The sociology of the gay marriage debate

Australian Frank Furedi, a professor of sociology at the University of Kent,  looks at the sociology of the gay marriage debate, how the cultural elite are using the issue to achieve moral superiority over the non-elite.

From a sociological perspective, the ascendancy of the campaign for gay marriage provides a fascinating story about the dynamics of the cultural conflicts that prevail in Western society. During the past decade the issue of gay marriage has been transformed into a cultural weapon that explicitly challenges prevailing norms through condemning those who oppose it. This is not so much a call for legal change as a cause: one that endows its supporters with moral superiority and demotes its opponents with the status of moral inferiority.

As a result, it does not simply represent a claim for a right but a demand for the institutionalisation of new moral and cultural values. This attitude was clearly expressed last weekend by Trevor Phillips, chairman of Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission. The burden of his argument was to accuse Christians, particularly evangelicals, of being more troublesome than Muslims in their attitudes towards mainstream views. In particular he warned that “an old-time religion incompatible with modern society” was driving Christians to clash with mainstream views, especially on gay issues. Incidentally, by “mainstream” he naturally means views he endorses.

Phillips’s use of language implies opponents of gay marriage are likely to be motivated by “old-time religion”, which is by definition “incompatible with modern society”. From this standpoint, criticism or the questioning of the moral status of gay marriage violates the cultural standards of “modern society”. What we have here is the casual affirmation of a double standard: tolerance towards supporters of gay marriage and intolerance directed towards its opponents.

The declaration that certain values and attitudes are incompatible with modern society tends to serve as a prelude towards stigmatising and attempting to silence it. That is why the so-called enlightened opponents of “old-time religion” more than match the intolerance of those they denounce as homophobic bigots. . . .

In the US, questioning the status of gay marriage is often depicted as not simply a rhetorical expression of disagreement but as a direct form of discrimination.

Consequently, the mere expression of opposition towards a particular ritual is recast as not a verbal statement but as an act of discrimination, if not oppression.

As American journalist Hadley Freeman wrote in The Guardian, gay marriage is not a suitable subject for debate.

“There are some subjects that should be discussed in shades of grey, with acknowledgment of subtleties and cultural differences,” she wrote, before adding that “same-sex marriage is not one of those”.

Why? Because “there is a right answer” she hectored in her censorious tone. The phrase “there is a right answer” represents a demand to silence discussion. And just in case you missed the point, she concluded that opposition to her cause should be seen for what it was: “As shocking as racism, as unforgivable as anti-Semitism.”

It is worth noting that the transformation of gay marriage into a crusade against sexual heresy coincides with the cultural devaluation of heterosexual marriage. In contemporary times, heterosexual marriage is frequently depicted as a site for domestic violence and child abuse. . . .

Paradoxically, in some quarters the idea that marriage for heterosexuals is no big deal coincides with the cultural sacralising of a same-sex union.

via Where gay matrimony meets elite sanctimony | The Australian.

HT: Joe Carter

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.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    More oppreesive than the inquisition! But yes this is an attack, on marriage. What bothers me though, is not so much what it is trying to do, I fear the inevitable backlas, the blowback. People need to read their “modern fascism!”

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

    More oppreesive than the inquisition! But yes this is an attack, on marriage. What bothers me though, is not so much what it is trying to do, I fear the inevitable backlas, the blowback. People need to read their “modern fascism!”

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

    The problem with all the posturing is that it ushers in this modern society which is in fact dysfunctional, a system that cannot sustain itself. The sexual revolution and elements of socialism incentivize behaviors that destroy civilization. It is not humanistic because it doesn’t nourish and sustain folks like “old time religion” does. It is fatally flawed.

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

    The problem with all the posturing is that it ushers in this modern society which is in fact dysfunctional, a system that cannot sustain itself. The sexual revolution and elements of socialism incentivize behaviors that destroy civilization. It is not humanistic because it doesn’t nourish and sustain folks like “old time religion” does. It is fatally flawed.

  • Michael Z.

    I have read/watched too many dystopian stories to be even slightly surprised by this.

  • Michael Z.

    I have read/watched too many dystopian stories to be even slightly surprised by this.

  • Steve P.

    I don’t think it’s possible to stop the steamroller of “gay marriage” now that NY has it.

    The only tactic left to us, I think, is attack on civil marriage and subversion of it–for example, elimination of marriage, as a category in civil law, in every state where that can be accomplished. Of course that would mean that the state would no longer be using civil marriage as a means of protecting women and children and supporting public morals and traditional families but with gay marriage and other changes in the welfare system and family law that have already been legislated the state won’t be doing those things anyway.

    As long as civil marriage still exists in NY, furthermore, NY Christians should boycott it. That might be difficult for Roman Catholics since they would have to get the permission of the pope to let their ministers marry people without a civil marriage license, but Protestant pastors should have no trouble going along with that.

    As many of us who can should civilly marry people of the same sex that we trust–friends, business partners, next-door neighbors, and roommates–in a very public way, making it publicly clear that we are not homosexual, with prenuptial agreements to protect our individual rights. Let the state try to prove our marriages are invalid because we are not sodomizing each other. Of course that can be personally risky, our pretend “spouses” might betray us and take advantage of us, but personal courage is called for in these times, isn’t it?

    If we can we might consider use civil faux marriage to force our employers to pay for the health insurance of our friends who don’t have it. That will get corporations on our side in the battle to eliminate civil marriage. And no, that isn’t fraud, as long two sodomitical lovers claiming they are “married” to each other isn’t fraud.

    I know that God gave the state the responsibility to protect and support marriage and the family, but with this law the state of NY has utterly and completely abandoned that responsibility. It is much safer and better for Christians, and especially Christian pastors, if civil marriage is eliminated and becomes from the state’s point of view a private religious ceremony. Otherwise, there is no doubt that the state will eventually use “gay marriage” to persecute us and to sue Christian pastors who refuse to go along with it.

  • Steve P.

    I don’t think it’s possible to stop the steamroller of “gay marriage” now that NY has it.

    The only tactic left to us, I think, is attack on civil marriage and subversion of it–for example, elimination of marriage, as a category in civil law, in every state where that can be accomplished. Of course that would mean that the state would no longer be using civil marriage as a means of protecting women and children and supporting public morals and traditional families but with gay marriage and other changes in the welfare system and family law that have already been legislated the state won’t be doing those things anyway.

    As long as civil marriage still exists in NY, furthermore, NY Christians should boycott it. That might be difficult for Roman Catholics since they would have to get the permission of the pope to let their ministers marry people without a civil marriage license, but Protestant pastors should have no trouble going along with that.

    As many of us who can should civilly marry people of the same sex that we trust–friends, business partners, next-door neighbors, and roommates–in a very public way, making it publicly clear that we are not homosexual, with prenuptial agreements to protect our individual rights. Let the state try to prove our marriages are invalid because we are not sodomizing each other. Of course that can be personally risky, our pretend “spouses” might betray us and take advantage of us, but personal courage is called for in these times, isn’t it?

    If we can we might consider use civil faux marriage to force our employers to pay for the health insurance of our friends who don’t have it. That will get corporations on our side in the battle to eliminate civil marriage. And no, that isn’t fraud, as long two sodomitical lovers claiming they are “married” to each other isn’t fraud.

    I know that God gave the state the responsibility to protect and support marriage and the family, but with this law the state of NY has utterly and completely abandoned that responsibility. It is much safer and better for Christians, and especially Christian pastors, if civil marriage is eliminated and becomes from the state’s point of view a private religious ceremony. Otherwise, there is no doubt that the state will eventually use “gay marriage” to persecute us and to sue Christian pastors who refuse to go along with it.

  • Steve P.

    I feel compelled to elaborate on the fraud question:

    “And no, that isn’t fraud, as long two sodomitical lovers claiming they are “married” to each other isn’t fraud.

    Because refraining from sodomizing your friend is showing more Love for him that sodomizing him. If marriage is about Love, you are more “married” to the friend you don’t sodomize.

  • Steve P.

    I feel compelled to elaborate on the fraud question:

    “And no, that isn’t fraud, as long two sodomitical lovers claiming they are “married” to each other isn’t fraud.

    Because refraining from sodomizing your friend is showing more Love for him that sodomizing him. If marriage is about Love, you are more “married” to the friend you don’t sodomize.

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

    The real problem is no fault divorce. It was likewise promoted as the moral high ground, which of course it is not. Further, gays, who are less likely to marry, would be even more shy of marriage in the absence of no-fault divorce.

    In no-fault divorce culture, a spouse may cause emotional injury through infidelity, then divorce causing further injury, and get the children, more injury, and get the injured party to pay child support, financial injury.

    No fault divorce already abolished marriage.

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

    The real problem is no fault divorce. It was likewise promoted as the moral high ground, which of course it is not. Further, gays, who are less likely to marry, would be even more shy of marriage in the absence of no-fault divorce.

    In no-fault divorce culture, a spouse may cause emotional injury through infidelity, then divorce causing further injury, and get the children, more injury, and get the injured party to pay child support, financial injury.

    No fault divorce already abolished marriage.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Steve P. (@4), so … let’s throw the baby out with the gay bathwater? If the gays can have it, you don’t want it? (Which does make me wonder what exactly it was you wanted out of marriage, if the gays having it has ruined that thing.)

    Is your proposal serious? Or are you just throwing a tantrum? What’s most shocking about your reaction is that you thought now was the best time to have it. Did the whole divorce epidemic just sort of fail to make it onto your radar? No-fault divorce laws didn’t make you think twice whatsoever about boycotting marriage? As long as it’s just the straight people ruining marriage, not a peep from Steve P.?

    Tell me, Steve, are you married? If you are, I can only assume you’re filing your (civil) divorce papers as we speak. And urging everyone else in your family to do so. I mean, criminy man, the gays are marrying in New York! You don’t want people thinking you support that by also being married, do you? Why, from this day forward, anyone who’s still civilly married can likely be assumed to be gay or pro-gay, right?

    No, seriously, your comment shows very little understanding of what marriage is or why we value it. Just one prolonged, myopic temper-tantrum.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Steve P. (@4), so … let’s throw the baby out with the gay bathwater? If the gays can have it, you don’t want it? (Which does make me wonder what exactly it was you wanted out of marriage, if the gays having it has ruined that thing.)

    Is your proposal serious? Or are you just throwing a tantrum? What’s most shocking about your reaction is that you thought now was the best time to have it. Did the whole divorce epidemic just sort of fail to make it onto your radar? No-fault divorce laws didn’t make you think twice whatsoever about boycotting marriage? As long as it’s just the straight people ruining marriage, not a peep from Steve P.?

    Tell me, Steve, are you married? If you are, I can only assume you’re filing your (civil) divorce papers as we speak. And urging everyone else in your family to do so. I mean, criminy man, the gays are marrying in New York! You don’t want people thinking you support that by also being married, do you? Why, from this day forward, anyone who’s still civilly married can likely be assumed to be gay or pro-gay, right?

    No, seriously, your comment shows very little understanding of what marriage is or why we value it. Just one prolonged, myopic temper-tantrum.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    oh, and one more thing, Steve P. (@4):

    As many of us who can should civilly marry people of the same sex that we trust–friends, business partners, next-door neighbors, and roommates–in a very public way, making it publicly clear that we are not homosexual, with prenuptial agreements to protect our individual rights.

    Go ahead, Steve. Do it. I dare you. Send us a link to your non-gay same-sex marriage announcement. Go on.

    Sorry, you can’t non-gay same-sex marry me, because I’m already married, and bigamy is illegal. Just like it is in New York. Which is odd, because you just told me that state has “utterly and completely abandoned” its “responsibility to protect and support marriage and the family”.

