A different kind of gay marriage

Ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel have come up with an acceptable form of gay marriage:  gay men marry lesbians.

Rabbis from the religious Zionist community have launched an initiative to marry gay men to lesbian women – with some surprising successes.

So far, 11 marriages have been performed. Haaretz conducted an email interview with one such couple, Etti and Roni (not their real names ).

Etti and Roni, both religious, were married five years ago. Though they were honest with each other about their sexual orientations from their first meeting, to the outside world, they portray themselves as a normal heterosexual couple. Today, they have two children, and are thrilled with the results.

“It’s incredible,” they wrote. “Six years ago, we didn’t think we would ever be this happy. We thought everything was black, that we’d lost our chance of a normal life. But today, things are good for us. There are gaps, but that’s true in every case. And we fill them with the great love we give to and receive from our children, and also enjoy the simple human love we give each other, such as any two people can give and receive.”

 

All the matches were arranged by Rabbi Areleh Harel of the West Bank settlement of Shilo. He teaches at a yeshiva in Elon Moreh and has a name in religious circles as the go-to rabbi for homosexuals.

Harel said all his couples receive close support from a team of psychologists, marriage counselors and social workers. They also consult frequently with rabbis, including Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein of the Har Etzion Yeshiva, Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan Yaakov Ariel, and especially Rabbi Menachem Burstein, head of the Puah Institute, which specializes in halakhic solutions to fertility problems.

His 12th couple has just announced their engagement, Harel said, and he has a list of another 30 gays and 20 lesbians seeking matches. They don’t deny their sexual identity, he stressed, but “they want to establish a home, whether for the sake of becoming parents or for the social recognition. A family isn’t just sex and love. It’s an instrumental partnership, though not just a technical one.”

As a result, he and his colleagues have now decided to institutionalize the venture, including working with a well-known religious matchmaking organization.

Gay-lesbian marriages have long been practiced among the ultra-Orthodox, but the current initiative is different in that it stems not from an effort to sweep the issue under the carpet, but from a growing acknowledgment of homosexuality, prompted in part by four organizations for religious homosexuals: Havruta, Bat Kol, Hod and Kamocha.

Harel explained that while secular homosexuals see gay marriage as the solution, religious homosexuals are often unwilling to violate the halakhic prohibition on homosexual sex, and are thus seeking other solutions.

“Most of the couples agree not to have relationships with members of their own sex, but if there are ‘lapses’ once every few years, they don’t see this as a betrayal,” he said. “Generally, it’s between them and their Creator.”

He said each couple decides for itself how its marriage should work, and he is not involved in that decision. Rather, he deals mainly with halakhic issues like artificial insemination.

Roni, 35, owns a business; Etti, 30, is a paramedic. Roni tried conversion therapy to change his sexual orientation, with no success. He said he also had relationships with various other men, “until I decided this isn’t for me; I want a family and children.”

Etti said her family still doesn’t know she’s a lesbian. She had one “serious” lesbian relationship, but “realized it was more important to me to raise children and live in a normal family.”

Both said that upholding the religious prohibition on homosexual sex was “very important” to them, as was their desire for “more or less normal parenthood,” and both factors had influenced their decision.

Harel introduced them, and as the first of his gay-lesbian couples, they term themselves “guinea pigs.” They are careful to keep up normal appearances before the children and the outside world, even sleeping in the same room, though they don’t sleep together. Their children were born through artificial insemination.

“Most of the time, it’s good for us together, like business partners. Of course we have quarrels and tensions, but who doesn’t? … Like good friends, we have a great deal of mutual respect and a great deal of platonic love.”

via Israeli rabbis launch initiative to marry gay men to lesbian women ­ – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

These individuals are willing to be chaste and thus faithful to their spouses–except for those lapses–but want children and a family life.  Could that work with a Christian understanding of marriage?  Or would this kind of arrangement be problematic also?

About Gene Veith

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

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Very interesting. Any marriage involving a severe sexual dysfunction is going to be quite problematic. Still, this seems closer to the mark of real marriage than what homosexual activists usually try to pass off as marriage (traditional gay marriage?). Rather than chopping up marriage into little pieces, taking the parts one wants, and discarding the rest, one is taking marriage and participating as much as one can.

    I’m not sure how well it would work in the long run (would probably depend on the individuals), but it’s worth thinking about.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Very interesting. Any marriage involving a severe sexual dysfunction is going to be quite problematic. Still, this seems closer to the mark of real marriage than what homosexual activists usually try to pass off as marriage (traditional gay marriage?). Rather than chopping up marriage into little pieces, taking the parts one wants, and discarding the rest, one is taking marriage and participating as much as one can.

    I’m not sure how well it would work in the long run (would probably depend on the individuals), but it’s worth thinking about.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I see no moral problem at all with such an approach. Good luck selling the concept in this country, though.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I see no moral problem at all with such an approach. Good luck selling the concept in this country, though.

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

    Personally, when I saw this, my first thought was that homosexuality may not be as intractable as many like to assume–somehow these people are having a go at marriage, arranged marriages at that, and they manage to not only not kill one another, but to have children.

    Something very interesting; maybe it’s the support of their synagogue that keeps them on the (sorry for the pun) straight and narrow? One distinctive of some Jewish traditions is that instead of a honeymoon where the couples goes away, they spend time in the homes of family and friends, who help counsel them in the intricacies of marriage. I’ve seen evidence that whatever it is, it seems to work–despite a permissive attitude towards divorce, they’re not getting divorces.

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

    Personally, when I saw this, my first thought was that homosexuality may not be as intractable as many like to assume–somehow these people are having a go at marriage, arranged marriages at that, and they manage to not only not kill one another, but to have children.

    Something very interesting; maybe it’s the support of their synagogue that keeps them on the (sorry for the pun) straight and narrow? One distinctive of some Jewish traditions is that instead of a honeymoon where the couples goes away, they spend time in the homes of family and friends, who help counsel them in the intricacies of marriage. I’ve seen evidence that whatever it is, it seems to work–despite a permissive attitude towards divorce, they’re not getting divorces.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    “These individuals are willing to be chaste and thus faithful to their spouses–except for those lapses–but want children and a family life. Could that work with a Christian understanding of marriage? Or would this kind of arrangement be problematic also?”

    This is a great article. It is sort of a shot out of the blue that challenges what we think of Pharisaic thinking and what the limits of that are. It reminds me of an article I read where the Ayatollah Khomenei religiously blessed sex change operations for transgenders in Iran and said that was a good thing.

    Background Observations:
    Jews and Muslims are about “orthoPRAXY” or right doing.
    In contrast, christians are, in theory, about “OrthoDOXY” or right believing. More on this later. But this difference is important.

    So in this Orthopraxy world, realizing our full humanity God-intended-purpose is to conform ourselves, as to form and doing, to God´s Image as revealed to us. Where does God reveal his Divine Design and Image? OrthoPraxy says God reveals His very Image and Design in the Law of God.

    The relious are seeking to live in God´s Image as God designed them by observing and conforming to God´s Law in the 10 commandments and by observing that Law as revealed in Nature, or Natural Law. This is the idea behind all of this. So the religious express this Idea this way:

    “…religious homosexuals are often unwilling to violate the halakhic prohibition on homosexual sex, and are thus seeking other solutions.”

    So in this view, the Image of God is located in the Divine Design as revealed in the 10 Commandments and the Law of Nature we can observe with our God given Reason. The human Purpose then is for us to become re-conditioned to that Divine Law or Purpose. Only then will be experience the happiness of Aristotle´s “telos”.
    “Telos”, according to Aristotle, is where someone becomes what one has been designed to be. Saint Thomas Aquinas “baptized” this philosophical idea of telos into christian theology. So St Thomas then says injects God. He says that “telos” is now “Telos”. Telos is what GOD has designed mankind to be. And again, we know what that Divine Design is how? The Law of God in the 10 commandments and revealed by God given Reason observing Nature (“Natural Law”) is how we know what God´s Image is, and is also how we can, with our own efforts, reacquire or better, repair the Image of God that is still in us after the fall, but was severely damaged and perverted in that fall of mankind into sin.

    This all really and truly makes sense. It is truly reasonable. God gave us the gift of reason. God´s Law is, in fact, a revelation of God to man. So this sounds really right. And it is an idea, as we can see, that can be equally and enthusiatically embraced by Jews, Muslims, and gays and lesbians! What is not to like about something like this?!

    So it should be surprising that it was this point exactly, that was the principal point that was opposed by the earliest Lutheran Confessions. The Lutherans rejected this teaching promoted by a group called the “scholastics” who followed St Thomas in baptizing Aristotle´s idea of telos now as Telos. The Lutherans rejected, completely, that the Law of God reveals the Divine Image of God.

    So then what did those early Lutherans propose as an alternative view? They proposed what St. Paul said. This is something that simply does not make sense to our reason: Christians believe that to obtain the Image of God is to have Adam´s Original Righeousness restored to us. Christians believe that the Image of God is TOTALLY lost and absent in mankind. It is fully restored in New Man but not by the Law and doing. How then does sinful man have the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness restored? In Holy Baptism. That is where.

    In Holy Baptism we recieve faith in Jesus Christ. To have faith alone in Christ alone then, for Lutherans, is to be restored fully into the Original Adamic Image of God that was totally lost in the fall.
    So the Image of God is restored by “orthoDoxy” right believing and not by “OrthoPRAXY” or right doing.

    But I said earlier that the Divine Law of God and even the Divine Design that Reason can see in Nature do truly reveal something of God to mankind. So what is that something if it is not God´s Image? For Lutherans the Law of God reveals God´s Eternal Will.

    So what is God´s will according the Law as far as reason can see? That is that God demands conformity to his Law. So the Purpose of mankind then is to keep God´s Law . That means the purpose of man is to do sacrifice! This means to give up what we see as goodness and mercy because we know that would please God and reconcile him to us. Even better if we can sacrifice others as the aztecs and mayans did. And as today the religious do with homosexuals.

    But here is the rub: Christians know that God´s Eternal will can ONLY be fully known in something quite apart from the Law of God. God´s Eternal Will is only fully revealed where? In his Son.

    And what is it that we now know about even the Law of God that those jews and gay-married-to-lesbian, and muslims dont?

    We know two things 1) God demands that the Law be kept from the bottom of our heart. Married men and women must love one another as Christ loves his church. Short of doing that, this proposed solution is a violation and travesty of God´s Law. Jesus says this : “See what God means when he says ‘I want Mercy and not Sacrifice done’, and ‘The Law is made for man, man is not made for the Law’. and we know 2) that the Image of God is not revealed by the Law of God. The Image of God is fully revealed and restored only and alone through the Son of God whom faith receives, again fully, in by un-reasonable hearing and not by reasonable seeing-is-believing.

    This sounds like the Blessed and Most Holy Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit + splashed onto sinful man in , with and under ordinary tap water.

    In this way, and only this way, are tired old fags like me, again restored , and fully so, to the very Image of God in Christ alone. Alone!

    It is this very idea that the Lutheran Confessions contended for. May God preserve modern Lutherans in this conviction.

    My concern for gays and lesbians entering marriage would be their ruining the lives of a virtuous man or woman they marry and their children´s lives behind a lie. What would that look like? It would look like marrying to do sacrifice to

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    “These individuals are willing to be chaste and thus faithful to their spouses–except for those lapses–but want children and a family life. Could that work with a Christian understanding of marriage? Or would this kind of arrangement be problematic also?”

    This is a great article. It is sort of a shot out of the blue that challenges what we think of Pharisaic thinking and what the limits of that are. It reminds me of an article I read where the Ayatollah Khomenei religiously blessed sex change operations for transgenders in Iran and said that was a good thing.

    Background Observations:
    Jews and Muslims are about “orthoPRAXY” or right doing.
    In contrast, christians are, in theory, about “OrthoDOXY” or right believing. More on this later. But this difference is important.

    So in this Orthopraxy world, realizing our full humanity God-intended-purpose is to conform ourselves, as to form and doing, to God´s Image as revealed to us. Where does God reveal his Divine Design and Image? OrthoPraxy says God reveals His very Image and Design in the Law of God.

    The relious are seeking to live in God´s Image as God designed them by observing and conforming to God´s Law in the 10 commandments and by observing that Law as revealed in Nature, or Natural Law. This is the idea behind all of this. So the religious express this Idea this way:

    “…religious homosexuals are often unwilling to violate the halakhic prohibition on homosexual sex, and are thus seeking other solutions.”

    So in this view, the Image of God is located in the Divine Design as revealed in the 10 Commandments and the Law of Nature we can observe with our God given Reason. The human Purpose then is for us to become re-conditioned to that Divine Law or Purpose. Only then will be experience the happiness of Aristotle´s “telos”.
    “Telos”, according to Aristotle, is where someone becomes what one has been designed to be. Saint Thomas Aquinas “baptized” this philosophical idea of telos into christian theology. So St Thomas then says injects God. He says that “telos” is now “Telos”. Telos is what GOD has designed mankind to be. And again, we know what that Divine Design is how? The Law of God in the 10 commandments and revealed by God given Reason observing Nature (“Natural Law”) is how we know what God´s Image is, and is also how we can, with our own efforts, reacquire or better, repair the Image of God that is still in us after the fall, but was severely damaged and perverted in that fall of mankind into sin.

    This all really and truly makes sense. It is truly reasonable. God gave us the gift of reason. God´s Law is, in fact, a revelation of God to man. So this sounds really right. And it is an idea, as we can see, that can be equally and enthusiatically embraced by Jews, Muslims, and gays and lesbians! What is not to like about something like this?!

    So it should be surprising that it was this point exactly, that was the principal point that was opposed by the earliest Lutheran Confessions. The Lutherans rejected this teaching promoted by a group called the “scholastics” who followed St Thomas in baptizing Aristotle´s idea of telos now as Telos. The Lutherans rejected, completely, that the Law of God reveals the Divine Image of God.

    So then what did those early Lutherans propose as an alternative view? They proposed what St. Paul said. This is something that simply does not make sense to our reason: Christians believe that to obtain the Image of God is to have Adam´s Original Righeousness restored to us. Christians believe that the Image of God is TOTALLY lost and absent in mankind. It is fully restored in New Man but not by the Law and doing. How then does sinful man have the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness restored? In Holy Baptism. That is where.

    In Holy Baptism we recieve faith in Jesus Christ. To have faith alone in Christ alone then, for Lutherans, is to be restored fully into the Original Adamic Image of God that was totally lost in the fall.
    So the Image of God is restored by “orthoDoxy” right believing and not by “OrthoPRAXY” or right doing.

    But I said earlier that the Divine Law of God and even the Divine Design that Reason can see in Nature do truly reveal something of God to mankind. So what is that something if it is not God´s Image? For Lutherans the Law of God reveals God´s Eternal Will.

    So what is God´s will according the Law as far as reason can see? That is that God demands conformity to his Law. So the Purpose of mankind then is to keep God´s Law . That means the purpose of man is to do sacrifice! This means to give up what we see as goodness and mercy because we know that would please God and reconcile him to us. Even better if we can sacrifice others as the aztecs and mayans did. And as today the religious do with homosexuals.

    But here is the rub: Christians know that God´s Eternal will can ONLY be fully known in something quite apart from the Law of God. God´s Eternal Will is only fully revealed where? In his Son.

    And what is it that we now know about even the Law of God that those jews and gay-married-to-lesbian, and muslims dont?

    We know two things 1) God demands that the Law be kept from the bottom of our heart. Married men and women must love one another as Christ loves his church. Short of doing that, this proposed solution is a violation and travesty of God´s Law. Jesus says this : “See what God means when he says ‘I want Mercy and not Sacrifice done’, and ‘The Law is made for man, man is not made for the Law’. and we know 2) that the Image of God is not revealed by the Law of God. The Image of God is fully revealed and restored only and alone through the Son of God whom faith receives, again fully, in by un-reasonable hearing and not by reasonable seeing-is-believing.

    This sounds like the Blessed and Most Holy Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit + splashed onto sinful man in , with and under ordinary tap water.

    In this way, and only this way, are tired old fags like me, again restored , and fully so, to the very Image of God in Christ alone. Alone!

    It is this very idea that the Lutheran Confessions contended for. May God preserve modern Lutherans in this conviction.

    My concern for gays and lesbians entering marriage would be their ruining the lives of a virtuous man or woman they marry and their children´s lives behind a lie. What would that look like? It would look like marrying to do sacrifice to

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Now a word from our Sponsor:

    The Lutheran Confessions in the Apology to the Augsburg Confessions, article II on Original Sin say this:

    One can only know Original Sin when one has has Original Righeousness restored.

    Original Righeousness, which is the very Image of God then is what? It is alone invisible faith, alone, in Christ, alone. This is the theme of the Lutheran Confessions. And it comes into focus exactly here.

    So then what does article II “On Original Sin” say that Original Sin is?

    Original sin is two things, that are really just one thing that is faith.

    Original sin is where that true faith alone in Christ that the 1st commandment demands of us was totally made lacking and absent in the fall. So into that vaccuum of True Faith in Christ Alone entered a faith that viciously insists on fearing, loving and trusting anything at all that is not Faith alone in Christ alone. The confessions call this faith-in-anything-but-Christ “concupiscence ” or “coveting”. Note that this definition of “concupiscence” differs from that of Roman Catholicism.

    So to summarize, Original Sins is 1)the lack/absence of Original Righeousness , which is the Image of God, which is faith in Christ and this results in 2) “concupiscence’ or coveteousness that is a heart trusting in everything but Christ to recieve what is good.

    Original Sin , for Lutherans, then is exactly what Mortal Sin or Capital Sin is . (smalcald articles). So when you read “Mortal Sin” in the Lutheran Confessions, think of faith, true vs false. So the definition of Mortal Sin for a Lutheran is again different that how a Roman Catholic would define that term. Now you see why that is.

    And this also explains why , in art III “on Love and the fulfilling of the Law” and art IV “on justification ” Lutherans make this argument: You must first be righeous, and only then can you keep the Law. This is to say you must first have God´s Image restored, which is alone faith in Christ, before you can do God´s Will revealed in the Law.

    Rome proposed the opposite: you restore the fall-and-sin-damaged Image of God by conforming to God´s Will by doing the Law. You acquire God´s Image by the practice of Virtue. They add that this can only be done, of course , with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

    And then those who do have that Image of God that is alone faith in Christ alone restored, will start to do God´s Will! And now from the heart. Faith will get out of man something that no threat of punishment by Law could ever get. Love for God and love for neighbor. Mercy and not sacrifice.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Now a word from our Sponsor:

    The Lutheran Confessions in the Apology to the Augsburg Confessions, article II on Original Sin say this:

    One can only know Original Sin when one has has Original Righeousness restored.

    Original Righeousness, which is the very Image of God then is what? It is alone invisible faith, alone, in Christ, alone. This is the theme of the Lutheran Confessions. And it comes into focus exactly here.

    So then what does article II “On Original Sin” say that Original Sin is?

    Original sin is two things, that are really just one thing that is faith.

    Original sin is where that true faith alone in Christ that the 1st commandment demands of us was totally made lacking and absent in the fall. So into that vaccuum of True Faith in Christ Alone entered a faith that viciously insists on fearing, loving and trusting anything at all that is not Faith alone in Christ alone. The confessions call this faith-in-anything-but-Christ “concupiscence ” or “coveting”. Note that this definition of “concupiscence” differs from that of Roman Catholicism.

    So to summarize, Original Sins is 1)the lack/absence of Original Righeousness , which is the Image of God, which is faith in Christ and this results in 2) “concupiscence’ or coveteousness that is a heart trusting in everything but Christ to recieve what is good.

    Original Sin , for Lutherans, then is exactly what Mortal Sin or Capital Sin is . (smalcald articles). So when you read “Mortal Sin” in the Lutheran Confessions, think of faith, true vs false. So the definition of Mortal Sin for a Lutheran is again different that how a Roman Catholic would define that term. Now you see why that is.

    And this also explains why , in art III “on Love and the fulfilling of the Law” and art IV “on justification ” Lutherans make this argument: You must first be righeous, and only then can you keep the Law. This is to say you must first have God´s Image restored, which is alone faith in Christ, before you can do God´s Will revealed in the Law.

    Rome proposed the opposite: you restore the fall-and-sin-damaged Image of God by conforming to God´s Will by doing the Law. You acquire God´s Image by the practice of Virtue. They add that this can only be done, of course , with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

    And then those who do have that Image of God that is alone faith in Christ alone restored, will start to do God´s Will! And now from the heart. Faith will get out of man something that no threat of punishment by Law could ever get. Love for God and love for neighbor. Mercy and not sacrifice.

  • DonS

    At first blush, this seems a worthy approach to the idea of fleeing temptation. Of course, it is not what it looks like to us, but what it looks like to the two people involved, and to God that matters. We know that some people are afflicted with a predisposition to same sex desire, just as others are afflicted with a lust for pornography, or alcohol, or drugs, or food, etc. To flee temptation, and to set up accountability within the Body of Christ is the key to dealing with these predispositions. That is where I see an advantage to this kind of arrangement, with the bonus of potentially being able to raise a family.

  • DonS

    At first blush, this seems a worthy approach to the idea of fleeing temptation. Of course, it is not what it looks like to us, but what it looks like to the two people involved, and to God that matters. We know that some people are afflicted with a predisposition to same sex desire, just as others are afflicted with a lust for pornography, or alcohol, or drugs, or food, etc. To flee temptation, and to set up accountability within the Body of Christ is the key to dealing with these predispositions. That is where I see an advantage to this kind of arrangement, with the bonus of potentially being able to raise a family.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    don s

    these are pagan lesbians and gays we are talking about here. No faith at all or membership in the body of christ or accountability to it is implied or required here is there?

    This is really about trying to conform to God´s Law so they don´t go to hell.

    and it is about meeting the social expectations of family and ones religious group and so being accepted if one lives a lie every minute of every day, by even sleeping in the same room with someone that you would gag at the idea of having non-platonic physical contact, let alone sex.

    and then taking great pains to hide all that from your artificially inseminated children. So if this does not put quotes around the terms “marriage” “love” and “family” and “child rearing” I am not sure what would.

    And amazingly, all you think your own marriages (by unavoidable inferrence) , and your love for your spouses, looks substantively identical to this parody of un-quotation-marked-marriage.

    Your definitions of your own marriages are not in the slightest challenged by how this account defines “marriage.”

    Amazing. No. More than amazing. Smell the burning flesh of sacrifice without mercy.

    this is not even about resisting temptation … that part about when they stray and have sex is very revealing about how those hearts are aligned in the story.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    don s

    these are pagan lesbians and gays we are talking about here. No faith at all or membership in the body of christ or accountability to it is implied or required here is there?

    This is really about trying to conform to God´s Law so they don´t go to hell.

    and it is about meeting the social expectations of family and ones religious group and so being accepted if one lives a lie every minute of every day, by even sleeping in the same room with someone that you would gag at the idea of having non-platonic physical contact, let alone sex.

    and then taking great pains to hide all that from your artificially inseminated children. So if this does not put quotes around the terms “marriage” “love” and “family” and “child rearing” I am not sure what would.

    And amazingly, all you think your own marriages (by unavoidable inferrence) , and your love for your spouses, looks substantively identical to this parody of un-quotation-marked-marriage.

    Your definitions of your own marriages are not in the slightest challenged by how this account defines “marriage.”

    Amazing. No. More than amazing. Smell the burning flesh of sacrifice without mercy.

    this is not even about resisting temptation … that part about when they stray and have sex is very revealing about how those hearts are aligned in the story.

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

    That’s rather interesting, but it doesn’t solve the core problem: an unregenerate heart, of which our sins are a symptom.

    To “moralize” without the gospel is to create pagans who do good works.

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

    That’s rather interesting, but it doesn’t solve the core problem: an unregenerate heart, of which our sins are a symptom.

    To “moralize” without the gospel is to create pagans who do good works.

  • Jonathan

    I don’t know about that unregenerate heart, J. Dean. How do you know?

    They are not pleased to live homosexual lifestyles. They pledged their faithfulness, even if they must remain celebate.

  • Jonathan

    I don’t know about that unregenerate heart, J. Dean. How do you know?

    They are not pleased to live homosexual lifestyles. They pledged their faithfulness, even if they must remain celebate.

  • L. H. Kevil

    After reading some Robert George, I have to ask if these couples intend to consummate their marriages. If yes, good so far. And do they intend to have children naturally? If so, even better. Without these one could think of the union as that of two sisters in their eighties who marry in order to save on their respective taxes or for some other extraneous reason.

  • L. H. Kevil

    After reading some Robert George, I have to ask if these couples intend to consummate their marriages. If yes, good so far. And do they intend to have children naturally? If so, even better. Without these one could think of the union as that of two sisters in their eighties who marry in order to save on their respective taxes or for some other extraneous reason.

  • Porcell

    We have ample evidence from both secular and religious organizations involved in treating the natural disorder of homosexuality that gay folk can with hard therapeutic work overcome their disorder and end up living successful heterosexual married lives. This Jewish orthodox solution of coupling lesbians and male homosexual confirms this.

    While homosexual tendencies are complex and tragically real, the central truth is that men and women are distinct in their created human natures as men and women. Through some, as yet not fully known, partially genetic and largely accidental family cultural reasons, gay people have a difficult struggle, though, again, with hard work this tendency may be overcome.

    One of the great liberal myths of our time is that one’s sexual identity is either biologically determined or chosen as a lifestyle.

  • Porcell

    We have ample evidence from both secular and religious organizations involved in treating the natural disorder of homosexuality that gay folk can with hard therapeutic work overcome their disorder and end up living successful heterosexual married lives. This Jewish orthodox solution of coupling lesbians and male homosexual confirms this.

    While homosexual tendencies are complex and tragically real, the central truth is that men and women are distinct in their created human natures as men and women. Through some, as yet not fully known, partially genetic and largely accidental family cultural reasons, gay people have a difficult struggle, though, again, with hard work this tendency may be overcome.

    One of the great liberal myths of our time is that one’s sexual identity is either biologically determined or chosen as a lifestyle.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    It is most interesting that those here believe that marriage does not require the sexual consummation of that marriage!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    It is most interesting that those here believe that marriage does not require the sexual consummation of that marriage!

  • Jerry

    same room, separate beds; what if it’s a cold night?

  • Jerry

    same room, separate beds; what if it’s a cold night?

  • Helen F

    According to Scripture, should we even judge what pagans do?

  • Helen F

    According to Scripture, should we even judge what pagans do?

  • Helen F

    According to Scripture, should we even judge what pagans do?
    I know we are to judge those who are in the church, but not those who are outside, right?

  • Helen F

    According to Scripture, should we even judge what pagans do?
    I know we are to judge those who are in the church, but not those who are outside, right?

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    I would wonder if what the original question was asking might have to do with the definition of marriage as two becoming one flesh. If they are not becoming one flesh, is it a marriage? I think one flesh union seems to have more than one meaning. First, sexual intercourse, which is missing from the above scenarios as described. Second, union that creates a baby, which is present. Though in times past, you would only get the second if you had the first.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    I would wonder if what the original question was asking might have to do with the definition of marriage as two becoming one flesh. If they are not becoming one flesh, is it a marriage? I think one flesh union seems to have more than one meaning. First, sexual intercourse, which is missing from the above scenarios as described. Second, union that creates a baby, which is present. Though in times past, you would only get the second if you had the first.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS, it’s not clear (to me, at least), what your position is from your comment (@12), so: do all marriages “require the sexual consummation of that marriage”? What if it’s two 80-year-olds getting married?

    And I think you raise excellent points (@7) about how such a situation could, in fact, be less than loving and more self-serving — notably, if one were intentionally deceiving nearly everyone in an attempt to gain societal favor.

    However, it does raise an interesting question. As you said, “amazingly, all you think your own marriages … looks substantively identical to this parody of un-quotation-marked-marriage.” So, let’s think about that. What if a straight couple gets married, for whatever reason (youthful naivete, parental pressure), but it soon turns out there is no physical attraction? Or, perhaps, there was attraction for some time, but it faded, perhaps due to injury, or merely the passage of time. Let’s throw some kids into the mix — perhaps naturally conceived, perhaps not. The couple are capable of acting pleasantly around each other, but there is nothing like romance or attraction for either of them.

    Should the couple divorce? Is it wrong for them to hide this from the kids? Should they make it clear to everyone just how attraction-less their marriage is?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS, it’s not clear (to me, at least), what your position is from your comment (@12), so: do all marriages “require the sexual consummation of that marriage”? What if it’s two 80-year-olds getting married?

    And I think you raise excellent points (@7) about how such a situation could, in fact, be less than loving and more self-serving — notably, if one were intentionally deceiving nearly everyone in an attempt to gain societal favor.

    However, it does raise an interesting question. As you said, “amazingly, all you think your own marriages … looks substantively identical to this parody of un-quotation-marked-marriage.” So, let’s think about that. What if a straight couple gets married, for whatever reason (youthful naivete, parental pressure), but it soon turns out there is no physical attraction? Or, perhaps, there was attraction for some time, but it faded, perhaps due to injury, or merely the passage of time. Let’s throw some kids into the mix — perhaps naturally conceived, perhaps not. The couple are capable of acting pleasantly around each other, but there is nothing like romance or attraction for either of them.

    Should the couple divorce? Is it wrong for them to hide this from the kids? Should they make it clear to everyone just how attraction-less their marriage is?

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’ve actually thought about this possibility before, but I never had any idea that anyone was actually doing it. But now that it turns out that sombody actually is doing it, I have a lot of questions. Alas, some of them may be a little personal and/or embarrassing.

    First of all, you’re right about the Christian maxim about a Christian marriage being based on Christian love between spouses, but are you sure that a largely sexist marriage could not be based on that. While I do not agree with them, I would point out that the majority of Christ’s Church on earth (possibly including Martin Luther) believes that the marriage of Joseph and Mary was sexless. But nobody could credibly argue that their marriage was non-Christian.

    And, I can think of a number of reasons why a Christian spouse would get, or stay, married to someone with whom sex was going to be pretty rare. tODD hasmentioned advanced age as one such reason. But there are also health reasons. I call your attention to well known Christian artist and author, Joni Eareckson Tada, who became quadroplegiac as a teen. Years later she married Mr. Tada, about whom I know little. But Ms. Tada is still a quadorplegiac, so the Tadas can never have had what we would call a “normal” sexual relationship. But how could you possibly argue that the Tadas do not love each othr as Christians should, simply because their sex life is not what most of us would hope for?

    While few people would enter into a sexless marriage at the outset, there are plenty of people who remain in such a marriage that becomes sexless. Ask yourself: who is practicing Christian love? Is it the Christian who stays married to a spouse who (for reasons of physical infirmity, mental illness, age, or just some serious compatibility problems) loses interest in sex, or the Christian who divorces such a spouse?

    My next question is the more personal one and it may have as many answers as there are individuals. But, if a gay man is attracted to people with masculine characteristics, and a lesbian is attracted to people with feminine characteristics, human sexuality being as fluid as it is, is it not possible for a gay man to be attracted to a lesbian and vice versa?

    It sounds weird to even ask such a question, and maybe I’m just being ignorant, but is not possible to keep an open mind about such things?

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’ve actually thought about this possibility before, but I never had any idea that anyone was actually doing it. But now that it turns out that sombody actually is doing it, I have a lot of questions. Alas, some of them may be a little personal and/or embarrassing.

    First of all, you’re right about the Christian maxim about a Christian marriage being based on Christian love between spouses, but are you sure that a largely sexist marriage could not be based on that. While I do not agree with them, I would point out that the majority of Christ’s Church on earth (possibly including Martin Luther) believes that the marriage of Joseph and Mary was sexless. But nobody could credibly argue that their marriage was non-Christian.

    And, I can think of a number of reasons why a Christian spouse would get, or stay, married to someone with whom sex was going to be pretty rare. tODD hasmentioned advanced age as one such reason. But there are also health reasons. I call your attention to well known Christian artist and author, Joni Eareckson Tada, who became quadroplegiac as a teen. Years later she married Mr. Tada, about whom I know little. But Ms. Tada is still a quadorplegiac, so the Tadas can never have had what we would call a “normal” sexual relationship. But how could you possibly argue that the Tadas do not love each othr as Christians should, simply because their sex life is not what most of us would hope for?

    While few people would enter into a sexless marriage at the outset, there are plenty of people who remain in such a marriage that becomes sexless. Ask yourself: who is practicing Christian love? Is it the Christian who stays married to a spouse who (for reasons of physical infirmity, mental illness, age, or just some serious compatibility problems) loses interest in sex, or the Christian who divorces such a spouse?

    My next question is the more personal one and it may have as many answers as there are individuals. But, if a gay man is attracted to people with masculine characteristics, and a lesbian is attracted to people with feminine characteristics, human sexuality being as fluid as it is, is it not possible for a gay man to be attracted to a lesbian and vice versa?

    It sounds weird to even ask such a question, and maybe I’m just being ignorant, but is not possible to keep an open mind about such things?

  • kerner

    Argh. In my second paragraph above I meant sexless marriage, not “sexist” marriage.

  • kerner

    Argh. In my second paragraph above I meant sexless marriage, not “sexist” marriage.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 11

    Do you know this from personal experience Porcell or can you cite controlled studies with statistics? Or are you just blowing some tragically hot air?

    Care to share?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 11

    Do you know this from personal experience Porcell or can you cite controlled studies with statistics? Or are you just blowing some tragically hot air?

    Care to share?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 11

    Do you know this from personal experience Porcell or can you cite controlled studies with statistics? Or are you just blowing some tragically hot air?

    Care to share?

    and dont cite santinover or his opinions . try citing some evidence for a change , like controlled studies with statistical stuff we can have SG pore through and give us the real scoop on.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 11

    Do you know this from personal experience Porcell or can you cite controlled studies with statistics? Or are you just blowing some tragically hot air?

    Care to share?

    and dont cite santinover or his opinions . try citing some evidence for a change , like controlled studies with statistical stuff we can have SG pore through and give us the real scoop on.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@18), I … um, am not sure how you arrived at your conclusion about the sex life of Joni Tada, but … um …

    Anyhow, while I can’t answer for FWS, I think it might be instructive for you to view your question like this: if a straight man is attracted to people with feminine characteristics, human sexuality being as fluid as it is, is it not possible for a straight man to be attracted to an effeminate gay man?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@18), I … um, am not sure how you arrived at your conclusion about the sex life of Joni Tada, but … um …

    Anyhow, while I can’t answer for FWS, I think it might be instructive for you to view your question like this: if a straight man is attracted to people with feminine characteristics, human sexuality being as fluid as it is, is it not possible for a straight man to be attracted to an effeminate gay man?

  • Grace

    Kerner – 18

    “I call your attention to well known Christian artist and author, Joni Eareckson Tada, who became quadroplegiac as a teen. Years later she married Mr. Tada, about whom I know little. But Ms. Tada is still a quadorplegiac, so the Tadas can never have had what we would call a “normal” sexual relationship. But how could you possibly argue that the Tadas do not love each othr as Christians should, simply because their sex life is not what most of us would hope for?”

    I have read Joni Eareckson Tada’s books, I met her, she is an outstanding individual, and so is her husband. She and her husband have said they were very attracted to one another. The love and devotion they have have is real. My cousin a quadroplegiac (age 17) is married to a woman who is paralysed from the waste down, they have two children. They are very much attracted to each other. Joni wanted very much to have children, but never concieved. You might not be aware but Joni was diagnosed with breast cancer just months ago, she underwent chemo, and other treatment. She and Ken are amazing Believers in Christ, their marriage is one of love and devotion, and yes physical as well.

    Comparing homosexuals to those who are quadroplegiac is very unfair, it has no basis, they are more than able to be extremly sexually attracted to one another…… homsexuality is another subject.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 18

    “I call your attention to well known Christian artist and author, Joni Eareckson Tada, who became quadroplegiac as a teen. Years later she married Mr. Tada, about whom I know little. But Ms. Tada is still a quadorplegiac, so the Tadas can never have had what we would call a “normal” sexual relationship. But how could you possibly argue that the Tadas do not love each othr as Christians should, simply because their sex life is not what most of us would hope for?”

    I have read Joni Eareckson Tada’s books, I met her, she is an outstanding individual, and so is her husband. She and her husband have said they were very attracted to one another. The love and devotion they have have is real. My cousin a quadroplegiac (age 17) is married to a woman who is paralysed from the waste down, they have two children. They are very much attracted to each other. Joni wanted very much to have children, but never concieved. You might not be aware but Joni was diagnosed with breast cancer just months ago, she underwent chemo, and other treatment. She and Ken are amazing Believers in Christ, their marriage is one of love and devotion, and yes physical as well.

    Comparing homosexuals to those who are quadroplegiac is very unfair, it has no basis, they are more than able to be extremly sexually attracted to one another…… homsexuality is another subject.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    As for the sex lives of quadroplegiacs, I am making assumptions based on that which I think is possible, and/or likely. Not as much to go on as we might like, but it’s all I’ve got.

    As for your second point, you’re right, that is another way to look at it. But I think the answer to the question as you have put it is at least: “maybe sometimes yes”. And while I don’t like to resort to literary examples, Shakespeare is full of instances of women falling in love with other women who looked like men. More recently, the movie “The Crying Game” is about a man who is attracted to and falls in love with a man who is so effeminate he believes that “she” is a woman. After the man discovers his mistake, he becomes repulsed and confused. But the movie asks the question: If you are attracted to/love somebody, why should their actual gender matter?

    We as Christians can answer that question thus: Because it is against God’s command to act on a sexual attraction towards a member of the same sex.

    But there is no such answer to a gay or lesbian in a similar situation. There are some pretty masculine lesbians out there. Ignorant as I am of gay attraction, I think my question is a reasonable one to ask.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    As for the sex lives of quadroplegiacs, I am making assumptions based on that which I think is possible, and/or likely. Not as much to go on as we might like, but it’s all I’ve got.

    As for your second point, you’re right, that is another way to look at it. But I think the answer to the question as you have put it is at least: “maybe sometimes yes”. And while I don’t like to resort to literary examples, Shakespeare is full of instances of women falling in love with other women who looked like men. More recently, the movie “The Crying Game” is about a man who is attracted to and falls in love with a man who is so effeminate he believes that “she” is a woman. After the man discovers his mistake, he becomes repulsed and confused. But the movie asks the question: If you are attracted to/love somebody, why should their actual gender matter?

    We as Christians can answer that question thus: Because it is against God’s command to act on a sexual attraction towards a member of the same sex.

    But there is no such answer to a gay or lesbian in a similar situation. There are some pretty masculine lesbians out there. Ignorant as I am of gay attraction, I think my question is a reasonable one to ask.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 18

    “But, if a gay man is attracted to people with masculine characteristics, and a lesbian is attracted to people with feminine characteristics, human sexuality being as fluid as it is, is it not possible for a gay man to be attracted to a lesbian and vice versa?

    It sounds weird to even ask such a question, and maybe I’m just being ignorant, but is not possible to keep an open mind about such things?”

    answer: I have never seen that. And I have seen alot. So maybe it is possible. who knows. but I am not aware of that. And in any case, this story does not depict that does it? separate beds. no sex. platonic.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 18

    “But, if a gay man is attracted to people with masculine characteristics, and a lesbian is attracted to people with feminine characteristics, human sexuality being as fluid as it is, is it not possible for a gay man to be attracted to a lesbian and vice versa?

    It sounds weird to even ask such a question, and maybe I’m just being ignorant, but is not possible to keep an open mind about such things?”

    answer: I have never seen that. And I have seen alot. So maybe it is possible. who knows. but I am not aware of that. And in any case, this story does not depict that does it? separate beds. no sex. platonic.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Maybe I just don’t get the point.

    Seems to me gays have always been able to marry each other, as long as they are of the opposite sex.

    I don’t think that that is the kind of “gay marriage” that homosexuals are clamoring for, though.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Maybe I just don’t get the point.

    Seems to me gays have always been able to marry each other, as long as they are of the opposite sex.

    I don’t think that that is the kind of “gay marriage” that homosexuals are clamoring for, though.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 18

    I think you are missing the big point.

    these people are motivated to “marry” and have families to a) not go to hell and b) to be accepted into their religious societies. and c) this has nothing to do with the christian faith.

    I think those are big issues. and we have answers to the morality of each in scripture. and you seem to be running off speculating about human sexuality….. arent the 3 issues I listed larger? this is not about a gay man being attracted to a lesbian and mating for love or even companionship or even to have sex. they all used artificial insemination. we are talking about… um… celebate marriage.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 18

    I think you are missing the big point.

    these people are motivated to “marry” and have families to a) not go to hell and b) to be accepted into their religious societies. and c) this has nothing to do with the christian faith.

    I think those are big issues. and we have answers to the morality of each in scripture. and you seem to be running off speculating about human sexuality….. arent the 3 issues I listed larger? this is not about a gay man being attracted to a lesbian and mating for love or even companionship or even to have sex. they all used artificial insemination. we are talking about… um… celebate marriage.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    mike @ 26

    why do you suppose gays are clamoring for marriage then? so that they can start to have sex with each other?

    what is the reason gays want to be married and have their marriages supported by societal law and conventions? radical agendas? a desire to end civilization as we know it? some compulsion to be in your face?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    mike @ 26

    why do you suppose gays are clamoring for marriage then? so that they can start to have sex with each other?

    what is the reason gays want to be married and have their marriages supported by societal law and conventions? radical agendas? a desire to end civilization as we know it? some compulsion to be in your face?

  • Stephen

    The premise of the whole thing described in the article isa charade. Not only do they think they satisfy (and fool!) their community, including their kids, they think they are putting one over on God. This is exactly the kind of fake righteousness Jesus completely preahed against. And it sounds like a few here think it might be worth a try. Amazing! Willing to found relationships on lies to uphold some percieved moral standard. That is the scam fws is talking about that this “marriage” is now being equated with my own.

    I don’t think the other analogies apply in Todd’s example, and if they do, they would also have to be based on a lie from the beginning. If so, or if they discover the whole thing was huge mistake, then yes, get a divorce. What is the big deal? Why punish children with a family that goes through the motions of real love and care with something phoney. If they were to admit what they were doing to their kids, that might be another thing. And that is not to say that people cannot grow to care about each other. But this sounds almost like some kind of wierd political thing arranged to make God pleased and it’s disturbing. It’s not like they’re royalty!

    Why is it necessary for Christians to look for a way, come hell or high heels, to shoehorn people into something that does not fit them? In what other, more subtle ways does the church do this? Is that going to make God happy? If the entire purpose of the law is to do love for the neighbor, how is that love for neighbor? Ask yourself what actually does make God happy and you will understand the confessional argument FWS is making.

    I’m going to hazard a guess as to why this particular issue is so important for heterosexuals to solve on their terms only. It is because the law is always accusing. When we see gay people all we think about is sex and that mkes us uncomfortable. So rather than try to see them and love them as the people they are, we seek to change them first so we can accept them. And why do we want to do that? Because it’s not their sexuality that is a problem, or their marriages that are the issue, it is our own. They ask us to look at ourselves a little too closely. All that sexuality turns us inside out and makes us feel sinful. So instead of dealing with that, we turn on them and ask them to sacrifice themselves to our moral ideals. God does not need that them to not be gay, we do.

    It occurs to me that homosexuals seem to have better grip on the real purpose of the vocation (calling to) marriage. They have gone through the AIDS crisis when their family, friends and Christian neighbors abandoned them and understand something about what it means to care for each other and make commitments.

    But heterosexuals, many of the Christians, slog through marriage putting on a show for others, secretly hoping to get something out of it for themselves, and when that criteria isn’t met, they ditch the mess if they can. If their religious commitments won’t let them, they are happy to see everyone else suffer along with them.

    Gays and lesbians , on the other hand, WANT to be married (go figure!), can’t wait to get married, dream about it and long for it – for real, solid commitment to another person and what that promises to make of them – a person whose life is larger than themsleves. It amazes me that they would wnat to be involved in such a wreck of an institution as marriage, but they actually believe in its value on every level. heck, we should be telling them “buyer beware!’ if we really wanted to love gay people instead “it’s against the moral code imbedded in natrual law.”

    In India there are still arranged marriages, even among Christians. It works in that culture. Applying this in somekind of bizarre scenario, it sounds like those who like the idea would be all for arranged marriages for “special people” as the need arises. We could make them priests and/or special holy couples and return to the righeous sacrifice of celibate priests. This is what Naitve Americans did with gays – made them shaman. Now it is getting interesting!

    Naw, let’s just light the barbeque and save time.

  • Stephen

    The premise of the whole thing described in the article isa charade. Not only do they think they satisfy (and fool!) their community, including their kids, they think they are putting one over on God. This is exactly the kind of fake righteousness Jesus completely preahed against. And it sounds like a few here think it might be worth a try. Amazing! Willing to found relationships on lies to uphold some percieved moral standard. That is the scam fws is talking about that this “marriage” is now being equated with my own.

    I don’t think the other analogies apply in Todd’s example, and if they do, they would also have to be based on a lie from the beginning. If so, or if they discover the whole thing was huge mistake, then yes, get a divorce. What is the big deal? Why punish children with a family that goes through the motions of real love and care with something phoney. If they were to admit what they were doing to their kids, that might be another thing. And that is not to say that people cannot grow to care about each other. But this sounds almost like some kind of wierd political thing arranged to make God pleased and it’s disturbing. It’s not like they’re royalty!

    Why is it necessary for Christians to look for a way, come hell or high heels, to shoehorn people into something that does not fit them? In what other, more subtle ways does the church do this? Is that going to make God happy? If the entire purpose of the law is to do love for the neighbor, how is that love for neighbor? Ask yourself what actually does make God happy and you will understand the confessional argument FWS is making.

    I’m going to hazard a guess as to why this particular issue is so important for heterosexuals to solve on their terms only. It is because the law is always accusing. When we see gay people all we think about is sex and that mkes us uncomfortable. So rather than try to see them and love them as the people they are, we seek to change them first so we can accept them. And why do we want to do that? Because it’s not their sexuality that is a problem, or their marriages that are the issue, it is our own. They ask us to look at ourselves a little too closely. All that sexuality turns us inside out and makes us feel sinful. So instead of dealing with that, we turn on them and ask them to sacrifice themselves to our moral ideals. God does not need that them to not be gay, we do.

    It occurs to me that homosexuals seem to have better grip on the real purpose of the vocation (calling to) marriage. They have gone through the AIDS crisis when their family, friends and Christian neighbors abandoned them and understand something about what it means to care for each other and make commitments.

    But heterosexuals, many of the Christians, slog through marriage putting on a show for others, secretly hoping to get something out of it for themselves, and when that criteria isn’t met, they ditch the mess if they can. If their religious commitments won’t let them, they are happy to see everyone else suffer along with them.

    Gays and lesbians , on the other hand, WANT to be married (go figure!), can’t wait to get married, dream about it and long for it – for real, solid commitment to another person and what that promises to make of them – a person whose life is larger than themsleves. It amazes me that they would wnat to be involved in such a wreck of an institution as marriage, but they actually believe in its value on every level. heck, we should be telling them “buyer beware!’ if we really wanted to love gay people instead “it’s against the moral code imbedded in natrual law.”

    In India there are still arranged marriages, even among Christians. It works in that culture. Applying this in somekind of bizarre scenario, it sounds like those who like the idea would be all for arranged marriages for “special people” as the need arises. We could make them priests and/or special holy couples and return to the righeous sacrifice of celibate priests. This is what Naitve Americans did with gays – made them shaman. Now it is getting interesting!

    Naw, let’s just light the barbeque and save time.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong examples, and maybe I’m wrong about the Tadas. And I am not comparing the disabled to homosexuals in any way. All I am saying is that frequent sex is not a necessary component of a Christian marriage in all cases. You and tODD are right in suggesting that I don’t really have the first clue what any particular couple does, and I don’t want to get into that.

    All I am saying is that somewhere in the world I am sure that there are married Christians who are physically unable to have sex or who for physical reasons don’t have sex a lot, and that infrequent or no sex does not mean that these couples don’t love each other in a Christian way.

    fws @4 pointed out that that a Christian marriage should be based on love such as Christ had for his Church. I am merely pointing out that strong sexual attraction does not have to be part of that kind of love. Maybe it usually is, but not always.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong examples, and maybe I’m wrong about the Tadas. And I am not comparing the disabled to homosexuals in any way. All I am saying is that frequent sex is not a necessary component of a Christian marriage in all cases. You and tODD are right in suggesting that I don’t really have the first clue what any particular couple does, and I don’t want to get into that.

    All I am saying is that somewhere in the world I am sure that there are married Christians who are physically unable to have sex or who for physical reasons don’t have sex a lot, and that infrequent or no sex does not mean that these couples don’t love each other in a Christian way.

    fws @4 pointed out that that a Christian marriage should be based on love such as Christ had for his Church. I am merely pointing out that strong sexual attraction does not have to be part of that kind of love. Maybe it usually is, but not always.

  • Helen F

    Jesus said:
    “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man returns.”
    Come, Lord Jesus!

  • Helen F

    Jesus said:
    “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man returns.”
    Come, Lord Jesus!

  • Porcell

    FWS, the assertions at 14 were based on Satinover’s book Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Chap. 13- “Christian Treatments” and Chap 14- “Secular Treatments.”

    Satinover is a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst who specialized in treating homosexuals; he, also, has lectured on the subject at Harvard and Yale.

  • Porcell

    FWS, the assertions at 14 were based on Satinover’s book Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Chap. 13- “Christian Treatments” and Chap 14- “Secular Treatments.”

    Satinover is a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst who specialized in treating homosexuals; he, also, has lectured on the subject at Harvard and Yale.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 24

    “And while I don’t like to resort to literary examples, Shakespeare is full of instances of women falling in love with other women who looked like men. More recently, the movie “The Crying Game” is about a man who is attracted to and falls in love with a man who is so effeminate he believes that “she” is a woman. “

    Shakespeare ? what does he have to do with what God has provided – - we as His creation?

    As for the film you mentioned – Hollywood has been concocting one piece of trash after the other for decades. “The Crying Game” as you described it – far fetched. There were two males on Larry King a few years ago, … one pretended not to know the other was a man, even to the point of being together sexually, STILL believing the other was a woman. The whole charade finally ended. I’m sure if you google you can find either the transcript of the video -

  • Grace

    Kerner – 24

    “And while I don’t like to resort to literary examples, Shakespeare is full of instances of women falling in love with other women who looked like men. More recently, the movie “The Crying Game” is about a man who is attracted to and falls in love with a man who is so effeminate he believes that “she” is a woman. “

    Shakespeare ? what does he have to do with what God has provided – - we as His creation?

    As for the film you mentioned – Hollywood has been concocting one piece of trash after the other for decades. “The Crying Game” as you described it – far fetched. There were two males on Larry King a few years ago, … one pretended not to know the other was a man, even to the point of being together sexually, STILL believing the other was a woman. The whole charade finally ended. I’m sure if you google you can find either the transcript of the video -

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 32

    give me a study with statistics and some scientific credibility.

    stop being a effete whimp by quoting satinower. take some effort and give me a credible study to prove your point.

    Or tell me what you know from personal experience. better yet.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 32

    give me a study with statistics and some scientific credibility.

    stop being a effete whimp by quoting satinower. take some effort and give me a credible study to prove your point.

    Or tell me what you know from personal experience. better yet.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 30

    I cor 7.

    paul asks for celebacy. and he says one should only marry if the sex drive can´t be overcome by the miracle of celebacy that is a rare gift.

    so you think we should not follow St Paul´s advice.? or what. You lost me. maybe, for people with a low sex drive, churches should be encouraging being single and to avoid marriage?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 30

    I cor 7.

    paul asks for celebacy. and he says one should only marry if the sex drive can´t be overcome by the miracle of celebacy that is a rare gift.

    so you think we should not follow St Paul´s advice.? or what. You lost me. maybe, for people with a low sex drive, churches should be encouraging being single and to avoid marriage?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @30

    this would be a biblical case of where the exception proves the rule. Paul says that heavy sex drive is the basis for marriage and so marital love.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @30

    this would be a biblical case of where the exception proves the rule. Paul says that heavy sex drive is the basis for marriage and so marital love.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    fws @28,
    Beats me.
    I don’t speculate as to why gays want to get married, only that it doesn’t seem to me that they would be interested in heterosexual marriage to another homosexual (of the opposite sex).

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    fws @28,
    Beats me.
    I don’t speculate as to why gays want to get married, only that it doesn’t seem to me that they would be interested in heterosexual marriage to another homosexual (of the opposite sex).

  • Grace

    Kerner – 30

    “Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong examples, and maybe I’m wrong about the Tadas. And I am not comparing the disabled to homosexuals in any way. All I am saying is that frequent sex is not a necessary component of a Christian marriage in all cases. You and tODD are right in suggesting that I don’t really have the first clue what any particular couple does, and I don’t want to get into that. “

    I’m not going to be graphic, however…… if you think about it for a few minutes, you can easily imagine how they each take pleasure in sex, BOTH of them – not in the same way.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 30

    “Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong examples, and maybe I’m wrong about the Tadas. And I am not comparing the disabled to homosexuals in any way. All I am saying is that frequent sex is not a necessary component of a Christian marriage in all cases. You and tODD are right in suggesting that I don’t really have the first clue what any particular couple does, and I don’t want to get into that. “

    I’m not going to be graphic, however…… if you think about it for a few minutes, you can easily imagine how they each take pleasure in sex, BOTH of them – not in the same way.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    mike @ 37

    would it seem at least plausible as one possiblity that gays and lesbians want to get married for all the same reasons that heterosexuals do? and these urges are strong enough that they are willing to buck up against society to do that?

    Of couse gay marriage is not about permission to have sex. even heteros dont need marriage for that any more.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    mike @ 37

    would it seem at least plausible as one possiblity that gays and lesbians want to get married for all the same reasons that heterosexuals do? and these urges are strong enough that they are willing to buck up against society to do that?

    Of couse gay marriage is not about permission to have sex. even heteros dont need marriage for that any more.

  • Grace

    fws – 34

    “stop being a effete whimp”

    At it again? – you might consider the decadant slander you toss about.

  • Grace

    fws – 34

    “stop being a effete whimp”

    At it again? – you might consider the decadant slander you toss about.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I don’t think I missed your point. I’m just saying that your point does not address Dr. Veith’s question. He did not ask whether these people are behaving in a Christian way. Of course they aren’t. They aren’t Christians…duh.

    Dr. Veith’s question is “Could [a marriage between a gay man and a lesbian] work with a Christian understanding of marriage? Or would this kind of arrangement be problematic also?”

    Well, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that Christian love should be the foundation of a Christian marriage. But I’m here to tell you that Christian love and sexual passion, or even romantic love as described in poetry, are vastly different things. Christian love can and does exist in marriage without either of the other two.

    No marriage is based solely on Christian love. Christians get, or stay, married for any number of secondary reasons. Having children and living in a family that is approved by one’s peers are two very common such secondary reasons. It is equally true that no Christian loves another in a Christian way all the time. We all lapse frequently.

    So, I guess my answer to Dr. Veith’s question is that, if the parties involved are capable (however imperfectly) of loving each other in the sacraficial way that we are commanded to do, and if neither party is being deceived by the other, I don’t see why it would be impossible for this arrangement to work.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I don’t think I missed your point. I’m just saying that your point does not address Dr. Veith’s question. He did not ask whether these people are behaving in a Christian way. Of course they aren’t. They aren’t Christians…duh.

    Dr. Veith’s question is “Could [a marriage between a gay man and a lesbian] work with a Christian understanding of marriage? Or would this kind of arrangement be problematic also?”

    Well, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that Christian love should be the foundation of a Christian marriage. But I’m here to tell you that Christian love and sexual passion, or even romantic love as described in poetry, are vastly different things. Christian love can and does exist in marriage without either of the other two.

    No marriage is based solely on Christian love. Christians get, or stay, married for any number of secondary reasons. Having children and living in a family that is approved by one’s peers are two very common such secondary reasons. It is equally true that no Christian loves another in a Christian way all the time. We all lapse frequently.

    So, I guess my answer to Dr. Veith’s question is that, if the parties involved are capable (however imperfectly) of loving each other in the sacraficial way that we are commanded to do, and if neither party is being deceived by the other, I don’t see why it would be impossible for this arrangement to work.

  • kerner

    fws@35:

    Paul’s advice in that chapter is just that, advice, as he makes clear in verse 10 and verse 25. So, no, you don’t have to follow it. But I’m not suggesting what you personally should do at all.

    I am however suggesting that strong sexual urges are not the only legitimate reason to get married. I don’t even think that they are even the best one. Find me a passage that condemns the marriages of people who marry for reasons other than sexual passion.

    As for a counter-example, perhaps we could consider the marriage between Jacob and Leah. Based on fraud and perhaps without urgent sexual attraction or romantic love at any point, it is from the marriage of Jacob and Leah that the tribe of Judah (which means Joseph, Mary, and Jesus Christ) is descended. It seems pretty hard to say that there was something wrong with the integrity of their marriage.

    Look, I’m not denying by any means that sexual desire is an important component of most marriages at some point. But anybody who thinks that sexual desire is the only reason, or even the most important reason for getting and staying married is dead wrong.

  • kerner

    fws@35:

    Paul’s advice in that chapter is just that, advice, as he makes clear in verse 10 and verse 25. So, no, you don’t have to follow it. But I’m not suggesting what you personally should do at all.

    I am however suggesting that strong sexual urges are not the only legitimate reason to get married. I don’t even think that they are even the best one. Find me a passage that condemns the marriages of people who marry for reasons other than sexual passion.

    As for a counter-example, perhaps we could consider the marriage between Jacob and Leah. Based on fraud and perhaps without urgent sexual attraction or romantic love at any point, it is from the marriage of Jacob and Leah that the tribe of Judah (which means Joseph, Mary, and Jesus Christ) is descended. It seems pretty hard to say that there was something wrong with the integrity of their marriage.

    Look, I’m not denying by any means that sexual desire is an important component of most marriages at some point. But anybody who thinks that sexual desire is the only reason, or even the most important reason for getting and staying married is dead wrong.

  • Grace

    fws 39

    “and these urges are strong enough that they are willing to buck up against society to do that?”

    “Buck up against society” ? – what about God? they “buck up against” Him when they indulge in homosexuality.

    Urges are so strong, that even God ALMIGHTY cannot help them escape their temptation? – more to the point and TRUTH, they don’t want to escape!

  • Grace

    fws 39

    “and these urges are strong enough that they are willing to buck up against society to do that?”

    “Buck up against society” ? – what about God? they “buck up against” Him when they indulge in homosexuality.

    Urges are so strong, that even God ALMIGHTY cannot help them escape their temptation? – more to the point and TRUTH, they don’t want to escape!

  • Stephen

    The analogy of this kind of ersatz marriage being some kind of self-sacrifice (that is, as the argument goes, if it were in a “Christian” context) is exactly the wrong analogy. Think murder-suicide pact and you will get closer to what is going on. “I’ll sacrifice you if you sacrifice me to please God. Oh yeah, toss some kids in there so it looks real good too.” This is religiously sanctioned sacrifice for the good of what? Upholding morality? It is about as sick and twisted as “morality” gets. It all starts with a lie. Who is the father of lies? Who is it that tells us that we need to offer up our works, or in this case, the works of gays, to please God? Is that the message of the cross?

    It is also obvious that for the heterosexuals here, what is troubling is the sex stuff. Everyone makes it the central problem except the gay guy. Interesting. I don’t think he ever said it was the only reason to get married. But how important was the “attraction” for any of you? What did it consist of and how do you separate that from your spouse’s gender? A great deal is being assumed here. Why must the same “criteria” for choosing who to be with be so circumspect when it comes to gays, as if all they look at in a person is what is between their legs? Or is that what the heterosexuals are most concerned about? And why then must they alter their orientation to suit who exactly? Not only that, they must succumb to these ridiculously far-fetched comparisons with people who are quadriplegic? How many Christian gay people have not prayed for healing do you think? Same reason God doesn’t make them heterosexual I suspect is the same reason he doesn’t make quadriplegics walk very often. Maybe they actually have their healing, healing that comes through faith in Christ alone and not of works or things that are seen. Faith alone.

    No matter how you spin it, all the comparisons I have heard here are trivializing of human beings, people for whom Christ has died. It is all a vain attempt to cover up sin, the sin of abandoning people to the plague of false religion that requires righteous sacrifice to gain God’s favor. It is a no win for the people this is put upon, and all these attempts to rationalize it are silly. Under that yoke, people will either submit and become Pharisees or despair like Judas. There is a lot of despair out there among gays, much of it caused by anxious and fearful Christians who fail to love their own family members, let alone their neighbor as themselves. Instead of mercy, on this issue, the church forever demands sacrifice. Sacrifice for what and to what? Who needs this? God?

    1 John 5:21 “Children, keep yourselves from idols.”

  • Stephen

    The analogy of this kind of ersatz marriage being some kind of self-sacrifice (that is, as the argument goes, if it were in a “Christian” context) is exactly the wrong analogy. Think murder-suicide pact and you will get closer to what is going on. “I’ll sacrifice you if you sacrifice me to please God. Oh yeah, toss some kids in there so it looks real good too.” This is religiously sanctioned sacrifice for the good of what? Upholding morality? It is about as sick and twisted as “morality” gets. It all starts with a lie. Who is the father of lies? Who is it that tells us that we need to offer up our works, or in this case, the works of gays, to please God? Is that the message of the cross?

