Normalizing “minor-attracted persons”

First we accept homosexuality, some social conservatives said, and next we’ll accept pedophilia.  If we legalize gay marriage, they said, next we’ll have legalize polygamy.  “Nonsense!” came the reply.  “You’re committing the slippery slope fallacy.”  Well, we are slipping and sliding on that same slippery slope.  That’s the point made by  Joe Carter, who analyzes the latest effort to de-stigmatize pedophilia; that is, to use a more politically-correct term “minor-attracted persons.”

If a small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have their way at a conference this week, pedophiles themselves could play a role in removing pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental illnesses — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), set to undergo a significant revision by 2013. Critics warn that their success could lead to the decriminalization of pedophilia.

The August 17 Baltimore conference is sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists. According to the conference brochure, the event will examine “ways in which minor-attracted persons [pedophiles] can be involved in the DSM 5 revision process” and how the popular perceptions of pedophiles can be reframed to encourage tolerance.

Researchers from Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Illinois will be among the panelists at the conference.

B4U-ACT has been active attacking the APA’s definition of pedophilia in the run up to the conference, denouncing its description of “minor-attracted persons” as “inaccurate” and “misleading” because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality.

“It is based on data from prison studies, which completely ignore the existence of those who are law-abiding,” said Howard Kline, science director of B4U-ACT, in a July 25, 2011 press release. “The proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever.” . . .

Berlin has similarly compared society’s reaction to pedophilia to that of homosexuality prior to the landmark 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision that decriminalized sodomy.

B4U-ACT’s own website puts Berlin’s views front and center. “Just as has been the case historically with homosexuality,” he writes, “society is currently addressing the matter of pedophilia with a balance that is far more heavily weighted on the side of criminal justice solutions than on the side of mental health solutions.”

via Normalizing Pedophilia | Conference | Mental Illness | The Daily Caller.

About Gene Veith

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

  • Pete

    The frog is pretty close to being boiled.

  • Pete

    The frog is pretty close to being boiled.

  • http://www.allenthemelancholy.com/ Allen

    Two problems. First, there are times when a person may have a mental illness, yet their acts are still evil. The prisons are full of mentally ill people who did evil acts. I consider pedophiles people who have mental problems yet are still evil and need to be locked up.

    2nd. “small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals ” I am tired of evangelicals letting small groups drive them crazy. Reminds of the recent Sesame Street Burt and Ernie news. It had nothing to do with Sesame Street, just a small group causing trouble.

  • http://www.allenthemelancholy.com/ Allen

    Two problems. First, there are times when a person may have a mental illness, yet their acts are still evil. The prisons are full of mentally ill people who did evil acts. I consider pedophiles people who have mental problems yet are still evil and need to be locked up.

    2nd. “small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals ” I am tired of evangelicals letting small groups drive them crazy. Reminds of the recent Sesame Street Burt and Ernie news. It had nothing to do with Sesame Street, just a small group causing trouble.

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

    It’s a wonderful scam. In the early stages, if you warn of the danger you’re an alarmist and a paranoid. In the later stages, if you object to the changes you’re a bigot and a hater. It’s all a question of who gets to shape the narrative.

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

    It’s a wonderful scam. In the early stages, if you warn of the danger you’re an alarmist and a paranoid. In the later stages, if you object to the changes you’re a bigot and a hater. It’s all a question of who gets to shape the narrative.

  • Cincinnatus

    While I would love to wallow in my schadenfreude with regards to those who once accused me of indulging slippery slope fallacies and hyperbole, exactly how many respectable psychiatrists are actually pressing for this shift in how we evaluate pedophilia? What are the chances that they will succeed?

    I would suspect that the answers are “very few” and “very small.” But then again, there was probably a time when we said the same thing about homosexuality.

  • Cincinnatus

    While I would love to wallow in my schadenfreude with regards to those who once accused me of indulging slippery slope fallacies and hyperbole, exactly how many respectable psychiatrists are actually pressing for this shift in how we evaluate pedophilia? What are the chances that they will succeed?

    I would suspect that the answers are “very few” and “very small.” But then again, there was probably a time when we said the same thing about homosexuality.

  • Mary Jack

    I’m no fan of pedophilia, mind you, but I think this is reflects something of how we understand adolescence. I mean, if we were to go back to the marriage ages most states started with, now it would be considered pedophilia. To say there is a mental illness affecting those in early marriages … I’m just not sure psychiatrists are the front line of the battle as much as restoring a legal & cultural understanding of marriage with appropriate safety nets should. I mean, isn’t divorcing a 17-year old worse than marrying one?

    Those addicted to child-porn fall under addiction, a mental/psych problem. But those who notice puberty earlier? A lot depends on how we understand the term pedophilia.

    Which is NOT me arguing we need to lower marriage ages, change statutory rape law or anything else. But social pendulums swing. I don’t think the topic has to be related to recent attempts toward homosexual marriage.

  • Mary Jack

    I’m no fan of pedophilia, mind you, but I think this is reflects something of how we understand adolescence. I mean, if we were to go back to the marriage ages most states started with, now it would be considered pedophilia. To say there is a mental illness affecting those in early marriages … I’m just not sure psychiatrists are the front line of the battle as much as restoring a legal & cultural understanding of marriage with appropriate safety nets should. I mean, isn’t divorcing a 17-year old worse than marrying one?

    Those addicted to child-porn fall under addiction, a mental/psych problem. But those who notice puberty earlier? A lot depends on how we understand the term pedophilia.

    Which is NOT me arguing we need to lower marriage ages, change statutory rape law or anything else. But social pendulums swing. I don’t think the topic has to be related to recent attempts toward homosexual marriage.

  • Matt

    This reminds me of Ross Douthat’s blog post on liberal bioethics: http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/the-failure-of-liberal-bioethics/

    “You can always count on them to worry, often perceptively, about hypothetical evils, potential slips down the bioethical slope. But they’re either ineffectual or accommodating once an evil actually arrives. Tomorrow, they always say — tomorrow, we’ll draw the line. But tomorrow never comes.”

  • Matt

    This reminds me of Ross Douthat’s blog post on liberal bioethics: http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/the-failure-of-liberal-bioethics/

    “You can always count on them to worry, often perceptively, about hypothetical evils, potential slips down the bioethical slope. But they’re either ineffectual or accommodating once an evil actually arrives. Tomorrow, they always say — tomorrow, we’ll draw the line. But tomorrow never comes.”

  • Cincinnatus

    Mary Jack@5: The argument regarding biological sexual maturity and traditional marriage ages is a valid one, and one I thought of raising myself. But I didn’t, primarily because what I think we have in mind here when we use the term “pedophilia” is illicit sexual attraction to actual children–like, 8 year olds, elementary school kids, NAMBLA stuff. In other words, while pedophilia could, due to American statutes, apply to a 25 year old man who finds a biologically mature 17 year old girl attractive–something that would have been perfectly acceptable a century ago–the concern here is about aberrant affection for prepubescent children. I doubt there is any universe in which such affection is socially acceptable. Yet.

    Thus, I do think this can be related, at least in spirit, to the recent normalization of homosexuality. What was once considered a perversion (literally) and a mental illness is now regarded as perfectly normal and acceptable. Those who disagree are, of course, homophobes. Can the same happen with actual pedophilia?

  • Cincinnatus

    Mary Jack@5: The argument regarding biological sexual maturity and traditional marriage ages is a valid one, and one I thought of raising myself. But I didn’t, primarily because what I think we have in mind here when we use the term “pedophilia” is illicit sexual attraction to actual children–like, 8 year olds, elementary school kids, NAMBLA stuff. In other words, while pedophilia could, due to American statutes, apply to a 25 year old man who finds a biologically mature 17 year old girl attractive–something that would have been perfectly acceptable a century ago–the concern here is about aberrant affection for prepubescent children. I doubt there is any universe in which such affection is socially acceptable. Yet.

    Thus, I do think this can be related, at least in spirit, to the recent normalization of homosexuality. What was once considered a perversion (literally) and a mental illness is now regarded as perfectly normal and acceptable. Those who disagree are, of course, homophobes. Can the same happen with actual pedophilia?

  • Matt

    “First we accept homosexuality….”

    Granted we are on a slippery slope but I’m getting a little sick of everyone thinking it starts with homosexuality. Apparently if we get those homosexuals to shut up and go away life will be wonderful all the time, all our women will be strong, our men good looking and all our children above average.

    Not long ago many religious leaders signed the protection of marriage: a shared commitment document from the usccb which stated “Marriage is the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman.” But then they only part of the at triad they chose to unite to protect was the one man and one woman aspect. Apparently preventing homosexual marriages will save marriage. The permanent and faithful aspects, I guess, were not considered important enough elements of marriage to pledge upholding.

    Let’s get a few things straight here. Firstly “homosexuality” does not mean a person who has sex with or even approves of sex with someone of the same gender. It only means a person whose primary sexual temptation is toward the same gender.

    Martin Hallett makes the comment in his article in Holiness and Sexuality that, in his view, there are nearly as many homosexual Christians who do not believe that homosexual sex is right as there are those who advocate its acceptance.

    So what does it mean to same sex tempted teens when we say “the Church should not accept your temptation and doing so is the first step on a slippery slope” ?

    Temptation is not something we have a right to accept or not accept! Temptation is not sin – or perhaps we should rewrite Matthew 4 and Hebrews 4:15.

    We love to hate the Pharisees but, guess what, at least they condemned an actual sin in the tax collectors. They didn’t go around condemning temptation.

    Furthermore this slope did not begin with homosexuality – it began with heterosexual sins that ripped apart the whole integrity of marriage. It began with divorce, sex used as an advertising tool, pornography, the acceptance of pre-marital intercourse and promiscuity, sex used as entertainment in movies and cartoons and glorified sans marriage in music. Approval of homosexual behavior is just one step on a long long slope that began with straight people misusing the great gift God gave you.

    Want to stop this slide? Well condemning homosexuals because they face a specific temptation won’t do it.

  • Matt

    “First we accept homosexuality….”

    Granted we are on a slippery slope but I’m getting a little sick of everyone thinking it starts with homosexuality. Apparently if we get those homosexuals to shut up and go away life will be wonderful all the time, all our women will be strong, our men good looking and all our children above average.

    Not long ago many religious leaders signed the protection of marriage: a shared commitment document from the usccb which stated “Marriage is the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman.” But then they only part of the at triad they chose to unite to protect was the one man and one woman aspect. Apparently preventing homosexual marriages will save marriage. The permanent and faithful aspects, I guess, were not considered important enough elements of marriage to pledge upholding.

    Let’s get a few things straight here. Firstly “homosexuality” does not mean a person who has sex with or even approves of sex with someone of the same gender. It only means a person whose primary sexual temptation is toward the same gender.

    Martin Hallett makes the comment in his article in Holiness and Sexuality that, in his view, there are nearly as many homosexual Christians who do not believe that homosexual sex is right as there are those who advocate its acceptance.

    So what does it mean to same sex tempted teens when we say “the Church should not accept your temptation and doing so is the first step on a slippery slope” ?

    Temptation is not something we have a right to accept or not accept! Temptation is not sin – or perhaps we should rewrite Matthew 4 and Hebrews 4:15.

    We love to hate the Pharisees but, guess what, at least they condemned an actual sin in the tax collectors. They didn’t go around condemning temptation.

    Furthermore this slope did not begin with homosexuality – it began with heterosexual sins that ripped apart the whole integrity of marriage. It began with divorce, sex used as an advertising tool, pornography, the acceptance of pre-marital intercourse and promiscuity, sex used as entertainment in movies and cartoons and glorified sans marriage in music. Approval of homosexual behavior is just one step on a long long slope that began with straight people misusing the great gift God gave you.

    Want to stop this slide? Well condemning homosexuals because they face a specific temptation won’t do it.

  • Kirk

    Well, I sort of see what these psychiatrists are getting at. They’re talking about non-criminals, pedophiles that experience urges but haven’t acted on them. My reading of this article is that this group isn’t advocating for pedophilia. They’re trying to destigmatize non-criminal attraction to children in order to treat it. And I kinda get it. I think that it’s better to create a forum in which potential pedophiles can admit their issue and seek treatment without being ostracized by society. I think the converse of that is that people who want help don’t seek it because they’re afraid and eventually end up acting out on their urges criminally. The former seems better to me. (admittedly, the analogy with early 20th century norms re: homosexuality was a poor one)

    Maybe I’m reading it wrong.

  • Kirk

    Well, I sort of see what these psychiatrists are getting at. They’re talking about non-criminals, pedophiles that experience urges but haven’t acted on them. My reading of this article is that this group isn’t advocating for pedophilia. They’re trying to destigmatize non-criminal attraction to children in order to treat it. And I kinda get it. I think that it’s better to create a forum in which potential pedophiles can admit their issue and seek treatment without being ostracized by society. I think the converse of that is that people who want help don’t seek it because they’re afraid and eventually end up acting out on their urges criminally. The former seems better to me. (admittedly, the analogy with early 20th century norms re: homosexuality was a poor one)

    Maybe I’m reading it wrong.

  • Matt

    oops didn’t realize there was another Matt posting

    Number 6 and number 8 (me) are two different Matts. Just so the other poster doesn’t blamed for my post.

  • Matt

    oops didn’t realize there was another Matt posting

    Number 6 and number 8 (me) are two different Matts. Just so the other poster doesn’t blamed for my post.

  • Cincinnatus

    Matt@8: Exactly whom are you railing against there? No one in this thread has made the stereotypical arguments you are lambasting.

    Kirk@9: I, too, understand the impulse, but it’s self-defeating. If pedophilic tendencies are normalized and “destigmatized,” there’s nothing to treat, yes? Again, whatever you think about homosexuality or slippery-slope arguments, this is exactly the way the debate over homosexuality was “settled.” From perversion to “destigmatization” to normalization. All within about three decades or less.

  • Cincinnatus

    Matt@8: Exactly whom are you railing against there? No one in this thread has made the stereotypical arguments you are lambasting.

    Kirk@9: I, too, understand the impulse, but it’s self-defeating. If pedophilic tendencies are normalized and “destigmatized,” there’s nothing to treat, yes? Again, whatever you think about homosexuality or slippery-slope arguments, this is exactly the way the debate over homosexuality was “settled.” From perversion to “destigmatization” to normalization. All within about three decades or less.

  • Matt #8

    Kirk@9

    There is a lot of truth to what you say. Having visited some pedophiles in prison, there were those who very will might not have acted on their urges had they been given access to counseling and help earlier. But there was no where they could go because they were afraid they would be condemned for a temptation rather than a crime. Very similar to homosexuals in the Church who are afraid to approach their pastor and ask for help with their temptations and so wind up acting on those temptations because they are too weak to stand on their own.

  • Matt #8

    Kirk@9

    There is a lot of truth to what you say. Having visited some pedophiles in prison, there were those who very will might not have acted on their urges had they been given access to counseling and help earlier. But there was no where they could go because they were afraid they would be condemned for a temptation rather than a crime. Very similar to homosexuals in the Church who are afraid to approach their pastor and ask for help with their temptations and so wind up acting on those temptations because they are too weak to stand on their own.

  • Matt #8

    Cincinnatus @ 11

    I thought I was quite clear – the original post began with

    The original post itself clearly made the argument I was lambasting

    Or is there another way to read:

    “‘First we accept homosexuality, some social conservatives said, and next we’ll accept pedophilia. If we legalize gay marriage, they said, next we’ll have legalize polygamy.’ …….. Well, we are slipping and sliding on that same slippery slope.”

  • Matt #8

    Cincinnatus @ 11

    I thought I was quite clear – the original post began with

    The original post itself clearly made the argument I was lambasting

    Or is there another way to read:

    “‘First we accept homosexuality, some social conservatives said, and next we’ll accept pedophilia. If we legalize gay marriage, they said, next we’ll have legalize polygamy.’ …….. Well, we are slipping and sliding on that same slippery slope.”

