cop, drill sergeant, inner parent, boss in our heads making claims on us all the time – some sweet with wisdom and some sour with fear. It is still all law and cannot reconcile us completely. Only Christ alone does this. While we live Old Adam dies under that other stuff, sometimes with ease and other times resisting.

    This is a hard one for me, but comes to mind right now from Philippians 1:1.

    20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

    Now there’s an ethical choice. It sounds like he is talking about saving his own skin or not. But whatever the real issue, whether he lives or dies, he sees only Christ. Christ alone. Is he just nuts? (I’m kidding)

  • Stephen

    Dan @123

    I guess I am saying that, but not in the Hollywood way. “Feelings” is such a shallow word for all the things we want it convey (or not), but I’ll try to run with it. I’m going to have to get sort of philosophical so hang on . . .

    One thing I have tried to say is that we do not make any of these decisions outside the bounds of relationships. The entire point of the Decalogue is relationships – restored and maintained community – with God and with one another. So, as I criticized Todd for leaving out the relationship this boy has with his parents, we never make any moral decisions without the presence of others. This doe snot mean they are merely a factor to consider. It means we can’t actually make a decision without them. Ethics only has meaning because we live together. I think moderns believe they peer out from behind their eyes and see a world of choices and it happens to include other people and that this is a fundamentally flawed way of understanding what it means to be human. Those people don’t just exist “out there” but they also exist within.

    This is why Jesus can preach to our conscience about anger and lust and make that in some sense WORSE than murder and adultery. I was using the term “external” to talk about those things we think are concrete, like hard and fast rules that should define all relationships written down somewhere (anywhere), against the movements in our conscience which nags at us that our world is troubling us and we need to make a shift. The exact shift we make, I think, moves away from what it is that conscience works on us, which is the conviction that things are not right (we are not justified). In my example from what Jesus says, he moves past the written law (external standard as you seem to want to emphasize about the bible) and heads straight to the heart. Is that an appeal to feelings? It sure isn’t a direct appeal to the bible. It is an appeal to the heart, to the conscience, but it is not disconnected to the spirit of the written law. It is the very heart of it.

    It seems to me that the point preaching the law is not to point out the best options among good ones and bad ones. That IS what you hear a lot – a kind of rationalism that makes Christianity a good idea for living your life, in which case it is all law and no Christ. Instead, the preaching of the law is to convict the heart, to get people to see and, yes, perhaps down deep, feel their sin for what it is – a matter of the heart, something to do with the trouble their conscience has in resolving things even though they are always trying to do the right thing. It’s not working and they are troubled. The only FINAL and eternal answer for that is forgiveness in Christ, nothing else.

    How does that help us while we live with out Old Adam? He needs to die under the law for those relationships that are always present. They will set his priorities and define the ethics of the situation. Who is my neighbor? Whoever lands in your path that day. Apply the list of rules from the list of moral codes in the book? No, apply yourself and be a living sacrifice according to your relationships (station). Will you fail in that. Of course. Sin boldly, and believe more boldly in Christ.

    Now, does any of that leave out teaching my children the Catechism. NO!!!!! They are going to learn it because it is Christian teaching in its entirety. If it were a list of Christian morals on right behavior it would be about as useful as the 2nd grade lesson on Rights, Respect and Responsibility that I got in school. But it’s not. It is law and gospel, word and sacrament – the whole story and confessions we live inside of. They will be taught this foundation as it says in Proverbs 22:6 I quoted earlier:

    Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

    When I hear that, I hear law and gospel. The first part is “teach them to obey” and the second line is baptismal promise and faith. Is faith a feeling? It’s not law, is it? The Confessions say keeping that 1st commandment requires “new heart movements” so what does that mean? It means that in, with and under stuff FWS was pointing to that we have as baptized Christians, things that God makes happen by his spirit. No more troubled conscience. We believe and trust that they are so, and that they will be so. You know all that. But do you trust your knowledge or do you trust your feelings? I think we at least say we trust a word of promise, but we don’t really know what that means or how it shakes out. Sometimes we feel it, sometimes we think we know it. It comes to us from beyond us, but we are not distinct from it in the sense that God put it into words, words that are spoken into ears, read into minds and hearts, and lived out in relationships that pass through time and into history. The bible apart from any of that is a dead museum piece, or worse, an idol.

    Maybe that is even less clear. I think one thing more is that God judges the heart. We don’t get to do that. I did mention some authorities that are given license to wield power over others in terms of right and wrong. These are all relationships in which we have to live, ones that live inside us as well as outside. There is a cop, drill sergeant, inner parent, boss in our heads making claims on us all the time – some sweet with wisdom and some sour with fear. It is still all law and cannot reconcile us completely. Only Christ alone does this. While we live Old Adam dies under that other stuff, sometimes with ease and other times resisting.

    This is a hard one for me, but comes to mind right now from Philippians 1:1.

    20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

    Now there’s an ethical choice. It sounds like he is talking about saving his own skin or not. But whatever the real issue, whether he lives or dies, he sees only Christ. Christ alone. Is he just nuts? (I’m kidding)

  • Stephen

    Dan -

    I’m going to clarify this statement because it may sound like I am setting the ten commandments aside. Not what I mean:

    I wrote:

    “Apply the list of rules from the list of moral codes in the book? No, apply yourself and be a living sacrifice according to your relationships (station).”

    What I mean is we must consider ourselves in light of our relationship to the situation just as the Catechism teaches. What is my relationship to this situation (station)? In other words, do I have some authority to address it with law. The whole purpose of that law is love, and so what does love demand of me considering my station. I’m getting more technical than I wanted to, but it is to say that the Decalogue allows us or teaches us to consider ourselves in relation to others. It agrees with conscience, and conscience agrees with it. People know it is wrong to steal. They know that without reading the bible. It destroys relationships. Movies about a thief stealing from a thief are interesting in just this way.

    Oh well, it seemed like I left hole there. I meant to talk about the Christian, who has the promise and is called to serve.

  • Stephen

    Dan -

    I’m going to clarify this statement because it may sound like I am setting the ten commandments aside. Not what I mean:

    I wrote:

    “Apply the list of rules from the list of moral codes in the book? No, apply yourself and be a living sacrifice according to your relationships (station).”

    What I mean is we must consider ourselves in light of our relationship to the situation just as the Catechism teaches. What is my relationship to this situation (station)? In other words, do I have some authority to address it with law. The whole purpose of that law is love, and so what does love demand of me considering my station. I’m getting more technical than I wanted to, but it is to say that the Decalogue allows us or teaches us to consider ourselves in relation to others. It agrees with conscience, and conscience agrees with it. People know it is wrong to steal. They know that without reading the bible. It destroys relationships. Movies about a thief stealing from a thief are interesting in just this way.

    Oh well, it seemed like I left hole there. I meant to talk about the Christian, who has the promise and is called to serve.

  • Dan Kempin

    Stephen and Fws,

    You have both given me a lot to process, and I apologize that I will not be able to get to it today. I’ll see if I can get back to this thread next week if you check back, but for now I gotta go.

    In brief, I do not object to exploring this idea and think it is a good conversation, but I was offering the cautionary red line that must not be trespassed. The written Law is authoritative. To speak in any sense of moving “past” the law is out of bounds.

    Have a great day, gentlemen, and thanks for the theological fodder. I shall do my best to chew it thoroughly.

  • Dan Kempin

    Stephen and Fws,

    You have both given me a lot to process, and I apologize that I will not be able to get to it today. I’ll see if I can get back to this thread next week if you check back, but for now I gotta go.

    In brief, I do not object to exploring this idea and think it is a good conversation, but I was offering the cautionary red line that must not be trespassed. The written Law is authoritative. To speak in any sense of moving “past” the law is out of bounds.

    Have a great day, gentlemen, and thanks for the theological fodder. I shall do my best to chew it thoroughly.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dan 129

    your red line is good right and salutary. without it we would bury Christ rather than proclaim him.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dan 129

    your red line is good right and salutary. without it we would bury Christ rather than proclaim him.

  • Stephen

    Dan @ 129

    One last thought:

    “To speak in any sense of moving “past” the law is out of bounds.”

    I respect this, but perhaps there is a semantic misunderstanding. Don’t forget that I wrote this to clarify what I said about Jesus moving “past” the written law:

    “It is an appeal to the heart, to the conscience, but it is not disconnected to the spirit of the written law. It is the very heart of it.”