    It is also obvious that for the heterosexuals here, what is troubling is the sex stuff. Everyone makes it the central problem except the gay guy. Interesting. I don’t think he ever said it was the only reason to get married. But how important was the “attraction” for any of you? What did it consist of and how do you separate that from your spouse’s gender? A great deal is being assumed here. Why must the same “criteria” for choosing who to be with be so circumspect when it comes to gays, as if all they look at in a person is what is between their legs? Or is that what the heterosexuals are most concerned about? And why then must they alter their orientation to suit who exactly? Not only that, they must succumb to these ridiculously far-fetched comparisons with people who are quadriplegic? How many Christian gay people have not prayed for healing do you think? Same reason God doesn’t make them heterosexual I suspect is the same reason he doesn’t make quadriplegics walk very often. Maybe they actually have their healing, healing that comes through faith in Christ alone and not of works or things that are seen. Faith alone.

    No matter how you spin it, all the comparisons I have heard here are trivializing of human beings, people for whom Christ has died. It is all a vain attempt to cover up sin, the sin of abandoning people to the plague of false religion that requires righteous sacrifice to gain God’s favor. It is a no win for the people this is put upon, and all these attempts to rationalize it are silly. Under that yoke, people will either submit and become Pharisees or despair like Judas. There is a lot of despair out there among gays, much of it caused by anxious and fearful Christians who fail to love their own family members, let alone their neighbor as themselves. Instead of mercy, on this issue, the church forever demands sacrifice. Sacrifice for what and to what? Who needs this? God?

    1 John 5:21 “Children, keep yourselves from idols.”

  • Grace

    Stephen

    “There is a lot of despair out there among gays, much of it caused by anxious and fearful Christians who fail to love their own family members, let alone their neighbor as themselves.”

    “Despair” from those who sin willfully comes from THEIR sin, it has nothing to do with Christians loving family members. Sin will always bring about despair, hoplessness, pain and suffering.

    Is pleasing God a “work” - are we not told very clearly how we are to live?

  • Grace

    Stephen

    “There is a lot of despair out there among gays, much of it caused by anxious and fearful Christians who fail to love their own family members, let alone their neighbor as themselves.”

    “Despair” from those who sin willfully comes from THEIR sin, it has nothing to do with Christians loving family members. Sin will always bring about despair, hoplessness, pain and suffering.

    Is pleasing God a “work” - are we not told very clearly how we are to live?

  • Grace

    Stephen – 44

    “How many Christian gay people have not prayed for healing do you think? Same reason God doesn’t make them heterosexual I suspect is the same reason he doesn’t make quadriplegics walk very often. Maybe they actually have their healing, healing that comes through faith in Christ alone and not of works or things that are seen. Faith alone.”

    Being a “quadriplegic” is not a sin – “homosexuality” is a sin – you confuse the two as if there is some comparison. The LORD offers an escape for “sin” – it’s up to the individual to accept it.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 says it best, but no matter how many times it’s posted, it slides right over the head of many who read the words.

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    The words above are about God’s faithfulness, those who are tempted, and then the promise of “escape” - it’s the “escape” that many decline. It isn’t as though GOD has not kept His promise, it’s man who desires his own way, rather than God’s.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 44

    “How many Christian gay people have not prayed for healing do you think? Same reason God doesn’t make them heterosexual I suspect is the same reason he doesn’t make quadriplegics walk very often. Maybe they actually have their healing, healing that comes through faith in Christ alone and not of works or things that are seen. Faith alone.”

    Being a “quadriplegic” is not a sin – “homosexuality” is a sin – you confuse the two as if there is some comparison. The LORD offers an escape for “sin” – it’s up to the individual to accept it.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 says it best, but no matter how many times it’s posted, it slides right over the head of many who read the words.

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    The words above are about God’s faithfulness, those who are tempted, and then the promise of “escape” - it’s the “escape” that many decline. It isn’t as though GOD has not kept His promise, it’s man who desires his own way, rather than God’s.

  • kerner

    Stephen:

    Since I gather much of what you have said is directed at me, I have a few questions.

    “Everybody makes [sex] the central problem except the gay guy. Interesting. I don’t think he ever said it was the only reason to get married.”

    Actually, I thought @36 and 37 that is exactly what he said. (If I have misunderstood you, Frank, I will stand corrected).

    “Farfetched comparisons”. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time I rationalized something out to the point of absurdity. Maybe I should have just not said anything.

    But I think the issue being discussed is really an ethical one, i.e., what are the moral options open to gay people? This has been discussed on this blog before, usually with Dr. Veith posing a specific question. Are you objecting to us discussing this at all?

    Sometimes it does seem a little strange to me to be spending so much time discussing the moral options open to gay people with only one “gay guy” (as you call him) participating. But if the Church is to take a position on sexual morality, isn’t some discussion of what is forbidden by God’s law necessary? And if some things are forbidden, then is there no way to legitimately discuss what the possible non-forbidden options are?

    So, anyway, what do you think the Church to say to gay people? Should it tell them that God’s Word forbids sexual activity between members of the same sex?

    If your answer to that question is “no”, then I understand your comments.

    But if your answer is that God’s Word actually does forbid sex between members of the same sex, then what should the Church tell gay people to do instead?

    I think the most common answer to that question is that they should live celibate single lives, and that may be what many actually do. But I think Dr. Veith has suggested that there may be other options. The option under discussion may seem pretty strange, but nobody has suggested that gay people have to take it. The most anyone has said is that it might be morally acceptable if some of them choose to do so.

    Now, clearly you think a marriage between a gay man and a lesbian is ridiculous, but your comments have consisted of a lot more emotion than reason. Can you calm down and just say why you don’t think this should ever happen?

  • kerner

    Stephen:

    Since I gather much of what you have said is directed at me, I have a few questions.

    “Everybody makes [sex] the central problem except the gay guy. Interesting. I don’t think he ever said it was the only reason to get married.”

    Actually, I thought @36 and 37 that is exactly what he said. (If I have misunderstood you, Frank, I will stand corrected).

    “Farfetched comparisons”. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time I rationalized something out to the point of absurdity. Maybe I should have just not said anything.

    But I think the issue being discussed is really an ethical one, i.e., what are the moral options open to gay people? This has been discussed on this blog before, usually with Dr. Veith posing a specific question. Are you objecting to us discussing this at all?

    Sometimes it does seem a little strange to me to be spending so much time discussing the moral options open to gay people with only one “gay guy” (as you call him) participating. But if the Church is to take a position on sexual morality, isn’t some discussion of what is forbidden by God’s law necessary? And if some things are forbidden, then is there no way to legitimately discuss what the possible non-forbidden options are?

    So, anyway, what do you think the Church to say to gay people? Should it tell them that God’s Word forbids sexual activity between members of the same sex?

    If your answer to that question is “no”, then I understand your comments.

    But if your answer is that God’s Word actually does forbid sex between members of the same sex, then what should the Church tell gay people to do instead?

    I think the most common answer to that question is that they should live celibate single lives, and that may be what many actually do. But I think Dr. Veith has suggested that there may be other options. The option under discussion may seem pretty strange, but nobody has suggested that gay people have to take it. The most anyone has said is that it might be morally acceptable if some of them choose to do so.

    Now, clearly you think a marriage between a gay man and a lesbian is ridiculous, but your comments have consisted of a lot more emotion than reason. Can you calm down and just say why you don’t think this should ever happen?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner

    so a man and a woman are a) living together b) with no sex , and c) having kids by artificial insemination.

    In addition they are a) deliberately sleeping in the same room to deceive their artificially inseminated children as to the fact that they are really roommates and b) they are doing all this to also deceive their parents and probably most of their faith community, c) their religious leader is encouraging all this lying, d) the religious leader knows that one or both are getting sex outside the relationship and winking at it, and e) they are doing it trusting in this work to keep them from going to hell.

    Tell me Kerner, please, exactly what part of this has anything at all to do with anything that is morality. What good is coming out of this for starters? What harm is being done? What harm is being avoided? Is God pleased with this do you think? Would he bless all this and encourage it?

    Finally dear Kerner, what is it that the Bible says is the opposite of sin? Is it goodness? Hint: “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” So what is it that God says is the opposite of sin? Maybe it would be best to point both the gay and the lesbian and the children and the rabbi to what that opposite-of-sin is? Ya think? And just maybe this is what the churches should be doing with gays and lesbians as well?

    I am really lost as to your comments. You are telling steve he is giving emotional arguments. It seems he is giving arguments from Holy Scripture and our Confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner

    so a man and a woman are a) living together b) with no sex , and c) having kids by artificial insemination.

    In addition they are a) deliberately sleeping in the same room to deceive their artificially inseminated children as to the fact that they are really roommates and b) they are doing all this to also deceive their parents and probably most of their faith community, c) their religious leader is encouraging all this lying, d) the religious leader knows that one or both are getting sex outside the relationship and winking at it, and e) they are doing it trusting in this work to keep them from going to hell.

    Tell me Kerner, please, exactly what part of this has anything at all to do with anything that is morality. What good is coming out of this for starters? What harm is being done? What harm is being avoided? Is God pleased with this do you think? Would he bless all this and encourage it?

    Finally dear Kerner, what is it that the Bible says is the opposite of sin? Is it goodness? Hint: “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” So what is it that God says is the opposite of sin? Maybe it would be best to point both the gay and the lesbian and the children and the rabbi to what that opposite-of-sin is? Ya think? And just maybe this is what the churches should be doing with gays and lesbians as well?

    I am really lost as to your comments. You are telling steve he is giving emotional arguments. It seems he is giving arguments from Holy Scripture and our Confessions.

  • Porcell

    FWS, blinded by your ideology that the disorder of homosexuality cannot be treated, you assume that former homosexuals who marry cannot possibly live an honest heterosexual life.

    If you cannot handle Satinover’s truth telling, I should suggest that you give a fair reading to any of the following Christian outfits that have been successful treating homosexuals: Exodus International, Desert Stream/Living Waters, Redeemed Life Ministries, Pastoral Care Ministries.

    As with alcoholism, Homosexual tendencies can be cured, providing one really wants to be cured and is capable of the hard therapeutic/spiritual work. Your assumption that somehow homosexual orientation is a fixed or created natural phenomenon is quite dubious based on the success rates of both secular and Christian treatments of the disorder.

  • Porcell

    FWS, blinded by your ideology that the disorder of homosexuality cannot be treated, you assume that former homosexuals who marry cannot possibly live an honest heterosexual life.

    If you cannot handle Satinover’s truth telling, I should suggest that you give a fair reading to any of the following Christian outfits that have been successful treating homosexuals: Exodus International, Desert Stream/Living Waters, Redeemed Life Ministries, Pastoral Care Ministries.

    As with alcoholism, Homosexual tendencies can be cured, providing one really wants to be cured and is capable of the hard therapeutic/spiritual work. Your assumption that somehow homosexual orientation is a fixed or created natural phenomenon is quite dubious based on the success rates of both secular and Christian treatments of the disorder.

  • Stephen

    kerner -

    Sorry you have an issue with passionate discourse, but I was not irrational. I think that is okay, and I even think there are precedents for it in scripture, even from our Lord. If you feel that wrath, well then, feel it. Or laugh it off or scorn it. Trying to placate me by asking me to be calm and, I assume, more rational is condescending. They think inflicting law and “forbidding” things in others will somehow cure this dis-ease with sexuality.

    But I guess the last thing is just conjecture on my part. Plenty of that here, yet I’m accused of shutting things down. I think I am offering another way to think about it that no one wants to discuss. I’ve offered it before with the same results – lots of shaming and silence. Ironic that I am accused of pretty much the same thing.

    I made several arguments and posed many questions, none of which anyone has attempted to address. Instead, you pose a “yes or no” option for me. I’ll answer that when you tell me whether it is right, good and God-pleasing to sacrifice the well-being of another to satisfy a moral standard, or is that just cruelty? Is this what God requires? What does God require? If it is mercy and not sacrifice, then how is it merciful to make gay people live lies and/or the other option of restricting them from loving another as fully as anyone else? When you can answer that using the scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, I’ll answer your question “yes or no.” Is that reasonable?

    I’m not asking anyone to stop talking about it. You know, I’ve been accused of this before in a conversation about racism, maybe I need to look at that. I can’t figure this out, because it seems like instead of actually addressing things I say, I hear this. I get the feeling it is some round about way to get me to shut up or turn off because others do not want to be bothered with the fact that these discussions involve the lives of actual people, people in our own church, and that ideas have consequences. They are not theoretical to me.

    So my “emotion” comes from the fact that I’m just amazed at what is being said by Lutherans. But perhaps I shouldn’t be. When a homosexual walks in the room all bets are off. They are set up as some kind of “other” to be examined, measured and evaluated by standards that are for them alone, imposed by others who do not have to be measured in the same way. And the reality is “they” are not a “them” at all.

    I have given reasons many times on this blog why I think there is no homosexuality between mutually consenting adults in scripture. The scriptures (NT) are referring to cultic temple activity familiar in Greek society that had to do with the abuse of slaves and behaviors associated with the worship of false gods (NT/OT). But they are not about homosexuality, even though a fundamentalist agenda has now been able to slip this 19c. clinical term into scriptures. These are sound biblical arguments that also have never been addressed. The reason for that has to do, I’m guessing, with a kind of biblicism that does not allow the scripture to actually address people, or in this case, certain kinds of people.

    But to fws’s credit, he doesn’t even need to go there. His argument is purely a confessional one. No one speaks to that, so he is, of course, drawn into these theoretical arguments about homosexuals and what they really want and how heterosexuals think it is all about sex. That is all heterosexuals can see. No mercy in that. In fact, it is condemning, and so, I think, heterosexuals use gays as a scapegoat for all their own hangups about sex.

  • Stephen

    kerner -

    Sorry you have an issue with passionate discourse, but I was not irrational. I think that is okay, and I even think there are precedents for it in scripture, even from our Lord. If you feel that wrath, well then, feel it. Or laugh it off or scorn it. Trying to placate me by asking me to be calm and, I assume, more rational is condescending. They think inflicting law and “forbidding” things in others will somehow cure this dis-ease with sexuality.

    But I guess the last thing is just conjecture on my part. Plenty of that here, yet I’m accused of shutting things down. I think I am offering another way to think about it that no one wants to discuss. I’ve offered it before with the same results – lots of shaming and silence. Ironic that I am accused of pretty much the same thing.

    I made several arguments and posed many questions, none of which anyone has attempted to address. Instead, you pose a “yes or no” option for me. I’ll answer that when you tell me whether it is right, good and God-pleasing to sacrifice the well-being of another to satisfy a moral standard, or is that just cruelty? Is this what God requires? What does God require? If it is mercy and not sacrifice, then how is it merciful to make gay people live lies and/or the other option of restricting them from loving another as fully as anyone else? When you can answer that using the scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, I’ll answer your question “yes or no.” Is that reasonable?

    I’m not asking anyone to stop talking about it. You know, I’ve been accused of this before in a conversation about racism, maybe I need to look at that. I can’t figure this out, because it seems like instead of actually addressing things I say, I hear this. I get the feeling it is some round about way to get me to shut up or turn off because others do not want to be bothered with the fact that these discussions involve the lives of actual people, people in our own church, and that ideas have consequences. They are not theoretical to me.

    So my “emotion” comes from the fact that I’m just amazed at what is being said by Lutherans. But perhaps I shouldn’t be. When a homosexual walks in the room all bets are off. They are set up as some kind of “other” to be examined, measured and evaluated by standards that are for them alone, imposed by others who do not have to be measured in the same way. And the reality is “they” are not a “them” at all.

    I have given reasons many times on this blog why I think there is no homosexuality between mutually consenting adults in scripture. The scriptures (NT) are referring to cultic temple activity familiar in Greek society that had to do with the abuse of slaves and behaviors associated with the worship of false gods (NT/OT). But they are not about homosexuality, even though a fundamentalist agenda has now been able to slip this 19c. clinical term into scriptures. These are sound biblical arguments that also have never been addressed. The reason for that has to do, I’m guessing, with a kind of biblicism that does not allow the scripture to actually address people, or in this case, certain kinds of people.

    But to fws’s credit, he doesn’t even need to go there. His argument is purely a confessional one. No one speaks to that, so he is, of course, drawn into these theoretical arguments about homosexuals and what they really want and how heterosexuals think it is all about sex. That is all heterosexuals can see. No mercy in that. In fact, it is condemning, and so, I think, heterosexuals use gays as a scapegoat for all their own hangups about sex.

  • Stephen

    I don’t know how this sentence ended up in the first paragraph:

    “They think inflicting law and “forbidding” things in others will somehow cure this dis-ease with sexuality.”

    It was meant for the end of the sixth.

  • Stephen

    I don’t know how this sentence ended up in the first paragraph:

    “They think inflicting law and “forbidding” things in others will somehow cure this dis-ease with sexuality.”

    It was meant for the end of the sixth.

  • Stephen

    Wow, that was really screwed up. What I wrote ought to conclude with the following, which somehow ended up attached to the first paragraph:

    “They think inflicting law and “forbidding” things in others will somehow cure this dis-ease with sexuality.

    But I guess the last thing is just conjecture on my part. Plenty of that here, yet I’m accused of shutting things down. I think I am offering another way to think about it that no one wants to discuss. I’ve offered it before with the same results – lots of shaming and silence. Ironic that I am accused of pretty much the same thing.”

    I suppose that just that much more confusing. Oh well . . .

  • Stephen

    Wow, that was really screwed up. What I wrote ought to conclude with the following, which somehow ended up attached to the first paragraph:

    “They think inflicting law and “forbidding” things in others will somehow cure this dis-ease with sexuality.

    But I guess the last thing is just conjecture on my part. Plenty of that here, yet I’m accused of shutting things down. I think I am offering another way to think about it that no one wants to discuss. I’ve offered it before with the same results – lots of shaming and silence. Ironic that I am accused of pretty much the same thing.”

    I suppose that just that much more confusing. Oh well . . .

  • http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com Pastor Larry Peters

    Certainly we can agree that a promiscuous life possesses less virtue than one in which there is stability and accountability. While not marriage in the ideal sense, it seems the Rabbi has come up with a more virtuous solution than any of the alternatives. If marital love is anything it is sacrificial and in these cases there appears to be a sacrificial love at work for the sake of society and family. I am not ready to promote this idea but neither am I ready to condemn it outright.

  • http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com Pastor Larry Peters

    Certainly we can agree that a promiscuous life possesses less virtue than one in which there is stability and accountability. While not marriage in the ideal sense, it seems the Rabbi has come up with a more virtuous solution than any of the alternatives. If marital love is anything it is sacrificial and in these cases there appears to be a sacrificial love at work for the sake of society and family. I am not ready to promote this idea but neither am I ready to condemn it outright.

  • Stephen

    Since I screwed that last post up, let me ask the question another way – if the whole of the law is love according to Jesus himself, then how does the requirement that gay people remain celibate and/or submit to marriages based on a lie express, show, implement, or fulfill (choose a word) the injunction to love and serve the neighbor. What loving service is being provided by this requirement?

    You can throw a different thing in there and ask the same question. If I have booze at Christmas dinner becuase it adds to the festivities am I encouraging drunkeness and thus being a reprobate? that is how fundamnetalist sees it, I garuntee. Why do you think protestants/non-catholics are allowed to divorce? It has to do with the usefulness of the law, that it is not eternal. Only faith in Christ is eternal.

    What is misunderstood is that the practices described in the bible have to do with ritual purity. That is why, for instance in Leviticus, these concerns are listed along with dietary and other restrictions. This is to keep Hebrews from becoming involved in the practices of pagans who engaged in temple sex and all kinds of fertility rites involving their bodies with food, blood, etc. But this not about homosexuality, it is about worshipping false gods. If we want to follow this sort of thing and make it a requirement, then we need to watch it when we eat a BLT with a glass of milk. St. Paul refers to this in Romans 1 as well. In 1 Corinthians 6 he is speaking about prostitution, in which case the concern is with the abuse of another, something one who is joined to Christ should not do. Again, this is not about homosexuality.

    Why do you think the Lutheran confessions go straight to the 10 commandments and purposely do not address all the ceremonial and purity laws in the OT? Because it isn’t about that. Jesus told us what it is about – Love of God (faith given in baptism) and love of neighbor (mercy, good works, love, etc.). None of that has to do with restricitng homosexuals from being together and/or marrying. Like I said, they seem to have better understanding of the real purposes of marriage than many heterosexuals.

  • Stephen

    Since I screwed that last post up, let me ask the question another way – if the whole of the law is love according to Jesus himself, then how does the requirement that gay people remain celibate and/or submit to marriages based on a lie express, show, implement, or fulfill (choose a word) the injunction to love and serve the neighbor. What loving service is being provided by this requirement?

    You can throw a different thing in there and ask the same question. If I have booze at Christmas dinner becuase it adds to the festivities am I encouraging drunkeness and thus being a reprobate? that is how fundamnetalist sees it, I garuntee. Why do you think protestants/non-catholics are allowed to divorce? It has to do with the usefulness of the law, that it is not eternal. Only faith in Christ is eternal.

    What is misunderstood is that the practices described in the bible have to do with ritual purity. That is why, for instance in Leviticus, these concerns are listed along with dietary and other restrictions. This is to keep Hebrews from becoming involved in the practices of pagans who engaged in temple sex and all kinds of fertility rites involving their bodies with food, blood, etc. But this not about homosexuality, it is about worshipping false gods. If we want to follow this sort of thing and make it a requirement, then we need to watch it when we eat a BLT with a glass of milk. St. Paul refers to this in Romans 1 as well. In 1 Corinthians 6 he is speaking about prostitution, in which case the concern is with the abuse of another, something one who is joined to Christ should not do. Again, this is not about homosexuality.

    Why do you think the Lutheran confessions go straight to the 10 commandments and purposely do not address all the ceremonial and purity laws in the OT? Because it isn’t about that. Jesus told us what it is about – Love of God (faith given in baptism) and love of neighbor (mercy, good works, love, etc.). None of that has to do with restricitng homosexuals from being together and/or marrying. Like I said, they seem to have better understanding of the real purposes of marriage than many heterosexuals.

  • Stephen

    Pastor Peters

    In what way is this “sacrificial love at work for the sake of society and family.” How is it helping society? Is lying to your children and basing an entire family on such lies good for the family? Explain that.

  • Stephen

    Pastor Peters

    In what way is this “sacrificial love at work for the sake of society and family.” How is it helping society? Is lying to your children and basing an entire family on such lies good for the family? Explain that.

  • kerner

    Stephen:

    Sorry about my sounding condescending. It’s not that I have issues with passion in discourse. It is more that I have often found that passion is a ruse to distract from the weakness of the argument. And at the time I was not understanding your position.

    But, thanks to your 6th paragraph @50, I see that my previous experience does not apply to you. In that paragraph you take a position I understand and give me some of the reasons why you take it. You also refer to previous posts and say you didn’t go into detail because you have said all this before, and nobody responded to you. I don’t participate in every conversation on this subject, so maybe that’s why I did not recall your previous statements.

    Anyway, if I understand you correctly you are saying that those scripture passages that most of us here assume forbid all homosexual sex only forbid certain kinds of homosexual sex. That homosexual sex is not bad per se, but the pagan lives of which homosexuality was a part were bad. And we today only think there is a scriptural ban on all homosexual sex because we are cautght up in a victorian/fundamentalist protestant cultural reaction against it.

    But one paragraph does not do this position justice. Can you refer me to your earlier statements, or are there books that estamlish from history what you say, so I can compare that history to the scripture to see I agree with you as to what the scripture is talking about? I actually have believed for some time that those scripture passages that seem to forbid all homosexual sex actually do forbid all homosexual sex. But if there is evidence to the contrary, where can I find it?

    As to your question: Is it “right good and God-pleasing to sacrifice the well being of another to satisfy a moral standard, or is that just cruelty?” I guess I need to know how you define “well being”.

    As Christians, particularly Lutherans, we understand the distinction between Law and Gospel. And we undrstand that the Law has different uses. The first (curb) and the third (guide) are basically a moral code, teaching us what we should not do and what we should do. But the second use (mirror) shows us our sinful condition and convicts us.

    It is this second use of the law that is out of synch with late 20th and 21st Century culture. We in this culture really really hate the idea of telling anyone they can’t do something, as long as they believe that doing it will make them happy, or build their self esteem. People today, more than in most ages, want to do “what is right in their own eyes”.

    The thing about the Law is that it tells everyone to sacrifice their self defined “well being” to the moral code of the Law. Christians cannot achieve “well being” by pretending that their sins are something other than sins. We have to confess all our sins, and we can’t hold back the ones we really really like doing, or even those we think will allow us to be “loving another as fully as anyone else”.

    Nor does it help for me to rationalize away my sins with a platitude like “God made me this way”. Actually, I think Adam, Eve and Satan made us this way. God, through the shedding of his innocent blood, has given us the way to become His children again.

    It’s always easy to sound condescending, judgmental, or unmerciful when discussing someone else’s sins. And that’s what most of us here are doing (or at least we think we are). And it’s always easy to condemn the person for discussing someone else’s sins as being judgmental, condescending or unmerciful, thus begging the question of whether the behavior under discussion is really sinful or not.

    So, I guess my answer is that it is not mere cruelty nor sacrificing their personal well being to hold someone to a moral standard they cannot meet. It is preaching the Law. But everyone must be broken by the Law before they can understand the Gospel.

    Of course, we now get back to you position of whether all homosexual sex is really against God’s Law.

  • kerner

    Stephen:

    Sorry about my sounding condescending. It’s not that I have issues with passion in discourse. It is more that I have often found that passion is a ruse to distract from the weakness of the argument. And at the time I was not understanding your position.

    But, thanks to your 6th paragraph @50, I see that my previous experience does not apply to you. In that paragraph you take a position I understand and give me some of the reasons why you take it. You also refer to previous posts and say you didn’t go into detail because you have said all this before, and nobody responded to you. I don’t participate in every conversation on this subject, so maybe that’s why I did not recall your previous statements.

    Anyway, if I understand you correctly you are saying that those scripture passages that most of us here assume forbid all homosexual sex only forbid certain kinds of homosexual sex. That homosexual sex is not bad per se, but the pagan lives of which homosexuality was a part were bad. And we today only think there is a scriptural ban on all homosexual sex because we are cautght up in a victorian/fundamentalist protestant cultural reaction against it.

    But one paragraph does not do this position justice. Can you refer me to your earlier statements, or are there books that estamlish from history what you say, so I can compare that history to the scripture to see I agree with you as to what the scripture is talking about? I actually have believed for some time that those scripture passages that seem to forbid all homosexual sex actually do forbid all homosexual sex. But if there is evidence to the contrary, where can I find it?

    As to your question: Is it “right good and God-pleasing to sacrifice the well being of another to satisfy a moral standard, or is that just cruelty?” I guess I need to know how you define “well being”.

    As Christians, particularly Lutherans, we understand the distinction between Law and Gospel. And we undrstand that the Law has different uses. The first (curb) and the third (guide) are basically a moral code, teaching us what we should not do and what we should do. But the second use (mirror) shows us our sinful condition and convicts us.

    It is this second use of the law that is out of synch with late 20th and 21st Century culture. We in this culture really really hate the idea of telling anyone they can’t do something, as long as they believe that doing it will make them happy, or build their self esteem. People today, more than in most ages, want to do “what is right in their own eyes”.

    The thing about the Law is that it tells everyone to sacrifice their self defined “well being” to the moral code of the Law. Christians cannot achieve “well being” by pretending that their sins are something other than sins. We have to confess all our sins, and we can’t hold back the ones we really really like doing, or even those we think will allow us to be “loving another as fully as anyone else”.

    Nor does it help for me to rationalize away my sins with a platitude like “God made me this way”. Actually, I think Adam, Eve and Satan made us this way. God, through the shedding of his innocent blood, has given us the way to become His children again.

    It’s always easy to sound condescending, judgmental, or unmerciful when discussing someone else’s sins. And that’s what most of us here are doing (or at least we think we are). And it’s always easy to condemn the person for discussing someone else’s sins as being judgmental, condescending or unmerciful, thus begging the question of whether the behavior under discussion is really sinful or not.

    So, I guess my answer is that it is not mere cruelty nor sacrificing their personal well being to hold someone to a moral standard they cannot meet. It is preaching the Law. But everyone must be broken by the Law before they can understand the Gospel.

    Of course, we now get back to you position of whether all homosexual sex is really against God’s Law.

  • kerner

    Hey, there @54 is some of what I asked for!

  • kerner

    Hey, there @54 is some of what I asked for!

  • Stephen

    Kerner –

    Thanks for the thoughful response. I am at work presently, but I can certainly direct your to books and articles of the sort that might help. But that may not even be necessary. If we take some of your assessments about the law into account, what then is the use of restricting homosexuals? That is still not answered. What use is this moral standard to anyone – you, your neighbor, children, society, the institution of marriage – all those things this moral restriction is claimed to be protecting?

    Otherwise, I think we agree on a lot of things. However, there is only one law not three, and it always accuses – Old Adma that is. I think curb, mirror, rule is a hangover from Calvinism and does not accurately reflect confessional Lutheran understanding of the law. Let’s go to Jesus for that. The whole of the law is love. How is this restriction loving, serving, etc? I’m not talking about self-esteem or self-gratification or any of that stuff you want to equate it with. I’m talking about how this implementation of moral codes comports with love of neighbor. What is your responsibility to gay people? Wedge them into a law? For what purpose? Who is served?

  • Stephen

    Kerner –

    Thanks for the thoughful response. I am at work presently, but I can certainly direct your to books and articles of the sort that might help. But that may not even be necessary. If we take some of your assessments about the law into account, what then is the use of restricting homosexuals? That is still not answered. What use is this moral standard to anyone – you, your neighbor, children, society, the institution of marriage – all those things this moral restriction is claimed to be protecting?

    Otherwise, I think we agree on a lot of things. However, there is only one law not three, and it always accuses – Old Adma that is. I think curb, mirror, rule is a hangover from Calvinism and does not accurately reflect confessional Lutheran understanding of the law. Let’s go to Jesus for that. The whole of the law is love. How is this restriction loving, serving, etc? I’m not talking about self-esteem or self-gratification or any of that stuff you want to equate it with. I’m talking about how this implementation of moral codes comports with love of neighbor. What is your responsibility to gay people? Wedge them into a law? For what purpose? Who is served?

  • Jonathan

    55–Because it is not intentionally denying the children of both of their parents as does same-gender ‘families’ and intentionally-single-parent “I deserve a baby instead of a cat” fads. Besides, how should it be any of the kids’ business what goes on or doesn’t in their parents’ bedroom? They have both a mom and a dad in a stable family relationship according to natural law.

  • Jonathan

    55–Because it is not intentionally denying the children of both of their parents as does same-gender ‘families’ and intentionally-single-parent “I deserve a baby instead of a cat” fads. Besides, how should it be any of the kids’ business what goes on or doesn’t in their parents’ bedroom? They have both a mom and a dad in a stable family relationship according to natural law.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, one can be a merciful Christian and still be opposed to homosexual behavior. Richard B. Hays, the highly respected Paul scholar at Duke, wrote a short article well worth reading, Homosexuality: Rebellion Against God A scholar of Paul explains how the great Apostle understood–and decried–homosexuality.

    He begins the article with a talk he had with his former Yale classmate, Gary, who was dying of AIDS and came to question the pressure of activist gays on the churches to accept homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle. The following paragraph gives a good flavor of the article:

    The more we talked, the more we found our perspectives interlocking. Both of us had serious misgivings about the mounting pressure for the church to recognize homosexuality as a legitimate Christian lifestyle. As a New Testament scholar, I was concerned about certain questionable exegetical and theological strategies of the gay apologists. As a homosexual Christian, Gary believed that their writings did justice neither to the biblical texts nor to his own sobering experience of the gay community that he had moved in and out of for 20 years.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, one can be a merciful Christian and still be opposed to homosexual behavior. Richard B. Hays, the highly respected Paul scholar at Duke, wrote a short article well worth reading, Homosexuality: Rebellion Against God A scholar of Paul explains how the great Apostle understood–and decried–homosexuality.

    He begins the article with a talk he had with his former Yale classmate, Gary, who was dying of AIDS and came to question the pressure of activist gays on the churches to accept homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle. The following paragraph gives a good flavor of the article:

    The more we talked, the more we found our perspectives interlocking. Both of us had serious misgivings about the mounting pressure for the church to recognize homosexuality as a legitimate Christian lifestyle. As a New Testament scholar, I was concerned about certain questionable exegetical and theological strategies of the gay apologists. As a homosexual Christian, Gary believed that their writings did justice neither to the biblical texts nor to his own sobering experience of the gay community that he had moved in and out of for 20 years.

  • http://www.radicalgraceradio.com Matthew Pancake

    I don’t have faith that Christians in the US can, in this generation, work this problem out. All you have to do is broach the subject and knees start jerkin.

  • http://www.radicalgraceradio.com Matthew Pancake

    I don’t have faith that Christians in the US can, in this generation, work this problem out. All you have to do is broach the subject and knees start jerkin.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 56

    You take the position that the Law of God is about making sancrifices . It is about giving up what we want to do in favor of what God demands.

    Jesus and the Lutheran Confessions say everywhere that the Law is about Fatherly Goodness and Mercy and it is not about making sacrifice.

    Steven doesnt need to prove your logical gloss on homosexuality that you read into the bible. The bible says that male on male rape and prostitution are the biblical pictures of homosexuality, You gloss logically from that to say that all homosexual sex is wrong. Kerner. How do you DO that?!

    Then bible also says that male on female rape and prostitution are wrong. And the point that I am to draw from that is what? Kerner you read into the bible what it does not say.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 56

    You take the position that the Law of God is about making sancrifices . It is about giving up what we want to do in favor of what God demands.

    Jesus and the Lutheran Confessions say everywhere that the Law is about Fatherly Goodness and Mercy and it is not about making sacrifice.

    Steven doesnt need to prove your logical gloss on homosexuality that you read into the bible. The bible says that male on male rape and prostitution are the biblical pictures of homosexuality, You gloss logically from that to say that all homosexual sex is wrong. Kerner. How do you DO that?!

    Then bible also says that male on female rape and prostitution are wrong. And the point that I am to draw from that is what? Kerner you read into the bible what it does not say.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    percell @ 49

    Here is the difference between you and me:

    I am willing to give up any and all theories on homosexuality, whether or not it can be treated or what is the cause of it. All. of. it. I am not making assertions of fact without any hard evidence.
    I am not referring the harvard and yale creditials of someone as proof of my position.

    Give me some hard studies that have been peer reviewed and have valid statistical evidence. You cannot can you? So you just keep coming back with the same tired stuff. You are intellectually lazy Porcell. You seem to be intelligent. Use it. Google. Find me a study. Just one. one that is proof that things like Exodus work.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    percell @ 49

    Here is the difference between you and me:

    I am willing to give up any and all theories on homosexuality, whether or not it can be treated or what is the cause of it. All. of. it. I am not making assertions of fact without any hard evidence.
    I am not referring the harvard and yale creditials of someone as proof of my position.

    Give me some hard studies that have been peer reviewed and have valid statistical evidence. You cannot can you? So you just keep coming back with the same tired stuff. You are intellectually lazy Porcell. You seem to be intelligent. Use it. Google. Find me a study. Just one. one that is proof that things like Exodus work.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 56

    Don´t reduce my arguments or stevens down to something idiotic.

    No one is saying that it is not good to sacrifice one good for a higher good. But this is sacrificing one good for another.

    Note Kerner that in the Apology to the Augustana, Lutherans confess that nothing more can be demanded in earthly morality than Aristotle´s Ethics. That should mean something to you as a Lutheran christian. What does it mean to you?

    To me it means that Lutherans confess that earthly morality is about our sacrificing ourselves for the horizontal good of our neighbors. Period. It tells me that our confessions firmly and completely reject your position that God intends earthly morality to be about making sacrifice to God.

    In fact your position would agree with the roman catholic scholastics that the Lutheran Confessions specifically rejected.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 56

    Don´t reduce my arguments or stevens down to something idiotic.

    No one is saying that it is not good to sacrifice one good for a higher good. But this is sacrificing one good for another.

    Note Kerner that in the Apology to the Augustana, Lutherans confess that nothing more can be demanded in earthly morality than Aristotle´s Ethics. That should mean something to you as a Lutheran christian. What does it mean to you?

    To me it means that Lutherans confess that earthly morality is about our sacrificing ourselves for the horizontal good of our neighbors. Period. It tells me that our confessions firmly and completely reject your position that God intends earthly morality to be about making sacrifice to God.

    In fact your position would agree with the roman catholic scholastics that the Lutheran Confessions specifically rejected.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 56

    You correctly say that in marriage people are called to sacrifice their own good for the sake of doing goodness and mercy to others.

    Kerner wouldn´t you agree that this is not just about marriage, but is about every relationship in our life?

    And this is certainly true then for homosexuals as members of the human race.

    So then what you do is you say that steve is abandoning this obvious principle by saying homos can have sex that pleases God.

    Huh?

    So homosexuals are to sacrifice the goodness and mercy of intimate adult relationships for the sake of doing goodness and mercy for whom Kerner?

    That is the question. And your answer is that the sacrifice being demanded of homosexuals is not to be done in order to do goodness and mercy to others, it is just because God has a divine eternal rule that says it is not to be done.

    This does not fit the pattern of sound Lutheran and Scriptural doctrine Kerner. Give me one example of a moral rule you personally must follow in this form: that the prohibition is not about serving or not harming others, it is purely and only because God says you are not allowed to do it. Just one. You cannot Kerner.

    Now this sort of rule DOES in fact fit the nature of the purity laws for the jews in the OT. That is , I think, Steve´s point. So that should tell you that your views do not put you on the right side of St Paul´s argument in Galatians.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 56

    You correctly say that in marriage people are called to sacrifice their own good for the sake of doing goodness and mercy to others.

    Kerner wouldn´t you agree that this is not just about marriage, but is about every relationship in our life?

    And this is certainly true then for homosexuals as members of the human race.

    So then what you do is you say that steve is abandoning this obvious principle by saying homos can have sex that pleases God.

    Huh?

    So homosexuals are to sacrifice the goodness and mercy of intimate adult relationships for the sake of doing goodness and mercy for whom Kerner?

    That is the question. And your answer is that the sacrifice being demanded of homosexuals is not to be done in order to do goodness and mercy to others, it is just because God has a divine eternal rule that says it is not to be done.

    This does not fit the pattern of sound Lutheran and Scriptural doctrine Kerner. Give me one example of a moral rule you personally must follow in this form: that the prohibition is not about serving or not harming others, it is purely and only because God says you are not allowed to do it. Just one. You cannot Kerner.

    Now this sort of rule DOES in fact fit the nature of the purity laws for the jews in the OT. That is , I think, Steve´s point. So that should tell you that your views do not put you on the right side of St Paul´s argument in Galatians.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 56

    This point is very important so let me state it more simply in another way.

    The Lutheran confessions say that we are to sacrifice our own wellbeing only when that is necessary for the wellbeing of another or a higher good. This is exactly the reason the confessions embrace the ethics of pagan Aristotle and add that “nothing more can be demanded” beyond his ethics.

    What the confessions are thereby rejecting is the idea that there is some special christian law that demand giving up stuff just because God says so. Like those purity laws in the OT.

    In similar vein to those purity laws that set the Jews apart, Calvin says there is a 3rd use of the Law that is JUST for Christians and that can ONLY be known from the Bible. The Lutherans utterly reject that idea Kerner! FC Art VI.

    Kerner, this exactly means that there is no 3rd use that any pagan cannot know from aparent reason. and what is the reasonable logic they are to use? Do my actions hurt or harm my neighbor? Do my actions result in making my neighbor´s life happier and better?

    When men like you are challenged by pagans or christians like steven to demonstrate how the sacrifice you are demanding of homos avoids harm or does love you punt. You say “god demands this be done ‘just because’. ”

    Pagans and christians who call you inconsistent are so NOT rejecting the aristotelian ethic that personal goodness should be sacrificed for the goodness of others. They are asking you where any goodness towards anyone is served at all. And you can´t show them can you. You logic instead that God prohibits it, so IN FAITH you accept that it is wrong, and then IN FAITH you scrounge about for studies that bolster your faith-driven view of the Law. You really cant see or demonstrate how it hurts or harms others or provides a goodness for others.

    I am suggesting that this is faith in a Law of God that does not exist Kerner.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 56

    This point is very important so let me state it more simply in another way.

    The Lutheran confessions say that we are to sacrifice our own wellbeing only when that is necessary for the wellbeing of another or a higher good. This is exactly the reason the confessions embrace the ethics of pagan Aristotle and add that “nothing more can be demanded” beyond his ethics.

    What the confessions are thereby rejecting is the idea that there is some special christian law that demand giving up stuff just because God says so. Like those purity laws in the OT.

    In similar vein to those purity laws that set the Jews apart, Calvin says there is a 3rd use of the Law that is JUST for Christians and that can ONLY be known from the Bible. The Lutherans utterly reject that idea Kerner! FC Art VI.

    Kerner, this exactly means that there is no 3rd use that any pagan cannot know from aparent reason. and what is the reasonable logic they are to use? Do my actions hurt or harm my neighbor? Do my actions result in making my neighbor´s life happier and better?

    When men like you are challenged by pagans or christians like steven to demonstrate how the sacrifice you are demanding of homos avoids harm or does love you punt. You say “god demands this be done ‘just because’. ”

    Pagans and christians who call you inconsistent are so NOT rejecting the aristotelian ethic that personal goodness should be sacrificed for the goodness of others. They are asking you where any goodness towards anyone is served at all. And you can´t show them can you. You logic instead that God prohibits it, so IN FAITH you accept that it is wrong, and then IN FAITH you scrounge about for studies that bolster your faith-driven view of the Law. You really cant see or demonstrate how it hurts or harms others or provides a goodness for others.

    I am suggesting that this is faith in a Law of God that does not exist Kerner.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 44

    “It is about as sick and twisted as “morality” gets. It all starts with a lie. Who is the father of lies? Who is it that tells us that we need to offer up our works, or in this case, the works of gays, to please God? Is that the message of the cross?”

    Stephen we are to walk and “please God” – 1 Thessalonians 4 points straight to pleasing God. If homosexuals have abandoned all conscience as Romans 1:28 states: And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; – - then of course they are given over to a “reprobate mind” – thats why they no longer have a conscience, they see nothing wrong in homosexuality, even to the extent of concocting lies, and attaching them to the very Word of God. We all know who the father of lies is –

    1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

    2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

    3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
    4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

    5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

    6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

    7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

    8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4

    In this passage Paul is stating how we as Believers are to walk and please God, it doesn’t give options. No words are minced as to the tone of this letter, it’s straightforward with no loop holes to dodge the truth, or find an excuse to sin willfully regarding sexual sin. Every single verse in this passage speaks to each and every person, for we have all sinned, but as new creations in Christ because of our Salvation, we have a ‘new nature’ we aren’t in darkness, we are to walk in light.

    Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
    Hebrews 13:4

  • Grace

    Stephen – 44

    “It is about as sick and twisted as “morality” gets. It all starts with a lie. Who is the father of lies? Who is it that tells us that we need to offer up our works, or in this case, the works of gays, to please God? Is that the message of the cross?”

    Stephen we are to walk and “please God” – 1 Thessalonians 4 points straight to pleasing God. If homosexuals have abandoned all conscience as Romans 1:28 states: And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; – - then of course they are given over to a “reprobate mind” – thats why they no longer have a conscience, they see nothing wrong in homosexuality, even to the extent of concocting lies, and attaching them to the very Word of God. We all know who the father of lies is –

    1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

    2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

    3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
    4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

    5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

    6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

    7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

    8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4

    In this passage Paul is stating how we as Believers are to walk and please God, it doesn’t give options. No words are minced as to the tone of this letter, it’s straightforward with no loop holes to dodge the truth, or find an excuse to sin willfully regarding sexual sin. Every single verse in this passage speaks to each and every person, for we have all sinned, but as new creations in Christ because of our Salvation, we have a ‘new nature’ we aren’t in darkness, we are to walk in light.

    Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
    Hebrews 13:4

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 56

    Let me take one more stab at it. Steven seems to present two basic arguments:

    1) Biblical injunctions against homosexual temple or other prostitution and rape are wrong for the exact same reasons they are wrong for heterosexuals. And these biblical references are not , per se, ipso facto then blanket prohibitions against gay sex.

    2) to say that gays need to sacrifice what everyone who is not gay regards as their most very important and precious goods “just because God says it is wrong” does not fit , in any example you can name, any moral prohibitions against anything Kerner would do. It only applies to Gays. It looks exactly like those Jewish ritual purity Laws in that case.

    3) and my suggestion, to point you out of this mess of unconfessional and therefore most unLutheran thinking you are in , is to ponder why our Lutheran Confessions say that nothing more can be demanded of anyone then Aristotle´s Ethics as to earthly morality. Ponder please the full ramifications of that particular confessional assertion. Please.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 56

    Let me take one more stab at it. Steven seems to present two basic arguments:

    1) Biblical injunctions against homosexual temple or other prostitution and rape are wrong for the exact same reasons they are wrong for heterosexuals. And these biblical references are not , per se, ipso facto then blanket prohibitions against gay sex.

    2) to say that gays need to sacrifice what everyone who is not gay regards as their most very important and precious goods “just because God says it is wrong” does not fit , in any example you can name, any moral prohibitions against anything Kerner would do. It only applies to Gays. It looks exactly like those Jewish ritual purity Laws in that case.

    3) and my suggestion, to point you out of this mess of unconfessional and therefore most unLutheran thinking you are in , is to ponder why our Lutheran Confessions say that nothing more can be demanded of anyone then Aristotle´s Ethics as to earthly morality. Ponder please the full ramifications of that particular confessional assertion. Please.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 56

    Here is my challenge to you, or anyone here:

    Name just ONE moral prohibition that exists for you solely and only “because God forbids it” where there is no reasonably obvious evidence at all that harm is done to neighbor or love for neighbor is withheld by doing that act.

    You cannot.

    So you are saying then, that there is a different Law of God that is just and only for homosexuals. That is exactly what you are asserting.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 56

    Here is my challenge to you, or anyone here:

    Name just ONE moral prohibition that exists for you solely and only “because God forbids it” where there is no reasonably obvious evidence at all that harm is done to neighbor or love for neighbor is withheld by doing that act.

    You cannot.

    So you are saying then, that there is a different Law of God that is just and only for homosexuals. That is exactly what you are asserting.

  • Porcell

    FWS, there is plenty of hard evidence of success coming from both Christian and secular groups, including the ones I cited at 49, that do reparative therapy with gay people.

    It is impossible for these groups to get their studies published in peer reviewed journals, as their editors well know of the vicious attacks that will inevitably ensue from the militant gay groups. The truth is that the gay militants have effectively silenced any serious discussion of gay therapy. Back in 1973 the American Psychiatric association changed its position on gay therapy due to a concerted attack by a small minority of its members who couldn’t have cared less about any scientific validity of the change.

  • Porcell

    FWS, there is plenty of hard evidence of success coming from both Christian and secular groups, including the ones I cited at 49, that do reparative therapy with gay people.

    It is impossible for these groups to get their studies published in peer reviewed journals, as their editors well know of the vicious attacks that will inevitably ensue from the militant gay groups. The truth is that the gay militants have effectively silenced any serious discussion of gay therapy. Back in 1973 the American Psychiatric association changed its position on gay therapy due to a concerted attack by a small minority of its members who couldn’t have cared less about any scientific validity of the change.

  • Grace

    fws – 67

    “So you are saying then, that there is a different Law of God that is just and only for homosexuals. That is exactly what you are asserting.”

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

    25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

    27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

    29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,

    30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

    31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

    32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1

    Every single individual who indulges in, lives in, or approves of those who commit homosexual acts is in great danger – The passage above clearly states the disgraceful act -

  • Grace

    fws – 67

    “So you are saying then, that there is a different Law of God that is just and only for homosexuals. That is exactly what you are asserting.”

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

    25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

    27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

    29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,

    30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

    31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

    32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1

    Every single individual who indulges in, lives in, or approves of those who commit homosexual acts is in great danger – The passage above clearly states the disgraceful act -

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 79

    So you are telling me that there are no studies that say reparative therapy works.

    Have you checked out the site of dr Throckmorton? I don´t agree with all he is saying and doing, but he seems to have a virtue that others lack: honesty. And he has enough of it to admit where his ideas don´t pan out. At the same time he is attempting reparative therapy.

    Porcell, if someone WERE to do a scientifically valid study that could show that reparative therapy truly turns fags into men who crave sex with women, it would make reparative therapy more lucrative than even viagara. Gay men and lesbians would be lining up at the doors of those places.

    So because I know that to be a fact, I am suspecting there are other factors at work here dear Peter. I could be wrong of course.

    People charge alot of money for reparative therapy. And their clients are very , very desparately in seek of a cure and extremely motivated. It would be a cruelty if this did not work at all or only worked for that tiny fraction of their clients.

    But my real question to you is this: what is the good in any of this? Why does any of it matter at all? why is it important that gays try to become straight?

    where are the studies on those things? Those are the studies I am asking you for. Real studies. Not the junk science promoted by NARTH which has done NO original studies of it´s own to prove their assertions and parasitically distort the studies of others.

    Give me those studies here. Let´s let our SB here crunch the numbers and evaluate the validity of those studies and give us her analysis.

    Can you do at least this service of love Peter? or are you just going to keep quoting second hand commentary and their credentials and not any hard evidence?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 79

    So you are telling me that there are no studies that say reparative therapy works.

    Have you checked out the site of dr Throckmorton? I don´t agree with all he is saying and doing, but he seems to have a virtue that others lack: honesty. And he has enough of it to admit where his ideas don´t pan out. At the same time he is attempting reparative therapy.

    Porcell, if someone WERE to do a scientifically valid study that could show that reparative therapy truly turns fags into men who crave sex with women, it would make reparative therapy more lucrative than even viagara. Gay men and lesbians would be lining up at the doors of those places.

    So because I know that to be a fact, I am suspecting there are other factors at work here dear Peter. I could be wrong of course.

    People charge alot of money for reparative therapy. And their clients are very , very desparately in seek of a cure and extremely motivated. It would be a cruelty if this did not work at all or only worked for that tiny fraction of their clients.

    But my real question to you is this: what is the good in any of this? Why does any of it matter at all? why is it important that gays try to become straight?

    where are the studies on those things? Those are the studies I am asking you for. Real studies. Not the junk science promoted by NARTH which has done NO original studies of it´s own to prove their assertions and parasitically distort the studies of others.

    Give me those studies here. Let´s let our SB here crunch the numbers and evaluate the validity of those studies and give us her analysis.

    Can you do at least this service of love Peter? or are you just going to keep quoting second hand commentary and their credentials and not any hard evidence?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 71

    You stopped too soon dear.

    What do you make of Romans 2:1 then? And don´t you dare just cut and paste matthew henry. I want your personal opinion… or….

    you will be ignored.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 71

    You stopped too soon dear.

    What do you make of Romans 2:1 then? And don´t you dare just cut and paste matthew henry. I want your personal opinion… or….

    you will be ignored.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 79

    If I were exodus, I would know that

    1) there are people who are extremely desparate to be “repaired”
    2) I would also know that the mainstream media and the gay lobby is opposed to my work.

    So what I would do, IF I were honest, is that I would select some organization whos objectivity is respected by both sides, and I would ask them to do a study on the alumni of my program, maybe the entire population or maybe a scientifically selected subgroup, of the past 10 years that is so very rigerous that no one could deny the results.

    I would assume, me being an honest person having personally seen the results of Exodus, that the study would merely confirm what I know to be facts. And then I would put that study on my site and let whoever wanted to evaluate it´s merits and defects.

    That is what I would do Peter. These groups make alot of money and could fully fund such a study. Wouldn´t it be a wonderful service of love and caring if they did commission just such a study?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 79

    If I were exodus, I would know that

    1) there are people who are extremely desparate to be “repaired”
    2) I would also know that the mainstream media and the gay lobby is opposed to my work.

    So what I would do, IF I were honest, is that I would select some organization whos objectivity is respected by both sides, and I would ask them to do a study on the alumni of my program, maybe the entire population or maybe a scientifically selected subgroup, of the past 10 years that is so very rigerous that no one could deny the results.

    I would assume, me being an honest person having personally seen the results of Exodus, that the study would merely confirm what I know to be facts. And then I would put that study on my site and let whoever wanted to evaluate it´s merits and defects.

    That is what I would do Peter. These groups make alot of money and could fully fund such a study. Wouldn´t it be a wonderful service of love and caring if they did commission just such a study?

  • Grace

    fws,

    Don’t call me “dear” my name is Grace – you have been asked to address several of us (ladies) by our names, not your cutsey use of “dear” –

    “What do you make of Romans 2:1 then? And don´t you dare just cut and paste matthew henry. I want your personal opinion… or….”

    You tell me EXACTLY what you want to discuss in Romans 2:1, using Scripture. I will post Matthew Henry if I choose.

    If you decide to ignore me, that’s fine, you ignore the passages of Scripture in the Wors of God, why would I be more special than God’s Word?

  • Grace

    fws,

    Don’t call me “dear” my name is Grace – you have been asked to address several of us (ladies) by our names, not your cutsey use of “dear” –

    “What do you make of Romans 2:1 then? And don´t you dare just cut and paste matthew henry. I want your personal opinion… or….”

    You tell me EXACTLY what you want to discuss in Romans 2:1, using Scripture. I will post Matthew Henry if I choose.

    If you decide to ignore me, that’s fine, you ignore the passages of Scripture in the Wors of God, why would I be more special than God’s Word?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 75

    have it your way dear Grace. We aim to please.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 75

    have it your way dear Grace. We aim to please.

  • Grace

    fws – 76

    “have it your way dear Grace. We aim to please”

    No you don’t, you’ve just proven that you cannot, or will not abide by a request. The cutsey use of “dear” is used by many ____ fill in the blank. What the attitude says tells all, in more ways than one. It’s defiant!

  • Grace

    fws – 76

    “have it your way dear Grace. We aim to please”

    No you don’t, you’ve just proven that you cannot, or will not abide by a request. The cutsey use of “dear” is used by many ____ fill in the blank. What the attitude says tells all, in more ways than one. It’s defiant!

  • Porcell

    FWS, Exodus on its website actually refers to the sort of peer reviewed study that you wish they would sponsor. The following is the reference:

    Is there any scientific research on organizations like Exodus?

    In September of 2007, researchers Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse released the results of a three-year study indicating that sexual orientation change is possible for some individuals going through religiously mediated programs, such as Exodus, and does not cause psychological harm to the patient, on average. These conclusions directly contradict the claims of critics who state that change in sexual orientation is impossible and attempting to pursue this alternative is likely to cause depression, anxiety or self-destructive behavior. The study is the first longitudinal, peer-reviewed, scientific research of its kind on this topic to date. The major findings are reported in full in the book Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation (InterVarsity Press).

    In addition, former American Psychological Association President, Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D., praised the research methods of Jones and Yarhouse, “This study has broken new ground in its adherence to objectivity and a scientific precision that can be replicated and expanded, and it opens new horizons for investigation.” In the absence of any scientific, peer-reviewed research on this topic, Exodus International funded the research conducted by Jones and Yarhouse.

    However, we may be sure that the gay militants will find a way to viciously pan this study and that most gays wouldn’t give it a serious
    reading.

  • Porcell

    FWS, Exodus on its website actually refers to the sort of peer reviewed study that you wish they would sponsor. The following is the reference:

    Is there any scientific research on organizations like Exodus?

    In September of 2007, researchers Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse released the results of a three-year study indicating that sexual orientation change is possible for some individuals going through religiously mediated programs, such as Exodus, and does not cause psychological harm to the patient, on average. These conclusions directly contradict the claims of critics who state that change in sexual orientation is impossible and attempting to pursue this alternative is likely to cause depression, anxiety or self-destructive behavior. The study is the first longitudinal, peer-reviewed, scientific research of its kind on this topic to date. The major findings are reported in full in the book Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation (InterVarsity Press).

    In addition, former American Psychological Association President, Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D., praised the research methods of Jones and Yarhouse, “This study has broken new ground in its adherence to objectivity and a scientific precision that can be replicated and expanded, and it opens new horizons for investigation.” In the absence of any scientific, peer-reviewed research on this topic, Exodus International funded the research conducted by Jones and Yarhouse.

    However, we may be sure that the gay militants will find a way to viciously pan this study and that most gays wouldn’t give it a serious
    reading.

  • kerner

    I’m not ignoring you Frank, I’m jusdt at work. Later, amigo.

  • kerner

    I’m not ignoring you Frank, I’m jusdt at work. Later, amigo.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I hesitate to wade back into this discussion because it’s all over the place. And though I generally roll my eyes at extremely long comments, yet I can’t see a way to avoid writing them myself on this topic. Caveat lector…

    Let’s see, is there any common ground? I would like to think that all Christians can agree that the Law can be summarized (as Jesus did) by: love God and love your neighbor. The problems start once we start explaining what that means, and they are (at least) twofold, as I see them.

    First, there is the question of what it means to “love” someone. In popular modern understanding, to love someone often means to do what they want. Certainly, doing just that often is loving — especially if you do what someone else wants at the expense of what you wanted to do! And yet, sometimes love requires that we do what our neighbor does not want or enjoy. Ask my nearly two-year-old son. His ideas of what might constitute a healthy meal are not in keeping with modern medical understanding. As such, I urge him, to his great annoyance, to eat more fruit. And when my wife tells me that I’m being rude, she is in fact being loving, even if it greatly annoys me for her to do so.

    The question then becomes: does everyone have a right understanding of love? And, if not, is Scripture useful in correcting our corrupted understanding? Best I can tell, FWS and Stephen here would answer the first question affirmatively, rendering the second question moot. I would disagree. Again, there are many people who want to be “loved” by being allowed to do what they want, no matter how harmful that may be to them (or others).

    Second, there is the question of whether loving God could possibly ever involve our doing something that didn’t also show love to our neighbor. That is, are there special rules that benefit none of our neighbors, but that we should follow anyhow, because God wants us to? Here, quite a few people, including many Christians, would answer yes. I would disagree, and I believe that puts me in agreement with FWS and Stephen. The Lutheran Confessions certainly address various aspects of this question, notably the pointlessness of monasticism.

    As to the particular question of how love can be present and exercised in a male-female union (including sex), but not in a male-male union, I admit that I cannot think of a good argument merely from reason. And I will further admit that this troubles me, at least to the degree that I am convinced that such a same-sex union would be sinful. I think such points are not to be dismissed lightly, and too many here are doing just that. To be frank, being told that male-male sex is wrong just because sounds an awful lot like being told that oral sex is wrong just because. It’s an argument from fearful rule-following, without much concern for the people involved.

    Which then leads us to the Scriptural passages that mention same-sex sexual activity. They are there. And, clearly, there is disagreement as to what they mean. Some see them as special rules from God we just have to obey because, and that settles it for them. I have already said I do not agree with these people. Others say that such proscriptions of same-sex sexual activity are God’s expounding on the nature of neighborly love to minds corrupted by sin who might otherwise conclude that anything goes. Again, I am still sympathetic to this, though it doesn’t, as such, make sense in the particular — how is proscribing particular sex acts loving? I don’t know. And yet others say that they have been mistranslated, at least in popular English versions, and in fact proscribe only behaviors that pretty much everyone would agree are unloving.

    I will say this, though. I think that those making the “mistranslated” case fail to understand how their arguments sound to others. It is as though I were to make my case that the Bible explicitly teaches the Lord’s Supper is merely a memorial by taking all the passages where it says that is Jesus’ body and saying, “Oh, well, that passage was mistranslated. … That one, too.” Pretty soon, you would begin to wonder if I just wanted thos passages to be mistranslated, because of the idea I already held in my head about Communion. Point being, I think FWS and Stephen are sympathetic to the “mistranslation” thesis because of their holding to a larger thesis on what the Law is and what love means. Given that, one would have to conclude that the passages on homosexuality do not mean what modern people think they do, and you’d be much more inclined to listen to alternative translation theories, currently only popular among liberal theologians, who are not taking part in this discussion. Of course, if you believe that God has a bunch of inscrutable rules for us to follow — and who knows why, just do them! — then you’d be very afraid to question any translation you’re given.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I hesitate to wade back into this discussion because it’s all over the place. And though I generally roll my eyes at extremely long comments, yet I can’t see a way to avoid writing them myself on this topic. Caveat lector…

    Let’s see, is there any common ground? I would like to think that all Christians can agree that the Law can be summarized (as Jesus did) by: love God and love your neighbor. The problems start once we start explaining what that means, and they are (at least) twofold, as I see them.

    First, there is the question of what it means to “love” someone. In popular modern understanding, to love someone often means to do what they want. Certainly, doing just that often is loving — especially if you do what someone else wants at the expense of what you wanted to do! And yet, sometimes love requires that we do what our neighbor does not want or enjoy. Ask my nearly two-year-old son. His ideas of what might constitute a healthy meal are not in keeping with modern medical understanding. As such, I urge him, to his great annoyance, to eat more fruit. And when my wife tells me that I’m being rude, she is in fact being loving, even if it greatly annoys me for her to do so.