  • Matt #8

    Cincinnatus @ 11

    I thought I was quite clear

    The original post itself clearly made the argument I was lambasting

    Or is there another way to read:

    “‘First we accept homosexuality, some social conservatives said, and next we’ll accept pedophilia. If we legalize gay marriage, they said, next we’ll have legalize polygamy.’ …….. Well, we are slipping and sliding on that same slippery slope.”

  • Matt #8

    Cincinnatus @ 11

    I thought I was quite clear

    The original post itself clearly made the argument I was lambasting

    Or is there another way to read:

    “‘First we accept homosexuality, some social conservatives said, and next we’ll accept pedophilia. If we legalize gay marriage, they said, next we’ll have legalize polygamy.’ …….. Well, we are slipping and sliding on that same slippery slope.”

  • Tom Hering

    Pedophobia, “fear of children,” but the term is also being used now to mean “fear of pedophiles,” e.g., some of Michael Jackson’s fans called his prosecutors “pedophobes.” It’s a rational fear, as pedophiles seek sex with pre-pubescent children, and every pre-pubescent child (target) is some family’s little son or daughter. Even in the case of street kids without families, or of children prostituted by their families, there’s a compelling moral reason for society to intervene. No pre-pubescent child is capable of consenting to sexual relations with an adult, as any reasonable person understands “consent.” I believe it’s been the consensus, since the early 20th century, that any form of child exploitation is wrong (labor, advertising, etc.) and ought to be stopped.

  • Tom Hering

    Pedophobia, “fear of children,” but the term is also being used now to mean “fear of pedophiles,” e.g., some of Michael Jackson’s fans called his prosecutors “pedophobes.” It’s a rational fear, as pedophiles seek sex with pre-pubescent children, and every pre-pubescent child (target) is some family’s little son or daughter. Even in the case of street kids without families, or of children prostituted by their families, there’s a compelling moral reason for society to intervene. No pre-pubescent child is capable of consenting to sexual relations with an adult, as any reasonable person understands “consent.” I believe it’s been the consensus, since the early 20th century, that any form of child exploitation is wrong (labor, advertising, etc.) and ought to be stopped.

  • Joe

    Kirk – “They’re trying to destigmatize non-criminal attraction to children in order to treat it.”

    I really don’t think there is a connection between destigmatization and treatment. Isn’t a large part of psychiatry treating people with issues that put them outside the mainstream? Do we need too destigmatization murderous urges to ensure treatment?

    Also, I think that the stigmatization is a large part of what keeps deviant behavior in check. Shame is a powerful force and should not be discounted as a deterrent. I am not in favor of telling people their urges are normal or natural. Instead, the message should be your urges are not normal or healthy and we can help.

  • Joe

    Kirk – “They’re trying to destigmatize non-criminal attraction to children in order to treat it.”

    I really don’t think there is a connection between destigmatization and treatment. Isn’t a large part of psychiatry treating people with issues that put them outside the mainstream? Do we need too destigmatization murderous urges to ensure treatment?

    Also, I think that the stigmatization is a large part of what keeps deviant behavior in check. Shame is a powerful force and should not be discounted as a deterrent. I am not in favor of telling people their urges are normal or natural. Instead, the message should be your urges are not normal or healthy and we can help.

  • Kirk

    @ Cinn and Joe

    That’s an uncharitable reading if what I was saying. In your own churches, do you practice accountability with other men? When someone admits to a sinful impulse, do you condemn him in the hopes that shaming him will prevent him from ever having such an urge again? Or do you, with understanding, try to deal with his sin? I understand that you can being loving and understanding while still talking about sin in absolute terms: that it is wrong. But what I’m seeing here, or, at least what I’m envisioning, is removing the stigma that a repentant pedophile’s thoughts make him unfit for society. I think pedophilia is wrong. I think it’s deplorable. But I don’t think that we should outright reject individuals that have improper urges, which is what I feel would happen if someone were to come out and say “I lust after children.”

  • Kirk

    @ Cinn and Joe

    That’s an uncharitable reading if what I was saying. In your own churches, do you practice accountability with other men? When someone admits to a sinful impulse, do you condemn him in the hopes that shaming him will prevent him from ever having such an urge again? Or do you, with understanding, try to deal with his sin? I understand that you can being loving and understanding while still talking about sin in absolute terms: that it is wrong. But what I’m seeing here, or, at least what I’m envisioning, is removing the stigma that a repentant pedophile’s thoughts make him unfit for society. I think pedophilia is wrong. I think it’s deplorable. But I don’t think that we should outright reject individuals that have improper urges, which is what I feel would happen if someone were to come out and say “I lust after children.”

  • Cincinnatus

    On the other hand, the argument being made by this group of activists is similar to the one often used in conversations about the legalization of illicit substances. Legalizing cocaine, for example, would make it easier for us to provide appropriate counseling and treatment to addicts instead of simply imprisoning them or leaving them to die.

    But that doesn’t mean the arguments have to be synonymous. There are lines to be drawn. Addiction to heroin is not ethically equivalent to collecting child pornography or abducting schoolgirls.

  • Cincinnatus

    On the other hand, the argument being made by this group of activists is similar to the one often used in conversations about the legalization of illicit substances. Legalizing cocaine, for example, would make it easier for us to provide appropriate counseling and treatment to addicts instead of simply imprisoning them or leaving them to die.

    But that doesn’t mean the arguments have to be synonymous. There are lines to be drawn. Addiction to heroin is not ethically equivalent to collecting child pornography or abducting schoolgirls.

  • fws

    1) Mary Jack is on the right track here at her post @ 5… “if we were to go back to the marriage ages most states started with, now it would be considered pedophilia.”

    2) Kerner @ correctly identified the confusion over the article. We read into the article that the group is proposing the legalization of this: “…because what I think we have in mind here when we use the term “pedophilia” is illicit sexual attraction to actual children–like, 8 year olds, elementary school kids, NAMBLA stuff. ”

    Here is what the article says as quoted:

    APA’s definition of pedophilia… [is] “inaccurate” and “misleading” because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality [ sex with prepubescent adolescents is what we think of here really isn't it? as Kerner suggests?]

    “The proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever.” .

    The facts are that , historically, right up till around the end of the civil war,” women” were considered marriagable as soon as they underwent puberty. “Men” too.

    As much as we are sicked by warren Jeffs marrying 13 year olds, we need to recognize that his practice was the cultural norm for the entire history of the world up till very recently. This includes the fact that women had no volution whatsoever as to whom they would have sex with or marry. none. Zip. The biblical definition of rape was that it is a property right violation. The biblical solution was for the rapist to marry his victim.

    So I think we can maybe assume that these psychiatrists are pointing out something rather obvious. That is that the age that defines child molestation in our current laws and culture is a very arbitrary thing. it is not based in any way upon science. This is true.

    And it is probably then true that they could better do their jobs if we recognized that pedophilia would be defined as having sex with prepubescent children.

    As with all the rest of you, I feel the need to say that I am NOT recommending or advocating that men should be allowed to marry 13 year olds.

    I am also not advocating a return to Marriage as it is Biblically defined where the Groom purcheses his bride and the bride is his property and has no choice in the matter. This is , of course, the foundation for the biblical metaphor of Christ as groom and the Church as his Bride.

  • fws

    1) Mary Jack is on the right track here at her post @ 5… “if we were to go back to the marriage ages most states started with, now it would be considered pedophilia.”

    2) Kerner @ correctly identified the confusion over the article. We read into the article that the group is proposing the legalization of this: “…because what I think we have in mind here when we use the term “pedophilia” is illicit sexual attraction to actual children–like, 8 year olds, elementary school kids, NAMBLA stuff. ”

    Here is what the article says as quoted:

    APA’s definition of pedophilia… [is] “inaccurate” and “misleading” because the current DSM links pedophilia with criminality [ sex with prepubescent adolescents is what we think of here really isn't it? as Kerner suggests?]

    “The proposed new diagnostic criteria specify ages and frequencies with no scientific basis whatsoever.” .

    The facts are that , historically, right up till around the end of the civil war,” women” were considered marriagable as soon as they underwent puberty. “Men” too.

    As much as we are sicked by warren Jeffs marrying 13 year olds, we need to recognize that his practice was the cultural norm for the entire history of the world up till very recently. This includes the fact that women had no volution whatsoever as to whom they would have sex with or marry. none. Zip. The biblical definition of rape was that it is a property right violation. The biblical solution was for the rapist to marry his victim.

    So I think we can maybe assume that these psychiatrists are pointing out something rather obvious. That is that the age that defines child molestation in our current laws and culture is a very arbitrary thing. it is not based in any way upon science. This is true.

    And it is probably then true that they could better do their jobs if we recognized that pedophilia would be defined as having sex with prepubescent children.

    As with all the rest of you, I feel the need to say that I am NOT recommending or advocating that men should be allowed to marry 13 year olds.

    I am also not advocating a return to Marriage as it is Biblically defined where the Groom purcheses his bride and the bride is his property and has no choice in the matter. This is , of course, the foundation for the biblical metaphor of Christ as groom and the Church as his Bride.

  • fws

    I think this does have to do with homosexuality.

    How?

    The homosexual issue is forcing everyone to rethink every aspect of sexuality and not just take for granted cultural norms that have only existed for the past 100 years or so.

    This is probably a good thing right?

  • fws

    I think this does have to do with homosexuality.

    How?

    The homosexual issue is forcing everyone to rethink every aspect of sexuality and not just take for granted cultural norms that have only existed for the past 100 years or so.

    This is probably a good thing right?

  • fws

    I see lots o problems with polygamy, but there are lots of immigrants who practice it. I would be hard pressed to find biblical proof against the practice. again is this about homosexuality? how so?

  • fws

    I see lots o problems with polygamy, but there are lots of immigrants who practice it. I would be hard pressed to find biblical proof against the practice. again is this about homosexuality? how so?

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk@17: No, I understood your argument perfectly. Like I said earlier, I both comprehend and sympathize with your point.

    But maybe it’s time for some good old cost/benefit analysis. First, feeling comfortable enough to confess one’s sin to a priest or fellow believer confidentially is quite different, I think, from feeling comfortable enough to proclaim publicly one’s proclivities and seek treatment, etc. Shame is essential for any community to sustain moral order. Shame requires secrecy, not openness.

    So what have we gained from our increasing openness on a variety of questions? We could compile a list of things that in American society were once more or less unspeakable but are now largely public, if not necessarily acceptable: drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, adultery, mental retardation, autism, homosexuality, bankruptcy.

    Certainly, it has been a largely unmitigated good to render “speakable” the presence of the mentally disabled. But in that list, that’s about all I can find. What have we gained from ushering homosexuality into public light? And divorce? Drug addiction and drug use? Perhaps I’m oversimplifying things here, but I wonder if it isn’t better that a few pedophiles suffer in silence than that society as a whole be obliged to be open to discussing the matter openly, offering treatment, acceptance, etc. What can we gain? While the benefits are undoubtedly unquantifiable, there is simply no proof that society would be better off if we treated our pedophiles better or that they would be less “tempted” to abduct little boys if they could talk about their afflictions openly.

  • Cincinnatus

    Kirk@17: No, I understood your argument perfectly. Like I said earlier, I both comprehend and sympathize with your point.

    But maybe it’s time for some good old cost/benefit analysis. First, feeling comfortable enough to confess one’s sin to a priest or fellow believer confidentially is quite different, I think, from feeling comfortable enough to proclaim publicly one’s proclivities and seek treatment, etc. Shame is essential for any community to sustain moral order. Shame requires secrecy, not openness.

    So what have we gained from our increasing openness on a variety of questions? We could compile a list of things that in American society were once more or less unspeakable but are now largely public, if not necessarily acceptable: drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, adultery, mental retardation, autism, homosexuality, bankruptcy.

    Certainly, it has been a largely unmitigated good to render “speakable” the presence of the mentally disabled. But in that list, that’s about all I can find. What have we gained from ushering homosexuality into public light? And divorce? Drug addiction and drug use? Perhaps I’m oversimplifying things here, but I wonder if it isn’t better that a few pedophiles suffer in silence than that society as a whole be obliged to be open to discussing the matter openly, offering treatment, acceptance, etc. What can we gain? While the benefits are undoubtedly unquantifiable, there is simply no proof that society would be better off if we treated our pedophiles better or that they would be less “tempted” to abduct little boys if they could talk about their afflictions openly.

  • Joe

    Kirk – in my church that man would find himself subject to BOTH Law and Gospel. We would not forgo the condemnation of the law as part of helping that man. Of course the Gospel must take precedence over the law but the law is not cast aside.

    So, we would not reject a repentant pedophile but neither would we tell that man that his urges were normal. Instead, we would proclaim that Christ can forgive him despite his deviant urges.

    Perhaps we are really trying to say the same thing – if so, I apologize for giving your comment a wrong interpretation. But I think there is a difference between normalizing or destigmatizing and loving the neighbor.

  • Joe

    Kirk – in my church that man would find himself subject to BOTH Law and Gospel. We would not forgo the condemnation of the law as part of helping that man. Of course the Gospel must take precedence over the law but the law is not cast aside.

    So, we would not reject a repentant pedophile but neither would we tell that man that his urges were normal. Instead, we would proclaim that Christ can forgive him despite his deviant urges.

    Perhaps we are really trying to say the same thing – if so, I apologize for giving your comment a wrong interpretation. But I think there is a difference between normalizing or destigmatizing and loving the neighbor.

  • fws

    cinn @ 22

    “Shame is essential for any community to sustain moral order. Shame requires secrecy, not openness. …I wonder if it isn’t better that a few pedophiles suffer in silence than that society as a whole be obliged to be open to discussing the matter openly, offering treatment, acceptance, etc. What can we gain? ”

    Cinn. This is a really important point. I am not sure if I agree or disagree.

    The only thing I can think of is the promise found in St James: “confess your sins to one another and you will be healed”. and then there are other passages about how Christians are to live in the light rather than the darkness.

    I am trying to think where your view would be found somewhere in the Bible Cinn. help me out here.

    I can find lots of stuff on remorse, repentence, turning away from sin, resisting sin… shame as a good thing? not even in the genesis account of the first sin does this seem to be a good thing.

  • fws

    cinn @ 22

    “Shame is essential for any community to sustain moral order. Shame requires secrecy, not openness. …I wonder if it isn’t better that a few pedophiles suffer in silence than that society as a whole be obliged to be open to discussing the matter openly, offering treatment, acceptance, etc. What can we gain? ”

    Cinn. This is a really important point. I am not sure if I agree or disagree.

    The only thing I can think of is the promise found in St James: “confess your sins to one another and you will be healed”. and then there are other passages about how Christians are to live in the light rather than the darkness.

    I am trying to think where your view would be found somewhere in the Bible Cinn. help me out here.

    I can find lots of stuff on remorse, repentence, turning away from sin, resisting sin… shame as a good thing? not even in the genesis account of the first sin does this seem to be a good thing.

  • Cincinnatus

    Right, fws, but that is why I made a distinction–a distinction I think to be valid–between confessing to your priest or to fellow church members, followed by repentance, and feeling “comfortable” in one’s sin because society has agreed to be “open” to all manner of perversions.

    Maybe I could put it this way. On paper, it sounds good: we shouldn’t criminalize inborn or otherwise unavoidable tendencies because then such people won’t be able to get the treatment they need. But when put into practice, such a principle is more dangerous than the benefits warrant, I think. Mostly because people are stupid and because the people who set these agenda are too radical. Maybe a television drama where one of the protagonists suffers from pedophilic urges. Or, hey, it should definitely be included in mandatory sex education classes in all public schools (as has become the case with homosexuality). And all citizens, especially the lingering guardians of good old-fashioned bourgeois morality, should be discussing this topic seriously and openly. Pamphlets should be published, editorials written, documentaries filmed. It is time yet again for the culture to be changed by the elites who determine the causes that matter.

    In short, there is a very, very thin line between “decriminalization” or “destigmatization” and outright legitimation, a line that, from my view, is more often crossed than not. Is pedophilia worth it? Like I said, some issues–autism, for example–are unquestionably worth it.