    That is the connection between letter and spirit, between what is written on tablets/scrolls/bibles and its effects in the human heart, that is, the conscience. There is a kind of symbiotic relationship. What I meant by using the term “past” is the image of his teaching taking us somewhere deeper than the words on the page and the way we want to apply them to external realities of behavior, making that somehow the end of the matter. Instead, Jesus seems to be saying “You have not murdered anyone just like it is written (said!), but you still want to, and that’s the real problem.” It’s about the intention of the law being first and foremost about addressing the intentions of the heart, intentions which are sinful. Secondary is what we actually do. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter what we end up doing, or that there are no implications for law, but then those would have to do with our relationship to the law in familial/civil/social things, etc.

    So in this way it moves “past” law as civil ordinance of behaviors to something deeper, to a point of death actually, where the troubled conscience confronts the intentions of the law (to love God and neighbor perfectly) and finds only sin (1 John “If we say we have no sin . . .” or Romans 7 “that which I would do . . .). Only Christ and Christ alone can address and accomplish this completely through his cross.

    “7] Of these two parts the adversaries select the Law, because human reason naturally understands, in some way, the Law (for it has the same judgment divinely written in the mind); [the natural law agrees with the law of Moses, or the Ten Commandments] and by the Law they seek the remission of sins and justification.

    My thanks to fws for helping me zero in on this from the Art IV. We know what the Lutheran answer is to “by the Law they seek . . .” It is alone, alone, alone in Christ Jesus that we have this treasure through the gift of faith in an earthen vessel.

    I guess that sort of sounds like 1st use 2nd use with or without a 3rd. But I think those distinction are not that helpful because we think we are actually doing something when the law is working on us. I also see them more interrelated because there is only one law, the ” same judgment divinely written in the mind” that works on us in each case. I will render unto Caesar and in doing so be obedient to the Christ.

  • Stephen

    Dan @ 129

    One last thought:

    “To speak in any sense of moving “past” the law is out of bounds.”

    I respect this, but perhaps there is a semantic misunderstanding. Don’t forget that I wrote this to clarify what I said about Jesus moving “past” the written law:

    “It is an appeal to the heart, to the conscience, but it is not disconnected to the spirit of the written law. It is the very heart of it.”

    That is the connection between letter and spirit, between what is written on tablets/scrolls/bibles and its effects in the human heart, that is, the conscience. There is a kind of symbiotic relationship. What I meant by using the term “past” is the image of his teaching taking us somewhere deeper than the words on the page and the way we want to apply them to external realities of behavior, making that somehow the end of the matter. Instead, Jesus seems to be saying “You have not murdered anyone just like it is written (said!), but you still want to, and that’s the real problem.” It’s about the intention of the law being first and foremost about addressing the intentions of the heart, intentions which are sinful. Secondary is what we actually do. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter what we end up doing, or that there are no implications for law, but then those would have to do with our relationship to the law in familial/civil/social things, etc.

    So in this way it moves “past” law as civil ordinance of behaviors to something deeper, to a point of death actually, where the troubled conscience confronts the intentions of the law (to love God and neighbor perfectly) and finds only sin (1 John “If we say we have no sin . . .” or Romans 7 “that which I would do . . .). Only Christ and Christ alone can address and accomplish this completely through his cross.

    “7] Of these two parts the adversaries select the Law, because human reason naturally understands, in some way, the Law (for it has the same judgment divinely written in the mind); [the natural law agrees with the law of Moses, or the Ten Commandments] and by the Law they seek the remission of sins and justification.

    My thanks to fws for helping me zero in on this from the Art IV. We know what the Lutheran answer is to “by the Law they seek . . .” It is alone, alone, alone in Christ Jesus that we have this treasure through the gift of faith in an earthen vessel.

    I guess that sort of sounds like 1st use 2nd use with or without a 3rd. But I think those distinction are not that helpful because we think we are actually doing something when the law is working on us. I also see them more interrelated because there is only one law, the ” same judgment divinely written in the mind” that works on us in each case. I will render unto Caesar and in doing so be obedient to the Christ.

  • Wayne Almlie

    I’m going to be irrelevent again. I’m fine with that. The Scriptures say “2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, NKJV

    “All Scripture” So then what is the point of Deut 22:5
    “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God. “NKJV

    I was told this was an irrelevant text for the current dicussion. What is God concerned about here? Clothing? Really? What is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, in this text? Is there not an application for us today. Or was Paul wrong, are only some of the Scriptures profitable? I know many Lutherans believe Paul was wrong on alot of things, I’m not one of those.

    Personally, all I have to do is look at the world, the world that hates God and loves darkness, and if the the world just loves something, then it’s time to take a good look at it, because there is something wrong.

    It is a clash of world views as Dr. Mohler points out.
    http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/02/22/boys-wrestling-girls-a-clash-of-worlds-and-worldviews/

  • Wayne Almlie

    I’m going to be irrelevent again. I’m fine with that. The Scriptures say “2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, NKJV

    “All Scripture” So then what is the point of Deut 22:5
    “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God. “NKJV

    I was told this was an irrelevant text for the current dicussion. What is God concerned about here? Clothing? Really? What is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, in this text? Is there not an application for us today. Or was Paul wrong, are only some of the Scriptures profitable? I know many Lutherans believe Paul was wrong on alot of things, I’m not one of those.

    Personally, all I have to do is look at the world, the world that hates God and loves darkness, and if the the world just loves something, then it’s time to take a good look at it, because there is something wrong.

    It is a clash of world views as Dr. Mohler points out.
    http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/02/22/boys-wrestling-girls-a-clash-of-worlds-and-worldviews/

  • Grace

    Wayne Almlie – 132

    “Personally, all I have to do is look at the world, the world that hates God and loves darkness, and if the the world just loves something, then it’s time to take a good look at it, because there is something wrong.”

    Thank you for the link – the article by Al Mohler is excellent!

    An excerpt from the article you linked:

    “Rick Reilly, author of ESPN’s influential “Life of Reilly” column, offered no respect for Joel’s decision:”

    Another excerpt: ______

    “That’s where the Northrups are so wrong. Body slams and takedowns and gouges in the eye and elbows in the ribs are exactly how to respect Cassy Herkelman. This is what she lives for. She can elevate herself, thanks.

    “This is insanity masquerading as athletic competition. The controversy over the Iowa state wrestling tournament reveals the fact that this debate represents a clash of worlds and worldviews. In one world — the world that increasingly demands the total erasure of distinctions between men and women — Joel Northrup is considered to be a religious nut. In this world, it makes sense that girls wrestle against boys and that society should celebrate this new development as a milestone in the struggle to free ourselves from the limitations of all gender roles. As if to make this point impossible to miss, Bill Herkelman, Cassy’s father, said:” “She’s my son. She’s always been my son.””

    “free ourselves from the limitations of all gender roles” ? – - every step in that path, is a leap in the ditch.

  • Grace

    Wayne Almlie – 132

    “Personally, all I have to do is look at the world, the world that hates God and loves darkness, and if the the world just loves something, then it’s time to take a good look at it, because there is something wrong.”

    Thank you for the link – the article by Al Mohler is excellent!

    An excerpt from the article you linked:

    “Rick Reilly, author of ESPN’s influential “Life of Reilly” column, offered no respect for Joel’s decision:”

    Another excerpt: ______

    “That’s where the Northrups are so wrong. Body slams and takedowns and gouges in the eye and elbows in the ribs are exactly how to respect Cassy Herkelman. This is what she lives for. She can elevate herself, thanks.

    “This is insanity masquerading as athletic competition. The controversy over the Iowa state wrestling tournament reveals the fact that this debate represents a clash of worlds and worldviews. In one world — the world that increasingly demands the total erasure of distinctions between men and women — Joel Northrup is considered to be a religious nut. In this world, it makes sense that girls wrestle against boys and that society should celebrate this new development as a milestone in the struggle to free ourselves from the limitations of all gender roles. As if to make this point impossible to miss, Bill Herkelman, Cassy’s father, said:” “She’s my son. She’s always been my son.””

    “free ourselves from the limitations of all gender roles” ? – - every step in that path, is a leap in the ditch.

  • DonS

    Hmmm, here in liberal California, we seem to be moving toward girls-only high school wrestling http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20110225/SPORTS/102250348/California-will-hold-its-first-girls-high-school-wrestling-tourney

    The article is interesting in that it talks about how frequently boys forfeit to girls when they have met up in the past, and how when the boys train with girls on their team “They don’t use their strength against us”.

    This clearly seems like the way to go. And bully for people recognizing the physical differences between boys and girls.