    The question then becomes: does everyone have a right understanding of love? And, if not, is Scripture useful in correcting our corrupted understanding? Best I can tell, FWS and Stephen here would answer the first question affirmatively, rendering the second question moot. I would disagree. Again, there are many people who want to be “loved” by being allowed to do what they want, no matter how harmful that may be to them (or others).

    Second, there is the question of whether loving God could possibly ever involve our doing something that didn’t also show love to our neighbor. That is, are there special rules that benefit none of our neighbors, but that we should follow anyhow, because God wants us to? Here, quite a few people, including many Christians, would answer yes. I would disagree, and I believe that puts me in agreement with FWS and Stephen. The Lutheran Confessions certainly address various aspects of this question, notably the pointlessness of monasticism.

    As to the particular question of how love can be present and exercised in a male-female union (including sex), but not in a male-male union, I admit that I cannot think of a good argument merely from reason. And I will further admit that this troubles me, at least to the degree that I am convinced that such a same-sex union would be sinful. I think such points are not to be dismissed lightly, and too many here are doing just that. To be frank, being told that male-male sex is wrong just because sounds an awful lot like being told that oral sex is wrong just because. It’s an argument from fearful rule-following, without much concern for the people involved.

    Which then leads us to the Scriptural passages that mention same-sex sexual activity. They are there. And, clearly, there is disagreement as to what they mean. Some see them as special rules from God we just have to obey because, and that settles it for them. I have already said I do not agree with these people. Others say that such proscriptions of same-sex sexual activity are God’s expounding on the nature of neighborly love to minds corrupted by sin who might otherwise conclude that anything goes. Again, I am still sympathetic to this, though it doesn’t, as such, make sense in the particular — how is proscribing particular sex acts loving? I don’t know. And yet others say that they have been mistranslated, at least in popular English versions, and in fact proscribe only behaviors that pretty much everyone would agree are unloving.

    I will say this, though. I think that those making the “mistranslated” case fail to understand how their arguments sound to others. It is as though I were to make my case that the Bible explicitly teaches the Lord’s Supper is merely a memorial by taking all the passages where it says that is Jesus’ body and saying, “Oh, well, that passage was mistranslated. … That one, too.” Pretty soon, you would begin to wonder if I just wanted thos passages to be mistranslated, because of the idea I already held in my head about Communion. Point being, I think FWS and Stephen are sympathetic to the “mistranslation” thesis because of their holding to a larger thesis on what the Law is and what love means. Given that, one would have to conclude that the passages on homosexuality do not mean what modern people think they do, and you’d be much more inclined to listen to alternative translation theories, currently only popular among liberal theologians, who are not taking part in this discussion. Of course, if you believe that God has a bunch of inscrutable rules for us to follow — and who knows why, just do them! — then you’d be very afraid to question any translation you’re given.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    One more thing. Stephen and FWS, please note, you’re taking the stance of the “stronger brother”, addressing those “weaker” brothers here with whom you disagree. Please keep this in mind as you interact with them/us here, and all that entails. What are the obligations of the stronger brother to the weaker brother? How can he (that is, you) show love to someone who thinks something is sinful that God has not actually declared sinful?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    One more thing. Stephen and FWS, please note, you’re taking the stance of the “stronger brother”, addressing those “weaker” brothers here with whom you disagree. Please keep this in mind as you interact with them/us here, and all that entails. What are the obligations of the stronger brother to the weaker brother? How can he (that is, you) show love to someone who thinks something is sinful that God has not actually declared sinful?

  • Grace

    Judging ?

    9 wrote to you in my letter to stop associating with people who are sexually immoral-

    10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, greedy, robbers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

    11 But now I am writing to you to stop associating with any so-called brother if he is sexually immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunk, or a robber. You must even stop eating with someone like that.

    12 After all, is it my business to judge outsiders? You are to judge those who are in the community, aren’t you?

    13 God will judge out­siders “Expell that wicked man.”
    1 Corinthians 5

    Those “in the community” are Christian Believers — the “outsiders” are those who don’t believe. Judging can and should be done by those who are Believers, when others, who claim to be Christian Believers live in sin willfully. We are not to even “eat” with them.

  • Grace

    Judging ?

    9 wrote to you in my letter to stop associating with people who are sexually immoral-

    10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, greedy, robbers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

    11 But now I am writing to you to stop associating with any so-called brother if he is sexually immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunk, or a robber. You must even stop eating with someone like that.

    12 After all, is it my business to judge outsiders? You are to judge those who are in the community, aren’t you?

    13 God will judge out­siders “Expell that wicked man.”
    1 Corinthians 5

    Those “in the community” are Christian Believers — the “outsiders” are those who don’t believe. Judging can and should be done by those who are Believers, when others, who claim to be Christian Believers live in sin willfully. We are not to even “eat” with them.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 72: But my real question to you is this: what is the good in any of this? Why does any of it matter at all? why is it important that gays try to become straight?

    It matters because many gay people suffer greatly from their disorder those who act Perhaps the most cogent statement of this came from the homosexual poet, W.H. Auden, as the following makes clear:

    According to a newly published critical study, Auden made decidedly negative comments about homosexuality during a 1947 conversation with Alan Ansen: ‘I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s wrong to be queer, but that’s a long story. Oh, the reasons are comparatively simple. In the first place, all homosexual acts are acts of envy. In the second, the more you’re involved with someone, the more trouble arises, and affection shouldn’t result in that. It shows something’s wrong somewhere.’

    Nor did Auden’s perspective on homosexuality grow more favorable in the years that followed. In 1969, just four years before his death, Auden wrote candidly, ‘Few, if any, homosexuals can honestly boast that their sex-life has been happy.

    The truth is that you are involved in dubiously defensive argument for homosexual being and behavior that in reality is a tragic disorder of nature. The other serious point is that those who act out the disorder are involved in grave sin as St. Paul made clear in Romans I.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 72: But my real question to you is this: what is the good in any of this? Why does any of it matter at all? why is it important that gays try to become straight?

    It matters because many gay people suffer greatly from their disorder those who act Perhaps the most cogent statement of this came from the homosexual poet, W.H. Auden, as the following makes clear:

    According to a newly published critical study, Auden made decidedly negative comments about homosexuality during a 1947 conversation with Alan Ansen: ‘I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s wrong to be queer, but that’s a long story. Oh, the reasons are comparatively simple. In the first place, all homosexual acts are acts of envy. In the second, the more you’re involved with someone, the more trouble arises, and affection shouldn’t result in that. It shows something’s wrong somewhere.’

    Nor did Auden’s perspective on homosexuality grow more favorable in the years that followed. In 1969, just four years before his death, Auden wrote candidly, ‘Few, if any, homosexuals can honestly boast that their sex-life has been happy.

    The truth is that you are involved in dubiously defensive argument for homosexual being and behavior that in reality is a tragic disorder of nature. The other serious point is that those who act out the disorder are involved in grave sin as St. Paul made clear in Romans I.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS (@69) issued this challenge:

    Name just ONE moral prohibition that exists for you solely and only “because God forbids it” where there is no reasonably obvious evidence at all that harm is done to neighbor or love for neighbor is withheld by doing that act.

    I agree with the general point that you’re making here, FWS, but I’d like to think about it more, by your leave. I think there are several candidate answers, each with their own problems.

    1) Divorce. “Ah, that is easy!” you might say. “The ending of a marriage can be very harmful for the people involved, including the children.” Indeed. But is divorce always harmful? Are there times when divorce could be mutually agreed upon by both parties (let’s assume there are no kids to worry about), who both have concluded that they don’t share any love or physical attraction? If so, would divorce be wrong in such a situtation? Stephen appears to have concluded it would be fine to divorce in such a situation (@29). Others might quote any number of Bible verses about divorce and say that, barring sexual unfaithfulness, divorce would be wrong.

    2) Sex outside of marriage. If the unmarried couple having sex then goes on to get married, it’s definitely difficult to argue that the sex they had before they were married harmed them in any way. And yet, this activity seems to be proscribed by God, anyhow. But what about outright adultery? As with divorce, there’s no question that some adultery is very harmful. But is it possible for it to be completely consensual (between all three parties) and, therefore, not harmful at all? Just fun times?

    3) Drunkenness (and, by extension, drug abuse). Clearly prohibited in Scripture. And, once again, quite obviously often leads to harm of one’s self or others. And yet, quite often leads to nothing more than a good time.

    I would be interested to see if you agree (a) that these things are prohibited in Scripture and (b) that they are not always harmful. If so, should we as Christians smile on amicable divorces, consensual adultery, and pleasant drunkenness?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS (@69) issued this challenge:

    Name just ONE moral prohibition that exists for you solely and only “because God forbids it” where there is no reasonably obvious evidence at all that harm is done to neighbor or love for neighbor is withheld by doing that act.

    I agree with the general point that you’re making here, FWS, but I’d like to think about it more, by your leave. I think there are several candidate answers, each with their own problems.

    1) Divorce. “Ah, that is easy!” you might say. “The ending of a marriage can be very harmful for the people involved, including the children.” Indeed. But is divorce always harmful? Are there times when divorce could be mutually agreed upon by both parties (let’s assume there are no kids to worry about), who both have concluded that they don’t share any love or physical attraction? If so, would divorce be wrong in such a situtation? Stephen appears to have concluded it would be fine to divorce in such a situation (@29). Others might quote any number of Bible verses about divorce and say that, barring sexual unfaithfulness, divorce would be wrong.

    2) Sex outside of marriage. If the unmarried couple having sex then goes on to get married, it’s definitely difficult to argue that the sex they had before they were married harmed them in any way. And yet, this activity seems to be proscribed by God, anyhow. But what about outright adultery? As with divorce, there’s no question that some adultery is very harmful. But is it possible for it to be completely consensual (between all three parties) and, therefore, not harmful at all? Just fun times?

    3) Drunkenness (and, by extension, drug abuse). Clearly prohibited in Scripture. And, once again, quite obviously often leads to harm of one’s self or others. And yet, quite often leads to nothing more than a good time.

    I would be interested to see if you agree (a) that these things are prohibited in Scripture and (b) that they are not always harmful. If so, should we as Christians smile on amicable divorces, consensual adultery, and pleasant drunkenness?

  • BW

    tODD @ 80, 81, 84

    Those are good points, good posts, and I think you’re doing a good job at navigating the rough waters here…

  • BW

    tODD @ 80, 81, 84

    Those are good points, good posts, and I think you’re doing a good job at navigating the rough waters here…

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And while it’s a lesser point, I did want to reply to Stephen, who said (@58), “I think curb, mirror, rule is a hangover from Calvinism and does not accurately reflect confessional Lutheran understanding of the law.”

    I disagree. From the Epitome of the Formula of Concord, Article VI, “The Third Use of the Law”:

    Since the Law was given to men for three reasons: first, that thereby outward discipline might be maintained against wild, disobedient men [and that wild and intractable men might be restrained, as though by certain bars]; secondly, that men thereby may be led to the knowledge of their sins; thirdly, that after they are regenerate and [much of] the flesh notwithstanding cleaves to them, they might on this account have a fixed rule according to which they are to regulate and direct their whole life, a dissension has occurred between some few theologians concerning the third use of the Law, namely, whether it is to be urged or not upon regenerate Christians. The one side has said, Yea; the other, Nay.

    That said, I think that there are an awful lot of Lutherans out there who go no further than that introduction (which is only the “status controversiae”, or the principal question in the controversy).

    If one reads the full section on “the third use of the law”, one will find that the Confessions conclude something other than what many people infer from the word “guide” or “rule”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And while it’s a lesser point, I did want to reply to Stephen, who said (@58), “I think curb, mirror, rule is a hangover from Calvinism and does not accurately reflect confessional Lutheran understanding of the law.”

    I disagree. From the Epitome of the Formula of Concord, Article VI, “The Third Use of the Law”:

    Since the Law was given to men for three reasons: first, that thereby outward discipline might be maintained against wild, disobedient men [and that wild and intractable men might be restrained, as though by certain bars]; secondly, that men thereby may be led to the knowledge of their sins; thirdly, that after they are regenerate and [much of] the flesh notwithstanding cleaves to them, they might on this account have a fixed rule according to which they are to regulate and direct their whole life, a dissension has occurred between some few theologians concerning the third use of the Law, namely, whether it is to be urged or not upon regenerate Christians. The one side has said, Yea; the other, Nay.

    That said, I think that there are an awful lot of Lutherans out there who go no further than that introduction (which is only the “status controversiae”, or the principal question in the controversy).

    If one reads the full section on “the third use of the law”, one will find that the Confessions conclude something other than what many people infer from the word “guide” or “rule”.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    todd @ 84

    Those are all good questions.

    Saint Paul says in I cor 6 that “ALL things are legal, but…. not all things are useful.”

    Saint Paul repeats that ALL things are usefull 3 times. I have seen most commentators try to take the force out of that “ALL”. Why do they do that?

    It would mean the end of the Law as sacrifice to God that seeks to reduce morality as being about religious faith that externally following a set of rules is how God wants us to please Him. This view of the Law is alone what Reason can know with the veil of Moses covering it.

    Read this section of the Lutheran Confessions where they explain what they , and Saint Paul, mean by the “Veil of Moses” to get the idea here. I will abreviate this. I will do elipsis where I delete stuff and put my own translation of the latin text [in brackets] .

    Note here this idea:

    In the Apology art II, Rome is saying that we get back to original righeousness and the Image of God by practicing virtue. In their view,and the view also of Calvin, the Image of God is damaged but not fully lost in the fall. Proof is that all men have the Law and Reason and the aristotelian Higher Powers that are spiritual written in their hearts and evident in Nature as St Paul does in fact say is the fact of the Matter as to the proof they offer.

    Then they make one more important logical leap from what St Paul says are facts. It is completely reasonable and conforms to any logical argument we could ever conceive of apart from Holy Scripture. The logic of it is impeccable.

    They locate the Image of God there. Where is that “there”? In the Law of God. Natural Law and the Law in one´s Conscience. the Law in Scripture is then a reissued version of what the Image of God looks like to correct the damaged version of Law-as-sGod´s-Image that we call conscience. I was taught this version of things in my Lutheran catechism class. I am guessing that you were too Todd. Lutherans say that this version of the Law and where the Image of God is to be found is all that Reason, veiled with the Veil of Moses is able to know apart from God´s Word. So this directs reason to see that God demands conformity to his Law in the form of the sacrifice of external keeping of the Law. It also informs reason that to do this sacrifice is to conform , or at least approach conformity to the very Image of God.

    Lutherans say that one must FIRST have the Original Righeousness and Image of God fully restored in Baptism and only THEN can one keep the Law. Remember here that Lutherans say that the Image of God was completely lost in the fall. It was not just damaged. This is a key thing. So where do Lutherans locate that all important Image of God as being Original Righeousness? Alone in faith, alone in Christ. That is where!

    But with the Veil of Moses reason cannot understand either the depth of sin, that it is a spiritual lack of faith and also a vicious faith-in-ANYTHING-BUT-Christ that rushes into the vacuum of the lack of that Image-of-God-that-is-faith-alone-in-christ-alone.
    Why? Reason thinks that the Law is satisfied by an outward keeping. And God DOES demand that keeping. But only one with who is Holy in Baptism has the veil of moses removed and can see that the Law really demands a keeping of the 1st commandment, which can only be fulfilled exactly by possessing faith alone in christ alone.:

    “12] And Paul teaches 2 Cor. 3:15 sq., the veil that covered the face of Moses cannot be removed except by faith in Christ, by which the Holy Ghost is received. For he speaks thus: But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    13] Paul understands by the veil the human opinion concerning the entire Law, the Decalog and the ceremonies, namely, that hypocrites think that external and civil works satisfy the Law of God, and that sacrifices and observances justify before God ex opere operato.”

    COMMENT: Note “ex opere operato” is the idea that our doing the Law “just because” or that God is please with some sort of zombie-like outwardly going through the motions and it does not matter if our heart is in it or not! It would be the idea that God likes homos to refrain from sex just because. and it would be the idea that taking the lords supper or baptizing just because we know God commands it and we know christ died for our sins makes God happy. The idea is that this historical faith and the outward acts are what God demands. And this view does not require Christ as Propitiation. That is what is wrong.

    It means we use our works and doings and believe in the historical facts of the bible, believing that christ died and rose from the dead as what we offer to God. We use things that are our works and faith.

    God wants us to USE the works of Christ instead. It is trust alone in christ that can USE those works of Christ and offer those things up as our Propitiation rather than using our faith and deeds as Propitiation. So now let´s continue with the text.:

    “14] But then this veil is removed from us, i.e., we are freed from this error when God shows to our hearts our uncleanness and the heinousness of sin. ”

    COMMENT: Ie God shows us that while on earth keeping the Law is about doing what it demands, in God´s courtroom things are different. God demands us to do these things from the bottom of our heart. Here is the confessional explanation for this idea from Luther:
    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html
    Now let´s continue with the text:

    “Then, for the first time, we see that we are far from fulfilling the Law. Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference, does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance. Then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us. But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost so that now we are able to think aright concerning God, and to fear and believe God, etc. From these facts it is apparent that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Ghost. ”

    End of Quote. I hope that helps dear Todd.
    So there is not any different revealed law for christians that pagans cannot know. But at the same time pagans cannot see the full force of the Law as christians can. But what exactly is that? It is this:

    The Law demands not just our outward acts but our whole heart. Only someone made completely righeous, wh0 again has the Image of God completely restored in Baptism is able to do this. Only one with that Image of God restored , that is, one who is already completely righeous in his new man can see this. And seeing this that holy believer no longer hates God and agrees with his Judgement!

    The confessions point out that God can not be an Object of Love as long as the veil of moses is upon Reason so that reason can only see the law always accusing him accusing him accusing him.

    This is why men hate God even as they are meticulously obedient to him according to the Law. It looks like being perfectly obedient to a wife, or police officer or boss because you fear him and know that he will destroy all that you have if you are not obedient. You are obedient. And you hate the object of your obedience.

    Only when a man again has that Image of God in Christ can man truly fear, love and trust in God as the Object of his fear, love and trust.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    todd @ 84

    Those are all good questions.

    Saint Paul says in I cor 6 that “ALL things are legal, but…. not all things are useful.”

    Saint Paul repeats that ALL things are usefull 3 times. I have seen most commentators try to take the force out of that “ALL”. Why do they do that?

    It would mean the end of the Law as sacrifice to God that seeks to reduce morality as being about religious faith that externally following a set of rules is how God wants us to please Him. This view of the Law is alone what Reason can know with the veil of Moses covering it.

    Read this section of the Lutheran Confessions where they explain what they , and Saint Paul, mean by the “Veil of Moses” to get the idea here. I will abreviate this. I will do elipsis where I delete stuff and put my own translation of the latin text [in brackets] .

    Note here this idea:

    In the Apology art II, Rome is saying that we get back to original righeousness and the Image of God by practicing virtue. In their view,and the view also of Calvin, the Image of God is damaged but not fully lost in the fall. Proof is that all men have the Law and Reason and the aristotelian Higher Powers that are spiritual written in their hearts and evident in Nature as St Paul does in fact say is the fact of the Matter as to the proof they offer.

    Then they make one more important logical leap from what St Paul says are facts. It is completely reasonable and conforms to any logical argument we could ever conceive of apart from Holy Scripture. The logic of it is impeccable.

    They locate the Image of God there. Where is that “there”? In the Law of God. Natural Law and the Law in one´s Conscience. the Law in Scripture is then a reissued version of what the Image of God looks like to correct the damaged version of Law-as-sGod´s-Image that we call conscience. I was taught this version of things in my Lutheran catechism class. I am guessing that you were too Todd. Lutherans say that this version of the Law and where the Image of God is to be found is all that Reason, veiled with the Veil of Moses is able to know apart from God´s Word. So this directs reason to see that God demands conformity to his Law in the form of the sacrifice of external keeping of the Law. It also informs reason that to do this sacrifice is to conform , or at least approach conformity to the very Image of God.

    Lutherans say that one must FIRST have the Original Righeousness and Image of God fully restored in Baptism and only THEN can one keep the Law. Remember here that Lutherans say that the Image of God was completely lost in the fall. It was not just damaged. This is a key thing. So where do Lutherans locate that all important Image of God as being Original Righeousness? Alone in faith, alone in Christ. That is where!

    But with the Veil of Moses reason cannot understand either the depth of sin, that it is a spiritual lack of faith and also a vicious faith-in-ANYTHING-BUT-Christ that rushes into the vacuum of the lack of that Image-of-God-that-is-faith-alone-in-christ-alone.
    Why? Reason thinks that the Law is satisfied by an outward keeping. And God DOES demand that keeping. But only one with who is Holy in Baptism has the veil of moses removed and can see that the Law really demands a keeping of the 1st commandment, which can only be fulfilled exactly by possessing faith alone in christ alone.:

    “12] And Paul teaches 2 Cor. 3:15 sq., the veil that covered the face of Moses cannot be removed except by faith in Christ, by which the Holy Ghost is received. For he speaks thus: But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    13] Paul understands by the veil the human opinion concerning the entire Law, the Decalog and the ceremonies, namely, that hypocrites think that external and civil works satisfy the Law of God, and that sacrifices and observances justify before God ex opere operato.”

    COMMENT: Note “ex opere operato” is the idea that our doing the Law “just because” or that God is please with some sort of zombie-like outwardly going through the motions and it does not matter if our heart is in it or not! It would be the idea that God likes homos to refrain from sex just because. and it would be the idea that taking the lords supper or baptizing just because we know God commands it and we know christ died for our sins makes God happy. The idea is that this historical faith and the outward acts are what God demands. And this view does not require Christ as Propitiation. That is what is wrong.

    It means we use our works and doings and believe in the historical facts of the bible, believing that christ died and rose from the dead as what we offer to God. We use things that are our works and faith.

    God wants us to USE the works of Christ instead. It is trust alone in christ that can USE those works of Christ and offer those things up as our Propitiation rather than using our faith and deeds as Propitiation. So now let´s continue with the text.:

    “14] But then this veil is removed from us, i.e., we are freed from this error when God shows to our hearts our uncleanness and the heinousness of sin. ”

    COMMENT: Ie God shows us that while on earth keeping the Law is about doing what it demands, in God´s courtroom things are different. God demands us to do these things from the bottom of our heart. Here is the confessional explanation for this idea from Luther:
    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html
    Now let´s continue with the text:

    “Then, for the first time, we see that we are far from fulfilling the Law. Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference, does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance. Then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us. But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost so that now we are able to think aright concerning God, and to fear and believe God, etc. From these facts it is apparent that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Ghost. ”

    End of Quote. I hope that helps dear Todd.
    So there is not any different revealed law for christians that pagans cannot know. But at the same time pagans cannot see the full force of the Law as christians can. But what exactly is that? It is this:

    The Law demands not just our outward acts but our whole heart. Only someone made completely righeous, wh0 again has the Image of God completely restored in Baptism is able to do this. Only one with that Image of God restored , that is, one who is already completely righeous in his new man can see this. And seeing this that holy believer no longer hates God and agrees with his Judgement!

    The confessions point out that God can not be an Object of Love as long as the veil of moses is upon Reason so that reason can only see the law always accusing him accusing him accusing him.

    This is why men hate God even as they are meticulously obedient to him according to the Law. It looks like being perfectly obedient to a wife, or police officer or boss because you fear him and know that he will destroy all that you have if you are not obedient. You are obedient. And you hate the object of your obedience.

    Only when a man again has that Image of God in Christ can man truly fear, love and trust in God as the Object of his fear, love and trust.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    here is the link to the Lutheran Confessions ,apology, art III

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php

    Now I am willing to bet money that our dear Peter/Porcell has read the Lutheran Confessions now, but did not manage to pull these ideas from them. You are able to do so.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    here is the link to the Lutheran Confessions ,apology, art III

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php

    Now I am willing to bet money that our dear Peter/Porcell has read the Lutheran Confessions now, but did not manage to pull these ideas from them. You are able to do so.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 86

    “And while it’s a lesser point, I did want to reply to Stephen, who said (@58), “I think curb, mirror, rule is a hangover from Calvinism and does not accurately reflect confessional Lutheran understanding of the law.””

    Trust me Todd. Steve agrees with you. He just mistated. He means that the modern Lutheran understanding of the “3rd use of the law ” is a hangover from melancthon/Calvin. He is right to say that.

    Article VI should be titled “The LUTHERAN 3rd use of the law”. The 3rd use that dominates Modern Lutheranism is not that of article VI but is rather the calvinistic understanding.

    So what is the calvinistic understanding?

    It is that the Image of God is damaged but not completely lacking in mankind since the fall. So where is this Calvinistic/Melancthonian Image of God located? It is located in the aristotelian “higher powers” of mankind. Those would be the “powers” of man that separate men from beasts. Specifically it would be located in man´s conscience. The conscience in this view is the damaged Image of God.

    So then now what is the 3rd use of the law in this Calvinistic understanding? It is the idea that God needed to reissue the Law in the form of the Decalog to give christians, once again, a clear revelation of the Image of God. So the point of following the Law for Christians then is the process of the Holy Spirit progressively restoring the very Image of God into them by what? By re-conditioning them to conform to the Law of God.

    Since Lutherans teach in the Apology art II that the Image of God is faith alone in Christ alone apart from the work of the Law,we can tentatively assume that we will n0t find this Calvinistic view of the 3rd use of the Law in the Formula of Concord art VI. So what do we find there instead?

    We find that there is a 3rd use of the Law that is just for christians is what we find. And what does that 3rd use inform us ? It informs christians that there is no special use of the Law that is just for christians. That is what it informs us.

    The Law reveals the Eternal Will of God to all men with the same law, in the same way, to the same exact effect. The Law is the divine revelation of the Eternal Will of God. Only. It is NOT a revelation of the Image of God as Calvin , Melancthon and Rome all assert in opposition to the Lutherans. And even that Eternal Will of God cannot be known by the Law. That can only be known alone, by faith in Christ alone.

    Here (‘E’ is from the “Epitomy’ and ‘SD’ is from the ‘Solid Declaration’ of the Formula of Concord, art VI, The Lutheran 3rd Use of the Law):

    “(E) 3] 2. Therefore the preaching of the Law is to be urged with diligence, not only upon the unbelieving and impenitent, but also upon true believers, who are truly converted, regenerate, and justified by faith. (SD) 24] For the old Adam, as an intractable, refractory ass, is still a part of the Believer, which must be coerced to the obedience of Christ, [that is to do Good Works and put on Christ-as-example, or Christ-as-Law], not only by the teaching, admonition, force and threatening of the Law, but also oftentimes by the club of punishments and troubles.(SD) 24] This preaching of the Law is to be urged with diligence upon the Believer [on account of his Old Adam], until the body of sin is entirely put off, and man is perfectly renewed in the resurrection, when he will need neither the preaching of the Law nor its threatenings and punishments, as also the Gospel any longer; for these belong to this [mortal and] imperfect life. 25] But as they will behold God face to face, so they will, through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, do the will of God [the heavenly Father] with unmingled joy, voluntarily, unconstrained, without any hindrance, with entire purity and perfection, and will rejoice in it eternally.

    (E) 8] Accordingly, we reject the teaching that the Law in the above-mentioned way and degree is not to be urged upon Christians and true Believers, but only upon unbelievers, non-Christians, and the impenitent. This teaching and error is injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness

    [To the contrary, we teach that The same identical Law is to be urged in the same identical way upon Christians and true Believers, as it is upon unbelievers and the impenitent. This is to be done in exactly the same above mentioned way and degree.]

    (SD) 26] We reject and condemn as an error pernicious and detrimental to Christian discipline, as also to true godliness, the teaching that the Law, in the above-mentioned way and degree, should not be urged upon Christians and the true believers, but only upon the unbelieving, unchristians, and impenitent.

    [To the contrary, we believe, teach and confess that both Christians and Pagans alike should be urged with the SAME Law, in the SAME above mentioned way and and in the SAME above mentioned degree].”

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=13

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 86

    “And while it’s a lesser point, I did want to reply to Stephen, who said (@58), “I think curb, mirror, rule is a hangover from Calvinism and does not accurately reflect confessional Lutheran understanding of the law.””

    Trust me Todd. Steve agrees with you. He just mistated. He means that the modern Lutheran understanding of the “3rd use of the law ” is a hangover from melancthon/Calvin. He is right to say that.

    Article VI should be titled “The LUTHERAN 3rd use of the law”. The 3rd use that dominates Modern Lutheranism is not that of article VI but is rather the calvinistic understanding.

    So what is the calvinistic understanding?

    It is that the Image of God is damaged but not completely lacking in mankind since the fall. So where is this Calvinistic/Melancthonian Image of God located? It is located in the aristotelian “higher powers” of mankind. Those would be the “powers” of man that separate men from beasts. Specifically it would be located in man´s conscience. The conscience in this view is the damaged Image of God.

    So then now what is the 3rd use of the law in this Calvinistic understanding? It is the idea that God needed to reissue the Law in the form of the Decalog to give christians, once again, a clear revelation of the Image of God. So the point of following the Law for Christians then is the process of the Holy Spirit progressively restoring the very Image of God into them by what? By re-conditioning them to conform to the Law of God.

    Since Lutherans teach in the Apology art II that the Image of God is faith alone in Christ alone apart from the work of the Law,we can tentatively assume that we will n0t find this Calvinistic view of the 3rd use of the Law in the Formula of Concord art VI. So what do we find there instead?

    We find that there is a 3rd use of the Law that is just for christians is what we find. And what does that 3rd use inform us ? It informs christians that there is no special use of the Law that is just for christians. That is what it informs us.

    The Law reveals the Eternal Will of God to all men with the same law, in the same way, to the same exact effect. The Law is the divine revelation of the Eternal Will of God. Only. It is NOT a revelation of the Image of God as Calvin , Melancthon and Rome all assert in opposition to the Lutherans. And even that Eternal Will of God cannot be known by the Law. That can only be known alone, by faith in Christ alone.

    Here (‘E’ is from the “Epitomy’ and ‘SD’ is from the ‘Solid Declaration’ of the Formula of Concord, art VI, The Lutheran 3rd Use of the Law):

    “(E) 3] 2. Therefore the preaching of the Law is to be urged with diligence, not only upon the unbelieving and impenitent, but also upon true believers, who are truly converted, regenerate, and justified by faith. (SD) 24] For the old Adam, as an intractable, refractory ass, is still a part of the Believer, which must be coerced to the obedience of Christ, [that is to do Good Works and put on Christ-as-example, or Christ-as-Law], not only by the teaching, admonition, force and threatening of the Law, but also oftentimes by the club of punishments and troubles.(SD) 24] This preaching of the Law is to be urged with diligence upon the Believer [on account of his Old Adam], until the body of sin is entirely put off, and man is perfectly renewed in the resurrection, when he will need neither the preaching of the Law nor its threatenings and punishments, as also the Gospel any longer; for these belong to this [mortal and] imperfect life. 25] But as they will behold God face to face, so they will, through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, do the will of God [the heavenly Father] with unmingled joy, voluntarily, unconstrained, without any hindrance, with entire purity and perfection, and will rejoice in it eternally.

    (E) 8] Accordingly, we reject the teaching that the Law in the above-mentioned way and degree is not to be urged upon Christians and true Believers, but only upon unbelievers, non-Christians, and the impenitent. This teaching and error is injurious to, and conflicting with, Christian discipline and true godliness

    [To the contrary, we teach that The same identical Law is to be urged in the same identical way upon Christians and true Believers, as it is upon unbelievers and the impenitent. This is to be done in exactly the same above mentioned way and degree.]

    (SD) 26] We reject and condemn as an error pernicious and detrimental to Christian discipline, as also to true godliness, the teaching that the Law, in the above-mentioned way and degree, should not be urged upon Christians and the true believers, but only upon the unbelieving, unchristians, and impenitent.

    [To the contrary, we believe, teach and confess that both Christians and Pagans alike should be urged with the SAME Law, in the SAME above mentioned way and and in the SAME above mentioned degree].”

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=13

  • Stephen

    todd –

    I sure didn’t think of myself as the stronger brother, but I will take a look at that. I could take that one way and see it as some kind of “special rule” being imposed that I am not following while others are? What would be helpful? I have felt like much of this has been said before without much success, and fws and I are quite alone in this. How does that make us/me/fws stronger when clearly our view is outside the status quo? Is it because we have better arguments, are better prepared, more studied, or is it because, in my case at least, I want to turn things toward a different direction that others do not wish to go? There are still a lot of questions unanswered directly, and yet the ones who oppose the status quo are asked to play fair, or something like that. What does that look like?

    For instance, I hear “scripture interprets scripture” and that using any kind of historical analysis is “liberal.” Yet, when I actually base an argument on the words of Jesus following the conservative biblical hermeneutical rule that gets thrown around here, I get zilch. What is love of neighbor, the whole of the law? There are other words for it and I have used those too – mercy, service, etc., but that is not a good enough definition of what I mean apparently. More needs to be said I guess. And as far as doing historical analysis – anyone who can read the 10th commandment and apply it to women and children has done just that. It does not specifically address them. It only addresses men. All OT law does, and for the most part, all NT injunctions are to men. In fact, one could make a case that only men should even read the scripture and have it fed to them by their husbands. It is addressed to men. Or is it?

    So without some historical analysis (dare I say criticism) the bible does not apply to women and children. Whenever we read scripture we bring all kinds of stuff there. Pretending we don’t do this kind of thing is self-deceiving.

    I appreciate your thoughtful post, really, but there is more that can be said. I don’t see anyone addressing the questions directly, just looking for way out. I think post # 84 is splitting hairs. Obviously a woman who is beaten and her children are beaten needs to go. Is that about sex or violence? Maybe it is a kind of unfaithfulness, as would disinterest in one’s spouse and emotionally checking out. Love means different things depending on the relationship. I don’t love my daughter the way I love my wife the way I love my extended family and friends. No big surprise there. But I serve them each in different ways, or try to. Is that not the whole of the law? How is restricting gays from doing all of these things as fully as I can not a denial of this kind freedom from too love the neighbor, and/or be loved in the same way? How does it cause moral or societal harm? How does it offend God or breach this law to love the neighbor as one’s self?

    As to post #86 I would amend what I said about the “hangover from Calvinism” to mean that this “uses” of the law is misunderstood. But you are right, and I didn’t say that. There it is, and it is the third use where we get all tangled up. What is the 3rd use of the law for Lutherans? New creations don’t need it, old adam does.

    I need to go. Family in town. Thanks. I will check in tomorrow.

  • Stephen

    todd –

    I sure didn’t think of myself as the stronger brother, but I will take a look at that. I could take that one way and see it as some kind of “special rule” being imposed that I am not following while others are? What would be helpful? I have felt like much of this has been said before without much success, and fws and I are quite alone in this. How does that make us/me/fws stronger when clearly our view is outside the status quo? Is it because we have better arguments, are better prepared, more studied, or is it because, in my case at least, I want to turn things toward a different direction that others do not wish to go? There are still a lot of questions unanswered directly, and yet the ones who oppose the status quo are asked to play fair, or something like that. What does that look like?

    For instance, I hear “scripture interprets scripture” and that using any kind of historical analysis is “liberal.” Yet, when I actually base an argument on the words of Jesus following the conservative biblical hermeneutical rule that gets thrown around here, I get zilch. What is love of neighbor, the whole of the law? There are other words for it and I have used those too – mercy, service, etc., but that is not a good enough definition of what I mean apparently. More needs to be said I guess. And as far as doing historical analysis – anyone who can read the 10th commandment and apply it to women and children has done just that. It does not specifically address them. It only addresses men. All OT law does, and for the most part, all NT injunctions are to men. In fact, one could make a case that only men should even read the scripture and have it fed to them by their husbands. It is addressed to men. Or is it?

    So without some historical analysis (dare I say criticism) the bible does not apply to women and children. Whenever we read scripture we bring all kinds of stuff there. Pretending we don’t do this kind of thing is self-deceiving.

    I appreciate your thoughtful post, really, but there is more that can be said. I don’t see anyone addressing the questions directly, just looking for way out. I think post # 84 is splitting hairs. Obviously a woman who is beaten and her children are beaten needs to go. Is that about sex or violence? Maybe it is a kind of unfaithfulness, as would disinterest in one’s spouse and emotionally checking out. Love means different things depending on the relationship. I don’t love my daughter the way I love my wife the way I love my extended family and friends. No big surprise there. But I serve them each in different ways, or try to. Is that not the whole of the law? How is restricting gays from doing all of these things as fully as I can not a denial of this kind freedom from too love the neighbor, and/or be loved in the same way? How does it cause moral or societal harm? How does it offend God or breach this law to love the neighbor as one’s self?

    As to post #86 I would amend what I said about the “hangover from Calvinism” to mean that this “uses” of the law is misunderstood. But you are right, and I didn’t say that. There it is, and it is the third use where we get all tangled up. What is the 3rd use of the law for Lutherans? New creations don’t need it, old adam does.

    I need to go. Family in town. Thanks. I will check in tomorrow.

  • Stephen

    I apologize for grammatical errors. I’m in a hurry.

  • Stephen

    I apologize for grammatical errors. I’m in a hurry.

  • Porcell

    FWS, men and women who attempt to obey and fulfill the moral law, hardly hate God because they know they often miss the mark. They try to honestly repent of their sins and move on. While those involved in sins of pride, along with assorted sensual sins, are well aware of their sins only the homosexuals are trying to sell the idea that their “lifestyle” is an acceptable Christian virtue. Sometimes you admit this, though most of the time you are an apologist for the homosexual lifestyle.

    Also, your distinction between orthodox Lutheranism and Calvinism is overdone. Both Calvin and Luther were well aware of original sin among people and grateful for both the treasures of Gospel and Law.

  • Porcell

    FWS, men and women who attempt to obey and fulfill the moral law, hardly hate God because they know they often miss the mark. They try to honestly repent of their sins and move on. While those involved in sins of pride, along with assorted sensual sins, are well aware of their sins only the homosexuals are trying to sell the idea that their “lifestyle” is an acceptable Christian virtue. Sometimes you admit this, though most of the time you are an apologist for the homosexual lifestyle.

    Also, your distinction between orthodox Lutheranism and Calvinism is overdone. Both Calvin and Luther were well aware of original sin among people and grateful for both the treasures of Gospel and Law.

  • Grace

    Homosexuals and their supporters, cannot reconcile homosexuality with the Word of God, no matter how many gyrations they apply, it doesn’t fit, it is a fraudulent doctrine, based on lustful sin for the same sex. It’s nothing short of heresy.

    It is a hateful effort to support homosexuality in any way, taking the Gospel to defend sin.

    Homosexuals scream “you don’t love me” but in turn they defy God and His HOLY Word, there is no love when one lays aside the truth for a lie, and then hopes to entangle others in its eternal loss.

  • Grace

    Homosexuals and their supporters, cannot reconcile homosexuality with the Word of God, no matter how many gyrations they apply, it doesn’t fit, it is a fraudulent doctrine, based on lustful sin for the same sex. It’s nothing short of heresy.

    It is a hateful effort to support homosexuality in any way, taking the Gospel to defend sin.

    Homosexuals scream “you don’t love me” but in turn they defy God and His HOLY Word, there is no love when one lays aside the truth for a lie, and then hopes to entangle others in its eternal loss.

  • boaz

    All sex outside marriage harms neighbor by promoting a sexualized society which is bad for kids. Only sex in marriage can show love for neighbor, all other sex is about gratifying personal lust. Only in marriage does the identity of the person matter apart from selfish preferences like looks etc. Sex outside marriage is harmful to the common good and disrespects the good of family.

  • boaz

    All sex outside marriage harms neighbor by promoting a sexualized society which is bad for kids. Only sex in marriage can show love for neighbor, all other sex is about gratifying personal lust. Only in marriage does the identity of the person matter apart from selfish preferences like looks etc. Sex outside marriage is harmful to the common good and disrespects the good of family.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    81 tODD March 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm
    TODD… all Christians can agree that the Law can be summarized (as Jesus did) by: love God and love your neighbor. The problems start once we start explaining what that means, and they are (at least) twofold, as I see them.
    First, there is the question of what it means to “love” someone.
    In popular modern understanding, to love someone often means to do what they want.

    FWS No Todd. This is not scriptural. Jesus says that even pagans know better than to give a stone to their children when they need bread. Our confessions point to pagan Aristotle and say that as to earthly morals, “nothing more can be demanded.
    So let´s dispose of the strawman that anybody´s conscience really things that love=indulgence. Everyone knows that real love is to sacrifice one´s own good for that of another. The fact that everyone´s conscience agrees with this same Law that we find in the Decalog is the exact fact that makes missionary work possible. This is why our Apology art IV points out that the conscience is the same Divinely revealed Law as the Decalog. This is the reason they make that point.

    TODD: Certainly, doing just that often is loving — especially if you do what someone else wants at the expense of what you wanted to do!

    FWS: Everyone knows this is not exactly it Todd. It is not true if you are indulging someone in a way that brings them harm, or keeps from them a higher good. Self sacrifice or Virtue, is not the biblical evidence of Love.
    The biblical evidence of Love is ALWAYS sense-ible, tangible and provable as in the sense of evidence acceptable in a court of Law. It is proof that what we do truly improves the wellbeing and sense of wellbeing of others. Any truly reasonable Pagan would heartily agree with this. But they still might do the Law as self-sacrifice and deny that evidential love-for-others is necessary for religious reasons. This is the necessary end result of Original Sin. We look for the good of propitiating God´s Anger by placing our faith in what we do. And not alone in faith in Christ as our only Propitiation. We use our own works as Propitiation. We do not put the works of Christ to work for us as Propitiation.

    TODD: And yet, sometimes love requires that we do what our neighbor does not want or enjoy. Ask my nearly two-year-old son. His ideas of what might constitute a healthy meal are not in keeping with modern medical understanding. As such, I urge him, to his great annoyance, to eat more fruit. And when my wife tells me that I’m being rude, she is in fact being loving, even if it greatly annoys me for her to do so.

    FWS: The Law of God is being Divinely Revealed in, with and under you in this case Todd. Your child should be taught to believe this so that he can have the Divine promise of a long life by keeping God´s Divinely Revealed Law in the form of his father named Todd. This is the exact image of how we resent God´s Law and do not see that it is really good for us. This is how your wife and child view the Law of God in with and under the form of Todd. They both need to stop. You could be wrong. You could insist that your child eat more marshmallows because Todd read somewhere that this would prevent toe jam. We trust that God will work through the means He has placed for our good even in their flawed form. In , with and under. Your wife needs to therefore never counter your authority in the presence of your child. And you need to avoid the same with your wife. This is why we Lutherans are certain that changing a diaper or sweeping the floor is a keeping of the Divinely Revealed Law of God, even though you won´t find these things anywhere in the Decalog. It is that in, with and under” thing.

    TODD: The question then becomes: does everyone have a right understanding of love? And, if not, is Scripture useful in correcting our corrupted understanding? Best I can tell, FWS and Stephen here would answer the first question affirmatively, rendering the second question moot.
    FWS: Close but no banana Todd! The confessions say that Reason (ie pagans) can understand the Law of Love to the extent that “nothing more can be demanded” . Their example is pagan Aristotle.
    The question is this: How is our understanding corrupted? Is the idea that the Law as conscience is a fallen Law that is brought again to purity by the Decalog? This idea is foreign to our confessions even if it is what you and I were taught in catechism class.
    What is missing is not an understanding as to what we are to do externally to keep the Law. Pagans can both know and do this with that “faith-that-trusts-in-ANYTHING-BUT-God” that is what replaces the Original Righeousness/Image of God that is faith-alone-in-Christ-Alone. And that is the entire point! Scripture doesn´t correct our understanding of what it is we must do to please God. Pagans can know that. What the GOSPEL does is correct that understanding of the Law. Faith now knows that the Love God demands in the Law cannot be any circumcision done by human hands. It is alone a circumcision of the heart! That is the view of the Law that not even the Decalog or the Revealed Law of Scripture can set straight. Reason and conscience can fully agree with THAT Law. But that “new law that I give unto you that you Love one another even as I have love you is a view of the Law that only the Holy Gospel can reveal. How? In Holy Baptism!

    TODD: I would disagree. Again, there are many people who want to be “loved” by being allowed to do what they want, no matter how harmful that may be to them (or others).

    FWS: As I said before, Aristotle would agree with you here. Any reasonable Pagan would agree with this as well. No Holy Scripture or even Christ as Example is necessary for any of this. Some do try to claim that self indulgence or indulgence is what Love is about. I don´t believe their conscience really things that. It would accuse them in this thinking. I believe this because Holy Scripture tells me this, and also because my reasonable observation confirms this to be true. The confessions also concur in this by holding up pagan Aristotle saying that “nothing more can be demanded” beyond his ethical system as regards earthly morality. And it should be clear now, that by “earthly morality” the confessions mean any morality that is about anything other than faith alone in Christ alone. Alone. alone. alone. ALONE!
    TODD: Second, there is the question of whether loving God could possibly ever involve our doing something that didn’t also show love to our neighbor. That is, are there special rules that benefit none of our neighbors, but that we should follow anyhow, because God wants us to? Here, quite a few people, including many Christians, would answer yes. I would disagree, and I believe that puts me in agreement with FWS and Stephen. The Lutheran Confessions certainly address various aspects of this question, notably the pointlessness of monasticism.

    FWS: Good! That is the confessional argument against the Roman Lord´s Supper as a work we do and monasticism. “The are useless”. They are saying by that that the prove of a work being a GOOD work in God´s eyes is that that work bears courtroom-acceptable evidence that the life of someone is being bettered by that act.

    TODD: As to the particular question of how love can be present and exercised in a male-female union (including sex), but not in a male-male union, I admit that I cannot think of a good argument merely from reason. And I will further admit that this troubles me, at least to the degree that I am convinced that such a same-sex union would be sinful. I think such points are not to be dismissed lightly, and too many here are doing just that. To be frank, being told that male-male sex is wrong just because sounds an awful lot like being told that oral sex is wrong just because. It’s an argument from fearful rule-following, without much concern for the people involved.

    FWS: Steve is suggesting that the church demanding this kind of thing looks like the purity Laws of the Jews or like circumcision. And the church is demanding this “just because God demands it” kind of moral rule ALONE from Homosexuals and not of their own selves. There is no other example anyone here can produce where moral action is demanded “just because God demands it” without any regard to whether harm is being done or love is being denied to others in our actions.

    TODD: Which then leads us to the Scriptural passages that mention same-sex sexual activity. They are there.

    FWS: Yes there are! And there are also passages that talk about male/female sexual activity as well. Those that mention homosexual activity, lev 18/I Cor (they both use the same greek word “arsenokoitia” So I Cor we can assume refers to the same activity happening in Lev 18 which was temple prostitution. And then there is the case of heterosexual men and women (Rom 1:28: “they left their women…”) who start to turn other men and women into Idols, coveting them physically (romans 1) . And it seems clear that the Sodom and Gommorrah story may have been also about group rape. Although the divinely inspired commentary on that in Ezekial would make that a minor theme of that story. Imagine group rape as being the lesser sin of Sodom and Gomorrah! The were wicked indeed! And then there are also stories of group rapes of women by men, men by women, polygamy etc. And Saint Paul talks of prostitution between men and women in I Cor 6 and earlier says that temple prostitutes (greek “arsenokoitiae”) are not such as will inherit the Kingdom of God. Should we draw conclusions about the nature and essence of homosexuality or heterosexuality from any of these stories, or are they cautionary tales of how these are all about failure to love others as we love ourselves?
    TODD: And, clearly, there is disagreement as to what they mean. Some see them as special rules from God we just have to obey because, and that settles it for them.

    FWS: I am not sure. I am gay and I agree that temple prostitution and prostitution are not useful , ie are sinful and lack the love God demands of us. I also agree that rape in any form is wrong. Does anyone really disagree that this is what these passages mean? Where is the disagreement then? It is this: Are group rape, temple prostitution, and heterosexual men leaving their women to idolize other men sexually the exact and clinical depiction of what homosexuality is? Does Romans 1:26-32 describe, diagnostically what we are to expect,as the characteristics of any homosexual we would meet? Does Romans 1:26-32 describe me to you Todd as a homosexual? Would you use Romans 1 to pre-judge or be prejudiced as to what you would expect to be the outcome of your social interaction with me. Would you expect me, by virtue of the fact that I am a homosexual , to be predatory sexually and be eager to participate in the group rape depicted in the Sodom and Gomorrah story? Would you fully expect me to engage in prostitution? And reading all those stories in the bible about heterosexuals would I expect then that the nature of heterosexuality is to regard women as chattel property and that rape is really just a violation of property rights and not a violation of the volition of the female? There is something else at play here than the naïve and naked meaning of the scriptural text. No one disagrees on the naïve meaning of the texts. They speak of prostitution, coveting, and rape.
    TODD: I have already said I do not agree with these people. Others say that such proscriptions of same-sex sexual activity are God’s expounding on the nature of neighborly love to minds corrupted by sin who might otherwise conclude that anything goes.
    FWS: Ok . This is the idea that conscience is a fallen version of the Divinely Revealed Law that needs to be fixed with the uncorrupted Decalog and SOTM. But the SOTM´s entire point is that the Law-as-Decalog is still not the Law fully revealed. Men can keep that law to every jot and tittle and sin exactly by having faith in that form of keeping.
    TODD: Again, I am still sympathetic to this, ….

    FWS: How and why are you sympathetic to this view?

    TODD: ….though it doesn’t, as such, make sense in the particular — how is proscribing particular sex acts loving? I don’t know.

    FWS: The Lutheran Confessions say you need to know this, or you are inventing Laws that are not in God´s Word.

    TODD: And yet others say that they have been mistranslated, at least in popular English versions, and in fact proscribe only behaviors that pretty much everyone would agree are unloving.

    FWS: I assume you are referring to those places , Lev 18, I cor, and timothy etc where “arsenokoitia” and “malekoi” are translated by the Medical and clinical word “homosexual”. This is like translating “be joyful always” as “never be clinically depressed”.
    TODD: I will say this, though. I think that those making the “mistranslated” case fail to understand how their arguments sound to others. It is as though I were to make my case that the Bible explicitly teaches the Lord’s Supper is merely a memorial by taking all the passages where it says that is Jesus’ body and saying, “Oh, well, that passage was mistranslated. … That one, too.” Pretty soon, you would begin to wonder if I just wanted thos passages to be mistranslated, because of the idea I already held in my head about Communion. Point being, I think FWS and Stephen are sympathetic to the “mistranslation” thesis because of their holding to a larger thesis on what the Law is and what love means.

    FWS: No Todd. It just makes no sense to translate those words that way. “arsenokoitia “ in I cor very clearly refers to how the greek Septuagint translated Lev 18. So it needs to mean “temple prostitute”. And “malakoi” COULD mean effeminate. But the general meaning is “weak either in the moral or physical sense. Since these words are in lists, it is sort of impossible to know what the specific meaning is other than to know they are words that describe something sinful. Translating these words as homosexual are a departure from every translation ever done up until around 1995 or so. So who is being modernist and revisionist? Who has an agenda?

    TODD: Given that, one would have to conclude that the passages on homosexuality do not mean what modern people think they do,

    FWS: What modern people think they mean that? What did everyone before the current century think they meant? “homosexuality”? That word did not exist in it´s current popular meaning till around the mid 1970´s.

    TODD: and you’d be much more inclined to listen to alternative translation theories, currently only popular among liberal theologians, who are not taking part in this discussion.

    FWS: What is wrong with Luther´s German translation, St Jerome´s Latin translation of 300AD , the King James Version,and EVERY other translation until the last decade? And what was wrong with the jewish talmuddic iterpreters of the Old testament who never understood the Sodom and Gomorrah story to be about “homosexuality” or even about “soddomy”?

    TODD: Of course, if you believe that God has a bunch of inscrutable rules for us to follow — and who knows why, just do them! — then you’d be very afraid to question any translation you’re given.
    One more thing. Stephen and FWS, please note, you’re taking the stance of the “stronger brother”, addressing those “weaker” brothers here with whom you disagree. Please keep this in mind as you interact with them/us here, and all that entails. What are the obligations of the stronger brother to the weaker brother? How can he (that is, you) show love to someone who thinks something is sinful that God has not actually declared sinful?

    FWS: My thought here is to strictly adhere to the example of the Lutheran Confesions. The Confessions spill about 80% of their ink talking about the Law of God. Without understanding the Law of God, we will lose the doctrine of the Forgiveness of Sins that is alone by faith alone in Christ alone. Reason always will select the Law as the basis for it´s understanding of the things of God. This is because Christ is “locura” (craziness) to Reason. On earth Reason says that Karma is what rules. We need to pay for our sins. What goes around comes around. Gays will pay come hell or high heels! This is how my Portuguese new testament translates that “Christ is foolishness”. It´s really true.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    81 tODD March 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm
    TODD… all Christians can agree that the Law can be summarized (as Jesus did) by: love God and love your neighbor. The problems start once we start explaining what that means, and they are (at least) twofold, as I see them.
    First, there is the question of what it means to “love” someone.
    In popular modern understanding, to love someone often means to do what they want.

    FWS No Todd. This is not scriptural. Jesus says that even pagans know better than to give a stone to their children when they need bread. Our confessions point to pagan Aristotle and say that as to earthly morals, “nothing more can be demanded.
    So let´s dispose of the strawman that anybody´s conscience really things that love=indulgence. Everyone knows that real love is to sacrifice one´s own good for that of another. The fact that everyone´s conscience agrees with this same Law that we find in the Decalog is the exact fact that makes missionary work possible. This is why our Apology art IV points out that the conscience is the same Divinely revealed Law as the Decalog. This is the reason they make that point.

    TODD: Certainly, doing just that often is loving — especially if you do what someone else wants at the expense of what you wanted to do!

    FWS: Everyone knows this is not exactly it Todd. It is not true if you are indulging someone in a way that brings them harm, or keeps from them a higher good. Self sacrifice or Virtue, is not the biblical evidence of Love.
    The biblical evidence of Love is ALWAYS sense-ible, tangible and provable as in the sense of evidence acceptable in a court of Law. It is proof that what we do truly improves the wellbeing and sense of wellbeing of others. Any truly reasonable Pagan would heartily agree with this. But they still might do the Law as self-sacrifice and deny that evidential love-for-others is necessary for religious reasons. This is the necessary end result of Original Sin. We look for the good of propitiating God´s Anger by placing our faith in what we do. And not alone in faith in Christ as our only Propitiation. We use our own works as Propitiation. We do not put the works of Christ to work for us as Propitiation.

    TODD: And yet, sometimes love requires that we do what our neighbor does not want or enjoy. Ask my nearly two-year-old son. His ideas of what might constitute a healthy meal are not in keeping with modern medical understanding. As such, I urge him, to his great annoyance, to eat more fruit. And when my wife tells me that I’m being rude, she is in fact being loving, even if it greatly annoys me for her to do so.

    FWS: The Law of God is being Divinely Revealed in, with and under you in this case Todd. Your child should be taught to believe this so that he can have the Divine promise of a long life by keeping God´s Divinely Revealed Law in the form of his father named Todd. This is the exact image of how we resent God´s Law and do not see that it is really good for us. This is how your wife and child view the Law of God in with and under the form of Todd. They both need to stop. You could be wrong. You could insist that your child eat more marshmallows because Todd read somewhere that this would prevent toe jam. We trust that God will work through the means He has placed for our good even in their flawed form. In , with and under. Your wife needs to therefore never counter your authority in the presence of your child. And you need to avoid the same with your wife. This is why we Lutherans are certain that changing a diaper or sweeping the floor is a keeping of the Divinely Revealed Law of God, even though you won´t find these things anywhere in the Decalog. It is that in, with and under” thing.

    TODD: The question then becomes: does everyone have a right understanding of love? And, if not, is Scripture useful in correcting our corrupted understanding? Best I can tell, FWS and Stephen here would answer the first question affirmatively, rendering the second question moot.
    FWS: Close but no banana Todd! The confessions say that Reason (ie pagans) can understand the Law of Love to the extent that “nothing more can be demanded” . Their example is pagan Aristotle.
    The question is this: How is our understanding corrupted? Is the idea that the Law as conscience is a fallen Law that is brought again to purity by the Decalog? This idea is foreign to our confessions even if it is what you and I were taught in catechism class.
    What is missing is not an understanding as to what we are to do externally to keep the Law. Pagans can both know and do this with that “faith-that-trusts-in-ANYTHING-BUT-God” that is what replaces the Original Righeousness/Image of God that is faith-alone-in-Christ-Alone. And that is the entire point! Scripture doesn´t correct our understanding of what it is we must do to please God. Pagans can know that. What the GOSPEL does is correct that understanding of the Law. Faith now knows that the Love God demands in the Law cannot be any circumcision done by human hands. It is alone a circumcision of the heart! That is the view of the Law that not even the Decalog or the Revealed Law of Scripture can set straight. Reason and conscience can fully agree with THAT Law. But that “new law that I give unto you that you Love one another even as I have love you is a view of the Law that only the Holy Gospel can reveal. How? In Holy Baptism!

    TODD: I would disagree. Again, there are many people who want to be “loved” by being allowed to do what they want, no matter how harmful that may be to them (or others).

    FWS: As I said before, Aristotle would agree with you here. Any reasonable Pagan would agree with this as well. No Holy Scripture or even Christ as Example is necessary for any of this. Some do try to claim that self indulgence or indulgence is what Love is about. I don´t believe their conscience really things that. It would accuse them in this thinking. I believe this because Holy Scripture tells me this, and also because my reasonable observation confirms this to be true. The confessions also concur in this by holding up pagan Aristotle saying that “nothing more can be demanded” beyond his ethical system as regards earthly morality. And it should be clear now, that by “earthly morality” the confessions mean any morality that is about anything other than faith alone in Christ alone. Alone. alone. alone. ALONE!
    TODD: Second, there is the question of whether loving God could possibly ever involve our doing something that didn’t also show love to our neighbor. That is, are there special rules that benefit none of our neighbors, but that we should follow anyhow, because God wants us to? Here, quite a few people, including many Christians, would answer yes. I would disagree, and I believe that puts me in agreement with FWS and Stephen. The Lutheran Confessions certainly address various aspects of this question, notably the pointlessness of monasticism.

    FWS: Good! That is the confessional argument against the Roman Lord´s Supper as a work we do and monasticism. “The are useless”. They are saying by that that the prove of a work being a GOOD work in God´s eyes is that that work bears courtroom-acceptable evidence that the life of someone is being bettered by that act.

    TODD: As to the particular question of how love can be present and exercised in a male-female union (including sex), but not in a male-male union, I admit that I cannot think of a good argument merely from reason. And I will further admit that this troubles me, at least to the degree that I am convinced that such a same-sex union would be sinful. I think such points are not to be dismissed lightly, and too many here are doing just that. To be frank, being told that male-male sex is wrong just because sounds an awful lot like being told that oral sex is wrong just because. It’s an argument from fearful rule-following, without much concern for the people involved.

    FWS: Steve is suggesting that the church demanding this kind of thing looks like the purity Laws of the Jews or like circumcision. And the church is demanding this “just because God demands it” kind of moral rule ALONE from Homosexuals and not of their own selves. There is no other example anyone here can produce where moral action is demanded “just because God demands it” without any regard to whether harm is being done or love is being denied to others in our actions.

    TODD: Which then leads us to the Scriptural passages that mention same-sex sexual activity. They are there.

    FWS: Yes there are! And there are also passages that talk about male/female sexual activity as well. Those that mention homosexual activity, lev 18/I Cor (they both use the same greek word “arsenokoitia” So I Cor we can assume refers to the same activity happening in Lev 18 which was temple prostitution. And then there is the case of heterosexual men and women (Rom 1:28: “they left their women…”) who start to turn other men and women into Idols, coveting them physically (romans 1) . And it seems clear that the Sodom and Gommorrah story may have been also about group rape. Although the divinely inspired commentary on that in Ezekial would make that a minor theme of that story. Imagine group rape as being the lesser sin of Sodom and Gomorrah! The were wicked indeed! And then there are also stories of group rapes of women by men, men by women, polygamy etc. And Saint Paul talks of prostitution between men and women in I Cor 6 and earlier says that temple prostitutes (greek “arsenokoitiae”) are not such as will inherit the Kingdom of God. Should we draw conclusions about the nature and essence of homosexuality or heterosexuality from any of these stories, or are they cautionary tales of how these are all about failure to love others as we love ourselves?
    TODD: And, clearly, there is disagreement as to what they mean. Some see them as special rules from God we just have to obey because, and that settles it for them.