  • Cincinnatus

    Right, fws, but that is why I made a distinction–a distinction I think to be valid–between confessing to your priest or to fellow church members, followed by repentance, and feeling “comfortable” in one’s sin because society has agreed to be “open” to all manner of perversions.

    Maybe I could put it this way. On paper, it sounds good: we shouldn’t criminalize inborn or otherwise unavoidable tendencies because then such people won’t be able to get the treatment they need. But when put into practice, such a principle is more dangerous than the benefits warrant, I think. Mostly because people are stupid and because the people who set these agenda are too radical. Maybe a television drama where one of the protagonists suffers from pedophilic urges. Or, hey, it should definitely be included in mandatory sex education classes in all public schools (as has become the case with homosexuality). And all citizens, especially the lingering guardians of good old-fashioned bourgeois morality, should be discussing this topic seriously and openly. Pamphlets should be published, editorials written, documentaries filmed. It is time yet again for the culture to be changed by the elites who determine the causes that matter.

    In short, there is a very, very thin line between “decriminalization” or “destigmatization” and outright legitimation, a line that, from my view, is more often crossed than not. Is pedophilia worth it? Like I said, some issues–autism, for example–are unquestionably worth it.

  • Cincinnatus

    Let’s put it this way. Destigmatization of difficult problems issues has, in America, always led inexorably to normalization and legitimation. It happened with divorce: what was supposed to be made public so that battered women, for example, could seek the escape that society traditionally denied them has become perfectly normal. Homosexuality has proceeded along a similar course. Autism and other mental disorders as well. What starts as a well-intentioned effort to ease the suffering of a certain repressed minority becomes outright normalization. Once something is allowed into the openness of a liberal society, there are few grounds upon which to draw a line. As I noted, some of these normalizations have been good, some (for Christians, probably) bad.

    I predict that the same course will be followed with pedophilia if such movements as those noted in the original article succeed. Or do Americans possess the ability to draw a line at pedophilia? Why? Because our devotion to children is stronger than our devotion to acceptance and openness? I suppose we can hope…

    I’m obviously scratching the surface here. To satisfy this question definitively would require an in-depth exploration of American attitudes toward morality, religion, individual autonomy, and a host of other enormous topics. I’m merely noting a phenomenon, not explaining it.

  • Cincinnatus

    Let’s put it this way. Destigmatization of difficult problems issues has, in America, always led inexorably to normalization and legitimation. It happened with divorce: what was supposed to be made public so that battered women, for example, could seek the escape that society traditionally denied them has become perfectly normal. Homosexuality has proceeded along a similar course. Autism and other mental disorders as well. What starts as a well-intentioned effort to ease the suffering of a certain repressed minority becomes outright normalization. Once something is allowed into the openness of a liberal society, there are few grounds upon which to draw a line. As I noted, some of these normalizations have been good, some (for Christians, probably) bad.

    I predict that the same course will be followed with pedophilia if such movements as those noted in the original article succeed. Or do Americans possess the ability to draw a line at pedophilia? Why? Because our devotion to children is stronger than our devotion to acceptance and openness? I suppose we can hope…

    I’m obviously scratching the surface here. To satisfy this question definitively would require an in-depth exploration of American attitudes toward morality, religion, individual autonomy, and a host of other enormous topics. I’m merely noting a phenomenon, not explaining it.

  • fws

    well, it seemed like your thesis was that shame mandates secrecy and that shame and secrecy are a good and are essential to a moral society.

    I asked you to show me where your basis for that assertion is. I can only find the exact opposite assertion in the bible.

    You shifted I think to something else that I dont disagree with really. but it is not the same assertion.

    I dont think shame is ever good. to feel guilt and remorse is not the same as shame. shame is what adam and eve had. it was not considered a good thing as far as I can tell from the biblical depiction.

    Shame in the bible seems to be about hiding from God and hiding from the truth.

    So maybe we are caught up in definitions.

    .

  • fws

    well, it seemed like your thesis was that shame mandates secrecy and that shame and secrecy are a good and are essential to a moral society.

    I asked you to show me where your basis for that assertion is. I can only find the exact opposite assertion in the bible.

    You shifted I think to something else that I dont disagree with really. but it is not the same assertion.

    I dont think shame is ever good. to feel guilt and remorse is not the same as shame. shame is what adam and eve had. it was not considered a good thing as far as I can tell from the biblical depiction.

    Shame in the bible seems to be about hiding from God and hiding from the truth.

    So maybe we are caught up in definitions.

    .

  • fws

    even so, you made a rather unqualified assertion that shame is not only a good thing, it is required for a moral society to exist. I am just not sure that is true. Convince me from the scriptures this view is right Cinn.

  • fws

    even so, you made a rather unqualified assertion that shame is not only a good thing, it is required for a moral society to exist. I am just not sure that is true. Convince me from the scriptures this view is right Cinn.

  • fws

    i would encourage a return to the original post. what about defining pederasty as only applying to pre pubescent children, and then changing the age of “consent” to anyone who is post puberty? This has alot of biblical precident doesnt it?

    does biblical precident = good? or even right or moral?

  • fws

    i would encourage a return to the original post. what about defining pederasty as only applying to pre pubescent children, and then changing the age of “consent” to anyone who is post puberty? This has alot of biblical precident doesnt it?

    does biblical precident = good? or even right or moral?

  • Cincinnatus

    So many questions!

    Yes, I maintain my assertion that shame is essential in an ordered society, and that shame, by definition, requires secrecy. The Bible is not a textbook for social arrangements. I don’t care about what the Bible might have to say about shame in this context. Like I said, the fact that Scripture might mandate confession of sins within the Church does not mean that the world outside the Church must be equally open (or in this case, more open) to discussing sin and perversion. Society and the Church are not coterminous. In a world of approximate goods, shame is essential. I don’t need a “proof text” to corroborate this claim (though I can provide a bibliography of extra-Scriptural political theory on the topic).

    But about the original post. I have no problem with defining pederasty such that it applies only to sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children. And I would have no problem in principle with lowering the age of consent or or marriage. But I don’t know if lowering the age of consent would be prudent in our particular circumstances, and it’s certainly not something for which I would advocate publicly. I simply don’t think it would solve any problems. But yes, defining pederasty as you do would be helpful, I think: lusting after biologically mature teenagers is, I think, different from (and more natural/biologically appropriate than) lusting after those of elementary school age.

  • Cincinnatus

    So many questions!

    Yes, I maintain my assertion that shame is essential in an ordered society, and that shame, by definition, requires secrecy. The Bible is not a textbook for social arrangements. I don’t care about what the Bible might have to say about shame in this context. Like I said, the fact that Scripture might mandate confession of sins within the Church does not mean that the world outside the Church must be equally open (or in this case, more open) to discussing sin and perversion. Society and the Church are not coterminous. In a world of approximate goods, shame is essential. I don’t need a “proof text” to corroborate this claim (though I can provide a bibliography of extra-Scriptural political theory on the topic).

    But about the original post. I have no problem with defining pederasty such that it applies only to sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children. And I would have no problem in principle with lowering the age of consent or or marriage. But I don’t know if lowering the age of consent would be prudent in our particular circumstances, and it’s certainly not something for which I would advocate publicly. I simply don’t think it would solve any problems. But yes, defining pederasty as you do would be helpful, I think: lusting after biologically mature teenagers is, I think, different from (and more natural/biologically appropriate than) lusting after those of elementary school age.

  • John

    Just curious – why would we consider pedophilia to be a mental disorder? Are not our rules regarding sexual prohibition based upon morality and ethics rather than biology? I know two immigrants who bore children in their early teens (12 and 14, respectively). In their culture, this kind of marriage is normal (although interestingly, both of them are vocally bitter about their past and feel that they were forced into this life experience). I don’t think their husbands (or culture) had a mental disorder. Rather, our laws are designed to safeguard the weak, the powerless, the easily influenced. I am not sure how long our morality can withstand a context of secular public discourse rooted in (Darwinian) biological determinism instead of morality.

  • John

    Just curious – why would we consider pedophilia to be a mental disorder? Are not our rules regarding sexual prohibition based upon morality and ethics rather than biology? I know two immigrants who bore children in their early teens (12 and 14, respectively). In their culture, this kind of marriage is normal (although interestingly, both of them are vocally bitter about their past and feel that they were forced into this life experience). I don’t think their husbands (or culture) had a mental disorder. Rather, our laws are designed to safeguard the weak, the powerless, the easily influenced. I am not sure how long our morality can withstand a context of secular public discourse rooted in (Darwinian) biological determinism instead of morality.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 30

    1) I think your last paragraph was actually exactly what the professionals in this article were trying to home in on. i don’t think we need to assume they were driving at more than just that. “But yes, defining pederasty as you do would be helpful, I think.”

    Let me be really clear that this is not my view. It is what I think the article is driving at. So we should not be confused about that.

    My view is that , in our culture, it is criminal for some older man to seduce someone younger sexually. In some cases a 14 year old man knows exactly what he is doing, and in fact may be the one doing the seducing even.

    But for a Lutheran Godly morals are always situational. They require 1+1 individuals to happen at a minimum. This is to say they only happen in the context of vocation in Gene-Veith-speak. So what this means is that it is not at all wrong for society to make quite arbitrary rules to protect the 50-60% of adolescents who have (unnaturally?) not been expected to assume the rights and responsibilities of manhood at puberty. We need to deal with the societal hand we have been dealt.

    I agree fully that “biblical precident” is not very useful here. I am not arguing for it. I am pointing out that reason would , in fact reject that, and that that is, in fact the biblical view! Reason is the Revealed Law of God for earthly morality. Nothing more here can ge demanded beyond the pagan Aristotle then. (Confessions, Apology , art IV).

    2) A new assertion: “Society and the Church are not coterminous. ”

    I don’t know what you mean by that in contest Cinn.

    Lutherans have always asserted that there are 3 ‘ordos” or governments in the Earthly Kingdom that contains all and only what is included in Romans 8 “flesh/body” that will perish. Those 3 “ordos”/governments are family, church and society/government.

    Lutherans consider the church to be a government exactly like the government of family or society. So the Law or morality or God’s rules function identically in ALL three. what we can say , for example , about the subordinate role of Women and the order of creation would need to be applied , consistently, and exactly in the same way to ALL three of those spheres is one example of how that practically matters. We can’t argue against women priests/pastors using the order of creation, and then not use that same argument against women police, judges, professors, and politicians and captains of industry. for example.

    but. these rules of government are not anything “spiritual”. they are all rules about 1) good order, 2) with the exact aim of forcing all of us to do goodness and mercy (which is always undeserved by definition to others. God makes this happen whether we cooperate or not. Government is by nature coercive. it is a punishment by definition.

  • fws

    cincinatus @ 30

    1) I think your last paragraph was actually exactly what the professionals in this article were trying to home in on. i don’t think we need to assume they were driving at more than just that. “But yes, defining pederasty as you do would be helpful, I think.”

    Let me be really clear that this is not my view. It is what I think the article is driving at. So we should not be confused about that.

    My view is that , in our culture, it is criminal for some older man to seduce someone younger sexually. In some cases a 14 year old man knows exactly what he is doing, and in fact may be the one doing the seducing even.

    But for a Lutheran Godly morals are always situational. They require 1+1 individuals to happen at a minimum. This is to say they only happen in the context of vocation in Gene-Veith-speak. So what this means is that it is not at all wrong for society to make quite arbitrary rules to protect the 50-60% of adolescents who have (unnaturally?) not been expected to assume the rights and responsibilities of manhood at puberty. We need to deal with the societal hand we have been dealt.

    I agree fully that “biblical precident” is not very useful here. I am not arguing for it. I am pointing out that reason would , in fact reject that, and that that is, in fact the biblical view! Reason is the Revealed Law of God for earthly morality. Nothing more here can ge demanded beyond the pagan Aristotle then. (Confessions, Apology , art IV).

    2) A new assertion: “Society and the Church are not coterminous. ”

    I don’t know what you mean by that in contest Cinn.

    Lutherans have always asserted that there are 3 ‘ordos” or governments in the Earthly Kingdom that contains all and only what is included in Romans 8 “flesh/body” that will perish. Those 3 “ordos”/governments are family, church and society/government.

    Lutherans consider the church to be a government exactly like the government of family or society. So the Law or morality or God’s rules function identically in ALL three. what we can say , for example , about the subordinate role of Women and the order of creation would need to be applied , consistently, and exactly in the same way to ALL three of those spheres is one example of how that practically matters. We can’t argue against women priests/pastors using the order of creation, and then not use that same argument against women police, judges, professors, and politicians and captains of industry. for example.

    but. these rules of government are not anything “spiritual”. they are all rules about 1) good order, 2) with the exact aim of forcing all of us to do goodness and mercy (which is always undeserved by definition to others. God makes this happen whether we cooperate or not. Government is by nature coercive. it is a punishment by definition.

  • fws

    john @ 31

    in the Lutheran Confessions, Godly morality is not done merely by following a rule (eg “it is not illegal to marry someone at age 12″).

    For Godly morality to happen there have to be two elements: 1) do no harm (eg” do not hurt or harm your neighbor”) and 2) evidential love must result (eg “we are to help and befriend our neighbor in every need he/she has”). This is summed by Christ as looking like loving others as we would want to be loved. And this Law is written in the Reason even of men and women withhout bibles. So that is why these women feel bitter. They should feel that!

  • fws

    john @ 31

    in the Lutheran Confessions, Godly morality is not done merely by following a rule (eg “it is not illegal to marry someone at age 12″).

    For Godly morality to happen there have to be two elements: 1) do no harm (eg” do not hurt or harm your neighbor”) and 2) evidential love must result (eg “we are to help and befriend our neighbor in every need he/she has”). This is summed by Christ as looking like loving others as we would want to be loved. And this Law is written in the Reason even of men and women withhout bibles. So that is why these women feel bitter. They should feel that!

  • fws

    John…

    to make ethics and morality hinge upon chosing between some sort of biological “natural law” and oppose this to some “other” imagined divinely codified Law is the error.

    God says that the aim, or end, or entire sum or purpose of the Law on earth is to drive us sinners to love others as we want to be loved.

    Everyone knows what that looks like. When we feel loved we know it. This is because , according to romans 2:15 , we have the Divine Law of God written by God in our Reason.

  • fws

    John…

    to make ethics and morality hinge upon chosing between some sort of biological “natural law” and oppose this to some “other” imagined divinely codified Law is the error.

    God says that the aim, or end, or entire sum or purpose of the Law on earth is to drive us sinners to love others as we want to be loved.

    Everyone knows what that looks like. When we feel loved we know it. This is because , according to romans 2:15 , we have the Divine Law of God written by God in our Reason.

  • fws

    and john, the problem for moralists who imagine that for God the entire point of morality is obedience and conformity to God’s Rules, is that Love simply cant happen by following a list of dos and donts.

    That bugs the heck out of moralists. try loving your spouse by writing up a love contract to get the flavor of what i am saying. It would feel so very much NOT like love to a spouse.

    And yet we think we can love God and neighbor in exactly that way. that is the error of religion and the religious. It is precisely how they try to calm their conscience.

    It doesnt work. The Law always returns to accuse! The Law always accuses.

  • fws

    and john, the problem for moralists who imagine that for God the entire point of morality is obedience and conformity to God’s Rules, is that Love simply cant happen by following a list of dos and donts.

    That bugs the heck out of moralists. try loving your spouse by writing up a love contract to get the flavor of what i am saying. It would feel so very much NOT like love to a spouse.

    And yet we think we can love God and neighbor in exactly that way. that is the error of religion and the religious. It is precisely how they try to calm their conscience.

    It doesnt work. The Law always returns to accuse! The Law always accuses.

  • –helen

    The outward appearance of maturity at puberty is not enough; there is physical growth yet to be made. Children should not be bearing children; it’s risky for the parent and the child.
    Emotional maturity should also be considered; the early teen is not always able to make good choices. They are likely to be influenced by an adult, though.
    I really wonder if the “pedophile” doesn’t want someone he can control, body and mind. In that, I have to wonder about his maturity, at whatever age!