    Anyhow, Steve, who are you going to non-gay same-sex marry? Tell us.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    oh, and one more thing, Steve P. (@4):

    As many of us who can should civilly marry people of the same sex that we trust–friends, business partners, next-door neighbors, and roommates–in a very public way, making it publicly clear that we are not homosexual, with prenuptial agreements to protect our individual rights.

    Go ahead, Steve. Do it. I dare you. Send us a link to your non-gay same-sex marriage announcement. Go on.

    Sorry, you can’t non-gay same-sex marry me, because I’m already married, and bigamy is illegal. Just like it is in New York. Which is odd, because you just told me that state has “utterly and completely abandoned” its “responsibility to protect and support marriage and the family”.

    Anyhow, Steve, who are you going to non-gay same-sex marry? Tell us.

  • Steve P.

    tODD,

    I am not saying “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” I am saying that the baby has already been thrown out, or will finally be in every state where “gay marriage” is enacted or that gives “due faith and credit” to gay marriage laws.

    Please try to convince me that the baby hasn’t already been thrown out. I would rather be optimistic than pessimistic.

    There is nothing that I want from civil marriage that the state of NY is now willing to give me (I’m not a NYer so I’m speaking hypothetically at this point). Much that states have in the past done to support and defend marriage has already been abandoned, even in states that haven’t taken that final step.

    I am quite serious. Do you seriously believe that marriage law, as it now exists in NY and will soon exist in every state that recognizes “gay mariage,” serves a good purpose? At one time, it protected wives and children. It doesn’t anymore. At one time, it supported marriage and the family. It doesn’t anymore, except insofar as some legislatures are still taking a stand against gay “marriage.” At one time, marriage law supported our traditional culture and public morals. It doesn’t anymore.

    “Go ahead, Steve. Do it. I dare you. Send us a link to your non-gay same-sex marriage announcement. Go on.”

    I don’t live in NY. So far we still don’t have it in our state, thank God! I fear that we will, though. If OTOH marriage is eliminated as a legal category, I won’t have to find a friend who needs medical insurance to gaily “marry,” and my wife and I will continue to live unmolested by the state in regards to our relationship. We’ll pay higher taxes but the state would have got those taxes from us one way or another anyway. Better to pay higher taxes, in any event, than to see our pastor sued or jailed because he won’t “marry” sodomitical lovers.

    Anyway, I am married and what you’ve said leads me to believe I have a better understanding of what marriage is than you think I do. Of course I can always learn if you know something about it I don’t know and if you will consent to calmly teach me. I am certain that I have a better understanding of that thing that secular states are now fraudulently calling “marriage.” The gay agenda has always been to destroy marriage, and to narcissistically force people to affirm their lifestyles in the process. You may think I’m saying they’ve won. Well, in a sense I think they have. We’ll have the last laugh though–try to take a historical perspective. Think about the contempt we have for the institution of the Pater Familias and the sexually perverted aspects of Classical Greek culture. Why? Ultimately Christianity won, not by force but by submission and love.

  • Steve P.

    tODD,

    I am not saying “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” I am saying that the baby has already been thrown out, or will finally be in every state where “gay marriage” is enacted or that gives “due faith and credit” to gay marriage laws.

    Please try to convince me that the baby hasn’t already been thrown out. I would rather be optimistic than pessimistic.

    There is nothing that I want from civil marriage that the state of NY is now willing to give me (I’m not a NYer so I’m speaking hypothetically at this point). Much that states have in the past done to support and defend marriage has already been abandoned, even in states that haven’t taken that final step.

    I am quite serious. Do you seriously believe that marriage law, as it now exists in NY and will soon exist in every state that recognizes “gay mariage,” serves a good purpose? At one time, it protected wives and children. It doesn’t anymore. At one time, it supported marriage and the family. It doesn’t anymore, except insofar as some legislatures are still taking a stand against gay “marriage.” At one time, marriage law supported our traditional culture and public morals. It doesn’t anymore.

    “Go ahead, Steve. Do it. I dare you. Send us a link to your non-gay same-sex marriage announcement. Go on.”

    I don’t live in NY. So far we still don’t have it in our state, thank God! I fear that we will, though. If OTOH marriage is eliminated as a legal category, I won’t have to find a friend who needs medical insurance to gaily “marry,” and my wife and I will continue to live unmolested by the state in regards to our relationship. We’ll pay higher taxes but the state would have got those taxes from us one way or another anyway. Better to pay higher taxes, in any event, than to see our pastor sued or jailed because he won’t “marry” sodomitical lovers.

    Anyway, I am married and what you’ve said leads me to believe I have a better understanding of what marriage is than you think I do. Of course I can always learn if you know something about it I don’t know and if you will consent to calmly teach me. I am certain that I have a better understanding of that thing that secular states are now fraudulently calling “marriage.” The gay agenda has always been to destroy marriage, and to narcissistically force people to affirm their lifestyles in the process. You may think I’m saying they’ve won. Well, in a sense I think they have. We’ll have the last laugh though–try to take a historical perspective. Think about the contempt we have for the institution of the Pater Familias and the sexually perverted aspects of Classical Greek culture. Why? Ultimately Christianity won, not by force but by submission and love.

  • Steve P.

    I skimmed right over the “bigamy” thing.

    Is it normal and natural for a homosexual male to pick one particular man and make a solemn commitment to only sodomize that man and no other for the rest of his life? I’m not homosexual so I don’t know based on personal experience, but I’ll have to say I’m skeptical. To me it seems very arbitrary to only allow homosexuals to “marry” one person at a time. You are discriminating against the homosexuals who have a small group of close friends they like to have gaysex with. You are basically discriminating for introverts and against extroverts. It makes no sense for NY’s “bigamy” laws to remain in place anymore, and I’m guessing they will be eliminated sooner or later.

    Does it serve a compelling state interest for NY to put in place a complex network of laws merely to persuade homosexuals to be “loyal” to one person in regards to their sodomy, especially when there is no teeth to the law and no enforcement (let’s HOPE they don’t start spying on people in their bedrooms!) For sure there would be less of a danger to public health if homosexual men could be persuaded to only sodomize one person each, but, again, lacking a practical way to enforce this is it really worth all the trouble, all the expense, all the court costs, etc., involved in having a gaysex relationship deeply embedded in the legal system to the byzantine extent that marriage is?

  • Steve P.

    I skimmed right over the “bigamy” thing.

    Is it normal and natural for a homosexual male to pick one particular man and make a solemn commitment to only sodomize that man and no other for the rest of his life? I’m not homosexual so I don’t know based on personal experience, but I’ll have to say I’m skeptical. To me it seems very arbitrary to only allow homosexuals to “marry” one person at a time. You are discriminating against the homosexuals who have a small group of close friends they like to have gaysex with. You are basically discriminating for introverts and against extroverts. It makes no sense for NY’s “bigamy” laws to remain in place anymore, and I’m guessing they will be eliminated sooner or later.

    Does it serve a compelling state interest for NY to put in place a complex network of laws merely to persuade homosexuals to be “loyal” to one person in regards to their sodomy, especially when there is no teeth to the law and no enforcement (let’s HOPE they don’t start spying on people in their bedrooms!) For sure there would be less of a danger to public health if homosexual men could be persuaded to only sodomize one person each, but, again, lacking a practical way to enforce this is it really worth all the trouble, all the expense, all the court costs, etc., involved in having a gaysex relationship deeply embedded in the legal system to the byzantine extent that marriage is?

  • Jeremy

    I don’t understand why social conservatives use the term “elite”. The majority of people ages 15-25 support gay marriage and gay adoption of kids. Around 85-90% in that group support anti-discrimination laws for gays. When you say “elite”, is this the same “elite” 69-million majority that elected Obama?

  • Jeremy

    I don’t understand why social conservatives use the term “elite”. The majority of people ages 15-25 support gay marriage and gay adoption of kids. Around 85-90% in that group support anti-discrimination laws for gays. When you say “elite”, is this the same “elite” 69-million majority that elected Obama?

  • Jeremy

    @Steve P.

    Why are you throwing such a hissy fit about gay marriage? Gay marriage is still only legal in a few states, and even if gay marriage does go nation-wide, why is it worth getting so upset about it?

  • Jeremy

    @Steve P.

    Why are you throwing such a hissy fit about gay marriage? Gay marriage is still only legal in a few states, and even if gay marriage does go nation-wide, why is it worth getting so upset about it?

  • Steve P.

    Jeremy,

    I think there is something about the way I write that makes it seem like I’m yelling at the reader. If you reread what I wrote, aloud, in a very quiet, calm, and friendly voice you will probably have a better understanding of what I meant to say.

  • Steve P.

    Jeremy,

    I think there is something about the way I write that makes it seem like I’m yelling at the reader. If you reread what I wrote, aloud, in a very quiet, calm, and friendly voice you will probably have a better understanding of what I meant to say.

  • fws

    “gay marriage is not a suitable subject for debate.”

    People who are against gay marriage could write this!

    “There are some subjects that should be discussed in shades of grey, with acknowledgment of subtleties and cultural differences,” she wrote, before adding that “same-sex marriage is not one of those”.

    People who are against gay marriage could also write this!

    “Why? Because “there is a right answer” she hectored in her censorious tone. The phrase “there is a right answer” represents a demand to silence discussion.”

    People who are against gay marriage could sound exactly like this as well.

    So what is the point of this article then? I am not getting it. I am not seeing a presentation of an argument with two sides to it.

  • fws

    “gay marriage is not a suitable subject for debate.”

    People who are against gay marriage could write this!

    “There are some subjects that should be discussed in shades of grey, with acknowledgment of subtleties and cultural differences,” she wrote, before adding that “same-sex marriage is not one of those”.

    People who are against gay marriage could also write this!

    “Why? Because “there is a right answer” she hectored in her censorious tone. The phrase “there is a right answer” represents a demand to silence discussion.”

    People who are against gay marriage could sound exactly like this as well.

    So what is the point of this article then? I am not getting it. I am not seeing a presentation of an argument with two sides to it.

  • fws

    so then…people who argue as “conservative” “christians” that there is only ONE right answer on this topic are hectoring and censorious as well?

  • fws

    so then…people who argue as “conservative” “christians” that there is only ONE right answer on this topic are hectoring and censorious as well?

  • fws

    stephen P.

    I dont know if you are married or not, but tell your wife that the ONLY commitment you have made to her in your marriage is to not have sex with another w0man.

    That would seem to reduce any woman to being worse than a “sodomite”. The word starts with a P. as in the “worlds oldest profession”

    Oh… one more thing… if you think I am yelling at you, imagine that I am speaking to you in a calm and friendly tone and then you will maybe understand what I am saying.

  • fws

    stephen P.

    I dont know if you are married or not, but tell your wife that the ONLY commitment you have made to her in your marriage is to not have sex with another w0man.

    That would seem to reduce any woman to being worse than a “sodomite”. The word starts with a P. as in the “worlds oldest profession”

    Oh… one more thing… if you think I am yelling at you, imagine that I am speaking to you in a calm and friendly tone and then you will maybe understand what I am saying.

  • Steve P.

    Fws

    I didn’t think you were yelling at me. I think Jeremy thought I was yelling at him. I was actually responding to Jeremy; he was afraid I was upset at him and having a hissy fit.

    Anyway, you can be sure I would never tell my wife anything like that!

  • Steve P.

    Fws

    I didn’t think you were yelling at me. I think Jeremy thought I was yelling at him. I was actually responding to Jeremy; he was afraid I was upset at him and having a hissy fit.

    Anyway, you can be sure I would never tell my wife anything like that!

  • Steve P.

    I think I should make something clear, especially to tODD,

    I began this morning’s comment with “I don’t think it’s possible to stop the steamroller of “gay marriage” now that NY has it.”