  • DonS

    Hmmm, here in liberal California, we seem to be moving toward girls-only high school wrestling http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20110225/SPORTS/102250348/California-will-hold-its-first-girls-high-school-wrestling-tourney

    The article is interesting in that it talks about how frequently boys forfeit to girls when they have met up in the past, and how when the boys train with girls on their team “They don’t use their strength against us”.

    This clearly seems like the way to go. And bully for people recognizing the physical differences between boys and girls.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    stephen @ 131

    what he says! That is exactly it.

    Thanks Stephen

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    stephen @ 131

    what he says! That is exactly it.

    Thanks Stephen

  • Porcell

    Both reason and common sense refute the absurd notion of boys competitively wrestling girls. Only ideologues disregard the physical differences between boys and girls. Underneath this is the fallacious delusion of the sexual “revolution” that human beings get to autonomously choose their gender “identity,”

  • Porcell

    Both reason and common sense refute the absurd notion of boys competitively wrestling girls. Only ideologues disregard the physical differences between boys and girls. Underneath this is the fallacious delusion of the sexual “revolution” that human beings get to autonomously choose their gender “identity,”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    wayne @ 132

    the scriptures are unnecessary for people to be good and moral wayne.

    So then what is the point and purpose of scriptures if they are not necessary for the project of moral betterment?

    Proof: Name just ONE sense-ible thing that a christian can our would do that a pagan or unbeliever would or could never do.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    wayne @ 132

    the scriptures are unnecessary for people to be good and moral wayne.

    So then what is the point and purpose of scriptures if they are not necessary for the project of moral betterment?

    Proof: Name just ONE sense-ible thing that a christian can our would do that a pagan or unbeliever would or could never do.

  • Stephen

    I don’t see why this has to be a culture war. I think an argument could be made that might appeal to a more progressive mind that has to do with the consequences of teaching boys to be violent with girls and how this is not a good, civil behavior to teach boys. Cite some domestic violence stats, a favorite topic of feminists, and trouble some consciences about the possible consequences down the road. Maybe it’s a slippery slope argument at best, but start there. In the article Wayne @ 132 linked, not one of the commentators talked about any kind of lesson being taught. They all talked about rights and things being “earned” etc. Well, isn’t this also education? Isn’t that the primary responsibility here, that kids are involved in sports so that they learn things. Is the only lesson to be learned that if you push hard enough you get what you want?

    I would bet that if an argument were made this way, based on our common experience and appeal to conscience instead of some attempt to assert the moral superiority of being Christian and pointing to the bible in a culture war (and thus trivializing faith and the bible), hearts would be moved to find other solutions. As DonS @134 points to, it seems some may have already thought of this problem and are addressing it. It is a solution. Ideal? Well, no – that would be Christ coming again. Better? Definitely.

  • Stephen

    I don’t see why this has to be a culture war. I think an argument could be made that might appeal to a more progressive mind that has to do with the consequences of teaching boys to be violent with girls and how this is not a good, civil behavior to teach boys. Cite some domestic violence stats, a favorite topic of feminists, and trouble some consciences about the possible consequences down the road. Maybe it’s a slippery slope argument at best, but start there. In the article Wayne @ 132 linked, not one of the commentators talked about any kind of lesson being taught. They all talked about rights and things being “earned” etc. Well, isn’t this also education? Isn’t that the primary responsibility here, that kids are involved in sports so that they learn things. Is the only lesson to be learned that if you push hard enough you get what you want?

    I would bet that if an argument were made this way, based on our common experience and appeal to conscience instead of some attempt to assert the moral superiority of being Christian and pointing to the bible in a culture war (and thus trivializing faith and the bible), hearts would be moved to find other solutions. As DonS @134 points to, it seems some may have already thought of this problem and are addressing it. It is a solution. Ideal? Well, no – that would be Christ coming again. Better? Definitely.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 138

    “Cite some domestic violence stats, a favorite topic of feminists, and trouble some consciences about the possible consequences down the road. Maybe it’s a slippery slope argument at best, but start there. In the article ”

    “Domestic violence” is not my fav topic, nor am I a “feminist” but I can assure you that “domestic violence” is one of the cruelest acts against women. I have seen the effects, the pain, sorrow, humiliation, – I can assure you, that it isn’t a “feminist” problem, it IS however, a problem when men become so dominant that they feel the need to lash out physically against their girl friend or spouse. Have you ever seen a woman who has been hurt? – have you ever been in ER when they bring a woman in, (police standing guard) it’s one of the most pitiful sights, – a scared woman, laying on a gurney, not knowing what to expect, where her children are, what on earth is going to happen to her next.

    Until you know the facts don’t tout “domestic violence stats, a favorite topic of feminists” – We have a wonderful charity here who helps these women, it’s a SAFE PLACE where they can stay in peace, away from harm. They don’t all come from poor socio-economic backgrounds, but they do need PROTECTION. Many people, talented in every profession, mainly through churches gives of their time, money and resources to help these women and their children.

    Back to topic – let the guys wrestle guys – any gal who chooses to complete in such a physcial way with a male has a real identity problem. Read the end of post 133, that will give you some idea of what the game is, and why women choose to act like guys. The same goes for guys, who want to ____________, go ahead fill in the blank.

    That’s what we have today, gender trade-off – it doesn’t work, it was never God’s plan, nor did HE ever endorse it.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 138

    “Cite some domestic violence stats, a favorite topic of feminists, and trouble some consciences about the possible consequences down the road. Maybe it’s a slippery slope argument at best, but start there. In the article ”

    “Domestic violence” is not my fav topic, nor am I a “feminist” but I can assure you that “domestic violence” is one of the cruelest acts against women. I have seen the effects, the pain, sorrow, humiliation, – I can assure you, that it isn’t a “feminist” problem, it IS however, a problem when men become so dominant that they feel the need to lash out physically against their girl friend or spouse. Have you ever seen a woman who has been hurt? – have you ever been in ER when they bring a woman in, (police standing guard) it’s one of the most pitiful sights, – a scared woman, laying on a gurney, not knowing what to expect, where her children are, what on earth is going to happen to her next.

    Until you know the facts don’t tout “domestic violence stats, a favorite topic of feminists” – We have a wonderful charity here who helps these women, it’s a SAFE PLACE where they can stay in peace, away from harm. They don’t all come from poor socio-economic backgrounds, but they do need PROTECTION. Many people, talented in every profession, mainly through churches gives of their time, money and resources to help these women and their children.

    Back to topic – let the guys wrestle guys – any gal who chooses to complete in such a physcial way with a male has a real identity problem. Read the end of post 133, that will give you some idea of what the game is, and why women choose to act like guys. The same goes for guys, who want to ____________, go ahead fill in the blank.

    That’s what we have today, gender trade-off – it doesn’t work, it was never God’s plan, nor did HE ever endorse it.

  • Dust

    FWS…if pagans knew what was the right and moral thing to do just as well as any other group, why did God need to give us the 10 commandments? Afterall, they know right from wrong just as well as Christians?

    Also, aren’t there some pagan moral systems that are based on “might is right” or “survival of the fittest” or certain systems resembling the kind of ethics and morals one might expect from say Witches or perhaps Satanic worshippers? Am just confused by how you seem to use pagan as if their moral and ethical systems are just as valid as any one elses. Else why do you always say pagans are just as capable of keeping the law as anyone else? They don’t necessarily follow the same law as given to Moese, do they?

    Thanks!

  • Dust

    FWS…if pagans knew what was the right and moral thing to do just as well as any other group, why did God need to give us the 10 commandments? Afterall, they know right from wrong just as well as Christians?

    Also, aren’t there some pagan moral systems that are based on “might is right” or “survival of the fittest” or certain systems resembling the kind of ethics and morals one might expect from say Witches or perhaps Satanic worshippers? Am just confused by how you seem to use pagan as if their moral and ethical systems are just as valid as any one elses. Else why do you always say pagans are just as capable of keeping the law as anyone else? They don’t necessarily follow the same law as given to Moese, do they?

    Thanks!

  • Grace

    That’s quite a post Mr. Dust – hats off to you my friend.

    Have a wonderful LORD’s day!

  • Grace

    That’s quite a post Mr. Dust – hats off to you my friend.

    Have a wonderful LORD’s day!

  • Dust

    FWS at 137….didn’t you steal this from Hitchens? Seems heard it in some interview or debate concerning his book “God is NOT great”

    Proof: Name just ONE sense-ible thing that a christian can our would do that a pagan or unbeliever would or could never do.

