The “dancing boys” of Afghanistan

A custom of Afghanistan that our intervention has helped bring back into vogue, despite the moralism of Islam:

The 9-year-old boy with pale skin and big, piercing eyes captivated Mirzahan at first sight.

“He is more handsome than anyone in the village,” the 22-year-old farmer said, explaining why he is grooming the boy as a sexual partner and companion. There was another important factor that made Waheed easy to take on as a bacha bazi, or a boy for pleasure: “He doesn’t have a father, so there is no one to stop this.”

A growing number of Afghan children are being coerced into a life of sexual abuse. The practice of wealthy or prominent Afghans exploiting underage boys as sexual partners who are often dressed up as women to dance at gatherings is on the rise in post-Taliban Afghanistan, according to Afghan human rights researchers, Western officials and men who participate in the abuse.

“Like it or not, there was better rule of law under the Taliban,” said Dee Brillenburg Wurth, a child-protection expert at the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, who has sought to persuade the government to address the problem. “They saw it as a sin, and they stopped a lot of it.”

Over the past decade, the phenomenon has flourished in Pashtun areas in the south, in several northern provinces and even in the capital, according to Afghans who engage in the practice or have studied it. Although issues such as women’s rights and moral crimes have attracted a flood of donor aid and activism in recent years, bacha bazi remains poorly understood.

The State Department has mentioned the practice — which is illegal here, as it would be in most countries — in its annual human rights reports. The 2010 report said members of Afghanistan’s security forces, who receive training and weapons from the U.S.-led coalition, sexually abused boys “in an environment of criminal impunity.”

But by and large, foreign powers in Afghanistan have refrained from drawing attention to the issue. . . .

Boys who become bachas are seen as property, said Jawad, the human rights researcher. Those who are perceived as being particularly beautiful can be sold for tens of thousands of dollars. The men who control them sometimes rent them out as dancers at male-only parties, and some are prostituted.

“This is abuse,” Jawad said. “Most of these children are not willing to do this. They do this for money. Their families are very poor.”

Although the practice is thought to be more widespread in conservative rural areas, it has become common in Kabul. Mohammed Fahim, a videographer who films the lavish weddings in the capital, estimated that one in every five weddings he attends in Kabul features dancing boys.

Authorities are well aware of the phenomenon, he said, as he played a video of a recent party that featured an underage boy with heavy makeup shaking his shoulders seductively as men sitting on the floor clapped and smiled.

“Police come because they like it a lot,” Fahim said, referring to parties with dancing boys.

When the boys age beyond their prime and get tossed aside, many become pimps or prostitutes, said Afghan photojournalist Barat Ali Batoor, who spent months chronicling the plight of dancing boys. Some turn to drugs or alcohol, he said.

“In Afghan society, if you are raped or you are abused, you will not have space in society to live proudly,” he said.

When Batoor completed his project on dancing boys, he assumed that nongovernmental organizations would be eager to exhibit his work and raise awareness of the issue. To his surprise, none were.

“They said: ‘We don’t want to make enemies in Afghanistan,’ ” he said, summarizing the general response.

via Afghanistan’s ‘dancing boys’ are invisible victims – The Washington Post.

About Gene Veith

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

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

    Disgusting and offensive (and odd to see that an Islamic country is doing this), but how is the U.S. responsible for this?

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

    Disgusting and offensive (and odd to see that an Islamic country is doing this), but how is the U.S. responsible for this?

  • Michael B.

    It’s very common to see men take on sexual deviations when access to women is very limited, as in many Islamic countries. It’s very common for heterosexual men to carry out homosexual acts when women aren’t available. Just look at prisoners, for example. A Muslim I work with told me that at least a third of males in his country have had homosexual relations, although it’s a very hushed topic, like masturbation. And homosexuality among heterosexuals is just the start. Pederasty isn’t uncommon in men sworn to be virgins, as the recent Catholic church scandals have shown. Lastly, if you look at some of America’s fundamentalist Christian families, especially in things such as the Quiverful movement, you will find incest all over the place.

    A man was just not made to make it to 24 years of age without ever so much as touching a woman, and when you try to force, expect some crazy results.

  • Michael B.

    It’s very common to see men take on sexual deviations when access to women is very limited, as in many Islamic countries. It’s very common for heterosexual men to carry out homosexual acts when women aren’t available. Just look at prisoners, for example. A Muslim I work with told me that at least a third of males in his country have had homosexual relations, although it’s a very hushed topic, like masturbation. And homosexuality among heterosexuals is just the start. Pederasty isn’t uncommon in men sworn to be virgins, as the recent Catholic church scandals have shown. Lastly, if you look at some of America’s fundamentalist Christian families, especially in things such as the Quiverful movement, you will find incest all over the place.