    Most of what followed was based on the assumption that that statement is true. I am pessimistic, but I am not saying that it cannot be fought. If you think you live in a state that won’t cave, certainly be optimistic. Maybe if a few states hold out and don’t obey any supreme court orders to recognize the so-called “marriages” of NY and other “gay marriage” states, people will come to their senses and normalcy will be restored.

    My point is that we much are safer, and our pastors are much safer, if the gov gets out of the marriage business altogether and marriage is entirely eliminated as a legal category than if marriage is redefined by the gov. If the latter happens, we will be persecuted.

    It’s difficult, I know. We are accustomed to thinking that it is the role of the state to regulate marriage (that IS a proper role of the state, in fact) and we are concerned about the mess that the RC church has gotten into by trying to be both state and church on marriage questions. The problem is, the state isn’t regulating marriage anymore, it’s trying to destroy it and use “gay rights” to destroy christianity and our culture.

  • Steve P.

    I think I should make something clear, especially to tODD,

    I began this morning’s comment with “I don’t think it’s possible to stop the steamroller of “gay marriage” now that NY has it.”

    Most of what followed was based on the assumption that that statement is true. I am pessimistic, but I am not saying that it cannot be fought. If you think you live in a state that won’t cave, certainly be optimistic. Maybe if a few states hold out and don’t obey any supreme court orders to recognize the so-called “marriages” of NY and other “gay marriage” states, people will come to their senses and normalcy will be restored.

    My point is that we much are safer, and our pastors are much safer, if the gov gets out of the marriage business altogether and marriage is entirely eliminated as a legal category than if marriage is redefined by the gov. If the latter happens, we will be persecuted.

    It’s difficult, I know. We are accustomed to thinking that it is the role of the state to regulate marriage (that IS a proper role of the state, in fact) and we are concerned about the mess that the RC church has gotten into by trying to be both state and church on marriage questions. The problem is, the state isn’t regulating marriage anymore, it’s trying to destroy it and use “gay rights” to destroy christianity and our culture.

  • Steve P.

    fws:

    “People who are against gay marriage could write this!”

    That was the first thing that occurred to me when I read those quotes! I thought the role-reversal was very interesting. I think that’s part of the point.

  • Steve P.

    fws:

    “People who are against gay marriage could write this!”

    That was the first thing that occurred to me when I read those quotes! I thought the role-reversal was very interesting. I think that’s part of the point.

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

    “I don’t understand why social conservatives use the term “elite”.”

    Probably referring to the people who control media. Gay marriage is entirely media driven. If there weren’t stories in the media constantly discussing it, the idea wouldn’t even occur to most people.

    “The majority of people ages 15-25 support gay marriage and gay adoption of kids.”

    Yeah, but this is the same group of people that can’t even rent cars because rental car companies know that on average they lack the experience and judgement to drive. This is not meant as an insult. In every culture everywhere, elders make the decisions because they have either witnessed the consequences or had to endure the pain of bad decisions and are more likely consider the longer term and what is best for everyone. Youth are gullible. That is just nature. The exact same individuals will get more reasonable as they get older.

    “Around 85-90% in that group support anti-discrimination laws for gays.”

    Define anti-discrimination. Obviously folks shouldn’t be subject to witch hunts, but we live in an age of euphemisms where the words often do not match the specifics of what the label implies.

    “When you say “elite”, is this the same “elite” 69-million majority that elected Obama?”

    Nah, because most of those folks were just voting self-interest. They don’t care if other groups get their issues addressed, as long as they get a bigger piece of the pie that is created by the productive folks in society.

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

    “I don’t understand why social conservatives use the term “elite”.”

    Probably referring to the people who control media. Gay marriage is entirely media driven. If there weren’t stories in the media constantly discussing it, the idea wouldn’t even occur to most people.

    “The majority of people ages 15-25 support gay marriage and gay adoption of kids.”

    Yeah, but this is the same group of people that can’t even rent cars because rental car companies know that on average they lack the experience and judgement to drive. This is not meant as an insult. In every culture everywhere, elders make the decisions because they have either witnessed the consequences or had to endure the pain of bad decisions and are more likely consider the longer term and what is best for everyone. Youth are gullible. That is just nature. The exact same individuals will get more reasonable as they get older.

    “Around 85-90% in that group support anti-discrimination laws for gays.”

    Define anti-discrimination. Obviously folks shouldn’t be subject to witch hunts, but we live in an age of euphemisms where the words often do not match the specifics of what the label implies.

    “When you say “elite”, is this the same “elite” 69-million majority that elected Obama?”

    Nah, because most of those folks were just voting self-interest. They don’t care if other groups get their issues addressed, as long as they get a bigger piece of the pie that is created by the productive folks in society.

  • Jeremy

    “Probably referring to the people who control media. ”

    So how did companies like Fox News stay out the grips of this “elite”?

  • Jeremy

    “Probably referring to the people who control media. ”

    So how did companies like Fox News stay out the grips of this “elite”?

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

    “So how did companies like Fox News stay out the grips of this “elite”?”

    I would include their owners just like the owners of other media. Fox News most conservative opinions are to the left of democrats like JFK.

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

    “So how did companies like Fox News stay out the grips of this “elite”?”

    I would include their owners just like the owners of other media. Fox News most conservative opinions are to the left of democrats like JFK.

  • Steve P.

    sg

    I think you are right about under-25 year-olds. It is not arbitrary discrimination that dictates that you have to be 25 to rent a car or that when kids turn 25 their auto insurance rates go down.

    But I do think that this generation of 15 to 25 year olds are different than previous generations in some important quantitatively measurable ways and in qualitative ways that have been widely noticed and discussed:

    They are more likely to have been reared by their mothers without their fathers.

    They are more more spoiled and indulged than previous generations and are raised with less paternal discipline and guidance, and thus on average are more selfish and narcissistic.

    While being “spoiled” in the sense of being more protected from certain hardships and pain, they are at the same time, compared to previous generations, subjected to an abusive environment that would have horrified us a generation ago.

    They were exposed at a young age to sexuality by the media to an extent and in ways far exceeding previous generations.

    They matured in a peer culture that was highly sexualized at a young age.

    Far more of them than in previous generations were graphically exposed to and engaged in with their peers in sex and in unmentionable sexual perversions at a comparably very young age.

    While sexually mature beyond their years and seduced and corrupted at a young age, they are compared to previous generations less mature in other ways, and the phenomenon of the “extended adolescence” remarked upon in the seventies has become even more pronounced.

    Why do they believe in “gay marriage?” Perhaps partly because, compared to previous generations, they tend to have the personality we associate with gay men.

  • Steve P.

    sg

    I think you are right about under-25 year-olds. It is not arbitrary discrimination that dictates that you have to be 25 to rent a car or that when kids turn 25 their auto insurance rates go down.

    But I do think that this generation of 15 to 25 year olds are different than previous generations in some important quantitatively measurable ways and in qualitative ways that have been widely noticed and discussed:

    They are more likely to have been reared by their mothers without their fathers.

    They are more more spoiled and indulged than previous generations and are raised with less paternal discipline and guidance, and thus on average are more selfish and narcissistic.

    While being “spoiled” in the sense of being more protected from certain hardships and pain, they are at the same time, compared to previous generations, subjected to an abusive environment that would have horrified us a generation ago.

    They were exposed at a young age to sexuality by the media to an extent and in ways far exceeding previous generations.

    They matured in a peer culture that was highly sexualized at a young age.

    Far more of them than in previous generations were graphically exposed to and engaged in with their peers in sex and in unmentionable sexual perversions at a comparably very young age.

    While sexually mature beyond their years and seduced and corrupted at a young age, they are compared to previous generations less mature in other ways, and the phenomenon of the “extended adolescence” remarked upon in the seventies has become even more pronounced.

    Why do they believe in “gay marriage?” Perhaps partly because, compared to previous generations, they tend to have the personality we associate with gay men.

  • John C

    Society’s attitude towards marriage is determined by the 95% of people who are not homosexual.
    The Christian Right’s hysteria on this issue undermines Christianity.

  • John C

    Society’s attitude towards marriage is determined by the 95% of people who are not homosexual.
    The Christian Right’s hysteria on this issue undermines Christianity.

  • Steve P.

    John C.

    Good point that society’s attitude is determined by the 95% of the population who aren’t “gay” in fact it might be more like 98 or 99%.

    However, I don’t think “so don’t be hysterical” (if by that you mean “don’t be alarmed” or “don’t try to do anything about it”) follows, since despite the fact that the 98% who aren’t “gay” determine society’s attitude, the “gay marriage” movement seems to have momentum and six states, including one of the largest and perhaps the most societally influential, now have it.

  • Steve P.

    John C.

    Good point that society’s attitude is determined by the 95% of the population who aren’t “gay” in fact it might be more like 98 or 99%.

    However, I don’t think “so don’t be hysterical” (if by that you mean “don’t be alarmed” or “don’t try to do anything about it”) follows, since despite the fact that the 98% who aren’t “gay” determine society’s attitude, the “gay marriage” movement seems to have momentum and six states, including one of the largest and perhaps the most societally influential, now have it.

  • Jeremy

    “Good point that society’s attitude is determined by the 95% of the population who aren’t “gay” in fact it might be more like 98 or 99%.”

    I don’t want to debate the percentage of people that are gay, but let’s just imagine that 20% of the population were gay. This is of course a wildly exaggerated figure, but even if it were the case, 80% of marriages would be unaffected. However, even without gay marriage, 80% of the marriages would still have undergone all the social transformations since the 1950s, where the nuclear family was the norm. Even if you win this contest, marriage has still been fundamentally altered since the 1950s. The social conservatives are like a guy who has just had his house blown away by a tornado, but is holding on tightly to a couple of boards that have been left behind.

  • Jeremy

    “Good point that society’s attitude is determined by the 95% of the population who aren’t “gay” in fact it might be more like 98 or 99%.”

    I don’t want to debate the percentage of people that are gay, but let’s just imagine that 20% of the population were gay. This is of course a wildly exaggerated figure, but even if it were the case, 80% of marriages would be unaffected. However, even without gay marriage, 80% of the marriages would still have undergone all the social transformations since the 1950s, where the nuclear family was the norm. Even if you win this contest, marriage has still been fundamentally altered since the 1950s. The social conservatives are like a guy who has just had his house blown away by a tornado, but is holding on tightly to a couple of boards that have been left behind.

  • Steve P.

    Jeremy,

    Marriage and the family cannot be “fundamentally” altered unless human nature and human biology are altered, but I think you’ve misunderstood what I said by not recognizing the context:

    I was responding to John C.’s suggestion that since the 95% who aren’t homosexual determine society’s attitude there is no cause for “hysteria.” My response was that it seems to be the case that the fact that an overwhelming majority of the population are normal hasn’t prevented, for example, six states from legalizing homosexual ” marriage.” So while “hysteria” of course is never justified, since it is a psychological disorder, it seems that alarm is justified since the 95% don’t seem to be slowing the steamroller.

    In other words, you and I seem to be basically in agreement on this point though I am perhaps a little more optimistic than you since I don’t think marriage can really be fundamentally altered. The problem to my mind is that even though normalcy will inevitably be restored a great deal of damage can be done in the meantime.

  • Steve P.

    Jeremy,

    Marriage and the family cannot be “fundamentally” altered unless human nature and human biology are altered, but I think you’ve misunderstood what I said by not recognizing the context:

    I was responding to John C.’s suggestion that since the 95% who aren’t homosexual determine society’s attitude there is no cause for “hysteria.” My response was that it seems to be the case that the fact that an overwhelming majority of the population are normal hasn’t prevented, for example, six states from legalizing homosexual ” marriage.” So while “hysteria” of course is never justified, since it is a psychological disorder, it seems that alarm is justified since the 95% don’t seem to be slowing the steamroller.