    FWS: I am not sure. I am gay and I agree that temple prostitution and prostitution are not useful , ie are sinful and lack the love God demands of us. I also agree that rape in any form is wrong. Does anyone really disagree that this is what these passages mean? Where is the disagreement then? It is this: Are group rape, temple prostitution, and heterosexual men leaving their women to idolize other men sexually the exact and clinical depiction of what homosexuality is? Does Romans 1:26-32 describe, diagnostically what we are to expect,as the characteristics of any homosexual we would meet? Does Romans 1:26-32 describe me to you Todd as a homosexual? Would you use Romans 1 to pre-judge or be prejudiced as to what you would expect to be the outcome of your social interaction with me. Would you expect me, by virtue of the fact that I am a homosexual , to be predatory sexually and be eager to participate in the group rape depicted in the Sodom and Gomorrah story? Would you fully expect me to engage in prostitution? And reading all those stories in the bible about heterosexuals would I expect then that the nature of heterosexuality is to regard women as chattel property and that rape is really just a violation of property rights and not a violation of the volition of the female? There is something else at play here than the naïve and naked meaning of the scriptural text. No one disagrees on the naïve meaning of the texts. They speak of prostitution, coveting, and rape.
    TODD: I have already said I do not agree with these people. Others say that such proscriptions of same-sex sexual activity are God’s expounding on the nature of neighborly love to minds corrupted by sin who might otherwise conclude that anything goes.
    FWS: Ok . This is the idea that conscience is a fallen version of the Divinely Revealed Law that needs to be fixed with the uncorrupted Decalog and SOTM. But the SOTM´s entire point is that the Law-as-Decalog is still not the Law fully revealed. Men can keep that law to every jot and tittle and sin exactly by having faith in that form of keeping.
    TODD: Again, I am still sympathetic to this, ….

    FWS: How and why are you sympathetic to this view?

    TODD: ….though it doesn’t, as such, make sense in the particular — how is proscribing particular sex acts loving? I don’t know.

    FWS: The Lutheran Confessions say you need to know this, or you are inventing Laws that are not in God´s Word.

    TODD: And yet others say that they have been mistranslated, at least in popular English versions, and in fact proscribe only behaviors that pretty much everyone would agree are unloving.

    FWS: I assume you are referring to those places , Lev 18, I cor, and timothy etc where “arsenokoitia” and “malekoi” are translated by the Medical and clinical word “homosexual”. This is like translating “be joyful always” as “never be clinically depressed”.
    TODD: I will say this, though. I think that those making the “mistranslated” case fail to understand how their arguments sound to others. It is as though I were to make my case that the Bible explicitly teaches the Lord’s Supper is merely a memorial by taking all the passages where it says that is Jesus’ body and saying, “Oh, well, that passage was mistranslated. … That one, too.” Pretty soon, you would begin to wonder if I just wanted thos passages to be mistranslated, because of the idea I already held in my head about Communion. Point being, I think FWS and Stephen are sympathetic to the “mistranslation” thesis because of their holding to a larger thesis on what the Law is and what love means.

    FWS: No Todd. It just makes no sense to translate those words that way. “arsenokoitia “ in I cor very clearly refers to how the greek Septuagint translated Lev 18. So it needs to mean “temple prostitute”. And “malakoi” COULD mean effeminate. But the general meaning is “weak either in the moral or physical sense. Since these words are in lists, it is sort of impossible to know what the specific meaning is other than to know they are words that describe something sinful. Translating these words as homosexual are a departure from every translation ever done up until around 1995 or so. So who is being modernist and revisionist? Who has an agenda?

    TODD: Given that, one would have to conclude that the passages on homosexuality do not mean what modern people think they do,

    FWS: What modern people think they mean that? What did everyone before the current century think they meant? “homosexuality”? That word did not exist in it´s current popular meaning till around the mid 1970´s.

    TODD: and you’d be much more inclined to listen to alternative translation theories, currently only popular among liberal theologians, who are not taking part in this discussion.

    FWS: What is wrong with Luther´s German translation, St Jerome´s Latin translation of 300AD , the King James Version,and EVERY other translation until the last decade? And what was wrong with the jewish talmuddic iterpreters of the Old testament who never understood the Sodom and Gomorrah story to be about “homosexuality” or even about “soddomy”?

    TODD: Of course, if you believe that God has a bunch of inscrutable rules for us to follow — and who knows why, just do them! — then you’d be very afraid to question any translation you’re given.
    One more thing. Stephen and FWS, please note, you’re taking the stance of the “stronger brother”, addressing those “weaker” brothers here with whom you disagree. Please keep this in mind as you interact with them/us here, and all that entails. What are the obligations of the stronger brother to the weaker brother? How can he (that is, you) show love to someone who thinks something is sinful that God has not actually declared sinful?

    FWS: My thought here is to strictly adhere to the example of the Lutheran Confesions. The Confessions spill about 80% of their ink talking about the Law of God. Without understanding the Law of God, we will lose the doctrine of the Forgiveness of Sins that is alone by faith alone in Christ alone. Reason always will select the Law as the basis for it´s understanding of the things of God. This is because Christ is “locura” (craziness) to Reason. On earth Reason says that Karma is what rules. We need to pay for our sins. What goes around comes around. Gays will pay come hell or high heels! This is how my Portuguese new testament translates that “Christ is foolishness”. It´s really true.

  • Grace

    fws – you certainly spend an abundant amount of time defending sin – a full time job.

  • Grace

    fws – you certainly spend an abundant amount of time defending sin – a full time job.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS (@87), thanks for your replies, though I don’t see much in them that actually responds to the points I made. Admittedly, there weren’t any questions in my first tirade (@80), but I still don’t know what you think about it. And I seriously hope you will respond in particular to my response (@84) to your “challenge”. But I don’t see that so far.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS (@87), thanks for your replies, though I don’t see much in them that actually responds to the points I made. Admittedly, there weren’t any questions in my first tirade (@80), but I still don’t know what you think about it. And I seriously hope you will respond in particular to my response (@84) to your “challenge”. But I don’t see that so far.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oops. Spoke too soon. Off to read your response (@95).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oops. Spoke too soon. Off to read your response (@95).

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 92

    “Also, your distinction between orthodox Lutheranism and Calvinism is overdone. Both Calvin and Luther were well aware of original sin among people and grateful for both the treasures of Gospel and Law.”

    I would welcome lectures from you on my Lutheran faith if you chose to lecture me from the Lutheran Confessions dear Peter. Any other source of your lecturing me sounds like bullshit. Because it is.

    I am showing that what I hold about original sin and the Image of God is directly from the Lutheran Confessions.

    Here are the alternative views of Aquinas, Calvin, and Augustine elegantly summarized. You will note that none of them say that Original sin is the total absence of the Image of God.

    Lutherans say that the Image of God is faith alone in Christ alone. Period. Original Sin is the result of this utter and complete lack of the Image of God in fallen mankind.

    Rome, Calvin and even augustine, locate the Image of God in those aristotelian “higher powers” that separate humans from animals. That would be to locate the Revelation of the Image of God in the Law and Natural Law and Reason.

    I fully accept that this view is utterly reasonable. And I accept that the Lutheran view can only be known from the Holy Scriptures as an article of faith that is UNreasonable in the exact sense that it is “foolishness ” or “craziness” to reason. Here on earth reason says that karma is what things look like. What goes around comes around. Santa is God checking his list to see who is naughty or nice.

    Here is an article that summarizes elegantly those opposing views. Your embrace of roman catholicism ethically is just a lateral shift from the Calvinism you were raised into. They are the same identical thing based on aristotelian reason via saint augustine and aquinas.

    http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/beliefs/imago_dei.htm

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 92

    “Also, your distinction between orthodox Lutheranism and Calvinism is overdone. Both Calvin and Luther were well aware of original sin among people and grateful for both the treasures of Gospel and Law.”

    I would welcome lectures from you on my Lutheran faith if you chose to lecture me from the Lutheran Confessions dear Peter. Any other source of your lecturing me sounds like bullshit. Because it is.

    I am showing that what I hold about original sin and the Image of God is directly from the Lutheran Confessions.

    Here are the alternative views of Aquinas, Calvin, and Augustine elegantly summarized. You will note that none of them say that Original sin is the total absence of the Image of God.

    Lutherans say that the Image of God is faith alone in Christ alone. Period. Original Sin is the result of this utter and complete lack of the Image of God in fallen mankind.

    Rome, Calvin and even augustine, locate the Image of God in those aristotelian “higher powers” that separate humans from animals. That would be to locate the Revelation of the Image of God in the Law and Natural Law and Reason.

    I fully accept that this view is utterly reasonable. And I accept that the Lutheran view can only be known from the Holy Scriptures as an article of faith that is UNreasonable in the exact sense that it is “foolishness ” or “craziness” to reason. Here on earth reason says that karma is what things look like. What goes around comes around. Santa is God checking his list to see who is naughty or nice.

    Here is an article that summarizes elegantly those opposing views. Your embrace of roman catholicism ethically is just a lateral shift from the Calvinism you were raised into. They are the same identical thing based on aristotelian reason via saint augustine and aquinas.

    http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/beliefs/imago_dei.htm

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 98

    One helpful thought that my pastor pointed out to me here in Brasil:

    The word “fornication” in our bible is from the word “porneia” in the greek. “porneia” is the same word of couse, that the english and portuguese “pornography ” comes from.

    Of course in the greek it means more than sex sites on the internet or dirty movies. But even the supreme court is challenged in defining what the word means in application. One of most famous lines from a supreme court decision as to the definition of that word “pornography” is this: “you know it when you see it!”

    So my pastor points to this word to say the word is a container that we know means something that is a) sexual and b) sinful.

    But beyond those two things, what do we know about that word? Nothing at all! Look up the word everywhere it appears in the NT and the septuagint, and also, while you are at it, go ahead and try to scan where the word is used in 1st century greek secular literature. The result will end up where we are right now. porneia means sexual sinning. Beyond that we can know nothing.

    It is on this one word that we hang the idea on that any sex outside of marriage is pornographic or fornication. We insert additional meaning into the word. No one ever questions it.

    So here is a challenge for you Todd: Show me from the Holy Scriptures the argument that all sex outside of marriage is sin.

    Go ahead and ask your pastor for ammunition and any other material you can find. I would be curious what you come up with.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 98

    One helpful thought that my pastor pointed out to me here in Brasil:

    The word “fornication” in our bible is from the word “porneia” in the greek. “porneia” is the same word of couse, that the english and portuguese “pornography ” comes from.

    Of course in the greek it means more than sex sites on the internet or dirty movies. But even the supreme court is challenged in defining what the word means in application. One of most famous lines from a supreme court decision as to the definition of that word “pornography” is this: “you know it when you see it!”

    So my pastor points to this word to say the word is a container that we know means something that is a) sexual and b) sinful.

    But beyond those two things, what do we know about that word? Nothing at all! Look up the word everywhere it appears in the NT and the septuagint, and also, while you are at it, go ahead and try to scan where the word is used in 1st century greek secular literature. The result will end up where we are right now. porneia means sexual sinning. Beyond that we can know nothing.

    It is on this one word that we hang the idea on that any sex outside of marriage is pornographic or fornication. We insert additional meaning into the word. No one ever questions it.

    So here is a challenge for you Todd: Show me from the Holy Scriptures the argument that all sex outside of marriage is sin.

    Go ahead and ask your pastor for ammunition and any other material you can find. I would be curious what you come up with.

  • Grace

    fws – 99

    I would welcome lectures from you on my Lutheran faith if you chose to lecture me from the Lutheran Confessions dear Peter. Any other source of your lecturing me sounds like bullshit. Because it is.


    Your Lutheran Confessions are the only hope for your argument? – “Any other source of ” – you aren’t able to use just the Word of God!

    Then you dash out an obscene expletive – Frank, you’re lost for words, but more to the point, the truth of the Gospel.

  • Grace

    fws – 99

    I would welcome lectures from you on my Lutheran faith if you chose to lecture me from the Lutheran Confessions dear Peter. Any other source of your lecturing me sounds like bullshit. Because it is.


    Your Lutheran Confessions are the only hope for your argument? – “Any other source of ” – you aren’t able to use just the Word of God!

    Then you dash out an obscene expletive – Frank, you’re lost for words, but more to the point, the truth of the Gospel.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    boaz @ 94.

    Let´s assume you are exactly right about all your points.
    This is a site Littered with Lutherans.
    Lutherans believe that all matters of doctrine and life are to be judged ALONE by Holy Scripture.

    So can you please prove your assertions alone by Holy Scripture? Here are your assertions:

    1) All sex outside marriage promotes a “sexualized society”
    2) Therefore, All sex outside of marriage harms others.
    3) “Sexualizing society” is bad for kids.
    4) Only [male/female] sex in marriage can show love for neighbor.
    5) All other sex is about gratifying personal lust.
    6) Only in [male/female] marriage does the identity of the person matter apart from selfish preferences like looks etc.
    7) Sex outside marriage is harmful to the common good .
    8) sex outside of [male/female] marriage harms families.

    I asked you a different time Boaz to prove each of these 8 points alone from Holy Scripture. You have not answered. I suspect it is because you cannot.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    boaz @ 94.

    Let´s assume you are exactly right about all your points.
    This is a site Littered with Lutherans.
    Lutherans believe that all matters of doctrine and life are to be judged ALONE by Holy Scripture.

    So can you please prove your assertions alone by Holy Scripture? Here are your assertions:

    1) All sex outside marriage promotes a “sexualized society”
    2) Therefore, All sex outside of marriage harms others.
    3) “Sexualizing society” is bad for kids.
    4) Only [male/female] sex in marriage can show love for neighbor.
    5) All other sex is about gratifying personal lust.
    6) Only in [male/female] marriage does the identity of the person matter apart from selfish preferences like looks etc.
    7) Sex outside marriage is harmful to the common good .
    8) sex outside of [male/female] marriage harms families.

    I asked you a different time Boaz to prove each of these 8 points alone from Holy Scripture. You have not answered. I suspect it is because you cannot.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 93: …they both use the same greek word “arsenokoitia” So I Cor we can assume refers to the same activity happening in Lev 18 which was temple prostitution. …

    Richard Hayes, the Duke biblical scholar, discusses arsenokoitai as follows: The word, arsenokoitai., is not found in any extant Greek text earlier than I Corinthians. Some scholars have suggested that its meaning is uncertain, but Robin Scroggs has shown that the word is a translation of the Hebrew mishkav zakur (“lying with the male), derived directly from Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and used in rabbinic texts to refer to homosexual intercourse. The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) of Leviticus 20:13 reads, “Whoever lies with a man as with a woman [meta arsenos koiten gynaikos], they have both done an abomination.” This is almost certainly the idiom from which the noun arsenokoitai was coined. Thus, Paul’s use of the term presupposes and reaffirms the holiness code’s condemnation of homosexual acts. This is not a controversial point in Paul’s argument; the letter gives no evidence that anyone at Corinth was arguing for the acceptance of same-sex erotic activity. Paul simply assumes that his readers will share his conviction that those who indulge in homosexual activity are “wrongdoers” (adikoi, literally “unrighteous”), along with other sorts of offenders in his list.

    The gay advocates who interpret arsenokoitai narrowly as temple prostitution don’t know what they are talking about.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 93: …they both use the same greek word “arsenokoitia” So I Cor we can assume refers to the same activity happening in Lev 18 which was temple prostitution. …

    Richard Hayes, the Duke biblical scholar, discusses arsenokoitai as follows: The word, arsenokoitai., is not found in any extant Greek text earlier than I Corinthians. Some scholars have suggested that its meaning is uncertain, but Robin Scroggs has shown that the word is a translation of the Hebrew mishkav zakur (“lying with the male), derived directly from Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and used in rabbinic texts to refer to homosexual intercourse. The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) of Leviticus 20:13 reads, “Whoever lies with a man as with a woman [meta arsenos koiten gynaikos], they have both done an abomination.” This is almost certainly the idiom from which the noun arsenokoitai was coined. Thus, Paul’s use of the term presupposes and reaffirms the holiness code’s condemnation of homosexual acts. This is not a controversial point in Paul’s argument; the letter gives no evidence that anyone at Corinth was arguing for the acceptance of same-sex erotic activity. Paul simply assumes that his readers will share his conviction that those who indulge in homosexual activity are “wrongdoers” (adikoi, literally “unrighteous”), along with other sorts of offenders in his list.

    The gay advocates who interpret arsenokoitai narrowly as temple prostitution don’t know what they are talking about.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 103
    addressing FWS, at 93:

    PORCELL QUOTES: “…they both use the same greek word “arsenokoitia” So I Cor we can assume refers to the same activity happening in Lev 18 which was temple prostitution. ….Richard Hayes… The word, arsenokoitai., is not found in any extant Greek text earlier than I Corinthians…. but…

    Robin Scroggs [disagrees , and says this] …The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) of Leviticus 20:13 reads, “Whoever lies with a man as with a woman [meta arsenos koiten gynaikos], they have both done an abomination.” This is almost certainly the idiom from which the noun arsenokoitai was coined. ”

    FWS COMMENTS: I agree with Scroggs and not Hayes here Porcell.

    PORCELL QUOTE CONTINUES: “Thus, Paul’s use of the term presupposes and reaffirms the holiness code’s condemnation of homosexual acts. ”

    FWS: Not so fast. It is clear that St Paul uses the word “arsenokoitia” presupposes what? It presupposes that Paul is identifying something in his day that is the same something that was happening in Lev 18. He could have used the other words that spoke to same sex greek sex or even prostitution, such as “erastes” or “eromenos”, or “pathikos”, or the insulting “kinaidoi”, or “euryproktoi” which basically mean “fags” or “effeminates”, or any number of other Greek words that were the standard ones referring to male/male sex or prostitution. He did not. He chose to refer to the Old Testament. . That something that Lev 18 referred to was temple prostitution. The holiness code of Lev 18 condemns temple prostitution that all the heathen tribes around them practice. The entire point of the holiness code was to set israel apart from their heathen neighbors and cousins. It was a holiness code. That is to say it was not a moral code such as the Decalog.

    PORCELL QUOTE CONTINUED: “This is not a controversial point in Paul’s argument; the letter gives no evidence that anyone at Corinth was arguing for the acceptance of same-sex erotic activity.”

    FWS: Bait-and-switch. This is like saying 1) Saint paul in i Cor 6 condemns male/female prostitution, 3) this is not a controversial point, 3) therefore this gives no evidence that anyone at Corinth was arguing for acceptance of ANY form of male/female sex.

    Nonsequitur. Paul is talking about temple prostitution. This is clear from is selection of the word the septuagint uses for temple prostitution from the holiness code. Then the author flips this narrow meaning to make Paul speak to ALL sex.

    PORCELLS QUOTE CONTINUES: “Paul simply assumes that his readers will share his conviction that those who indulge in homosexual activity are “wrongdoers” (adikoi, literally “unrighteous”), along with other sorts of offenders in his list.

    FWS: Unproved assertion: st paul is taking about homosexuality rather than temple prostitution. Not sure he assumes that all his readers know that temple prostitution is wrong. He makes the point that it IS wrong. If everyone of his readers knew that already, why make the point? Another assertion that is unproven.

    The gay advocates who interpret arsenokoitai narrowly as temple prostitution don’t know what they are talking about.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 103
    addressing FWS, at 93:

    PORCELL QUOTES: “…they both use the same greek word “arsenokoitia” So I Cor we can assume refers to the same activity happening in Lev 18 which was temple prostitution. ….Richard Hayes… The word, arsenokoitai., is not found in any extant Greek text earlier than I Corinthians…. but…

    Robin Scroggs [disagrees , and says this] …The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) of Leviticus 20:13 reads, “Whoever lies with a man as with a woman [meta arsenos koiten gynaikos], they have both done an abomination.” This is almost certainly the idiom from which the noun arsenokoitai was coined. ”

    FWS COMMENTS: I agree with Scroggs and not Hayes here Porcell.

    PORCELL QUOTE CONTINUES: “Thus, Paul’s use of the term presupposes and reaffirms the holiness code’s condemnation of homosexual acts. ”

    FWS: Not so fast. It is clear that St Paul uses the word “arsenokoitia” presupposes what? It presupposes that Paul is identifying something in his day that is the same something that was happening in Lev 18. He could have used the other words that spoke to same sex greek sex or even prostitution, such as “erastes” or “eromenos”, or “pathikos”, or the insulting “kinaidoi”, or “euryproktoi” which basically mean “fags” or “effeminates”, or any number of other Greek words that were the standard ones referring to male/male sex or prostitution. He did not. He chose to refer to the Old Testament. . That something that Lev 18 referred to was temple prostitution. The holiness code of Lev 18 condemns temple prostitution that all the heathen tribes around them practice. The entire point of the holiness code was to set israel apart from their heathen neighbors and cousins. It was a holiness code. That is to say it was not a moral code such as the Decalog.

    PORCELL QUOTE CONTINUED: “This is not a controversial point in Paul’s argument; the letter gives no evidence that anyone at Corinth was arguing for the acceptance of same-sex erotic activity.”

    FWS: Bait-and-switch. This is like saying 1) Saint paul in i Cor 6 condemns male/female prostitution, 3) this is not a controversial point, 3) therefore this gives no evidence that anyone at Corinth was arguing for acceptance of ANY form of male/female sex.

    Nonsequitur. Paul is talking about temple prostitution. This is clear from is selection of the word the septuagint uses for temple prostitution from the holiness code. Then the author flips this narrow meaning to make Paul speak to ALL sex.

    PORCELLS QUOTE CONTINUES: “Paul simply assumes that his readers will share his conviction that those who indulge in homosexual activity are “wrongdoers” (adikoi, literally “unrighteous”), along with other sorts of offenders in his list.

    FWS: Unproved assertion: st paul is taking about homosexuality rather than temple prostitution. Not sure he assumes that all his readers know that temple prostitution is wrong. He makes the point that it IS wrong. If everyone of his readers knew that already, why make the point? Another assertion that is unproven.

    The gay advocates who interpret arsenokoitai narrowly as temple prostitution don’t know what they are talking about.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 103

    “The gay advocates who interpret arsenokoitai narrowly as temple prostitution don’t know what they are talking about.”

    Y0u may be right, but what you quote would actually support the idea that “arsenokoitia” does in fact narrowly mean “temple prostitution”.

    You either need to take some Greek classes (I have been studying Koine for about 35 years now…) or you need to actually read the stuff you post here more carefully before you post it.

    You posted something that points to making the opposite point than you are attempting to prove.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 103

    “The gay advocates who interpret arsenokoitai narrowly as temple prostitution don’t know what they are talking about.”

    Y0u may be right, but what you quote would actually support the idea that “arsenokoitia” does in fact narrowly mean “temple prostitution”.

    You either need to take some Greek classes (I have been studying Koine for about 35 years now…) or you need to actually read the stuff you post here more carefully before you post it.

    You posted something that points to making the opposite point than you are attempting to prove.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 79

    Good. This discussion about the Divinely Revealed Law of God is central to our Lutheran Confessions.

    It is related to where one locates the Image of God.

    Are calvin, rome and st augustine right in saying that the Law is the Revelation of the Image of God? So then we must conform to the Law in order to regain the Image of God?

    Or are our confessions right in saying that the Image of God is alone faith in Christ alone and can be restored to us alone in Holy Baptism.

    So does a tired old fag like FWS need to become more closely transformed into the Image of God by managing to be heterosexual as Natural Law according to Aquinas demands, or…

    does a tired old fag like FWS believe that he IS in God´s Image fully in his New Man alone by faith alone In Christ through the waters of Holy Baptism?

    We are actually discussing this dear Kerner. It is central to our Lutheran Confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 79

    Good. This discussion about the Divinely Revealed Law of God is central to our Lutheran Confessions.

    It is related to where one locates the Image of God.

    Are calvin, rome and st augustine right in saying that the Law is the Revelation of the Image of God? So then we must conform to the Law in order to regain the Image of God?

    Or are our confessions right in saying that the Image of God is alone faith in Christ alone and can be restored to us alone in Holy Baptism.

    So does a tired old fag like FWS need to become more closely transformed into the Image of God by managing to be heterosexual as Natural Law according to Aquinas demands, or…

    does a tired old fag like FWS believe that he IS in God´s Image fully in his New Man alone by faith alone In Christ through the waters of Holy Baptism?

    We are actually discussing this dear Kerner. It is central to our Lutheran Confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell.

    Interesting that you quote W Auden. He was gay. He was christian. He was sexually active.

    Would you have placed him inside the church, or outside the church as an unrepentant homosexual?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell.

    Interesting that you quote W Auden. He was gay. He was christian. He was sexually active.

    Would you have placed him inside the church, or outside the church as an unrepentant homosexual?

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    FWS, I follow some of the arguments, but not others. When I look at Leviticus 18, while temple prostitution seems to be a plausible reading, it doesn’t seem to be a necessary reading. And I have to wonder whether the various acts prohibited in surrounding verses are only off limits in cultic contexts. Is bestiality okay so long as it isn’t done in the temple? I don’t have a strong sense of exactly how broad or narrow things are prohibited here, which makes me slow to want to approve of anything that might be on the list, but also slow to be too loud in condemning activities that might not be in view.

    I’m a little surprised by how people on either side quickly come to conclusions and then sense no danger in being wrong in either direction.

    Your arguments on the nature of the law seem more promising here, and may bear some weight when it comes to reading these passages. Within the passages taken by themselves, however, I see this as being arguable either way. Odder still, read one way, a given activity is a grave sin. Read another, it is of little consequence. There’s little room for coming to a mediating position.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    FWS, I follow some of the arguments, but not others. When I look at Leviticus 18, while temple prostitution seems to be a plausible reading, it doesn’t seem to be a necessary reading. And I have to wonder whether the various acts prohibited in surrounding verses are only off limits in cultic contexts. Is bestiality okay so long as it isn’t done in the temple? I don’t have a strong sense of exactly how broad or narrow things are prohibited here, which makes me slow to want to approve of anything that might be on the list, but also slow to be too loud in condemning activities that might not be in view.

    I’m a little surprised by how people on either side quickly come to conclusions and then sense no danger in being wrong in either direction.

    Your arguments on the nature of the law seem more promising here, and may bear some weight when it comes to reading these passages. Within the passages taken by themselves, however, I see this as being arguable either way. Odder still, read one way, a given activity is a grave sin. Read another, it is of little consequence. There’s little room for coming to a mediating position.

  • Grace

    Take heed:

    1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

    2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

    3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

    4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

    5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

    6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

    7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

    8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

    9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

    10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

    11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

    12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

    13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

    14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

    15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

    16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

    17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

    18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

    19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
    2 Peter 2

  • Grace

    Take heed:

    1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

    2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

    3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

    4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

    5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

    6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

    7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

    8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

    9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

    10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

    11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

    12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

    13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

    14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

    15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

    16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

    17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

    18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

    19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
    2 Peter 2

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    rick ritchie @ 108

    RICK follow some of the arguments, but not others. When I look at Leviticus 18, while temple prostitution seems to be a plausible reading, it doesn’t seem to be a necessary reading.

    FRANK Ok. This is an interesting sidepoint.

    RICK And I have to wonder whether the various acts prohibited in surrounding verses are only off limits in cultic contexts. Is bestiality okay so long as it isn’t done in the temple?

    FWS: Perhaps beastiality was part of the purity code in that neighboring tribes practiced it. Dunno. Are we looking to piece together a Divinely Revealed Moral Code from such passages? We should not if the Lutheran Confessions are correct.

    RICK I don’t have a strong sense of exactly how broad or narrow things are prohibited here, which makes me slow to want to approve of anything that might be on the list, but also slow to be too loud in condemning activities that might not be in view.

    FWS: The underlying assumption here is that we are looking to construct of don´ts that are the Divinely Revealed Moral Code right? So then Divinely Approved Morality would be about conforming to that List? Ask the wrong question and get the wrong answer!

    RICK I’m a little surprised by how people on either side quickly come to conclusions and then sense no danger in being wrong in either direction.

    FWS This supposes choice A or B as being right, and the danger is not that we choose incorrectly then but rather that we don´t see that there may be a correct choice C that is not even on our raddar.

    RICK Your arguments on the nature of the law seem more promising here, and may bear some weight when it comes to reading these passages.

    FWS I really agree here. The nature of the Law is exactly what the Lutheran Confessions spill about 7o% of their ink on. Ditto Holy Scripture. There is a reason for that I do believe.

    RICK Within the passages taken by themselves, however, I see this as being arguable either way. Odder still, read one way, a given activity is a grave sin. Read another, it is of little consequence. There’s little room for coming to a mediating position.

    FWS: This approach would be the scholarly one. It would be to determine the meaning of the text within it´s context of history and language. Any of these passages, read naively, could mean alot of things. And maybe in most cases we can´t know for sure.

    We read these passages all through the lense of the words of Christ and his Holy Apostles. The Lutheran Confessions declare that there is no other way to understand these passages.

    And Christ says that the Law was made for man and not man for the Law. He says that the point of the Law is to do mercy to others and not to do sacrifice to God. Even in the Old Testament God says that he does not want the sacrifice of Bulls but rather the offering up of the heart. Saint Paul repeats this by saying that ALL things are legal, but not all things are useful.

    What you are representing by musing what should be on or off the list of don´ts is about what? It is about seeking to conform to a Divine Secret Decoder Ring that shows us how to conform to the Image God made us in and the Telos He intends for us.

    In contrast Lutherans confess that the Law of God reveals the Will of God. It does not reveal Gods Image.

    In contrast , our confessions declare that Original Righeousness which is the Image of God is alone faith alone in Christ as does St Paul. So this Divine Design can only be seen in christ. And also God´s Will in the Law too can only be seen fully, only by those who have first been restored to Original Righeousness that is the Image of God. Only those restored to Gods Image in Holy Baptism can see fully what the Law demands because the Veil of Moses has been removed.

    What that means is that we cannot return to either Original Righeousness or closer conformity to God´s Image by keeping the Law in any external way. So looking for a Divine List of Don´ts in the Law is literally looking for an end that leads to death and not Life. And Paul and the Confessions tell us that reason can only know that the law is about making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    rick ritchie @ 108

    RICK follow some of the arguments, but not others. When I look at Leviticus 18, while temple prostitution seems to be a plausible reading, it doesn’t seem to be a necessary reading.

    FRANK Ok. This is an interesting sidepoint.

    RICK And I have to wonder whether the various acts prohibited in surrounding verses are only off limits in cultic contexts. Is bestiality okay so long as it isn’t done in the temple?

    FWS: Perhaps beastiality was part of the purity code in that neighboring tribes practiced it. Dunno. Are we looking to piece together a Divinely Revealed Moral Code from such passages? We should not if the Lutheran Confessions are correct.

    RICK I don’t have a strong sense of exactly how broad or narrow things are prohibited here, which makes me slow to want to approve of anything that might be on the list, but also slow to be too loud in condemning activities that might not be in view.

    FWS: The underlying assumption here is that we are looking to construct of don´ts that are the Divinely Revealed Moral Code right? So then Divinely Approved Morality would be about conforming to that List? Ask the wrong question and get the wrong answer!

    RICK I’m a little surprised by how people on either side quickly come to conclusions and then sense no danger in being wrong in either direction.

    FWS This supposes choice A or B as being right, and the danger is not that we choose incorrectly then but rather that we don´t see that there may be a correct choice C that is not even on our raddar.

    RICK Your arguments on the nature of the law seem more promising here, and may bear some weight when it comes to reading these passages.

    FWS I really agree here. The nature of the Law is exactly what the Lutheran Confessions spill about 7o% of their ink on. Ditto Holy Scripture. There is a reason for that I do believe.

    RICK Within the passages taken by themselves, however, I see this as being arguable either way. Odder still, read one way, a given activity is a grave sin. Read another, it is of little consequence. There’s little room for coming to a mediating position.

    FWS: This approach would be the scholarly one. It would be to determine the meaning of the text within it´s context of history and language. Any of these passages, read naively, could mean alot of things. And maybe in most cases we can´t know for sure.

    We read these passages all through the lense of the words of Christ and his Holy Apostles. The Lutheran Confessions declare that there is no other way to understand these passages.

    And Christ says that the Law was made for man and not man for the Law. He says that the point of the Law is to do mercy to others and not to do sacrifice to God. Even in the Old Testament God says that he does not want the sacrifice of Bulls but rather the offering up of the heart. Saint Paul repeats this by saying that ALL things are legal, but not all things are useful.

    What you are representing by musing what should be on or off the list of don´ts is about what? It is about seeking to conform to a Divine Secret Decoder Ring that shows us how to conform to the Image God made us in and the Telos He intends for us.

    In contrast Lutherans confess that the Law of God reveals the Will of God. It does not reveal Gods Image.

    In contrast , our confessions declare that Original Righeousness which is the Image of God is alone faith alone in Christ as does St Paul. So this Divine Design can only be seen in christ. And also God´s Will in the Law too can only be seen fully, only by those who have first been restored to Original Righeousness that is the Image of God. Only those restored to Gods Image in Holy Baptism can see fully what the Law demands because the Veil of Moses has been removed.

    What that means is that we cannot return to either Original Righeousness or closer conformity to God´s Image by keeping the Law in any external way. So looking for a Divine List of Don´ts in the Law is literally looking for an end that leads to death and not Life. And Paul and the Confessions tell us that reason can only know that the law is about making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.

  • Grace

    And Paul and the Confessions tell us that reason can only know that the law is about making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.


    Notice: There is nothing that states in this mess what the LORD said. This is the problem it’s all about the “Confessions” and of course throw in Paul, but then – mix it up a bit. Not one learned Biblical scholar would listen to such rubbish/tripe.

    God has plenty to say about sin, and abusing the law, but not according to those who state the Confessions, or misconstrue what Saint Paul wrote.

    SHAMEFUL!

    The homosexul community looks upon the church as though it doesn’t love them? – NAY, it is those who look upon God’s Word, and then contorts the words and message, and then expects Believers to “love” what they have done to sway the weakest of our brethren.

    DISGUSTING !

  • Grace

    And Paul and the Confessions tell us that reason can only know that the law is about making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.


    Notice: There is nothing that states in this mess what the LORD said. This is the problem it’s all about the “Confessions” and of course throw in Paul, but then – mix it up a bit. Not one learned Biblical scholar would listen to such rubbish/tripe.

    God has plenty to say about sin, and abusing the law, but not according to those who state the Confessions, or misconstrue what Saint Paul wrote.

    SHAMEFUL!

    The homosexul community looks upon the church as though it doesn’t love them? – NAY, it is those who look upon God’s Word, and then contorts the words and message, and then expects Believers to “love” what they have done to sway the weakest of our brethren.

    DISGUSTING !

  • Grace

    This should be better -

    “And Paul and the Confessions tell us that reason can only know that the law is about making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.“

    Notice: There is nothing that states in this mess what the LORD said. This is the problem it’s all about the “Confessions” and of course throw in Paul, but then – mix it up a bit. Not one learned Biblical scholar would listen to such rubbish/tripe.

    God has plenty to say about sin, and abusing the law, but not according to those who state the Confessions, or misconstrue what Saint Paul wrote.

    SHAMEFUL!

    The homosexual community looks upon the church as though it doesn’t love them? – NAY, it is those who look upon God’s Word, and then contorts the words and message, and then expects Believers to “love” what they have done to sway the weakest of our brethren.

    DISGUSTING!

  • Grace

    This should be better -

    “And Paul and the Confessions tell us that reason can only know that the law is about making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.“

    Notice: There is nothing that states in this mess what the LORD said. This is the problem it’s all about the “Confessions” and of course throw in Paul, but then – mix it up a bit. Not one learned Biblical scholar would listen to such rubbish/tripe.

    God has plenty to say about sin, and abusing the law, but not according to those who state the Confessions, or misconstrue what Saint Paul wrote.

    SHAMEFUL!

    The homosexual community looks upon the church as though it doesn’t love them? – NAY, it is those who look upon God’s Word, and then contorts the words and message, and then expects Believers to “love” what they have done to sway the weakest of our brethren.

    DISGUSTING!

  • Grace

    “making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.“

    Isn’t that just real special – making a silly Santa song to correspond with the Word of God –

    See the tail end of @110:

    “And Paul and the Confessions tell us that reason can only know that the law is about making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.”

  • Grace

    “making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.“

    Isn’t that just real special – making a silly Santa song to correspond with the Word of God –

    See the tail end of @110:

    “And Paul and the Confessions tell us that reason can only know that the law is about making a list and checking it twice and that following that list externally is what makes us naughty or nice.”

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 105, My, how you twist things. Make no mistake about it, Prof. Hayes interprets arsenokoitai as the equivalent of the Hebrew mishkav zakur (“lying with the male), derived directly from Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and used in rabbinic texts to refer to homosexual intercourse. This is hardly limited to the jesuitical gay interpretation of temple prostitution.

    Also, you need to read the key part of the Hays article as follows:

    He [His friend Gary who was dying of AIDS] was angry at the self-affirming gay Christian groups, because he regarded his own condition as more complex and tragic than their apologetic stance could acknowledge. He also worried that the gay apologists encouraged homosexual believers to “draw their identity from their sexuality” and thus to shift the ground of their identity subtly and idolatrously away from God.

    As to WH Auden, he was indeed a Christian and an active sodomite, though he became convinced that there was something radically wrong with homosexual relationship and that most homosexuals didn’t really enjoy their sex life. Unlike you, who tend to idealize homosexual relationship, Auden saw the dark side of it and was honest enough to talk about it.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 105, My, how you twist things. Make no mistake about it, Prof. Hayes interprets arsenokoitai as the equivalent of the Hebrew mishkav zakur (“lying with the male), derived directly from Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and used in rabbinic texts to refer to homosexual intercourse. This is hardly limited to the jesuitical gay interpretation of temple prostitution.

    Also, you need to read the key part of the Hays article as follows:

    He [His friend Gary who was dying of AIDS] was angry at the self-affirming gay Christian groups, because he regarded his own condition as more complex and tragic than their apologetic stance could acknowledge. He also worried that the gay apologists encouraged homosexual believers to “draw their identity from their sexuality” and thus to shift the ground of their identity subtly and idolatrously away from God.

    As to WH Auden, he was indeed a Christian and an active sodomite, though he became convinced that there was something radically wrong with homosexual relationship and that most homosexuals didn’t really enjoy their sex life. Unlike you, who tend to idealize homosexual relationship, Auden saw the dark side of it and was honest enough to talk about it.

  • kerner

    I don’t know, Frank. I’m no Koine Greek scholar, so I just researched the meaning of onr word: arsenokoitai.

    It turns out to be a compound word:

    Arseno (meaning: man, male) + Koitai (meaning to have sex with or to lie down with)

    Not surpisingly, the definitions of arseniokoitai include temple prostitution involving male prostitutes, but there is no reason to believe that “man-sex” is limited to that narrow interpretation anywhere it is used. Not even in Leviticus 18:22.

    First of all, Leviticus was not written in Greek with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Moses wrote it in Hebrew. So whoever translated the Hebrew words “u-ath – zkr la – thshkb mshkbi ashe” in to the Greek words “arsenos koiten gynaikos”, he was not writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when he did his translation.

    Next, Paul was a Pharisee and would certainly have known the Pentateuch in Hebrew as well as in Greek. His choice of the word “arsenokoitai” in the New Testament may have been completely unrealted to the anonymous translator’s use of the word in the Greek Septuagint.

    But I don’t understand your argument that the context of Leviticus 18:22 refers to temple prostitution. Are you saying that verse 21 is talking about temple prostitution when it prohibits the passing of one’s seed through the fire to Moloch? That verse has been interpreted by most translators to refer to the sacrifice of children (seed) to Moloch by throwing them into a fire. It is not interpreted as putting one’s semen (seed) into a temple prostitute. In fact, the NIV explicitly translates the verse as “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Moloch,”

    Another thing, if Leviticus is prohibiting sex with male temple prostitutes when it says don’t lie with “Arsenos koiten” why add the modifying word, “Gynaikos” (as with a woman). One would think that going to a male temple prostitute at all would be forbidden, and enough said.

    But it makes much more sense to translate the phrase as it has been. Do not have sex with a man (any man) as you would with a woman (any woman).

    And now @100 you’ve decided that “fornication” does not refer to all sex outside the context of marriage? Fornication only means some undefined sexual sin that we can only recognize when we see it on a case by case basis? So, Paul told all Christians to “flee fornication!” knowing that they wouldn’t know what he was talking about? Our universal understanding of the word for all these centuries has been misplaced?

    Frank, if you are going to ask us to re-interpret all our millenia old understanding of what the Greek and Hebrew words for sexual sins mean, only to find that (Surprise!!!) homosexual sex is not forbidden by God’s Law after all, your going to have to produce something more than your word for it. I mean, your position is just a little self serving, don’t you think?

  • kerner

    I don’t know, Frank. I’m no Koine Greek scholar, so I just researched the meaning of onr word: arsenokoitai.

    It turns out to be a compound word:

    Arseno (meaning: man, male) + Koitai (meaning to have sex with or to lie down with)

    Not surpisingly, the definitions of arseniokoitai include temple prostitution involving male prostitutes, but there is no reason to believe that “man-sex” is limited to that narrow interpretation anywhere it is used. Not even in Leviticus 18:22.

    First of all, Leviticus was not written in Greek with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Moses wrote it in Hebrew. So whoever translated the Hebrew words “u-ath – zkr la – thshkb mshkbi ashe” in to the Greek words “arsenos koiten gynaikos”, he was not writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when he did his translation.

    Next, Paul was a Pharisee and would certainly have known the Pentateuch in Hebrew as well as in Greek. His choice of the word “arsenokoitai” in the New Testament may have been completely unrealted to the anonymous translator’s use of the word in the Greek Septuagint.

    But I don’t understand your argument that the context of Leviticus 18:22 refers to temple prostitution. Are you saying that verse 21 is talking about temple prostitution when it prohibits the passing of one’s seed through the fire to Moloch? That verse has been interpreted by most translators to refer to the sacrifice of children (seed) to Moloch by throwing them into a fire. It is not interpreted as putting one’s semen (seed) into a temple prostitute. In fact, the NIV explicitly translates the verse as “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Moloch,”

    Another thing, if Leviticus is prohibiting sex with male temple prostitutes when it says don’t lie with “Arsenos koiten” why add the modifying word, “Gynaikos” (as with a woman). One would think that going to a male temple prostitute at all would be forbidden, and enough said.

    But it makes much more sense to translate the phrase as it has been. Do not have sex with a man (any man) as you would with a woman (any woman).

    And now @100 you’ve decided that “fornication” does not refer to all sex outside the context of marriage? Fornication only means some undefined sexual sin that we can only recognize when we see it on a case by case basis? So, Paul told all Christians to “flee fornication!” knowing that they wouldn’t know what he was talking about? Our universal understanding of the word for all these centuries has been misplaced?

    Frank, if you are going to ask us to re-interpret all our millenia old understanding of what the Greek and Hebrew words for sexual sins mean, only to find that (Surprise!!!) homosexual sex is not forbidden by God’s Law after all, your going to have to produce something more than your word for it. I mean, your position is just a little self serving, don’t you think?

  • Porcell

    Kerner, I studied four years of classical Attic Greek in college and have made a modest attempt to understand Koine Greek in order to keep up with contemporary biblical discussion.

    Your interpretation of arsenokoitai is in accord with most fair minded biblical scholars. Prof Hays, a highly respected biblical scholar, translates it as synonymous with the Hebrew mishkav zakur (“lying with the male), derived directly from Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and used in rabbinic texts to refer to homosexual intercourse.

    A handful of homosexual apologists have narrowed the definition of arsenokoitai to temple prostitution, without advancing any compelling justification for it. FWS, for example, asserts this without explanation.

  • Porcell

    Kerner, I studied four years of classical Attic Greek in college and have made a modest attempt to understand Koine Greek in order to keep up with contemporary biblical discussion.

    Your interpretation of arsenokoitai is in accord with most fair minded biblical scholars. Prof Hays, a highly respected biblical scholar, translates it as synonymous with the Hebrew mishkav zakur (“lying with the male), derived directly from Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and used in rabbinic texts to refer to homosexual intercourse.

    A handful of homosexual apologists have narrowed the definition of arsenokoitai to temple prostitution, without advancing any compelling justification for it. FWS, for example, asserts this without explanation.

  • Stephen

    kerner -

    “Frank, if you are going to ask us to re-interpret all our millenia old understanding of what the Greek and Hebrew words for sexual sins mean, only to find that (Surprise!!!) homosexual sex is not forbidden by God’s Law after all, your going to have to produce something more than your word for it. I mean, your position is just a little self serving, don’t you think?”

    What is it they say, something about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence? What evidence do you have that the interpretations you are assuming are the same as they have been for millenia? We think we know what marriage is, but shall we go into the history of marriage and how it has morphed through time? How do you know we’ve always read these terms the same way? Surely we do not think like people in the 16 th c. or the 10th for instance, or even the 19th. Why is it that it is only in our time that such things are so fiercely debated then? It seems we would have been having this argument long ago. You can blame that state of affairs on homos wanting their rights, or you can just as well say that homosexual or any kind of sexual relationships were of little concern prior to our time, or that culture and custom has had more influence on these things than anything in scripture all through Christendom. Why don’t the scriptures or the church fathers discuss mutually consenting sexual relationships? Well, that’s because there never were any until now. What exactly are you advocating, a return to a time when women were chattle (like a strict reading of the 10th commandment suggests) and men could have four wives and sex was basically whatever a man with authority wanted it to be. I doubt that.

    You have not answered a single scriptural or confessional point being made. Frank is working really hard to show you what the scriptures say and what our Confessions affirm, and you are dodging the questions at hand.

  • Stephen

    kerner -

    “Frank, if you are going to ask us to re-interpret all our millenia old understanding of what the Greek and Hebrew words for sexual sins mean, only to find that (Surprise!!!) homosexual sex is not forbidden by God’s Law after all, your going to have to produce something more than your word for it. I mean, your position is just a little self serving, don’t you think?”

    What is it they say, something about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence? What evidence do you have that the interpretations you are assuming are the same as they have been for millenia? We think we know what marriage is, but shall we go into the history of marriage and how it has morphed through time? How do you know we’ve always read these terms the same way? Surely we do not think like people in the 16 th c. or the 10th for instance, or even the 19th. Why is it that it is only in our time that such things are so fiercely debated then? It seems we would have been having this argument long ago. You can blame that state of affairs on homos wanting their rights, or you can just as well say that homosexual or any kind of sexual relationships were of little concern prior to our time, or that culture and custom has had more influence on these things than anything in scripture all through Christendom. Why don’t the scriptures or the church fathers discuss mutually consenting sexual relationships? Well, that’s because there never were any until now. What exactly are you advocating, a return to a time when women were chattle (like a strict reading of the 10th commandment suggests) and men could have four wives and sex was basically whatever a man with authority wanted it to be. I doubt that.

    You have not answered a single scriptural or confessional point being made. Frank is working really hard to show you what the scriptures say and what our Confessions affirm, and you are dodging the questions at hand.

  • Stephen

    Still no one takes on the question(s) at hand – how is this restriction serving the neighbor? Everyone still makes it about conforming to a moral code, that this is something God demands, as Todd said, just because, even when Jesus says that the whole of the law is love of God and neighbor. Name another thing you do in this earthly life “just because” God says you should and not because you believe it is for the good of the neighbor.

    If Porcell had actually read Robin Scroggs he would find out that his central thesis is that there is absolutely no such thing as homosexuality in the NT. Scroggs has debated this point many times and his book on the NT and homosexuality lays this out. Scroggs is one voice among many that affirm that those texts refer to things that fws and I have been saying they refer to, and not a prohibition “just because,” which, as Frank has gone to great efforts to point out, has nothing to do with a scriptural and/or confessional understanding of Divine Law.

    The restriction in Leviticus is a holiness code, plain and simple. It is about the Hebrew tribe distinguishing itself in its worship of the one, true God from the worship practices of pagans. They also have to do with preserving the tribe/clan of Abrahamic heritage, also a holiness concern, because the Hebrews understood themselves to be a people set apart. This is why ch 18 begins with all that stuff about various types of incest in great detail, the most detailed part in fact. It begins with issues of kinship and goes through a lot of possible mix ups and concerns about this to be very clear about preserving the geneology. We know that the scriptures placed value on the “seed” (Onan for instance) and this has been used for prohibitions, even more Victorian ones (need I give details?) believeing that male semen is a precious commodity. The same with blood, a very unclean thing, and why right after incest it takes up the issue of menstruation.

    But these things have nothing at all to do with the Divine Law expressed in the Decalog which Jesus says can be understood COMPLETELY as love of God and neighbor. They have to do with distinguishing the Hebrews both in worship and as a tribe of descendants from Abraham. For the Hebrews, this is holiness. Protecting it also protects the promise given to them in the Decalog. But look at those holiness codes, read through them, and ask yourself what sorts of things one could get away with sexually or otherwise. Children are mentioned, but it does not specifically prohibit sex with children, only ones that are related to you. Why is that so? If these are the only unlawful sexual practices, what imaginative things can one come up with to get around that? Perhaps the way they are being used against homosexuals is false because these codes do not actually matter in the terms everyone assigns them – that by conforming to them somehow God’s law is kept. I believe this is true, and in fws’s many detailed arguments from scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, it does not take quibbling over words to see that.

  • Stephen

    Still no one takes on the question(s) at hand – how is this restriction serving the neighbor? Everyone still makes it about conforming to a moral code, that this is something God demands, as Todd said, just because, even when Jesus says that the whole of the law is love of God and neighbor. Name another thing you do in this earthly life “just because” God says you should and not because you believe it is for the good of the neighbor.

    If Porcell had actually read Robin Scroggs he would find out that his central thesis is that there is absolutely no such thing as homosexuality in the NT. Scroggs has debated this point many times and his book on the NT and homosexuality lays this out. Scroggs is one voice among many that affirm that those texts refer to things that fws and I have been saying they refer to, and not a prohibition “just because,” which, as Frank has gone to great efforts to point out, has nothing to do with a scriptural and/or confessional understanding of Divine Law.

    The restriction in Leviticus is a holiness code, plain and simple. It is about the Hebrew tribe distinguishing itself in its worship of the one, true God from the worship practices of pagans. They also have to do with preserving the tribe/clan of Abrahamic heritage, also a holiness concern, because the Hebrews understood themselves to be a people set apart. This is why ch 18 begins with all that stuff about various types of incest in great detail, the most detailed part in fact. It begins with issues of kinship and goes through a lot of possible mix ups and concerns about this to be very clear about preserving the geneology. We know that the scriptures placed value on the “seed” (Onan for instance) and this has been used for prohibitions, even more Victorian ones (need I give details?) believeing that male semen is a precious commodity. The same with blood, a very unclean thing, and why right after incest it takes up the issue of menstruation.

    But these things have nothing at all to do with the Divine Law expressed in the Decalog which Jesus says can be understood COMPLETELY as love of God and neighbor. They have to do with distinguishing the Hebrews both in worship and as a tribe of descendants from Abraham. For the Hebrews, this is holiness. Protecting it also protects the promise given to them in the Decalog. But look at those holiness codes, read through them, and ask yourself what sorts of things one could get away with sexually or otherwise. Children are mentioned, but it does not specifically prohibit sex with children, only ones that are related to you. Why is that so? If these are the only unlawful sexual practices, what imaginative things can one come up with to get around that? Perhaps the way they are being used against homosexuals is false because these codes do not actually matter in the terms everyone assigns them – that by conforming to them somehow God’s law is kept. I believe this is true, and in fws’s many detailed arguments from scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, it does not take quibbling over words to see that.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    Hi, Kerner. I do use my Septuagint quite a bit. While the Septuagint as such may not have been translated under inspiration, the New Testament writers were familiar with it. When they borrowed from it, the borrowed words become important to understand, and we understand them by familiarity with the Septuagint.

    I’m in the unusual spot where I find both interpretations (yours and those of FWS) to be worth looking at. And there is a spectrum of positions that fall between those two. On either side, I think people have to ignore the esteem in which the scholar is held and see whether his arguments are plausible. And this often takes time.

    The other note I’ll make is on PORNEIA. One way to get a better sense of what this means is to look at classical texts. When I’ve seen the word in works in the Loeb classical library, usually speaking outside of any religious context, the word is translated as “whoring.” A PORNEION is a brothel. It may well have other or broader meanings that we can determine. But this is worth throwing in there.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    Hi, Kerner. I do use my Septuagint quite a bit. While the Septuagint as such may not have been translated under inspiration, the New Testament writers were familiar with it. When they borrowed from it, the borrowed words become important to understand, and we understand them by familiarity with the Septuagint.

    I’m in the unusual spot where I find both interpretations (yours and those of FWS) to be worth looking at. And there is a spectrum of positions that fall between those two. On either side, I think people have to ignore the esteem in which the scholar is held and see whether his arguments are plausible. And this often takes time.

    The other note I’ll make is on PORNEIA. One way to get a better sense of what this means is to look at classical texts. When I’ve seen the word in works in the Loeb classical library, usually speaking outside of any religious context, the word is translated as “whoring.” A PORNEION is a brothel. It may well have other or broader meanings that we can determine. But this is worth throwing in there.

  • Stephen

    So what happens when a post gets lost? Maybe it is waiting to be moderated because of some particular word use, is that it?

    Another word about Greek in 1st. c. Anyone (Rick, trotke?) feel free to tweak or correct this, but Greek was more commonly used, even among Jews at that time throughout the Mediterranean. Hebrew was certainly learned, and boys were taught to read the Torah scrolls for religious/liturgical purposes, but Greek was the lingua franca of the day because of the conquests of Alexander two centuries earlier. Aramaic would have been more of a local/regional dialect of Palestine. But Paul does not seem to use uses Aramaic at all, only Greek. Neither do his OT quotes come from Hebrew – all Greek. This is either because Greek was his first and most familiar language of communication, or because he was mission-focused on the Gentile world, or both. And like Rick says, the Septuagint was something familiar as a source text. It would follow that when Paul quotes the OT, he would refer to it rather than Hebrew texts which would have a very narrow and specialized understanding only among educated Hebrews. If one is missionary, the first task is always to learn the language and preach and teach in it. That, or teach them your language. It seems Paul chose the former. Think of Koine Greek like English across the globe now and you get a sense of how pervasive Greek was in Hellenistic/Roman world.

    That is not to say Paul did not know Hebrew and Aramaic too, but they were not the way he generally seems to have communicated, unlike Jesus, whose actual preserved language in the NT seems to have been Aramaic (“talitha cume” as an example). He too, being a teknia (tradesman) probably also knew Greek, but he spoke an even more regional dialect of Aramaic it seems. So, even the NT Greek recorded in the Gospels is in some sense a translation of Jesus’ actual words, which were likely originally in Aramaic.

  • Stephen

    So what happens when a post gets lost? Maybe it is waiting to be moderated because of some particular word use, is that it?

    Another word about Greek in 1st. c. Anyone (Rick, trotke?) feel free to tweak or correct this, but Greek was more commonly used, even among Jews at that time throughout the Mediterranean. Hebrew was certainly learned, and boys were taught to read the Torah scrolls for religious/liturgical purposes, but Greek was the lingua franca of the day because of the conquests of Alexander two centuries earlier. Aramaic would have been more of a local/regional dialect of Palestine. But Paul does not seem to use uses Aramaic at all, only Greek. Neither do his OT quotes come from Hebrew – all Greek. This is either because Greek was his first and most familiar language of communication, or because he was mission-focused on the Gentile world, or both. And like Rick says, the Septuagint was something familiar as a source text. It would follow that when Paul quotes the OT, he would refer to it rather than Hebrew texts which would have a very narrow and specialized understanding only among educated Hebrews. If one is missionary, the first task is always to learn the language and preach and teach in it. That, or teach them your language. It seems Paul chose the former. Think of Koine Greek like English across the globe now and you get a sense of how pervasive Greek was in Hellenistic/Roman world.

    That is not to say Paul did not know Hebrew and Aramaic too, but they were not the way he generally seems to have communicated, unlike Jesus, whose actual preserved language in the NT seems to have been Aramaic (“talitha cume” as an example). He too, being a teknia (tradesman) probably also knew Greek, but he spoke an even more regional dialect of Aramaic it seems. So, even the NT Greek recorded in the Gospels is in some sense a translation of Jesus’ actual words, which were likely originally in Aramaic.

  • Stephen

    there’s that missing post @ 118

  • Stephen

    there’s that missing post @ 118

  • Stephen

    And so from Porcell @ 114 we get what someone said about what someone said. Weak. Who else “draws their identity from their sexuality?” I suppose this is exclusively a gay thing, unlike football players or macho whatever, or ultra- makeup wearing, fake-boobed, perfume stinking women who are out to catch a rich man! Once again you prove my point that it is your hangups with sex that are the issue Porcell, because that is all you see – a one-dimensional caricature of a human being who happens to be gay. What is you heterosexual dark side, or is all heterosexuality sweetness and light?

    Once again, more hot air.

  • Stephen

    And so from Porcell @ 114 we get what someone said about what someone said. Weak. Who else “draws their identity from their sexuality?” I suppose this is exclusively a gay thing, unlike football players or macho whatever, or ultra- makeup wearing, fake-boobed, perfume stinking women who are out to catch a rich man! Once again you prove my point that it is your hangups with sex that are the issue Porcell, because that is all you see – a one-dimensional caricature of a human being who happens to be gay. What is you heterosexual dark side, or is all heterosexuality sweetness and light?

    Once again, more hot air.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, it turns out that I read Robin Scrogg’s book, New Testament and Homosexuality that admirably attempted to understand and reconcile both sides of the issue of homosexuality. During Jesus’ time and place, as with Luther’s, only a few aristocratic and possibly some low-life types types knew of homosexual relations. That’s why the New Testament had little to say on the subject. Nevertheless, Paul was aware of what was going on in Corinth and regarded this in no uncertain terms as degraded and sinful behavior that placed souls in serious jeopardy. Scroggs writes about this, though mistakenly allows it little value.

    The best book on this subject is Robert Gagnon’s Jesus, The Bible and Homosexuality Gagnon, a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, goes far deeper than Scroggs on the subject. For an introduction to his thought, see the Orthodoxy Today interview including the following:

    Q: Many people are willing to concede your point that both Paul and the authors of the Levitical prohibitions were unequivocally against all homosexual practice. But they would counter-argue that same-sex intercourse is not much of a concern to Scripture because it receives so little attention. What is your response?

    There are two problems with this claim. The first is that there are a fair amount of texts that speak strongly against same-sex intercourse.

    Despite allegations by some scholars that the stories of Sodom (Genesis 19:4-11) and of the Levite at Gibeah (Judges 19:22-25) only express opposition to homosexual intercourse in the context of rape, these stories do include male-male intercourse per se as an important factor in the evil behavior of the inhabitants. To them can be added the story of Ham’s sexual act on his father Noah (Genesis 9:20-27).

    That these stories are relevant to an indictment of same-sex intercourse generally is apparent from: (a) the wider narratives of both the Yahwist and the Deuteronomistic historian which elsewhere indicate a restriction of appropriate sexual activity to heterosexual relations; (b) ancient Near Eastern texts that censure male-male intercourse for reasons other than coercion; (c) the assessment of Sodom’s sin by a number of later texts, including Ezekiel 16:50, Jude 7, and 2 Peter 2:7; and (d) the motifs common to the Ham and Sodom stories on the one hand and the denunciation of Canaanite sexual sins in Leviticus 18 and 20, including Canaanite participation in non-coercive male-male intercourse as a basis for expulsion from the land.

    Also to be included among anti-homosex texts are a series of texts in the Deuteronomistic history (Joshua through 2 Kings) that speak disparagingly of cultic participants in homosexual activity: 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7. These texts are grounded in the law of Deuteronomy (23:17-18) and continued in the Book of Revelation (21:8; 22:15). They show a special revulsion for males functioning as receptive partners in intercourse with other males, referring to them as “dogs.” Parallel Mesopotamian texts indicate that the main issue is not cult association or fees but rather behaving sexually as though female rather than male.

    I note that neither you nor FWS has refuted Prof. Hays and his gay friend gary’s assertions that the gay advocate have distorted thebiblical understanding of homosexuality.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, it turns out that I read Robin Scrogg’s book, New Testament and Homosexuality that admirably attempted to understand and reconcile both sides of the issue of homosexuality. During Jesus’ time and place, as with Luther’s, only a few aristocratic and possibly some low-life types types knew of homosexual relations. That’s why the New Testament had little to say on the subject. Nevertheless, Paul was aware of what was going on in Corinth and regarded this in no uncertain terms as degraded and sinful behavior that placed souls in serious jeopardy. Scroggs writes about this, though mistakenly allows it little value.

    The best book on this subject is Robert Gagnon’s Jesus, The Bible and Homosexuality Gagnon, a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, goes far deeper than Scroggs on the subject. For an introduction to his thought, see the Orthodoxy Today interview including the following:

    Q: Many people are willing to concede your point that both Paul and the authors of the Levitical prohibitions were unequivocally against all homosexual practice. But they would counter-argue that same-sex intercourse is not much of a concern to Scripture because it receives so little attention. What is your response?

    There are two problems with this claim. The first is that there are a fair amount of texts that speak strongly against same-sex intercourse.

    Despite allegations by some scholars that the stories of Sodom (Genesis 19:4-11) and of the Levite at Gibeah (Judges 19:22-25) only express opposition to homosexual intercourse in the context of rape, these stories do include male-male intercourse per se as an important factor in the evil behavior of the inhabitants. To them can be added the story of Ham’s sexual act on his father Noah (Genesis 9:20-27).

    That these stories are relevant to an indictment of same-sex intercourse generally is apparent from: (a) the wider narratives of both the Yahwist and the Deuteronomistic historian which elsewhere indicate a restriction of appropriate sexual activity to heterosexual relations; (b) ancient Near Eastern texts that censure male-male intercourse for reasons other than coercion; (c) the assessment of Sodom’s sin by a number of later texts, including Ezekiel 16:50, Jude 7, and 2 Peter 2:7; and (d) the motifs common to the Ham and Sodom stories on the one hand and the denunciation of Canaanite sexual sins in Leviticus 18 and 20, including Canaanite participation in non-coercive male-male intercourse as a basis for expulsion from the land.