  • –helen

    The outward appearance of maturity at puberty is not enough; there is physical growth yet to be made. Children should not be bearing children; it’s risky for the parent and the child.
    Emotional maturity should also be considered; the early teen is not always able to make good choices. They are likely to be influenced by an adult, though.
    I really wonder if the “pedophile” doesn’t want someone he can control, body and mind. In that, I have to wonder about his maturity, at whatever age!

  • kenneth

    Everbody should know this is crazy and if things continue as they have been by way of homosexual normalization and the “hatefulness” of conventional marriage (sick) we will find ouselves enmeshed with peophilia and not quite so bad, dog sex and party. Enmeshe, I suppose could mean tolerant of. with the expectation that we “ought” to accept it, and all then who negate it will be categorized in a DSM manual. God help us!

    Let’s pray to God and see if we can make a politcal reverse into sanity. I f libertarianixm is the future it won’t be long till we are the criminals.

  • kenneth

    Everbody should know this is crazy and if things continue as they have been by way of homosexual normalization and the “hatefulness” of conventional marriage (sick) we will find ouselves enmeshed with peophilia and not quite so bad, dog sex and party. Enmeshe, I suppose could mean tolerant of. with the expectation that we “ought” to accept it, and all then who negate it will be categorized in a DSM manual. God help us!

    Let’s pray to God and see if we can make a politcal reverse into sanity. I f libertarianixm is the future it won’t be long till we are the criminals.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m sorry, kenneth, but what does libertarianism have to do with anything? I know many, many libertarians (used to be one myself) and not a one of them would condone pedophilia or its legalization. Not remotely.

    Perhaps you are confusing libertarianism with libertinism.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m sorry, kenneth, but what does libertarianism have to do with anything? I know many, many libertarians (used to be one myself) and not a one of them would condone pedophilia or its legalization. Not remotely.

    Perhaps you are confusing libertarianism with libertinism.

  • fws

    helen @ 36

    your points are excellent and well taken. this is precisely why I would not lean to hard on the biblical model for society to determine what would be best.

    the biblical model looks very much like how women are treated in very conservative Muslim countries actually. There women are bought and sold. Women have zero volution as to marriage or who they will have sex with. Women are treated as property because they are property. This is fully consonant with the Biblical model .

    It is especially useful to note that this is the precise context for the Bibical metaphor that speaks of Marriage between Christ the Groom and the Church as its Bride.

    Just because this holy metaphor is based upon what is the Muslims do, and christians no longer do , I would not propose this as any good model of Marriage for 2011.

  • fws

    helen @ 36

    your points are excellent and well taken. this is precisely why I would not lean to hard on the biblical model for society to determine what would be best.

    the biblical model looks very much like how women are treated in very conservative Muslim countries actually. There women are bought and sold. Women have zero volution as to marriage or who they will have sex with. Women are treated as property because they are property. This is fully consonant with the Biblical model .

    It is especially useful to note that this is the precise context for the Bibical metaphor that speaks of Marriage between Christ the Groom and the Church as its Bride.

    Just because this holy metaphor is based upon what is the Muslims do, and christians no longer do , I would not propose this as any good model of Marriage for 2011.

  • fws

    helen @ 36

    It is also useful to note that the context for 13 year old brides, marriage was a family affair. it was the model within tribalism. which is really just the extended, extended family.

    So that meant that the lack of maturity and development was compensated by the relatives being involved in the marriage in ways that would be perceived as meddling today for the most part.

  • fws

    helen @ 36

    It is also useful to note that the context for 13 year old brides, marriage was a family affair. it was the model within tribalism. which is really just the extended, extended family.

    So that meant that the lack of maturity and development was compensated by the relatives being involved in the marriage in ways that would be perceived as meddling today for the most part.

  • kenneth

    Cinncinatus

    Veith just put out a blurb on libertarianism, so you should know what that is. — perhaps you could re=read it, surely you will find much to “enlighten” you (groan). ouch===

  • kenneth

    Cinncinatus

    Veith just put out a blurb on libertarianism, so you should know what that is. — perhaps you could re=read it, surely you will find much to “enlighten” you (groan). ouch===

  • Grace

    Homosexuality is sin, and so is pedophilia. The problem we face today is; most people are looking around and wondering how the sexual mores of society have become a garbage pit. They reason; people have turned from God, or they never believed and Worshiped HIM in the first place.

    I don’t believe anyone who truly knows Christ as their Savior, believes homosexuality or pedophilia is NOT sin. If they do believe it is an option, they have strayed over.

    It’s not a “slippery slope fallacy” it’s a truth. …. once sin becomes a legal means of self gratification, one slides like a sled on a hill, greased for the occasion, it takes a short time. All the growth which grew along the slop is now dead with the pollution of sin.

    Is pedophilia a mental disorder? Yes, it’s a sickening attempt to gratify ones lust, on those who are least able to defend themselves. Children are not toys for the mentally ill, or those who’s aberrant behavior endangers the most vulnerable.

    Sexual sin is the only sin, ….. that allows a spouse to divorce, not obesity, gossip, or any number of sins, – - – - we are talking about ‘sexual sin, therefore, it is a vile sin against ones own body, and that of others, the most vulnerable being children.

    All the hogwash regarding 13 year old brides… as an excuse, FAILS!

  • Grace

    Homosexuality is sin, and so is pedophilia. The problem we face today is; most people are looking around and wondering how the sexual mores of society have become a garbage pit. They reason; people have turned from God, or they never believed and Worshiped HIM in the first place.

    I don’t believe anyone who truly knows Christ as their Savior, believes homosexuality or pedophilia is NOT sin. If they do believe it is an option, they have strayed over.

    It’s not a “slippery slope fallacy” it’s a truth. …. once sin becomes a legal means of self gratification, one slides like a sled on a hill, greased for the occasion, it takes a short time. All the growth which grew along the slop is now dead with the pollution of sin.

    Is pedophilia a mental disorder? Yes, it’s a sickening attempt to gratify ones lust, on those who are least able to defend themselves. Children are not toys for the mentally ill, or those who’s aberrant behavior endangers the most vulnerable.

    Sexual sin is the only sin, ….. that allows a spouse to divorce, not obesity, gossip, or any number of sins, – - – - we are talking about ‘sexual sin, therefore, it is a vile sin against ones own body, and that of others, the most vulnerable being children.

    All the hogwash regarding 13 year old brides… as an excuse, FAILS!

  • fws

    Grace. Advice: reread the article and responses and then respond.

    You dont appear to understand what anyone here has said.

  • fws

    Grace. Advice: reread the article and responses and then respond.

    You dont appear to understand what anyone here has said.

  • kerner

    fws: you said:
    “But for a Lutheran Godly morals are always situational.” @32

    “God says that the aim, or end, or entire sum or purpose of the Law on earth is to drive us sinners to love others as we want to be loved.

    Everyone knows what that looks like. When we feel loved we know it. This is because , according to romans 2:15 , we have the Divine Law of God written by God in our Reason.” @34

    “and john, the problem for moralists who imagine that for God the entire point of morality is obedience and conformity to God’s Rules, is that Love simply cant happen by following a list of dos and donts.

    That bugs the heck out of moralists. try loving your spouse by writing up a love contract to get the flavor of what i am saying. It would feel so very much NOT like love to a spouse.

    And yet we think we can love God and neighbor in exactly that way. that is the error of religion and the religious. It is precisely how they try to calm their conscience. ” @35

    I’m sorry, but you have misinterpreted the Apology. And you are not the first. It is expressly condemned as error by the Lutheran Confessions:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-thirduse.php

    I urge all here to read the entire aticle cited above. Remember, that the SDFC and the epitome were written decades after the rest of the BOC. The reason it is called the Formula “of Concord” was that it was written to resolve controversies. In this case, Article VI was written to address whether the Law as written (the do’s and don’t’s)had any further value to the Christian showing love to his neighbor. Basically, the SDFOC rijects your position and urges Christians to study, understand, and follow the do’s and don’t’s.

    If I may cite some particularly relevant quotatiions”

    “Although the truly believing are verily moved by God’s Spirit, and thus, according to the inner man, do God’s will from a free spirit, yet it is just the Holy Ghost who uses the written law for instruction with them, by which the truly believing also learn to serve God, not according to their own thoughts, but according to His written Law and Word, which is a sure rule and standard of a godly life and walk, how to order it in accordance with the eternal and immutable will of God.

    For the explanation and final settlement of this dissent we unanimously believe, teach, and confess that although the truly believing and truly converted to God and justified Christians are liberated and made free from the curse of the Law, yet they should daily exercise themselves in the Law of the Lord, as it is written, Ps. 1:2;119:1: Blessed is the man whose delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law doth he meditate day and night. For the Law is a mirror in which the will of God, and what pleases Him, are exactly portrayed, and which should [therefore] be constantly held up to the believers and be diligently urged upon them without ceasing.” SDFC VI:3-4 (emphasis mine)

    ” So, too, this doctrine of the Law is needful for believers, in order that they may not hit upon a holiness and devotion of their own, and under the pretext of the Spirit of God set up a self-chosen worship, without God’s Word and command, as it is written Deut. 12:8,28,32: Ye shall not do … every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes, etc., but observe and hear all these words which I command thee. Thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish therefrom.

    21] So, too, the doctrine of the Law, in and with [the exercise of] the good works of believers, is necessary for the reason that otherwise man can easily imagine that his work and life are entirely pure and perfect. But the Law of God prescribes to believers good works in this way, that it shows and indicates at the same time, as in a mirror, that in this life they are still imperfect and impure in us, so that we must say with the beloved Paul, 1 Cor. 4:4: I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified. Thus Paul, when exhorting the regenerate to good works, presents to them expressly the Ten Commandments, Rom. 13:9; and that his good works are imperfect and impure he recognizes from the Law, Rom. 7:7ff ; and David declares Ps. 119:32: Viam mandatorum tuorum cucurri, I will run the way of Thy commandments; but enter not into judgment with Thy servant, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified, Ps. 143:2. ” SDFC VI:20-21

    Again, I urge all here to read the whole article. The point it makes is that we Christians, because we still continually struggle against our old Adam, despite our regenerated hearts and reason, cannt understand how to show love to our neighbor by our own reason and vague generalities. Rather, it is exactly God’s written do’s and don’t’s, His written Law, that tell us how to show love for our neighbor, and these are to be our guide.

  • kerner

    fws: you said:
    “But for a Lutheran Godly morals are always situational.” @32

    “God says that the aim, or end, or entire sum or purpose of the Law on earth is to drive us sinners to love others as we want to be loved.

    Everyone knows what that looks like. When we feel loved we know it. This is because , according to romans 2:15 , we have the Divine Law of God written by God in our Reason.” @34

    “and john, the problem for moralists who imagine that for God the entire point of morality is obedience and conformity to God’s Rules, is that Love simply cant happen by following a list of dos and donts.

    That bugs the heck out of moralists. try loving your spouse by writing up a love contract to get the flavor of what i am saying. It would feel so very much NOT like love to a spouse.

    And yet we think we can love God and neighbor in exactly that way. that is the error of religion and the religious. It is precisely how they try to calm their conscience. ” @35

    I’m sorry, but you have misinterpreted the Apology. And you are not the first. It is expressly condemned as error by the Lutheran Confessions:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-thirduse.php

    I urge all here to read the entire aticle cited above. Remember, that the SDFC and the epitome were written decades after the rest of the BOC. The reason it is called the Formula “of Concord” was that it was written to resolve controversies. In this case, Article VI was written to address whether the Law as written (the do’s and don’t’s)had any further value to the Christian showing love to his neighbor. Basically, the SDFOC rijects your position and urges Christians to study, understand, and follow the do’s and don’t’s.

    If I may cite some particularly relevant quotatiions”

    “Although the truly believing are verily moved by God’s Spirit, and thus, according to the inner man, do God’s will from a free spirit, yet it is just the Holy Ghost who uses the written law for instruction with them, by which the truly believing also learn to serve God, not according to their own thoughts, but according to His written Law and Word, which is a sure rule and standard of a godly life and walk, how to order it in accordance with the eternal and immutable will of God.

    For the explanation and final settlement of this dissent we unanimously believe, teach, and confess that although the truly believing and truly converted to God and justified Christians are liberated and made free from the curse of the Law, yet they should daily exercise themselves in the Law of the Lord, as it is written, Ps. 1:2;119:1: Blessed is the man whose delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law doth he meditate day and night. For the Law is a mirror in which the will of God, and what pleases Him, are exactly portrayed, and which should [therefore] be constantly held up to the believers and be diligently urged upon them without ceasing.” SDFC VI:3-4 (emphasis mine)

    ” So, too, this doctrine of the Law is needful for believers, in order that they may not hit upon a holiness and devotion of their own, and under the pretext of the Spirit of God set up a self-chosen worship, without God’s Word and command, as it is written Deut. 12:8,28,32: Ye shall not do … every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes, etc., but observe and hear all these words which I command thee. Thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish therefrom.

    21] So, too, the doctrine of the Law, in and with [the exercise of] the good works of believers, is necessary for the reason that otherwise man can easily imagine that his work and life are entirely pure and perfect. But the Law of God prescribes to believers good works in this way, that it shows and indicates at the same time, as in a mirror, that in this life they are still imperfect and impure in us, so that we must say with the beloved Paul, 1 Cor. 4:4: I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified. Thus Paul, when exhorting the regenerate to good works, presents to them expressly the Ten Commandments, Rom. 13:9; and that his good works are imperfect and impure he recognizes from the Law, Rom. 7:7ff ; and David declares Ps. 119:32: Viam mandatorum tuorum cucurri, I will run the way of Thy commandments; but enter not into judgment with Thy servant, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified, Ps. 143:2. ” SDFC VI:20-21

    Again, I urge all here to read the whole article. The point it makes is that we Christians, because we still continually struggle against our old Adam, despite our regenerated hearts and reason, cannt understand how to show love to our neighbor by our own reason and vague generalities. Rather, it is exactly God’s written do’s and don’t’s, His written Law, that tell us how to show love for our neighbor, and these are to be our guide.

  • kerner

    (cont.)
    This is not moralism. It is Confessional Lutheranism. And in the sense that the SDFC means it, the Biblical model is the model for showing love to our neighbor. Whether we “feel loved” is not the standard, because we don’t know, and can’t know, what love looks like or feels like without God’s Word to show us.

    Let me give you an example. We would never reach this conclusion using the wisdom of our own age, but The book of Proverbs teaches that Love “looks like” an adult hitting a child with a stick:

    “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
    Proverbs 13:22″

    “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.
    Proverbs 22:15 ”

    Proverbs 23:13
    Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.

    Proverbs 23:14
    Punish them with the rod and save them from death.

    And I daresay that the child being hit with the stick doesn’t “feel loved” while he is being hit. And yet this is an unequivical statement that corporal punishment is how a parent shows love for his children. As I said, we would never reach this conclusion by doing what is right in our own eyes today. This has caused us to fail to show love to our children.

    Again, what we feel or what we think, is very often our flesh, our old Adam, calling to us. The proposition that we should be guided by our reason and and our subjective ideas of “what love feels like” in morality, with no guidance from the Law of God AS WRITTEN, is not Confessional Lutheranism, and you should stop calling it that.

  • kerner

    (cont.)
    This is not moralism. It is Confessional Lutheranism. And in the sense that the SDFC means it, the Biblical model is the model for showing love to our neighbor. Whether we “feel loved” is not the standard, because we don’t know, and can’t know, what love looks like or feels like without God’s Word to show us.

    Let me give you an example. We would never reach this conclusion using the wisdom of our own age, but The book of Proverbs teaches that Love “looks like” an adult hitting a child with a stick:

    “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
    Proverbs 13:22″

    “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.
    Proverbs 22:15 ”

    Proverbs 23:13
    Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.