    In other words, you and I seem to be basically in agreement on this point though I am perhaps a little more optimistic than you since I don’t think marriage can really be fundamentally altered. The problem to my mind is that even though normalcy will inevitably be restored a great deal of damage can be done in the meantime.

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

    Remember Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent?

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

    Remember Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent?

  • Chips

    Steve P is right that, while marriage between a man and woman is fundamental biblical and natural law, much short term damage can be done by those who deny this moral truth. The fundamental contemporary illusion is that moral truth is relative and beyond the grasp of men and women.

  • Chips

    Steve P is right that, while marriage between a man and woman is fundamental biblical and natural law, much short term damage can be done by those who deny this moral truth. The fundamental contemporary illusion is that moral truth is relative and beyond the grasp of men and women.

  • fws

    again Gods law is revealed in the reason of men. and gay men and women are still human and are driven by this revealed law of God.

    so for that exact reason, gay men and lesbians are driven, by God and his revealed Law to pursue relationships that are as close as possible to marriage between males and females in the sense of monogamy, and fidelity and all of the other goods and responsibilities that marriage is about.

    this should surprise no one. and….
    this is not about moral relativism. it is a demonstration of the exact opposite of moral relativism.

    We dont do the law or decide what the law is.

    the Law does us and will inform and accuse our reason whether we like it or not!

  • fws

    again Gods law is revealed in the reason of men. and gay men and women are still human and are driven by this revealed law of God.

    so for that exact reason, gay men and lesbians are driven, by God and his revealed Law to pursue relationships that are as close as possible to marriage between males and females in the sense of monogamy, and fidelity and all of the other goods and responsibilities that marriage is about.

    this should surprise no one. and….
    this is not about moral relativism. it is a demonstration of the exact opposite of moral relativism.

    We dont do the law or decide what the law is.

    the Law does us and will inform and accuse our reason whether we like it or not!

  • Steve P.

    “so for that exact reason, gay men and lesbians are driven, by God and his revealed Law to pursue relationships that are as close as possible to marriage between males and females in the sense of monogamy, and fidelity and all of the other goods and responsibilities that marriage is about.”

    I don’t believe it. They are driven to be affirmed by us, and to insist that their actions are affirmed by us. I doubt that very many people believe a young man who gaily “marries” another will be “monogamous” if by that you mean making that one man his sole sexual partner. I also don’t believe there is anything in sodomy that is compatible with fidelity. When and if a man truly begins to love another with true fidelity he will be moved to stop sodomizing him–the more faithful and loving choice. I said “man” and “he” deliberately–I don’t know how all that applies to two women but I think it must something similar to that. I’m going to ask my wife, who is pretty smart and wiser than me, and who understands women better, what she thinks about it.

  • Steve P.

    “so for that exact reason, gay men and lesbians are driven, by God and his revealed Law to pursue relationships that are as close as possible to marriage between males and females in the sense of monogamy, and fidelity and all of the other goods and responsibilities that marriage is about.”

    I don’t believe it. They are driven to be affirmed by us, and to insist that their actions are affirmed by us. I doubt that very many people believe a young man who gaily “marries” another will be “monogamous” if by that you mean making that one man his sole sexual partner. I also don’t believe there is anything in sodomy that is compatible with fidelity. When and if a man truly begins to love another with true fidelity he will be moved to stop sodomizing him–the more faithful and loving choice. I said “man” and “he” deliberately–I don’t know how all that applies to two women but I think it must something similar to that. I’m going to ask my wife, who is pretty smart and wiser than me, and who understands women better, what she thinks about it.

  • fws

    steve p @ 31

    STEVE P “I don´t believe it!” [...I don´t believe that gays and lesbians are being driven by the SAME Law of God that he divinely reveals in the Reason of all men , to pair off and "marry"].

    FWS What Scripture passage are you thinking of that exempts Gays and Lesbians from being driven and extorted into being good by the Law of God as Romans 2:15 declares happens in ALL men, even those without a Bible?

    STEVE P I doubt that very many people believe a young man who gaily “marries” another will be “monogamous” if by that you mean making that one man his sole sexual partner.

    Yes. I mean exactly that by “monogamous”.

    Biblical fact: All men are driven, by the Law of God to be monogamous or at least non-adulterous.

    Romans 2:15 clearly states that ALL men have the Divine Law of God written in their Reason, and that this Divinely Revealed Law written in the Reason of ALL men, agrees with the Decalog, since it is the SAME Law of God. This is true even for men who have never seen a Bible. So again, how do you think that Gay men are exempt from having that same Law accuse and excuse them (when they try to comform to it) in their conscience?

    Steven P. We only think we do the Law of God. Biblical fact: It is really the Law that does us. And it finally does ALL men to death. The Law always accuses. The Law always kills. The Law grinds us down. Contrition is Latinate for “grind down”. This is why people tend to follow the Law of God as they get older. There is really no choice if one wishes to avoid pain in life. And ALL men learn that life blesses us when we follow the Law. Is this really a “choice”? Reason + the process of contrition usually = wisdom.

    The Law “does ” us Steve. You really think we get to choose whether or not to do it? The Bible is chock full of stories of people blessed for keeping the Law of God and….. PUNISHED by God for not keeping his Law. Some “choice ” that is!!

    STEVE P :”I also don’t believe there is anything in sodomy that is compatible with fidelity. When and if a man truly begins to love another with true fidelity he will be moved to stop sodomizing him [or her] –the more faithful and loving choice.”

    FWS Well ok. Sodomy is anal sex. Heterosexuals practice this too. Christian heterosexuals practice it. “More faithful and loving” you say. Citation needed. What is the scriptural passage you are thinking of here Steven P.? Or is this logic our personal opinion? Cool if so. Identify though what is your basis for saying this.

    STEVEN P I said “man” and “he” deliberately–I don’t know how all that applies to two women but I think it must something similar to that. I’m going to ask my wife, who is pretty smart and wiser than me, and who understands women better, what she thinks about it.

    FWS Well now. You assume you understand homosexuals because you share the same anatomy between the legs I guess. But at the same time you assume that they are differently human somehow in their motivations. Is that a fair statement? There is no basis in scripture for that notion that I can think of.

    Citation needed.

    So what makes you think your wife would have any better luck at understanding lesbians? So scriptural authority? Meh.

  • fws

    steve p @ 31

    STEVE P “I don´t believe it!” [...I don´t believe that gays and lesbians are being driven by the SAME Law of God that he divinely reveals in the Reason of all men , to pair off and "marry"].

    FWS What Scripture passage are you thinking of that exempts Gays and Lesbians from being driven and extorted into being good by the Law of God as Romans 2:15 declares happens in ALL men, even those without a Bible?

    STEVE P I doubt that very many people believe a young man who gaily “marries” another will be “monogamous” if by that you mean making that one man his sole sexual partner.

    Yes. I mean exactly that by “monogamous”.

    Biblical fact: All men are driven, by the Law of God to be monogamous or at least non-adulterous.

    Romans 2:15 clearly states that ALL men have the Divine Law of God written in their Reason, and that this Divinely Revealed Law written in the Reason of ALL men, agrees with the Decalog, since it is the SAME Law of God. This is true even for men who have never seen a Bible. So again, how do you think that Gay men are exempt from having that same Law accuse and excuse them (when they try to comform to it) in their conscience?

    Steven P. We only think we do the Law of God. Biblical fact: It is really the Law that does us. And it finally does ALL men to death. The Law always accuses. The Law always kills. The Law grinds us down. Contrition is Latinate for “grind down”. This is why people tend to follow the Law of God as they get older. There is really no choice if one wishes to avoid pain in life. And ALL men learn that life blesses us when we follow the Law. Is this really a “choice”? Reason + the process of contrition usually = wisdom.

    The Law “does ” us Steve. You really think we get to choose whether or not to do it? The Bible is chock full of stories of people blessed for keeping the Law of God and….. PUNISHED by God for not keeping his Law. Some “choice ” that is!!

    STEVE P :”I also don’t believe there is anything in sodomy that is compatible with fidelity. When and if a man truly begins to love another with true fidelity he will be moved to stop sodomizing him [or her] –the more faithful and loving choice.”

    FWS Well ok. Sodomy is anal sex. Heterosexuals practice this too. Christian heterosexuals practice it. “More faithful and loving” you say. Citation needed. What is the scriptural passage you are thinking of here Steven P.? Or is this logic our personal opinion? Cool if so. Identify though what is your basis for saying this.

    STEVEN P I said “man” and “he” deliberately–I don’t know how all that applies to two women but I think it must something similar to that. I’m going to ask my wife, who is pretty smart and wiser than me, and who understands women better, what she thinks about it.

    FWS Well now. You assume you understand homosexuals because you share the same anatomy between the legs I guess. But at the same time you assume that they are differently human somehow in their motivations. Is that a fair statement? There is no basis in scripture for that notion that I can think of.

    Citation needed.

    So what makes you think your wife would have any better luck at understanding lesbians? So scriptural authority? Meh.

  • fws

    jeremy @ 26

    read my last couple posts to steven p. that is how a Lutheran would respond to what he wrote based in Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions which merely point to scriptures.

  • fws

    jeremy @ 26

    read my last couple posts to steven p. that is how a Lutheran would respond to what he wrote based in Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions which merely point to scriptures.

  • fws

    Chips @ 29

    According to Romans 2:15 there is NO difference between Biblical Law and natural law which God has revealed and written in the reason of ALL men.

    St Paul is asserting, by Divine Inspiration, that even men without Bibles fully have the SAME Law as those with Bibles.

    Reason agrees with the Decalog. Why? It is the same Law. It is that simple.

    An example of this is the pagan aristotle. Name one point of the Decalog that Aristotle does not confirm and agree with. Just. One. And he had no Bible!

    Saint Paul tell us in Romans 2:15 how that is possible.

  • fws

    Chips @ 29

    According to Romans 2:15 there is NO difference between Biblical Law and natural law which God has revealed and written in the reason of ALL men.

    St Paul is asserting, by Divine Inspiration, that even men without Bibles fully have the SAME Law as those with Bibles.

    Reason agrees with the Decalog. Why? It is the same Law. It is that simple.

    An example of this is the pagan aristotle. Name one point of the Decalog that Aristotle does not confirm and agree with. Just. One. And he had no Bible!

    Saint Paul tell us in Romans 2:15 how that is possible.

  • Steve P.

    “FWS What Scripture passage are you thinking of that exempts Gays and Lesbians from being driven and extorted into being good by the Law of God as Romans 2:15 declares happens in ALL men, even those without a Bible?”

    I would think that the biblical burden of truth would be on the person who thinks that all things that all men do are a positive response to being extorted to do good. Surely at least a few of the things men do must be rebellion, must be sin. If sodomy and attempting to use the law to force society to affirm your sodomy aren’t sin I suppose nothing is sinful.

    “‘More faithful and loving’ you say.”

    Of course. Surely refraining from hurting somebody is more faithful and loving than hurting him. If that isn’t true, words have no meaning and dialog is pointless.

    “But at the same time you assume that they are differently human somehow in their motivations.”

    Why would you think that? On the contrary, I assume they are the same. I know from introspection that I am a sinner and my motivations are wicked and ugly and I know from sad experience that other men are the same.

    “So what makes you think your wife would have any better luck…”

    I am a boy, my wife is a girl. Girls and boys are different. Also, two heads are better than one.

  • Steve P.

    “FWS What Scripture passage are you thinking of that exempts Gays and Lesbians from being driven and extorted into being good by the Law of God as Romans 2:15 declares happens in ALL men, even those without a Bible?”