    Also to be included among anti-homosex texts are a series of texts in the Deuteronomistic history (Joshua through 2 Kings) that speak disparagingly of cultic participants in homosexual activity: 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7. These texts are grounded in the law of Deuteronomy (23:17-18) and continued in the Book of Revelation (21:8; 22:15). They show a special revulsion for males functioning as receptive partners in intercourse with other males, referring to them as “dogs.” Parallel Mesopotamian texts indicate that the main issue is not cult association or fees but rather behaving sexually as though female rather than male.

    I note that neither you nor FWS has refuted Prof. Hays and his gay friend gary’s assertions that the gay advocate have distorted thebiblical understanding of homosexuality.

  • kerner

    Hi Rick:

    I’m glad to know you are familiar with you Septuagint, since I am not. And, fot my comparison between the Greek and Hebrew words used in Leviticus 18, I had to rely on interlinear versions in both languages vs. English. I have to admit that I do not know the reliability of the translations I consulted, and I realize that my quick reasearch is no substitute for true scholarship.

    But my research is confirmed by the authorities quoted by porcell. While I do not share porcell’s tendency to frequently rely on quotations from others, On this occasion the scholarly source he cited quoted Hebrew words consistent with the interlinear sources I found on my own. The Hebrew says don’t “lie with a men as you lie with women”. Since the the most sensible translation of the Greek says basically the same thing, I am inclined to believe, based on what I can discern, that the consistent translation is the correct one.

    Besides, I return to my point that this translation makes the most sense. Why would Leviticus say: “don’t have sex with a male prostitute as you would have sex with a woman”? Wouldn’t that imply that there is some accepable way to have sex with a male prostitute? Wouldn’t we expect a passage like this to say “don’t have sex with a male prostitute at all” if male prostitutes were actually the subject matter?

    But it simply makes vastly more sense to read the prhase as it stands as a comparrison: sex with a woman (yes), sex with a man (no). You have to try too hard to get this phrase in Hebrew or Greek to mean anything else.

    I guess the translation of “pornea” to mean “whoring” must take into account the cultural assumptions of the writers. As Stephen points out above, opportunities for non-marital sex would have been exceptional ancient times…except for whores. But you also have to remember that women who engaged in non-marital sex (even those who did not do it as a strictly cash transaction) were often referred to and whores. A king’s or a nobleman’s mistress would frequently be called his “whore” even if they had been together a long time (although not to her face, maybe).

  • kerner

    Hi Rick:

    I’m glad to know you are familiar with you Septuagint, since I am not. And, fot my comparison between the Greek and Hebrew words used in Leviticus 18, I had to rely on interlinear versions in both languages vs. English. I have to admit that I do not know the reliability of the translations I consulted, and I realize that my quick reasearch is no substitute for true scholarship.

    But my research is confirmed by the authorities quoted by porcell. While I do not share porcell’s tendency to frequently rely on quotations from others, On this occasion the scholarly source he cited quoted Hebrew words consistent with the interlinear sources I found on my own. The Hebrew says don’t “lie with a men as you lie with women”. Since the the most sensible translation of the Greek says basically the same thing, I am inclined to believe, based on what I can discern, that the consistent translation is the correct one.

    Besides, I return to my point that this translation makes the most sense. Why would Leviticus say: “don’t have sex with a male prostitute as you would have sex with a woman”? Wouldn’t that imply that there is some accepable way to have sex with a male prostitute? Wouldn’t we expect a passage like this to say “don’t have sex with a male prostitute at all” if male prostitutes were actually the subject matter?

    But it simply makes vastly more sense to read the prhase as it stands as a comparrison: sex with a woman (yes), sex with a man (no). You have to try too hard to get this phrase in Hebrew or Greek to mean anything else.

    I guess the translation of “pornea” to mean “whoring” must take into account the cultural assumptions of the writers. As Stephen points out above, opportunities for non-marital sex would have been exceptional ancient times…except for whores. But you also have to remember that women who engaged in non-marital sex (even those who did not do it as a strictly cash transaction) were often referred to and whores. A king’s or a nobleman’s mistress would frequently be called his “whore” even if they had been together a long time (although not to her face, maybe).

  • Porcell

    Stephen, my post at 123 was in response to yours at 118. I hadn’t read your subsequent posts and don’t have time to respond to them, as I’m off shortly on a business trip to Croatia during which I shall likely have little time to deal with these more interesting issues.

    I will say that both you and FWS are involved in an interpretation of scripture based essentially on the confusion of modernity that men are either biologically determined to homosexual being and behavior or capable of the autonomy to choose a homosexual lifestyle. While some parts of the Bible have been proven wrong on slavery and patriarchy, the issue of homosexuality is far from settled, notwithstanding the pious illusions of you and FWS.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, my post at 123 was in response to yours at 118. I hadn’t read your subsequent posts and don’t have time to respond to them, as I’m off shortly on a business trip to Croatia during which I shall likely have little time to deal with these more interesting issues.

    I will say that both you and FWS are involved in an interpretation of scripture based essentially on the confusion of modernity that men are either biologically determined to homosexual being and behavior or capable of the autonomy to choose a homosexual lifestyle. While some parts of the Bible have been proven wrong on slavery and patriarchy, the issue of homosexuality is far from settled, notwithstanding the pious illusions of you and FWS.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 115 and rick @ 119

    I am not wedded to any position on arsenokoitia. I do not agree Kerner that there are hundreds of years of tradition for translating that word or the word “malakoi” using the english word “homosexual”. Some where in googledom I read that the first time this was done was in 1959. And the most recent spates of this started around 2000. So you claim a tradition that is not the tradition here Kerner.

    I will raise another point that might be too nuanced for a blog: Leviticus 18 could have said “it is forbidden for a man to lie with a man. ” Why was it they had to add “as with a woman”?

    That is my basis for thinking that this probably referred to temple prostitution. In that OT practice and in the NT the temples had castrated males who dressed up as females and the men treated them as female sexual partners. In that culture to reduce a man to a woman was to be made into an object of ridicule. It would be the ultimate humiliation.

    Actually this attitude is not that dissimilar from today. Most all men would feel raped if they were reduced to the womans role in sex. Think prison sex here. What probably would not occur to you from reading the text is that this would be ESPECIALLY true for the great majority of homosexuals. Most heterosexuals assume that in gay sex and even in relationships, one person assumes the male role and the other play acts at the female role. This is simply ignorance. Maybe you know this Kerner, or maybe not, Gays spent a large part of their energy fighting the stereotype that to be gay is to be effeminate or a sissy. So gay men, even more than heterosexual men, work hard at being a regular guy. I suppose that is why most hollywood male role models like james dean, cary grant , marlon brando and errol flynn were all gay.

    The point is that someone who says that this definately refers to temple prostitution may or may NOT be right. Why does that matter Kerner? For me as a gay man either result would not matter.

    Now what CAN we know for sure? We can know this: someone who says that this passage depicts a sex act that any homosexual would say “yes, that is the kind of sex I would be attracted to ” would most CERTAINLY be wrong. So where does that leave us?

    Ok. All that being said, I want to now say the most important part for a Lutheran christian Kerner and that is this: None of what we just discussed about this really matters. Let´s suppose that the Septuagint actually had used one of the many words that the Greeks would have used to mean “homosexual”. So then Leviticus says homosexual sex is wrong and sinful.

    Then we go to I Cor 6 and see that St Paul quotes that. That seems to be your position Kerner. That the septuagint says “homosexual”. Which is a term that did not exist as clinical term till around 1930. Did clinical depression exist in biblical times. Most certainly it did! Would it be right to use that medical term to translate “sad” in the OT. Most certainly not. That would be revisionism.

    But ok. Let´s read it your way. In that case Paul would say in I cor 6 that homosexuals cannot inherit the kingdom. and neither can people who are gossips, who disobey their parents etc as St Paul says in Romans 1 and 2. So tell me where that leaves us?

    I believe that whether that word means temple prostitute or homosexual, we arrive at exactly the same place as to heterosexuals,homosexuals and any other human being. We are all condemned for not having true fear, love and trust in God and rather we place our faith in anything BUT God. Our confessions identify this sin, Original Sin, as the only truly Mortal or Capital Sin dont they?

    I have in now way said that fornication is not sin. It is. and it is sexual sin. And yes I agree that St Paul´s hearers knew what he meant by the word. So dear Kerner. Show me from scriptures or from secular greek literature what that word means. That is my point. Our confessions rejected alot of ideas that were centuries old . In favor of sola scriptura. Where in the bible will I find that “fornication/porneia” means “sex outside of marriage”. Where? If this is so very obvious Kerner, show me. It should be easy right? You are not being at all fair by just saying I am going against millenia of traditional interpretation. Show me that this is so. I rather think your understanding of “arsenokoitia” to mean “gay” is the innovation.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 115 and rick @ 119

    I am not wedded to any position on arsenokoitia. I do not agree Kerner that there are hundreds of years of tradition for translating that word or the word “malakoi” using the english word “homosexual”. Some where in googledom I read that the first time this was done was in 1959. And the most recent spates of this started around 2000. So you claim a tradition that is not the tradition here Kerner.

    I will raise another point that might be too nuanced for a blog: Leviticus 18 could have said “it is forbidden for a man to lie with a man. ” Why was it they had to add “as with a woman”?

    That is my basis for thinking that this probably referred to temple prostitution. In that OT practice and in the NT the temples had castrated males who dressed up as females and the men treated them as female sexual partners. In that culture to reduce a man to a woman was to be made into an object of ridicule. It would be the ultimate humiliation.

    Actually this attitude is not that dissimilar from today. Most all men would feel raped if they were reduced to the womans role in sex. Think prison sex here. What probably would not occur to you from reading the text is that this would be ESPECIALLY true for the great majority of homosexuals. Most heterosexuals assume that in gay sex and even in relationships, one person assumes the male role and the other play acts at the female role. This is simply ignorance. Maybe you know this Kerner, or maybe not, Gays spent a large part of their energy fighting the stereotype that to be gay is to be effeminate or a sissy. So gay men, even more than heterosexual men, work hard at being a regular guy. I suppose that is why most hollywood male role models like james dean, cary grant , marlon brando and errol flynn were all gay.

    The point is that someone who says that this definately refers to temple prostitution may or may NOT be right. Why does that matter Kerner? For me as a gay man either result would not matter.

    Now what CAN we know for sure? We can know this: someone who says that this passage depicts a sex act that any homosexual would say “yes, that is the kind of sex I would be attracted to ” would most CERTAINLY be wrong. So where does that leave us?

    Ok. All that being said, I want to now say the most important part for a Lutheran christian Kerner and that is this: None of what we just discussed about this really matters. Let´s suppose that the Septuagint actually had used one of the many words that the Greeks would have used to mean “homosexual”. So then Leviticus says homosexual sex is wrong and sinful.

    Then we go to I Cor 6 and see that St Paul quotes that. That seems to be your position Kerner. That the septuagint says “homosexual”. Which is a term that did not exist as clinical term till around 1930. Did clinical depression exist in biblical times. Most certainly it did! Would it be right to use that medical term to translate “sad” in the OT. Most certainly not. That would be revisionism.

    But ok. Let´s read it your way. In that case Paul would say in I cor 6 that homosexuals cannot inherit the kingdom. and neither can people who are gossips, who disobey their parents etc as St Paul says in Romans 1 and 2. So tell me where that leaves us?

    I believe that whether that word means temple prostitute or homosexual, we arrive at exactly the same place as to heterosexuals,homosexuals and any other human being. We are all condemned for not having true fear, love and trust in God and rather we place our faith in anything BUT God. Our confessions identify this sin, Original Sin, as the only truly Mortal or Capital Sin dont they?

    I have in now way said that fornication is not sin. It is. and it is sexual sin. And yes I agree that St Paul´s hearers knew what he meant by the word. So dear Kerner. Show me from scriptures or from secular greek literature what that word means. That is my point. Our confessions rejected alot of ideas that were centuries old . In favor of sola scriptura. Where in the bible will I find that “fornication/porneia” means “sex outside of marriage”. Where? If this is so very obvious Kerner, show me. It should be easy right? You are not being at all fair by just saying I am going against millenia of traditional interpretation. Show me that this is so. I rather think your understanding of “arsenokoitia” to mean “gay” is the innovation.

  • Stephen

    Porcell,

    Have funin Croatia! At least I am pious, eh? As for refuiting things, this entire thread is one long refutation of everyhting you’ve said.

    And still, no one answers the question.

  • Stephen

    Porcell,

    Have funin Croatia! At least I am pious, eh? As for refuiting things, this entire thread is one long refutation of everyhting you’ve said.

    And still, no one answers the question.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    “The Hebrew says don’t ‘lie with a men as you lie with women’. Since the the most sensible translation of the Greek says basically the same thing, I am inclined to believe, based on what I can discern, that the consistent translation is the correct one.”

    This makes most sense to me, too.

    Where the other side has arguments is with asking how much of Leviticus is eternally binding and how to determine which parts are and which parts aren’t. Now, even if for the sake of argument we could show that this part is not, that would just be one piece of the puzzle, as other texts might still be pertinent. (Genesis 1 & 2 will likely be primary for me.) I want to work each piece carefully.

    As to the “whoring” concept, there does seem to be quite a bit of overlap with our modern term “fornication.” But it may not be perfect. It is even less clearly equivalent to “sexual immorality” which sort of begs the question.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    “The Hebrew says don’t ‘lie with a men as you lie with women’. Since the the most sensible translation of the Greek says basically the same thing, I am inclined to believe, based on what I can discern, that the consistent translation is the correct one.”

    This makes most sense to me, too.

    Where the other side has arguments is with asking how much of Leviticus is eternally binding and how to determine which parts are and which parts aren’t. Now, even if for the sake of argument we could show that this part is not, that would just be one piece of the puzzle, as other texts might still be pertinent. (Genesis 1 & 2 will likely be primary for me.) I want to work each piece carefully.

    As to the “whoring” concept, there does seem to be quite a bit of overlap with our modern term “fornication.” But it may not be perfect. It is even less clearly equivalent to “sexual immorality” which sort of begs the question.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner

    Here´s what I am going to do: I am going to grant and concede EVERY point you have made about that word “arsenokoitia” as being right.

    1) Let´s agree that “arsenokoitia” can ONLY mean “homosexual” and ..
    2)that it would be absurd and totally unscholarly to not interpret the word with the 20th century medical term “homosexual” and that this would most certainly not be anachronism to do this.
    3) Let’s agree that “homosexual” is the ONLY possible interpretation for Lev 18 and I cor and also for “malakoi” u]in II timothy.
    3) Let´s also decide that the sodom and gomorrah story is entirely about homosexuality. So homosexuality is about violent group rape, or at least that would be a biblically clinical symptom of homosexuality.
    4) Further let´s decide that the “they” in romans 1:1-Rom 2:1 should be read to mean “homosexuals” So we will read the “they” throughout Romans 1:1-2:1 consistently as “homosexual ” all the way through Rom 2:1.
    5) “porneia” /fornication can only mean “sex outside of marriage” and has ALWAYS been understood as meaning that and ONLY that.

    It seems that these are your positions. Ok dear brother Kerner. I concede. I wave the white flag. Seriously and without sarcasm ok?

    I actually repent that I even responded to Porcell on this point. It has poisoned the well. So I will choose to agree with you on all your points from now on, on this blog. It might be useful for you to continue your dialog on this with Rick Richey. I am not willing to debate this point. I concede to you fully! :)

    Now that we have settled those matters, can we please deal with what really matters to me? Which would be our Confessions. The Law of God and of course Faith Alone in Christ Alone? It seems that you and I have a critical difference in our understanding of the Law of God don´t we?

    Would you please respond to my post to you
    #s 62, 64,65,66,68 and 69?

    Now those posts to you are what WOULD really matter to me dear Kerner.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner

    Here´s what I am going to do: I am going to grant and concede EVERY point you have made about that word “arsenokoitia” as being right.

    1) Let´s agree that “arsenokoitia” can ONLY mean “homosexual” and ..
    2)that it would be absurd and totally unscholarly to not interpret the word with the 20th century medical term “homosexual” and that this would most certainly not be anachronism to do this.
    3) Let’s agree that “homosexual” is the ONLY possible interpretation for Lev 18 and I cor and also for “malakoi” u]in II timothy.
    3) Let´s also decide that the sodom and gomorrah story is entirely about homosexuality. So homosexuality is about violent group rape, or at least that would be a biblically clinical symptom of homosexuality.
    4) Further let´s decide that the “they” in romans 1:1-Rom 2:1 should be read to mean “homosexuals” So we will read the “they” throughout Romans 1:1-2:1 consistently as “homosexual ” all the way through Rom 2:1.
    5) “porneia” /fornication can only mean “sex outside of marriage” and has ALWAYS been understood as meaning that and ONLY that.

    It seems that these are your positions. Ok dear brother Kerner. I concede. I wave the white flag. Seriously and without sarcasm ok?

    I actually repent that I even responded to Porcell on this point. It has poisoned the well. So I will choose to agree with you on all your points from now on, on this blog. It might be useful for you to continue your dialog on this with Rick Richey. I am not willing to debate this point. I concede to you fully! :)

    Now that we have settled those matters, can we please deal with what really matters to me? Which would be our Confessions. The Law of God and of course Faith Alone in Christ Alone? It seems that you and I have a critical difference in our understanding of the Law of God don´t we?

    Would you please respond to my post to you
    #s 62, 64,65,66,68 and 69?

    Now those posts to you are what WOULD really matter to me dear Kerner.

  • Stephen

    I’m with Frank, set all the quibbling over language aside and answer the questions from scripture. Let scripture interpret scripture

    Jesus said the whole of the law is love for God and love for the neighbor. This is the only expression of law that matters for Lutherans (all Christians actually!) which comes straight from the lips of our Lord expressing the very heart of the Decalog. This is scriptural, confessional, red-letter Jesus stuff.

    Stick a pin in that.

    So, given this premise, and believing that our love for God is fulfilled through faith in Christ alone given as a free gift of grace in baptism (can we agree on that Lutherans?), then in what way does celibacy and/or fake marriages based on lies and self-deception among homosexuals as described in this article love, serve, do mercy for the neighbor? Show, explain, describe to me how this requirement works. What service is rendered from this restriction?

    No one has taken that up and I doubt seriously anyone can. That is because this restriction serves absolutely no one. No one – not God or the neighbor. There is no love in it at all.

    Or, as the assertion made in the LCMS Lutheran Study Bible puts it (and Pastor Peters in post #53), how does this self-sacrifice of celibacy by homosexuals “serve society and family?” What earthly good comes from it? What is the evidence that this is love to ask this of gay people? Is this mercy to anyone at all? In what way? Or, is it a sacrifice of righteousness?

    The answer is that confessional Lutherans are demanding a righteous work of sacrifice from gays only. Works righteousness on this one thing. If this is not the case, explain why not.

    “Go and learn what this means – I desire mercy and not sacrifice” says the Lord.

    Scripture interprets scripture

    Can I get a witness? Someone answer please. You simply cannot without becoming some kind of ersatz-Catholic/Calvinist, in which case you still have not answered it from scripture, thus no answer is actually given, only these continuing diversions.

    This is usually the point where people begin to give up. That either means you concede or have nothing to say, in which case you have no witness. Repeating yourself does not do it. Clanging cymbals.

    By the way, this isn’t just Frank’s issue. It matters to real people everywhere, some who sit in the pew next to you, some who are kids. It is a question of mercy which the church does not offer. Instead, it demands sacrifice of many Christians, not just Frank. The fact that some are willing to give their two turtle doves at the altar and suffer through is not the point.

  • Stephen

    I’m with Frank, set all the quibbling over language aside and answer the questions from scripture. Let scripture interpret scripture

    Jesus said the whole of the law is love for God and love for the neighbor. This is the only expression of law that matters for Lutherans (all Christians actually!) which comes straight from the lips of our Lord expressing the very heart of the Decalog. This is scriptural, confessional, red-letter Jesus stuff.

    Stick a pin in that.

    So, given this premise, and believing that our love for God is fulfilled through faith in Christ alone given as a free gift of grace in baptism (can we agree on that Lutherans?), then in what way does celibacy and/or fake marriages based on lies and self-deception among homosexuals as described in this article love, serve, do mercy for the neighbor? Show, explain, describe to me how this requirement works. What service is rendered from this restriction?

    No one has taken that up and I doubt seriously anyone can. That is because this restriction serves absolutely no one. No one – not God or the neighbor. There is no love in it at all.

    Or, as the assertion made in the LCMS Lutheran Study Bible puts it (and Pastor Peters in post #53), how does this self-sacrifice of celibacy by homosexuals “serve society and family?” What earthly good comes from it? What is the evidence that this is love to ask this of gay people? Is this mercy to anyone at all? In what way? Or, is it a sacrifice of righteousness?

    The answer is that confessional Lutherans are demanding a righteous work of sacrifice from gays only. Works righteousness on this one thing. If this is not the case, explain why not.

    “Go and learn what this means – I desire mercy and not sacrifice” says the Lord.

    Scripture interprets scripture

    Can I get a witness? Someone answer please. You simply cannot without becoming some kind of ersatz-Catholic/Calvinist, in which case you still have not answered it from scripture, thus no answer is actually given, only these continuing diversions.

    This is usually the point where people begin to give up. That either means you concede or have nothing to say, in which case you have no witness. Repeating yourself does not do it. Clanging cymbals.

    By the way, this isn’t just Frank’s issue. It matters to real people everywhere, some who sit in the pew next to you, some who are kids. It is a question of mercy which the church does not offer. Instead, it demands sacrifice of many Christians, not just Frank. The fact that some are willing to give their two turtle doves at the altar and suffer through is not the point.

  • Grace

    The Old Testament represents three different laws – moral, civil and priestly.

    The moral laws were never abolished, the reason for this is; the moral laws reflect the character of God, His character is HOLY. God never changes, His character never changes, His moral laws don’t change as well. The moral laws of God are still in effect.

    The moral law is established. This is the very reason homosexuality is seen as sin. Within the New Testament the civil and priestly laws are not re-established, but the moral law is.

    For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6

    Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8
    Jesus Christ, God incarnate –

    Some people seem to think we have got beyond the commandments. What did Christ say? DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18)

    The commandments of God given to Moses in the Mount at Horeb are as binding today as ever they have been since the time they were proclaimed in the hearing of the people. The Jews said the law was not given in Palestine (which belonged to Israel), but in the wilderness, because the law was for all nations.

    Jesus never condemned the law and the prophets, but He did condemn those who did not obey them. Because He gave new commandments, it does not follow that He abolished the old. Christ’s explanation of them made them all the more searching. In His Sermon on the Mount, He carried the principles of the commandments beyond the mere letter. He unfolded them and showed that they embraced more, that they are positive as well as prohibitive. The Old Testament closes with these words:
    DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Remember ye the Law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the Statutes and Judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the Earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:4-6)

    Does that look as if the law of Moses was becoming obsolete?

    The conviction deepens in me with the years that the old truths of the Bible must be stated and restated in the plainest possible language. I do not remember ever to have heard a sermon preached on the commandments. I have an index of two thousand five hundred sermons preached by Spurgeon, and not one of them selects its text from the first seventeen verses of Exodus 20. The people must be made to understand that the Ten Commandments are still binding, and that there is a penalty attached to their violation. We do not want a gospel of mere sentiment. The Sermon on the Mount did not blot out the Ten Commandments.

    When Christ came He condensed the statement of the law into this form: DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength… [and] thy neighbour as thyself.” (Mark 12:30,31)

    Paul said:

    “Love is the fulfilling of the Law.” (Romans 13:10)

    But does this mean that the detailed precepts of the Decalogue are superseded and have become back numbers? Does a father cease to give children rules to obey because they love him? Does a nation burn its statute books because the people have become patriotic? Not at all. And yet people speak as if the commandments do not hold for Christians because they have come to love God. Paul said: DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Do we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Law.” (Romans 3:31)

    It still holds good. The Commandments are necessary. So long as we obey, they do not rest heavy upon us; but as soon as we try to break away, we find they are like fences to keep us within bounds. Horses need bridles even after they have been properly broken in. DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “We know that the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the Law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:8-10)

  • Grace

    The Old Testament represents three different laws – moral, civil and priestly.

    The moral laws were never abolished, the reason for this is; the moral laws reflect the character of God, His character is HOLY. God never changes, His character never changes, His moral laws don’t change as well. The moral laws of God are still in effect.

    The moral law is established. This is the very reason homosexuality is seen as sin. Within the New Testament the civil and priestly laws are not re-established, but the moral law is.

    For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6

    Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8
    Jesus Christ, God incarnate –

    Some people seem to think we have got beyond the commandments. What did Christ say? DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18)

    The commandments of God given to Moses in the Mount at Horeb are as binding today as ever they have been since the time they were proclaimed in the hearing of the people. The Jews said the law was not given in Palestine (which belonged to Israel), but in the wilderness, because the law was for all nations.

    Jesus never condemned the law and the prophets, but He did condemn those who did not obey them. Because He gave new commandments, it does not follow that He abolished the old. Christ’s explanation of them made them all the more searching. In His Sermon on the Mount, He carried the principles of the commandments beyond the mere letter. He unfolded them and showed that they embraced more, that they are positive as well as prohibitive. The Old Testament closes with these words:
    DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Remember ye the Law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the Statutes and Judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the Earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:4-6)

    Does that look as if the law of Moses was becoming obsolete?

    The conviction deepens in me with the years that the old truths of the Bible must be stated and restated in the plainest possible language. I do not remember ever to have heard a sermon preached on the commandments. I have an index of two thousand five hundred sermons preached by Spurgeon, and not one of them selects its text from the first seventeen verses of Exodus 20. The people must be made to understand that the Ten Commandments are still binding, and that there is a penalty attached to their violation. We do not want a gospel of mere sentiment. The Sermon on the Mount did not blot out the Ten Commandments.

    When Christ came He condensed the statement of the law into this form: DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength… [and] thy neighbour as thyself.” (Mark 12:30,31)

    Paul said:

    “Love is the fulfilling of the Law.” (Romans 13:10)

    But does this mean that the detailed precepts of the Decalogue are superseded and have become back numbers? Does a father cease to give children rules to obey because they love him? Does a nation burn its statute books because the people have become patriotic? Not at all. And yet people speak as if the commandments do not hold for Christians because they have come to love God. Paul said: DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Do we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Law.” (Romans 3:31)

    It still holds good. The Commandments are necessary. So long as we obey, they do not rest heavy upon us; but as soon as we try to break away, we find they are like fences to keep us within bounds. Horses need bridles even after they have been properly broken in. DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “We know that the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the Law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:8-10)

  • Grace

    Christ kept the law. If He had ever broken it, He would have to die for Himself; but because He was a Lamb without spot or blemish, His atoning death is efficacious for you and me. He had no sin of His own to atone for, and so God accepted His sacrifice. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. We are righteous in God’s sight, because the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ is unto all and upon all them that believe.

    If we had to live forever with our sins in the handwriting of God on the wall, it would be hell on earth. But thank God for the Gospel we preach! If we repent, our sins will all be blotted out. DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “You, being dead in your sins . . . hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

    .
    LOVE, THE FULFILLING OF THE LAW

    If the love of God is shed abroad in your heart, you will be able to fulfill the law. Paul reduced the commandments to one: DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

    Someone has written the following: DWIGHT L. MOODY

    .

    “Love to God will admit no other god.

    Love resents everything that debases its object by representing it by an image.

    Love to God will never dishonor His name.

    Love to God will reverence His day.

    Love to parents makes one honor them.

    Hate, not love, is a murderer.

    Lust, not love, commits adultery.

    Love will give, but never steal.

    Love will not slander or lie.

    Love’s eye is not covetous.”

    ARE YOU READY?

    “It is the height of madness to turn away and run the risk of being called by God to judgment and have no hope in Christ. Now is the day and hour to accept salvation, and then He will be with you. Do you step aside and say: “I’m not ready yet. I want a little more time to prepare, to turn the matter over in my mind”? Well, you have time, but bear in mind it is only the present; you do not know that you will have tomorrow. Wasn’t Belshazzar cut off suddenly? Would he have believed that that was going to be his last night, that he would never see the light of another sun? That banquet of sin didn’t close as he expected. As long as you delay you are in danger. If you don’t enter into the kingdom of heaven by God’s way, you cannot enter at all. You must accept Christ as your Saviour, or you will never be fit to be weighed.

    My friend, do you have Him? Will you remain as you are and be found wanting, or will you accept Christ and be ready for the summons?” DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life: and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 511, 12).

    .
    May God open your heart to receive His Son now!

    THE END.

    DWIGHT L. MOODY

  • Grace

    Christ kept the law. If He had ever broken it, He would have to die for Himself; but because He was a Lamb without spot or blemish, His atoning death is efficacious for you and me. He had no sin of His own to atone for, and so God accepted His sacrifice. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. We are righteous in God’s sight, because the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ is unto all and upon all them that believe.

    If we had to live forever with our sins in the handwriting of God on the wall, it would be hell on earth. But thank God for the Gospel we preach! If we repent, our sins will all be blotted out. DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “You, being dead in your sins . . . hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

    .
    LOVE, THE FULFILLING OF THE LAW

    If the love of God is shed abroad in your heart, you will be able to fulfill the law. Paul reduced the commandments to one: DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “Love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

    Someone has written the following: DWIGHT L. MOODY

    .

    “Love to God will admit no other god.

    Love resents everything that debases its object by representing it by an image.

    Love to God will never dishonor His name.

    Love to God will reverence His day.

    Love to parents makes one honor them.

    Hate, not love, is a murderer.

    Lust, not love, commits adultery.

    Love will give, but never steal.

    Love will not slander or lie.

    Love’s eye is not covetous.”

    ARE YOU READY?

    “It is the height of madness to turn away and run the risk of being called by God to judgment and have no hope in Christ. Now is the day and hour to accept salvation, and then He will be with you. Do you step aside and say: “I’m not ready yet. I want a little more time to prepare, to turn the matter over in my mind”? Well, you have time, but bear in mind it is only the present; you do not know that you will have tomorrow. Wasn’t Belshazzar cut off suddenly? Would he have believed that that was going to be his last night, that he would never see the light of another sun? That banquet of sin didn’t close as he expected. As long as you delay you are in danger. If you don’t enter into the kingdom of heaven by God’s way, you cannot enter at all. You must accept Christ as your Saviour, or you will never be fit to be weighed.

    My friend, do you have Him? Will you remain as you are and be found wanting, or will you accept Christ and be ready for the summons?” DWIGHT L. MOODY

    “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life: and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 511, 12).

    .
    May God open your heart to receive His Son now!

    THE END.

    DWIGHT L. MOODY

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m certainly glad we’ve ditched the debate on Greek etymology, because I don’t know anything about that, and if my salvation depends on my knowing Greek (or, for that matter, the history of pagan temple rites), I’m sunk.

    Anyhow, maybe I’m just drowning in conversation here and should bow out, but I still don’t feel that the points I made @84 have been fully addressed, especially by you Stephen (you may recall that you dismissed it rather quickly @90 by saying I was “splitting hairs”). Please, let’s address these other topics, and not homosexuality — all the more so if it will help you believe that I am not merely trying to attack all homos because I hate them or whatever. Let’s make this more about me (by which I only mean to say that I’m married and enjoy alcohol, thank you), by all means.

    So, again, drunkenness. Pretty certain it’s proscribed in Scripture (Rom. 13:13, 1 Cor. 5:11, 1 Cor. 6:10, Gal. 5:21, Eph. 5:18, etc.). And yet, I couldn’t say with certainty that all drunkenness harms my neighbor. It’s certainly possible to get drunk all by myself. One could argue that hangovers might result, which would have a negative effect on my vocations the next morning certainly, but again, hangovers aren’t guaranteed, either. So is drunkenness only proscribed by God’s Law inasmuch as it does harm to my neighbor (and, consequently, an indifferent matter if it does not)? Or is it proscribed, period? The verses I cited above speak to the latter interpretation.

    And what about divorce? Stephen said (@29) if a marriage was “based on a lie from the beginning” or “if they discover the whole thing was huge mistake, then yes, get a divorce.” This would appear to be in keeping with the argument that it is possible to have a divorce that harms neither party — in fact, that may even make life better for them, or so they would certainly argue. Compare this, though, to Matt. 5:32: “anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery”. Sounds like Stephen’s exception would still be proscribed by Jesus’ pronouncement (as well as what he says in Matt. 19).

    And then there’s adultery. Again, I don’t know what Greek words mean, or which ones underlie the English words I read, for the most part. But I do think that Matt. 5:27ff is pretty clear. As is Heb. 13:4. And even 1 Cor. 1ff. But again, what about mutually consenting extramarital relations, whether of the more routine adulterous kind, or even a man having sex with his father’s wife? I’m pretty certain there are people who believe that such activities are not harmful to anyone (I live not that far from a swingers’ club). Would telling them that Scripture proscribes such activities be mere abuse, of no value to them? Or might it possibly convict them of sin, in a way that their conscience was no longer capable of doing?

    If I follow FWS’ and Stephen’s point, everyone knows perfectly what is right and wrong via their God-given conscience. They might say they think it’s okay to swap wives or get pleasantly blotto, but deep down, they know it’s wrong. I have a hard time with this, not least of all because it’s unanswerable. Neither you nor I can know what a swinger truly believes, deep down. But I think Stephen’s earlier point on divorce belies this argument, anyhow. He appears (@29) to forthrightly believe that amicable divorce is just fine — he gives no hint that his conscience bothers him in saying so. And yet we have, against that, the word of God saying such divorce is wrong. If we assume that an unhappy couples’ consciences are truly working just fine, then we’d have to conclude that their consciences override Scripture in determining whether their divorce was sinful or not, and say it would be just fine.

    My argument has been that there is reason to believe that their consciences are not working fine. After all, what did Paul say to the Corinthians about the incest going on in their congregation? He scorned: “And you are proud!” They were not troubled by this sexual immorality. And yet he held them to an external standard. For that matter, ignoring the homosexual bit, consider Romans 1. “Their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened… God gave them over to shameful lusts.” Sounds like their consciences may have suffered a bit. If I need to think of better arguments from Scripture, I can try.

    I’m not making any arguments about the “image of God”, nor do I think they apply to what I’m saying here, as I agree with what FWS (and, therefore, the Confessions) says about that “image”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m certainly glad we’ve ditched the debate on Greek etymology, because I don’t know anything about that, and if my salvation depends on my knowing Greek (or, for that matter, the history of pagan temple rites), I’m sunk.

    Anyhow, maybe I’m just drowning in conversation here and should bow out, but I still don’t feel that the points I made @84 have been fully addressed, especially by you Stephen (you may recall that you dismissed it rather quickly @90 by saying I was “splitting hairs”). Please, let’s address these other topics, and not homosexuality — all the more so if it will help you believe that I am not merely trying to attack all homos because I hate them or whatever. Let’s make this more about me (by which I only mean to say that I’m married and enjoy alcohol, thank you), by all means.

    So, again, drunkenness. Pretty certain it’s proscribed in Scripture (Rom. 13:13, 1 Cor. 5:11, 1 Cor. 6:10, Gal. 5:21, Eph. 5:18, etc.). And yet, I couldn’t say with certainty that all drunkenness harms my neighbor. It’s certainly possible to get drunk all by myself. One could argue that hangovers might result, which would have a negative effect on my vocations the next morning certainly, but again, hangovers aren’t guaranteed, either. So is drunkenness only proscribed by God’s Law inasmuch as it does harm to my neighbor (and, consequently, an indifferent matter if it does not)? Or is it proscribed, period? The verses I cited above speak to the latter interpretation.

    And what about divorce? Stephen said (@29) if a marriage was “based on a lie from the beginning” or “if they discover the whole thing was huge mistake, then yes, get a divorce.” This would appear to be in keeping with the argument that it is possible to have a divorce that harms neither party — in fact, that may even make life better for them, or so they would certainly argue. Compare this, though, to Matt. 5:32: “anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery”. Sounds like Stephen’s exception would still be proscribed by Jesus’ pronouncement (as well as what he says in Matt. 19).

    And then there’s adultery. Again, I don’t know what Greek words mean, or which ones underlie the English words I read, for the most part. But I do think that Matt. 5:27ff is pretty clear. As is Heb. 13:4. And even 1 Cor. 1ff. But again, what about mutually consenting extramarital relations, whether of the more routine adulterous kind, or even a man having sex with his father’s wife? I’m pretty certain there are people who believe that such activities are not harmful to anyone (I live not that far from a swingers’ club). Would telling them that Scripture proscribes such activities be mere abuse, of no value to them? Or might it possibly convict them of sin, in a way that their conscience was no longer capable of doing?

    If I follow FWS’ and Stephen’s point, everyone knows perfectly what is right and wrong via their God-given conscience. They might say they think it’s okay to swap wives or get pleasantly blotto, but deep down, they know it’s wrong. I have a hard time with this, not least of all because it’s unanswerable. Neither you nor I can know what a swinger truly believes, deep down. But I think Stephen’s earlier point on divorce belies this argument, anyhow. He appears (@29) to forthrightly believe that amicable divorce is just fine — he gives no hint that his conscience bothers him in saying so. And yet we have, against that, the word of God saying such divorce is wrong. If we assume that an unhappy couples’ consciences are truly working just fine, then we’d have to conclude that their consciences override Scripture in determining whether their divorce was sinful or not, and say it would be just fine.

    My argument has been that there is reason to believe that their consciences are not working fine. After all, what did Paul say to the Corinthians about the incest going on in their congregation? He scorned: “And you are proud!” They were not troubled by this sexual immorality. And yet he held them to an external standard. For that matter, ignoring the homosexual bit, consider Romans 1. “Their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened… God gave them over to shameful lusts.” Sounds like their consciences may have suffered a bit. If I need to think of better arguments from Scripture, I can try.

    I’m not making any arguments about the “image of God”, nor do I think they apply to what I’m saying here, as I agree with what FWS (and, therefore, the Confessions) says about that “image”.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    Grace, that still doesn’t answer what we do with Leviticus. The question is, how do we know of a given law which kind of law it is? This is quite clear in cases where a ceremonial rite from the Old Testament is directly abolished. But there are cases where this is not altogether clear. One reader may see a particular Levitical law as just being an expansion of “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.” Another may see it as a more specific ceremonial law that was of limited duration. The actual words of the law in Leviticus end up being very important here. Even if I side with thinking the particular passage is moral in nature, I know that this needs to be argued and not merely asserted. To suggest otherwise might give the impression that all of Leviticus is still binding on us. And we know that that is not the case.

    This kind of distinction took the church a long time to work out. I have read in the Nicene Canons rules for priests which look like they tried to keep a lot of rules from Leviticus in place. I’m sure whoever wrote them imagined they were just insisting on morality. We wouldn’t agree with them.

    I have heard sermons on the commandments. And in Lutheran churches, you often recite portions of the catechism within the service, which does involve reciting the commandments. Memorizing the commandments is generally necessary for confirmation.

    But don’t you see that you’re mixing up the Ten Commandments with the whole Levitical law in your argument? Nobody on this thread has been questioning the Ten Commandments as such. We were discussing a passage in Leviticus.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    Grace, that still doesn’t answer what we do with Leviticus. The question is, how do we know of a given law which kind of law it is? This is quite clear in cases where a ceremonial rite from the Old Testament is directly abolished. But there are cases where this is not altogether clear. One reader may see a particular Levitical law as just being an expansion of “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.” Another may see it as a more specific ceremonial law that was of limited duration. The actual words of the law in Leviticus end up being very important here. Even if I side with thinking the particular passage is moral in nature, I know that this needs to be argued and not merely asserted. To suggest otherwise might give the impression that all of Leviticus is still binding on us. And we know that that is not the case.

    This kind of distinction took the church a long time to work out. I have read in the Nicene Canons rules for priests which look like they tried to keep a lot of rules from Leviticus in place. I’m sure whoever wrote them imagined they were just insisting on morality. We wouldn’t agree with them.

    I have heard sermons on the commandments. And in Lutheran churches, you often recite portions of the catechism within the service, which does involve reciting the commandments. Memorizing the commandments is generally necessary for confirmation.

    But don’t you see that you’re mixing up the Ten Commandments with the whole Levitical law in your argument? Nobody on this thread has been questioning the Ten Commandments as such. We were discussing a passage in Leviticus.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And, in case I haven’t made my point clear, here’s how the conversation might go in my head:

    A: What’s wrong with thing [e.g. adultery, drunkenness, divorce] if it doesn’t hurt anyone? Why are you telling me it’s wrong?
    B: Because Scripture says that it’s wrong.
    A: But Scripture also says that the whole of the Law is to show love for my neighbor. When I do thing, there is no harm; I’m not not showing love for my neighbor.
    B: So you say, and so I assume you believe. But it’s quite possible that your belief is mistaken. After all, Jesus spent quite a lot of time apparently correcting people’s dull consciences, which to that point had not been warning them fully of right and wrong (cf. the Sermon on the Mount, or Matt. 19, among other places).
    A: Well then, what is the point of your telling me all this? So I can follow these Scriptures you cite and act in a more God-pleasing manner?
    B: No, that is never the point of the Law. The point of the Law is to show you your sins, to convict you, to kill your Old Adam … and not to comfort you.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And, in case I haven’t made my point clear, here’s how the conversation might go in my head:

    A: What’s wrong with thing [e.g. adultery, drunkenness, divorce] if it doesn’t hurt anyone? Why are you telling me it’s wrong?
    B: Because Scripture says that it’s wrong.
    A: But Scripture also says that the whole of the Law is to show love for my neighbor. When I do thing, there is no harm; I’m not not showing love for my neighbor.
    B: So you say, and so I assume you believe. But it’s quite possible that your belief is mistaken. After all, Jesus spent quite a lot of time apparently correcting people’s dull consciences, which to that point had not been warning them fully of right and wrong (cf. the Sermon on the Mount, or Matt. 19, among other places).
    A: Well then, what is the point of your telling me all this? So I can follow these Scriptures you cite and act in a more God-pleasing manner?
    B: No, that is never the point of the Law. The point of the Law is to show you your sins, to convict you, to kill your Old Adam … and not to comfort you.

  • Grace

    Rick – 124

    ” The actual words of the law in Leviticus end up being very important here. Even if I side with thinking the particular passage is moral in nature, I know that this needs to be argued and not merely asserted.”

    It doesn’t need to be argued, it’s plain. Homosexuality is a sin. Romans 1 clearly states the sin. The problem continues when anyone still wants to find some loop-holes, of which there isn’t one.

    Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. The men who surrounded Lot’s home wanted the angeles who appeared as men – when Lot offered his daughters they didn’t want them. Lot knew they wouldn’t accept a female, they were male homosexuals, they wanted men. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their greivous sins –

    The in depth story of Lot, the angels being his guests, the men trying to burst open the door to bring the men out (angels) is obvious. If homosexuality had not been such dreadful sin, God would not have destroyed the cities.

    Have you considered that adultery/fornication is the ONLY reason one can divorce and re-marry? One cannot receive a Biblical divorece over lying, stealing, gossip, but they can obtain one if their spouse has committed adultery. Sexual sin has consequences, of which dreadful diseases result as well, we see this today, HIV/AIDS, and many STD’s -

  • Grace

    Rick – 124

    ” The actual words of the law in Leviticus end up being very important here. Even if I side with thinking the particular passage is moral in nature, I know that this needs to be argued and not merely asserted.”

    It doesn’t need to be argued, it’s plain. Homosexuality is a sin. Romans 1 clearly states the sin. The problem continues when anyone still wants to find some loop-holes, of which there isn’t one.

    Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. The men who surrounded Lot’s home wanted the angeles who appeared as men – when Lot offered his daughters they didn’t want them. Lot knew they wouldn’t accept a female, they were male homosexuals, they wanted men. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their greivous sins –

    The in depth story of Lot, the angels being his guests, the men trying to burst open the door to bring the men out (angels) is obvious. If homosexuality had not been such dreadful sin, God would not have destroyed the cities.

    Have you considered that adultery/fornication is the ONLY reason one can divorce and re-marry? One cannot receive a Biblical divorece over lying, stealing, gossip, but they can obtain one if their spouse has committed adultery. Sexual sin has consequences, of which dreadful diseases result as well, we see this today, HIV/AIDS, and many STD’s -

  • Stephen

    Todd -

    I don’t know if I am as light on my feet as you. At least you are trying to answer the question, without actually answering it. Instead you want me to talk about other kinds of sin. I guess I brought them up so I’ll see what I can do.

    Drinking – the question seems to be is there ever a time or place or point at which a little too much booze isn’t “doing harm” to my neighbor. So you have described it negatively I’d say. The question to ask though is how does it serve my neighbor. Avoiding harm to the neighbor is one thing, but if we look for instance at the way Luther explains the commandments, there is always a positive aspect to the divine law. Why? Because that is exactly how Jesus describes the whole of the law, as something we do actively not just passively, avoiding trouble. What might the “but you should” part here be? Figure it out. I don’t have every option figured out. A hangover from my private booze fest might keep me from fulfilling my vocation to others in some way – like getting to work on time. But in each of the texts you cite what is really at stake? I would say it isn’t the act of drunkenness itself. It begins with where one places their faith. We are still dealing with the condition of the heart. And the heart has the divine law written upon it. As you rightly say, that law convicts us of our sin. That is exactly where that conviction happens – deep in the heart. So even removing something or restricting something by a prohibition will have some good outcome for the neighbor. That, or Jesus didn’t know what he was talking about. What is the whole of the law? That is the only question.

    Same for divorce. I probably blew by this too quickly and didn’t give it the nuance it needs because it isn’t what we are talking about. But I will flip it around. What good does it serve anyone – individuals, children, communities, “society” – to stay in a marriage, any marriage, that is a sham and a lie, where love has gone missing and both parties, or even one, has thoroughly checked out? What is the whole of the law?

    Jesus did say anyone (that would be men he’s talking to because women had no power whatsoever) who divorces his wife except for sexual infidelity (guess what the Greek word is?) makes her an adulterer. Some translations call the woman a “victim of adultery.” So what is he talking about? He is talking about a practice of men casting off their wives and using the letter of the moral code to do it. He’s digging down deeper to the conscience, right to the heart where the divine law hits home, where people are truly convicted of their sin against God and neighbor. And he is attacking, as he does everywhere else, the outward observance of custom which the Pharisees use to subjugate people. He is leveling the playing field. The whole of the law is love. It is not love to use the legal requirements of the moral code to subjugate and cast off powerless people. Hmmm? Starting to sound familiar, maybe like what happens to gays.

    But you want me to answer the sex question, because you see this as somehow the only reason divorce is acceptable. Is it sex that matters? The word is porneia. Sexual sinning. How is that measured? Internet porn? Could mean some kind of indecency, but that’s as good as we’ve got. Is Jesus making up a new code of holiness “just because?” It would seem so by this what you are asking for. Why else make this “requirement.” Is that what Jesus does? Is he a new Moses with new laws and holiness codes? You know the answer.

    A little background on what a woman is in the 1st c. NOTHING. She is a none-person. So are the children that Jesus invites to sit on his lap. Only men have identity. You have to get your mind around that to understand the depth of what Jesus is talking about. I have said this before. Without daddy or a husband a woman is nothing. She is traded like chattle. Without a man she is abandoned. Think of the unclean woman pushing through the crowd to touch his garment. No one could talk to her or live with her or be seen with her. Why do you think the prophets demand that the Israelites look after the widow and the orphan? It is no small thing and not simply some random mitzvah that makes God happy for them to do. It is at the heart of the divine law. Like them, Jesus is drilling down past the charade of rule-keeping to where people live and are convicted of their sin – in the heart (conscience).

    Women could not and would not leave their husbands ever – EVER. This is suicide. Only men can make this happen. That or death separates a woman from her husband other than men casting them off using the certificate of divorce to marry another woman, probably so they could have more children or maybe out of lust. Whatever the case, it is on the man here who has all the power. Again, what is at stake? Is it living by a code or is it about love and care for another. I’d say it is the latter. What is the whole of the law? This is Jesus’ concern.

    And I agree with you about what the divine law does in the heart, convicting us of our sin. This is not the boogey man of being moral, which only leads to fear and serving the keeping of rules and not the neighbor. So if I get drunk, is it the drunkeness itself that drives me to seek forgiveness. Perhaps if I worship the bottle in some kind of addiction to get through that would be true. But even then, the wreckage that ensues harms everyone around me. What has been forfeited for the bottle? What service might I have rendered with my gifts?

    Or, let’s say I don’t suffer that problem to that degree, is it that my conscience is bothered by what I might have done had I not gotten blotto? How did it effect my family, my other relationships and vocations, even slightly? Those are the real questions of the conscience, not “I’ll avoid trouble” and thus I have been loving. That is the outward keeping of the law. It is self-serving morality that does not involve the concerns of the neighbor at all. And as Paul says in Romans, such outward observance leads to aversion. Eventually, I am wedded to that bottle I am not drinking. It’s like dieting – all I can think about is food. Remember the thread on Baptists and not bringing them fishing. Who, or better, what is being served and where is one’s faith being placed?

    Likewise with divorce. As long as I do not have actual sex with anyone else and stay married to this person (this is how I read the legal requirement Jesus laid down even though I don’t really understand how it can be good in this case) and as long as we continue on with our miserable existence together, trudging through life, our kids growing up living in a tomb, maybe having separate bedrooms, then I am doing the right thing. Love is being produced in keeping with the whole of the law, is that it? Meanwhile, I will dream about other people, maybe even have close emotional relationships with them, but as long as the appearance of a marriage remains intact, I’m solid. Wait a second, sounds like divorce already, sounds like maybe even “sexual” infidelity, the kind that happens in the heart, the kind Jesus pointed to that is the real problem in his sermon. But wait! I am still married, so that doesn’t effect me. I am doing what the bible says.

    But is that what Jesus says? Is this love or cruelty? Sounds quite merciless to me. What is the whole of the law Todd?

    Do I need to explain why things like incest put people at risk, including progeny?

    A side note on the adultery/divorce thing. The woman caught in adultery in John, who’s to blame for that situation when women have absolutely no power in a society? She might have just as well been the victim of rape. Is the infidelity Jesus speaks of in Mat 5:32 on the woman or the man? Perhaps he means that if a man is sexually disloyal in his marriage he SHOULD divorce his wife. Maybe that is taking it a little too far, but he is not talking about swingers. He is talking about the kingdom of heaven where everyone is loved by God, even the least of these. That is why he says what he says about divorce – it should not lead to abuse of the powerless, of the neighbor, of those we owe our love and care. He describes the law in the same way everywhere. We think it is about not doing something, like murder, and he tells us it is about the condition of our heart and being reconciled. What is the whole of the law?

    I desire mercy and not sacrifice. In each of these, you are still thinking sacrifice to the moral code no matter the cost. Think mercy. Expect to hear that from the scriptures, not the imaginary, rationalist god of “just because.” Why? Because we preach Christ crucified. Make that your hermeneutic. You wouldn’t be asking these questions if your conscience wasn’t involved.

  • Stephen

    Todd -

    I don’t know if I am as light on my feet as you. At least you are trying to answer the question, without actually answering it. Instead you want me to talk about other kinds of sin. I guess I brought them up so I’ll see what I can do.

    Drinking – the question seems to be is there ever a time or place or point at which a little too much booze isn’t “doing harm” to my neighbor. So you have described it negatively I’d say. The question to ask though is how does it serve my neighbor. Avoiding harm to the neighbor is one thing, but if we look for instance at the way Luther explains the commandments, there is always a positive aspect to the divine law. Why? Because that is exactly how Jesus describes the whole of the law, as something we do actively not just passively, avoiding trouble. What might the “but you should” part here be? Figure it out. I don’t have every option figured out. A hangover from my private booze fest might keep me from fulfilling my vocation to others in some way – like getting to work on time. But in each of the texts you cite what is really at stake? I would say it isn’t the act of drunkenness itself. It begins with where one places their faith. We are still dealing with the condition of the heart. And the heart has the divine law written upon it. As you rightly say, that law convicts us of our sin. That is exactly where that conviction happens – deep in the heart. So even removing something or restricting something by a prohibition will have some good outcome for the neighbor. That, or Jesus didn’t know what he was talking about. What is the whole of the law? That is the only question.

    Same for divorce. I probably blew by this too quickly and didn’t give it the nuance it needs because it isn’t what we are talking about. But I will flip it around. What good does it serve anyone – individuals, children, communities, “society” – to stay in a marriage, any marriage, that is a sham and a lie, where love has gone missing and both parties, or even one, has thoroughly checked out? What is the whole of the law?

    Jesus did say anyone (that would be men he’s talking to because women had no power whatsoever) who divorces his wife except for sexual infidelity (guess what the Greek word is?) makes her an adulterer. Some translations call the woman a “victim of adultery.” So what is he talking about? He is talking about a practice of men casting off their wives and using the letter of the moral code to do it. He’s digging down deeper to the conscience, right to the heart where the divine law hits home, where people are truly convicted of their sin against God and neighbor. And he is attacking, as he does everywhere else, the outward observance of custom which the Pharisees use to subjugate people. He is leveling the playing field. The whole of the law is love. It is not love to use the legal requirements of the moral code to subjugate and cast off powerless people. Hmmm? Starting to sound familiar, maybe like what happens to gays.

    But you want me to answer the sex question, because you see this as somehow the only reason divorce is acceptable. Is it sex that matters? The word is porneia. Sexual sinning. How is that measured? Internet porn? Could mean some kind of indecency, but that’s as good as we’ve got. Is Jesus making up a new code of holiness “just because?” It would seem so by this what you are asking for. Why else make this “requirement.” Is that what Jesus does? Is he a new Moses with new laws and holiness codes? You know the answer.

    A little background on what a woman is in the 1st c. NOTHING. She is a none-person. So are the children that Jesus invites to sit on his lap. Only men have identity. You have to get your mind around that to understand the depth of what Jesus is talking about. I have said this before. Without daddy or a husband a woman is nothing. She is traded like chattle. Without a man she is abandoned. Think of the unclean woman pushing through the crowd to touch his garment. No one could talk to her or live with her or be seen with her. Why do you think the prophets demand that the Israelites look after the widow and the orphan? It is no small thing and not simply some random mitzvah that makes God happy for them to do. It is at the heart of the divine law. Like them, Jesus is drilling down past the charade of rule-keeping to where people live and are convicted of their sin – in the heart (conscience).

    Women could not and would not leave their husbands ever – EVER. This is suicide. Only men can make this happen. That or death separates a woman from her husband other than men casting them off using the certificate of divorce to marry another woman, probably so they could have more children or maybe out of lust. Whatever the case, it is on the man here who has all the power. Again, what is at stake? Is it living by a code or is it about love and care for another. I’d say it is the latter. What is the whole of the law? This is Jesus’ concern.

    And I agree with you about what the divine law does in the heart, convicting us of our sin. This is not the boogey man of being moral, which only leads to fear and serving the keeping of rules and not the neighbor. So if I get drunk, is it the drunkeness itself that drives me to seek forgiveness. Perhaps if I worship the bottle in some kind of addiction to get through that would be true. But even then, the wreckage that ensues harms everyone around me. What has been forfeited for the bottle? What service might I have rendered with my gifts?

    Or, let’s say I don’t suffer that problem to that degree, is it that my conscience is bothered by what I might have done had I not gotten blotto? How did it effect my family, my other relationships and vocations, even slightly? Those are the real questions of the conscience, not “I’ll avoid trouble” and thus I have been loving. That is the outward keeping of the law. It is self-serving morality that does not involve the concerns of the neighbor at all. And as Paul says in Romans, such outward observance leads to aversion. Eventually, I am wedded to that bottle I am not drinking. It’s like dieting – all I can think about is food. Remember the thread on Baptists and not bringing them fishing. Who, or better, what is being served and where is one’s faith being placed?

    Likewise with divorce. As long as I do not have actual sex with anyone else and stay married to this person (this is how I read the legal requirement Jesus laid down even though I don’t really understand how it can be good in this case) and as long as we continue on with our miserable existence together, trudging through life, our kids growing up living in a tomb, maybe having separate bedrooms, then I am doing the right thing. Love is being produced in keeping with the whole of the law, is that it? Meanwhile, I will dream about other people, maybe even have close emotional relationships with them, but as long as the appearance of a marriage remains intact, I’m solid. Wait a second, sounds like divorce already, sounds like maybe even “sexual” infidelity, the kind that happens in the heart, the kind Jesus pointed to that is the real problem in his sermon. But wait! I am still married, so that doesn’t effect me. I am doing what the bible says.

    But is that what Jesus says? Is this love or cruelty? Sounds quite merciless to me. What is the whole of the law Todd?

    Do I need to explain why things like incest put people at risk, including progeny?

    A side note on the adultery/divorce thing. The woman caught in adultery in John, who’s to blame for that situation when women have absolutely no power in a society? She might have just as well been the victim of rape. Is the infidelity Jesus speaks of in Mat 5:32 on the woman or the man? Perhaps he means that if a man is sexually disloyal in his marriage he SHOULD divorce his wife. Maybe that is taking it a little too far, but he is not talking about swingers. He is talking about the kingdom of heaven where everyone is loved by God, even the least of these. That is why he says what he says about divorce – it should not lead to abuse of the powerless, of the neighbor, of those we owe our love and care. He describes the law in the same way everywhere. We think it is about not doing something, like murder, and he tells us it is about the condition of our heart and being reconciled. What is the whole of the law?

    I desire mercy and not sacrifice. In each of these, you are still thinking sacrifice to the moral code no matter the cost. Think mercy. Expect to hear that from the scriptures, not the imaginary, rationalist god of “just because.” Why? Because we preach Christ crucified. Make that your hermeneutic. You wouldn’t be asking these questions if your conscience wasn’t involved.

  • Stephen

    What buzz word has me moderated into oblivion? Your answer is somewhere in there Todd. Heck if I know where it went (again!).

  • Stephen

    What buzz word has me moderated into oblivion? Your answer is somewhere in there Todd. Heck if I know where it went (again!).

  • Stephen

    Here’s one for you Grace. It should fit well into your understanding of following what the scriptures say.

    1 Timothy 2

    11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

    Looks like maybe you’d better think twice about all the bossing around you do here. What right have you got to tell anyone here anything concerning scripture? Or are you going to defy again and again the clear word of God? Isn’t that how you usually phrase it?

    Shhhhh, quiet please. Men are discussing things here.

  • Stephen

    Here’s one for you Grace. It should fit well into your understanding of following what the scriptures say.

    1 Timothy 2

    11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

    Looks like maybe you’d better think twice about all the bossing around you do here. What right have you got to tell anyone here anything concerning scripture? Or are you going to defy again and again the clear word of God? Isn’t that how you usually phrase it?

    Shhhhh, quiet please. Men are discussing things here.

  • kerner

    fws @129:

    Well, I don’t think I have to respond to 62, because you just conceded that point. As for the rest, tODD is doing a very fine job of answering as I would, such that I don’t have that much to add.

    Actually, if I put my mind to it, I may be able to come up with at least one more sin that doesn’t apparently harm my neighbor, but I think that would be belaboring trhe wrong aspect of this.

    Saying “because God says so”, may seem like a cop out, but in a way it is also the acknowledgement that God’s wisdom is superior to my own. I mean, isn’t it just a little presumptuous to say to yourself, “OK, so God’s Word says I’m not supposed to do something, but I don’t see how I’m hurting my neighbor by doing it, so I guess I’ll ignore God’s Word and listen to my own wisdom and experience on this point.”

    Maybe you are hurting your neighbor in ways you don’t understand. Maybe you are hurting yourself and your relationship with God, and just can’t see it. While I see your point, I just don’t think we can disregard God’s Word simply because we don’t, at that moment, understand His purpose.

    Now, if I put my mind to it, I will probably be able to come up with some decent theories as to why some forbidden act, that does not overtly seem to detract from me loving my neighbor, actually harms my neighbor, or society of neighbors, or myself, indirectly. But for now I don’t want to engage in theorizing. For now, I want to suggest that God’s Word and His wisdom should be enough.

    One other thing I want to address is the notion that it is the heterosexuals on this thread that have an obsession with sex. I would say the opposite is true. Boyth fws and Stephen tend to be preoccupied with sex, and who is having it and how.

    I was kind of appalled by the comment @48. A married couple’s marriage is a lie because they are having insufficient sex? Parents are lying to their children by sleeping together but not having sex. Goodness, is there some sex quota we married people have to meet to have a marriage that you recognise as honest? What’s the magic number? I want to be sure I don’t fall below it.

    What goes on in a married couple’s bedroom is their business. Whether it is gymnastics every night or nothing at all, it is private. It isn’t a statement that you can judge as true or false.

    I also see a tendency to make sex itself out to be more than it is. Like “loving another person intimately” is some sort of holy grail, some higher state of being, to which we should all aspire. It is very possible that the couples described in this article are loving each other intimately, of which sex can be, but need not be, a part.

    Sex, after all, is a fleshly thing. Its purpose, as I understand it, is to produce children, and to act as a bond in a marriage relationship. But there is a difference between using sex as a way to bind a couple together in marriage and seeking to reinvent marriage as a means to obtain a sexual relationship. Sex is the means, not the end.