    Well, first you would need to define “sense-ible” because a lot of what Christians believe or do is foolishness in the eyes of the world. If you would include thinking that your death on a cross would pay for the sins of all mankind, that is not very sense-ible, for sure in the eyes of a pagan, so that eliminates a lot of what differentiates a Christian from pagans. If that would include being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, or because the Bible tells you so, or if you include almost any other thing that is unique to a Christian and the unique articles of our faith, then you just reduce this challenge to a sophist trick, maybe impressive to those who don’t understand the simple wisdom of faith and trust, and want to win the approval of man and pagans too perhaps?

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    FWS at 137….didn’t you steal this from Hitchens? Seems heard it in some interview or debate concerning his book “God is NOT great”

    Proof: Name just ONE sense-ible thing that a christian can our would do that a pagan or unbeliever would or could never do.

    Well, first you would need to define “sense-ible” because a lot of what Christians believe or do is foolishness in the eyes of the world. If you would include thinking that your death on a cross would pay for the sins of all mankind, that is not very sense-ible, for sure in the eyes of a pagan, so that eliminates a lot of what differentiates a Christian from pagans. If that would include being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, or because the Bible tells you so, or if you include almost any other thing that is unique to a Christian and the unique articles of our faith, then you just reduce this challenge to a sophist trick, maybe impressive to those who don’t understand the simple wisdom of faith and trust, and want to win the approval of man and pagans too perhaps?

    Cheers!

  • Grace

    Dust – 142

    Mr. Dust writes: …. “FWS at 137….didn’t you steal this from Hitchens? Seems heard it in some interview or debate concerning his book “God is NOT great””

    Hitchens : -Feb 11, 2011 … Now Mr. Hitchens says, ‘Name one moral action that an unbeliever can not take. … It would be blasphemy to do it. – Hitchens
    http://christopherhitchenswatch.blogspot.com/2011/02/hitchens-watch-officially-solves-chris.html

    fws” – “Proof: Name just ONE sense-ible thing that a christian can our would do that a pagan or unbeliever would or could never do.” – fws

    Dust, I think you hit a home run -

  • Grace

    Dust – 142

    Mr. Dust writes: …. “FWS at 137….didn’t you steal this from Hitchens? Seems heard it in some interview or debate concerning his book “God is NOT great””

    Hitchens : -Feb 11, 2011 … Now Mr. Hitchens says, ‘Name one moral action that an unbeliever can not take. … It would be blasphemy to do it. – Hitchens
    http://christopherhitchenswatch.blogspot.com/2011/02/hitchens-watch-officially-solves-chris.html

    fws” – “Proof: Name just ONE sense-ible thing that a christian can our would do that a pagan or unbeliever would or could never do.” – fws

    Dust, I think you hit a home run -

  • Stephen

    Grace @ 139

    You wrote to me:

    “Have you ever seen a woman who has been hurt?”

    Yes I have, and you don’t seem to understand the point I am making. Teaching boys to be violent with girls by wrestling with them might encourage them to think it is okay to be violent with their girlfriends and wives later on down the line. That is an argument one could make with a feminist or other progressive to get them to see that this is a bad idea.

    Got it?

    Stop lecturing people.

  • Stephen

    Grace @ 139

    You wrote to me:

    “Have you ever seen a woman who has been hurt?”

    Yes I have, and you don’t seem to understand the point I am making. Teaching boys to be violent with girls by wrestling with them might encourage them to think it is okay to be violent with their girlfriends and wives later on down the line. That is an argument one could make with a feminist or other progressive to get them to see that this is a bad idea.

    Got it?

    Stop lecturing people.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 144

    I may have misunderstood your comment, but it serves no purpose to spew out your anger. Feminists go in both directions, GET IT? – if not, you do now, … or maybe you’re to ticked off to comprehend it.

    “Stop lecturing people.” – - – - spoken like a true ______ fill in the space.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 144

    I may have misunderstood your comment, but it serves no purpose to spew out your anger. Feminists go in both directions, GET IT? – if not, you do now, … or maybe you’re to ticked off to comprehend it.

    “Stop lecturing people.” – - – - spoken like a true ______ fill in the space.

  • Dust

    Grace at 143, thank you, am pretty sure that is the more accurate, very similar line of Hitchen. Now, am not sure if it’s a “moral action” but one thing am sure an unbeliever cannot do is BELIEVE! And that one thing alone makes a very big difference, not to Hitchen or others for sure, but to God. In addition to all the infinite benefits of belief, it does very gracefully, powerfully and thoroughly render Hitchen’s pagan critique or criticism of God irrelevant :)

  • Dust

    Grace at 143, thank you, am pretty sure that is the more accurate, very similar line of Hitchen. Now, am not sure if it’s a “moral action” but one thing am sure an unbeliever cannot do is BELIEVE! And that one thing alone makes a very big difference, not to Hitchen or others for sure, but to God. In addition to all the infinite benefits of belief, it does very gracefully, powerfully and thoroughly render Hitchen’s pagan critique or criticism of God irrelevant :)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 140

    “FWS…if pagans knew what was the right and moral thing to do just as well as any other group, why did God need to give us the 10 commandments? Afterall, they know right from wrong just as well as Christians?”

    who were the 10 commandments given to? Christians? Jesus in the sermon on the mount seems to be making the point that we need to do better that just keeping the letter of the 10 commandments eh? Isn´t that the point of the SOTM?

    “Also, aren’t there SOME pagan moral systems that are based on …..”

    “some” is not proof of “all” is it? what do you find wrong with the ethical system of Aristotle? Who was pagan?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 140

    “FWS…if pagans knew what was the right and moral thing to do just as well as any other group, why did God need to give us the 10 commandments? Afterall, they know right from wrong just as well as Christians?”

    who were the 10 commandments given to? Christians? Jesus in the sermon on the mount seems to be making the point that we need to do better that just keeping the letter of the 10 commandments eh? Isn´t that the point of the SOTM?

    “Also, aren’t there SOME pagan moral systems that are based on …..”

    “some” is not proof of “all” is it? what do you find wrong with the ethical system of Aristotle? Who was pagan?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 142

    “FWS at 137….didn’t you steal this from Hitchens? ”

    No I am getting my stuff from the Bible, the Lutheran Confessions and the words of Jesus. “not all who say Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven”.

    “Proof: Name just ONE sense-ible thing that a christian can our would do that a pagan or unbeliever would or could never do.

    Well, first you would need to define “sense-ible”

    I mean something that is seen or done that would be evidence in a court of law that faith exists in someone. By sensible I mean something that can be known by one´s senses… eyes, ears, nose, etc. Thing rules of courtroom evidence here or scientific evidence. That is what I mean by sense-ible. That is what I tried to convey by hyphenating that word…. Sorry you didn´t catch that Dust.

    “…. being crucified….”

    Pagans were crucified as well as Christ. Your own crucifiction would pay for the sins of no one Dust. And if christ had mearly been crucified, then your faith is in vain Dust. “if christ did not rise, your faith is in vain.” I trust what Jesus says because he is the only one to die and come back to tell us about it. This is proof he is the Lord of Life and our Creator as he claimed to be.

    “being baptized…..”

    Lots of people are baptized who are not christian. Tables are baptized or “baptizo”-ed in the new testament. They are not saved are they? The Jews baptized. The outward act of baptism doesn´t save anyone. Trusting in baptism to save you can be an act of idolatry. (cf the Lutheran Confessions ap art IV) Baptism does not save as an outward washing (cf II peter)! It is Christ who is given to us IN, with and under the water and words of baptism and invisible faith that trusts in that that saves us. Then we have the “answer of a good conscience” , ie then , because of our baptism, we are made to be holy as John I describes. “a christian does not sin”. Yes later I john says “if you say you have no sin you are a liar”. reconcile those two statements please? I suggest they are reconciled fully in the waters of Holy Baptism.

    ” [believing in] the Bible .

    Even the devils believe that everything in the bible is true. This sort of historical faith cannot save. the bible cannot save us. only christ can save us. prove to me that one person has faith in christ and the person next to him does not Dust.

    Cheers! [and Roebuck!]

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 142

    “FWS at 137….didn’t you steal this from Hitchens? ”

    No I am getting my stuff from the Bible, the Lutheran Confessions and the words of Jesus. “not all who say Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven”.

    “Proof: Name just ONE sense-ible thing that a christian can our would do that a pagan or unbeliever would or could never do.