    A man was just not made to make it to 24 years of age without ever so much as touching a woman, and when you try to force, expect some crazy results.

  • Booklover

    Michael, your last sentence is part of the problem. As long as we continue to look at males as savage animals, we will remain blind to this problem of poor, dear, innocent male children being taken advantage of.

  • Booklover

    Michael, your last sentence is part of the problem. As long as we continue to look at males as savage animals, we will remain blind to this problem of poor, dear, innocent male children being taken advantage of.

  • Barry Arrington

    “Although the practice is thought to be more widespread in conservative rural areas”

    Anyone else see the subtle slam here?

  • Barry Arrington

    “Although the practice is thought to be more widespread in conservative rural areas”

    Anyone else see the subtle slam here?

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

    It is a recurring theme in the history of the misled east (typed middle but left the auto correct). And tell you the truth I don’t remember the Koran dealing with it at all one way or another. Could be a part I missed I wasn’t looking for it. But even as africawas being carved up for colonialization the Europeans complained of the practice among Arab slavetraders. It actually provided some justification for colonization. I highly doubt the Taliban did a whole Loy to stop it. I think that is probably someone thinking conservative values are the same across the board. Notice it is in rural conservative areas where the practice is most popular. Those areas where the Taliban has the most support.
    .

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

    It is a recurring theme in the history of the misled east (typed middle but left the auto correct). And tell you the truth I don’t remember the Koran dealing with it at all one way or another. Could be a part I missed I wasn’t looking for it. But even as africawas being carved up for colonialization the Europeans complained of the practice among Arab slavetraders. It actually provided some justification for colonization. I highly doubt the Taliban did a whole Loy to stop it. I think that is probably someone thinking conservative values are the same across the board. Notice it is in rural conservative areas where the practice is most popular. Those areas where the Taliban has the most support.
    .

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

    Booklover, while I might debate a few points Michael B makes, I think he is actually quite right in his assessment. And that coming from a man who waited to get married when he was 25. I do think it is quite unreasonable to think your average male shoulder refrain that long. It is unnatural and unhealthy. And saying so is not demeaning to men. I think the same is true of women.

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

    Booklover, while I might debate a few points Michael B makes, I think he is actually quite right in his assessment. And that coming from a man who waited to get married when he was 25. I do think it is quite unreasonable to think your average male shoulder refrain that long. It is unnatural and unhealthy. And saying so is not demeaning to men. I think the same is true of women.

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

    Barry, I don’t think it was meant as a slam but an accurate depiction of what is happening. But I suppose o think that based upon other literature I have read concerning the Mideast and Islamic culture.

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

    Barry, I don’t think it was meant as a slam but an accurate depiction of what is happening. But I suppose o think that based upon other literature I have read concerning the Mideast and Islamic culture.

  • Joe

    Michael @ 2 “Lastly, if you look at some of America’s fundamentalist Christian families, especially in things such as the Quiverful movement, you will find incest all over the place.”

    Do you have any resources on this? I am not that familiar with the Quiverful movement but I had not heard anything about widespread incest among its adherents.

  • Joe

    Michael @ 2 “Lastly, if you look at some of America’s fundamentalist Christian families, especially in things such as the Quiverful movement, you will find incest all over the place.”

    Do you have any resources on this? I am not that familiar with the Quiverful movement but I had not heard anything about widespread incest among its adherents.

  • Patrick Kyle

    I remember some time ago our military commissioned a study that concluded the Pashtun culture was rife with this and it bodes ill for Afghan Society.

  • Patrick Kyle

    I remember some time ago our military commissioned a study that concluded the Pashtun culture was rife with this and it bodes ill for Afghan Society.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Joe @ 8
    No, Michael B doesn’t have a source for that. It’s just an assertion that fits his biases.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Joe @ 8
    No, Michael B doesn’t have a source for that. It’s just an assertion that fits his biases.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@2) said:

    A man was just not made to make it to 24 years of age without ever so much as touching a woman, and when you try to force, expect some crazy results.

    In general, I agree, but what makes you think that’s relevant to the situation in the article? Are you saying that the average marrying age for Afghani men is 24?