    I also reject the idea that humans are defined by their sexuality. Again, it’s part of our flesh and we won’t have it in eternity. This idea that our sexual desires are so bound up in our personal identity that they are part of our essense does not come from scripture or the Lutheran Confessions. It is merely the spirit of our age. You’ll find a lot more support for those ideas in Freud than you will in the Book of Concord.

  • kerner

    fws @129:

    Well, I don’t think I have to respond to 62, because you just conceded that point. As for the rest, tODD is doing a very fine job of answering as I would, such that I don’t have that much to add.

    Actually, if I put my mind to it, I may be able to come up with at least one more sin that doesn’t apparently harm my neighbor, but I think that would be belaboring trhe wrong aspect of this.

    Saying “because God says so”, may seem like a cop out, but in a way it is also the acknowledgement that God’s wisdom is superior to my own. I mean, isn’t it just a little presumptuous to say to yourself, “OK, so God’s Word says I’m not supposed to do something, but I don’t see how I’m hurting my neighbor by doing it, so I guess I’ll ignore God’s Word and listen to my own wisdom and experience on this point.”

    Maybe you are hurting your neighbor in ways you don’t understand. Maybe you are hurting yourself and your relationship with God, and just can’t see it. While I see your point, I just don’t think we can disregard God’s Word simply because we don’t, at that moment, understand His purpose.

    Now, if I put my mind to it, I will probably be able to come up with some decent theories as to why some forbidden act, that does not overtly seem to detract from me loving my neighbor, actually harms my neighbor, or society of neighbors, or myself, indirectly. But for now I don’t want to engage in theorizing. For now, I want to suggest that God’s Word and His wisdom should be enough.

    One other thing I want to address is the notion that it is the heterosexuals on this thread that have an obsession with sex. I would say the opposite is true. Boyth fws and Stephen tend to be preoccupied with sex, and who is having it and how.

    I was kind of appalled by the comment @48. A married couple’s marriage is a lie because they are having insufficient sex? Parents are lying to their children by sleeping together but not having sex. Goodness, is there some sex quota we married people have to meet to have a marriage that you recognise as honest? What’s the magic number? I want to be sure I don’t fall below it.

    What goes on in a married couple’s bedroom is their business. Whether it is gymnastics every night or nothing at all, it is private. It isn’t a statement that you can judge as true or false.

    I also see a tendency to make sex itself out to be more than it is. Like “loving another person intimately” is some sort of holy grail, some higher state of being, to which we should all aspire. It is very possible that the couples described in this article are loving each other intimately, of which sex can be, but need not be, a part.

    Sex, after all, is a fleshly thing. Its purpose, as I understand it, is to produce children, and to act as a bond in a marriage relationship. But there is a difference between using sex as a way to bind a couple together in marriage and seeking to reinvent marriage as a means to obtain a sexual relationship. Sex is the means, not the end.

    I also reject the idea that humans are defined by their sexuality. Again, it’s part of our flesh and we won’t have it in eternity. This idea that our sexual desires are so bound up in our personal identity that they are part of our essense does not come from scripture or the Lutheran Confessions. It is merely the spirit of our age. You’ll find a lot more support for those ideas in Freud than you will in the Book of Concord.

  • Stephen

    I don’t know where my post went Todd. Try this out:

    A: What’s wrong with thing [e.g. adultery, drunkenness, divorce] if it doesn’t hurt anyone? Why are you telling me it’s wrong?
    B: Because Scripture says that it’s wrong.

    Wrong answer Mr. B. Take a page from Jesus and answer with a question.

    A: What’s wrong with getting hammered if it doesn’t hurt anyone? Why are you telling me it’s wrong?

    B: How does that serve your neighbor?

    By the way, the question in A: is phrased assuming one has already said it is wrong without pointing to scripture just yet. You’ve already said it was wrong. Is the only way you know this because of a bible verse that tells you so? Perhaps there IS something deeper at stake than just doing what the bible says.

    Anyway, my lost post takes this on in more detail. Perhaps it will surface.

  • Stephen

    I don’t know where my post went Todd. Try this out:

    A: What’s wrong with thing [e.g. adultery, drunkenness, divorce] if it doesn’t hurt anyone? Why are you telling me it’s wrong?
    B: Because Scripture says that it’s wrong.

    Wrong answer Mr. B. Take a page from Jesus and answer with a question.

    A: What’s wrong with getting hammered if it doesn’t hurt anyone? Why are you telling me it’s wrong?

    B: How does that serve your neighbor?

    By the way, the question in A: is phrased assuming one has already said it is wrong without pointing to scripture just yet. You’ve already said it was wrong. Is the only way you know this because of a bible verse that tells you so? Perhaps there IS something deeper at stake than just doing what the bible says.

    Anyway, my lost post takes this on in more detail. Perhaps it will surface.

  • Grace

    Stephen,

    This is but a blog, I’m not in a pulpit, nor is this a church. Keep it in mind the next time you sound off – (off key) -

    The Scripture regarding homosexuality brings out the real flavor of the homosexual stench, no matter whether it’s female or male.

    Every person has the authority to either support homosexuality, or turn from it… as it is an abomination… Romans 1 refers to it as a REPROBATE MIND.

    An interesting passage of Scripture:

    Aquila and Priscilla are always spoken of ‘together’ its also evident that when they took Apollos into their home they both “expounded unto him they way of God more perfectly.”

    24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

    25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

    26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
    Acts 18:24

  • Grace

    Stephen,

    This is but a blog, I’m not in a pulpit, nor is this a church. Keep it in mind the next time you sound off – (off key) -

    The Scripture regarding homosexuality brings out the real flavor of the homosexual stench, no matter whether it’s female or male.

    Every person has the authority to either support homosexuality, or turn from it… as it is an abomination… Romans 1 refers to it as a REPROBATE MIND.

    An interesting passage of Scripture:

    Aquila and Priscilla are always spoken of ‘together’ its also evident that when they took Apollos into their home they both “expounded unto him they way of God more perfectly.”

    24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

    25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

    26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
    Acts 18:24

  • boaz

    Fws , re post 102, every example of sex in the bible shows sex outside marriage as harmful to others and an offense to society, and only in sex between husband and wife is it portrayed as good and loving.
    ill grant that the bible does not contain a complete sociological study on how every violation of the commandments, second table, hurts neighbor. but sex outside marriage is clearly sin and loving neighbor is clearly the standard. I just don’t see it as very hard to connect the dots when we live in a society that promotes sex outside marriage and we have kids sending each other naked pictures of themselves, porn is everywhere, and most kids are born without a mom and dad.

    And to answer your question about sins not involving harm to neighbor, the answer is 9 and 10. Coveting is about my attitude towards my neigjbor, no harm is done to her.

  • boaz

    Fws , re post 102, every example of sex in the bible shows sex outside marriage as harmful to others and an offense to society, and only in sex between husband and wife is it portrayed as good and loving.
    ill grant that the bible does not contain a complete sociological study on how every violation of the commandments, second table, hurts neighbor. but sex outside marriage is clearly sin and loving neighbor is clearly the standard. I just don’t see it as very hard to connect the dots when we live in a society that promotes sex outside marriage and we have kids sending each other naked pictures of themselves, porn is everywhere, and most kids are born without a mom and dad.

    And to answer your question about sins not involving harm to neighbor, the answer is 9 and 10. Coveting is about my attitude towards my neigjbor, no harm is done to her.

  • Stephen

    Kerner,

    So the best you have is the appeal to mystery? And you are avoiding the questions still by throwing in every red herring you can come up with. Sex quota! Where did you get that? Now you are making stuff up.

    So in what mysterious way might we be harming our relationship to God by something we do if it dependent solely and completely on faith in Christ alone?

    And is there anywhere in the scripture where these mysterious favors we do for the neighbor appear? It seems we are to take it on faith that something we do for the neighbor is just good for them. Do they also take it on faith, or do I actually have to serve them in some way that they see?

    “Yes, I am loving and serving you right now by this mysterious thing which you cannot see and has no effect on you that I am secretly doing for you. Trust me.”

    That is absurd. One can construe ANYTHING as service to the neighbor. How would it be if you completely ignored your wife but reassured her once in a while via an email that she should take it on faith that you are really and truly loving and serving her. that’s baloney and you know it.

    The whole of the law is love. How are these restrictions loving? They are loving because “the bible tells me so” and that is it. You make the scriptures therefore worthless to the very people God calls you to ACTUALLY love and serve – not metaphorically, or mysteriously, or transcendentally through your good intentions. Surely you don’t teach your kids that. Good works are necessary say the Confessions. They are not talking about imaginary ones. They are talking about your vocation, about being called to love and serve and do mercy and live peacefully. That is real doing that has an impact in God’s world.

    What is the whole of the law? As far as God’s wisdom goes, look to Jesus on the cross. There’s your mysterious divine wisdom – every bit of it.

    Answer the question.

  • Stephen

    Kerner,

    So the best you have is the appeal to mystery? And you are avoiding the questions still by throwing in every red herring you can come up with. Sex quota! Where did you get that? Now you are making stuff up.

    So in what mysterious way might we be harming our relationship to God by something we do if it dependent solely and completely on faith in Christ alone?

    And is there anywhere in the scripture where these mysterious favors we do for the neighbor appear? It seems we are to take it on faith that something we do for the neighbor is just good for them. Do they also take it on faith, or do I actually have to serve them in some way that they see?

    “Yes, I am loving and serving you right now by this mysterious thing which you cannot see and has no effect on you that I am secretly doing for you. Trust me.”

    That is absurd. One can construe ANYTHING as service to the neighbor. How would it be if you completely ignored your wife but reassured her once in a while via an email that she should take it on faith that you are really and truly loving and serving her. that’s baloney and you know it.

    The whole of the law is love. How are these restrictions loving? They are loving because “the bible tells me so” and that is it. You make the scriptures therefore worthless to the very people God calls you to ACTUALLY love and serve – not metaphorically, or mysteriously, or transcendentally through your good intentions. Surely you don’t teach your kids that. Good works are necessary say the Confessions. They are not talking about imaginary ones. They are talking about your vocation, about being called to love and serve and do mercy and live peacefully. That is real doing that has an impact in God’s world.

    What is the whole of the law? As far as God’s wisdom goes, look to Jesus on the cross. There’s your mysterious divine wisdom – every bit of it.

    Answer the question.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    TODD @ 135

    And, in case I haven’t made my point clear, here’s how the conversation might go in my head:

    TODD; A: What’s wrong with thing [e.g. adultery, drunkenness, divorce] if it doesn’t hurt anyone? Why are you telling me it’s wrong?

    FWS Read the catechism on the 10 commandments Todd. There are always two parts: 1) mortification and 2) love. or 1) do no harm 2) make the life or your neighbor better and happier. Example:

    1) don´t kill 2) help and befriend your neighbor in every bodily need. To avoid harming others (mortification) is good, but the law requires that we are active in love for others “I have sinned by what I have done and by what I have left undone. I have not loved God or my Neighbor as myself”.

    The goal of ALL earthly morality (as opposed to the heavenly morality that is alone faith in Christ alone) is to improve the creaturely life of your neighbor. How will committing adultery, being insensible on booze or drugs, or divorce make the life of someone else better?

    Ok. Now go back and answer your question. Clear now?

    B: Because Scripture says that it’s wrong.

    Article IV of the Apology:

    7] … human reason naturally understands, in some way, the Law. This is because reason has the same judgment divinely written in the mind [ie conscience]. This natural law [ie conscience] agrees with the law of Moses, or the Ten Commandments.. http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para7

    Pagans do not need the Holy Scriptures to know and do earthly morality (as opposed to Heavenly Morality, which is alone faith in Christ alone).
    If this were not true, then the Confessions could not confess this:

    For Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded.http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para14

    Todd , it may not make logical sense to you that pagans know and do external arthly morality every bit as well as christians can. Ok, but this is what the confessions and Saint Paul and Christ in the Parables teach us. So we accept this as an article of faith. Ok?

    TODD A: But Scripture also says that the whole of the Law is to show love for my neighbor. When I do thing, there is no harm; I’m not not showing love for my neighbor.

    FWS: On earth, God has to literally extort love out of Old Adams by mortification. This is to say that earthly righteousness is mortification+ love. Mortification/Virtue by itself without love is “clanging symbal”. And love without virtue/mortification/self-discipline is not love. It is indulgence. In the new man love happens sponaneously. No mortification is necessary. This is exactly why Luther did n0t put a “thou shall not” in the first commandment´s explanation. That commandment can only be kept by the new man. All the others can be done by Old Adam in the form of love, but only by means of mortification.

    TODD B: So you say, and so I assume you believe. But it’s quite possible that your belief is mistaken. After all, Jesus spent quite a lot of time apparently correcting people’s dull consciences, which to that point had not been warning them fully of right and wrong (cf. the Sermon on the Mount, or Matt. 19, among other places).

    FWS: I am only repeating what the confessions say. They could be mistaken. The point of the SOTM is that the Jews did have the written, codified, revealed Law, AND they followed it down to every jot and tittle, and Jesus said that they were still not keeping it. Why? The law is spiritual, and so keeping it demand nothing less than that the Law be done with one´s whole heart.

    It seems you are repeating what we both learned in Lutheran Catechism class: The conscience is a version of the Law that was damaged with the fall. So we need to version re-issued in the Bible to correct that fallen version of the Law called conscience. This is what I was taught too. The problem with that view is that Calvin teaches that, but the Lutheran Confessions refute this.

    TODD A: Well then, what is the point of your telling me all this? So I can follow these Scriptures you cite and act in a more God-pleasing manner?

    FWS: Telling you what? You lost me.

    TODD B: No, that is never the point of the Law. The point of the Law is to show you your sins, to convict you, to kill your Old Adam … and not to comfort you.

    FWS; The Lutheran Confessions say this over and over and over and…. “The Law ALWAYS accuses.”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    TODD @ 135

    And, in case I haven’t made my point clear, here’s how the conversation might go in my head:

    TODD; A: What’s wrong with thing [e.g. adultery, drunkenness, divorce] if it doesn’t hurt anyone? Why are you telling me it’s wrong?

    FWS Read the catechism on the 10 commandments Todd. There are always two parts: 1) mortification and 2) love. or 1) do no harm 2) make the life or your neighbor better and happier. Example:

    1) don´t kill 2) help and befriend your neighbor in every bodily need. To avoid harming others (mortification) is good, but the law requires that we are active in love for others “I have sinned by what I have done and by what I have left undone. I have not loved God or my Neighbor as myself”.

    The goal of ALL earthly morality (as opposed to the heavenly morality that is alone faith in Christ alone) is to improve the creaturely life of your neighbor. How will committing adultery, being insensible on booze or drugs, or divorce make the life of someone else better?

    Ok. Now go back and answer your question. Clear now?

    B: Because Scripture says that it’s wrong.

    Article IV of the Apology:

    7] … human reason naturally understands, in some way, the Law. This is because reason has the same judgment divinely written in the mind [ie conscience]. This natural law [ie conscience] agrees with the law of Moses, or the Ten Commandments.. http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para7

    Pagans do not need the Holy Scriptures to know and do earthly morality (as opposed to Heavenly Morality, which is alone faith in Christ alone).
    If this were not true, then the Confessions could not confess this:

    For Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded.http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para14

    Todd , it may not make logical sense to you that pagans know and do external arthly morality every bit as well as christians can. Ok, but this is what the confessions and Saint Paul and Christ in the Parables teach us. So we accept this as an article of faith. Ok?

    TODD A: But Scripture also says that the whole of the Law is to show love for my neighbor. When I do thing, there is no harm; I’m not not showing love for my neighbor.

    FWS: On earth, God has to literally extort love out of Old Adams by mortification. This is to say that earthly righteousness is mortification+ love. Mortification/Virtue by itself without love is “clanging symbal”. And love without virtue/mortification/self-discipline is not love. It is indulgence. In the new man love happens sponaneously. No mortification is necessary. This is exactly why Luther did n0t put a “thou shall not” in the first commandment´s explanation. That commandment can only be kept by the new man. All the others can be done by Old Adam in the form of love, but only by means of mortification.

    TODD B: So you say, and so I assume you believe. But it’s quite possible that your belief is mistaken. After all, Jesus spent quite a lot of time apparently correcting people’s dull consciences, which to that point had not been warning them fully of right and wrong (cf. the Sermon on the Mount, or Matt. 19, among other places).

    FWS: I am only repeating what the confessions say. They could be mistaken. The point of the SOTM is that the Jews did have the written, codified, revealed Law, AND they followed it down to every jot and tittle, and Jesus said that they were still not keeping it. Why? The law is spiritual, and so keeping it demand nothing less than that the Law be done with one´s whole heart.

    It seems you are repeating what we both learned in Lutheran Catechism class: The conscience is a version of the Law that was damaged with the fall. So we need to version re-issued in the Bible to correct that fallen version of the Law called conscience. This is what I was taught too. The problem with that view is that Calvin teaches that, but the Lutheran Confessions refute this.

    TODD A: Well then, what is the point of your telling me all this? So I can follow these Scriptures you cite and act in a more God-pleasing manner?

    FWS: Telling you what? You lost me.

    TODD B: No, that is never the point of the Law. The point of the Law is to show you your sins, to convict you, to kill your Old Adam … and not to comfort you.

    FWS; The Lutheran Confessions say this over and over and over and…. “The Law ALWAYS accuses.”

  • Stephen

    Boaz -

    “And to answer your question about sins not involving harm to neighbor, the answer is 9 and 10. Coveting is about my attitude towards my neigjbor, no harm is done to her.”

    So you are saying that as long as I do not do my neighbor harm, the law is fulfilled, is that it? Isn’t that backwards from every other argument you put forward? “What’s the harm” is exactly the disengaged, false morality you decry, the same thing everyone here is claiming homosexuals want? You need to read your catechism. Coveting is much more than that.

    #9 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.

    What does this mean?–Answer.

    We should fear and love God that we may not craftily seek to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, and obtain it by a show of [justice and] right, etc., but help and be of service to him in keeping it.

    #10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is his.

    What does this mean?–Answer.

    We should fear and love God that we may not estrange, force, or entice away our neighbor’s wife, servants, or cattle, but urge them to stay and [diligently] do their duty.

    This is active loving and serving of the neighbor, not passive avoidance of them with a “as long as I don’t harm them I must be serving them” attitude. You are missing the point.

    Not only does homosexuality not harm anyone any more than heterosexuality does, but furthermore, restricting it serves no purpose at all except to bind certain people to a moral code that requires them to sacrifice their lives for nothing at all. God doesn’t need it.

    So if God has all the sacrifice he can stand, how is restricting homosexuals, making them do this sacrifice of required celibacy or fake marriages going to lessen all the bad things on your list? How is this demand that they IN PARTICULAR be celibate or be in sham marriages going to promote the kind of virtue you wish to see in society?

    Once again, all heterosexuals who want to restrict homosexuals see when they see a gay person is sex. They do not see them as people from whom God requires only faith toward him and fervent love toward one another. How is homosexuality not loving? It sounds like your only problem is with them not being married. Suppose they could, would that be good enough then?

    I’m guessing that you will say the only kind of biblical marriage is between a man and a woman. So then, one way or the other, they must be sacrificed on the altar of heterosexual marriage because that is all we’ve got and that is the way God designed it. Tough luck, or tough love from the God who says he will provide for all your needs much more than the lilies and birds.

    Give us this day our daily bread.

    What does this mean?–Answer.

    God gives daily bread, even without our prayer, to all wicked men; but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to know it, and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

    What is meant by daily bread?–Answer.

    Everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as meat, drink, clothing, shoes, house, homestead, field, cattle, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful magistrates, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

    Now there is a contradiction between what is biblically available as a moral standard (heterosexual marriage) and the promise of daily bread. Bread for some and not or others.

    What is the whole of the law? Not “what do homos owe to God” but what truly does keep the law. Is it adhering to a moral standard or is it seeing to the needs of our neighbor through our vocations? How does the vocation of celibate homosexuality serve the neighbor? And in what sense are they not being deprived of daily bread by this standard of celibacy?

    Art 13 says that priestly celibacy is cruel. How is this any different? Merely because there is no biblical prescription for gays to be together? What other things do we do now do that have no biblical prescription, but which we understand to be in keeping with the spirit of the law and so we allow and even celebrate them? We have a made up ceremony called Confirmation. What else can we make up in that same spirit – so that we believe, teach and confess together on Lord, on faith, one baptism rather than on Lord, one faith, one baptism and two types of believers – those who do righteous sacrifice (gays) and those of whom it is not required (straight).

  • Stephen

    Boaz -

    “And to answer your question about sins not involving harm to neighbor, the answer is 9 and 10. Coveting is about my attitude towards my neigjbor, no harm is done to her.”

    So you are saying that as long as I do not do my neighbor harm, the law is fulfilled, is that it? Isn’t that backwards from every other argument you put forward? “What’s the harm” is exactly the disengaged, false morality you decry, the same thing everyone here is claiming homosexuals want? You need to read your catechism. Coveting is much more than that.

    #9 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.

    What does this mean?–Answer.

    We should fear and love God that we may not craftily seek to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, and obtain it by a show of [justice and] right, etc., but help and be of service to him in keeping it.

    #10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is his.

    What does this mean?–Answer.

    We should fear and love God that we may not estrange, force, or entice away our neighbor’s wife, servants, or cattle, but urge them to stay and [diligently] do their duty.

    This is active loving and serving of the neighbor, not passive avoidance of them with a “as long as I don’t harm them I must be serving them” attitude. You are missing the point.

    Not only does homosexuality not harm anyone any more than heterosexuality does, but furthermore, restricting it serves no purpose at all except to bind certain people to a moral code that requires them to sacrifice their lives for nothing at all. God doesn’t need it.

    So if God has all the sacrifice he can stand, how is restricting homosexuals, making them do this sacrifice of required celibacy or fake marriages going to lessen all the bad things on your list? How is this demand that they IN PARTICULAR be celibate or be in sham marriages going to promote the kind of virtue you wish to see in society?

    Once again, all heterosexuals who want to restrict homosexuals see when they see a gay person is sex. They do not see them as people from whom God requires only faith toward him and fervent love toward one another. How is homosexuality not loving? It sounds like your only problem is with them not being married. Suppose they could, would that be good enough then?

    I’m guessing that you will say the only kind of biblical marriage is between a man and a woman. So then, one way or the other, they must be sacrificed on the altar of heterosexual marriage because that is all we’ve got and that is the way God designed it. Tough luck, or tough love from the God who says he will provide for all your needs much more than the lilies and birds.

    Give us this day our daily bread.

    What does this mean?–Answer.

    God gives daily bread, even without our prayer, to all wicked men; but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to know it, and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

    What is meant by daily bread?–Answer.

    Everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as meat, drink, clothing, shoes, house, homestead, field, cattle, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful magistrates, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

    Now there is a contradiction between what is biblically available as a moral standard (heterosexual marriage) and the promise of daily bread. Bread for some and not or others.

    What is the whole of the law? Not “what do homos owe to God” but what truly does keep the law. Is it adhering to a moral standard or is it seeing to the needs of our neighbor through our vocations? How does the vocation of celibate homosexuality serve the neighbor? And in what sense are they not being deprived of daily bread by this standard of celibacy?

    Art 13 says that priestly celibacy is cruel. How is this any different? Merely because there is no biblical prescription for gays to be together? What other things do we do now do that have no biblical prescription, but which we understand to be in keeping with the spirit of the law and so we allow and even celebrate them? We have a made up ceremony called Confirmation. What else can we make up in that same spirit – so that we believe, teach and confess together on Lord, on faith, one baptism rather than on Lord, one faith, one baptism and two types of believers – those who do righteous sacrifice (gays) and those of whom it is not required (straight).

  • Stephen

    Argh! My post won’t come up Todd. Only time will tell.

  • Stephen

    Argh! My post won’t come up Todd. Only time will tell.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 139

    KERNER I may be able to come up with at least one more commandment that I obey out of pure faith “just because God says so” without seeing 1) how it would harm anyone or 2) how keeping it would better the life of others.
    but I think that would be belaboring trhe wrong aspect of this.

    FWS; You haven´t because you can´t! “wrong aspect” Why?

    KERNER Saying “because God says so”, may seem like a cop out,

    FWS Let´s identify your major premise here clearly ok:
    You are claiming that faith in God´s Word is INdespensable in knowing and doing Outward Earthly Morality,

    FWS This contradicts that Lutheran Confessions that have this to say about the Ethical System of Pagan Aristotle:
    “For Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded.” http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para14.

    They are saying by this that no faith at all is needed to know and do outward earthly morality. You do not agree with this do y9u?

    KERNER I just don’t think we can disregard God’s Word simply because we don’t, at that moment, understand His purpose.

    FWS God´s Word declares that that test of earthly righeousness is reason-able, sensible, tangible evidence that what one does betters the life of others. Faith is not that evidence that the Word demands in claiming to be justified on earth in our actions. St James: “tell me your faith, I will SHOW you my works”.

    KERNER …I want to suggest that God’s Word and His wisdom should be enough.

    FWS: No Kerner. This is not your thesis. Your thesis here is that no one can know or do earthly righeousness without having faith in God´s Word .

    This disagrees with the Lutheran Confessions which say this about PAGAN Aristotle´s Ethical System: “For Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded. ” Aristotle did not know what you claim the bible says about homosexual sex.

    Connect. the. dots.

    KERNER: Parents are lying to their children by sleeping together but not having sex.

    FWS Read the article again. They sleep in the same room . Not together. And they do this purposely to hide the true nature of their relationship from their artificially inseminated children. The article is clear about these two points or am I wrong here Kerner?

    KERNER It is very possible that the couples described in this article are loving each other intimately, of which sex can be, but need not be, a part.

    FWS. No Kerner. The article makes the point of telling us that the rabbi that arranged the marriage is clear that a) no sex is going on in the marriage b) sex IS going on outside the marriage and c) the children are artificially inseminated. Or am I wrong here too?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 139

    KERNER I may be able to come up with at least one more commandment that I obey out of pure faith “just because God says so” without seeing 1) how it would harm anyone or 2) how keeping it would better the life of others.
    but I think that would be belaboring trhe wrong aspect of this.

    FWS; You haven´t because you can´t! “wrong aspect” Why?

    KERNER Saying “because God says so”, may seem like a cop out,

    FWS Let´s identify your major premise here clearly ok:
    You are claiming that faith in God´s Word is INdespensable in knowing and doing Outward Earthly Morality,

    FWS This contradicts that Lutheran Confessions that have this to say about the Ethical System of Pagan Aristotle:
    “For Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded.” http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para14.

    They are saying by this that no faith at all is needed to know and do outward earthly morality. You do not agree with this do y9u?

    KERNER I just don’t think we can disregard God’s Word simply because we don’t, at that moment, understand His purpose.

    FWS God´s Word declares that that test of earthly righeousness is reason-able, sensible, tangible evidence that what one does betters the life of others. Faith is not that evidence that the Word demands in claiming to be justified on earth in our actions. St James: “tell me your faith, I will SHOW you my works”.

    KERNER …I want to suggest that God’s Word and His wisdom should be enough.

    FWS: No Kerner. This is not your thesis. Your thesis here is that no one can know or do earthly righeousness without having faith in God´s Word .

    This disagrees with the Lutheran Confessions which say this about PAGAN Aristotle´s Ethical System: “For Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded. ” Aristotle did not know what you claim the bible says about homosexual sex.

    Connect. the. dots.

    KERNER: Parents are lying to their children by sleeping together but not having sex.

    FWS Read the article again. They sleep in the same room . Not together. And they do this purposely to hide the true nature of their relationship from their artificially inseminated children. The article is clear about these two points or am I wrong here Kerner?

    KERNER It is very possible that the couples described in this article are loving each other intimately, of which sex can be, but need not be, a part.

    FWS. No Kerner. The article makes the point of telling us that the rabbi that arranged the marriage is clear that a) no sex is going on in the marriage b) sex IS going on outside the marriage and c) the children are artificially inseminated. Or am I wrong here too?

  • Grace

    Stephen – 145

    “Not only does homosexuality not harm anyone any more than heterosexuality does, but furthermore, restricting it serves no purpose at all except to bind certain people to a moral code that requires them to sacrifice their lives for nothing at all. God doesn’t need it.”

    Sin harms everyone –

    “SACRIFICE their lives” ? which homosexual has sacrificed their life that would measure up to Christ sacrificing HIS life for those who repent and turn to Him for Salvation? –0–

    “Moral code” – when did homosexuals embrace a “moral code” ? — they never have, not one!

    “Once again, all heterosexuals who want to restrict homosexuals see when they see a gay person is sex. They do not see them as people from whom God requires only faith toward him and fervent love toward one another. How is homosexuality not loving? It sounds like your only problem is with them not being married. Suppose they could, would that be good enough then?”

    Homosexuality isn’t loving, nor does it honor God. You’ve tried like hell to make homosexuality sinless, but you have failed – not because I have said so,… but because the Bible says so. All the men marrying men, women marring women will never make their abomination any less disgraceful – they sleep in sin/sex together in disgrace!

    “I’m guessing that you will say the only kind of biblical marriage is between a man and a woman. So then, one way or the other, they must be sacrificed on the altar of heterosexual marriage because that is all we’ve got and that is the way God designed it. Tough luck, or tough love from the God who says he will provide for all your needs much more than the lilies and birds.”

    God’s ordinances for marriage are not “sacrificed on the alter of heterosexual marriage” – they were made according to God’s ordinance for marriage PERIOD!

    Stephen, you think God has another moral law for those who are homosexual, and then concerns HIMSELF with your trifle, snarky remarks, as in “Tough luck, or tough love from the God who says he will provide for all your needs much more than the lilies and birds.”

    Homosexuals aren’t lilies, and they aren’t birds, they are humans who know the right way, but instead, they have followed the way of the WIDE PATH – they will reap what they have sown – - DESTRUCTION!

  • Grace

    Stephen – 145

    “Not only does homosexuality not harm anyone any more than heterosexuality does, but furthermore, restricting it serves no purpose at all except to bind certain people to a moral code that requires them to sacrifice their lives for nothing at all. God doesn’t need it.”

    Sin harms everyone –

    “SACRIFICE their lives” ? which homosexual has sacrificed their life that would measure up to Christ sacrificing HIS life for those who repent and turn to Him for Salvation? –0–

    “Moral code” – when did homosexuals embrace a “moral code” ? — they never have, not one!

    “Once again, all heterosexuals who want to restrict homosexuals see when they see a gay person is sex. They do not see them as people from whom God requires only faith toward him and fervent love toward one another. How is homosexuality not loving? It sounds like your only problem is with them not being married. Suppose they could, would that be good enough then?”

    Homosexuality isn’t loving, nor does it honor God. You’ve tried like hell to make homosexuality sinless, but you have failed – not because I have said so,… but because the Bible says so. All the men marrying men, women marring women will never make their abomination any less disgraceful – they sleep in sin/sex together in disgrace!

    “I’m guessing that you will say the only kind of biblical marriage is between a man and a woman. So then, one way or the other, they must be sacrificed on the altar of heterosexual marriage because that is all we’ve got and that is the way God designed it. Tough luck, or tough love from the God who says he will provide for all your needs much more than the lilies and birds.”

    God’s ordinances for marriage are not “sacrificed on the alter of heterosexual marriage” – they were made according to God’s ordinance for marriage PERIOD!

    Stephen, you think God has another moral law for those who are homosexual, and then concerns HIMSELF with your trifle, snarky remarks, as in “Tough luck, or tough love from the God who says he will provide for all your needs much more than the lilies and birds.”

    Homosexuals aren’t lilies, and they aren’t birds, they are humans who know the right way, but instead, they have followed the way of the WIDE PATH – they will reap what they have sown – - DESTRUCTION!

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    “It doesn’t need to be argued, it’s plain. Homosexuality is a sin. Romans 1 clearly states the sin. The problem continues when anyone still wants to find some loop-holes, of which there isn’t one. ”

    It would be plain if the NIV was the text God inspired. But it isn’t. When they use the word “homosexuality” as a translation for ARSENOKOITAI, they are using a medical term coined in the 19th century by secular psychologists. The English term is a label for a psychological condition. Even if conservatives are right, the Bible is condemning behavior, not a psychological condition.

    “If homosexuality had not been such dreadful sin, God would not have destroyed the cities.”

    Bad argument. This story is pretty terrifying no matter what interpretation you give it, and also upsetting to pretty much anyone’s concept of morality. How is offering one’s daughters to predators moral? And assuming for the sake of argument that sex between males is sinful, wouldn’t the attempt at rape be worse? There’s a victim. I think you’re forgetting Romans 13:8-10. We break the law by hurting our neighbor. The more grievous violations are those that hurt the neighbor more.
    We are given a list of the sins of Sodom that includes several items: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (Ezekiel 16:49-50). It’s hard to say what’s the worst sin here. And in Romans 1, the giving over to sexual sin seems to be after idolatry and before other more common sins like gossip. Some think the later sins the worst in the progression. In which case, perhaps gossip and slander would be enough to get a city destroyed. Further, many blame homosexuality on idolatry on the basis of the passage, imagining they’re demonstrating keen psychological insight. I wonder if the same people would be quick to walk up to the ladies gossiping on the church patio and accuse them of homosexuality. After all, it led to gossip in Romans 1. So it must be the cause of all gossip! The reasoning used on some of these passages is just plain wrong.

    And I say this as someone who takes a conservative reading of many of the passages.

    These passages do have to be taken and argued one by one. Even if we still end up with certain of the same behaviors on a sin list, it might be that we have a different understanding of their gravity and their cause. And we might get our understandings of the Bible less enmeshed with our psychological theories which were developed for very different purposes.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    “It doesn’t need to be argued, it’s plain. Homosexuality is a sin. Romans 1 clearly states the sin. The problem continues when anyone still wants to find some loop-holes, of which there isn’t one. ”

    It would be plain if the NIV was the text God inspired. But it isn’t. When they use the word “homosexuality” as a translation for ARSENOKOITAI, they are using a medical term coined in the 19th century by secular psychologists. The English term is a label for a psychological condition. Even if conservatives are right, the Bible is condemning behavior, not a psychological condition.

    “If homosexuality had not been such dreadful sin, God would not have destroyed the cities.”

    Bad argument. This story is pretty terrifying no matter what interpretation you give it, and also upsetting to pretty much anyone’s concept of morality. How is offering one’s daughters to predators moral? And assuming for the sake of argument that sex between males is sinful, wouldn’t the attempt at rape be worse? There’s a victim. I think you’re forgetting Romans 13:8-10. We break the law by hurting our neighbor. The more grievous violations are those that hurt the neighbor more.
    We are given a list of the sins of Sodom that includes several items: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (Ezekiel 16:49-50). It’s hard to say what’s the worst sin here. And in Romans 1, the giving over to sexual sin seems to be after idolatry and before other more common sins like gossip. Some think the later sins the worst in the progression. In which case, perhaps gossip and slander would be enough to get a city destroyed. Further, many blame homosexuality on idolatry on the basis of the passage, imagining they’re demonstrating keen psychological insight. I wonder if the same people would be quick to walk up to the ladies gossiping on the church patio and accuse them of homosexuality. After all, it led to gossip in Romans 1. So it must be the cause of all gossip! The reasoning used on some of these passages is just plain wrong.

    And I say this as someone who takes a conservative reading of many of the passages.

    These passages do have to be taken and argued one by one. Even if we still end up with certain of the same behaviors on a sin list, it might be that we have a different understanding of their gravity and their cause. And we might get our understandings of the Bible less enmeshed with our psychological theories which were developed for very different purposes.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    todd @ 133

    TODD I still don’t feel that the points I made @84 have been fully addressed,

    FWS: What was missing in my response Todd?

    TODD: So, again, drunkenness. Pretty certain it’s proscribed in Scripture

    FWS “1) We should not: hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but 2) we SHOULD help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need.

    Why are you focused on that first part only? Is the purpose of the Law to comform to a rule or to live to make the lives of others better? Is it to make sacrifice to God or to do mercy? What is God´s purpose in the Law? It is to have us provide 1st article gifts to others!

    TODD And what about divorce?

    FWS Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    We should lead a chaste and decent life in words and deeds,
    and each love and honor his spouse.

    Do we do THIS by simply never divorcing? I know a penticostal woman who has not divorced, but has not lived with her husband for 20 years. Is she still married or divorced? Is she keeping the Law in the way Jesus intended? What is God´s purpose in having us keep the Law? It is to better the lives of others.

    TODD And then there’s adultery.

    FWS We should not covet our neighbor´s property, which includes his wife, but we SHOULD encourage them to stay and do their duty. God´s purpose in the law is to make the lives of others better.

    TODD If I follow FWS’ and Stephen’s point, everyone knows perfectly know what is right and wrong via their God-given conscience.

    FWS: No. And aparently neither did the Jews who had conscience + the Decalog! You are trying to logic your way through this Todd. May I suggest that you start with what the confessions say as being what you know for sure, and work from there instead?

    “human reason naturally understands, in some way, the Law for it has the same judgment [ie conscience] divinely written in the mind; the natural law [ie conscience] agrees with the law of Moses, or the Ten Commandments [ie BOTH are the SAME Divinely Written/Revealed Law]”
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para7

    What is that ‘in some way ” about? It is that human reason thinks of the Law as being satisfied by the outward act alone. It does not see that the Law can only be kept by faith in Christ. Only the Gospel can show this about the Law.

    TODD My argument has been that there is reason to believe that their consciences are not working fine.

    FWS: Ok Todd, square that with what you accept as an article of faith in the Ap art IV.

    Steve and I are not saying that “everyone knows perfectly what is right and wrong via their God-given conscience.” There are lots of people who have the bible and do not know from it “perfectly what is right or wrong” either.

    Are you still playing off the idea that the conscience is a version of the Law damaged by the fall and so God was obliged to reissue the Law in an undamaged version as the Decalog and SOTM? You will not find this idea, that I learned in confirmation class, anywhere in the Confessions or Scriptures.

    But the Lutheran confessions DO say that it is not necessary to have the Bible to know what is right and wrong. They say this about pagan Aristotle: “For Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded. ” http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para14

    Why can they say this? It is because they identify the conscience as the SAME “Divinely Written Law of God”.

    TOOD After all, what did Paul say to the Corinthians about the incest going on in their congregation? He scorned: “And you are proud!” They were not troubled by this sexual immorality. And yet he held them to an external standard.

    FWS the Corinthians had the OT Decalog didn´t they? Paul appealed to what “external standard”? The Decalog? No. He appealed to their conscience! And the Jews had the decalog and did not think that lusting was committing adultery. And Jesus appealed to what “external standard”? Their conscience!

    additional reading from the Confessions:
    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Take home point from the additonal reading: Pagans and christians have the SAME Law, the difference is that those with Faith in Christ see that the Law demands not just the outward actions but rather that the Law be done from the heart.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    todd @ 133

    TODD I still don’t feel that the points I made @84 have been fully addressed,

    FWS: What was missing in my response Todd?

    TODD: So, again, drunkenness. Pretty certain it’s proscribed in Scripture

    FWS “1) We should not: hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but 2) we SHOULD help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need.

    Why are you focused on that first part only? Is the purpose of the Law to comform to a rule or to live to make the lives of others better? Is it to make sacrifice to God or to do mercy? What is God´s purpose in the Law? It is to have us provide 1st article gifts to others!

    TODD And what about divorce?

    FWS Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    We should lead a chaste and decent life in words and deeds,
    and each love and honor his spouse.

    Do we do THIS by simply never divorcing? I know a penticostal woman who has not divorced, but has not lived with her husband for 20 years. Is she still married or divorced? Is she keeping the Law in the way Jesus intended? What is God´s purpose in having us keep the Law? It is to better the lives of others.

    TODD And then there’s adultery.

    FWS We should not covet our neighbor´s property, which includes his wife, but we SHOULD encourage them to stay and do their duty. God´s purpose in the law is to make the lives of others better.

    TODD If I follow FWS’ and Stephen’s point, everyone knows perfectly know what is right and wrong via their God-given conscience.

    FWS: No. And aparently neither did the Jews who had conscience + the Decalog! You are trying to logic your way through this Todd. May I suggest that you start with what the confessions say as being what you know for sure, and work from there instead?

    “human reason naturally understands, in some way, the Law for it has the same judgment [ie conscience] divinely written in the mind; the natural law [ie conscience] agrees with the law of Moses, or the Ten Commandments [ie BOTH are the SAME Divinely Written/Revealed Law]”
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para7

    What is that ‘in some way ” about? It is that human reason thinks of the Law as being satisfied by the outward act alone. It does not see that the Law can only be kept by faith in Christ. Only the Gospel can show this about the Law.

    TODD My argument has been that there is reason to believe that their consciences are not working fine.

    FWS: Ok Todd, square that with what you accept as an article of faith in the Ap art IV.

    Steve and I are not saying that “everyone knows perfectly what is right and wrong via their God-given conscience.” There are lots of people who have the bible and do not know from it “perfectly what is right or wrong” either.

    Are you still playing off the idea that the conscience is a version of the Law damaged by the fall and so God was obliged to reissue the Law in an undamaged version as the Decalog and SOTM? You will not find this idea, that I learned in confirmation class, anywhere in the Confessions or Scriptures.

    But the Lutheran confessions DO say that it is not necessary to have the Bible to know what is right and wrong. They say this about pagan Aristotle: “For Aristotle wrote concerning civil morals so learnedly that nothing further concerning this need be demanded. ” http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para14

    Why can they say this? It is because they identify the conscience as the SAME “Divinely Written Law of God”.

    TOOD After all, what did Paul say to the Corinthians about the incest going on in their congregation? He scorned: “And you are proud!” They were not troubled by this sexual immorality. And yet he held them to an external standard.

    FWS the Corinthians had the OT Decalog didn´t they? Paul appealed to what “external standard”? The Decalog? No. He appealed to their conscience! And the Jews had the decalog and did not think that lusting was committing adultery. And Jesus appealed to what “external standard”? Their conscience!

    additional reading from the Confessions:
    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Take home point from the additonal reading: Pagans and christians have the SAME Law, the difference is that those with Faith in Christ see that the Law demands not just the outward actions but rather that the Law be done from the heart.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 139

    Homosexuals must be celebate “just because God demands it ”

    Name just ONE law that YOU are required to keep Kerner “just because God says so” where there is 1) no readily identifiable hurt or harm to others and 2) where there is no obvious helping and befriending others in their bodily needs that explains your action as being moral?

    Just how far your you going to need to speculate and spin to come up with just ONE Law?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 139

    Homosexuals must be celebate “just because God demands it ”

    Name just ONE law that YOU are required to keep Kerner “just because God says so” where there is 1) no readily identifiable hurt or harm to others and 2) where there is no obvious helping and befriending others in their bodily needs that explains your action as being moral?

    Just how far your you going to need to speculate and spin to come up with just ONE Law?

  • Stephen

    Grace!

    I think you are being a hypocrite. All scripture is good for reproof. It says nothing in 1 Timothy 2 about being in a church or in a pulpit. It says women are not allowed to teach men and that they should submit. You have been reproved with scripture. You are very loud. You should be quiet. If you keep on blathering you may cause even more to fall into sin just like Eve did. Here’s more:

    1 Timothy 2

    11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    Hush now, lest you be reprobate. Go bear some children. That’s your best chance for salvation.

  • Stephen

    Grace!

    I think you are being a hypocrite. All scripture is good for reproof. It says nothing in 1 Timothy 2 about being in a church or in a pulpit. It says women are not allowed to teach men and that they should submit. You have been reproved with scripture. You are very loud. You should be quiet. If you keep on blathering you may cause even more to fall into sin just like Eve did. Here’s more:

    1 Timothy 2

    11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    Hush now, lest you be reprobate. Go bear some children. That’s your best chance for salvation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen said to me (@137),

    At least you are trying to answer the question, without actually answering it. Instead you want me to talk about other kinds of sin.

    Hmm. Pretty sure I’m discussing “other kinds of sin” in reply to FWS’s challenge (@69). It’s easy to lose track of where this conversation is coming from and going to (I’m about at my mind’s end trying to keep track of it myself), but try not to make it sound like I’m intentionally changing the subject, hey? I kind of thought it might be helpful to focus on something besides homosexuality, given that you are apparently blaming me and the rest of us here for “demanding a righteous work of sacrifice from gays only”. And yet, when I discuss issues that are more relevant to my own sinful tendencies, you only seem to get upset with me. You can imagine how that feels.

    Anyhow, I feel like your and FWS’ argument hinges on two points, one scriptural (Jesus’ summary of the Law as loving your neighbor), and the other the one I’m obviously not so sure about (that we fully understand what it means to love by way of our consciences, without need for correction by God’s Word).

    I find this approach problematic because, using only these theses, you then turn to not a few passages in Scripture and, to my mind, turn them to gibberish. Jesus says “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate,” but you appear to blow a hole through that: “… unless, of course, man has good reason to separate it, like feeling that it’s not loving enough.” Again, I have to put a whole lot of faith in my — and not just my, but everyone else’s — perfect understanding of what love is, over and against all these passages of Scripture.

    This is further troublesome, because if we could already trust my (and everyone else’s) understanding of what love is, then you wouldn’t need to be here debating with me, would you? I and everyone else would already know from our consciences that homosexual sex is very loving, marriages should be ended if they’re not loving enough, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with sex outside of marriage. But you are, of course, trying to argue against our consciences, aren’t you? I find that a bit problematic for your thesis.

    Maybe it’s just me, but the first time I really remember reading the Sermon on the Mount, my reaction (that is to say, my conscience’s reaction) wasn’t to say, “Yup, that’s right, Jesus, preach it!” No, instead it was more like, “What the …?! That’s impossible!” Which I think is a perfectly reasonable reaction to a fuller understanding of God’s Law — I believe the disciples expressed some incredulity along these lines, as well. But my point being, my conscience was informed, not confirmed, when I read these things. Your mileage may vary?

    And if the part of me that still thinks homosexual sex might be sinful doesn’t actually come from my conscience, but rather through some other source, then I’m all the more sunk, as I obviously can’t tell the two apart. I have, goes your argument (I think), a perfect understanding of right and wrong inside me, but there are other things in me that compete for my understanding, cloud my vision of this knowledge, or something like that. Which sounds for all the world like my saying that our consciences aren’t perfectly aligned with God’s Will, in the first place!

    But that seems to be the crux of this discussion, far as I can tell. Well, for me, anyhow. Should Scripture inform our understanding of right and wrong, or should our understanding of right and wrong inform our reading of Scripture? I remain, so far, in the camp that would answer “yes; no”, and, as far as I can tell, you and FWS would answer “no; yes”. Would you agree? And let me just apologize if I’m wrongly conflating your two arguments here — if you are making different points, I haven’t picked up on that yet.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen said to me (@137),

    At least you are trying to answer the question, without actually answering it. Instead you want me to talk about other kinds of sin.

    Hmm. Pretty sure I’m discussing “other kinds of sin” in reply to FWS’s challenge (@69). It’s easy to lose track of where this conversation is coming from and going to (I’m about at my mind’s end trying to keep track of it myself), but try not to make it sound like I’m intentionally changing the subject, hey? I kind of thought it might be helpful to focus on something besides homosexuality, given that you are apparently blaming me and the rest of us here for “demanding a righteous work of sacrifice from gays only”. And yet, when I discuss issues that are more relevant to my own sinful tendencies, you only seem to get upset with me. You can imagine how that feels.

    Anyhow, I feel like your and FWS’ argument hinges on two points, one scriptural (Jesus’ summary of the Law as loving your neighbor), and the other the one I’m obviously not so sure about (that we fully understand what it means to love by way of our consciences, without need for correction by God’s Word).

    I find this approach problematic because, using only these theses, you then turn to not a few passages in Scripture and, to my mind, turn them to gibberish. Jesus says “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate,” but you appear to blow a hole through that: “… unless, of course, man has good reason to separate it, like feeling that it’s not loving enough.” Again, I have to put a whole lot of faith in my — and not just my, but everyone else’s — perfect understanding of what love is, over and against all these passages of Scripture.

    This is further troublesome, because if we could already trust my (and everyone else’s) understanding of what love is, then you wouldn’t need to be here debating with me, would you? I and everyone else would already know from our consciences that homosexual sex is very loving, marriages should be ended if they’re not loving enough, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with sex outside of marriage. But you are, of course, trying to argue against our consciences, aren’t you? I find that a bit problematic for your thesis.

    Maybe it’s just me, but the first time I really remember reading the Sermon on the Mount, my reaction (that is to say, my conscience’s reaction) wasn’t to say, “Yup, that’s right, Jesus, preach it!” No, instead it was more like, “What the …?! That’s impossible!” Which I think is a perfectly reasonable reaction to a fuller understanding of God’s Law — I believe the disciples expressed some incredulity along these lines, as well. But my point being, my conscience was informed, not confirmed, when I read these things. Your mileage may vary?

    And if the part of me that still thinks homosexual sex might be sinful doesn’t actually come from my conscience, but rather through some other source, then I’m all the more sunk, as I obviously can’t tell the two apart. I have, goes your argument (I think), a perfect understanding of right and wrong inside me, but there are other things in me that compete for my understanding, cloud my vision of this knowledge, or something like that. Which sounds for all the world like my saying that our consciences aren’t perfectly aligned with God’s Will, in the first place!

    But that seems to be the crux of this discussion, far as I can tell. Well, for me, anyhow. Should Scripture inform our understanding of right and wrong, or should our understanding of right and wrong inform our reading of Scripture? I remain, so far, in the camp that would answer “yes; no”, and, as far as I can tell, you and FWS would answer “no; yes”. Would you agree? And let me just apologize if I’m wrongly conflating your two arguments here — if you are making different points, I haven’t picked up on that yet.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    An example of the problem of ignoring the explicit command of Scripture, instead favoring the hermeneutic of trusting your conscience to guide you to show love to your neighbor, comes with “mercy killing”. I will attempt to frame the issue along the same lines that I feel divorce has been framed here. I’ll set it off in a blockquote to indicate that this is not actually an argument I support:

    Which is better, to force someone to live a meaningless, dreary, pain-filled existence, merely out of some strict, literal adherence to the Fifth Commandment, or to show them love and release them from their earthly torment, as per their wishes? If we refuse to help them take the drugs that will kill them, are we merely following a love-less moral code, just “doing what the Bible says”? The command to not murder was only directed towards those who would take the life of one who was not willing to die. How is it loving to force someone to live through all that pain?

    Let me be clear: I intend that as a reductio ad absurdum of what I’m reading here. I’m assuming that no one here thinks “mercy killing” is a good, loving thing. Maybe I shouldn’t make that assumption?

    Anyhow, I suppose one could argue that no one actually believes arguments like this, that their consciences always speak against murder, even murder done to alleviate suffering. I can’t know, obviously, but they certainly say things like my (mock-)argument above, and seem to believe them quite earnestly.

    But, again, if all we have to know is that the whole of the Law is love, and that our consciences will correctly guide us concerning what is and isn’t love, I think we are, at best, no longer in a position to assess whether “mercy killing” is wrong. Or, for that matter, abortion.

    To quote you, Stephen — although you had a different point in mind when you said so (@144) — “That is absurd. One can construe ANYTHING as service to the neighbor.” Indeed. Or “love”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    An example of the problem of ignoring the explicit command of Scripture, instead favoring the hermeneutic of trusting your conscience to guide you to show love to your neighbor, comes with “mercy killing”. I will attempt to frame the issue along the same lines that I feel divorce has been framed here. I’ll set it off in a blockquote to indicate that this is not actually an argument I support:

    Which is better, to force someone to live a meaningless, dreary, pain-filled existence, merely out of some strict, literal adherence to the Fifth Commandment, or to show them love and release them from their earthly torment, as per their wishes? If we refuse to help them take the drugs that will kill them, are we merely following a love-less moral code, just “doing what the Bible says”? The command to not murder was only directed towards those who would take the life of one who was not willing to die. How is it loving to force someone to live through all that pain?

    Let me be clear: I intend that as a reductio ad absurdum of what I’m reading here. I’m assuming that no one here thinks “mercy killing” is a good, loving thing. Maybe I shouldn’t make that assumption?

    Anyhow, I suppose one could argue that no one actually believes arguments like this, that their consciences always speak against murder, even murder done to alleviate suffering. I can’t know, obviously, but they certainly say things like my (mock-)argument above, and seem to believe them quite earnestly.

    But, again, if all we have to know is that the whole of the Law is love, and that our consciences will correctly guide us concerning what is and isn’t love, I think we are, at best, no longer in a position to assess whether “mercy killing” is wrong. Or, for that matter, abortion.

    To quote you, Stephen — although you had a different point in mind when you said so (@144) — “That is absurd. One can construe ANYTHING as service to the neighbor.” Indeed. Or “love”.

  • Stephen

    Todd – lost post is #137. All yours brother.

  • Stephen

    Todd – lost post is #137. All yours brother.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS (@145), while I always appreciate you pointing me to the Confessions — all the more so when you point me to particular sections for reference! — I can’t help but noticing that you do tend to appeal to the Apology, Article IV more than a little bit, as you have, once again, here. And I find this odd, since that article is, of course, about justification, which is not being disputed here — at least, not between you and I (and a few others).

    But that passage you quoted me from Article IV does not read, to me, as it apparently does to you. I will quote the same paragraph more fully and highlight the part that jumps out to me:

    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. Now, the Decalog requires not only outward civil works, which reason can in some way produce, but it also requires other things placed far above reason, namely, truly to fear God, truly to love God, truly to call upon God, truly to be convinced that God hears us, and to expect the aid of God in death and in all afflictions.

    Now, I’m only able to read the Confessions in English — perhaps that translation is confusing me. But it appears to agree with me that reason (or, as you note, “conscience”) can, to some degree, understand righteousness. In fact, I agree with you that “pagans do not need the Holy Scriptures to know and do earthly morality”, but that is not the same thing as saying that all pagans have a complete and perfect understanding of earthly morality, is it? Keep in mind, I’m not arguing that pagans can do no earthly good. Obviously. I am questioning whether anyone’s conscience — believer or unbeliever — can be or has been dulled by sinfulness, requiring it to be resharpened by God’s Word.

    As for the “Aristotle wrote” quote, one could be forgiven for concluding from your frequent referral to that sentence in comments on this blog that it is the crux of Article Iv, if not the whole of the Apology or even the Confessions. It clearly is an important sentence to you, though I’m not entirely sure I understand why. The overt point in which that sentence is involved is that Aristotlean ethics will not merit the remission of sins.

    But if the Aristotle sentence means exactly what you seem to think it does, then we should all have no problem binding ourselves to Aristotle’s ethics system en toto, at least as far as earthly righteousness is concerned. Here I must admit to ignorance of Aristotle’s ethics. But the question still remains: does everyone’s conscience agree with Aristotle’s writings (and, if so, why did Aristotle need to write them?), or were they particularly in accord with God’s Will for our actions towards our neighbor?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS (@145), while I always appreciate you pointing me to the Confessions — all the more so when you point me to particular sections for reference! — I can’t help but noticing that you do tend to appeal to the Apology, Article IV more than a little bit, as you have, once again, here. And I find this odd, since that article is, of course, about justification, which is not being disputed here — at least, not between you and I (and a few others).

    But that passage you quoted me from Article IV does not read, to me, as it apparently does to you. I will quote the same paragraph more fully and highlight the part that jumps out to me:

    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. Now, the Decalog requires not only outward civil works, which reason can in some way produce, but it also requires other things placed far above reason, namely, truly to fear God, truly to love God, truly to call upon God, truly to be convinced that God hears us, and to expect the aid of God in death and in all afflictions.

    Now, I’m only able to read the Confessions in English — perhaps that translation is confusing me. But it appears to agree with me that reason (or, as you note, “conscience”) can, to some degree, understand righteousness. In fact, I agree with you that “pagans do not need the Holy Scriptures to know and do earthly morality”, but that is not the same thing as saying that all pagans have a complete and perfect understanding of earthly morality, is it? Keep in mind, I’m not arguing that pagans can do no earthly good. Obviously. I am questioning whether anyone’s conscience — believer or unbeliever — can be or has been dulled by sinfulness, requiring it to be resharpened by God’s Word.

    As for the “Aristotle wrote” quote, one could be forgiven for concluding from your frequent referral to that sentence in comments on this blog that it is the crux of Article Iv, if not the whole of the Apology or even the Confessions. It clearly is an important sentence to you, though I’m not entirely sure I understand why. The overt point in which that sentence is involved is that Aristotlean ethics will not merit the remission of sins.

    But if the Aristotle sentence means exactly what you seem to think it does, then we should all have no problem binding ourselves to Aristotle’s ethics system en toto, at least as far as earthly righteousness is concerned. Here I must admit to ignorance of Aristotle’s ethics. But the question still remains: does everyone’s conscience agree with Aristotle’s writings (and, if so, why did Aristotle need to write them?), or were they particularly in accord with God’s Will for our actions towards our neighbor?

  • Stephen

    Todd,

    I didn’t mean to upset you.

    Now we are on to mercy killing. And you take what I said to kerner out of context to make a point that anything can be “love.” Great. Thanks for mis-stating what I said and using it to make a flippant comment. Should I be mad now? I feel like I have to start all over.

    You said this:

    “But my point being, my conscience was informed, not confirmed, when I read these things.”

    Is that accurate? Is the “aha” you got from the SOTM that convicts you of your sin deep in the heart where faith happens simply about about gaining new information or is it about confirming the real stakes – hatred, jealousy, anger, abuse, and all those other things that Jesus says defile you because they issue out of the heart. Is it just an intellectual exercise – I get information in the form of new rules like “don’t be angry” and I follow it? Jesus as lawgiver.

    I think you are turning an “is” into an “ought” by thinking that if it is true that the conscience is the divine law written on the heart (just as the Confessions affirm) then that means that everyone will know in every case exactly what they ought to do and will likewise do it. That is rationalism. People are rational so they will just naturally use their reason to make the right choice. It was thinking like that which sank the economy come to think of it. You are forgetting about sin. Even if we know exactly what to do, we do not do it. The thing that I would do I do not do. Remember that whole Romans 7 thing? There is not some question of degree here. There is no “sort of” sinning and sort of not sinning. Something else is at work in our members – sin, sin that pulls us away all the time. Not even our reasonable decisions about doing right work out. How do we know this? We die. We are not making progress. That is exactly why the law is ALWAYS accusing us because old Adam is always sinning.

    Colossians 3:3 “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”

    And yet death is life. Baptism. Completed when you die. Read Frank’s stuff again.

    I have also said more about what love is as Jesus expressed it – doing mercy, service, etc. Can I get some credit for that? Why is it that the KJV translates agape as “charity” do you think? The love Jesus is talking about that is the whole of the law is not just anything. You don’t need that explained. You are baptized. You don’t just know the message of the cross intellectually, you have it. It is who you are. Same for 1 Cor 13. That isn’t a Valentine. It is about living your baptism until that day when we see face to face.

    I didn’t “blow a hole” in marriage. Do you need a more graphic, violent, abusive situation described so that you have enough information to determine when a marriage needs to end, when love is gone and the only thing left is to make it legally broken? Would some beat up children, a wife who is raped every night help you decide? Men tear all kinds of things asunder and you know exactly why. We do this with the entire creation. Was man made for the Sabbath? So what is your point? Do you still think keeping laws is what matters, because by this standard that is what you are demanding? Keep laws at all costs and things will be just fine – both between me and God and me and my neighbor. We have satisfied God’s law by adhering to the letter. You know that is messed up.

    So you really want to discuss mercy killing? What would be the psychological story one would need to spin? I’m not Shakespeare. But then again, Hamlet’s dilemma comes close to the issue. Honestly, I haven’t got a good answer for you except the cross, where God takes every horror , even the Holocaust, into himself. That is gospel. Was that a “mercy” killing to end all mercy killing? Well, in what way are they ended on the cross, by keeping the law? Does unplugging a person in a vegetative state qualify? Would smothering a baby so the Gestapo does not find you and the rest of your family be “allowed?” Is this a “Sophie’s Choice” moment? Maybe the best I have is to suggest that we live in a world of sin and death – thank God for Jesus Christ. If you want to use this horror to back me into a corner, then fine. You are still looking to live by the law. And if I didn’t know better I would say that is a big, stinking red herring you just pitched in the middle of things.

    So once we have recovered from reeling over that very large diversion, the fact remains that it isn’t what we are talking about. You are still avoiding the question and failing to take it head on. What good is done for the neighbor by enforcing homosexual celibacy and/or requiring them to be in heterosexual marriages which are essentially a lie? What actual love, service, mercy, peace, good for society, however you need me to say it, comes out of this “law keeping?” I’m not talking about phony rule-keeping and appearances. I’m not talking about what might result from a screwed up situation. I’m talking about the intentions of the heart. What kind of intention is at work in charades and facades and keeping of a rule “just because” God seems to have put it in writing. Will it be a less-sexualized society maybe (boaz), some mysterious secret benefit known only to God in his infinite wisdom perhaps (kerner). You know those don’t stack up. The first one implies some kind of moral progress and the second one makes God cruel. The second one reminds me of John Piper saying that cancer is God’s design. In his infinite wisdom he inflicts such things on us so we will learn stuff and be more God-dependent. There is no cross in that. Can you see that?