    Well, first you would need to define “sense-ible”

    I mean something that is seen or done that would be evidence in a court of law that faith exists in someone. By sensible I mean something that can be known by one´s senses… eyes, ears, nose, etc. Thing rules of courtroom evidence here or scientific evidence. That is what I mean by sense-ible. That is what I tried to convey by hyphenating that word…. Sorry you didn´t catch that Dust.

    “…. being crucified….”

    Pagans were crucified as well as Christ. Your own crucifiction would pay for the sins of no one Dust. And if christ had mearly been crucified, then your faith is in vain Dust. “if christ did not rise, your faith is in vain.” I trust what Jesus says because he is the only one to die and come back to tell us about it. This is proof he is the Lord of Life and our Creator as he claimed to be.

    “being baptized…..”

    Lots of people are baptized who are not christian. Tables are baptized or “baptizo”-ed in the new testament. They are not saved are they? The Jews baptized. The outward act of baptism doesn´t save anyone. Trusting in baptism to save you can be an act of idolatry. (cf the Lutheran Confessions ap art IV) Baptism does not save as an outward washing (cf II peter)! It is Christ who is given to us IN, with and under the water and words of baptism and invisible faith that trusts in that that saves us. Then we have the “answer of a good conscience” , ie then , because of our baptism, we are made to be holy as John I describes. “a christian does not sin”. Yes later I john says “if you say you have no sin you are a liar”. reconcile those two statements please? I suggest they are reconciled fully in the waters of Holy Baptism.

    ” [believing in] the Bible .

    Even the devils believe that everything in the bible is true. This sort of historical faith cannot save. the bible cannot save us. only christ can save us. prove to me that one person has faith in christ and the person next to him does not Dust.

    Cheers! [and Roebuck!]

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dust February 27, 2011 at 5:19 am

    “Grace at 143, …Now, I am not sure if it’s a “moral action” but one thing am sure an unbeliever cannot do is BELIEVE! And that one thing alone makes a very big difference,…to God. In addition to all the infinite benefits of belief, it does very gracefully, powerfully and thoroughly render Hitchen’s pagan critique or criticism of God [ or small g false god?] irrelevant ”

    Everyone, including Hitchens has faith in something, BELIEVES in some thing. Athiests are chock full of faith.

    Faith does not and cannot save you Dust. Only Christ can save you by coming to you in with and under the waters of holy baptism in the name of what? the father, the son and the holy spirit!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dust February 27, 2011 at 5:19 am

    “Grace at 143, …Now, I am not sure if it’s a “moral action” but one thing am sure an unbeliever cannot do is BELIEVE! And that one thing alone makes a very big difference,…to God. In addition to all the infinite benefits of belief, it does very gracefully, powerfully and thoroughly render Hitchen’s pagan critique or criticism of God [ or small g false god?] irrelevant ”

    Everyone, including Hitchens has faith in something, BELIEVES in some thing. Athiests are chock full of faith.

    Faith does not and cannot save you Dust. Only Christ can save you by coming to you in with and under the waters of holy baptism in the name of what? the father, the son and the holy spirit!

  • Dust

    FWS….your points are well taken, but was thinking most folks would assume the clarifications you made to my comments, but thanks just the same!

    As per Pagan, my main point is that term includes such a broad brush of practices, that it doesn’t seem right to lump in into something one might call Christian morality. For example, there may be some Pagan practices that include infant sacrifice, but can’t think of any in the Christian world, can you? Or, there maybe Pagan practices that involve eating of meat sacrificed to idols, or the use of sex as a sort of sacrament, but it would be difficult to find something similar among Christians? Would you agree?

    That’s really my main point, the use of the term pagan may work against the kind of arguments you are trying to develop, in that simple minded folks such as myself (who still shop at Cheers and Roebuck) take offense and sort of no longer take your points very seriously. But you may not really care about that, in that your audience is more sophisticated and hip about these things and enjoys arguments on a deep and profound level?

    Cin cin :)

  • Dust

    FWS….your points are well taken, but was thinking most folks would assume the clarifications you made to my comments, but thanks just the same!

    As per Pagan, my main point is that term includes such a broad brush of practices, that it doesn’t seem right to lump in into something one might call Christian morality. For example, there may be some Pagan practices that include infant sacrifice, but can’t think of any in the Christian world, can you? Or, there maybe Pagan practices that involve eating of meat sacrificed to idols, or the use of sex as a sort of sacrament, but it would be difficult to find something similar among Christians? Would you agree?

    That’s really my main point, the use of the term pagan may work against the kind of arguments you are trying to develop, in that simple minded folks such as myself (who still shop at Cheers and Roebuck) take offense and sort of no longer take your points very seriously. But you may not really care about that, in that your audience is more sophisticated and hip about these things and enjoys arguments on a deep and profound level?

    Cin cin :)

  • Booklover

    If I were a male, I would be screaming for equality. The women fight for the right to wrestle, play football, wear the pants (years ago), join the all men’s club, etc., etc. Yet I have never seen a male fight to win a spot on the girls’ volleyball team. At least not in my neck of the woods.

    This is just to say there is a difference between a man and a woman, and they should not be wrestling around on a mat together trying to hurt one another. That’s just weird.

  • Booklover

    If I were a male, I would be screaming for equality. The women fight for the right to wrestle, play football, wear the pants (years ago), join the all men’s club, etc., etc. Yet I have never seen a male fight to win a spot on the girls’ volleyball team. At least not in my neck of the woods.

    This is just to say there is a difference between a man and a woman, and they should not be wrestling around on a mat together trying to hurt one another. That’s just weird.

  • Grace

    Booklover – 151

    “This is just to say there is a difference between a man and a woman, and they should not be wrestling around on a mat together trying to hurt one another. That’s just weird.”

    YES, and what else?

    “Texas teenager not allowed to run for homecoming queen

    October 15th, 2010

    Texas teenager not allowed to run for homecoming queen – Dallas civil rights | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-dallas/texas-teenager-not-allowed-to-run-for-homecoming-queen#ixzz1FEVrTGjO

    The reason the teenager is not being allowed to run for queen is because the student is a boy by the name of Andy Moreno who for the last year has lived as a girl. When Andy Moreno said he wanted to run for queen to the counselor, apparently the counselor referred him to the principal who refused to allow him to run as queen and suggested he run for king instead. In response, Andy said, “Which I don’t feel comfortable with because I identify myself as a woman and not as a male, and a king is a male.” The flip side of that is that a queen is a female, as the principal subtly suggested.”

    http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-dallas/texas-teenager-not-allowed-to-run-for-homecoming-queen

  • Grace

    Booklover – 151

    “This is just to say there is a difference between a man and a woman, and they should not be wrestling around on a mat together trying to hurt one another. That’s just weird.”

    YES, and what else?

    “Texas teenager not allowed to run for homecoming queen

    October 15th, 2010

    Texas teenager not allowed to run for homecoming queen – Dallas civil rights | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-dallas/texas-teenager-not-allowed-to-run-for-homecoming-queen#ixzz1FEVrTGjO

    The reason the teenager is not being allowed to run for queen is because the student is a boy by the name of Andy Moreno who for the last year has lived as a girl. When Andy Moreno said he wanted to run for queen to the counselor, apparently the counselor referred him to the principal who refused to allow him to run as queen and suggested he run for king instead. In response, Andy said, “Which I don’t feel comfortable with because I identify myself as a woman and not as a male, and a king is a male.” The flip side of that is that a queen is a female, as the principal subtly suggested.”

    http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-dallas/texas-teenager-not-allowed-to-run-for-homecoming-queen

  • Stephen

    Dear Grace,

    I want to apologize for my anger toward you. I have been angry at you for some time for things you’ve said about Luther and Lutherans. I lost my dad this past year and he was a Lutheran pastor. I took began to take the things you were saying personally. It doesn’t matter really. You are entitled to your opinions. I hope you will forgive me.

    Here is a video of my favorite jazz guitarist playing solo. Perhaps you will enjoy it. I think it is beautiful. Again, I am very sorry and I will do my best not to let my feelings get the better of me. If you like Chardonnay, try a Chassagne-Montrachet if you can afford it. Like drinking gold.

  • Stephen

    Dear Grace,

    I want to apologize for my anger toward you. I have been angry at you for some time for things you’ve said about Luther and Lutherans. I lost my dad this past year and he was a Lutheran pastor. I took began to take the things you were saying personally. It doesn’t matter really. You are entitled to your opinions. I hope you will forgive me.