    Proverbs 23:14
    Punish them with the rod and save them from death.

    And I daresay that the child being hit with the stick doesn’t “feel loved” while he is being hit. And yet this is an unequivical statement that corporal punishment is how a parent shows love for his children. As I said, we would never reach this conclusion by doing what is right in our own eyes today. This has caused us to fail to show love to our children.

    Again, what we feel or what we think, is very often our flesh, our old Adam, calling to us. The proposition that we should be guided by our reason and and our subjective ideas of “what love feels like” in morality, with no guidance from the Law of God AS WRITTEN, is not Confessional Lutheranism, and you should stop calling it that.

  • kerner

    One more thing. I am not suggesting that blind obedience is a virtue in itself. What I am saying is that even the regenerate are, in fact, still partially morally blind. Accordingly, we need a guide as to how to show love to our neighbor, and the do’s and dont’s of God’s law as written is that guide. We disregard it at our peril.

  • kerner

    One more thing. I am not suggesting that blind obedience is a virtue in itself. What I am saying is that even the regenerate are, in fact, still partially morally blind. Accordingly, we need a guide as to how to show love to our neighbor, and the do’s and dont’s of God’s law as written is that guide. We disregard it at our peril.

  • Helen F

    Kerner,
    You are absolutley right. What needs to be preached and taught from our churches is the relationship between Justification and Sanctification. When that is taught and learned one can avoid the dangers of falling–as Luther showed in his quip of the drunken peasant–into one ditch or the other.

  • Helen F

    Kerner,
    You are absolutley right. What needs to be preached and taught from our churches is the relationship between Justification and Sanctification. When that is taught and learned one can avoid the dangers of falling–as Luther showed in his quip of the drunken peasant–into one ditch or the other.

  • fws

    kerner @ 44 & 45

    I will get back to you Kerner. I am going to throw what you wrote into a word document so I can respond carefully. Here are some preliminary comments:

    1) You are prooftexting Kerner I would suggest. You are reading the Confessions with the intent of looking for text that supports your pre-held views. You should read to ask for your own views to be challenged by what you read. You are not aiming to prove and win a lawsuit.

    On the other hand, finally you are trying to support your views from our Confessions! Excellent! Now we have a salutary , and might I add written basis for discussion as two Lutherans. And there are great Scripture passages referenced by those Confessions. This is an awesome new development. I see you reading more the Formula. This is not as dense a read as the Apology and so I suppose that is why. But you won’t fully grasp the Formula until you first connect those to the Catechisms/Apology I suggest. Especially the foundational article II in the Apology on Original Sin.

    2) I am also going to accuse you of filtering. Why? I don’t recognize “my” own views after they have been processed in your mind and repeated back to me. How are we going to have this dialog when you are refuting things that I too would refute , thinking you are accomplishing something by proving something is wrong that I TOO would reject as wrong? So I “accuse” you of filtering. I do it too all the time. Check me please when I do the same thing to your views ok?

    Maybe you can avoid filtering by looking for text that seems to support what I am saying, then evaluate why you think , in context, that it does not support what I am saying. Maybe this will help you get what I am saying. I will do that with what you have presented in fact.

    3) Here is what I believe, based upon the Apology art IV and also FC art VI:

    The Apology states that the Law of God is written , by God , in the Reason of all men. Reason agrees with the Decalog. Why? It is the same Divine Law. You will find this logical chain, very clearly so, in the very first part of Apology art IV. Go and see what the larger context is. Why are they arguing this way? You will find the answer to that in Jer 33 and the point apology art III makes of that..

    This is what I am rehearsing Kerner. Nothing beyond this really.
    This is NOT having me say what you say I am saying, which is this:

    The proposition that we should be guided by our reason and and our subjective ideas of “what love feels like” in morality, with no guidance from the Law of God AS WRITTEN , is not Confessional Lutheranism, and you should stop calling it that.

    You are presenting a false binary choice. And both sides of that binary choice are wrong.

    a) We are forbidden, by God’s Written Word, set aside Reason as being revealed Divine Law, in favor of only a written code, dismissing Reason as purely and only “subjective ideas” based on the warm fuzzies and kumbayah of “love/feelings”. I dont think you are saying this, but you are coming mighty close!

    b) Nor am I suggesting that Reason can ever be allowed to stand as authority over the Word of God. Reason rather must make itself captive to the Word of God.

    Therefore we are never free to ignore any part of the Written Word of God. Notice I did not say “written Law” here. I am asserting here something important that is discussed shortly after my first quote of Apology art IV, and in art III as well. That is this:

    5) There IS a part of the Law of God that is ONLY contained in the Decalog! And… Reason CANNOT understand it. Apology art IV and III.

    a) Man Reason cannot fully understand the Law of God, especially the written Law, until first the Law has been restored in his heart by the creation of New Heart Movements that regeneration alone creates,and are prophecied in Jer 33. And…

    b) I am asserting that the Law that Reason can’t understand without the fulfillment of the Prophecy in Jeremiah 33 (see Apology art III here please!) is “peculiarly” (read ONLY) contained, in fact, ALONE, in the WRITTEN Law of God found ONLY in the first table of the Decalog. You will find why that is, by reading the Apology art IV. Please do not pit Apology against Formula. The are in full agreement. I hope my later response will demonstrate that to you my dear , dear Kerner.

    All the authors of the Formula would advise that you need to read and ponder the earlier confessions to understand fully what they wrote in the Formula.

    6) I also am not proposing that we make our moral choices based upon our own feelings. I am saying we can judge the morality of our actions by seeing whether or not the person our actions are directed at feels loved. To feel loved is to feel that Goodness and Mercy have been done. Mercy is underserved kindness. As to your practical example of spanking…. Pagan psychiatrists argue that children actually DO feel more loved and secure when they are disciplined.

    7) I wish you would stop repeatedly argue from a specific case to try to establish a general rule. As an attorney, is this really a valid way to go about finding the truth? Besides , this is the strategy of the very folks you oppose who appeal to feelings rather than reason or Scripture. Your scripture about spanking does not say that we are to ignore the Divine Law in Reason in favor of our personal and private or emotion based reading of Scripture. It simply asserts that to spare the rod is to spoil a child. Pagans without a bible can know this. Romans 2:15 is my proof passage Kerner here. `

    8) rather than just cut and past from FC art IV, could you please take the extra time to insert your own comment. like for example…

    FC VI solid declaration says this (quote) which is to say exactly what my thesis says, which is this (selfquote).

    Why? We obviously both confess FC art VI. Apparently we have a different understanding of the text. So just quoting a text does not overcome our apparent differences does it?

    9) Thanks Kerner! great job. I am grateful you are quoting the Confessions. FC art VI is actually one of my favorite sections. I will give great care to a response. I agree that what you stated is not Lutheran. Now you just need to calm that itchy attorney trigger finger, and delay just a bit, before accusing me of a view that we both agree is UNLutheran. ;)

  • fws

    kerner @ 44 & 45

    I will get back to you Kerner. I am going to throw what you wrote into a word document so I can respond carefully. Here are some preliminary comments:

    1) You are prooftexting Kerner I would suggest. You are reading the Confessions with the intent of looking for text that supports your pre-held views. You should read to ask for your own views to be challenged by what you read. You are not aiming to prove and win a lawsuit.

    On the other hand, finally you are trying to support your views from our Confessions! Excellent! Now we have a salutary , and might I add written basis for discussion as two Lutherans. And there are great Scripture passages referenced by those Confessions. This is an awesome new development. I see you reading more the Formula. This is not as dense a read as the Apology and so I suppose that is why. But you won’t fully grasp the Formula until you first connect those to the Catechisms/Apology I suggest. Especially the foundational article II in the Apology on Original Sin.

    2) I am also going to accuse you of filtering. Why? I don’t recognize “my” own views after they have been processed in your mind and repeated back to me. How are we going to have this dialog when you are refuting things that I too would refute , thinking you are accomplishing something by proving something is wrong that I TOO would reject as wrong? So I “accuse” you of filtering. I do it too all the time. Check me please when I do the same thing to your views ok?

    Maybe you can avoid filtering by looking for text that seems to support what I am saying, then evaluate why you think , in context, that it does not support what I am saying. Maybe this will help you get what I am saying. I will do that with what you have presented in fact.

    3) Here is what I believe, based upon the Apology art IV and also FC art VI:

    The Apology states that the Law of God is written , by God , in the Reason of all men. Reason agrees with the Decalog. Why? It is the same Divine Law. You will find this logical chain, very clearly so, in the very first part of Apology art IV. Go and see what the larger context is. Why are they arguing this way? You will find the answer to that in Jer 33 and the point apology art III makes of that..

    This is what I am rehearsing Kerner. Nothing beyond this really.
    This is NOT having me say what you say I am saying, which is this:

    The proposition that we should be guided by our reason and and our subjective ideas of “what love feels like” in morality, with no guidance from the Law of God AS WRITTEN , is not Confessional Lutheranism, and you should stop calling it that.

    You are presenting a false binary choice. And both sides of that binary choice are wrong.

    a) We are forbidden, by God’s Written Word, set aside Reason as being revealed Divine Law, in favor of only a written code, dismissing Reason as purely and only “subjective ideas” based on the warm fuzzies and kumbayah of “love/feelings”. I dont think you are saying this, but you are coming mighty close!

    b) Nor am I suggesting that Reason can ever be allowed to stand as authority over the Word of God. Reason rather must make itself captive to the Word of God.

    Therefore we are never free to ignore any part of the Written Word of God. Notice I did not say “written Law” here. I am asserting here something important that is discussed shortly after my first quote of Apology art IV, and in art III as well. That is this:

    5) There IS a part of the Law of God that is ONLY contained in the Decalog! And… Reason CANNOT understand it. Apology art IV and III.

    a) Man Reason cannot fully understand the Law of God, especially the written Law, until first the Law has been restored in his heart by the creation of New Heart Movements that regeneration alone creates,and are prophecied in Jer 33. And…

    b) I am asserting that the Law that Reason can’t understand without the fulfillment of the Prophecy in Jeremiah 33 (see Apology art III here please!) is “peculiarly” (read ONLY) contained, in fact, ALONE, in the WRITTEN Law of God found ONLY in the first table of the Decalog. You will find why that is, by reading the Apology art IV. Please do not pit Apology against Formula. The are in full agreement. I hope my later response will demonstrate that to you my dear , dear Kerner.

    All the authors of the Formula would advise that you need to read and ponder the earlier confessions to understand fully what they wrote in the Formula.

    6) I also am not proposing that we make our moral choices based upon our own feelings. I am saying we can judge the morality of our actions by seeing whether or not the person our actions are directed at feels loved. To feel loved is to feel that Goodness and Mercy have been done. Mercy is underserved kindness. As to your practical example of spanking…. Pagan psychiatrists argue that children actually DO feel more loved and secure when they are disciplined.

    7) I wish you would stop repeatedly argue from a specific case to try to establish a general rule. As an attorney, is this really a valid way to go about finding the truth? Besides , this is the strategy of the very folks you oppose who appeal to feelings rather than reason or Scripture. Your scripture about spanking does not say that we are to ignore the Divine Law in Reason in favor of our personal and private or emotion based reading of Scripture. It simply asserts that to spare the rod is to spoil a child. Pagans without a bible can know this. Romans 2:15 is my proof passage Kerner here. `

    8) rather than just cut and past from FC art IV, could you please take the extra time to insert your own comment. like for example…

    FC VI solid declaration says this (quote) which is to say exactly what my thesis says, which is this (selfquote).

    Why? We obviously both confess FC art VI. Apparently we have a different understanding of the text. So just quoting a text does not overcome our apparent differences does it?

    9) Thanks Kerner! great job. I am grateful you are quoting the Confessions. FC art VI is actually one of my favorite sections. I will give great care to a response. I agree that what you stated is not Lutheran. Now you just need to calm that itchy attorney trigger finger, and delay just a bit, before accusing me of a view that we both agree is UNLutheran. ;)

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’ve put my itchy trigger finger on hold for a couple of months now, haven’t you noticed? I spent the time reading some of the texts you suggested. I’ve tried very hard not to proof text but to get the whole gist of the confessions as a whole. I would suggest that you apply your own advice to yourself. I would suggest that some of our debates (same sex marriage, for example) have a great deal more personal impact with you than they do with me, and that this may affect you objectivity and have you prooftexting such that you focus so much on certain portions of the Apology that you have taken them out of the context of the rest of the confessions. It often seems that you want to avoid the dos and donts because they tell you (or people you care about) “don’t” when they want to “do”. Sometimes saying “don’t is showing love, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’ve put my itchy trigger finger on hold for a couple of months now, haven’t you noticed? I spent the time reading some of the texts you suggested. I’ve tried very hard not to proof text but to get the whole gist of the confessions as a whole. I would suggest that you apply your own advice to yourself. I would suggest that some of our debates (same sex marriage, for example) have a great deal more personal impact with you than they do with me, and that this may affect you objectivity and have you prooftexting such that you focus so much on certain portions of the Apology that you have taken them out of the context of the rest of the confessions. It often seems that you want to avoid the dos and donts because they tell you (or people you care about) “don’t” when they want to “do”. Sometimes saying “don’t is showing love, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

  • fws

    kerner: you said:

    “But for a Lutheran Godly morals are always situational.” @32rner @ 44

    I am going to resist the urge to defend each comment you quoted. I think defense of this one will show you what I am up to here. My thinking is deeply influenced by the fact that I make a weekly private Confession. I would urge you to try it too dear Kerner!:

    Small Catechism, preparation for Private Confessions.

    What sins should we confess?
    Before God we should plead guilty of ALL sins, even those we are not aware of, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. But before the Pastor we should confess those sins only that we know and feel in our heart.

    Which are these?
    Consider…
    [1] your place in life [situational ethics!] according to…
    [2] the 10 commandments [ie: God's written Word, that Luther says was written only for the Jews! Imagine that!]

    [then watch what this looks like...]

    [1] are you a father, mother, son , daughter, husband , wife or worker?
    [2] have you been disobedient? unfaithful? or lazy? Have you been hot tempered, rude, or quarrelsome [you get a pass on this last one as an attorney Kerner . Ha!] ? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent? wasted anything? or done any harm?

    and then the actual examply Luther provides to show us further what a good private confessions contains. Note that the content of a private confessions is all about how we treat and deal with our relationships with others….. it is not about obedience to God.

    Why Not?

    The part that is about our relationship to God is that part where we plead guilty to ALL sins. It is also because only the Works of Christ can provide us the Obedience we need before God. Before our neighbor God demands obedience to the needs of our neighbor. We are to live life, in both the fear and love of God, to please our neighbor and make him happy. There is nothing we can do to please God beyond presenting the Works of Christ that cover our own isaiah-used-tampon works.

    “… I, sad to say, serve my boss unfaithfully, for this and that I have not done what i was told to do. I have made him angry and caused him to curse. I have been negligent and allowed damage to be done. I have also been offensive in words and deeds. I have quarreled with my peers. I have grumbled about my bosses wife and cursed her. I am sorry for all this and ask for grace!”

  • fws

    kerner: you said:

    “But for a Lutheran Godly morals are always situational.” @32rner @ 44

    I am going to resist the urge to defend each comment you quoted. I think defense of this one will show you what I am up to here. My thinking is deeply influenced by the fact that I make a weekly private Confession. I would urge you to try it too dear Kerner!:

    Small Catechism, preparation for Private Confessions.

    What sins should we confess?
    Before God we should plead guilty of ALL sins, even those we are not aware of, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. But before the Pastor we should confess those sins only that we know and feel in our heart.

    Which are these?
    Consider…
    [1] your place in life [situational ethics!] according to…
    [2] the 10 commandments [ie: God's written Word, that Luther says was written only for the Jews! Imagine that!]

    [then watch what this looks like...]