    The whole of the law is love – agape – doing that love and service for others. I didn’t make that up. Someone else said it. How does prohibiting homosexuality do this love, service, mercy for anyone?

  • Stephen

    Todd,

    I didn’t mean to upset you.

    Now we are on to mercy killing. And you take what I said to kerner out of context to make a point that anything can be “love.” Great. Thanks for mis-stating what I said and using it to make a flippant comment. Should I be mad now? I feel like I have to start all over.

    You said this:

    “But my point being, my conscience was informed, not confirmed, when I read these things.”

    Is that accurate? Is the “aha” you got from the SOTM that convicts you of your sin deep in the heart where faith happens simply about about gaining new information or is it about confirming the real stakes – hatred, jealousy, anger, abuse, and all those other things that Jesus says defile you because they issue out of the heart. Is it just an intellectual exercise – I get information in the form of new rules like “don’t be angry” and I follow it? Jesus as lawgiver.

    I think you are turning an “is” into an “ought” by thinking that if it is true that the conscience is the divine law written on the heart (just as the Confessions affirm) then that means that everyone will know in every case exactly what they ought to do and will likewise do it. That is rationalism. People are rational so they will just naturally use their reason to make the right choice. It was thinking like that which sank the economy come to think of it. You are forgetting about sin. Even if we know exactly what to do, we do not do it. The thing that I would do I do not do. Remember that whole Romans 7 thing? There is not some question of degree here. There is no “sort of” sinning and sort of not sinning. Something else is at work in our members – sin, sin that pulls us away all the time. Not even our reasonable decisions about doing right work out. How do we know this? We die. We are not making progress. That is exactly why the law is ALWAYS accusing us because old Adam is always sinning.

    Colossians 3:3 “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”

    And yet death is life. Baptism. Completed when you die. Read Frank’s stuff again.

    I have also said more about what love is as Jesus expressed it – doing mercy, service, etc. Can I get some credit for that? Why is it that the KJV translates agape as “charity” do you think? The love Jesus is talking about that is the whole of the law is not just anything. You don’t need that explained. You are baptized. You don’t just know the message of the cross intellectually, you have it. It is who you are. Same for 1 Cor 13. That isn’t a Valentine. It is about living your baptism until that day when we see face to face.

    I didn’t “blow a hole” in marriage. Do you need a more graphic, violent, abusive situation described so that you have enough information to determine when a marriage needs to end, when love is gone and the only thing left is to make it legally broken? Would some beat up children, a wife who is raped every night help you decide? Men tear all kinds of things asunder and you know exactly why. We do this with the entire creation. Was man made for the Sabbath? So what is your point? Do you still think keeping laws is what matters, because by this standard that is what you are demanding? Keep laws at all costs and things will be just fine – both between me and God and me and my neighbor. We have satisfied God’s law by adhering to the letter. You know that is messed up.

    So you really want to discuss mercy killing? What would be the psychological story one would need to spin? I’m not Shakespeare. But then again, Hamlet’s dilemma comes close to the issue. Honestly, I haven’t got a good answer for you except the cross, where God takes every horror , even the Holocaust, into himself. That is gospel. Was that a “mercy” killing to end all mercy killing? Well, in what way are they ended on the cross, by keeping the law? Does unplugging a person in a vegetative state qualify? Would smothering a baby so the Gestapo does not find you and the rest of your family be “allowed?” Is this a “Sophie’s Choice” moment? Maybe the best I have is to suggest that we live in a world of sin and death – thank God for Jesus Christ. If you want to use this horror to back me into a corner, then fine. You are still looking to live by the law. And if I didn’t know better I would say that is a big, stinking red herring you just pitched in the middle of things.

    So once we have recovered from reeling over that very large diversion, the fact remains that it isn’t what we are talking about. You are still avoiding the question and failing to take it head on. What good is done for the neighbor by enforcing homosexual celibacy and/or requiring them to be in heterosexual marriages which are essentially a lie? What actual love, service, mercy, peace, good for society, however you need me to say it, comes out of this “law keeping?” I’m not talking about phony rule-keeping and appearances. I’m not talking about what might result from a screwed up situation. I’m talking about the intentions of the heart. What kind of intention is at work in charades and facades and keeping of a rule “just because” God seems to have put it in writing. Will it be a less-sexualized society maybe (boaz), some mysterious secret benefit known only to God in his infinite wisdom perhaps (kerner). You know those don’t stack up. The first one implies some kind of moral progress and the second one makes God cruel. The second one reminds me of John Piper saying that cancer is God’s design. In his infinite wisdom he inflicts such things on us so we will learn stuff and be more God-dependent. There is no cross in that. Can you see that?

    The whole of the law is love – agape – doing that love and service for others. I didn’t make that up. Someone else said it. How does prohibiting homosexuality do this love, service, mercy for anyone?

  • kerner

    fws @152 and elsewhere.

    Well, I haven’t been trying to come up with “just ONE law, because I think tODD came up with several, and because I don’t believe that I have to. But, ok, for your sake, I will come up with a law that can be broken without harm or hatred towards our neighbor, and perhaps even be broken in a state of what the world might call “love”.

    I refer to that standard set by Our Lord in Matthew 5:27-29: lust in the heart. The point of this passage is that the law is broken with no act against anyone whatsoever. I hate going into details about this stuff, but to be clear, let me walk you through it.

    There you are, minding your own business, when a person who attracts you sexually walks by. You engage in sexual fantasies about her or him, and become aroused. Let’s say that you never act on those fantasies, not even privately with yourself. Let’s say that the object of your lust never even finds out about your attraction for her or him. Let’s even say you “fall in love” with this person so that you have all these loving feelings for him or her. No hatred or malice whatsoever. And yet Our Lord says you will have committed “adultery” in your heart and are guilty before the law.

    Now I know of no instance of the pagans, not even Aristotle, arriving at that conclusion on their own by the use of their own consciences. Do you?

    While we are at it, why don’t we take a look at what the Large Catachism says about the 6th Commandment. Read the whole article here:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/lc-3-tencommandments.php#para199

    When you read it, you will find that Luther taught that this commandment mentions adultery specifically because ancient Israelites married ad a very young age and were heavily encouraged to do so such that adultery was by far the most common sexual sin among them, but:

    “202] But because among us there is such a shameful mess and the very dregs of all vice and lewdness, this commandment is directed also against all manner of unchastity, whatever it may be called; 203] and not only is the external act forbidden, but also every kind of cause, incitement, and means, so that the heart, the lips, and the whole body may be chaste and afford no opportunity, help, or persuasion to inchastity. 204] And not only this, but that we also make resistance, afford protection and rescue wherever there is danger and need; and again, that we give help and counsel, so as to maintain our neighbor’s honor. For whenever you omit this when you could make resistance, or connive at it as if it did not concern you, you are as truly guilty as the one perpetrating the deed. 205] Thus, to state it in the briefest manner, there is required this much, that every one both live chastely himself and help his neighbor do the same, so that God by this commandment wishes to hedge round about and protect [as with a rampart] every spouse that no one trespass against them.”
    (emphasis mine)

    Throughout the entire article it is implicit, and sometimes explicit, that any sex outside of marriage is “unchaste”. And it urges that everyone, with few exceptions, should be married.

    The article also discusses the results of living in monastic, same sex, societies that avoid marriage:

    “213] From this you see how this popish rabble, priests, monks, and nuns, resist God’s order and commandment, inasmuch as they despise and forbid matrimony, and presume and vow to maintain perpetual chastity, and, besides, deceive the simple-minded with lying words and appearances [impostures]. 214] For no one has so little love and inclination to chastity as just those who because of great sanctity avoid marriage, and either indulge in open and shameless prostitution, or secretly do even worse, so that one dare not speak of it, as has, alas! been learned too fully.”
    (emphasis mine)

    Gee, I wonder what shameful sexual practices went on among those same sex societies that Luther didn’t even want to mention. Well, he didn’t say in this article. But he did talk about it elsewhere, as he condemned the Carthusian monks for their homosexual practices:

    http://apprising.org/2009/07/02/john-t-pless-martin-luthers-rejection-of-homosexuality/

    One more specific point worth mentioning is that theis article specifically ties marriage to a man-woman union ordained by God:

    “Therefore He also wishes us to honor it, and to maintain and conduct it as a divine and blessed estate; because, in the first place, He has instituted it before all others, and therefore created man and woman separately (as is evident), not for lewdness, but that they should [legitimately] live together, be fruitful, beget children, and nourish and train them to the honor of God. ”

    So, there we have the connection between man-man or woman-woman sex and not loving your neighbor. The Large Catechism teaches the when you have sex with your neighbor outside of (man-woman) marriage, you are not only defiling yourself, you are defiling your neighbor (him or her, as the case may be), and you are defiling the larger society around you by disregarding the institution of (man-woman) marriage that is the institution ordained by God. Defiling your neighbor is, by definition, not loving him (even if your neighbor is consentually defiling you at the same time).

  • kerner

    fws @152 and elsewhere.

    Well, I haven’t been trying to come up with “just ONE law, because I think tODD came up with several, and because I don’t believe that I have to. But, ok, for your sake, I will come up with a law that can be broken without harm or hatred towards our neighbor, and perhaps even be broken in a state of what the world might call “love”.

    I refer to that standard set by Our Lord in Matthew 5:27-29: lust in the heart. The point of this passage is that the law is broken with no act against anyone whatsoever. I hate going into details about this stuff, but to be clear, let me walk you through it.

    There you are, minding your own business, when a person who attracts you sexually walks by. You engage in sexual fantasies about her or him, and become aroused. Let’s say that you never act on those fantasies, not even privately with yourself. Let’s say that the object of your lust never even finds out about your attraction for her or him. Let’s even say you “fall in love” with this person so that you have all these loving feelings for him or her. No hatred or malice whatsoever. And yet Our Lord says you will have committed “adultery” in your heart and are guilty before the law.

    Now I know of no instance of the pagans, not even Aristotle, arriving at that conclusion on their own by the use of their own consciences. Do you?

    While we are at it, why don’t we take a look at what the Large Catachism says about the 6th Commandment. Read the whole article here:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/lc-3-tencommandments.php#para199

    When you read it, you will find that Luther taught that this commandment mentions adultery specifically because ancient Israelites married ad a very young age and were heavily encouraged to do so such that adultery was by far the most common sexual sin among them, but:

    “202] But because among us there is such a shameful mess and the very dregs of all vice and lewdness, this commandment is directed also against all manner of unchastity, whatever it may be called; 203] and not only is the external act forbidden, but also every kind of cause, incitement, and means, so that the heart, the lips, and the whole body may be chaste and afford no opportunity, help, or persuasion to inchastity. 204] And not only this, but that we also make resistance, afford protection and rescue wherever there is danger and need; and again, that we give help and counsel, so as to maintain our neighbor’s honor. For whenever you omit this when you could make resistance, or connive at it as if it did not concern you, you are as truly guilty as the one perpetrating the deed. 205] Thus, to state it in the briefest manner, there is required this much, that every one both live chastely himself and help his neighbor do the same, so that God by this commandment wishes to hedge round about and protect [as with a rampart] every spouse that no one trespass against them.”
    (emphasis mine)

    Throughout the entire article it is implicit, and sometimes explicit, that any sex outside of marriage is “unchaste”. And it urges that everyone, with few exceptions, should be married.

    The article also discusses the results of living in monastic, same sex, societies that avoid marriage:

    “213] From this you see how this popish rabble, priests, monks, and nuns, resist God’s order and commandment, inasmuch as they despise and forbid matrimony, and presume and vow to maintain perpetual chastity, and, besides, deceive the simple-minded with lying words and appearances [impostures]. 214] For no one has so little love and inclination to chastity as just those who because of great sanctity avoid marriage, and either indulge in open and shameless prostitution, or secretly do even worse, so that one dare not speak of it, as has, alas! been learned too fully.”
    (emphasis mine)

    Gee, I wonder what shameful sexual practices went on among those same sex societies that Luther didn’t even want to mention. Well, he didn’t say in this article. But he did talk about it elsewhere, as he condemned the Carthusian monks for their homosexual practices:

    http://apprising.org/2009/07/02/john-t-pless-martin-luthers-rejection-of-homosexuality/

    One more specific point worth mentioning is that theis article specifically ties marriage to a man-woman union ordained by God:

    “Therefore He also wishes us to honor it, and to maintain and conduct it as a divine and blessed estate; because, in the first place, He has instituted it before all others, and therefore created man and woman separately (as is evident), not for lewdness, but that they should [legitimately] live together, be fruitful, beget children, and nourish and train them to the honor of God. ”

    So, there we have the connection between man-man or woman-woman sex and not loving your neighbor. The Large Catechism teaches the when you have sex with your neighbor outside of (man-woman) marriage, you are not only defiling yourself, you are defiling your neighbor (him or her, as the case may be), and you are defiling the larger society around you by disregarding the institution of (man-woman) marriage that is the institution ordained by God. Defiling your neighbor is, by definition, not loving him (even if your neighbor is consentually defiling you at the same time).

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 154, Kerner @ 159

    FWS Todd, Steve knows that you are the one here who sees clearly where this is all headed and you are honestly trying to test all available escapes from it.

    Kerner! I am loving your post. You are now arguing from the Lutheran Confessions. What a wonderful and thoughtful post dear brother Kerner. I felt loved by that post! May I observe that you are going from the particulars to prove a general principle? I am here going to lay the general principle as being different than what you implicitly propose but not explicitly so. Then and only then can I address your particulars that you wonderfully cite from our common Confessions. Fair enough? I hope so! :)

    TODD… you are apparently blaming me and the rest of us here for “demanding a righteous work of sacrifice from gays only”. And yet, when I discuss issues that are more relevant to my own sinful tendencies, you only seem to get upset with me.

    FWS because he is not asking you to compare your sin to homosexual sin. He is asking you to name just one rule YOU keep for God “just because” with no clue at all as to how it avoids harm or will help you do love for others better. Just one. Focus on that. Better, read the rest of this first. It will clear up why I am focussing you on this challenge as a diagnostic of your views on the Law.

    TODD I feel like your and FWS’ argument hinges on two points,
    1) Jesus’ summary of the Law as loving your neighbor, and ..
    2) That we fully understand what it means to love by way of our consciences, without need for correction by God’s Word.

    FWS
    1)I need to explain what I believe concerning love and the fulfilling of the Law. This is going to be long. Grab a beer , glass of Merlot or a coffee in a big mug…

    o…The prophets say: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts Jer. 31:33.
    o The apostles say: Do we, then, make void the Law through faith? God forbid! Yea, we establish the Law Rom. 3:31.
    o Christ says:: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments Matt. 19:17.
    o They all explain “establish” as meaning this: if I have not charity (“agape”), it profiteth me nothing. 1 Cor. 13:3

    It should be clear that the Holy Apostles, Prophets and Christ our dear Lord are not speaking of finding a Law that is about ceremonies. That is, they are not talking about a Law that can be kept by going through the motions of doing outward actions or or a biblical list that we can check to see if we are naughty or nice. This is what all Pharisees that are Roman, Calvinist, jewish, Lutheran or Roman do. The SOTM is precisely against looking for this sort of Law isn´t it?

    So what are they talking about? They are talking exactly about where we can go to know exactly how alone we can fully understand and know perfectly what it means to love, and to do this love perfectly. They say this can be known only by correction by God’s Word just as you say Todd!

    So where do we go to find how to do that perfect keeping of that Law? That is the question isn´t it? And God does demand that we do the his Law and do it perfectly right? Is it the conscience? No. Reason and the conscience can only know about a Law that can be kept as as “ceremony” that is by going through the motions of doing whether we want to or not “just because!”. Like being gay and celebate for example!

    So where do we go to find that Law that tells us how to be perfect as God demands?

    We go to that Law which uniquely gives commandment that concerns the inner movements of the heart.

    Where do we find that Law?

    We find that Law hidden-in-plain-sight.

    That Law is the Decalog.

    The Decalog uniquely demands what? It demands to be kept! How? In the first commandment, it demands that we keep the entire Decalog: alone by faith in Christ alone.

    This is to demand nothing less than that we have that Original Righeousness that is God´s Image, and that we have it fully. We cannot do this by our reason or strength. That is what the poor people in this article that Veith quotes are trying to do right? It is what you and I try to do when our conscience oppresses us. We cast about anxiously for something to do, or make lists of what we ought to do or have done. We do not surrender ourselves to the doctrine of the Forgiveness of Sins and where we can alone find that forgiveness. Thus we confess that we are really phoney christians. Even our faith cannot save is. We are faith-less.

    And so our Lutheran Confessions tell us that we can do this perfect keeping alone how? By being baptized. That is how.

    These and similar sentences testify that we are to keep the Law only when we have been justified by faith, and thus increase more and more in the Spirit. Because, indeed, faith brings the Holy Ghost, and produces in hearts a new life, it is necessary that it should produce spiritual movements in hearts.

    This can appear like outward go-through-the-motions, ex opera operato “ceremonies” or outward doing. But if it is only that, then it is nothing but sin and death. That which is not of faith is sin. The opposite of sin is not goodness. It is faith. Alone. in Christ. Alone.

    What these movements are, the prophet, Jer. 31:33 shows, when he says: I will put My Law into their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.

    Therefore, when we have been justified by faith and regenerated, we begin to fear and love God, to pray to Him, to expect from Him aid, to give thanks and praise Him, and to obey Him in afflictions. We begin also to love our neighbors, because our hearts have spiritual and holy movements. There is now, through the Spirit of Christ a new heart, mind, and spirit within.

    These things cannot occur until we have been justified by faith, and, regenerated, we receive the Holy Ghost:

    1) because the Law cannot be kept without the knowledge of Christ that is heart faith and not just historical faith the devils have and
    2) the Law cannot be kept without the Holy Ghost. No man can say that Christ is Lord except by the Holy Ghost.

    What is unique to the Decalog, or God´s Law is that it demands this faith in Christ alone and in nothing else. Especially not any paint-by-the-numbers, go-through-the-motions, ex-opere-operato works.

    But the Holy Ghost is received by faith in our Baptism , according to the declaration of Paul, Gal. 3:14: That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

    How can the human heart love God while it knows that He is terribly angry, and is oppressing us with temporal and perpetual calamities?

    But the Law always accuses us, always shows that God is angry? God therefore is not loved until we apprehend mercy by faith. Not until then does He become a lovable object. When God becomes a lovable object we begin to keep the Decalog with those new heart movements, and we begin to love our neighbor as the Decalog demands.

    We must be perfect BEFORE we can keep the Decalog perfectly Todd this means.

    This proposition seems absurd to Reason. Reason says what Aristotle says:We become Virtuous by practicing in doing what a virtuous person would do until it becomes second nature or a habit. That is all that makes sense to Reason. It does not matter whether reason reaches for the digital reference manual written by God in us called conscience, or the paper reference manual called the Decalog. Reason will always reach for Aristotle´s version of how to become righeous. And on earth, Lutherans confess that nothing more can be demanded as to how to become an outwardly righeous person beyond Aristotle.

    Civil works, (ie the outward works of the Law, like gays being celebate), can be done without Christ and without the Holy Ghost from our inborn light. It still appears that those things which belong peculiarly to the divine Law, i.e., the affections of the heart towards God, which are commanded in the first table, cannot be rendered without the Holy Ghost.

    Dear Todd. Every thing you and Kerner are throwing at me and Steve regard the second table and social works. Have you noticed that? Think about what that means please.

    What about the first table in which is contained the highest theology, on which all depends? You seem as if it were of no matter; and focus only on outward observances like gays being celebate or people not getting a divorce or getting drunk or whatever.

    You are not in the slightest moment considering the Law that is eternal, and placed far above the sense and intellect of all creatures which concerns the very Deity, and the honor of the eternal Majesty, Deut. 6:5: Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thine heart.

    This you are showing by the volume and focus of your words, as a paltry small matter as if it did not belong to theology. Christ is unnecessary then to keep the Law if we can know and do it perfectly in the way you are seeking to know and do it.

    But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life, and eternal righteousness. And what is this? It is to manifest Christ in our hearts, as it is written John 16:15: He shall take of the things of Mine, and show them unto you. Likewise, He works also other gifts, love, thanksgiving, charity, patience, etc.

    Now you tell me if this story that is the basis for this blog post is about any of that? Doesn´t that matter?

    Steve and I are saying that this story is missing the most important part that alone is what God demands of all men. And it bothers us that you are going on about finding that place where can go to, in order to perfectly know and do God´s Law. Is it the conscience? No. This article is all about doing the Law by applying reason to conscience AND the Decalog.

    Reason can only know that the Law must be kept. And it can only see to keep it by an outward keeping that is about go-through-the-motions, paint-by-the-numbers, ex opera operato….sacrifice! Sacrifice for our neighbors goodness and mercy to him? No! Sacrifice as in burnt offerings to God!

    The Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Ghost be received through faith.

    Accordingly, Paul says that the Law is established by faith, and not made void; because the Law can only then be thus kept when the Holy Ghost is given.

    Paul teaches 2 Cor. 3:15 sq., that our fallen Reason AND conscience, AND the Decalog are the veil that covered the face of Moses. It cannot be removed except by faith in Christ, by which the Holy Ghost is received.

    Paul explains that this way: But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    Paul understands by the veil the human opinion concerning the entire Law, the Decalog and the ceremonies, namely, that hypocrites think that external and civil works satisfy the Law of God, and that sacrifices and observances justify before God ex opere operato.

    But then this veil is removed from us, i.e., we are freed from this error when God shows to our hearts our uncleanness and the heinousness of sin. Then, for the first time, we see that we are far from fulfilling the Law.

    Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference, does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance.

    At that point of reckoning the Confessions tell us that there are only two choices: 1) we despair like Judas, or 2) we commit the sin of “lust/concupiscence/coveting”. And what exactly do the Confessions mean by that word “Lust”? They do not mean what you apparently think it means.

    The Confessions do not mean “Lust” in the only way Reason can understand what sin is: which is that sin is defined as the opposite of being good and doing good things.

    The confessions define “lust” as that faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ. And the worst form of that is to trust in what reason and conscience tells us is Righteousness, and daily offer that to God as our propitiation, rather than in faith offer up the works of another as our Propitiation.

    Once we realize this, only then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us.

    But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost so that now we are able to think aright concerning God, and to fear and believe God, etc. From these facts it is apparent that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Ghost.

    Only in the Gospel, not the Law can we know how to perfectly keep the Law: We can only offer up perfect works alone in faith alone in Christ.

    So it is necessary that the Law be begun in us, and that it be observed continually more and more. And at the same time we comprehend both spiritual movements and external good works The good heart within and good works without.

    So we Lutherans not only require good works. We also show how they can be done!

    We say that the heart must enter into these works, lest they be mere, lifeless, cold works of hypocrites. This result convicts hypocrites, who by their own powers endeavor to fulfil the Law, that they cannot accomplish what they attempt. Are they free from hatred, envy, strife, anger, wrath, avarice, adultery, etc.?

    And this is the exact point made in what Kerner quotes in his post @ 159! These vices were nowhere greater than in the cloisters and sacred institutes of Rome and among gays and heterosexuals both then and now who strive to find an outward moral code they can do to perfectly know and do what pleases God.

    For human nature is far too weak to be able by its own powers to resist the devil, who holds as captives all who have not been freed through faith. There is need of the power of Christ against the devil, namely, that, inasmuch as we know that for Christ’s sake we are heard, and have the promise, we may pray for the governance and defense of the Holy Ghost, that we may neither be deceived and err, nor be impelled to undertake anything contrary to God’s will. Otherwise we should, every hour, fall into error and abominable vices.

    This is the idea in Ps. 68:18: Thou hast led captivity captive; Thou hast received gifts for man. For Christ has overcome the devil, and has given to us the promise and the Holy Ghost, in order that, by divine aid, we ourselves also may overcome. And 1 John 3:8: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

    Again, we Lutherans teach not only how the Law can be observed, but also how God is pleased if anything be done, namely, not because we render satisfaction to the Law, but because we are in Christ. I will say more about that in a bit.

    It is, therefore, obvious that the Confessions and me and Steve all require good works.

    So we are in Christ and so I now need to add also this, that it is impossible for love to God, even though it be small, to be sundered from faith, because through Christ we come to the Father, and the remission of sins having been received, we now are truly certain that we have a God, i.e., that God cares for us; we call upon Him, we give Him thanks, we fear Him, we love Him as 1 John 4:19 teaches: We love Him, because He first loved us, namely, because He gave His Son for us, and forgave us our sins. Thus he indicates that faith precedes and love follows.

    Likewise the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins, and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    This is why such a faith simply cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. Accordingly, Paul says, Rom. 8:1: There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. So, too, Rom 8:12-13: We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    In summary: the faith which receives remission of sins in a heart terrified and fleeing from sin does not remain in those who obey their desires.

    And Steve and I, and more importantly the Confessions would add this: neither does it coexist with mortal sin. Remember that “Mortal Sin” is Original Sin. It is faith-in-ANYTHING-but-Christ-alone-by-invisible-faith-alone.

    From all the results of faith you and Kerner are repeatedly selecting one, namely, love in the form of doing. And you are saying that we need to find out where we can go to perfectly know and do that love. And by framing it that way, you are teaching that love justifies. How so ?!

    Here is where: Where is Christ necessary in any of that Todd? Pagans can know and do what you are talking about.

    So you are focusing on only the Law.

    You are not showing any of the readers of your posts that remission of sins through faith is first received.

    You are not showing anyone Christ as Mediator, that for Christ’s sake we have a gracious God.

    You are showing instead that you think we have a gracious God when we find that secret decoder list that tells us how to perfectly know and do love defined as conforming out ourward actions to some Divine List.

    And yet, what the nature of this love is you and Kerner don´t say. Kerner says we can´t say: “Only God knows” . He is saying that the Law=Love is an article of faith that contradicts what is apparent to even reasonable pagans! Demanding that gays forgo a stable loving adult relationship of course looks like sacrifice “just because”. But Kerner suggests that faith demands that we call black white and that what looks like un-love, God is demanding, in his Word , that we call “love.”

    You seem to point to the idea that these poor souls in this article Veith posts are fulfilling the Law of God. And Kerner is saying then that what this article depicts is love in action. what these people are doing is not sacrifice. It is the love that God demands!

    This glory belongs properly to Christ alone. And you set against the judgment of God confidence in these kinds of hollow, empty works. This confidence is absolutely impious and vain.

    In this life we cannot satisfy the Law, because carnal nature does not cease to bring forth wicked dispositions evil inclination and desire. Remember that Original Sin, which is what Old Adam is, is “faith-that-viciously-trusts-in-anything-but-God. This is still true in us Baptized believers Todd, even though the Spirit in us resists these things.

    TODD: I find this approach problematic because, I have to put faith in my [and] everyone else’s perfect understanding of what love is, over and against all these passages of Scripture.

    FWS: Original Sin is the total Lack of the Image of God which was in Adam faith alone in Christ alone. And Original Sin is also the faith-in-anything BUT Christ that viciously fills the void of true faith that looks to Christ alone. The confessions call this “faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ” by the words “lust”, “Concupiscence” and “covet”. This is the Confessional definition for these words. Try reading these words this way whenever you encounter them in the bible in this exact context. The Confessions call Original sin, and nothing else “mortal sin” or “capital sin (cf Smalcald Articles). Sin that kills us and demands temporal and eternal punishment.

    TODD: This is further troublesome, because if we could already trust [ie put our faith in!] my (and everyone else’s) understanding of what love is, then you wouldn’t need to be here debating with me, would you?

    FWS: No! :) In that case Christ would not be necessary would he? That is the exact point our Confessions are wishing to make!

    TODD: I and everyone else would already know from our consciences that homosexual sex is very loving, marriages should be ended if they’re not loving enough, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with sex outside of marriage. But you are, of course, trying to argue against our consciences, aren’t you? I find that a bit problematic for your thesis.

    FWS: What do you think now dear Todd?

    TODD: Maybe it’s just me, but the first time I really remember reading the Sermon on the Mount, my reaction (that is to say, my conscience’s reaction) wasn’t to say, “Yup, that’s right, Jesus, preach it!” No, instead it was more like, “What the …?! That’s impossible!” Which I think is a perfectly reasonable reaction to a fuller understanding of God’s Law — I believe the disciples expressed some incredulity along these lines, as well. But my point being, my conscience was informed, not confirmed, when I read these things. Your mileage may vary?

    FWS: Ah. Now we are getting to the very heart of the matter. Reason, conscience and the Decalog are veiled with the Veil of Moses. Only the Gospel can remove that Veil. Catch that and you catch the point not of Me and Steve, but of our Lutheran Confessions.

    TODD: And if the part of me that still thinks homosexual sex might be sinful doesn’t actually come from my conscience, but rather through some other source, then I’m all the more sunk, as I obviously can’t tell the two apart.

    FWS That part of you comes exactly from Reason, conscience AND the Decalog that are Veiled by the Veil of Moses I am suggesting. It comes exactly from your Old Adam that wants to get salvation the old fashioned way. It wants to earn it by locating it in something that is a circumcision done by human hands. God commanded circumcision. It saved. Just as Baptism saves. But this is not faith in the outward act. It is a circumcision of the heart.

    Now maybe it will make sense what St Paul says in I cor 6: “ALL things are legal and Law-full [in faith], but not all things are useful [not all things result in love or bettering the life of others].

    TODD I have, goes your argument (I think), a perfect understanding of right and wrong inside me.

    FWS: Yes you do Todd! You received that perfect understanding in the Gospel not in the Law. It is called the “Law of Christ” or the “Mind of Christ” by St Paul. It is your New Man who cannot sin.

    TODD: but there are other things in me that compete for my understanding, cloud my vision of this knowledge, or something like that.

    FWS: Saint Paul calls this one thing by various names: Old Adam, the flesh, the body, willpower, reason and human understanding, idolatry, coveteousless, lawlessness. This is that Original Sin that is “faith-that-trusts-in-anything-BUT-Christ-ALONE. The most mortal form of this is faith in our outward righteousness or our own heart. Paul calls this faith “Lawlessness” even though such persons, like the Pharisees could not be faulted in the smallest way for not keeping the outward Law.
    See this from the Confessions for more on why this is so: http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    TODD: Which sounds for all the world like my saying that our consciences aren’t perfectly aligned with God’s Will, in the first place!

    FWS: Not quite. You need to say that your heart is not aligned with God´s Law. This is the SAME Law writing, by God, in the hearts of men as conscience, and in the Decalog. Both are the same Law of God. Both are written by God. (Ap IV)

    Your heart is not aligned, now only in your Old Adam, because your Old Adam lacks the Image of God which is the Original Righeousness of faith alone in Christ alone. Your new man has that Image of God in your Baptism and has it ONLY by the Gospel. You can never have it through the Law.

    TODD: But that seems to be the crux of this discussion, far as I can tell.

    FWS: Indeed it is Todd! You get the prize of seeing this in a way that Kerner is being to clever an attorney to see. Kerner, as the good attorney he is, is using the Confessions as proof texts for the case he is trying to prove. I hope what I am writing here will encourage him to use the Confessions instead to challenge his views of the Law of God and change them.

    TODD: Well, for me, anyhow. Should Scripture inform our understanding of right and wrong, or should our understanding of right and wrong inform our reading of Scripture?

    FWS: Now you tell me dear Todd!

    TODD: I remain, so far, in the camp that would answer “yes; no”

    FWS: I would anwer “yes, yes”. So would Steve. Does that answer now make sense to you? Now you know exactly what that second yes is about. It is about having that Veil of Moses removed alone by the Holy Gospel.

    TODD Would you agree? And let me just apologize if I’m wrongly conflating your two arguments here — if you are making different points, I haven’t picked up on that yet.

    FWS: It took me exactly 39 years of reading and rereading the Lutheran Confessions on this to get to some clarity in Christ. Be patient dear Todd. I obviously am still learning. And I am learning a lot by trying to respond to you dear brother!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 154, Kerner @ 159

    FWS Todd, Steve knows that you are the one here who sees clearly where this is all headed and you are honestly trying to test all available escapes from it.

    Kerner! I am loving your post. You are now arguing from the Lutheran Confessions. What a wonderful and thoughtful post dear brother Kerner. I felt loved by that post! May I observe that you are going from the particulars to prove a general principle? I am here going to lay the general principle as being different than what you implicitly propose but not explicitly so. Then and only then can I address your particulars that you wonderfully cite from our common Confessions. Fair enough? I hope so! :)

    TODD… you are apparently blaming me and the rest of us here for “demanding a righteous work of sacrifice from gays only”. And yet, when I discuss issues that are more relevant to my own sinful tendencies, you only seem to get upset with me.

    FWS because he is not asking you to compare your sin to homosexual sin. He is asking you to name just one rule YOU keep for God “just because” with no clue at all as to how it avoids harm or will help you do love for others better. Just one. Focus on that. Better, read the rest of this first. It will clear up why I am focussing you on this challenge as a diagnostic of your views on the Law.

    TODD I feel like your and FWS’ argument hinges on two points,
    1) Jesus’ summary of the Law as loving your neighbor, and ..
    2) That we fully understand what it means to love by way of our consciences, without need for correction by God’s Word.

    FWS
    1)I need to explain what I believe concerning love and the fulfilling of the Law. This is going to be long. Grab a beer , glass of Merlot or a coffee in a big mug…

    o…The prophets say: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts Jer. 31:33.
    o The apostles say: Do we, then, make void the Law through faith? God forbid! Yea, we establish the Law Rom. 3:31.
    o Christ says:: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments Matt. 19:17.
    o They all explain “establish” as meaning this: if I have not charity (“agape”), it profiteth me nothing. 1 Cor. 13:3

    It should be clear that the Holy Apostles, Prophets and Christ our dear Lord are not speaking of finding a Law that is about ceremonies. That is, they are not talking about a Law that can be kept by going through the motions of doing outward actions or or a biblical list that we can check to see if we are naughty or nice. This is what all Pharisees that are Roman, Calvinist, jewish, Lutheran or Roman do. The SOTM is precisely against looking for this sort of Law isn´t it?

    So what are they talking about? They are talking exactly about where we can go to know exactly how alone we can fully understand and know perfectly what it means to love, and to do this love perfectly. They say this can be known only by correction by God’s Word just as you say Todd!

    So where do we go to find how to do that perfect keeping of that Law? That is the question isn´t it? And God does demand that we do the his Law and do it perfectly right? Is it the conscience? No. Reason and the conscience can only know about a Law that can be kept as as “ceremony” that is by going through the motions of doing whether we want to or not “just because!”. Like being gay and celebate for example!

    So where do we go to find that Law that tells us how to be perfect as God demands?

    We go to that Law which uniquely gives commandment that concerns the inner movements of the heart.

    Where do we find that Law?

    We find that Law hidden-in-plain-sight.

    That Law is the Decalog.

    The Decalog uniquely demands what? It demands to be kept! How? In the first commandment, it demands that we keep the entire Decalog: alone by faith in Christ alone.

    This is to demand nothing less than that we have that Original Righeousness that is God´s Image, and that we have it fully. We cannot do this by our reason or strength. That is what the poor people in this article that Veith quotes are trying to do right? It is what you and I try to do when our conscience oppresses us. We cast about anxiously for something to do, or make lists of what we ought to do or have done. We do not surrender ourselves to the doctrine of the Forgiveness of Sins and where we can alone find that forgiveness. Thus we confess that we are really phoney christians. Even our faith cannot save is. We are faith-less.

    And so our Lutheran Confessions tell us that we can do this perfect keeping alone how? By being baptized. That is how.

    These and similar sentences testify that we are to keep the Law only when we have been justified by faith, and thus increase more and more in the Spirit. Because, indeed, faith brings the Holy Ghost, and produces in hearts a new life, it is necessary that it should produce spiritual movements in hearts.

    This can appear like outward go-through-the-motions, ex opera operato “ceremonies” or outward doing. But if it is only that, then it is nothing but sin and death. That which is not of faith is sin. The opposite of sin is not goodness. It is faith. Alone. in Christ. Alone.

    What these movements are, the prophet, Jer. 31:33 shows, when he says: I will put My Law into their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.

    Therefore, when we have been justified by faith and regenerated, we begin to fear and love God, to pray to Him, to expect from Him aid, to give thanks and praise Him, and to obey Him in afflictions. We begin also to love our neighbors, because our hearts have spiritual and holy movements. There is now, through the Spirit of Christ a new heart, mind, and spirit within.

    These things cannot occur until we have been justified by faith, and, regenerated, we receive the Holy Ghost:

    1) because the Law cannot be kept without the knowledge of Christ that is heart faith and not just historical faith the devils have and
    2) the Law cannot be kept without the Holy Ghost. No man can say that Christ is Lord except by the Holy Ghost.

    What is unique to the Decalog, or God´s Law is that it demands this faith in Christ alone and in nothing else. Especially not any paint-by-the-numbers, go-through-the-motions, ex-opere-operato works.

    But the Holy Ghost is received by faith in our Baptism , according to the declaration of Paul, Gal. 3:14: That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

    How can the human heart love God while it knows that He is terribly angry, and is oppressing us with temporal and perpetual calamities?

    But the Law always accuses us, always shows that God is angry? God therefore is not loved until we apprehend mercy by faith. Not until then does He become a lovable object. When God becomes a lovable object we begin to keep the Decalog with those new heart movements, and we begin to love our neighbor as the Decalog demands.

    We must be perfect BEFORE we can keep the Decalog perfectly Todd this means.

    This proposition seems absurd to Reason. Reason says what Aristotle says:We become Virtuous by practicing in doing what a virtuous person would do until it becomes second nature or a habit. That is all that makes sense to Reason. It does not matter whether reason reaches for the digital reference manual written by God in us called conscience, or the paper reference manual called the Decalog. Reason will always reach for Aristotle´s version of how to become righeous. And on earth, Lutherans confess that nothing more can be demanded as to how to become an outwardly righeous person beyond Aristotle.

    Civil works, (ie the outward works of the Law, like gays being celebate), can be done without Christ and without the Holy Ghost from our inborn light. It still appears that those things which belong peculiarly to the divine Law, i.e., the affections of the heart towards God, which are commanded in the first table, cannot be rendered without the Holy Ghost.

    Dear Todd. Every thing you and Kerner are throwing at me and Steve regard the second table and social works. Have you noticed that? Think about what that means please.

    What about the first table in which is contained the highest theology, on which all depends? You seem as if it were of no matter; and focus only on outward observances like gays being celebate or people not getting a divorce or getting drunk or whatever.

    You are not in the slightest moment considering the Law that is eternal, and placed far above the sense and intellect of all creatures which concerns the very Deity, and the honor of the eternal Majesty, Deut. 6:5: Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thine heart.

    This you are showing by the volume and focus of your words, as a paltry small matter as if it did not belong to theology. Christ is unnecessary then to keep the Law if we can know and do it perfectly in the way you are seeking to know and do it.

    But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life, and eternal righteousness. And what is this? It is to manifest Christ in our hearts, as it is written John 16:15: He shall take of the things of Mine, and show them unto you. Likewise, He works also other gifts, love, thanksgiving, charity, patience, etc.

    Now you tell me if this story that is the basis for this blog post is about any of that? Doesn´t that matter?

    Steve and I are saying that this story is missing the most important part that alone is what God demands of all men. And it bothers us that you are going on about finding that place where can go to, in order to perfectly know and do God´s Law. Is it the conscience? No. This article is all about doing the Law by applying reason to conscience AND the Decalog.

    Reason can only know that the Law must be kept. And it can only see to keep it by an outward keeping that is about go-through-the-motions, paint-by-the-numbers, ex opera operato….sacrifice! Sacrifice for our neighbors goodness and mercy to him? No! Sacrifice as in burnt offerings to God!

    The Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Ghost be received through faith.

    Accordingly, Paul says that the Law is established by faith, and not made void; because the Law can only then be thus kept when the Holy Ghost is given.

    Paul teaches 2 Cor. 3:15 sq., that our fallen Reason AND conscience, AND the Decalog are the veil that covered the face of Moses. It cannot be removed except by faith in Christ, by which the Holy Ghost is received.

    Paul explains that this way: But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    Paul understands by the veil the human opinion concerning the entire Law, the Decalog and the ceremonies, namely, that hypocrites think that external and civil works satisfy the Law of God, and that sacrifices and observances justify before God ex opere operato.

    But then this veil is removed from us, i.e., we are freed from this error when God shows to our hearts our uncleanness and the heinousness of sin. Then, for the first time, we see that we are far from fulfilling the Law.

    Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference, does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance.

    At that point of reckoning the Confessions tell us that there are only two choices: 1) we despair like Judas, or 2) we commit the sin of “lust/concupiscence/coveting”. And what exactly do the Confessions mean by that word “Lust”? They do not mean what you apparently think it means.

    The Confessions do not mean “Lust” in the only way Reason can understand what sin is: which is that sin is defined as the opposite of being good and doing good things.

    The confessions define “lust” as that faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ. And the worst form of that is to trust in what reason and conscience tells us is Righteousness, and daily offer that to God as our propitiation, rather than in faith offer up the works of another as our Propitiation.

    Once we realize this, only then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us.

    But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost so that now we are able to think aright concerning God, and to fear and believe God, etc. From these facts it is apparent that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Ghost.

    Only in the Gospel, not the Law can we know how to perfectly keep the Law: We can only offer up perfect works alone in faith alone in Christ.

    So it is necessary that the Law be begun in us, and that it be observed continually more and more. And at the same time we comprehend both spiritual movements and external good works The good heart within and good works without.

    So we Lutherans not only require good works. We also show how they can be done!

    We say that the heart must enter into these works, lest they be mere, lifeless, cold works of hypocrites. This result convicts hypocrites, who by their own powers endeavor to fulfil the Law, that they cannot accomplish what they attempt. Are they free from hatred, envy, strife, anger, wrath, avarice, adultery, etc.?

    And this is the exact point made in what Kerner quotes in his post @ 159! These vices were nowhere greater than in the cloisters and sacred institutes of Rome and among gays and heterosexuals both then and now who strive to find an outward moral code they can do to perfectly know and do what pleases God.

    For human nature is far too weak to be able by its own powers to resist the devil, who holds as captives all who have not been freed through faith. There is need of the power of Christ against the devil, namely, that, inasmuch as we know that for Christ’s sake we are heard, and have the promise, we may pray for the governance and defense of the Holy Ghost, that we may neither be deceived and err, nor be impelled to undertake anything contrary to God’s will. Otherwise we should, every hour, fall into error and abominable vices.

    This is the idea in Ps. 68:18: Thou hast led captivity captive; Thou hast received gifts for man. For Christ has overcome the devil, and has given to us the promise and the Holy Ghost, in order that, by divine aid, we ourselves also may overcome. And 1 John 3:8: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

    Again, we Lutherans teach not only how the Law can be observed, but also how God is pleased if anything be done, namely, not because we render satisfaction to the Law, but because we are in Christ. I will say more about that in a bit.

    It is, therefore, obvious that the Confessions and me and Steve all require good works.

    So we are in Christ and so I now need to add also this, that it is impossible for love to God, even though it be small, to be sundered from faith, because through Christ we come to the Father, and the remission of sins having been received, we now are truly certain that we have a God, i.e., that God cares for us; we call upon Him, we give Him thanks, we fear Him, we love Him as 1 John 4:19 teaches: We love Him, because He first loved us, namely, because He gave His Son for us, and forgave us our sins. Thus he indicates that faith precedes and love follows.

    Likewise the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins, and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened.

    This is why such a faith simply cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. Accordingly, Paul says, Rom. 8:1: There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. So, too, Rom 8:12-13: We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    In summary: the faith which receives remission of sins in a heart terrified and fleeing from sin does not remain in those who obey their desires.

    And Steve and I, and more importantly the Confessions would add this: neither does it coexist with mortal sin. Remember that “Mortal Sin” is Original Sin. It is faith-in-ANYTHING-but-Christ-alone-by-invisible-faith-alone.

    From all the results of faith you and Kerner are repeatedly selecting one, namely, love in the form of doing. And you are saying that we need to find out where we can go to perfectly know and do that love. And by framing it that way, you are teaching that love justifies. How so ?!

    Here is where: Where is Christ necessary in any of that Todd? Pagans can know and do what you are talking about.

    So you are focusing on only the Law.

    You are not showing any of the readers of your posts that remission of sins through faith is first received.

    You are not showing anyone Christ as Mediator, that for Christ’s sake we have a gracious God.

    You are showing instead that you think we have a gracious God when we find that secret decoder list that tells us how to perfectly know and do love defined as conforming out ourward actions to some Divine List.

    And yet, what the nature of this love is you and Kerner don´t say. Kerner says we can´t say: “Only God knows” . He is saying that the Law=Love is an article of faith that contradicts what is apparent to even reasonable pagans! Demanding that gays forgo a stable loving adult relationship of course looks like sacrifice “just because”. But Kerner suggests that faith demands that we call black white and that what looks like un-love, God is demanding, in his Word , that we call “love.”

    You seem to point to the idea that these poor souls in this article Veith posts are fulfilling the Law of God. And Kerner is saying then that what this article depicts is love in action. what these people are doing is not sacrifice. It is the love that God demands!

    This glory belongs properly to Christ alone. And you set against the judgment of God confidence in these kinds of hollow, empty works. This confidence is absolutely impious and vain.

    In this life we cannot satisfy the Law, because carnal nature does not cease to bring forth wicked dispositions evil inclination and desire. Remember that Original Sin, which is what Old Adam is, is “faith-that-viciously-trusts-in-anything-but-God. This is still true in us Baptized believers Todd, even though the Spirit in us resists these things.

    TODD: I find this approach problematic because, I have to put faith in my [and] everyone else’s perfect understanding of what love is, over and against all these passages of Scripture.

    FWS: Original Sin is the total Lack of the Image of God which was in Adam faith alone in Christ alone. And Original Sin is also the faith-in-anything BUT Christ that viciously fills the void of true faith that looks to Christ alone. The confessions call this “faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ” by the words “lust”, “Concupiscence” and “covet”. This is the Confessional definition for these words. Try reading these words this way whenever you encounter them in the bible in this exact context. The Confessions call Original sin, and nothing else “mortal sin” or “capital sin (cf Smalcald Articles). Sin that kills us and demands temporal and eternal punishment.

    TODD: This is further troublesome, because if we could already trust [ie put our faith in!] my (and everyone else’s) understanding of what love is, then you wouldn’t need to be here debating with me, would you?

    FWS: No! :) In that case Christ would not be necessary would he? That is the exact point our Confessions are wishing to make!

    TODD: I and everyone else would already know from our consciences that homosexual sex is very loving, marriages should be ended if they’re not loving enough, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with sex outside of marriage. But you are, of course, trying to argue against our consciences, aren’t you? I find that a bit problematic for your thesis.

    FWS: What do you think now dear Todd?

    TODD: Maybe it’s just me, but the first time I really remember reading the Sermon on the Mount, my reaction (that is to say, my conscience’s reaction) wasn’t to say, “Yup, that’s right, Jesus, preach it!” No, instead it was more like, “What the …?! That’s impossible!” Which I think is a perfectly reasonable reaction to a fuller understanding of God’s Law — I believe the disciples expressed some incredulity along these lines, as well. But my point being, my conscience was informed, not confirmed, when I read these things. Your mileage may vary?

    FWS: Ah. Now we are getting to the very heart of the matter. Reason, conscience and the Decalog are veiled with the Veil of Moses. Only the Gospel can remove that Veil. Catch that and you catch the point not of Me and Steve, but of our Lutheran Confessions.

    TODD: And if the part of me that still thinks homosexual sex might be sinful doesn’t actually come from my conscience, but rather through some other source, then I’m all the more sunk, as I obviously can’t tell the two apart.

    FWS That part of you comes exactly from Reason, conscience AND the Decalog that are Veiled by the Veil of Moses I am suggesting. It comes exactly from your Old Adam that wants to get salvation the old fashioned way. It wants to earn it by locating it in something that is a circumcision done by human hands. God commanded circumcision. It saved. Just as Baptism saves. But this is not faith in the outward act. It is a circumcision of the heart.

    Now maybe it will make sense what St Paul says in I cor 6: “ALL things are legal and Law-full [in faith], but not all things are useful [not all things result in love or bettering the life of others].

    TODD I have, goes your argument (I think), a perfect understanding of right and wrong inside me.

    FWS: Yes you do Todd! You received that perfect understanding in the Gospel not in the Law. It is called the “Law of Christ” or the “Mind of Christ” by St Paul. It is your New Man who cannot sin.

    TODD: but there are other things in me that compete for my understanding, cloud my vision of this knowledge, or something like that.

    FWS: Saint Paul calls this one thing by various names: Old Adam, the flesh, the body, willpower, reason and human understanding, idolatry, coveteousless, lawlessness. This is that Original Sin that is “faith-that-trusts-in-anything-BUT-Christ-ALONE. The most mortal form of this is faith in our outward righteousness or our own heart. Paul calls this faith “Lawlessness” even though such persons, like the Pharisees could not be faulted in the smallest way for not keeping the outward Law.
    See this from the Confessions for more on why this is so: http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    TODD: Which sounds for all the world like my saying that our consciences aren’t perfectly aligned with God’s Will, in the first place!

    FWS: Not quite. You need to say that your heart is not aligned with God´s Law. This is the SAME Law writing, by God, in the hearts of men as conscience, and in the Decalog. Both are the same Law of God. Both are written by God. (Ap IV)

    Your heart is not aligned, now only in your Old Adam, because your Old Adam lacks the Image of God which is the Original Righeousness of faith alone in Christ alone. Your new man has that Image of God in your Baptism and has it ONLY by the Gospel. You can never have it through the Law.

    TODD: But that seems to be the crux of this discussion, far as I can tell.

    FWS: Indeed it is Todd! You get the prize of seeing this in a way that Kerner is being to clever an attorney to see. Kerner, as the good attorney he is, is using the Confessions as proof texts for the case he is trying to prove. I hope what I am writing here will encourage him to use the Confessions instead to challenge his views of the Law of God and change them.

    TODD: Well, for me, anyhow. Should Scripture inform our understanding of right and wrong, or should our understanding of right and wrong inform our reading of Scripture?

    FWS: Now you tell me dear Todd!

    TODD: I remain, so far, in the camp that would answer “yes; no”

    FWS: I would anwer “yes, yes”. So would Steve. Does that answer now make sense to you? Now you know exactly what that second yes is about. It is about having that Veil of Moses removed alone by the Holy Gospel.

    TODD Would you agree? And let me just apologize if I’m wrongly conflating your two arguments here — if you are making different points, I haven’t picked up on that yet.

    FWS: It took me exactly 39 years of reading and rereading the Lutheran Confessions on this to get to some clarity in Christ. Be patient dear Todd. I obviously am still learning. And I am learning a lot by trying to respond to you dear brother!

  • kerner

    fws @160:

    “I felt loved by that post”.

    Good, because you are my brother in Christ, and I love you.

    “May I observe that you are going from the particulars to prove a general principle?”

    You may not. What am doing is attempting to show that the Lutheran Confessions have already made the journey from the general principles and arrived at the particulars set forth in the Large Catechism Article on the 6th Commandment. My own observation is that we have been ignoring that Confessional journey.

    How else do we explain that we have been discussing sexual morality for several days, and only now, at comment 159, has anybody thought of looking at the one part of the Confessions that speaks at length directly to the matter of sex and morality?

    The problem is that that journey, from the general to the specific, arrives at a destination where you (and Stephen) desperately do not wish to go.

    Clever lawyer though I may be, I am not arguing for a conclusion I want to reach. Personally, I could not care less about whether God’s Law prohibits man-man or woman-woman sex. I tend to think of sex as a private matter, and I am always a little embarrassed talking about it. But believe me, it would not affect my faith one bit if I thought that same sex physical relationships were not forbidden by the 6th Commandment. Frankly, I am a defense lawyer. I have been in the position of prosecutor long ago, but I don’t think it was my vocation. I am much happier advocating for mercy, and I don’t particularly like pointing out other people’s sins.

    Rather than argue for a conclusion I wish to reach, I am arguing for a conclusion that has already been reached by the Lutheran Confessions.

    Getting back to these Israeli couples for a moment, apply the words of the large Catechism to their marriages:

    “(God) has instituted (marriage) before all others, and therefore created man and woman separately (as is evident), not for lewdness, but that they should [legitimately] live together, be fruitful, beget children, and nourish and train them to the honor of God. ”

    These couples are 1) living together, 2)being fruitful and begetting children, 3) nourishing them. What they are not doing is training them to the honor of God, because they are not Christian couples. But, if they were Christians, there is no reason why they wouldn’t be training their children to honor God as well.

  • kerner

    fws @160:

    “I felt loved by that post”.

    Good, because you are my brother in Christ, and I love you.

    “May I observe that you are going from the particulars to prove a general principle?”

    You may not. What am doing is attempting to show that the Lutheran Confessions have already made the journey from the general principles and arrived at the particulars set forth in the Large Catechism Article on the 6th Commandment. My own observation is that we have been ignoring that Confessional journey.

    How else do we explain that we have been discussing sexual morality for several days, and only now, at comment 159, has anybody thought of looking at the one part of the Confessions that speaks at length directly to the matter of sex and morality?

    The problem is that that journey, from the general to the specific, arrives at a destination where you (and Stephen) desperately do not wish to go.

    Clever lawyer though I may be, I am not arguing for a conclusion I want to reach. Personally, I could not care less about whether God’s Law prohibits man-man or woman-woman sex. I tend to think of sex as a private matter, and I am always a little embarrassed talking about it. But believe me, it would not affect my faith one bit if I thought that same sex physical relationships were not forbidden by the 6th Commandment. Frankly, I am a defense lawyer. I have been in the position of prosecutor long ago, but I don’t think it was my vocation. I am much happier advocating for mercy, and I don’t particularly like pointing out other people’s sins.

    Rather than argue for a conclusion I wish to reach, I am arguing for a conclusion that has already been reached by the Lutheran Confessions.

    Getting back to these Israeli couples for a moment, apply the words of the large Catechism to their marriages:

    “(God) has instituted (marriage) before all others, and therefore created man and woman separately (as is evident), not for lewdness, but that they should [legitimately] live together, be fruitful, beget children, and nourish and train them to the honor of God. ”

    These couples are 1) living together, 2)being fruitful and begetting children, 3) nourishing them. What they are not doing is training them to the honor of God, because they are not Christian couples. But, if they were Christians, there is no reason why they wouldn’t be training their children to honor God as well.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 154

    Our Lutheran catechesis taught us to do what you are doing. What is that:

    You pit the conscience as a fall-damaged version of the Law against the clear undamaged re-issuance of the same Law in the Decalog.

    You need to reframe:

    God wrote his law in the hearts of man, and this Divinely written Law agrees with the same divinely written law in the bible. So where is the conflict?

    The conflict is your Old Adam heart vs the Divinely Written Law that is both written in your heart and in the Bible.

    Your Old Adam heart is void of the Image of God that is exactly the Adamic Original Righteousness that is faith alone in Christ alone.

    What rushes into this void in your heart is a strong, living, and vicously active faith that is faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ.

    Reason, which is our conscience, can only see that fixing this situation is about looking for some set of rules we can be certain of, and then following outwardly those rules. Reason can only know to do love as sacrifice to God. This is because reason , conscience, AND the Decalog are covered by the veil of Moses which can ONLY be removed by what? By the Gospel! Faith in christ alone removes that veil and lets us see that God does not restore his image by our external painting in of that Image by our efforts or our faith. His Image is restored in our heart only by that heavenly artist called the Holy Spirit and not by human hands.

    This means that when reason-as-conscience looks at the Decalog, it can only see in that Decalog a demand to do a paint-by-the-numbers form of morality. You don´t paint outside of the lines. You match the color code in each section to paint in with the little bottle of paint with the same number. We may not be able to see what the entire painting looks like, and what the board demands for colors might not make any sense to us, but, as Kerner says, the task is to do and have faith that the entire painting , when we finish it by doing, will all fit into becoming the picture God intends us to paint.

    This version of righeousness requires faith. But where is that real and true faith placed? It requires blind faith that our following the rules is what God wants and what will please him. This IS faith. But is it where God wants us to locate our faith? Steve and I assert that the Confessions say no.

    Jesus broke the sabbath to make a point. And he did not sin by breaking the Law of God. Think of that for a good while dear Todd. And what were the two points he made? The law is made for man not man for the law. 2) God intends mercy to be done for others and not the sacrifice of obedience to be done to him. And from this, you can see this: 3) God wants the “sacrifice ” and “obedience” that alone can come from a restored Image of God . This can only happen, invisibly in the heart, by Holy Baptism and not by any circumcision done by human hands. It is alone a circumcision of the heart.

    We do that to offer up a propitiation to God and avoid his anger and wrath.

    Instead we need to USE the works of Christ and not just talk about them every hour of every day. We need to exercise our arms to lift up those works of Christ, alone, as the only Propitiation , in faith alone, that matters to God and what alone will fulfill his Decalog.

    So now tell me again Kerner and Todd and everyone here if that is what is being described in the article Veith has presented to us? Is God pleased with gays and lesbians doing this?

    I say he is not.
    And I say that the prophets, the holy apostles , Christ our Lord, and the Lutheran Confession not only agree with me but are urgent witnesses to this truth.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 154

    Our Lutheran catechesis taught us to do what you are doing. What is that:

    You pit the conscience as a fall-damaged version of the Law against the clear undamaged re-issuance of the same Law in the Decalog.

    You need to reframe:

    God wrote his law in the hearts of man, and this Divinely written Law agrees with the same divinely written law in the bible. So where is the conflict?

    The conflict is your Old Adam heart vs the Divinely Written Law that is both written in your heart and in the Bible.

    Your Old Adam heart is void of the Image of God that is exactly the Adamic Original Righteousness that is faith alone in Christ alone.

    What rushes into this void in your heart is a strong, living, and vicously active faith that is faith-in-anything-BUT-Christ.

    Reason, which is our conscience, can only see that fixing this situation is about looking for some set of rules we can be certain of, and then following outwardly those rules. Reason can only know to do love as sacrifice to God. This is because reason , conscience, AND the Decalog are covered by the veil of Moses which can ONLY be removed by what? By the Gospel! Faith in christ alone removes that veil and lets us see that God does not restore his image by our external painting in of that Image by our efforts or our faith. His Image is restored in our heart only by that heavenly artist called the Holy Spirit and not by human hands.

    This means that when reason-as-conscience looks at the Decalog, it can only see in that Decalog a demand to do a paint-by-the-numbers form of morality. You don´t paint outside of the lines. You match the color code in each section to paint in with the little bottle of paint with the same number. We may not be able to see what the entire painting looks like, and what the board demands for colors might not make any sense to us, but, as Kerner says, the task is to do and have faith that the entire painting , when we finish it by doing, will all fit into becoming the picture God intends us to paint.

    This version of righeousness requires faith. But where is that real and true faith placed? It requires blind faith that our following the rules is what God wants and what will please him. This IS faith. But is it where God wants us to locate our faith? Steve and I assert that the Confessions say no.

    Jesus broke the sabbath to make a point. And he did not sin by breaking the Law of God. Think of that for a good while dear Todd. And what were the two points he made? The law is made for man not man for the law. 2) God intends mercy to be done for others and not the sacrifice of obedience to be done to him. And from this, you can see this: 3) God wants the “sacrifice ” and “obedience” that alone can come from a restored Image of God . This can only happen, invisibly in the heart, by Holy Baptism and not by any circumcision done by human hands. It is alone a circumcision of the heart.

    We do that to offer up a propitiation to God and avoid his anger and wrath.

    Instead we need to USE the works of Christ and not just talk about them every hour of every day. We need to exercise our arms to lift up those works of Christ, alone, as the only Propitiation , in faith alone, that matters to God and what alone will fulfill his Decalog.

    So now tell me again Kerner and Todd and everyone here if that is what is being described in the article Veith has presented to us? Is God pleased with gays and lesbians doing this?

    I say he is not.
    And I say that the prophets, the holy apostles , Christ our Lord, and the Lutheran Confession not only agree with me but are urgent witnesses to this truth.

  • kerner

    God is not plased by the works of these couples, because God is never pleased by the “good works” of unbelievers. If they were Christians, I don’t see why God would be displeased by their marriages.

  • kerner

    God is not plased by the works of these couples, because God is never pleased by the “good works” of unbelievers. If they were Christians, I don’t see why God would be displeased by their marriages.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 161

    KERNER “May I observe that you are going from the particulars to prove a general principle?”
    You may not.

    FWS Ha! You got me. :)

    KERNER “What am doing is attempting to show that the Lutheran Confessions have already made the journey from the general principles and arrived at the particulars set forth in the Large Catechism Article on the 6th Commandment. ”

    FWS You jumped in a jet in Mishnah, Legalland, and ignored everything you passed over to arrive at Prooftext, Endofargument. Both are in the territory called Secondtable.

    You ignored completely , again , what you flew over Firsttable without even honorary mention and you ignored NewJerusalem also known as ChristusPropitiator that I want to point you to @160 & 162 .

    Where is there any need anywhere for Christ in anything you wrote Kerner? What would your non christian and non Lutheran readers make of it?

    The would be confused!

    “What they are not doing is training them to the honor of God, because they are not Christian couples. But, if they were Christians, there is no reason why they wouldn’t be training their children to honor God as well.”