    Here is a video of my favorite jazz guitarist playing solo. Perhaps you will enjoy it. I think it is beautiful. Again, I am very sorry and I will do my best not to let my feelings get the better of me. If you like Chardonnay, try a Chassagne-Montrachet if you can afford it. Like drinking gold.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    booklover @ 151

    males do have to fight to join cheerleader squads . become ballerinos and dancers and other things. Yes the right to receive the same protections for significant others and one´s children that others receive from the government.

    this may not be a fight against government in the form of school boards and state and local government.

    It is a fight against the government in the form of families and societies that can be far more potent in the way they can punish by reaching into our lives in the most personal of ways.

    And sometimes those rule makers manage to use the government as their tool of enforcement for these things.

    here in brasil men are never hired to be supermarket cashiers. Only women. And women in turn are only starting to become attorneys and doctors. There is no divine law or even ordinance for such things. But sometimes christians confuse things eh?

    st Paul in 1 cor says this ” ALL things are legal. But not all things are useful”

    In st Pauls time would it have been useful to others for a woman to have short hair, not cover her head at church or speak in church. No.

    Would it be useful to insist that women do these things today and avoid being in any position of power over men? in govt? in church? in society? maybe!

    maybe not!

    But St Pauls take home point is not in THAT debate , as st paul says, is not how meticulously we can follow rules.

    The point is to see how meticulously we can focus on the real needs and happiness of others here on earth in things that perish, BECAUSE we are keeping 0ur eyes firmly on things that will not perish , which are things invisible in Christ.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    booklover @ 151

    males do have to fight to join cheerleader squads . become ballerinos and dancers and other things. Yes the right to receive the same protections for significant others and one´s children that others receive from the government.

    this may not be a fight against government in the form of school boards and state and local government.

    It is a fight against the government in the form of families and societies that can be far more potent in the way they can punish by reaching into our lives in the most personal of ways.

    And sometimes those rule makers manage to use the government as their tool of enforcement for these things.

    here in brasil men are never hired to be supermarket cashiers. Only women. And women in turn are only starting to become attorneys and doctors. There is no divine law or even ordinance for such things. But sometimes christians confuse things eh?

    st Paul in 1 cor says this ” ALL things are legal. But not all things are useful”

    In st Pauls time would it have been useful to others for a woman to have short hair, not cover her head at church or speak in church. No.

    Would it be useful to insist that women do these things today and avoid being in any position of power over men? in govt? in church? in society? maybe!

    maybe not!

    But St Pauls take home point is not in THAT debate , as st paul says, is not how meticulously we can follow rules.

    The point is to see how meticulously we can focus on the real needs and happiness of others here on earth in things that perish, BECAUSE we are keeping 0ur eyes firmly on things that will not perish , which are things invisible in Christ.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 15o

    “Or, there maybe Pagan practices that involve eating of meat sacrificed to idols, … but it would be difficult to find something similar among Christians? Would you agree?”

    It makes sense to me Dust.

    But St Paul would disagree. And so, for that reason alone, so do I. My reason needs to be made captive to the Word of God.

    Go back and read what St paul says about christians eating meat sacrificed to idols. Please. It will amply illustrate my point to you.

    I hope you chose to take what St Paul takes seriously. I have no problem at all with your not taking what I write seriously. Who am I? I am not anyone with authority in these matters.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 15o

    “Or, there maybe Pagan practices that involve eating of meat sacrificed to idols, … but it would be difficult to find something similar among Christians? Would you agree?”

    It makes sense to me Dust.

    But St Paul would disagree. And so, for that reason alone, so do I. My reason needs to be made captive to the Word of God.

    Go back and read what St paul says about christians eating meat sacrificed to idols. Please. It will amply illustrate my point to you.

    I hope you chose to take what St Paul takes seriously. I have no problem at all with your not taking what I write seriously. Who am I? I am not anyone with authority in these matters.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace

    i lost track of what thread and so where your response is to that james passage so I will put it here.

    I am telling you that if you read the greek st james is making a comparison. he is saying this:

    faith is to the body as breathing is to good works.

    I am saying that to translate pneuma as spirit in this passage misses the point of the passage.

    St James is asking you to consider faith and works in the form of his simile: the body is to breathing as faith is to works. that is his point Grace.

    You or the commetaries you are reading are not seeing this simile for some reason.

    I am not trying to make any particular point about faith or works or their relationship here. I am merely trying to clarify what St James is saying in this passage.

    agreed?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace

    i lost track of what thread and so where your response is to that james passage so I will put it here.

    I am telling you that if you read the greek st james is making a comparison. he is saying this:

    faith is to the body as breathing is to good works.

    I am saying that to translate pneuma as spirit in this passage misses the point of the passage.

    St James is asking you to consider faith and works in the form of his simile: the body is to breathing as faith is to works. that is his point Grace.

    You or the commetaries you are reading are not seeing this simile for some reason.

    I am not trying to make any particular point about faith or works or their relationship here. I am merely trying to clarify what St James is saying in this passage.

    agreed?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace ooooops!

    st james:

    the body is to faith as
    breathing is to good works.

    that is the simile he wants us to think about.

    and my point then is this: if our breathing is labored then what does that tell us about our breathing and our body? Normally we don´t even think about our breathing. We only have to think about our breathing when something is wrong. I think this is the point St James is making actually Grace.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace ooooops!

    st james:

    the body is to faith as
    breathing is to good works.

    that is the simile he wants us to think about.

    and my point then is this: if our breathing is labored then what does that tell us about our breathing and our body? Normally we don´t even think about our breathing. We only have to think about our breathing when something is wrong. I think this is the point St James is making actually Grace.

  • Grace

    -153 -

    Dear Stephen,

    I’m so sorry to hear you lost your dad, it must be difficult for you. I pray that God comfort you. – I too lost my father, a pastor, some time ago, the pain is still there, I loved him so much, he took such good care of me, always making sure I was safe, taking me to school each morning, and there he would be waiting for me in his car at the school gate.

    Thank you for your kind words. Yes of course I forgive you, and ask that you forgive me for my unkind words towards you.

    The link you gave, the music played was lovely, what a surprise to hear this morning. (10:30 AM my time). I can see why this artist is one of your favorite, thank you for sharing it with me.

    I will try the wine you suggested, we have a wonderful wine selections in one of the stores here, with a wine tasting room below.

  • Grace

    -153 -

    Dear Stephen,

    I’m so sorry to hear you lost your dad, it must be difficult for you. I pray that God comfort you. – I too lost my father, a pastor, some time ago, the pain is still there, I loved him so much, he took such good care of me, always making sure I was safe, taking me to school each morning, and there he would be waiting for me in his car at the school gate.

    Thank you for your kind words. Yes of course I forgive you, and ask that you forgive me for my unkind words towards you.

    The link you gave, the music played was lovely, what a surprise to hear this morning. (10:30 AM my time). I can see why this artist is one of your favorite, thank you for sharing it with me.

    I will try the wine you suggested, we have a wonderful wine selections in one of the stores here, with a wine tasting room below.

  • Grace

    fws,

    You and I don’t agree upon the 2nd chapter of James, and most other passages of Scripture. I have no interest in continuing this endless disagreement.

  • Grace

    fws,

    You and I don’t agree upon the 2nd chapter of James, and most other passages of Scripture. I have no interest in continuing this endless disagreement.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 159

    ok grace. consider it politely ended between you and I. :)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 159

    ok grace. consider it politely ended between you and I. :)

  • Dust

    FWS…..yes ok concerning meat sacrificed to idols, but how would Saint Paul handle infant sacrifice? Would he put that on the same level as so-called Christian morality?

    Here’s another lovely “pagan” practice. Following the meal and entertainment in honor of a visiting dignitary, the host would have all or most of the “servants” in attendance beheaded on the spot, right in front of everyone’s eyes. This was done as an honor for the guest, so they could be certain that those servants would never serve anybody else. And no one batted an eye at the practice! No talk about “human rights” for these people, no talk about the “dignity” of every human being! Clearly, something like this has nothing in common with so called “Christian morality” does it? But it’s Pagan, correct? And the folks enjoying the “entertainment” would have an entire system of ethics and morality to justify their actions? Who knows what other deviant behaviors they enjoyed, although they would not call them deviant from their perspective?

    Perhaps it is me who doesn’t understand the definition of Pagan, and maybe am confusing it with something else?

    Why did God give Moses the 10 commandments? What was the context? Could you say that those early folks were “pagan” prior to receiving the 10 commandments? Am not a biblical scholar in the least, but it seems to me that even after fleeing Egypt, they did not know exactly the difference between right and wrong. Seems among other things that was upsetting to God and Moses, was the return to the worshipping of the Golden Calf? And of course, the kind of life styles and behaviors that follow from worshipping a god like that…..one that can’t speak, or hear, and has no law to help guide one’s path. Very convenient though if your goal was to enjoy those pleasures of the flesh, shall we say?