    I would think that the biblical burden of truth would be on the person who thinks that all things that all men do are a positive response to being extorted to do good. Surely at least a few of the things men do must be rebellion, must be sin. If sodomy and attempting to use the law to force society to affirm your sodomy aren’t sin I suppose nothing is sinful.

    “‘More faithful and loving’ you say.”

    Of course. Surely refraining from hurting somebody is more faithful and loving than hurting him. If that isn’t true, words have no meaning and dialog is pointless.

    “But at the same time you assume that they are differently human somehow in their motivations.”

    Why would you think that? On the contrary, I assume they are the same. I know from introspection that I am a sinner and my motivations are wicked and ugly and I know from sad experience that other men are the same.

    “So what makes you think your wife would have any better luck…”

    I am a boy, my wife is a girl. Girls and boys are different. Also, two heads are better than one.

  • Steve P.

    FWS

    “Biblical fact: All men are driven, by the Law of God to be monogamous or at least non-adulterous.”

    I reread your post and that just sunk in.
    I cannot believe you think that. Either you mean “all men except those who happen to polygamous or adulterous” or you are saying that the bible says there are no polygamous or adulterous men, or I don’t know what you mean!

    Anyway, Romans 2:15 doesn’t say all men are driven or “extorted” to do good it says all men have the law written in their hearts. Just because we have the law written in our hearts doesn’t mean we do the law, that we do good. In fact we don’t do good and even when we do good our motives are impure. That is why we are justified by faith and we trust in Christ for our salvation.

  • Steve P.

    FWS

    “Biblical fact: All men are driven, by the Law of God to be monogamous or at least non-adulterous.”

    I reread your post and that just sunk in.
    I cannot believe you think that. Either you mean “all men except those who happen to polygamous or adulterous” or you are saying that the bible says there are no polygamous or adulterous men, or I don’t know what you mean!

    Anyway, Romans 2:15 doesn’t say all men are driven or “extorted” to do good it says all men have the law written in their hearts. Just because we have the law written in our hearts doesn’t mean we do the law, that we do good. In fact we don’t do good and even when we do good our motives are impure. That is why we are justified by faith and we trust in Christ for our salvation.

  • Steve P.

    FWS:

    I bet you meant “exhorted.”

  • Steve P.

    FWS:

    I bet you meant “exhorted.”

  • Stephen

    @ 37

    No, he means extorted. The fact that we cannot keep the law is always bothering, disturbing, accusing, exhorting and extorting good works out of the troubled conscience (“you have not done what is right

    perfectly

    “). It is the Holy Spirit using the Law written in the mind

    to get us to do what is commanded

    by the Divine Law, even if we don’t have the Bible. This is why unbelievers can do good, because this is exactly how God brings his goodness and mercy into the world, by means of extorting good works out of ALL Old Adams, believer and unbeliever. A Christian who has received the forgiveness of sins has the only certain rest for the conscience – in Christ alone, whose cross takes away the sin of the world. That is the Gospel. The keeping of the Law is not, even though the Holy Spirit drives us to keep it for the sake of producing good works.

    Every conscience is burdened to do what is right. We know that we should love our neighbor. Consequently, because of sin, we think we can use the Law as an excuse saying to ourselves “surely what I have done is enough” and yet the Law is there to say there is still more to do. Our conscience cannot rest because we cannot fulfill the Law. “Who will save me?” Only Christ can and has loved perfectly. It is his righteousness that we “put on” in baptism. Those who are baptized have this treasure through invisible faith in Christ alone.

    And yet we look for proof of the Gospel in works of the Law. We try to crawl over the fence by our works instead of entering through the narrow gate of faith alone in Christ alone. And we look for and expect that same legalism in others. We expect others to follow codes of conduct that we think make them justified (“Thank you Lord that I am not like them!”). Even when these codes have nothing whatsoever to do with the whole of the Law – to love our neighbor as ourselves – we still expect it because we think we can find life in the keeping of the Law. The only life is found in Christ alone. The Law is there so that love, mercy service happens for the neighbor. It is there to mortify (kill) us all so that love happens. But obedience without love is meaningless sacrifice. When we receive those same “works of the law” we know that the Divine Law is at work on the burdened consciences of others for our good, just as God would have it. However, when mortification is done that attempts to please God rather than love the neighbor, this is sacrifice. This is “morality religion” of legalism and works righteousness that we are always going to as a measure of sincere faith. Why? Because we seek Christ in what can be seen (works), rather than in the Word alone, which is Christ alone – that Gospel which is outside of us and our sin.

    2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

    We expect gays to meet a standard of purity that has nothing to do with love for neighbor. If you think a moral code that requires gay celibacy does love for the neighbor, in what way exactly? Is it some speculation about gay lovemaking? What is the actual proof that this moral standard provides love for the neighbor, which is the WHOLE purpose of the Law.

    I suggest that we are making this “work” of celibacy a standard of judgment before God. What is actually being demanded is a sacrifice, one which will propitiate God’s wrath (so we think). But the only thing that accomplishes this is the merits of Christ on the cross. Unless it can be shown that gays desiring to pursue monogamous companionship is in violation of the law to do love, mercy and service for the neighbor without speculating about things we don’t actually know about gays or making appeals to what is “natural” with some biological “ideogram” of how it ought to be, then there is no basis to believe that they too are not driven by that same Law to do love and mercy for the neighbor by seeking monogamy and faithful relationships.

  • Stephen

    @ 37

    No, he means extorted. The fact that we cannot keep the law is always bothering, disturbing, accusing, exhorting and extorting good works out of the troubled conscience (“you have not done what is right

    perfectly

    “). It is the Holy Spirit using the Law written in the mind

    to get us to do what is commanded

    by the Divine Law, even if we don’t have the Bible. This is why unbelievers can do good, because this is exactly how God brings his goodness and mercy into the world, by means of extorting good works out of ALL Old Adams, believer and unbeliever. A Christian who has received the forgiveness of sins has the only certain rest for the conscience – in Christ alone, whose cross takes away the sin of the world. That is the Gospel. The keeping of the Law is not, even though the Holy Spirit drives us to keep it for the sake of producing good works.

    Every conscience is burdened to do what is right. We know that we should love our neighbor. Consequently, because of sin, we think we can use the Law as an excuse saying to ourselves “surely what I have done is enough” and yet the Law is there to say there is still more to do. Our conscience cannot rest because we cannot fulfill the Law. “Who will save me?” Only Christ can and has loved perfectly. It is his righteousness that we “put on” in baptism. Those who are baptized have this treasure through invisible faith in Christ alone.

    And yet we look for proof of the Gospel in works of the Law. We try to crawl over the fence by our works instead of entering through the narrow gate of faith alone in Christ alone. And we look for and expect that same legalism in others. We expect others to follow codes of conduct that we think make them justified (“Thank you Lord that I am not like them!”). Even when these codes have nothing whatsoever to do with the whole of the Law – to love our neighbor as ourselves – we still expect it because we think we can find life in the keeping of the Law. The only life is found in Christ alone. The Law is there so that love, mercy service happens for the neighbor. It is there to mortify (kill) us all so that love happens. But obedience without love is meaningless sacrifice. When we receive those same “works of the law” we know that the Divine Law is at work on the burdened consciences of others for our good, just as God would have it. However, when mortification is done that attempts to please God rather than love the neighbor, this is sacrifice. This is “morality religion” of legalism and works righteousness that we are always going to as a measure of sincere faith. Why? Because we seek Christ in what can be seen (works), rather than in the Word alone, which is Christ alone – that Gospel which is outside of us and our sin.

    2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

    We expect gays to meet a standard of purity that has nothing to do with love for neighbor. If you think a moral code that requires gay celibacy does love for the neighbor, in what way exactly? Is it some speculation about gay lovemaking? What is the actual proof that this moral standard provides love for the neighbor, which is the WHOLE purpose of the Law.

    I suggest that we are making this “work” of celibacy a standard of judgment before God. What is actually being demanded is a sacrifice, one which will propitiate God’s wrath (so we think). But the only thing that accomplishes this is the merits of Christ on the cross. Unless it can be shown that gays desiring to pursue monogamous companionship is in violation of the law to do love, mercy and service for the neighbor without speculating about things we don’t actually know about gays or making appeals to what is “natural” with some biological “ideogram” of how it ought to be, then there is no basis to believe that they too are not driven by that same Law to do love and mercy for the neighbor by seeking monogamy and faithful relationships.

  • Stephen

    I messed up the bold function. I got quotes instead. Sorry. Hope it still makes sense.

  • Stephen

    I messed up the bold function. I got quotes instead. Sorry. Hope it still makes sense.

  • Steve P.

    Stephen,

    I probably misunderstood you, but in sounds like you are saying that sodomy is a good work that the Holy Spirit is forcing homosexuals to do (and quickly adding that of course neither that nor their other good works will save them).

    You probably aren’t saying that, I’m probably having a reading comprehension problem, but just in case you are saying that I would say that you need to go back and understand the law before you understand the gospel. The purpose of the law isn’t to tell you that the wicked things you are doing are things that the Holy Spirit is extorting out of you, are actually good things that you can feel, well a little proud of, as long as you don’t think they can save you. The purpose of the law (its first purpose anyway) is to tell you that what you are doing is wicked, to drive you to repentance.

    All that out of the way (it’s probably a response to something you didn’t say, I probably misunderstood you), if by “we expect gays to meet a standard of purity that has nothing to do with love of neighbor” you mean that we self-righteously expect a gay person to be “monogamous” (meaning to make an agreement with another person to exclusively sodomize each other for the rest of their lives) and tell them they are bad if they don’t do that, I agree with you. If I was an active homosexual and some bible-thumper told me that I’d tell the bleep to mind his own bleepin’ business. It is the divine law and the Holy Spirit that convict the sinner of sin and lead him to understand that it is hopeless to trust in his own works. That’s one of the problems with gay “marriage.” It’s self righteous and arbitrary to tell a group of people to live up to some kind of fake made-up rules that have nothing to do with them and their experience. It is condescending to present gays with something like that and say “hey, look, now you can be ‘married’ too!” That’s what most of the support for gay “marriage” is. It’s a lot of condescending, self-righteous, arbitrary priggishness by heterosexuals (and maybe some homosexuals, too–I suspect) that ought to mind their own business and look to the beams in their own eyes. Unfortunately this movement seems to have a lot of momentum and it looks like it’s going to do a whole lot of very serious damage and hurt a lot of innocent people before all is said and done.

  • Steve P.

    Stephen,

    I probably misunderstood you, but in sounds like you are saying that sodomy is a good work that the Holy Spirit is forcing homosexuals to do (and quickly adding that of course neither that nor their other good works will save them).

    You probably aren’t saying that, I’m probably having a reading comprehension problem, but just in case you are saying that I would say that you need to go back and understand the law before you understand the gospel. The purpose of the law isn’t to tell you that the wicked things you are doing are things that the Holy Spirit is extorting out of you, are actually good things that you can feel, well a little proud of, as long as you don’t think they can save you. The purpose of the law (its first purpose anyway) is to tell you that what you are doing is wicked, to drive you to repentance.