    [1] are you a father, mother, son , daughter, husband , wife or worker?
    [2] have you been disobedient? unfaithful? or lazy? Have you been hot tempered, rude, or quarrelsome [you get a pass on this last one as an attorney Kerner . Ha!] ? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent? wasted anything? or done any harm?

    and then the actual examply Luther provides to show us further what a good private confessions contains. Note that the content of a private confessions is all about how we treat and deal with our relationships with others….. it is not about obedience to God.

    Why Not?

    The part that is about our relationship to God is that part where we plead guilty to ALL sins. It is also because only the Works of Christ can provide us the Obedience we need before God. Before our neighbor God demands obedience to the needs of our neighbor. We are to live life, in both the fear and love of God, to please our neighbor and make him happy. There is nothing we can do to please God beyond presenting the Works of Christ that cover our own isaiah-used-tampon works.

    “… I, sad to say, serve my boss unfaithfully, for this and that I have not done what i was told to do. I have made him angry and caused him to curse. I have been negligent and allowed damage to be done. I have also been offensive in words and deeds. I have quarreled with my peers. I have grumbled about my bosses wife and cursed her. I am sorry for all this and ask for grace!”

  • fws

    kerner @ 49

    Ok.

    1) But you still managed to tell me I am asserting an unLutheran position that I fully agree is UNLutheran. Please ponder that fact. Why is that?

    2) Is my reading of Scripture and the Confession by my own sinful Old Adam desires? Answer? Always!

    3)”Sometimes saying “don’t is showing love, even if it doesn’t feel like it. ”

    Why would you imagine that I would or could ever disagree with this?

    Suggestion: 1) assume that I DEEPLY accept this as the truth. 2) read all my comments in light of that assumption. 3) I think you will then be just a little more challenged by what I have written. Or even troubled by it. Better yet.

    In fact , faith alone , in the Works of Christ alone, accepts suffering and punishment that God sends us and trusts , in middle of that suffering and punishment that God loves us. Only this kind of faith faith that is a gift of God that no man can do, can do this.

    Faith in our own right believing or faith, thinking, emotional response, or actions can only drive us to dispair and doubt .

  • fws

    kerner @ 49

    Ok.

    1) But you still managed to tell me I am asserting an unLutheran position that I fully agree is UNLutheran. Please ponder that fact. Why is that?

    2) Is my reading of Scripture and the Confession by my own sinful Old Adam desires? Answer? Always!

    3)”Sometimes saying “don’t is showing love, even if it doesn’t feel like it. ”

    Why would you imagine that I would or could ever disagree with this?

    Suggestion: 1) assume that I DEEPLY accept this as the truth. 2) read all my comments in light of that assumption. 3) I think you will then be just a little more challenged by what I have written. Or even troubled by it. Better yet.

    In fact , faith alone , in the Works of Christ alone, accepts suffering and punishment that God sends us and trusts , in middle of that suffering and punishment that God loves us. Only this kind of faith faith that is a gift of God that no man can do, can do this.

    Faith in our own right believing or faith, thinking, emotional response, or actions can only drive us to dispair and doubt .

  • fws

    kerner @ 49

    should read…

    2) Is my reading of Scripture and the Confession ever sinfully distorted by my own sinful Old Adam desires?

    Answer: It always is!

    So then…

    now you can also assume that I fully accept this judgement that I find , alone in God’s written Word, as being 100% true about even my very best thinking about Scriptures as a christian. (FC art I Original Sin. ). My sinful nature is of the very nature and essence of my earthly existence. It permeates and fully appears to be the 100% of everything I can see and do.

    Lord have mercy!

  • fws

    kerner @ 49

    should read…

    2) Is my reading of Scripture and the Confession ever sinfully distorted by my own sinful Old Adam desires?

    Answer: It always is!

    So then…

    now you can also assume that I fully accept this judgement that I find , alone in God’s written Word, as being 100% true about even my very best thinking about Scriptures as a christian. (FC art I Original Sin. ). My sinful nature is of the very nature and essence of my earthly existence. It permeates and fully appears to be the 100% of everything I can see and do.

    Lord have mercy!

  • fws

    kerner @ 49

    further, only one who has a heart that has those new heart movements that come from baptismal regeneration can accept this judgement of God that is found in his Written Word, and not flee from that judgement by doing more self justifying efforts.

    Instead faith alone, is properly terrified at all it sees in its own best efforts and thinking, and so hide those works in the Works of Another.

  • fws

    kerner @ 49

    further, only one who has a heart that has those new heart movements that come from baptismal regeneration can accept this judgement of God that is found in his Written Word, and not flee from that judgement by doing more self justifying efforts.

    Instead faith alone, is properly terrified at all it sees in its own best efforts and thinking, and so hide those works in the Works of Another.

  • fws

    kerner @ 49

    I am stuck. I agree that what you identified as unlutheran is just that, and I demonstrated that in fact from our confessions didnt I?

    so I am not seeing more work from my end here. Agreed? you need to go back and dig for where we disagree. I would suggest it is your notion that there is a “fallen Law”. I cant find that notion in scripture or the confessions.

  • fws

    kerner @ 49

    I am stuck. I agree that what you identified as unlutheran is just that, and I demonstrated that in fact from our confessions didnt I?

    so I am not seeing more work from my end here. Agreed? you need to go back and dig for where we disagree. I would suggest it is your notion that there is a “fallen Law”. I cant find that notion in scripture or the confessions.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I don’t have much more time to devote to this today, but briefly:

    “God says that the aim, or end, or entire sum or purpose of the Law on earth is to drive us sinners to love others as we want to be loved.

    Everyone knows what that looks like. When we feel loved, we know it.” @34

    This statement is false and diametrically opposes SDFC VI, which consistently says that everyone does not know what love, in the form of doing God’s will, looks like. And whether we feel loved is largely irrelevant as to whether we are actually loved. We cannot be depended upon to know what showing love to our neighbor looks like or what it should feel like.

    Yet that statement, and similar statements, are the foundation of much of your argument, and I believe that it the basis of your wrong conclusions.

    “try loving your spouse by writing up a love contract to get the flavor of what i am saying. It would feel so very much NOT like love to a spouse. ” @35

    Spoken like a single man.

    On the contrary. Writing up a “love contract” is what we call marriage, and keeping the terms of that contract certainly can be showing love, regardless of what it “feels like”. In fact, sometimes doing what needs doing in a marriage, even when it feels like nothing at all, is one of the purest demonstrations of love there is.

    Look at the command, “Husbands, love your wives”. That’s a command, Frank, not a feeling. We husbands are to do it whether we feel anything at the moment or not.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I don’t have much more time to devote to this today, but briefly:

    “God says that the aim, or end, or entire sum or purpose of the Law on earth is to drive us sinners to love others as we want to be loved.

    Everyone knows what that looks like. When we feel loved, we know it.” @34

    This statement is false and diametrically opposes SDFC VI, which consistently says that everyone does not know what love, in the form of doing God’s will, looks like. And whether we feel loved is largely irrelevant as to whether we are actually loved. We cannot be depended upon to know what showing love to our neighbor looks like or what it should feel like.

    Yet that statement, and similar statements, are the foundation of much of your argument, and I believe that it the basis of your wrong conclusions.

    “try loving your spouse by writing up a love contract to get the flavor of what i am saying. It would feel so very much NOT like love to a spouse. ” @35

    Spoken like a single man.

    On the contrary. Writing up a “love contract” is what we call marriage, and keeping the terms of that contract certainly can be showing love, regardless of what it “feels like”. In fact, sometimes doing what needs doing in a marriage, even when it feels like nothing at all, is one of the purest demonstrations of love there is.

    Look at the command, “Husbands, love your wives”. That’s a command, Frank, not a feeling. We husbands are to do it whether we feel anything at the moment or not.

  • fws

    kerner @ 55

    ok. your assertions are as follows. this is great:

    1)“God says that the aim, or end, or entire sum or purpose of the Law on earth is to drive us sinners to love others as we want to be loved.
    Everyone knows what that looks like. When we feel loved, we know it.” @34

    1) This statement is false and diametrically opposes SDFC VI (which one? or both?) ,

    2) which consistently says that everyone does not know what love (no one knows you are saying? only some know?) , in the form of doing God’s will (there is another form of love that is not in the form of doing God’s Will?), looks like.
    3) And whether we feel loved is largely irrelevant as to whether we are actually loved (in what ways it is relevant?).
    4) We (meaning all men?) cannot be depended upon to know (cannot know? can know sometimes?) what showing love to our neighbor looks like …or
    5)what it should feel like.

    Ok. You have made 5 assertions of fact. And you say you can prove all 5 from sd art VI. Show me.

    Before you show me, it would be good for you to be more clear on your assertions. My uncertainties as to what you are really saying are in parenthesis.

  • fws

    kerner @ 55

    ok. your assertions are as follows. this is great:

    1)“God says that the aim, or end, or entire sum or purpose of the Law on earth is to drive us sinners to love others as we want to be loved.
    Everyone knows what that looks like. When we feel loved, we know it.” @34

    1) This statement is false and diametrically opposes SDFC VI (which one? or both?) ,

    2) which consistently says that everyone does not know what love (no one knows you are saying? only some know?) , in the form of doing God’s will (there is another form of love that is not in the form of doing God’s Will?), looks like.
    3) And whether we feel loved is largely irrelevant as to whether we are actually loved (in what ways it is relevant?).
    4) We (meaning all men?) cannot be depended upon to know (cannot know? can know sometimes?) what showing love to our neighbor looks like …or
    5)what it should feel like.

    Ok. You have made 5 assertions of fact. And you say you can prove all 5 from sd art VI. Show me.

    Before you show me, it would be good for you to be more clear on your assertions. My uncertainties as to what you are really saying are in parenthesis.

  • fws

    kerner @ 55

    errata:

    2) which consistently says that everyone does not know what love (no one knows you are saying? only some know?) , in the form of doing God’s will (there is form of earthly kingdom love that only christians can know? ), looks like.

    The clarification I am seeking here: is there a form of earthly love/good works that we can do that conform to the Word of God (otherwise they would not be good works), that is different between pagans and christians? Is there an intrisic difference between fruit of the spirit and works of the Law? is my real question.

    phrased another way: Is there a difference, in the works themselves, between the good works of a pagan and those of a christian?

  • fws

    kerner @ 55

    errata:

    2) which consistently says that everyone does not know what love (no one knows you are saying? only some know?) , in the form of doing God’s will (there is form of earthly kingdom love that only christians can know? ), looks like.

    The clarification I am seeking here: is there a form of earthly love/good works that we can do that conform to the Word of God (otherwise they would not be good works), that is different between pagans and christians? Is there an intrisic difference between fruit of the spirit and works of the Law? is my real question.

    phrased another way: Is there a difference, in the works themselves, between the good works of a pagan and those of a christian?

  • fws

    kerner @55

    here is what I am getting at from my side. I am saying that the Law of God demands way way way more of us than you are saying it does.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/08/19/make-a-good-shoe/#comment-124909

    1)I would note that in our discussions I keep going to and asking for an authoritative text. Your comfort zone seems to be illustrative anectodes (situation ethics?)

    Maybe it will help us home in if you see what I am not saying:

    2) for Godly righteousness to happen on earth (ie Love), there are TWO things necessary.

    A) one IS indeed that thing I think you are pushing for. It is called self restraint, mortification, following rules, keeping score even. This is the negative part of the small catechism “we are not to hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body” . For old adam, no love is possible without the exact kind of Law you are pushing for. rules. and rules that tell us and dictate to us, as an external compass, what we are supposed to do. Conscience is one such external compass. But we rarely obey that. So God sends other things like the government and a nagging spouse and poop scoop and liter ordinances and such to make us do what we need to do. And yes this would include the Decalog and such written instructions, and they are useful to us even though Luther says we are not “bound” by them and that we are to judge Moses according to our reason. You seem to suggest that God has placed these kind of outside of us rules because we cant know what is right. I would say rather it is because as sinners, we really dont want to know what is right. The problem is not with the Law of God found in Reason, conscience or poopscoop ordinances or the decalog (which the pharisees kept very very well by the way and Jesus still had alot of criticism didnt he?)

    B) The entire point and purpose of A) is for us to produce Love for others. The Law is incapable of making us produce the Love for God that he requires. Only the Gospel can do that. So the entire purpose of the Law, as to what we are to do, is about our neighbor. 100% so. It is not about Obedience to God as its aim then. To think that is to insult Christ whose Obedience alone can be aimed at God and avert his wrath.

    You mentioned earlier that your idea of the Law of God can be reduced to the command to adam and eve not to eat the forbidden fruit. That, in your mind is what you would ponder to understand what it means to Love in obedience to God. I think that is to ignore what the Bible says about the Law Kerner. It is not a sound way to look at things. Why? Where is Christ in that? Where is love for neighbor in that? and worse it implies that the Image of God and Adamic Original righeousness consisted of that Obedience to the Law. That is not Lutheran Kerner.

  • fws

    kerner @55

    here is what I am getting at from my side. I am saying that the Law of God demands way way way more of us than you are saying it does.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/08/19/make-a-good-shoe/#comment-124909

    1)I would note that in our discussions I keep going to and asking for an authoritative text. Your comfort zone seems to be illustrative anectodes (situation ethics?)

    Maybe it will help us home in if you see what I am not saying:

    2) for Godly righteousness to happen on earth (ie Love), there are TWO things necessary.

    A) one IS indeed that thing I think you are pushing for. It is called self restraint, mortification, following rules, keeping score even. This is the negative part of the small catechism “we are not to hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body” . For old adam, no love is possible without the exact kind of Law you are pushing for. rules. and rules that tell us and dictate to us, as an external compass, what we are supposed to do. Conscience is one such external compass. But we rarely obey that. So God sends other things like the government and a nagging spouse and poop scoop and liter ordinances and such to make us do what we need to do. And yes this would include the Decalog and such written instructions, and they are useful to us even though Luther says we are not “bound” by them and that we are to judge Moses according to our reason. You seem to suggest that God has placed these kind of outside of us rules because we cant know what is right. I would say rather it is because as sinners, we really dont want to know what is right. The problem is not with the Law of God found in Reason, conscience or poopscoop ordinances or the decalog (which the pharisees kept very very well by the way and Jesus still had alot of criticism didnt he?)

    B) The entire point and purpose of A) is for us to produce Love for others. The Law is incapable of making us produce the Love for God that he requires. Only the Gospel can do that. So the entire purpose of the Law, as to what we are to do, is about our neighbor. 100% so. It is not about Obedience to God as its aim then. To think that is to insult Christ whose Obedience alone can be aimed at God and avert his wrath.

    You mentioned earlier that your idea of the Law of God can be reduced to the command to adam and eve not to eat the forbidden fruit. That, in your mind is what you would ponder to understand what it means to Love in obedience to God. I think that is to ignore what the Bible says about the Law Kerner. It is not a sound way to look at things. Why? Where is Christ in that? Where is love for neighbor in that? and worse it implies that the Image of God and Adamic Original righeousness consisted of that Obedience to the Law. That is not Lutheran Kerner.

  • fws

    kerner

    besides your theory that romans 2:15 is wrong and that men without bibles do not have the Law or have a damaged and very very imperfect version of the Law would mean that homosexuals with Bibles have an excuse! “how would I have known what I am doing is wrong?! I never was given a Bible!”

    no, the point of St Paul is clear in context. And this is the point I am pushing for here Kerner. So are our confessions.

    If you read the third use carefully, it says that we Christians need the written Law for an important reason. Is that reason to become more moral towards our neighbor? no.

    Is it to learn to give God the Obedience he demands, which is to Love him with all our heart and soul and mind? No. Only by hiding our own works in the Works of Christ can we present God with that Obedience. Faith then is that Obedience. And the Law is powerless to do that. Only the Gospel can render the Obedience to God that God demands of us which is to Love him.