    So were not the 10 commandments necessary because without them folks could just do what they thought was right, and could you lump all that together and call it Pagan? Definitely not part of so called Christian morality?

    Well am sure am not explaining this all very clearly, but my main point is just the broad use of the term Pagan to include everything from Aristotelian ethics and morality to the downright depravity of certain primitive societies. If pagans include the entire range, then it is hard to see how certain pagan cultures and societies could keep the Law just as well as Christians. Seems to me that that Law is 180 degrees from what they view as moral behavior? How could one ever hope to get them to change and begin to follow another Law, one that is so different from theirs and denies them the kind of behaviors they enjoy and desire?

    OK thanks for “listening” and would enjoy any feedback, if it is worth your tiime?

    Salut!

  • Dust

    FWS…..yes ok concerning meat sacrificed to idols, but how would Saint Paul handle infant sacrifice? Would he put that on the same level as so-called Christian morality?

    Here’s another lovely “pagan” practice. Following the meal and entertainment in honor of a visiting dignitary, the host would have all or most of the “servants” in attendance beheaded on the spot, right in front of everyone’s eyes. This was done as an honor for the guest, so they could be certain that those servants would never serve anybody else. And no one batted an eye at the practice! No talk about “human rights” for these people, no talk about the “dignity” of every human being! Clearly, something like this has nothing in common with so called “Christian morality” does it? But it’s Pagan, correct? And the folks enjoying the “entertainment” would have an entire system of ethics and morality to justify their actions? Who knows what other deviant behaviors they enjoyed, although they would not call them deviant from their perspective?

    Perhaps it is me who doesn’t understand the definition of Pagan, and maybe am confusing it with something else?

    Why did God give Moses the 10 commandments? What was the context? Could you say that those early folks were “pagan” prior to receiving the 10 commandments? Am not a biblical scholar in the least, but it seems to me that even after fleeing Egypt, they did not know exactly the difference between right and wrong. Seems among other things that was upsetting to God and Moses, was the return to the worshipping of the Golden Calf? And of course, the kind of life styles and behaviors that follow from worshipping a god like that…..one that can’t speak, or hear, and has no law to help guide one’s path. Very convenient though if your goal was to enjoy those pleasures of the flesh, shall we say?

    So were not the 10 commandments necessary because without them folks could just do what they thought was right, and could you lump all that together and call it Pagan? Definitely not part of so called Christian morality?

    Well am sure am not explaining this all very clearly, but my main point is just the broad use of the term Pagan to include everything from Aristotelian ethics and morality to the downright depravity of certain primitive societies. If pagans include the entire range, then it is hard to see how certain pagan cultures and societies could keep the Law just as well as Christians. Seems to me that that Law is 180 degrees from what they view as moral behavior? How could one ever hope to get them to change and begin to follow another Law, one that is so different from theirs and denies them the kind of behaviors they enjoy and desire?

    OK thanks for “listening” and would enjoy any feedback, if it is worth your tiime?

    Salut!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 161

    “So were not the 10 commandments necessary because without them folks could just do what they thought was right, and could you lump all that together and call it Pagan?

    Definitely not part of so called Christian morality?”

    This is morality. This is not “christian ” morality. So you are saying that pagans are exempt from some morals that christians are subject to. I don´t think you could prove this from Scripture dear Dust. And I don´t suspect that you would want to either. But this is what saying “christian morality” implies. Or else “christian morality” implies that christians keep the Law of God better, in some visible way, than pagans do. St Paul in Romans 2:1 I think would disagree with you. He is addressing Christians in Romans 2:1 . He is telling you and me that we are no different than the persons described in romans chapter 1. Correct me if I am reading St Paul wrong. I could be. But we need to argue from scriptures and not from reason and logic Dust.

    I don´t really follow the first part you said that I am quoting here. It would be good for you to explain what you mean in that sentence to me. Thanks! :)

    The 10 commandments were given to the Jews, not to christians. But I think they can be a useful summary for christians and pagans as well of the Law of God.

    In the Epistle to the Romans Dust, St paul says that the pagans , who do not have the bible, are without excuse. Why? It is because they have the same Law divinely revealed in their hearts called “conscience”. The Law always accuses. It always accuses. I am sure you have read the epistle to Romans. That is st Pauls argument there. Correct me, from Romans, if you have a different reading ok?

    secondly the Jews had the 10 commandments. they followed them to the letter. Yet the point of the SOTM was that the jews still were outside the law even by following it. The point is that people ignore or self justify or violate the written revealed law just as they violate that same revealed law of God written in the heart in the form of conscience.

    So the problem is not the law either as 1o commandments, SOTM or conscience or that these are unclear. The problem is that we all have hearts that flee from God´s Law and judgement and hate God. Even when we follow God´s law , we don´t do them from the bottom of our heart or spontaneously do we? It is effort to follow God´s law. We feel like it is a sacrifice to do so.

    Secondly , they are all the SAME divinely revealed law in different forms. As are laws of government, or your mom telling you to sweep the floor or change a diaper. God is the source and Author of all these Laws. He delivers his Law always “in, with and under” the form of sinful flesh and blood. the 10 commandments were issued by God, in with and under sinful moses. the conscience as Law is at work in with and under every sinful human. The sermon on the mount is received by us in with and under paper and ink or from the mouths of sinful pastors and teachers. God also delivers his Law and rules in his Earthly Kingdom in, with and under poop scoop ordinances, tax codes and speeding and parking laws. And it is God in , with and under your mom telling you to take out the trash or sweep the floor. It is the same God who is the same Author of all these Laws. That is why we are to obey all of them.

    So are we talking past each other Dust? are you looking to mine my words for disagreements, or are we really agreeing on this? which is it? you tell me? :))

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 161

    “So were not the 10 commandments necessary because without them folks could just do what they thought was right, and could you lump all that together and call it Pagan?

    Definitely not part of so called Christian morality?”

    This is morality. This is not “christian ” morality. So you are saying that pagans are exempt from some morals that christians are subject to. I don´t think you could prove this from Scripture dear Dust. And I don´t suspect that you would want to either. But this is what saying “christian morality” implies. Or else “christian morality” implies that christians keep the Law of God better, in some visible way, than pagans do. St Paul in Romans 2:1 I think would disagree with you. He is addressing Christians in Romans 2:1 . He is telling you and me that we are no different than the persons described in romans chapter 1. Correct me if I am reading St Paul wrong. I could be. But we need to argue from scriptures and not from reason and logic Dust.

    I don´t really follow the first part you said that I am quoting here. It would be good for you to explain what you mean in that sentence to me. Thanks! :)

    The 10 commandments were given to the Jews, not to christians. But I think they can be a useful summary for christians and pagans as well of the Law of God.

    In the Epistle to the Romans Dust, St paul says that the pagans , who do not have the bible, are without excuse. Why? It is because they have the same Law divinely revealed in their hearts called “conscience”. The Law always accuses. It always accuses. I am sure you have read the epistle to Romans. That is st Pauls argument there. Correct me, from Romans, if you have a different reading ok?

    secondly the Jews had the 10 commandments. they followed them to the letter. Yet the point of the SOTM was that the jews still were outside the law even by following it. The point is that people ignore or self justify or violate the written revealed law just as they violate that same revealed law of God written in the heart in the form of conscience.

    So the problem is not the law either as 1o commandments, SOTM or conscience or that these are unclear. The problem is that we all have hearts that flee from God´s Law and judgement and hate God. Even when we follow God´s law , we don´t do them from the bottom of our heart or spontaneously do we? It is effort to follow God´s law. We feel like it is a sacrifice to do so.

    Secondly , they are all the SAME divinely revealed law in different forms. As are laws of government, or your mom telling you to sweep the floor or change a diaper. God is the source and Author of all these Laws. He delivers his Law always “in, with and under” the form of sinful flesh and blood. the 10 commandments were issued by God, in with and under sinful moses. the conscience as Law is at work in with and under every sinful human. The sermon on the mount is received by us in with and under paper and ink or from the mouths of sinful pastors and teachers. God also delivers his Law and rules in his Earthly Kingdom in, with and under poop scoop ordinances, tax codes and speeding and parking laws. And it is God in , with and under your mom telling you to take out the trash or sweep the floor. It is the same God who is the same Author of all these Laws. That is why we are to obey all of them.