    They would think this: Kerner is saying that what they are doing IS what the decalog AND the Lutheran Confessions no less say is all we need to do to honor God. Jews after all are experts at knowing and following the Decalog. They wrote that book!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 161

    KERNER “May I observe that you are going from the particulars to prove a general principle?”
    You may not.

    FWS Ha! You got me. :)

    KERNER “What am doing is attempting to show that the Lutheran Confessions have already made the journey from the general principles and arrived at the particulars set forth in the Large Catechism Article on the 6th Commandment. ”

    FWS You jumped in a jet in Mishnah, Legalland, and ignored everything you passed over to arrive at Prooftext, Endofargument. Both are in the territory called Secondtable.

    You ignored completely , again , what you flew over Firsttable without even honorary mention and you ignored NewJerusalem also known as ChristusPropitiator that I want to point you to @160 & 162 .

    Where is there any need anywhere for Christ in anything you wrote Kerner? What would your non christian and non Lutheran readers make of it?

    The would be confused!

    “What they are not doing is training them to the honor of God, because they are not Christian couples. But, if they were Christians, there is no reason why they wouldn’t be training their children to honor God as well.”

    They would think this: Kerner is saying that what they are doing IS what the decalog AND the Lutheran Confessions no less say is all we need to do to honor God. Jews after all are experts at knowing and following the Decalog. They wrote that book!

  • kerner

    To continue, I am not saying that marriages such as these would be saving anyone by good works. But, they are marriages, within the Confessional definition of marriage. Therefore, I believe God regards them as no more, and no less, than He regards any other marriage.

  • kerner

    To continue, I am not saying that marriages such as these would be saving anyone by good works. But, they are marriages, within the Confessional definition of marriage. Therefore, I believe God regards them as no more, and no less, than He regards any other marriage.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 163

    “God is not plased by the works of these couples, because God is never pleased by the “good works” of unbelievers.”

    This is not what our Confessions teach.

    God IS pleased by the good works of unbelievers. He is so pleased that those works are done that he
    1) commands that they be done
    2) sends the Holy Spirit to extort them out of unbelievers by the carrot and stick of the Law
    3) threatens to punish those who do otherwise
    4) promises earthly blessings to all who externally keep his Law,
    5) does Fatherly Mercy and Goodness in, with and under them a)without any requirement of worthiness b) faith, c)prayer, d) goodness e) even for all the wicked.

    God is the Author of those Good works. He IS pleased with them. This is explained for us in the 1st article of the small catechism, the 4th petition, and by our Lord in Luke 18 and the lawless judge nagged by a conscience for whom true love died.

    Read those two posts to travel through Firsttable land that you flew over to get to your prooftext conclusions. You might be surprised at what the Lutheran Church teaches Kerner if you do.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 163

    “God is not plased by the works of these couples, because God is never pleased by the “good works” of unbelievers.”

    This is not what our Confessions teach.

    God IS pleased by the good works of unbelievers. He is so pleased that those works are done that he
    1) commands that they be done
    2) sends the Holy Spirit to extort them out of unbelievers by the carrot and stick of the Law
    3) threatens to punish those who do otherwise
    4) promises earthly blessings to all who externally keep his Law,
    5) does Fatherly Mercy and Goodness in, with and under them a)without any requirement of worthiness b) faith, c)prayer, d) goodness e) even for all the wicked.

    God is the Author of those Good works. He IS pleased with them. This is explained for us in the 1st article of the small catechism, the 4th petition, and by our Lord in Luke 18 and the lawless judge nagged by a conscience for whom true love died.

    Read those two posts to travel through Firsttable land that you flew over to get to your prooftext conclusions. You might be surprised at what the Lutheran Church teaches Kerner if you do.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 165

    I am asserting that you do not understand what your Lutheran Confessions say about the Law of God. So you are misreading and misconcluding from prooftexts because you are missing that larger context.

    I would urge you to read my two posts on that. You should find alot of stuff that you should sharply disagree with with your view of the Law. But what I wrote yu should know is about 98-99% a direct cribbing of the words of our Confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 165

    I am asserting that you do not understand what your Lutheran Confessions say about the Law of God. So you are misreading and misconcluding from prooftexts because you are missing that larger context.

    I would urge you to read my two posts on that. You should find alot of stuff that you should sharply disagree with with your view of the Law. But what I wrote yu should know is about 98-99% a direct cribbing of the words of our Confessions.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’m not saying any of that. Like you, I know that we can do nothing to please God of ourselves, by our own reason or strength.

    All I am saying is that, according to the 6th Commandment, there is nothing sinful I can see in entering into marriage.

    It is definitely sinful for a married person to “lapse” occasionally and break his or her marriage vows, but in that case it is the “lapse” that is a sin, not the marriage. Incidently, lapsing and breaking a marrige vow is not confined to homosexuals. Heterosexuals do it all the time, and it’s a sin then too, of course.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’m not saying any of that. Like you, I know that we can do nothing to please God of ourselves, by our own reason or strength.

    All I am saying is that, according to the 6th Commandment, there is nothing sinful I can see in entering into marriage.

    It is definitely sinful for a married person to “lapse” occasionally and break his or her marriage vows, but in that case it is the “lapse” that is a sin, not the marriage. Incidently, lapsing and breaking a marrige vow is not confined to homosexuals. Heterosexuals do it all the time, and it’s a sin then too, of course.

  • OMG

    If all that FWS says is true, then does that mean homosexuality is not sinful?

    Does that allow the possibility that Jesus could have been gay?

    Am not saying that is true, but can provide links to websites that do think that is true…and perhaps they share some of the theological positions, if you will, like FWS?

    If so, then be careful dear FWS!

  • OMG

    If all that FWS says is true, then does that mean homosexuality is not sinful?

    Does that allow the possibility that Jesus could have been gay?

    Am not saying that is true, but can provide links to websites that do think that is true…and perhaps they share some of the theological positions, if you will, like FWS?

    If so, then be careful dear FWS!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    omg @ 169

    Jesus was in all ways like unto us. Jesus became sin for us. What does that mean to you OMG? How could the spotless Lamb of God become our sin? Or do you read that figuratively?

    Jesus did save us by his perfect being and life. He also saved us by literally becoming our sin didn´t he? Jesus was tempted in ALL ways like unto us. What would that mean?

    Should I not believe that this is true about Jesus for me as a homosexual?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    omg @ 169

    Jesus was in all ways like unto us. Jesus became sin for us. What does that mean to you OMG? How could the spotless Lamb of God become our sin? Or do you read that figuratively?

    Jesus did save us by his perfect being and life. He also saved us by literally becoming our sin didn´t he? Jesus was tempted in ALL ways like unto us. What would that mean?

    Should I not believe that this is true about Jesus for me as a homosexual?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 168

    You do not believe that God is pleased with the good works of unbelievers and call them even “good works” as though they are not truly good works in God´s eyes. This is contrary to the Lutheran doctrine.

    The Lutheran confessions state everywhere that there is no intrinsic or essential difference in the works of pagans versus those of christians.

    This is to say that the difference between pagans and christians is in no way as to what they do or do not do. You do not seem to believe this dear brother.

    So this indicates to me that your view on the Law is not in line with our confessions.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 168

    You do not believe that God is pleased with the good works of unbelievers and call them even “good works” as though they are not truly good works in God´s eyes. This is contrary to the Lutheran doctrine.

    The Lutheran confessions state everywhere that there is no intrinsic or essential difference in the works of pagans versus those of christians.

    This is to say that the difference between pagans and christians is in no way as to what they do or do not do. You do not seem to believe this dear brother.

    So this indicates to me that your view on the Law is not in line with our confessions.

  • kerner

    fws @171:

    Perhaps I was unclear in what I said about the “good works” of unbelievers. What I meant was this:

    “8] Nor is there a controversy as to how and why the good works of believers, although in this flesh they are impure and incomplete, are pleasing and acceptable to God, namely, for the sake of the Lord Christ, by faith, because the person is acceptable to God. For the works which pertain to the maintenance of external discipline, which are also done by, and required of, the unbelieving and unconverted, although commendable before the world, and besides rewarded by God in this world with temporal blessings, are nevertheless, because they do not proceed from true faith, in God’s sight sins, that is, stained with sin, and are regarded by God as sins and impure on account of the corrupt nature and because the person is not reconciled with God. For a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit, Matt. 7:18, as it is also written Rom. 14:23: Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. For the person must first be accepted of God, and that for the sake of Christ alone, if also the works of that person are to please Him. “(emphasis mine)

    which cannot be inconsistent with our confessions, because it is a direct quote from the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, Article IV, Good Works

    Let’s not get sidetracked.

  • kerner

    fws @171:

    Perhaps I was unclear in what I said about the “good works” of unbelievers. What I meant was this:

    “8] Nor is there a controversy as to how and why the good works of believers, although in this flesh they are impure and incomplete, are pleasing and acceptable to God, namely, for the sake of the Lord Christ, by faith, because the person is acceptable to God. For the works which pertain to the maintenance of external discipline, which are also done by, and required of, the unbelieving and unconverted, although commendable before the world, and besides rewarded by God in this world with temporal blessings, are nevertheless, because they do not proceed from true faith, in God’s sight sins, that is, stained with sin, and are regarded by God as sins and impure on account of the corrupt nature and because the person is not reconciled with God. For a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit, Matt. 7:18, as it is also written Rom. 14:23: Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. For the person must first be accepted of God, and that for the sake of Christ alone, if also the works of that person are to please Him. “(emphasis mine)

    which cannot be inconsistent with our confessions, because it is a direct quote from the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, Article IV, Good Works

    Let’s not get sidetracked.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG/Dust/PTL (@169), it’s always obvious when you’ve left a comment, even if you change your handle for some reason.

    What’s not obvious is what you think your comment adds to the discussion at this point.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG/Dust/PTL (@169), it’s always obvious when you’ve left a comment, even if you change your handle for some reason.

    What’s not obvious is what you think your comment adds to the discussion at this point.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 172

    The conceptual context for what you quoted is this
    (E) for Epitomy (SD) for Solid Declaration Formula of Concord Art IV. http://www.thirduse.com/?p=13

    (E) 7] 6. For both believers and unbelievers then the Law is and remains one and the same Law, namely, the immutable will of God. For both believer and unbeliever, righteous works are the same.

    (SD) 15] In order that, as far as possible, all misunderstanding may be prevented, and the distinction between the works of the Law and those of the Spirit be properly taught and preserved it is to be noted with especial diligence that when we speak of good works which are in accordance with God’s Law (for otherwise they are not good works), then the word Law has only one sense, namely, the immutable will of God, according to which men are to conduct themselves in their lives.

    This is saying that the actual things done by pagan and christians are essentially and substantially identical. This is to say there is no visible or sense-ible way to tell the difference between the good works of a christian or pagan, and that this is because there are no differences.

    And this passage seems to highlight our difference: “…when we speak of good works which are in accordance with God’s Law (for otherwise they are not good works)…”

    So where is it we locate God´s Law? Is it in reason, conscience and the Decalog that is under the Veil of Moses? You seem to say yes. This is where I pinpoint our disagreement. But read on.

    (E)The difference , in obedience, is alone in man. (SD)16] The difference, however, is in the works only by virtue of the difference in the men who strive to live according to this Law and will of God.:

    The translation at bookofconcord.com needs to be cleaned up here. They are saying that the difference is in the heart of the man doing the work and not what he is doing. That should be clear in the following….

    (E) Men who are not yet regenerate do the Law out of constraint and unwillingly (just like the regenerate also do according to the Old Adam). (SD) 16] For as long as man is not regenerate, and [therefore] conducts himself according to the Law and does the works because they are commanded thus, from fear of punishment or desire for reward, he is still under the Law, and his works are called by St. Paul properly works of the Law, for they are extorted by the Law, as those of slaves; and these are saints after the order of Cain [that is, hypocrites].

    So then is Holy Baptism and the Sacrament and pure doctrine , and marriage, and gay celebacy that is being practiced by the persons in this article , a good work or are we being saints and hypocrites after the order of Cain by doing them? It could be either couldn´t it? What makes the difference? Why would we need to ask this question if the essence of the work being done is absolutely identical as Art IV earlier states?

    (E) [In contrast] the believer, so far as he is regenerate, sanctified and the New Man, is obedient without constraint and with a willing spirit that no threatenings [however severe] of the Law could ever extort from him. (SD) 17] When man is born anew by the Spirit of God, and liberated from the Law, that is, freed from this driver, and is led by the Spirit of Christ, he lives according to the immutable will of God comprised in the Law, and so far as he is born anew, does everything from a free, cheerful spirit; and these are called not properly works of the Law, but works and fruits of the Spirit, or as St. Paul names it, the law of the mind and the Law of Christ. For such men are no more under the Law, but under grace, as St. Paul says,

    Rom. 8:2: 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [1] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you [2] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, [3] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    [Rom. 7:23]: 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
    “”
    [1 Cor. 9:21 ]: 19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 172

    The conceptual context for what you quoted is this
    (E) for Epitomy (SD) for Solid Declaration Formula of Concord Art IV. http://www.thirduse.com/?p=13

    (E) 7] 6. For both believers and unbelievers then the Law is and remains one and the same Law, namely, the immutable will of God. For both believer and unbeliever, righteous works are the same.

    (SD) 15] In order that, as far as possible, all misunderstanding may be prevented, and the distinction between the works of the Law and those of the Spirit be properly taught and preserved it is to be noted with especial diligence that when we speak of good works which are in accordance with God’s Law (for otherwise they are not good works), then the word Law has only one sense, namely, the immutable will of God, according to which men are to conduct themselves in their lives.

    This is saying that the actual things done by pagan and christians are essentially and substantially identical. This is to say there is no visible or sense-ible way to tell the difference between the good works of a christian or pagan, and that this is because there are no differences.

    And this passage seems to highlight our difference: “…when we speak of good works which are in accordance with God’s Law (for otherwise they are not good works)…”

    So where is it we locate God´s Law? Is it in reason, conscience and the Decalog that is under the Veil of Moses? You seem to say yes. This is where I pinpoint our disagreement. But read on.

    (E)The difference , in obedience, is alone in man. (SD)16] The difference, however, is in the works only by virtue of the difference in the men who strive to live according to this Law and will of God.:

    The translation at bookofconcord.com needs to be cleaned up here. They are saying that the difference is in the heart of the man doing the work and not what he is doing. That should be clear in the following….

    (E) Men who are not yet regenerate do the Law out of constraint and unwillingly (just like the regenerate also do according to the Old Adam). (SD) 16] For as long as man is not regenerate, and [therefore] conducts himself according to the Law and does the works because they are commanded thus, from fear of punishment or desire for reward, he is still under the Law, and his works are called by St. Paul properly works of the Law, for they are extorted by the Law, as those of slaves; and these are saints after the order of Cain [that is, hypocrites].

    So then is Holy Baptism and the Sacrament and pure doctrine , and marriage, and gay celebacy that is being practiced by the persons in this article , a good work or are we being saints and hypocrites after the order of Cain by doing them? It could be either couldn´t it? What makes the difference? Why would we need to ask this question if the essence of the work being done is absolutely identical as Art IV earlier states?

    (E) [In contrast] the believer, so far as he is regenerate, sanctified and the New Man, is obedient without constraint and with a willing spirit that no threatenings [however severe] of the Law could ever extort from him. (SD) 17] When man is born anew by the Spirit of God, and liberated from the Law, that is, freed from this driver, and is led by the Spirit of Christ, he lives according to the immutable will of God comprised in the Law, and so far as he is born anew, does everything from a free, cheerful spirit; and these are called not properly works of the Law, but works and fruits of the Spirit, or as St. Paul names it, the law of the mind and the Law of Christ. For such men are no more under the Law, but under grace, as St. Paul says,

    Rom. 8:2: 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [1] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you [2] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, [3] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    [Rom. 7:23]: 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
    “”
    [1 Cor. 9:21 ]: 19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

  • kerner

    fws @162:

    @161 I explained why I think God regards a gay/lesbian marriage much the same as any other man/woman marriage. You respond that God is not pleased. OK, why wouldn’t He be?

  • kerner

    fws @162:

    @161 I explained why I think God regards a gay/lesbian marriage much the same as any other man/woman marriage. You respond that God is not pleased. OK, why wouldn’t He be?

  • kerner

    fws:

    I don’t really think we disagree about the good works of the unbelievers. All I meant to say is stated clearly in the passage I quoted from the SDFC. No more, no less. I also believe everything you have quoted from scripture and the other articles from the SDFC. Again, let’s not get sidetracked on a point that is not really in controversy.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I don’t really think we disagree about the good works of the unbelievers. All I meant to say is stated clearly in the passage I quoted from the SDFC. No more, no less. I also believe everything you have quoted from scripture and the other articles from the SDFC. Again, let’s not get sidetracked on a point that is not really in controversy.

  • OMG

    FWS….the Bible says Jesus became “sin” for us, is that correct? What does it mean to “become” sin for us? Did it require Jesus to commit sin? Thanks!

  • OMG

    FWS….the Bible says Jesus became “sin” for us, is that correct? What does it mean to “become” sin for us? Did it require Jesus to commit sin? Thanks!

  • OMG

    Hmm, why did my last comment not get posted?

  • OMG

    Hmm, why did my last comment not get posted?

  • OMG

    OK now it works….was just wondering if saying Christ “became” sin for us, if it meant the same as if He did commit a sin? Thanks!

  • OMG

    OK now it works….was just wondering if saying Christ “became” sin for us, if it meant the same as if He did commit a sin? Thanks!

  • OMG

    tODD at 173….1) who made you the “censor” or “editor in chief” of the blog to determine the relevancy of a comment? besides that, if you can’t see the relevancy of my comment, perhaps you should not be commenting on the topic, duh! 2) so uh, how is it you lump me in with those others folks? assuming you are correct, tell us your secret ways of sleuthing around this blog…inquiring minds want to know! is there other personal information only you can access…oh say, like our email address? hmmm, if so, shouldn’t that be disclosed to participants on this blog…some sort of caveat at least to warn us of possible disclosures. you don’t sell the data do you? mind you, this doesn’t really bother me, it’s just for the sake of full disclosure as you have requested of me, eh?

    thanks in advance for your answers tODD :)

  • OMG

    tODD at 173….1) who made you the “censor” or “editor in chief” of the blog to determine the relevancy of a comment? besides that, if you can’t see the relevancy of my comment, perhaps you should not be commenting on the topic, duh! 2) so uh, how is it you lump me in with those others folks? assuming you are correct, tell us your secret ways of sleuthing around this blog…inquiring minds want to know! is there other personal information only you can access…oh say, like our email address? hmmm, if so, shouldn’t that be disclosed to participants on this blog…some sort of caveat at least to warn us of possible disclosures. you don’t sell the data do you? mind you, this doesn’t really bother me, it’s just for the sake of full disclosure as you have requested of me, eh?

    thanks in advance for your answers tODD :)

  • Grace

    OMG –

    This should untangle it – LOL

    52 WebMonk February 24, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Uh oh trotk! You just got called to the principal’s office! Detention time.
    (Based on our school-based discussion. Of course, I suspect a few people might object to tODD being cast in the role of principal! )

    WebMonk caught it first!

    53 Grace February 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm
    INTERESTING but not a surprise – last night the first #51 was posted with the typical powder blue background, that is Gene Veith’s signature posting,…. but then 16 minutes later there is a second post #51 that is tODD’s. both identical messages –

    51 Gene Veith February 24, 2011 at 2:02 am
    Trotk, can you email me at [todd * toddstadler.com]? Thanks.

    51 tODD February 24, 2011 at 2:18 am
    Trotk, can you email me at [todd * toddstadler.com]? Thanks.

    WOOPS!

    The first one tODD posted with the light blue background is no longer there, it vanished –

    54 tODD February 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Oh, Grace (@53), your paranoia is charming, but Dr. Veith and I are not the same person. As has already been revealed (and pointed out to you) before, I occasionally help out Dr. Veith by perusing the spam quarantine to release valid comments — or to fix the blog system so it won’t mark valid comments as spam in the first place.

    As it happens, I forgot to log out before I posted my comment. This is my error, not Dr. Veith’s.

    It can all be viewed on: Battle of the eighth graders

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/02/23/battle-of-the-eighth-graders/#comment-108070

  • Grace

    OMG –

    This should untangle it – LOL

    52 WebMonk February 24, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Uh oh trotk! You just got called to the principal’s office! Detention time.
    (Based on our school-based discussion. Of course, I suspect a few people might object to tODD being cast in the role of principal! )

    WebMonk caught it first!

    53 Grace February 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm
    INTERESTING but not a surprise – last night the first #51 was posted with the typical powder blue background, that is Gene Veith’s signature posting,…. but then 16 minutes later there is a second post #51 that is tODD’s. both identical messages –

    51 Gene Veith February 24, 2011 at 2:02 am
    Trotk, can you email me at [todd * toddstadler.com]? Thanks.

    51 tODD February 24, 2011 at 2:18 am
    Trotk, can you email me at [todd * toddstadler.com]? Thanks.

    WOOPS!

    The first one tODD posted with the light blue background is no longer there, it vanished –

    54 tODD February 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Oh, Grace (@53), your paranoia is charming, but Dr. Veith and I are not the same person. As has already been revealed (and pointed out to you) before, I occasionally help out Dr. Veith by perusing the spam quarantine to release valid comments — or to fix the blog system so it won’t mark valid comments as spam in the first place.

    As it happens, I forgot to log out before I posted my comment. This is my error, not Dr. Veith’s.

    It can all be viewed on: Battle of the eighth graders

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/02/23/battle-of-the-eighth-graders/#comment-108070

  • OMG

    Wow Grace, as the inspector said in “Laugh In” many years ago..”very interesting! But….true?”

    You know it’s very easy to find IOP addresses for folks visiting the site by looking at the “Site Statistics” NOTE: You better look soon, before they take them down :)

    Am not really that concerned about it really, but am just hoping they don’t share personal info with any of their insiders…who are those? Well, FWS, tODD, Stephen, trotk, Louis perhaps….the folks who keep acting like “8th graders” and cheer each other on when they are piling on someone who’s comments they don’t like…boo, hoo :(

    Can’t really prove it and legally guess Dr. Veith can do what he wants, since it’s his site, but if true, then it sort of really isn’t his site, is it? He’s kinda like the Professors who “manage” the work of grad students and then take credit for it. Perhaps he doesn’t have as much time as one might think to devote to this site, and let’s his little “grad” students take care of the day to day details? It has been my observation that several of these folks have blogs of their own, but no one seems interested enough to comment, so they sort of “piggyback” on this site and have the converstations they want to have on their site, but they do it here? Just sayin’……it is at least plausible, eh Olie?

    Of course, my biggest concern is that they are sharing “personal” information, the only thing being our email addresses, since that is the only thing required to post a comment. Ever wonder how the mighty and powerful Oz, er tODD, could even imagine that PTL and Dust and OMG might be one and the same? perhaps he has some access to information, available to da WebMaster…all bow in reverence to the mention of his name :)

    Well, thanks again Grace and more power to you….will be keeping you in my prayers and look forward to the day we will all be together with the Lord…..including the folks mentioned above, PTL!

    Oh some more “thoughts” on this…had always wondered how come the comments from our “friends” seemed to appear in well coordinate “spurts” and had always thought that in addition to the comments you see here, they were sharing emails “behind the scenes” to better all “get on the same page” as it were….of course, could be wrong, and perhaps as tODD or someone mentioned, am perhaps so “paranoid” that it’s just my imagination..running away with me? Could be….but your post from the “8th grader” thread is pretty convincing, even if circumstantial.

    It’s too bad if true…in either case, will continue to visit the blog and perhaps comment, but now understand the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey liked to say :)

  • OMG

    Wow Grace, as the inspector said in “Laugh In” many years ago..”very interesting! But….true?”

    You know it’s very easy to find IOP addresses for folks visiting the site by looking at the “Site Statistics” NOTE: You better look soon, before they take them down :)

    Am not really that concerned about it really, but am just hoping they don’t share personal info with any of their insiders…who are those? Well, FWS, tODD, Stephen, trotk, Louis perhaps….the folks who keep acting like “8th graders” and cheer each other on when they are piling on someone who’s comments they don’t like…boo, hoo :(

    Can’t really prove it and legally guess Dr. Veith can do what he wants, since it’s his site, but if true, then it sort of really isn’t his site, is it? He’s kinda like the Professors who “manage” the work of grad students and then take credit for it. Perhaps he doesn’t have as much time as one might think to devote to this site, and let’s his little “grad” students take care of the day to day details? It has been my observation that several of these folks have blogs of their own, but no one seems interested enough to comment, so they sort of “piggyback” on this site and have the converstations they want to have on their site, but they do it here? Just sayin’……it is at least plausible, eh Olie?

    Of course, my biggest concern is that they are sharing “personal” information, the only thing being our email addresses, since that is the only thing required to post a comment. Ever wonder how the mighty and powerful Oz, er tODD, could even imagine that PTL and Dust and OMG might be one and the same? perhaps he has some access to information, available to da WebMaster…all bow in reverence to the mention of his name :)

    Well, thanks again Grace and more power to you….will be keeping you in my prayers and look forward to the day we will all be together with the Lord…..including the folks mentioned above, PTL!

    Oh some more “thoughts” on this…had always wondered how come the comments from our “friends” seemed to appear in well coordinate “spurts” and had always thought that in addition to the comments you see here, they were sharing emails “behind the scenes” to better all “get on the same page” as it were….of course, could be wrong, and perhaps as tODD or someone mentioned, am perhaps so “paranoid” that it’s just my imagination..running away with me? Could be….but your post from the “8th grader” thread is pretty convincing, even if circumstantial.

    It’s too bad if true…in either case, will continue to visit the blog and perhaps comment, but now understand the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey liked to say :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG (@179), no one made me “censor” or “editor in chief” here, nor have I claimed such titles for myself, as you can plainly see. But, as a fellow commenter, I can point out as much as anyone else when your comments don’t appear to add anything to the discussion. And so I did.

    I mean, reread your first comment in this discussion (@169). “Does that allow the possibility that Jesus could have been gay?” Was anyone talking about that? No. And then you go on to try to lump in FWS’ arguments with other “websites” … and to what end? Again, what was the value in your comment? What, 169 comments into the discussion which you had failed to take part in whatsoever, so needed to be said in what you wrote?

    “so uh, how is it you lump me in with those others folks?” Come now, are you really that un-self-aware? Are you going to deny it? You played this game the last time you switched from “PTL” to “Dust”, too. Fine, if I must make it clear to you:
    1) Like “Dust”, you have a tendency to insert yourself very late in conversations you had not previously enjoined in any way.
    2) Also like “Dust”, you tend to do so mainly to make ad hominem attacks on people you don’t like, or at least consistently oppose — namely, FWS, me, Louis, and so on. I’m sure that if FWS had been opposing me or Porcell, you would have put in a good word for them as you always do, but he was opposing me and Kerner, and you likely don’t like either of us any more than you do FWS.
    3) Like “Dust”, you enjoy (ab)using the ellipsis more than the average person as a punctuation mark.
    4) Most tellingly, however, and unique to you as a commenter here on this blog, no matter what handle you use, is your strange-yet-eerily-consistent aversion to the first-person singular nominative pronoun (“I”). “Am not saying that is true” (@169). “OK now it works….was just wondering” (@178).
    5) To be frank, there also appears to be a consistent passive-aggressive quality to your comments (“mind you, this doesn’t really bother me”).

    The only thing you didn’t do that “Dust” usually did was to intimate or claim outright that all of this discussion would have some deleterious effect on Veith’s blogs “numbers” and/or drive away people. I mean, you touched on that with your “some sort of caveat” comment, of course, which reminded me a bit of this comment by “PTL”.

    So, “OMG”, are you going to deny that you are the same as those “other” commenters “Dust” and “PTL”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG (@179), no one made me “censor” or “editor in chief” here, nor have I claimed such titles for myself, as you can plainly see. But, as a fellow commenter, I can point out as much as anyone else when your comments don’t appear to add anything to the discussion. And so I did.

    I mean, reread your first comment in this discussion (@169). “Does that allow the possibility that Jesus could have been gay?” Was anyone talking about that? No. And then you go on to try to lump in FWS’ arguments with other “websites” … and to what end? Again, what was the value in your comment? What, 169 comments into the discussion which you had failed to take part in whatsoever, so needed to be said in what you wrote?

    “so uh, how is it you lump me in with those others folks?” Come now, are you really that un-self-aware? Are you going to deny it? You played this game the last time you switched from “PTL” to “Dust”, too. Fine, if I must make it clear to you:
    1) Like “Dust”, you have a tendency to insert yourself very late in conversations you had not previously enjoined in any way.
    2) Also like “Dust”, you tend to do so mainly to make ad hominem attacks on people you don’t like, or at least consistently oppose — namely, FWS, me, Louis, and so on. I’m sure that if FWS had been opposing me or Porcell, you would have put in a good word for them as you always do, but he was opposing me and Kerner, and you likely don’t like either of us any more than you do FWS.
    3) Like “Dust”, you enjoy (ab)using the ellipsis more than the average person as a punctuation mark.
    4) Most tellingly, however, and unique to you as a commenter here on this blog, no matter what handle you use, is your strange-yet-eerily-consistent aversion to the first-person singular nominative pronoun (“I”). “Am not saying that is true” (@169). “OK now it works….was just wondering” (@178).
    5) To be frank, there also appears to be a consistent passive-aggressive quality to your comments (“mind you, this doesn’t really bother me”).

    The only thing you didn’t do that “Dust” usually did was to intimate or claim outright that all of this discussion would have some deleterious effect on Veith’s blogs “numbers” and/or drive away people. I mean, you touched on that with your “some sort of caveat” comment, of course, which reminded me a bit of this comment by “PTL”.

    So, “OMG”, are you going to deny that you are the same as those “other” commenters “Dust” and “PTL”?

  • Grace

    tODD,

    Most all who blog and post for the past five plus years, are very aware that……

    1. When coming to a blog, logging on to read or post, ones IP number is captured, and so is their city and state – also their University, or corporation, etc., it might not be entirely clear, but what is captured by the site in which they either read or post identifies them to some extent.

    2. When you made cited ptl, Dust and then OMG by their identification. This isn’t a secret, but I don’t believe that anyone should be ‘called out’ or ‘outed’ as to their identification. It just isn’t done, it’s extremely bad form.

    No one deserves to be ‘outed’ because you don’t like what they post, or you find fault with their style – they have not committed a crime.

  • Grace

    tODD,

    Most all who blog and post for the past five plus years, are very aware that……

    1. When coming to a blog, logging on to read or post, ones IP number is captured, and so is their city and state – also their University, or corporation, etc., it might not be entirely clear, but what is captured by the site in which they either read or post identifies them to some extent.

    2. When you made cited ptl, Dust and then OMG by their identification. This isn’t a secret, but I don’t believe that anyone should be ‘called out’ or ‘outed’ as to their identification. It just isn’t done, it’s extremely bad form.

    No one deserves to be ‘outed’ because you don’t like what they post, or you find fault with their style – they have not committed a crime.

  • OMG

    thanks tODD for your reply….as per how my comment that you didn’t think applied to the conversation, think of it this way….if the gay lifestyle is not sinful, except if performing certain sexual acts that should not be done outside of marriage, but by the way, no one will say what those are…but let’s just say kissing and petting and oral you know what, none of which are sexual and sinful, then it would be plausible that our Lord could have done those and not sinned, would you agree to that? Not that He could have done it, but if the grounds rules are as stated, then it would not be sinful? So, then, if all that is permsissable under the new game rules, then Jesus could have participated….does that make sense to you? My guess is, you will say no, because you don’t want to go down the path of the nice folks on the websites would be happy to provide you….you want to bury your head in the sand and not take this conversation to the next stage. you want to avoid something called “systematic” theology….that is, all of the theology is tied together, and if you admit one point in one area, it can affect others. That was the point of my comment….again, duh? and you know what, no one want to talk about that here….they want to keep the dialog at a certain level and not consider other implications. Am not saying that “I” am correct, but it’s worth a thought and others have thought about it, not just “I”……

    FWS, answered me with something along the lines of Christ has “become” sin for us, and yes that is true, but my comment was, is that the same as having committed the sin in the first place. Actually, had never thought about what it meant in full that Christ “became” sin for us, and but while not a theologian, am pretty sure it is not the same thing as having committed the sin? of course, could be wrong, as these theologians seem to have a way to thinking about things that is far, far removed from “normal” slobs that sit in the pews :(

    My guess is that FWS was trying to say that Christ dies for all of our sins and loves all of us, regardless of our shortcomings and that is fine….and true, and “I” believe it and trust in it too….what else can any of us do? But still, it’s worth answering my honest question! You folks seem to think that if the question seems to somehow be against what you are trying to “push” on the site, then by your definition, it has nothing to do with the conversation? Such a shame and quite a sham :(

    As to why “I” prefer to not use “I” it’s just the way “I” was brought up, sorry…..never to try and make yourself the focus, at least with respect to your writing….it’s not easy to do, you may want to try and see for yourself….”I” will be watching :)

    And oh, your explanation of how you think you “figured” out the PTL, etc. thing….doesn’t work with me, sorry. My guess is you track the IOP or whatever adddresses are on the site stats (of course, you have lots more access to other info, eh?) and piece it together from numerical and quantifiable info….not a hunch, duh? How else are you able to dredge up comment from Porcel and others from years ago? Seems you abuse your privileges as a “part time” or “quasi” web master here, if that’s what you do with your access….do any of us have similar access, or the time to do it the “old fashioned way” by searching thru this blog (which by the way the search engine sucks, to use a technical term!).

    As per passive aggressive, you have a problem with that….there are others here who in my opinion have shown a similar trait, but you never call them on that….could it be you save that one for folks who disagree with you? It’s called diversion…but hey, that’s ok, just shows me you are not so sure of your position, and you would be correct :)

    Actually tODD, had thought your last few comments on this topic were pretty good…but now think they may have been sort of “scripted” to provide some ammo for the opposing point of view to press their points further? Call me paranoid, or you can email me for further “off line” discussion at…..well, you know my email address, eh?

    Finally, although it sounds passive-aggressive, this is a nice site, and “I” will continue to check it out and you seem like a nice family kind of guy….so sorry if any of my comments did not apply or seem to be less than charitable, but just blurted them out without much editorializing…so here “I” stand :)

  • OMG

    thanks tODD for your reply….as per how my comment that you didn’t think applied to the conversation, think of it this way….if the gay lifestyle is not sinful, except if performing certain sexual acts that should not be done outside of marriage, but by the way, no one will say what those are…but let’s just say kissing and petting and oral you know what, none of which are sexual and sinful, then it would be plausible that our Lord could have done those and not sinned, would you agree to that? Not that He could have done it, but if the grounds rules are as stated, then it would not be sinful? So, then, if all that is permsissable under the new game rules, then Jesus could have participated….does that make sense to you? My guess is, you will say no, because you don’t want to go down the path of the nice folks on the websites would be happy to provide you….you want to bury your head in the sand and not take this conversation to the next stage. you want to avoid something called “systematic” theology….that is, all of the theology is tied together, and if you admit one point in one area, it can affect others. That was the point of my comment….again, duh? and you know what, no one want to talk about that here….they want to keep the dialog at a certain level and not consider other implications. Am not saying that “I” am correct, but it’s worth a thought and others have thought about it, not just “I”……

    FWS, answered me with something along the lines of Christ has “become” sin for us, and yes that is true, but my comment was, is that the same as having committed the sin in the first place. Actually, had never thought about what it meant in full that Christ “became” sin for us, and but while not a theologian, am pretty sure it is not the same thing as having committed the sin? of course, could be wrong, as these theologians seem to have a way to thinking about things that is far, far removed from “normal” slobs that sit in the pews :(

    My guess is that FWS was trying to say that Christ dies for all of our sins and loves all of us, regardless of our shortcomings and that is fine….and true, and “I” believe it and trust in it too….what else can any of us do? But still, it’s worth answering my honest question! You folks seem to think that if the question seems to somehow be against what you are trying to “push” on the site, then by your definition, it has nothing to do with the conversation? Such a shame and quite a sham :(

    As to why “I” prefer to not use “I” it’s just the way “I” was brought up, sorry…..never to try and make yourself the focus, at least with respect to your writing….it’s not easy to do, you may want to try and see for yourself….”I” will be watching :)

    And oh, your explanation of how you think you “figured” out the PTL, etc. thing….doesn’t work with me, sorry. My guess is you track the IOP or whatever adddresses are on the site stats (of course, you have lots more access to other info, eh?) and piece it together from numerical and quantifiable info….not a hunch, duh? How else are you able to dredge up comment from Porcel and others from years ago? Seems you abuse your privileges as a “part time” or “quasi” web master here, if that’s what you do with your access….do any of us have similar access, or the time to do it the “old fashioned way” by searching thru this blog (which by the way the search engine sucks, to use a technical term!).

    As per passive aggressive, you have a problem with that….there are others here who in my opinion have shown a similar trait, but you never call them on that….could it be you save that one for folks who disagree with you? It’s called diversion…but hey, that’s ok, just shows me you are not so sure of your position, and you would be correct :)

    Actually tODD, had thought your last few comments on this topic were pretty good…but now think they may have been sort of “scripted” to provide some ammo for the opposing point of view to press their points further? Call me paranoid, or you can email me for further “off line” discussion at…..well, you know my email address, eh?

    Finally, although it sounds passive-aggressive, this is a nice site, and “I” will continue to check it out and you seem like a nice family kind of guy….so sorry if any of my comments did not apply or seem to be less than charitable, but just blurted them out without much editorializing…so here “I” stand :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG (@184), “And oh, your explanation of how you think you ‘figured’ out the PTL, etc. thing….doesn’t work with me, sorry.” Well, that’s probably, as you said, your “paranoia”. You see mystical cabals of people “scripting” things just so agendas can be “pushed”. It’s all “coordinated”, not real people having real discussions.
    It’s all designed to get you, Dust. Sorry, I mean PTL. Er, OMG. Not that there’s anything odd about apparently routinely switching your comment handle without telling anyone about it — or admitting to it. I mean, that certainly seems on the up-and-up. Nothing to hide, right?

    Anyhow, if you can’t see how distinctive your own voice is here, then by all means, engage in flights of paranoid fantasy. But really, ask yourself: how many other commenters go out of their way to avoid certain common grammatical pronouns? Can you name anyone else here who does that? And if I was merely tracking your IP address, how would I have come to notice that trait about your writing? Too, there is the ellipses thing for you. And consistenly joining discussions extremely late. And, again, the passive-aggressiveness: “this doesn’t really bother me”; “You better look soon, before they take them down :)”; “Am not really that concerned about it really, but”; “but hey, that’s ok”; etc.

    As to your question, “How else are you able to dredge up comment from Porcel and others from years ago?”, allow me to introduce you to the wonders of Google.

    Hey, wanna know something funny? I was only half serious about that Google search when I plugged in one of your passive-aggressive phrases from this thread — “that’s ok” — but it turns out it’s another signature thing you say a lot. In fact, that Google search turned up another handle here you almost certainly used to comment under: Justme! Yup, looks like that’s you too: avoiding the first-person (“Am sorry do not have a concordance with me”, “Am not sure”); your phrase “that’s ok”; use of the frowning emoticon to express disappointment; and, curiously, a discussion of the word “dust”, which you would later go on to use as a handle here.

    And Dust/Justme/OMG/PTL, if you want to email me, you can do so at the address above (which Grace quoted because she thinks it proves something or other), which I posted on this blog (and have done so multiple times) … because I have nothing to hide. Can you say the same, Dust/Justme/OMG/PTL? Have I found all your different handles yet?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG (@184), “And oh, your explanation of how you think you ‘figured’ out the PTL, etc. thing….doesn’t work with me, sorry.” Well, that’s probably, as you said, your “paranoia”. You see mystical cabals of people “scripting” things just so agendas can be “pushed”. It’s all “coordinated”, not real people having real discussions.
    It’s all designed to get you, Dust. Sorry, I mean PTL. Er, OMG. Not that there’s anything odd about apparently routinely switching your comment handle without telling anyone about it — or admitting to it. I mean, that certainly seems on the up-and-up. Nothing to hide, right?

    Anyhow, if you can’t see how distinctive your own voice is here, then by all means, engage in flights of paranoid fantasy. But really, ask yourself: how many other commenters go out of their way to avoid certain common grammatical pronouns? Can you name anyone else here who does that? And if I was merely tracking your IP address, how would I have come to notice that trait about your writing? Too, there is the ellipses thing for you. And consistenly joining discussions extremely late. And, again, the passive-aggressiveness: “this doesn’t really bother me”; “You better look soon, before they take them down :)”; “Am not really that concerned about it really, but”; “but hey, that’s ok”; etc.

    As to your question, “How else are you able to dredge up comment from Porcel and others from years ago?”, allow me to introduce you to the wonders of Google.

    Hey, wanna know something funny? I was only half serious about that Google search when I plugged in one of your passive-aggressive phrases from this thread — “that’s ok” — but it turns out it’s another signature thing you say a lot. In fact, that Google search turned up another handle here you almost certainly used to comment under: Justme! Yup, looks like that’s you too: avoiding the first-person (“Am sorry do not have a concordance with me”, “Am not sure”); your phrase “that’s ok”; use of the frowning emoticon to express disappointment; and, curiously, a discussion of the word “dust”, which you would later go on to use as a handle here.

    And Dust/Justme/OMG/PTL, if you want to email me, you can do so at the address above (which Grace quoted because she thinks it proves something or other), which I posted on this blog (and have done so multiple times) … because I have nothing to hide. Can you say the same, Dust/Justme/OMG/PTL? Have I found all your different handles yet?

  • OMG

    Maybe will regret this, but tODD could you be so kind as to please reply to this….

    “2) Also like “Dust”, you tend to do so mainly to make ad hominem attacks on people you don’t like, or at least consistently oppose — namely, FWS, me, Louis, and so on. I’m sure that if FWS had been opposing me or Porcell, you would have put in a good word for them as you always do, but he was opposing me and Kerner, and you likely don’t like either of us any more than you do FWS.”

    “I” am somewhat vain in that “I” try to avoid “ad hominem” attacks, prefering to attack the facts or positions. You maybe think that an attack on someone’s point of view, is equivalent to attacking the person (actually would somewhat agree with you,, as a person is somewhat the sum total of their philosophy and positions, no?) but most folks would say not. So, can you show me where you think my comments have been “ad hominem” please? With your great skill at searching this blog, along with your “systems” level access and privileges you enjoy, you should be able to do this with ease, thanks!

    And by the way, the reason “I” comment when you and your gang jump on Porcell and Grace, is because you are rude (ok, that may be ad hominem?) and crude (another ad hom, sorry!). Talk about the pot calling the kettle black….go ahead and search that one too!

  • OMG

    Maybe will regret this, but tODD could you be so kind as to please reply to this….

    “2) Also like “Dust”, you tend to do so mainly to make ad hominem attacks on people you don’t like, or at least consistently oppose — namely, FWS, me, Louis, and so on. I’m sure that if FWS had been opposing me or Porcell, you would have put in a good word for them as you always do, but he was opposing me and Kerner, and you likely don’t like either of us any more than you do FWS.”

    “I” am somewhat vain in that “I” try to avoid “ad hominem” attacks, prefering to attack the facts or positions. You maybe think that an attack on someone’s point of view, is equivalent to attacking the person (actually would somewhat agree with you,, as a person is somewhat the sum total of their philosophy and positions, no?) but most folks would say not. So, can you show me where you think my comments have been “ad hominem” please? With your great skill at searching this blog, along with your “systems” level access and privileges you enjoy, you should be able to do this with ease, thanks!

    And by the way, the reason “I” comment when you and your gang jump on Porcell and Grace, is because you are rude (ok, that may be ad hominem?) and crude (another ad hom, sorry!). Talk about the pot calling the kettle black….go ahead and search that one too!

  • OMG

    gee tODD interesting….now try and answer the question about Jesus and whether or not he is/was gay and what this has to do with anything? would it be ok with you if your Jesus was gay? guess it would be ok if it were not a sin and as long as any thing he did was not outside the bounds of the marriage realm…isn’t what what is being discussed here? and that’s what you always demand of folks…answer the question (would google it, but it kind of scares me that anyone would take the time or have the interest in that kind of information). so can you do that please, just answer my simple/innocent question?

  • OMG

    gee tODD interesting….now try and answer the question about Jesus and whether or not he is/was gay and what this has to do with anything? would it be ok with you if your Jesus was gay? guess it would be ok if it were not a sin and as long as any thing he did was not outside the bounds of the marriage realm…isn’t what what is being discussed here? and that’s what you always demand of folks…answer the question (would google it, but it kind of scares me that anyone would take the time or have the interest in that kind of information). so can you do that please, just answer my simple/innocent question?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG said (@187), “‘I’ am somewhat vain in that ‘I’ try to avoid “ad hominem” attacks”. Which makes no sense, as avoiding such attacks has nothing to do with “vanity” (nor, for that matter, does intentionally leaving out the word “I”). It makes even less sense as a claim though, given that you then go on to make a self-admitted “ad hominem” attack of sorts against me!

    Anyhow, again, have you already forgotten the numerous paranoid conspiracy theories you’ve floated that involve me and the rest of the people you don’t like that you called “8th graders”? You know, accusing me of lying about how I figured out your multiple identities, accusing me of deceptively “scripting” my comments just to further an agenda on this site, accusing me of “coordinating” with other commenters on this site — and that’s just on this thread alone! That’s plenty of evidence from just today!

    Oh, and I did a search on people using the pot/kettle idiom, and it’s not something you typically say, no. It’s actually something typically used by people you don’t like.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG said (@187), “‘I’ am somewhat vain in that ‘I’ try to avoid “ad hominem” attacks”. Which makes no sense, as avoiding such attacks has nothing to do with “vanity” (nor, for that matter, does intentionally leaving out the word “I”). It makes even less sense as a claim though, given that you then go on to make a self-admitted “ad hominem” attack of sorts against me!

    Anyhow, again, have you already forgotten the numerous paranoid conspiracy theories you’ve floated that involve me and the rest of the people you don’t like that you called “8th graders”? You know, accusing me of lying about how I figured out your multiple identities, accusing me of deceptively “scripting” my comments just to further an agenda on this site, accusing me of “coordinating” with other commenters on this site — and that’s just on this thread alone! That’s plenty of evidence from just today!

    Oh, and I did a search on people using the pot/kettle idiom, and it’s not something you typically say, no. It’s actually something typically used by people you don’t like.

  • OMG

    tODD….you are the one who chooses to say I “don’t like” anyone, when in fact, it’s their positions or their style I don’t like. Am sure if we got together and had a beer or a glass o’ vino, and discussed some other subject, may actually like them. You may be surprised that I like lots of different kinds of folks, some of whom have positions very similar to the kinds am opposed to here…and we argue them very energetically and maybe even take a swing at each other…just kiddin, but still like them, as they are not rude and not crude, which makes them, not like me, right? so, please don’t say my difference of opinion with anyone is because I don’t like them, ok….hell tODD, there are folks with whom I am 100% in agreement, but don’t like them personally…the two are separate qualities, don’t you agree?

    now please don’t use the fact that you don’t like me to not answer my question above…it is relevant, in my opinion. if you don’t, will understand and not hold it against you…it’s the nature of a person who is passive/aggressive. by the way, you ever look into why some folks are like that? you may want to be more gentle with them in the future :)

  • OMG

    tODD….you are the one who chooses to say I “don’t like” anyone, when in fact, it’s their positions or their style I don’t like. Am sure if we got together and had a beer or a glass o’ vino, and discussed some other subject, may actually like them. You may be surprised that I like lots of different kinds of folks, some of whom have positions very similar to the kinds am opposed to here…and we argue them very energetically and maybe even take a swing at each other…just kiddin, but still like them, as they are not rude and not crude, which makes them, not like me, right? so, please don’t say my difference of opinion with anyone is because I don’t like them, ok….hell tODD, there are folks with whom I am 100% in agreement, but don’t like them personally…the two are separate qualities, don’t you agree?

    now please don’t use the fact that you don’t like me to not answer my question above…it is relevant, in my opinion. if you don’t, will understand and not hold it against you…it’s the nature of a person who is passive/aggressive. by the way, you ever look into why some folks are like that? you may want to be more gentle with them in the future :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And now that I’ve engaged in that pointless distraction for far too long…

    FWS, I no longer know what we’re talking about any more. Honestly. I long ago ceased to care about the original article way up above, as it doesn’t itself deal with what Christians should do or believe — though approving Christian commenters here have made the discussion about that, I guess.

    But every time I attempt to understand what I think is your central thesis, I get accused, more or less, of attempting to change the subject, or weasel out of some corner you have me backed into, or whatever. In case you hadn’t noticed, I typically try to understand things that are hard to grasp by using analogy — that is, what similar situation can I think of that I do think I have a grasp on, and how can that inform this more difficult situation? But that approach has not won any friends here. Sometimes it even appears to get me accused of depending on my reason over and against God’s Word. So it goes.

    Every time I think I understand your point, you offer up another comment that contradicts what I think you’re saying. I don’t know if the error is in my reading or your writing, or both. For what it’s worth, I know that my comments here have been misunderstood by you several times. I’m sure I haven’t been clear at times, though it probably hasn’t helped that I have employed reductio arguments to see where things are going and if a thesis is something you or we really believe.

    Anyhow, regardless, I’ve lost the plot. Maybe there isn’t a single thesis here anymore, but I have to cop to not having the mental capacity at this point for more than one main idea. Call it a failing. But, in summary: what are we discussing? Or, really, what is the point you want to make?

    I stayed up way too late last night trying to wrap my head around this, and it’s pretty darn late once more, and I’m not sure I have it in me to sustain this debate. But I don’t want to give up, both because it seems really important to you (and therefore, possibly to me), and because I’m pretty certain we’re going to run into this again in some other thread.

    Anyhow, I have to admit that I have gotten really frustrated with you at times when reading your comments here. I don’t know if I kept it all nicely bottled up in my head, or if it came through, unintentionally, in what I said, but either way, I’m sorry. That goes for you, too, Stephen. If you’re still listening. And I would not at all blame you if you weren’t at this point.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And now that I’ve engaged in that pointless distraction for far too long…

    FWS, I no longer know what we’re talking about any more. Honestly. I long ago ceased to care about the original article way up above, as it doesn’t itself deal with what Christians should do or believe — though approving Christian commenters here have made the discussion about that, I guess.

    But every time I attempt to understand what I think is your central thesis, I get accused, more or less, of attempting to change the subject, or weasel out of some corner you have me backed into, or whatever. In case you hadn’t noticed, I typically try to understand things that are hard to grasp by using analogy — that is, what similar situation can I think of that I do think I have a grasp on, and how can that inform this more difficult situation? But that approach has not won any friends here. Sometimes it even appears to get me accused of depending on my reason over and against God’s Word. So it goes.

    Every time I think I understand your point, you offer up another comment that contradicts what I think you’re saying. I don’t know if the error is in my reading or your writing, or both. For what it’s worth, I know that my comments here have been misunderstood by you several times. I’m sure I haven’t been clear at times, though it probably hasn’t helped that I have employed reductio arguments to see where things are going and if a thesis is something you or we really believe.

    Anyhow, regardless, I’ve lost the plot. Maybe there isn’t a single thesis here anymore, but I have to cop to not having the mental capacity at this point for more than one main idea. Call it a failing. But, in summary: what are we discussing? Or, really, what is the point you want to make?

    I stayed up way too late last night trying to wrap my head around this, and it’s pretty darn late once more, and I’m not sure I have it in me to sustain this debate. But I don’t want to give up, both because it seems really important to you (and therefore, possibly to me), and because I’m pretty certain we’re going to run into this again in some other thread.

    Anyhow, I have to admit that I have gotten really frustrated with you at times when reading your comments here. I don’t know if I kept it all nicely bottled up in my head, or if it came through, unintentionally, in what I said, but either way, I’m sorry. That goes for you, too, Stephen. If you’re still listening. And I would not at all blame you if you weren’t at this point.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG (@190), last comment and then I’m going to bed. I have no idea why you’re still up at this hour, as well — I know we’re in the same time zone (don’t get paranoid — remember, you already told me you live in the PacNW)!

    Anyhow, fair enough on my phrasing “don’t like”. Still, you can’t deny that you have repeatedly rushed in to defend Porcell or Grace, while you always (to my memory) antagonize me, FWS, Louis, and all the other people you named above. I have never seen you do the opposite. It begins to look more like tribalism, and less like a consistent stance on issues.

    After all, it can’t have escaped your notice that you, a self-described Lutheran (if I recall; too lazy to find the link) routinely find yourself disagreeing with the Lutherans here (that would be FWS, me, Stephen, Louis, Bror, as well as Trotk, who only sounds Lutheran ;) ), while simultaneously rushing to defend the ideas of people who are not Lutheran, not even close (namely, Porcell and Grace). If your responses were only ever about the arguments being made, at what point will you, a Lutheran, agree with us Lutherans?

    “Am sure if we got together and had a beer or a glass o’ vino, and discussed some other subject, may actually like them.” Yes, well, you may recall that I already said we “really should get together for a drink” if we live close enough. You pointedly failed to reply to that comment, either to let me know that you do not live close to Portland, or to say yes or no to getting together. The offer still stands. You know where I live, but I don’t know where you live.

    And, if I may say so, your last comment showed far more humor and warmth than I usually get from you. Thanks.

    As for your question, dude, it’s late. And I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s relevant. The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about Jesus’ sexuality. It only tells us he was without sin — and that he became sin for us, on the cross. So who was Jesus sexually attracted to? Did Jesus ever say a curse word? How much wine would Jesus drink at one sitting? I don’t know, and I don’t really care. After all, if I say he might have been gay, that would only be scandalous if and only if being gay were sinful. As such, the real question underneath that has to do with homosexuality and sin.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    OMG (@190), last comment and then I’m going to bed. I have no idea why you’re still up at this hour, as well — I know we’re in the same time zone (don’t get paranoid — remember, you already told me you live in the PacNW)!

    Anyhow, fair enough on my phrasing “don’t like”. Still, you can’t deny that you have repeatedly rushed in to defend Porcell or Grace, while you always (to my memory) antagonize me, FWS, Louis, and all the other people you named above. I have never seen you do the opposite. It begins to look more like tribalism, and less like a consistent stance on issues.

    After all, it can’t have escaped your notice that you, a self-described Lutheran (if I recall; too lazy to find the link) routinely find yourself disagreeing with the Lutherans here (that would be FWS, me, Stephen, Louis, Bror, as well as Trotk, who only sounds Lutheran ;) ), while simultaneously rushing to defend the ideas of people who are not Lutheran, not even close (namely, Porcell and Grace). If your responses were only ever about the arguments being made, at what point will you, a Lutheran, agree with us Lutherans?

    “Am sure if we got together and had a beer or a glass o’ vino, and discussed some other subject, may actually like them.” Yes, well, you may recall that I already said we “really should get together for a drink” if we live close enough. You pointedly failed to reply to that comment, either to let me know that you do not live close to Portland, or to say yes or no to getting together. The offer still stands. You know where I live, but I don’t know where you live.

    And, if I may say so, your last comment showed far more humor and warmth than I usually get from you. Thanks.

    As for your question, dude, it’s late. And I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s relevant. The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about Jesus’ sexuality. It only tells us he was without sin — and that he became sin for us, on the cross. So who was Jesus sexually attracted to? Did Jesus ever say a curse word? How much wine would Jesus drink at one sitting? I don’t know, and I don’t really care. After all, if I say he might have been gay, that would only be scandalous if and only if being gay were sinful. As such, the real question underneath that has to do with homosexuality and sin.

  • OMG

    tODD, thanks for your reply! Am tired and should hit the rack too, but just a few points….concerning “defending” Porcell and Grace, more than the Lutherans.

    Well, for one thing, Lutheranism is a pretty broad term….my friends in ELCA and I don’t have much in common, except the “L” and that is in name only, unfortunately….same thing goes for the LCMS. You can find everything there from very liberal churches to very conservative and everything in between. Am afraid it doesn’t really mean much to me to call someone a Lutheran. Hell tODD, if you talk with a lot of Lutherans out in the pews about what they believe, they are much more likely to sound like Grace! Maybe that’s one of the reasons I find what she says refreshing and clean….she sticks to the Bible (is that sola scriptura…sp?) and it may sound simple, but in my mind, Jesus was simple and didn’t need volumes and volumes of confessions and apologies and whatever to get his message across. Indeed, the Gospel message is intended to be simple and has the ability to save souls of simple folk without the need of an advanced degree. It seems to me folks have lost sight of that on this….site :) But perhaps this is a site for folks who want to go into detail and split hairs on theological issues? thank God for folks with simple, childlike faith….asking too many questions is not always useful, as much learning is not always good, as per Ecclesiastes? My guess is even if they are wrong on some point in an intellectual sense, the Lord will judge them by their heart, as it says in 3 John (or 1 or 2, sorry). So to me Grace has a pure heart and defends her Lord with a clear conscience on the basis of His Word, and am sure the Lord will judge that as good!

    As for Porcell, well he is very simply right on with regard to politics, economics, social issues, history, and many other areas and none of which have anything to do with being a Lutheran. Some of the folks you mention are Lutheran, but they are so liberal and confused about the nature and history and soul of this country, in my opinion, so just cannot agree with them just because they are Lutheran. In fact, it embarrasses me that they are Lutheran to be honest and it makes our denomination look bad, in my eyes, sorry to say. As said in other comments, usually my issues with your friends are often a matter of style, they are rude and crude, immature and juvenile, which is also embarrassing to associate with the name Lutheran.

    Why does it take me so long to comment? Because I wait to see if it will stop, and instead it gets worse and guess it makes me respond in a similar style. Or the arguments are so “out of left field” that you don’t know where to start and you don’t have all day to totally write some kind of thesis…that’s something Porcell does really well, he slices and dices in Ninja style and gets right to the heart of the matter. Folks usually then accuse him of being too brief and dismissive, because they only respect comments that go on and on, thinking that’s the way to say something….like my comment right here :)

    Perhaps this blog is not my style….but will continue to read since it amuses me, and some of the links to other sites are great, and some of the comments and commentators are really good, even some of the bad ones occasionally say something provocative or insightful. But for the most part am going to fade away, it simply takes up too much time, just like now, and to what end?

    So, thanks again tODD and good night!

  • OMG

    tODD, thanks for your reply! Am tired and should hit the rack too, but just a few points….concerning “defending” Porcell and Grace, more than the Lutherans.

    Well, for one thing, Lutheranism is a pretty broad term….my friends in ELCA and I don’t have much in common, except the “L” and that is in name only, unfortunately….same thing goes for the LCMS. You can find everything there from very liberal churches to very conservative and everything in between. Am afraid it doesn’t really mean much to me to call someone a Lutheran. Hell tODD, if you talk with a lot of Lutherans out in the pews about what they believe, they are much more likely to sound like Grace! Maybe that’s one of the reasons I find what she says refreshing and clean….she sticks to the Bible (is that sola scriptura…sp?) and it may sound simple, but in my mind, Jesus was simple and didn’t need volumes and volumes of confessions and apologies and whatever to get his message across. Indeed, the Gospel message is intended to be simple and has the ability to save souls of simple folk without the need of an advanced degree. It seems to me folks have lost sight of that on this….site :) But perhaps this is a site for folks who want to go into detail and split hairs on theological issues? thank God for folks with simple, childlike faith….asking too many questions is not always useful, as much learning is not always good, as per Ecclesiastes? My guess is even if they are wrong on some point in an intellectual sense, the Lord will judge them by their heart, as it says in 3 John (or 1 or 2, sorry). So to me Grace has a pure heart and defends her Lord with a clear conscience on the basis of His Word, and am sure the Lord will judge that as good!

    As for Porcell, well he is very simply right on with regard to politics, economics, social issues, history, and many other areas and none of which have anything to do with being a Lutheran. Some of the folks you mention are Lutheran, but they are so liberal and confused about the nature and history and soul of this country, in my opinion, so just cannot agree with them just because they are Lutheran. In fact, it embarrasses me that they are Lutheran to be honest and it makes our denomination look bad, in my eyes, sorry to say. As said in other comments, usually my issues with your friends are often a matter of style, they are rude and crude, immature and juvenile, which is also embarrassing to associate with the name Lutheran.

    Why does it take me so long to comment? Because I wait to see if it will stop, and instead it gets worse and guess it makes me respond in a similar style. Or the arguments are so “out of left field” that you don’t know where to start and you don’t have all day to totally write some kind of thesis…that’s something Porcell does really well, he slices and dices in Ninja style and gets right to the heart of the matter. Folks usually then accuse him of being too brief and dismissive, because they only respect comments that go on and on, thinking that’s the way to say something….like my comment right here :)

    Perhaps this blog is not my style….but will continue to read since it amuses me, and some of the links to other sites are great, and some of the comments and commentators are really good, even some of the bad ones occasionally say something provocative or insightful. But for the most part am going to fade away, it simply takes up too much time, just like now, and to what end?

    So, thanks again tODD and good night!

  • http://www.solagratia58.blogspot.com ramona

    Grace @ #181

    Wow …. i never would have guessed *that*.

    :O
    thanks for the insight.
    :)

  • http://www.solagratia58.blogspot.com ramona

    Grace @ #181

    Wow …. i never would have guessed *that*.

    :O
    thanks for the insight.
    :)

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