    I also await (probably forever) statistics that back up your claim on incest in the Quiverful movement.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@2) said:

    A man was just not made to make it to 24 years of age without ever so much as touching a woman, and when you try to force, expect some crazy results.

    In general, I agree, but what makes you think that’s relevant to the situation in the article? Are you saying that the average marrying age for Afghani men is 24?

    I also await (probably forever) statistics that back up your claim on incest in the Quiverful movement.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Barry asked (@4):

    Anyone else see the subtle slam here?

    Really? You read that entire article and all you took away from it was offense based on your forcing a provincial American political framework onto a different culture? Do you even have any evidence that what you perceive as a “slam” isn’t, you know, a fact?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Barry asked (@4):

    Anyone else see the subtle slam here?

    Really? You read that entire article and all you took away from it was offense based on your forcing a provincial American political framework onto a different culture? Do you even have any evidence that what you perceive as a “slam” isn’t, you know, a fact?

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

    “Are you saying that the average marrying age for Afghani men is 24?”

    That is probably pretty close. According to the UN, average age at first marriage for women in Afghanistan is 18, and they have one of the very biggest gaps between men and women on the average age of first marriage. Over 50% of women aged 15-19 are married with 16 the lowest legal age for women and 18 for men. I didn’t find this in a neat table. It was in a report where I had to read through to find it. Based on these bits of info, perhaps 22 is closer to average for Afghan men. Still that is younger than the US average. Afghanistan is not a particularly prosperous place, so maturation is probably pretty late. Average age of menarche in Afghanistan is 13.8, whereas in the US it is 12.6 for white girls. Assuming Afghan guys follow the same trend, they likely mature later, too. So, 22-24 isn’t that long to wait especially if you get to marry someone who is 18 instead of 28. :D

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

    “Are you saying that the average marrying age for Afghani men is 24?”

    That is probably pretty close. According to the UN, average age at first marriage for women in Afghanistan is 18, and they have one of the very biggest gaps between men and women on the average age of first marriage. Over 50% of women aged 15-19 are married with 16 the lowest legal age for women and 18 for men. I didn’t find this in a neat table. It was in a report where I had to read through to find it. Based on these bits of info, perhaps 22 is closer to average for Afghan men. Still that is younger than the US average. Afghanistan is not a particularly prosperous place, so maturation is probably pretty late. Average age of menarche in Afghanistan is 13.8, whereas in the US it is 12.6 for white girls. Assuming Afghan guys follow the same trend, they likely mature later, too. So, 22-24 isn’t that long to wait especially if you get to marry someone who is 18 instead of 28. :D

  • formerly just steve

    J.Dean, #1, unfortunately, not so odd.

  • formerly just steve

    J.Dean, #1, unfortunately, not so odd.

  • formerly just steve

    Since several others here have question Michael on his unsubstantiated slander against the Quiverful movement, I won’t bring it up again.

  • formerly just steve

    Since several others here have question Michael on his unsubstantiated slander against the Quiverful movement, I won’t bring it up again.

  • SKPeterson

    sg – Don’t confuse the issue with statistics and statistical inference. This issue demands emotion laden bombast.

  • SKPeterson

    sg – Don’t confuse the issue with statistics and statistical inference. This issue demands emotion laden bombast.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    “I also await (probably forever) statistics that back up your claim”

    Looks like you win here. I’m not aware of any formal studies on this. If anybody knows of any studies on the prevalence of sexual deviancy in places that deliberately try to repress it, I’d be interested. What I said about homosexuality in Islamic countries was told to be by a coworker who lived in Syria for many years. So again, not exactly a formal study. Concerning the Quiverful movement, I have a cousin who is involved in it, and I’ve heard stories from that side of the family that would get me banned for posting them.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    “I also await (probably forever) statistics that back up your claim”

    Looks like you win here. I’m not aware of any formal studies on this. If anybody knows of any studies on the prevalence of sexual deviancy in places that deliberately try to repress it, I’d be interested. What I said about homosexuality in Islamic countries was told to be by a coworker who lived in Syria for many years. So again, not exactly a formal study. Concerning the Quiverful movement, I have a cousin who is involved in it, and I’ve heard stories from that side of the family that would get me banned for posting them.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@17), thanks for owning up to the fact that you vastly overstated your case (@2).

    I think you’ll find that your argument will carry a lot more weight around here if you can back it up with something better than hearsay from a single cousin. Of course, if that’s what’s informing your opinion, then so be it, but be honest about it, and don’t make it out to be something more than it’s not.