    So are we talking past each other Dust? are you looking to mine my words for disagreements, or are we really agreeing on this? which is it? you tell me? :))

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 161

    “So were not the 10 commandments necessary because without them folks could just do what they thought was right, and could you lump all that together and call it Pagan?”

    ah. I think I get you now Dust. so the issuance of the 10 commandments by God means that folks CAN´T just do what they think is right and ignore their conscience and the 10 commandments as well? Or maybe even do what they know is not right as well, and do it anyhow?

    So are you saying that God issuing a law or rule is to keep peóple from doing things? How does that work? Can you give me a practical example? I don´t get your reasoning here Dust.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 161

    “So were not the 10 commandments necessary because without them folks could just do what they thought was right, and could you lump all that together and call it Pagan?”

    ah. I think I get you now Dust. so the issuance of the 10 commandments by God means that folks CAN´T just do what they think is right and ignore their conscience and the 10 commandments as well? Or maybe even do what they know is not right as well, and do it anyhow?

    So are you saying that God issuing a law or rule is to keep peóple from doing things? How does that work? Can you give me a practical example? I don´t get your reasoning here Dust.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 161

    “If pagans include the entire range, then it is hard to see how certain pagan cultures and societies could keep the Law just as well as Christians.

    Do they ALL keep the law as well? No. Do all christians keep the law equally well? no. Do they have an excuse to not keep the law equally as well? no. DO they all have the SAME law divinely revealed to them? what does st paul say in the Epistle to Romans Dust to answer this question? are you saying that the Law written in the conscience is not revealed by God? That it is defective or unclear? what are you saying, from scriptures now dust? not from your speculations and logic…..

    “Seems to me that that Law is 180 degrees from what they view as moral behavior? ”

    Where do you read this in scriptures Dust?

    “How could one ever hope to get them to change and begin to follow another Law, one that is so different from theirs and denies them the kind of behaviors they enjoy and desire?”

    I am saying, as are the Lutheran Confessions, that this IS possible, and aristotle is a great example of how a pagan is fully able to do this. Is this wrong? what are you saying here dust. You lost me.

    Where does st paul locate the Law of God ? In the conscience? In the decalog? I say st paul locates the SAME divinely revealed law in both places. Show me how I am misreading romans.

    thanks! :))

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dust @ 161

    “If pagans include the entire range, then it is hard to see how certain pagan cultures and societies could keep the Law just as well as Christians.

    Do they ALL keep the law as well? No. Do all christians keep the law equally well? no. Do they have an excuse to not keep the law equally as well? no. DO they all have the SAME law divinely revealed to them? what does st paul say in the Epistle to Romans Dust to answer this question? are you saying that the Law written in the conscience is not revealed by God? That it is defective or unclear? what are you saying, from scriptures now dust? not from your speculations and logic…..

    “Seems to me that that Law is 180 degrees from what they view as moral behavior? ”

    Where do you read this in scriptures Dust?

    “How could one ever hope to get them to change and begin to follow another Law, one that is so different from theirs and denies them the kind of behaviors they enjoy and desire?”

    I am saying, as are the Lutheran Confessions, that this IS possible, and aristotle is a great example of how a pagan is fully able to do this. Is this wrong? what are you saying here dust. You lost me.

    Where does st paul locate the Law of God ? In the conscience? In the decalog? I say st paul locates the SAME divinely revealed law in both places. Show me how I am misreading romans.

    thanks! :))

  • Dust

    FWS….perhaps we are talking past each other. But my main point is that the laws of a culture or society (to me at least) stem from some sort of “basic” set of principles. In the case of so called “Christian morality” it seems to me it comes from the 10 commandments (which God gave to the whole world, thru the Jews?) as well as other things like the SOTM. Those could be seen as “guiding principles” from which most other concepts derive some sort of rationality or basis for their existence. One example may just simply be what a big part of the world refers to as “human rights”. They didn’t just pop out of nowhere, but they have evolved over the many years, but starting with some pretty basic “First things” if you will?

    Am just saying that if you would start with the basic premises of some certain Pagan cultures, one’s that practiced infant sacrifice or any human sacrifice, for example and develop a system of morality “based on those” and the “spirit” behind them, my guess is that system would no way be similar to something called “Christian morality”, let’s call it CM :)

    Now granted, there are a lot of things in CM that are shared in other pagan societies, but not all pagan societies. And there are things in a CM that even not all Christians would agree, but that is not my point. My point is that where you end up, is largely determined by where you start and what larger “laws” influence your development.

    If you start with the 10 C and the SOTM, you are most likely going to arrive at a different place, than many Pagan cultures…that is, those without the benefit of Christian influence. Perhaps the nice little Vikings are a good example of a pagan culture that was (at least the way it was explained to me) changed by the influence of Christian values (sorry to use that word). Perhaps Roman culture is another example?

    So am not looking for disagreements, but even if I were, is there a problem with that….isn’t that a big reason we are here on da blog :)

  • Dust

    FWS….perhaps we are talking past each other. But my main point is that the laws of a culture or society (to me at least) stem from some sort of “basic” set of principles. In the case of so called “Christian morality” it seems to me it comes from the 10 commandments (which God gave to the whole world, thru the Jews?) as well as other things like the SOTM. Those could be seen as “guiding principles” from which most other concepts derive some sort of rationality or basis for their existence. One example may just simply be what a big part of the world refers to as “human rights”. They didn’t just pop out of nowhere, but they have evolved over the many years, but starting with some pretty basic “First things” if you will?

    Am just saying that if you would start with the basic premises of some certain Pagan cultures, one’s that practiced infant sacrifice or any human sacrifice, for example and develop a system of morality “based on those” and the “spirit” behind them, my guess is that system would no way be similar to something called “Christian morality”, let’s call it CM :)

    Now granted, there are a lot of things in CM that are shared in other pagan societies, but not all pagan societies. And there are things in a CM that even not all Christians would agree, but that is not my point. My point is that where you end up, is largely determined by where you start and what larger “laws” influence your development.

    If you start with the 10 C and the SOTM, you are most likely going to arrive at a different place, than many Pagan cultures…that is, those without the benefit of Christian influence. Perhaps the nice little Vikings are a good example of a pagan culture that was (at least the way it was explained to me) changed by the influence of Christian values (sorry to use that word). Perhaps Roman culture is another example?

    So am not looking for disagreements, but even if I were, is there a problem with that….isn’t that a big reason we are here on da blog :)

  • Stephen

    Dust -

    So where do you end up? With Hiroshima and Auschwitz maybe? The Inquisition and the slaughtering and displacing of indigenous people on pretty much every continent for the last 500 years? Or Apartheid South Africa perhaps? Lynchings by good ole’ southern white Christian boys?

    That’s not a very good argument Dust. It’s just not. Non-believers can love and do good. They can even outshine Christians quite often and quite well.

    What Frank is trying to get you to see is that there is nothing special about being moral, Christian or otherwise. That is not to say it isn’t a good thing to do good. But lots of people do good. God makes that happen using the law. He puts a conscience in everyone. Whether or not they listen to it or not is another thing. But that hasn’t got anything to do with “being” Christian. That is something you are given as a gift of God’s grace, by his election, signified and made perfect in your baptism. Nothing else makes it so. It is a promise given, not a task you accomplish through your works, your special “Christian” morals. If it were up to you, well, as you can see by the examples I’ve given, we fail miserably. We sin gravely.

    Nothing makes us Christians except faith in Christ. And even that is not something we do, it is something we have and are given.

  • Stephen

    Dust -

    So where do you end up? With Hiroshima and Auschwitz maybe? The Inquisition and the slaughtering and displacing of indigenous people on pretty much every continent for the last 500 years? Or Apartheid South Africa perhaps? Lynchings by good ole’ southern white Christian boys?

    That’s not a very good argument Dust. It’s just not. Non-believers can love and do good. They can even outshine Christians quite often and quite well.

    What Frank is trying to get you to see is that there is nothing special about being moral, Christian or otherwise. That is not to say it isn’t a good thing to do good. But lots of people do good. God makes that happen using the law. He puts a conscience in everyone. Whether or not they listen to it or not is another thing. But that hasn’t got anything to do with “being” Christian. That is something you are given as a gift of God’s grace, by his election, signified and made perfect in your baptism. Nothing else makes it so. It is a promise given, not a task you accomplish through your works, your special “Christian” morals. If it were up to you, well, as you can see by the examples I’ve given, we fail miserably. We sin gravely.

    Nothing makes us Christians except faith in Christ. And even that is not something we do, it is something we have and are given.

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