    So then, what is it that article VI says the third use is useful for? it is so that we do not turn the Law again into a form of devotion to God and again think that we can please God by what we do. The Law always accuses Kerner. And the third use then too, always accuses! And it accuses us when we start to think that our works are transformed somehow into “christian works” because we have the holy spirit. No. Our best works remain the moral equivalent of used tampons. This is true even as Christians! That is what FC art VI says the 3rd use teaches us. Our very best and most “christlike” works are no different from that of the Pharisees in and of themselves. here is something from the confessions to explain how faith relates to our works:

    26] But some one may ask: Since we also confess that love is a work of the Holy Ghost, and since it is righteousness, because it is the fulfilling of the Law, why do we not teach that it justifies? …

    … 31]…the custom of speech is well known that by the same word we sometimes comprehend by synecdoche the cause and effects.

    Thus in Luke 7:47 Christ says: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. For Christ interprets Himself [this very passage] when He adds: Thy faith hath saved thee. Christ, therefore, did not mean that the woman, by that work of love, had merited the remission of sins. For that is the reason He says: Thy faith hath saved thee. 32] But faith is that which freely apprehends God’s mercy on account of God’s Word [which relies upon God's mercy and Word, and not upon one's own work]. If any one denies that this is faith [if any one imagines that he can rely at the same time upon God and his own works], he does not understand at all 33] what faith is. [For the terrified conscience is not satisfied with its own works, but must cry after mercy, and is comforted and encouraged alone by God's Word.] And the narrative itself shows in this passage what that is which He calls love. The woman came with the opinion concerning Christ that with Him the remission of sins should be sought. This worship is the highest worship of Christ. Nothing greater could she ascribe to Christ. To seek from Him the remission of sins was truly to acknowledge the Messiah. Now, thus to think of Christ, thus to worship Him, thus to embrace Him, is truly to believe. Christ, moreover, employed the word “love” not towards the woman, but against the Pharisee, because He contrasted the entire worship of the Pharisee with the entire worship of the woman. He reproved the Pharisee because he did not acknowledge that He was the Messiah, although he rendered Him the outward offices due to a guest and a great and holy man. He points to the woman and praises her worship, ointment, tears, etc., all of which were signs of faith and a confession, namely, that with Christ she sought the remission of sins. It is indeed a great example, which, not without reason, moved Christ to reprove the Pharisee, who was a wise and honorable man, but not a believer. He charges him with impiety, and admonishes him by the example of the woman, showing thereby that it is disgraceful to him, that, while an unlearned woman believes God, he, a doctor of the Law, does not believe, does not acknowledge the Messiah, and does not seek from Him remission of sins and salvation. 34] Thus, therefore, He praises the entire worship [faith with its fruits, but towards the Pharisee He names only the fruits which prove to men that there is faith in the heart], as it often occurs in the Scriptures that by one word we embrace many things; as below we shall speak at greater length in regard to similar passages, such as Luke 11:41: Give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. He requires not only alms, but also the righteousness of faith. Thus He here says: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much, i.e., because she has truly worshiped Me with faith and the exercises and signs of faith. He comprehends the entire worship.

    36] ……if the remission of sins occur…for the sake of our love, no one will have remission of sins, unless when he has fulfilled the entire Law, because the Law does not justify as long as it can accuse us.

    38] Now, therefore, let us reply to the objection which we have above stated: Why does love not justify anybody before God? The adversaries are right in thinking that love is the fulfilling of the Law, and obedience to the Law is certainly righteousness. … 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.

    But the Gospel faces us about, directs us away from the Law to the divine promises, and teaches that we are not justified, etc.

    39] Again, this fulfilling of the Law, or obedience towards the Law, is indeed righteousness, when it is complete; but in us it is small and impure. For, although they have received the first-fruits of the Spirit, and the new, yea, the eternal life has begun in them, there still remains a remnant of sin and evil lust, and the Law still finds much of which it must accuse us. Accordingly, it is not pleasing for its own sake, and is not accepted for its own sake. 40]

    … it is evident that justification signifies not the beginning of the renewal, but the reconciliation by which also we afterwards are accepted, nevertheless it can now be seen much more clearly that the [Holy Spirit worked inward ] fulfilling of the Law does not justify, because it is accepted only on account of faith.

    As long as the heart is not at peace with God, it cannot be righteous; for it flees from the wrath of God, despairs, and would have God not to judge it. [faith , in contrast, accepts God's judgement and is terrified looking at our works]…our works do not make the heart content, for we always find that they are not pure….

    the Law always accuses us. For who loves or fears God sufficiently? Who with sufficient patience bears the afflictions imposed by God? Who does not frequently doubt whether human affairs are ruled by God’s counsel or by chance? Who does not frequently doubt whether he be heard by God? Who is not frequently enraged because the wicked enjoy a better lot than the pious, because the pious are oppressed by the wicked? Who does satisfaction to his own calling? Who loves his neighbor as himself? Who is not tempted 47] by lust? Accordingly, Paul says, Rom. 7:19: The good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Likewise Rom 7:25: With the mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin. Here he openly declares that he serves the law of sin. And David says, Ps. 143:2: Enter not into judgment with Thy servant; for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. Here even a servant of God prays for the averting of judgment. …The flesh distrusts God, trusts in present things, seeks human aid in calamities, even contrary to God’s will, flees from afflictions, which it ought to bear because of God’s commands, doubts concerning God’s mercy, etc. The Holy Ghost in our hearts contends with such dispositions with Adam’s sin] in order to suppress and mortify them [this poison of the old Adam, this desperately wicked disposition, ...

    For we are not righteous before God as long as we flee from God's judgment, and are angry with God. 56] Therefore we must conclude that,…that this bodily fulfilling of the Law pleases on account of faith, ….. even though the sight of our impurity terrifies us.

    58] Paul teaches this in Gal. 3:13, when he says: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, i.e., the Law condemns all men.

    Christ, because he is without sin has borne the punishment of sin, and been made a victim for us, has removed that right of the Law to accuse and condemn those who believe in Him. This is because He Himself is the propitiation for them for whose sake we are now accounted righteous.

    But since they are accounted righteous, the Law cannot accuse or condemn them, even though they have not actually satisfied the Law. To the same purport he writes to the Colossians 2:10: Ye are complete in Him, as though he were to say: Although ye are still far from the perfection of the Law, yet the remnants of sin do not condemn you, because for Christ’s sake we have a sure and firm reconciliation, if you believe, even though sin inhere in your flesh.

    God cannot become an Object of Love as long as the Law is accusing us.

    The entire article is worth reading.
    it is from the Apology , art III on love and the fulfilling of the Law.

  • fws

    kerner

    besides your theory that romans 2:15 is wrong and that men without bibles do not have the Law or have a damaged and very very imperfect version of the Law would mean that homosexuals with Bibles have an excuse! “how would I have known what I am doing is wrong?! I never was given a Bible!”

    no, the point of St Paul is clear in context. And this is the point I am pushing for here Kerner. So are our confessions.

    If you read the third use carefully, it says that we Christians need the written Law for an important reason. Is that reason to become more moral towards our neighbor? no.

    Is it to learn to give God the Obedience he demands, which is to Love him with all our heart and soul and mind? No. Only by hiding our own works in the Works of Christ can we present God with that Obedience. Faith then is that Obedience. And the Law is powerless to do that. Only the Gospel can render the Obedience to God that God demands of us which is to Love him.

    So then, what is it that article VI says the third use is useful for? it is so that we do not turn the Law again into a form of devotion to God and again think that we can please God by what we do. The Law always accuses Kerner. And the third use then too, always accuses! And it accuses us when we start to think that our works are transformed somehow into “christian works” because we have the holy spirit. No. Our best works remain the moral equivalent of used tampons. This is true even as Christians! That is what FC art VI says the 3rd use teaches us. Our very best and most “christlike” works are no different from that of the Pharisees in and of themselves. here is something from the confessions to explain how faith relates to our works:

    26] But some one may ask: Since we also confess that love is a work of the Holy Ghost, and since it is righteousness, because it is the fulfilling of the Law, why do we not teach that it justifies? …

    … 31]…the custom of speech is well known that by the same word we sometimes comprehend by synecdoche the cause and effects.

    Thus in Luke 7:47 Christ says: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. For Christ interprets Himself [this very passage] when He adds: Thy faith hath saved thee. Christ, therefore, did not mean that the woman, by that work of love, had merited the remission of sins. For that is the reason He says: Thy faith hath saved thee. 32] But faith is that which freely apprehends God’s mercy on account of God’s Word [which relies upon God's mercy and Word, and not upon one's own work]. If any one denies that this is faith [if any one imagines that he can rely at the same time upon God and his own works], he does not understand at all 33] what faith is. [For the terrified conscience is not satisfied with its own works, but must cry after mercy, and is comforted and encouraged alone by God's Word.] And the narrative itself shows in this passage what that is which He calls love. The woman came with the opinion concerning Christ that with Him the remission of sins should be sought. This worship is the highest worship of Christ. Nothing greater could she ascribe to Christ. To seek from Him the remission of sins was truly to acknowledge the Messiah. Now, thus to think of Christ, thus to worship Him, thus to embrace Him, is truly to believe. Christ, moreover, employed the word “love” not towards the woman, but against the Pharisee, because He contrasted the entire worship of the Pharisee with the entire worship of the woman. He reproved the Pharisee because he did not acknowledge that He was the Messiah, although he rendered Him the outward offices due to a guest and a great and holy man. He points to the woman and praises her worship, ointment, tears, etc., all of which were signs of faith and a confession, namely, that with Christ she sought the remission of sins. It is indeed a great example, which, not without reason, moved Christ to reprove the Pharisee, who was a wise and honorable man, but not a believer. He charges him with impiety, and admonishes him by the example of the woman, showing thereby that it is disgraceful to him, that, while an unlearned woman believes God, he, a doctor of the Law, does not believe, does not acknowledge the Messiah, and does not seek from Him remission of sins and salvation. 34] Thus, therefore, He praises the entire worship [faith with its fruits, but towards the Pharisee He names only the fruits which prove to men that there is faith in the heart], as it often occurs in the Scriptures that by one word we embrace many things; as below we shall speak at greater length in regard to similar passages, such as Luke 11:41: Give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. He requires not only alms, but also the righteousness of faith. Thus He here says: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much, i.e., because she has truly worshiped Me with faith and the exercises and signs of faith. He comprehends the entire worship.

    36] ……if the remission of sins occur…for the sake of our love, no one will have remission of sins, unless when he has fulfilled the entire Law, because the Law does not justify as long as it can accuse us.

    38] Now, therefore, let us reply to the objection which we have above stated: Why does love not justify anybody before God? The adversaries are right in thinking that love is the fulfilling of the Law, and obedience to the Law is certainly righteousness. … 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.

    But the Gospel faces us about, directs us away from the Law to the divine promises, and teaches that we are not justified, etc.

    39] Again, this fulfilling of the Law, or obedience towards the Law, is indeed righteousness, when it is complete; but in us it is small and impure. For, although they have received the first-fruits of the Spirit, and the new, yea, the eternal life has begun in them, there still remains a remnant of sin and evil lust, and the Law still finds much of which it must accuse us. Accordingly, it is not pleasing for its own sake, and is not accepted for its own sake. 40]

    … it is evident that justification signifies not the beginning of the renewal, but the reconciliation by which also we afterwards are accepted, nevertheless it can now be seen much more clearly that the [Holy Spirit worked inward ] fulfilling of the Law does not justify, because it is accepted only on account of faith.

    As long as the heart is not at peace with God, it cannot be righteous; for it flees from the wrath of God, despairs, and would have God not to judge it. [faith , in contrast, accepts God's judgement and is terrified looking at our works]…our works do not make the heart content, for we always find that they are not pure….

    the Law always accuses us. For who loves or fears God sufficiently? Who with sufficient patience bears the afflictions imposed by God? Who does not frequently doubt whether human affairs are ruled by God’s counsel or by chance? Who does not frequently doubt whether he be heard by God? Who is not frequently enraged because the wicked enjoy a better lot than the pious, because the pious are oppressed by the wicked? Who does satisfaction to his own calling? Who loves his neighbor as himself? Who is not tempted 47] by lust? Accordingly, Paul says, Rom. 7:19: The good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Likewise Rom 7:25: With the mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin. Here he openly declares that he serves the law of sin. And David says, Ps. 143:2: Enter not into judgment with Thy servant; for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified. Here even a servant of God prays for the averting of judgment. …The flesh distrusts God, trusts in present things, seeks human aid in calamities, even contrary to God’s will, flees from afflictions, which it ought to bear because of God’s commands, doubts concerning God’s mercy, etc. The Holy Ghost in our hearts contends with such dispositions with Adam’s sin] in order to suppress and mortify them [this poison of the old Adam, this desperately wicked disposition, ...

    For we are not righteous before God as long as we flee from God's judgment, and are angry with God. 56] Therefore we must conclude that,…that this bodily fulfilling of the Law pleases on account of faith, ….. even though the sight of our impurity terrifies us.

    58] Paul teaches this in Gal. 3:13, when he says: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, i.e., the Law condemns all men.

    Christ, because he is without sin has borne the punishment of sin, and been made a victim for us, has removed that right of the Law to accuse and condemn those who believe in Him. This is because He Himself is the propitiation for them for whose sake we are now accounted righteous.

    But since they are accounted righteous, the Law cannot accuse or condemn them, even though they have not actually satisfied the Law. To the same purport he writes to the Colossians 2:10: Ye are complete in Him, as though he were to say: Although ye are still far from the perfection of the Law, yet the remnants of sin do not condemn you, because for Christ’s sake we have a sure and firm reconciliation, if you believe, even though sin inhere in your flesh.

    God cannot become an Object of Love as long as the Law is accusing us.

    The entire article is worth reading.
    it is from the Apology , art III on love and the fulfilling of the Law.

  • fws

    kerner @ 55

    Here is a great example of what I mean by the love I am talking about and the Law:

    Parris Island is the only place where enlisted female recruits can become Marines. (The San Diego recruit depot is restricted to men.) During their 12 weeks here, women are assigned to all-female platoons and trained exclusively by female drill instructors. Although there are far more male recruits here than women overall, the two rarely cross paths.

    Reynolds said she has no plans to change any of that.

    “We need the absolute attention of those recruits, without distraction,” she said. For female recruits, “there are things you maybe could get by a male drill instructor that a female instructor absolutely is never going to let you get away with. Women are harder on women.”

    When these soldiers get out into combat, this discipline may well save their lives. Love. This is to work for the happiness , joy, pleasure , and wellbeing of others.

    Kerner, the “subject” of this obedience to God that is love is not God it is our neighbor. And for our neighbor love then is “subjective” even in the sense of them knowing love by how they feel about what we are doing for them. For example, what your wife feels about how you treat her, should be extremely important to you. And I am sure it is! This is your wife as the subject of your love. Now for your wife, her actions should not be governed in the least by how she feels about you and your actions towards here. Her actions should be governed by self discipline, following rules… and … giving great care to how you feel about she treats you. It needs to be about you, and not about how good she is doing at following a list of dos and donts and how good a person she is succeeding at being. Her success is measured by how much happiness and joy she contributes to your life Kerner as measured by… you. Yet she measures her progress at self discipline by hard metrics. what is it she does? how much? when? quality? Yet the goal is not this metric or self discipline, the goal is to increase your joy and happiness in your life.

    Now from the perspective of the doer , you and I, I think we agree that this looks, almost completely, about the self discipline of turning from what pleases us to the discipline of following a set of rules, imposed upon us, with the aim of the pleasure of others.

  • fws

    kerner @ 55

    Here is a great example of what I mean by the love I am talking about and the Law:

    Parris Island is the only place where enlisted female recruits can become Marines. (The San Diego recruit depot is restricted to men.) During their 12 weeks here, women are assigned to all-female platoons and trained exclusively by female drill instructors. Although there are far more male recruits here than women overall, the two rarely cross paths.

    Reynolds said she has no plans to change any of that.

    “We need the absolute attention of those recruits, without distraction,” she said. For female recruits, “there are things you maybe could get by a male drill instructor that a female instructor absolutely is never going to let you get away with. Women are harder on women.”

    When these soldiers get out into combat, this discipline may well save their lives. Love. This is to work for the happiness , joy, pleasure , and wellbeing of others.