    All that out of the way (it’s probably a response to something you didn’t say, I probably misunderstood you), if by “we expect gays to meet a standard of purity that has nothing to do with love of neighbor” you mean that we self-righteously expect a gay person to be “monogamous” (meaning to make an agreement with another person to exclusively sodomize each other for the rest of their lives) and tell them they are bad if they don’t do that, I agree with you. If I was an active homosexual and some bible-thumper told me that I’d tell the bleep to mind his own bleepin’ business. It is the divine law and the Holy Spirit that convict the sinner of sin and lead him to understand that it is hopeless to trust in his own works. That’s one of the problems with gay “marriage.” It’s self righteous and arbitrary to tell a group of people to live up to some kind of fake made-up rules that have nothing to do with them and their experience. It is condescending to present gays with something like that and say “hey, look, now you can be ‘married’ too!” That’s what most of the support for gay “marriage” is. It’s a lot of condescending, self-righteous, arbitrary priggishness by heterosexuals (and maybe some homosexuals, too–I suspect) that ought to mind their own business and look to the beams in their own eyes. Unfortunately this movement seems to have a lot of momentum and it looks like it’s going to do a whole lot of very serious damage and hurt a lot of innocent people before all is said and done.

  • Stephen

    Yes, you are arguing about something I didn’t say. I said that the Holy Spirit uses the Divine Law written in the minds of all to extort, cajole, force (yes, force) good works out of the conscience of Old Adam. I don’t know how you got the exact opposite out of that. The Law is there to get goodness and mercy to happen int he world.

    Gays want to be married. They want monogamous commitments because, as fws was saying, the Law is at work on their consciences too. It tells them to be faithful, to seek marriage. That is the Law at work to provide goodness and mercy. Among the many goods of marriage is fidelity. It is also, among many other things, the best and proper way to channel the sex drive as St. Paul says (1 Corinthians 7:9).

    But for a gay person to be married with someone of the opposite sex would be wrong. There is no love in that. Love must always be the product of the Law or else it is worthless sacrifice, filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). It would be bad for both parties and why these kinds of marriages usually end. It is only an attempt to keep the law as a sacrifice of righteousness – morality for its own sake.

    Celibacy, if that is the only other option (and I argue it isn’t) falls under the same Law. There is no love in it unless something is produced for the neighbor. Unless we can say that imposing a requirement of celibacy on anyone (priests, gays) produces love for the neighbor, it is a sacrifice to God (works righteousness), one that God doesn’t need. Christ is our only propitiation.

    So if the only two options for gays are heterosexual marriage or celibacy, neither option produces love for the neighbor. Love is the whole entire purpose of the Law – love for God and neighbor. Christ merits the first table of Law, fulfilling all the rest. But the second table righteousness is still what God desires on earth as good works – love for the neighbor. And so the Law is at work in our members (flesh) so that love happens.

    No one is forcing marriage on gays (as I think you are trying to assert). They want and seek it. It is a good thing on earth for people to have. The Divine law drives people to seek it, to be faithful in relationships. That same law that drives heterosexuals to seek marriage drives homosexuals.

    I think you need to get past specific sex acts and see gay people as people. Otherwise, you are just speculating about what is good for them.

  • Stephen

    Yes, you are arguing about something I didn’t say. I said that the Holy Spirit uses the Divine Law written in the minds of all to extort, cajole, force (yes, force) good works out of the conscience of Old Adam. I don’t know how you got the exact opposite out of that. The Law is there to get goodness and mercy to happen int he world.

    Gays want to be married. They want monogamous commitments because, as fws was saying, the Law is at work on their consciences too. It tells them to be faithful, to seek marriage. That is the Law at work to provide goodness and mercy. Among the many goods of marriage is fidelity. It is also, among many other things, the best and proper way to channel the sex drive as St. Paul says (1 Corinthians 7:9).

    But for a gay person to be married with someone of the opposite sex would be wrong. There is no love in that. Love must always be the product of the Law or else it is worthless sacrifice, filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). It would be bad for both parties and why these kinds of marriages usually end. It is only an attempt to keep the law as a sacrifice of righteousness – morality for its own sake.

    Celibacy, if that is the only other option (and I argue it isn’t) falls under the same Law. There is no love in it unless something is produced for the neighbor. Unless we can say that imposing a requirement of celibacy on anyone (priests, gays) produces love for the neighbor, it is a sacrifice to God (works righteousness), one that God doesn’t need. Christ is our only propitiation.

    So if the only two options for gays are heterosexual marriage or celibacy, neither option produces love for the neighbor. Love is the whole entire purpose of the Law – love for God and neighbor. Christ merits the first table of Law, fulfilling all the rest. But the second table righteousness is still what God desires on earth as good works – love for the neighbor. And so the Law is at work in our members (flesh) so that love happens.

    No one is forcing marriage on gays (as I think you are trying to assert). They want and seek it. It is a good thing on earth for people to have. The Divine law drives people to seek it, to be faithful in relationships. That same law that drives heterosexuals to seek marriage drives homosexuals.

    I think you need to get past specific sex acts and see gay people as people. Otherwise, you are just speculating about what is good for them.

  • fws

    Steve P. 35,36 & 37

    “FWS What Scripture passage are you thinking of that exempts Gays and Lesbians from being driven and extorted into being good by the Law of God as Romans 2:15 declares happens in ALL men, even those without a Bible?”

    STEPHEN P I would think that the biblical burden of truth would be on the person who thinks that all things that all men do are a positive response to being extorted to do good.

    FWS You are missing my point. I am not saying that gays or heterosexuals are being driven by the Law of God in Reason to have anal sex. I am saying that the Law of God drives ALL men towards order. The movement from promiscuity to pairing off monogamously, to commit to care for another in sickness and in health for better or for worse, is a movement from chaos in the direction of order. Gays and heteros are driven in this direction by the Law of God Divinely revealed in their conscience. Men have no real choice in this . they are driven to it. Heterosexual men have learned from the pain of being adulterous and its consequences, to stop. The Jews practiced polygamy.I am certain the reason they do not now is because they learned it is a painful. This is the Law at work.

    STEPHEN P: Surely at least a few of the things men do must be rebellion, must be sin. If sodomy and attempting to use the law to force society to affirm your sodomy aren’t sin I suppose nothing is sinful.

    FWS I would hope that you would see that my argument on the nature of the Law and how it works is not an apology for anal sex either for heteros our homos. You really think that is my argument. Read it again please.

    STEPHEN P “‘More faithful and loving’ you say.” Of course. Surely refraining from hurting somebody is more faithful and loving than hurting him. If that isn’t true, words have no meaning and dialog is pointless.

    FWS: Ok. You state as a fact that anal sex is hurtful to someone. Citation needed. I am not disagreeing with you Stephen P. I just want to know your basis for stating this as a fact is all ok? This is a question to see what you are looking to as your Authority.

    STEPHEN P “at the same time you assume that they are differently human somehow in their motivations.” why would you think that? On the contrary, I assume they are the same. I know from introspection that I am a sinner and my motivations are wicked and ugly and I know from sad experience that other men are the same.

    FWS Flip what you said to understand what I meant. Imagine yourself saying this instead: “I assume they are the same. Why ? I know from introspection that the same motivations that drive me to do truly good things, that conform to God´s Will (or it would not be good), are the same as are the motives that homosexuals and pagans have. ”

    This is what I am suggesting Romans 2:15 says. It says that men without bibles have the SAME Law written in their Reason (note it does not say the Law is written in their hearts does it?) , and that Law does what? It both accuses and excuses them. The Law always does what? It ALWAYS accuses!

    FWS“Biblical fact: All men are driven, by the Law of God to be monogamous or at least non-adulterous.”

    STEPHEN P : Either you mean “all men except those who happen to polygamous or adulterous” or you are saying that the bible says there are no polygamous or adulterous men, or I don’t know what you mean!

    FWS I meant that consciences ALWAYS feel guilty when one is not monogamous. The Divine Law in men´s reason and consciences constantly accuses them and drives them in that direction. Again romans 2:15 “always accusing and excuising”. Always. See better what I am saying now based on romans 2:15?

    I included polygamous because of the old testament patriarchs. But probably none of the patriarchs, with their lifestyles, would be accepted into any church we know of . So scratch polygamy.

    STEPHEN P. Anyway, Romans 2:15 doesn’t say all men are driven or “extorted” to do good it says all men have the law written in their hearts.

    FWS no. romans 2:15 does not say that the Law is written in their hearts. it says that the work of the Law is written in their hearts. It says the Law is written in their reason/conscience. And the work written in their hearts is that they hate God. they feel condemned and accused. they flee his judgement. they resent suffering. they flee God.

    STEPHEN P Just because we have the law written in our hearts doesn’t mean we do the law, that we do good.

    FWS No it does not. Flip that thought! It does mean this: that whenever we do see goodness and mercy being done, it is God who is providencing that goodness and mercy. How? The Holy Spirit is ALWAYS (romans 2:15) accusing men in their consciences/reason/minds!

    STEPHEN P. In fact we don’t do good and even when we do good our motives are impure.

    FWS Well , the bible disagrees. All men do goodness and mercy. This is done how? It is done exactly as Jesus describes in Luke 18 in the story of the Lawless Judge driven by a conscience dead to love. The conscience drives him to do good? Does he fear God? no. Does he love his neighbor? no. But God still works his goodness and mercy out of that Judge. How? By nagging him to death in his conscience. That is how! This is exactly how the Law works! See?

    STEPHEN P That is why we are justified by faith and we trust in Christ for our salvation.

    FWS Almost. Consider: Goodness IS Goodness. Love IS Love. This does not depend on our motives, right thinking or sanctification. There IS an objective measure of what is good and what is evil. I know you really do believe this. So whether a pagan or christian or homo does what is truly God´s will to do, like feed the poor for example, It REALLY IS good! And God considers it to be good. truly good. He wills it. He providences it. He drives it to be done?

    So then the question is this: If goodness truly IS good in God´s eyes, then why can´t doing that save us?

    The Lutheran Confessions respond to that question this way:

    The adversaries are right in thinking that love is the fulfilling of the Law, and obedience to the Law is certainly righteousness. Therefore it would be true that love justifies us if we would keep the Law!

    But who in truth can say or boast that he keeps the Law, and loves God as the Law has commanded?

    We have shown above that God has made the promise of grace, because we cannot observe the Law.

    Therefore Paul says everywhere that we cannot be justified before God by the Law. But they make a mistake in this that they think that we are justified by the Law.

    The adversaries have to fail at this point, and miss the main issue, Why? Because, in this business they only behold the Law.

    For all men’s reason and wisdom cannot but hold that we must become pious by the Law, and that a person externally observing the Law is holy and pious. [romans 2:15!!!]

    But the Gospel faces us about, directs us away from the Law to the divine promises, and teaches that we are not justified, etc. Since, however, we are not justified by the Law because no person can keep it, but receive remission of sins and reconciliation by faith for Christ’s sake, and not for the sake of love or the fulfilling of the Law, it follows necessarily that we are justified by faith in Christ.

    STEPHEN P: I bet you meant “exhorted.”

    FWS No. I really do mean extorted! Stephen, you do not do the Law willingly. It is extorted out of you. The fact that you have an internal debate or decision process always in your mind where you need to chose between right and wrong exactly proves my point. Your Old Adam heart hates the Law, and he flees Gods judgement by trying to do more and better works.

    You think Christ had to debate this way about his thoughts words and deeds? Nope. Christ just automatically did what was good. No choice for him. it wasnt second nature to him. it was first nature to him . see?

    Your chosing to do what is right is not a sign of sanctification. It is a function of the Law always accusing you. The part of you that is truly sanctified doesnt even think about doing good works. they just happen. St James : “good works are to breath as faith is to the body”. If you tell someone “breath harder”, then there is something radically wrong with their breathing! Point: true good works happen just like breathing. it just happens , one is not even aware of it happening.

  • fws

    Steve P. 35,36 & 37

    “FWS What Scripture passage are you thinking of that exempts Gays and Lesbians from being driven and extorted into being good by the Law of God as Romans 2:15 declares happens in ALL men, even those without a Bible?”

    STEPHEN P I would think that the biblical burden of truth would be on the person who thinks that all things that all men do are a positive response to being extorted to do good.