    Kerner, the “subject” of this obedience to God that is love is not God it is our neighbor. And for our neighbor love then is “subjective” even in the sense of them knowing love by how they feel about what we are doing for them. For example, what your wife feels about how you treat her, should be extremely important to you. And I am sure it is! This is your wife as the subject of your love. Now for your wife, her actions should not be governed in the least by how she feels about you and your actions towards here. Her actions should be governed by self discipline, following rules… and … giving great care to how you feel about she treats you. It needs to be about you, and not about how good she is doing at following a list of dos and donts and how good a person she is succeeding at being. Her success is measured by how much happiness and joy she contributes to your life Kerner as measured by… you. Yet she measures her progress at self discipline by hard metrics. what is it she does? how much? when? quality? Yet the goal is not this metric or self discipline, the goal is to increase your joy and happiness in your life.

    Now from the perspective of the doer , you and I, I think we agree that this looks, almost completely, about the self discipline of turning from what pleases us to the discipline of following a set of rules, imposed upon us, with the aim of the pleasure of others.

  • Tom Hering

    “I really wonder if the ‘pedophile’ doesn’t want someone he can control, body and mind.” – helen @ 36.

    I think it’s that, but not as simple as that. Obviously, the pedophile prefers to be sexually and emotionally intimate with children. He thinks children are innocent, and that relationships with them will be free from conflict and power struggles.

    It’s not so much that the pedophile wants to exercise power, as he wants a relationship where he doesn’t have to exercise power. He wants a “pure” love that’s free from the expectations and demands found in adult relationships.

    So, the pedophile proceeds from a lie, i.e., that children are innocent, uncorrupted beings (unselfish and undemanding, or at least less so than adults). Clearly, too, the pedophile gets a lot of support from our culture for his delusional view of children. Evangelical nonsense about an “age of accountability” doesn’t help the situation, but the Lutheran view of infants as sinful beings in need of baptism just might improve things – if our culture accepted the truth of it. (Western culture used to accept it, before Romantic notions about children became the norm.)

  • Tom Hering

    “I really wonder if the ‘pedophile’ doesn’t want someone he can control, body and mind.” – helen @ 36.

    I think it’s that, but not as simple as that. Obviously, the pedophile prefers to be sexually and emotionally intimate with children. He thinks children are innocent, and that relationships with them will be free from conflict and power struggles.

    It’s not so much that the pedophile wants to exercise power, as he wants a relationship where he doesn’t have to exercise power. He wants a “pure” love that’s free from the expectations and demands found in adult relationships.

    So, the pedophile proceeds from a lie, i.e., that children are innocent, uncorrupted beings (unselfish and undemanding, or at least less so than adults). Clearly, too, the pedophile gets a lot of support from our culture for his delusional view of children. Evangelical nonsense about an “age of accountability” doesn’t help the situation, but the Lutheran view of infants as sinful beings in need of baptism just might improve things – if our culture accepted the truth of it. (Western culture used to accept it, before Romantic notions about children became the norm.)

  • fws

    Kerner,

    there are 3 Luther writings that are all about Law and Gospel that are referenced by our Confessions as a further amplification of them. They would be an excellent read for you:

    The Luther Commentary on Galatians
    Luthers Preface to his 1545 translation of the Epistle to the Romans
    Luthers 1528 sermon at Marburg on the Two Kingdoms that is reference by FC art VI as the basis for that article

    You can find all of these by googling for them. In particular, the last item would be the place to go to better understand FC art VI.

  • fws

    Kerner,

    there are 3 Luther writings that are all about Law and Gospel that are referenced by our Confessions as a further amplification of them. They would be an excellent read for you:

    The Luther Commentary on Galatians
    Luthers Preface to his 1545 translation of the Epistle to the Romans
    Luthers 1528 sermon at Marburg on the Two Kingdoms that is reference by FC art VI as the basis for that article

    You can find all of these by googling for them. In particular, the last item would be the place to go to better understand FC art VI.

  • fws

    Kerner,

    the Preface to Romans is a very very short read that would take you about 30 minutes. It is chock full of the stuff we are talking about.

    Also you might google for Luthers treatise on the Law of Moses. It is not referred to by our Confessions, but it is a really helpful writing.

  • fws

    Kerner,

    the Preface to Romans is a very very short read that would take you about 30 minutes. It is chock full of the stuff we are talking about.

    Also you might google for Luthers treatise on the Law of Moses. It is not referred to by our Confessions, but it is a really helpful writing.

  • Grace

    fws @ 43

    YOU WROTE: “You dont appear to understand what anyone here has said.”

    I understand fully –

    Talking at LENGTH with those who have been abused as children by adults is never forgotten. Almost everyone I have ever spoken with, begged for the acts not to be done to them, even though the abuse in some cases, continued ….. whether it be a stranger, family friend or relative.

    Pedophilia a an evil, sinful desire, thrust upon the most vulnerable.

    God can and does forgive, however those who seek forgivness need to cease, attacking children – just as those who continue their homosexual behavior.

    As Jesus said:

    She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
    John 8:11

    As I stated in post 42

    “Sexual sin is the only sin, ….. that allows a spouse to divorce, not obesity, gossip, or any number of sins, – – – – we are talking about ‘sexual sin, therefore, it is a vile sin against ones own body, and that of others, the most vulnerable being children.

  • Grace

    fws @ 43

    YOU WROTE: “You dont appear to understand what anyone here has said.”

    I understand fully –

    Talking at LENGTH with those who have been abused as children by adults is never forgotten. Almost everyone I have ever spoken with, begged for the acts not to be done to them, even though the abuse in some cases, continued ….. whether it be a stranger, family friend or relative.

    Pedophilia a an evil, sinful desire, thrust upon the most vulnerable.

    God can and does forgive, however those who seek forgivness need to cease, attacking children – just as those who continue their homosexual behavior.

    As Jesus said:

    She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
    John 8:11

    As I stated in post 42

    “Sexual sin is the only sin, ….. that allows a spouse to divorce, not obesity, gossip, or any number of sins, – – – – we are talking about ‘sexual sin, therefore, it is a vile sin against ones own body, and that of others, the most vulnerable being children.

  • kerner

    fws @59 in particular:

    I never said that Romans 2:15 is wrong or that men do not have the law written in their hearts or that it is a damaged or inferior law.

    Rather, I say that Romans 2:15 does not tell the whole story. I say that Romans 7:23 is also true; that there is another law of corruption dwelling in my members (my flesh, my “Old Adam”), which is constantly at war with the law of God written in my heart. This constant battle does not make Romans 2:15 untue, but it makes the problem clear. Even though God’s law is written in men’s hearts, the problem is that we usually can’t read it. We mistake the corrupt law in our flesh for God’s law, and we follow that instead.

    Take my example from proverbs. You said that any pagan without a Bible can figure out a basic maxim like “spare the rod and spoil the child”. You would think so. Although it might be arguable that the average pagan might be thinking about selfishly preserving his own orderly existence, not expressing love for his children. Still, the pagan might, using his reason, find the principle without a Bible.

    But my point was that, here in North America, using their reason and the golden rule, most pagans, and even many Christians, have completely failed to understand that law of child discipline that should be clearly written in their hearts. Indulged and undisciplined children are a huge problem up here Frank. But striking a child in public is widely regarded as socially unacceptable, and spanking one’s child with a stick would likely trigger a visit from social services, if not criminal prosecution. And these indulgent parents love their children, yet they do not know how to show love to their children by imposing discipline. Why? Because the law in their own flesh fights Gods law written in their hearts and their reason is corrupted such that it doesn’t help; and they don’t understand how to show love to their child/neighbors.

    In such a case, God’s law as written in the Bible becomes an invaluable aid to His people. The foregoing is only one example of the countless ways that people, attempting to rely on their own consciences and reason, believe they are loving their neighbor when they are really harming him. But the invaluable aid that God’s law as written provides is that it shows God’s people how to love their neighbors on those occasions when their flesh obscures their reason and consciences.

    The short version of the third use of the law is that it is a “guide”. And FC VI clearly says so. God’s law as written is a guide that shows believers how to love their neighbors when our corrupt hearts and reason fail us.

    This is not to say that the reading God’s law as written jusstifies us. Nor does it make us “more moral” nor does it make obedience an end in itself. The Apology to the AC is true.

    But you, fws, said @60, ” Love. This is to work for the happiness , joy, pleasure , and wellbeing of others.” And while while your statement is true, it is also abstract. The question is how do I work for the happiness, joy, pleasure and well being of others? Do I rely completely on my corrupt and fallible reason as you seem to be saying? FC VI says no. What FC VI compels Lutherans to do is study God’s law as it is written, and apply it as the situation demands.

    The fws method seems to require every Christian to constantly re-invent the moral wheel from the basic raw materials of conscience, reason, and the golden rule. I (and, I believe FC VI supports me) say that this is a recipe for dissaster. The Christian should always look to God’s law as written to determine how to show love to our neighbor, because God knows better that we do where our happiness, joy, pleasure, and well-being lie. Our reason will fail us consistantly, whereas God’s law as written will not. Our flesh will constantly convince us that love means giving someone short term pleasure at the expense of eternal joy (sure feels like love!). This is particularly true of sexual sin. Hugh Hefner very probably thinks (using his reason and his idea of how he would himself like to be treated) that his happiness, joy, pleasure and well-being lie in the philosophy of sexual hedonism he has promoted his entire life. God’s law as written says he’s wrong. And it behooves Christians to keep that in mind.

  • kerner

    fws @59 in particular:

    I never said that Romans 2:15 is wrong or that men do not have the law written in their hearts or that it is a damaged or inferior law.

    Rather, I say that Romans 2:15 does not tell the whole story. I say that Romans 7:23 is also true; that there is another law of corruption dwelling in my members (my flesh, my “Old Adam”), which is constantly at war with the law of God written in my heart. This constant battle does not make Romans 2:15 untue, but it makes the problem clear. Even though God’s law is written in men’s hearts, the problem is that we usually can’t read it. We mistake the corrupt law in our flesh for God’s law, and we follow that instead.

    Take my example from proverbs. You said that any pagan without a Bible can figure out a basic maxim like “spare the rod and spoil the child”. You would think so. Although it might be arguable that the average pagan might be thinking about selfishly preserving his own orderly existence, not expressing love for his children. Still, the pagan might, using his reason, find the principle without a Bible.

    But my point was that, here in North America, using their reason and the golden rule, most pagans, and even many Christians, have completely failed to understand that law of child discipline that should be clearly written in their hearts. Indulged and undisciplined children are a huge problem up here Frank. But striking a child in public is widely regarded as socially unacceptable, and spanking one’s child with a stick would likely trigger a visit from social services, if not criminal prosecution. And these indulgent parents love their children, yet they do not know how to show love to their children by imposing discipline. Why? Because the law in their own flesh fights Gods law written in their hearts and their reason is corrupted such that it doesn’t help; and they don’t understand how to show love to their child/neighbors.

    In such a case, God’s law as written in the Bible becomes an invaluable aid to His people. The foregoing is only one example of the countless ways that people, attempting to rely on their own consciences and reason, believe they are loving their neighbor when they are really harming him. But the invaluable aid that God’s law as written provides is that it shows God’s people how to love their neighbors on those occasions when their flesh obscures their reason and consciences.

    The short version of the third use of the law is that it is a “guide”. And FC VI clearly says so. God’s law as written is a guide that shows believers how to love their neighbors when our corrupt hearts and reason fail us.

    This is not to say that the reading God’s law as written jusstifies us. Nor does it make us “more moral” nor does it make obedience an end in itself. The Apology to the AC is true.

    But you, fws, said @60, ” Love. This is to work for the happiness , joy, pleasure , and wellbeing of others.” And while while your statement is true, it is also abstract. The question is how do I work for the happiness, joy, pleasure and well being of others? Do I rely completely on my corrupt and fallible reason as you seem to be saying? FC VI says no. What FC VI compels Lutherans to do is study God’s law as it is written, and apply it as the situation demands.

    The fws method seems to require every Christian to constantly re-invent the moral wheel from the basic raw materials of conscience, reason, and the golden rule. I (and, I believe FC VI supports me) say that this is a recipe for dissaster. The Christian should always look to God’s law as written to determine how to show love to our neighbor, because God knows better that we do where our happiness, joy, pleasure, and well-being lie. Our reason will fail us consistantly, whereas God’s law as written will not. Our flesh will constantly convince us that love means giving someone short term pleasure at the expense of eternal joy (sure feels like love!). This is particularly true of sexual sin. Hugh Hefner very probably thinks (using his reason and his idea of how he would himself like to be treated) that his happiness, joy, pleasure and well-being lie in the philosophy of sexual hedonism he has promoted his entire life. God’s law as written says he’s wrong. And it behooves Christians to keep that in mind.

  • kerner

    Upon reflection, my statement that our flesh will constantly convince us that love means giving someone short term pleasure at the expense of eternal joy is probably equally true of most, if not all, sin. It may only be a little more evident as to sexual sin.

  • kerner

    Upon reflection, my statement that our flesh will constantly convince us that love means giving someone short term pleasure at the expense of eternal joy is probably equally true of most, if not all, sin. It may only be a little more evident as to sexual sin.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/childrenofabraham Michael Joe Thannisch

    @Mary Jack: I am the family genealogist, and in researching our family tree going back to 1295, I have found very few people in our family got married before the age of 23. We like to claim this thing that most women got married at a much younger age, but it has been my experience, at least in the US and western Europe, that child marriage was the exception and not the rule.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/childrenofabraham Michael Joe Thannisch

    @Mary Jack: I am the family genealogist, and in researching our family tree going back to 1295, I have found very few people in our family got married before the age of 23. We like to claim this thing that most women got married at a much younger age, but it has been my experience, at least in the US and western Europe, that child marriage was the exception and not the rule.

  • Grace

    Michael at 67

    YOU WROTE: “I am the family genealogist, and in researching our family tree going back to 1295, I have found very few people in our family got married before the age of 23.”

    In my family it is very much the same. Most married at 21 – 24 and had children at age 24- 25. I must preface my remarks by the fact, I come from a VERY large family – my father a child of 14 – my maternal grandmother a child of 14 as well.

    My familes date back to (from Europe) mid 1600′s, and 1921 – The struggles and hardships were too difficult, to think of being married, and responsible for wives and infants.

    There is only one individual in my family who married early, and they were 17, and that was back in 1960.

    I have access to most of my ancestry, dates, etc. There is nothing which I’ve found that determines early marriage, ….. meaning before the age of 20. The lineage goes back at least to 1600.

  • Grace

    Michael at 67

    YOU WROTE: “I am the family genealogist, and in researching our family tree going back to 1295, I have found very few people in our family got married before the age of 23.”

    In my family it is very much the same. Most married at 21 – 24 and had children at age 24- 25. I must preface my remarks by the fact, I come from a VERY large family – my father a child of 14 – my maternal grandmother a child of 14 as well.

    My familes date back to (from Europe) mid 1600′s, and 1921 – The struggles and hardships were too difficult, to think of being married, and responsible for wives and infants.

    There is only one individual in my family who married early, and they were 17, and that was back in 1960.

    I have access to most of my ancestry, dates, etc. There is nothing which I’ve found that determines early marriage, ….. meaning before the age of 20. The lineage goes back at least to 1600.

  • Pingback: Child Lovin’, The Next “Norm”? | Wading Across

  • Pingback: Child Lovin’, The Next “Norm”? | Wading Across

  • Adam Powell

    Yes, I believe that you are right. I believe that polygamy and paedophilia will be legally and socially acceptable in the not too distant future.

  • Adam Powell

    Yes, I believe that you are right. I believe that polygamy and paedophilia will be legally and socially acceptable in the not too distant future.

  • stewart

    i agree i think these things will be legal also. it will help people understand sexuality and end libido-fixation issue in mainstream america.

  • stewart

    i agree i think these things will be legal also. it will help people understand sexuality and end libido-fixation issue in mainstream america.


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