    FWS You are missing my point. I am not saying that gays or heterosexuals are being driven by the Law of God in Reason to have anal sex. I am saying that the Law of God drives ALL men towards order. The movement from promiscuity to pairing off monogamously, to commit to care for another in sickness and in health for better or for worse, is a movement from chaos in the direction of order. Gays and heteros are driven in this direction by the Law of God Divinely revealed in their conscience. Men have no real choice in this . they are driven to it. Heterosexual men have learned from the pain of being adulterous and its consequences, to stop. The Jews practiced polygamy.I am certain the reason they do not now is because they learned it is a painful. This is the Law at work.

    STEPHEN P: Surely at least a few of the things men do must be rebellion, must be sin. If sodomy and attempting to use the law to force society to affirm your sodomy aren’t sin I suppose nothing is sinful.

    FWS I would hope that you would see that my argument on the nature of the Law and how it works is not an apology for anal sex either for heteros our homos. You really think that is my argument. Read it again please.

    STEPHEN P “‘More faithful and loving’ you say.” Of course. Surely refraining from hurting somebody is more faithful and loving than hurting him. If that isn’t true, words have no meaning and dialog is pointless.

    FWS: Ok. You state as a fact that anal sex is hurtful to someone. Citation needed. I am not disagreeing with you Stephen P. I just want to know your basis for stating this as a fact is all ok? This is a question to see what you are looking to as your Authority.

    STEPHEN P “at the same time you assume that they are differently human somehow in their motivations.” why would you think that? On the contrary, I assume they are the same. I know from introspection that I am a sinner and my motivations are wicked and ugly and I know from sad experience that other men are the same.

    FWS Flip what you said to understand what I meant. Imagine yourself saying this instead: “I assume they are the same. Why ? I know from introspection that the same motivations that drive me to do truly good things, that conform to God´s Will (or it would not be good), are the same as are the motives that homosexuals and pagans have. ”

    This is what I am suggesting Romans 2:15 says. It says that men without bibles have the SAME Law written in their Reason (note it does not say the Law is written in their hearts does it?) , and that Law does what? It both accuses and excuses them. The Law always does what? It ALWAYS accuses!

    FWS“Biblical fact: All men are driven, by the Law of God to be monogamous or at least non-adulterous.”

    STEPHEN P : Either you mean “all men except those who happen to polygamous or adulterous” or you are saying that the bible says there are no polygamous or adulterous men, or I don’t know what you mean!

    FWS I meant that consciences ALWAYS feel guilty when one is not monogamous. The Divine Law in men´s reason and consciences constantly accuses them and drives them in that direction. Again romans 2:15 “always accusing and excuising”. Always. See better what I am saying now based on romans 2:15?

    I included polygamous because of the old testament patriarchs. But probably none of the patriarchs, with their lifestyles, would be accepted into any church we know of . So scratch polygamy.

    STEPHEN P. Anyway, Romans 2:15 doesn’t say all men are driven or “extorted” to do good it says all men have the law written in their hearts.

    FWS no. romans 2:15 does not say that the Law is written in their hearts. it says that the work of the Law is written in their hearts. It says the Law is written in their reason/conscience. And the work written in their hearts is that they hate God. they feel condemned and accused. they flee his judgement. they resent suffering. they flee God.

    STEPHEN P Just because we have the law written in our hearts doesn’t mean we do the law, that we do good.

    FWS No it does not. Flip that thought! It does mean this: that whenever we do see goodness and mercy being done, it is God who is providencing that goodness and mercy. How? The Holy Spirit is ALWAYS (romans 2:15) accusing men in their consciences/reason/minds!

    STEPHEN P. In fact we don’t do good and even when we do good our motives are impure.

    FWS Well , the bible disagrees. All men do goodness and mercy. This is done how? It is done exactly as Jesus describes in Luke 18 in the story of the Lawless Judge driven by a conscience dead to love. The conscience drives him to do good? Does he fear God? no. Does he love his neighbor? no. But God still works his goodness and mercy out of that Judge. How? By nagging him to death in his conscience. That is how! This is exactly how the Law works! See?

    STEPHEN P That is why we are justified by faith and we trust in Christ for our salvation.

    FWS Almost. Consider: Goodness IS Goodness. Love IS Love. This does not depend on our motives, right thinking or sanctification. There IS an objective measure of what is good and what is evil. I know you really do believe this. So whether a pagan or christian or homo does what is truly God´s will to do, like feed the poor for example, It REALLY IS good! And God considers it to be good. truly good. He wills it. He providences it. He drives it to be done?

    So then the question is this: If goodness truly IS good in God´s eyes, then why can´t doing that save us?

    The Lutheran Confessions respond to that question this way:

    The adversaries are right in thinking that love is the fulfilling of the Law, and obedience to the Law is certainly righteousness. Therefore it would be true that love justifies us if we would keep the Law!

    But who in truth can say or boast that he keeps the Law, and loves God as the Law has commanded?

    We have shown above that God has made the promise of grace, because we cannot observe the Law.

    Therefore Paul says everywhere that we cannot be justified before God by the Law. But they make a mistake in this that they think that we are justified by the Law.

    The adversaries have to fail at this point, and miss the main issue, Why? Because, in this business they only behold the Law.

    For all men’s reason and wisdom cannot but hold that we must become pious by the Law, and that a person externally observing the Law is holy and pious. [romans 2:15!!!]

    But the Gospel faces us about, directs us away from the Law to the divine promises, and teaches that we are not justified, etc. Since, however, we are not justified by the Law because no person can keep it, but receive remission of sins and reconciliation by faith for Christ’s sake, and not for the sake of love or the fulfilling of the Law, it follows necessarily that we are justified by faith in Christ.

    STEPHEN P: I bet you meant “exhorted.”

    FWS No. I really do mean extorted! Stephen, you do not do the Law willingly. It is extorted out of you. The fact that you have an internal debate or decision process always in your mind where you need to chose between right and wrong exactly proves my point. Your Old Adam heart hates the Law, and he flees Gods judgement by trying to do more and better works.

    You think Christ had to debate this way about his thoughts words and deeds? Nope. Christ just automatically did what was good. No choice for him. it wasnt second nature to him. it was first nature to him . see?

    Your chosing to do what is right is not a sign of sanctification. It is a function of the Law always accusing you. The part of you that is truly sanctified doesnt even think about doing good works. they just happen. St James : “good works are to breath as faith is to the body”. If you tell someone “breath harder”, then there is something radically wrong with their breathing! Point: true good works happen just like breathing. it just happens , one is not even aware of it happening.

  • Steve P.

    “I said that the Holy Spirit uses the Divine Law written in the minds of all to extort, cajole, force (yes, force) good works out of the conscience of Old Adam.”

    It depends on what you mean by that. As far as it goes it is true but you seem to be saying that ALL the things men do are good works that the Holy Spirit has forced out of them, that none of the things men do are sins–otherwise it makes no sense to insist that you’ve proven that sodomy and plotting sodomy are good works.

    “They want monogamous commitments because, as fws was saying, the Law is at work on their consciences too.” I would agree with that but I cannot help being suspicious that you don’t mean that literally, that you really mean commitments to exclusively sodomize one person whom they are close to and not others. A monogamous commitment is a faithful marriage to one woman (if you are a man) or to one man (if you are one woman). That’s part of the reason I cannot understand what you are saying, you are using a peculiar terminology. Yes people are “driven” to do good things but they are also driven to do wicked things. That’s why it is a non sequitur to say “that person is strongly driven to do X, therefore X must be a good thing and the Holy Spirit must be driving him to do it.”

    “for a gay person to be married with someone of the opposite sex would be wrong. There is no love in that. Love must always be the product of the Law or else it is worthless sacrifice, filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).”

    I’m not convinced. In fact I am certain that there is love in such marriages (not that I’m advocating it!) But even if that’s true it only proves that the desire that homosexuals have to be married is a desire that must be frustrated in this life (of course only in heaven is that desire fully satisfied in union with God). Because if, by “the desire to be monogamous” you were not using the word to mean desire to marry (a person of the opposite sex) but instead meant a desire to form a pact with another person of the same sex that they will exclusively sodomize each other for the rest of their lives the question of whether there is love in marriages where one of the spouses is gay is irrelevant, since that is not the desire in question. Regardless which of the two desires you pick, once you’ve picked it your apparent argument falls apart.

  • Steve P.

    “I said that the Holy Spirit uses the Divine Law written in the minds of all to extort, cajole, force (yes, force) good works out of the conscience of Old Adam.”

    It depends on what you mean by that. As far as it goes it is true but you seem to be saying that ALL the things men do are good works that the Holy Spirit has forced out of them, that none of the things men do are sins–otherwise it makes no sense to insist that you’ve proven that sodomy and plotting sodomy are good works.

    “They want monogamous commitments because, as fws was saying, the Law is at work on their consciences too.” I would agree with that but I cannot help being suspicious that you don’t mean that literally, that you really mean commitments to exclusively sodomize one person whom they are close to and not others. A monogamous commitment is a faithful marriage to one woman (if you are a man) or to one man (if you are one woman). That’s part of the reason I cannot understand what you are saying, you are using a peculiar terminology. Yes people are “driven” to do good things but they are also driven to do wicked things. That’s why it is a non sequitur to say “that person is strongly driven to do X, therefore X must be a good thing and the Holy Spirit must be driving him to do it.”

    “for a gay person to be married with someone of the opposite sex would be wrong. There is no love in that. Love must always be the product of the Law or else it is worthless sacrifice, filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).”

    I’m not convinced. In fact I am certain that there is love in such marriages (not that I’m advocating it!) But even if that’s true it only proves that the desire that homosexuals have to be married is a desire that must be frustrated in this life (of course only in heaven is that desire fully satisfied in union with God). Because if, by “the desire to be monogamous” you were not using the word to mean desire to marry (a person of the opposite sex) but instead meant a desire to form a pact with another person of the same sex that they will exclusively sodomize each other for the rest of their lives the question of whether there is love in marriages where one of the spouses is gay is irrelevant, since that is not the desire in question. Regardless which of the two desires you pick, once you’ve picked it your apparent argument falls apart.

  • Steve P.

    fws:

    I didn’t read your whole comment because you are being what to me seems to be graphic and obscene, and I don’t want to be drawn into that.

    I will say that it would be insanely imprudent for two homosexuals to live together in a simulation of marriage in order to love and care for each other “in sickness and in health.” The temptation to sexual sin would be too strong; they ultimately would not be doing each other any good. They wouldn’t be fulfilling their desire for marriage, and there are far better and more appropriate ways they can love and care for others that wouldn’t be such a strong temptation for them.

    This will be my last word in this comment box, so you and Stephen (what a great name) can reply with yours. There is a discussion in the comment box for a more recent article that discusses a related question if you are interested.

  • Steve P.

    fws:

    I didn’t read your whole comment because you are being what to me seems to be graphic and obscene, and I don’t want to be drawn into that.

    I will say that it would be insanely imprudent for two homosexuals to live together in a simulation of marriage in order to love and care for each other “in sickness and in health.” The temptation to sexual sin would be too strong; they ultimately would not be doing each other any good. They wouldn’t be fulfilling their desire for marriage, and there are far better and more appropriate ways they can love and care for others that wouldn’t be such a strong temptation for them.

    This will be my last word in this comment box, so you and Stephen (what a great name) can reply with yours. There is a discussion in the comment box for a more recent article that discusses a related question if you are interested.

  • Stephen

    Steve P.

    Um, wow. You are really stuck on the sodomy thing. If that is the issue for you, where do lesbians fit in? It would seem they are exempted from the sin of homosexuality.

    The Holy Spirit works on Old Adams to extort good works. It does not demand sin! Where do get that I said that?!

    So what do those good works look like that are being extorted? First, they look like mortification (you shall not) and this includes all the self virtues like self-sacrifice and self-denial. But mortification alone is not earthly righteousness. In fact, without the second part it is a worthless sacrifice. The whole end and purpose of the Law is love and mercy happening on earth. This the “but you should help, befriend serve your neighbor’s needs” part of the law’s intention just as the Small Catechism says for every commandment in the second table. Without love being produced, these works of the Law are useless. They are works done to please God. God is already pleased because of Christ.

    But you want to know how the way gay males may or may not have sex is or can be loving. Or, you assume that the way that they have sex can’t possibly be loving because . . . you just know, is that it?

    In what sense does every gay person fit into the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? Were those men at the door homosexuals? It seems they’d take anything, so Lot offered up his daughters. How nice of Lot.

    I ask this because you seem to assume that all gay people are of a certain sort, ready to abuse each other for their own pleasure. How do you know that? If the Law truly does accuse everyone in the same way, why could it not be the case that their motivations for being with another person are actually about love and care and comfort and all the stuff heterosexuals desire, give, and receive? These are good things God wants us to have. Why are they limited to heterosexuals exclusively?

    Yes, the Law accuses everyone the same way. It curbs chaos for the sake of order and peace, and for the Christian it convicts us of our sinfulness where we do not love God or our neighbor. It also cajoles us to do good works, often against our will, so that love happens. Love is the whole of the Law.

    If we demand celibacy (mortification – you shall not) without the attendant love being produced (but you should) then we are keeping the law as a sacrifice to God which God does not need. It is useless to mortify the flesh without love for the neighbor being the outcome.

    Likewise, demanding heterosexual marriage for gays is the same kind of sacrifice. It is predicated on a falsehood. That doesn’t mean that gay people cannot love and care for people of the opposite gender. Certainly they do this all the time in the form of friends and family. But marriage? Is it loving fidelity to another person that is being upheld by making this the only possible chance for an intimate relationship. Or, is it fidelity to a moral standard without marital love? Enforced friendship. Is that marriage as we generally think of it, or is it a masquerade with the potential to do great emotional harm which people must submit to in order to be righteous? I think you can guess what I think. It’s not love.

    St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians that it is better to marry than to burn. Why does he say that? Because celibacy, which I assume means asexuality of some sort, is a gift. Otherwise, marriage is the most appropriate channel for sex. If someone is gay with a sex drive (same ting yo and I have an why we are married to women) they have two options – celibacy without the gift, white knuckling it until death, or marriage to a person of the opposite gender. Neither situation provides a solution. Only mortification for the sake of the rules is happening. Love is not forthcoming, the kind of love you and I experience as married heterosexuals.

    God does not make up rules “just because.” The Law is there so that goodness and mercy (LOVE) happen as the end result. And even though we can never do the law, it still works on us in this life to get those good gifts into the world by means of good works. Who we are in Christ is not something we do, it is something we are given in baptism. That is the Gospel – forgiveness of sins, life eternal. We don’t obey the law so that we get this. It is grace alone. We do what is commanded in the law for our neighbor’s good. And what is the outcomes of those things that are commanded. Love, always love – goodness and mercy.

    So what is homosexuality? Is it the same pagan rituals the Israelites were told to avoid? Or the pagan practices with temple prostitutes in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6? Is that all, or even the same thing, that homosexuality is for gay people? Is it all about the act of having same gender sex? Is it wrong because it is “unnatural?” What is the real beef with it? That is unclear to me. Again, if sodomy is the thing, what about lesbians or gay men who are impotent? Why then are they also barred from intimate, same gender relationships? And finally, why wouldn’t or couldn’t marriage bestow the same or similar blessings on gays that we believe it has for others? Why is it so very good for some but not for others who also desire it?

  • Stephen

    Steve P.

    Um, wow. You are really stuck on the sodomy thing. If that is the issue for you, where do lesbians fit in? It would seem they are exempted from the sin of homosexuality.

    The Holy Spirit works on Old Adams to extort good works. It does not demand sin! Where do get that I said that?!

    So what do those good works look like that are being extorted? First, they look like mortification (you shall not) and this includes all the self virtues like self-sacrifice and self-denial. But mortification alone is not earthly righteousness. In fact, without the second part it is a worthless sacrifice. The whole end and purpose of the Law is love and mercy happening on earth. This the “but you should help, befriend serve your neighbor’s needs” part of the law’s intention just as the Small Catechism says for every commandment in the second table. Without love being produced, these works of the Law are useless. They are works done to please God. God is already pleased because of Christ.

    But you want to know how the way gay males may or may not have sex is or can be loving. Or, you assume that the way that they have sex can’t possibly be loving because . . . you just know, is that it?

    In what sense does every gay person fit into the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? Were those men at the door homosexuals? It seems they’d take anything, so Lot offered up his daughters. How nice of Lot.

    I ask this because you seem to assume that all gay people are of a certain sort, ready to abuse each other for their own pleasure. How do you know that? If the Law truly does accuse everyone in the same way, why could it not be the case that their motivations for being with another person are actually about love and care and comfort and all the stuff heterosexuals desire, give, and receive? These are good things God wants us to have. Why are they limited to heterosexuals exclusively?

    Yes, the Law accuses everyone the same way. It curbs chaos for the sake of order and peace, and for the Christian it convicts us of our sinfulness where we do not love God or our neighbor. It also cajoles us to do good works, often against our will, so that love happens. Love is the whole of the Law.

    If we demand celibacy (mortification – you shall not) without the attendant love being produced (but you should) then we are keeping the law as a sacrifice to God which God does not need. It is useless to mortify the flesh without love for the neighbor being the outcome.

    Likewise, demanding heterosexual marriage for gays is the same kind of sacrifice. It is predicated on a falsehood. That doesn’t mean that gay people cannot love and care for people of the opposite gender. Certainly they do this all the time in the form of friends and family. But marriage? Is it loving fidelity to another person that is being upheld by making this the only possible chance for an intimate relationship. Or, is it fidelity to a moral standard without marital love? Enforced friendship. Is that marriage as we generally think of it, or is it a masquerade with the potential to do great emotional harm which people must submit to in order to be righteous? I think you can guess what I think. It’s not love.

    St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians that it is better to marry than to burn. Why does he say that? Because celibacy, which I assume means asexuality of some sort, is a gift. Otherwise, marriage is the most appropriate channel for sex. If someone is gay with a sex drive (same ting yo and I have an why we are married to women) they have two options – celibacy without the gift, white knuckling it until death, or marriage to a person of the opposite gender. Neither situation provides a solution. Only mortification for the sake of the rules is happening. Love is not forthcoming, the kind of love you and I experience as married heterosexuals.

    God does not make up rules “just because.” The Law is there so that goodness and mercy (LOVE) happen as the end result. And even though we can never do the law, it still works on us in this life to get those good gifts into the world by means of good works. Who we are in Christ is not something we do, it is something we are given in baptism. That is the Gospel – forgiveness of sins, life eternal. We don’t obey the law so that we get this. It is grace alone. We do what is commanded in the law for our neighbor’s good. And what is the outcomes of those things that are commanded. Love, always love – goodness and mercy.

    So what is homosexuality? Is it the same pagan rituals the Israelites were told to avoid? Or the pagan practices with temple prostitutes in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6? Is that all, or even the same thing, that homosexuality is for gay people? Is it all about the act of having same gender sex? Is it wrong because it is “unnatural?” What is the real beef with it? That is unclear to me. Again, if sodomy is the thing, what about lesbians or gay men who are impotent? Why then are they also barred from intimate, same gender relationships? And finally, why wouldn’t or couldn’t marriage bestow the same or similar blessings on gays that we believe it has for others? Why is it so very good for some but not for others who also desire it?

  • Stephen

    Sorry about the typos Steve. No obligation to respond if you don’t wish to do so. Food for thought perhaps.

  • Stephen

    Sorry about the typos Steve. No obligation to respond if you don’t wish to do so. Food for thought perhaps.

  • Steve P.

    Stephen,

    Now you are being silly. I don’t think you want me to take you seriously. I suppose it’s hypothetically possible that only the men and not the women of Sodom were given up to vile affections. Nevertheless, sodomy refers to homosexuality in general, as you know.

    “The Holy Spirit works on Old Adams to extort good works. It does not demand sin! Where do get that I said that?!”

    Your argument, if you have one one, is that since sodomites feel “extorted” failair up to form pacts to exclusively sodomize one another, that “extortion” must come from the Holy Spirit.

    My response is simple. Although I agree that the Holy Spirit compels people to do good, MANY of the things we feel compelled to do are not due to the “extortion” of the Holy Spirit but rather the temptation of the devil, or our own lusts. Therefore your argument fails.

    “If we demand celibacy…”

    Don’t say “we.” I don’t demand that other people behave. If you define morality as that which you are willing to demand of other people it’s no wonder you get it screwed up. You shouldn’t be demanding good behavior from anyone other than your own children.

    “So what is homosexuality?”

    If you are trying to convince me you don’t know, my only response is “I don’t believe you.”

    “Is it the same pagan rituals the Israelites were told to avoid?”

    No, that sounds like an over-generalization to me.

    “Or the pagan practices with temple prostitutes in Romans 1?”

    Definitely. You’ve hit the nail on the head. “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    “1 Corinthians 6?”

    For sure, though it condemns sexual immorality in general, not just sodomy: “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

    “What is the real beef with it? That is unclear to me.”

    You’ve made it clear that the beef is that it is not something concerning which you personally are willing to make demands of others, therefore you must find a way to justify it. Nevertheless, the post we are supposed to be commenting on is not about your own personal idiosyncrasies it is about something that will have profound effects on society in general, on you and your children. To the extent you support gay “marriage,” if it succeeds–and it appears at least to have momentum-your children will have you to thank for the world gay “marriage” will create.

  • Steve P.

    Stephen,

    Now you are being silly. I don’t think you want me to take you seriously. I suppose it’s hypothetically possible that only the men and not the women of Sodom were given up to vile affections. Nevertheless, sodomy refers to homosexuality in general, as you know.

    “The Holy Spirit works on Old Adams to extort good works. It does not demand sin! Where do get that I said that?!”

    Your argument, if you have one one, is that since sodomites feel “extorted” failair up to form pacts to exclusively sodomize one another, that “extortion” must come from the Holy Spirit.

    My response is simple. Although I agree that the Holy Spirit compels people to do good, MANY of the things we feel compelled to do are not due to the “extortion” of the Holy Spirit but rather the temptation of the devil, or our own lusts. Therefore your argument fails.

    “If we demand celibacy…”

    Don’t say “we.” I don’t demand that other people behave. If you define morality as that which you are willing to demand of other people it’s no wonder you get it screwed up. You shouldn’t be demanding good behavior from anyone other than your own children.

    “So what is homosexuality?”

    If you are trying to convince me you don’t know, my only response is “I don’t believe you.”

    “Is it the same pagan rituals the Israelites were told to avoid?”

    No, that sounds like an over-generalization to me.

    “Or the pagan practices with temple prostitutes in Romans 1?”

    Definitely. You’ve hit the nail on the head. “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    “1 Corinthians 6?”

    For sure, though it condemns sexual immorality in general, not just sodomy: “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

    “What is the real beef with it? That is unclear to me.”

    You’ve made it clear that the beef is that it is not something concerning which you personally are willing to make demands of others, therefore you must find a way to justify it. Nevertheless, the post we are supposed to be commenting on is not about your own personal idiosyncrasies it is about something that will have profound effects on society in general, on you and your children. To the extent you support gay “marriage,” if it succeeds–and it appears at least to have momentum-your children will have you to thank for the world gay “marriage” will create.

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