    After all, let’s not forget that your original point wasn’t merely about the Quiverful movement, but also attempted to defame the whole of “America’s fundamentalist Christian families”. That’s quite a lot to hang on one personal anecdote, don’t you think? I thought you liberals were all about science and facts and stuff.

    Now, for the record, I only learned about these Quiverful people a few months ago myself, and I’m definitely not a “fundamentalist” — at least, not according to what that word actually means. Just FYI.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@17), thanks for owning up to the fact that you vastly overstated your case (@2).

    I think you’ll find that your argument will carry a lot more weight around here if you can back it up with something better than hearsay from a single cousin. Of course, if that’s what’s informing your opinion, then so be it, but be honest about it, and don’t make it out to be something more than it’s not.

    After all, let’s not forget that your original point wasn’t merely about the Quiverful movement, but also attempted to defame the whole of “America’s fundamentalist Christian families”. That’s quite a lot to hang on one personal anecdote, don’t you think? I thought you liberals were all about science and facts and stuff.

    Now, for the record, I only learned about these Quiverful people a few months ago myself, and I’m definitely not a “fundamentalist” — at least, not according to what that word actually means. Just FYI.

  • Michael

    @Todd

    The theme of sexual deviations in religious fundamentalism is one that show its ugly head over and over. I don’t understand the psychological causes, but I think there is something at work here. The abuse by priests are not just a bunch of isolated incidents. Even religious fundamentalists have picked up and one I heard claimed “the devil works overtime on those committed to Christ”. Just ask yourself, if those priests had been in normal sexual relationships with women, do you think it’s as likely they would have been abusing little boys?

  • Michael

    @Todd

    The theme of sexual deviations in religious fundamentalism is one that show its ugly head over and over. I don’t understand the psychological causes, but I think there is something at work here. The abuse by priests are not just a bunch of isolated incidents. Even religious fundamentalists have picked up and one I heard claimed “the devil works overtime on those committed to Christ”. Just ask yourself, if those priests had been in normal sexual relationships with women, do you think it’s as likely they would have been abusing little boys?

  • Tom Hering

    “… if those priests had been in normal sexual relationships with women, do you think it’s as likely they would have been abusing little boys?”

    How many of those abusers were pederasts before they were priests, and thought a parish might be the ideal place to pursue their preference – at a time in our society when it was too shameful for victims (and their families) to expose abusers? The icing on the cake for pederasts, back then, was that their victims were likely to blame themselves – because both the church and society tended to blame the victims of sexual offenders.

    The idea that celibacy leads to sexual predation is a little bit whack.

  • Tom Hering

    “… if those priests had been in normal sexual relationships with women, do you think it’s as likely they would have been abusing little boys?”

    How many of those abusers were pederasts before they were priests, and thought a parish might be the ideal place to pursue their preference – at a time in our society when it was too shameful for victims (and their families) to expose abusers? The icing on the cake for pederasts, back then, was that their victims were likely to blame themselves – because both the church and society tended to blame the victims of sexual offenders.

    The idea that celibacy leads to sexual predation is a little bit whack.

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, marriage is the biblical prescription for believers tempted by sexual immorality. Not many believers have received the gift of celibacy. (It can’t be required because it is, indeed, a gift.) But if the inclination of a priest is for an intimate adult relationship, he’ll have an affair with an adult member of his parish. If he’s abusing little boys, he had that inclination before he became a priest (subject to a rule of celibacy).

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, marriage is the biblical prescription for believers tempted by sexual immorality. Not many believers have received the gift of celibacy. (It can’t be required because it is, indeed, a gift.) But if the inclination of a priest is for an intimate adult relationship, he’ll have an affair with an adult member of his parish. If he’s abusing little boys, he had that inclination before he became a priest (subject to a rule of celibacy).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@19),

    The theme of sexual deviations in religious fundamentalism is one that show its ugly head over and over.

    Yes, yes, we’ve already established your criteria for saying such things. You once heard something from this guy you knew. I get it.

    But you only see such things in the realm of “religious fundamentalism” because that’s the only place you’re looking. That’s your schtick here: to knock religious fundamentalism. I get it, thanks.

    Just ask yourself, if those priests had been in normal sexual relationships with women, do you think it’s as likely they would have been abusing little boys?

    Tom already suggested (@20) an alternate (and quite plausible) framework for this particular aspect of your digression.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@19),

    The theme of sexual deviations in religious fundamentalism is one that show its ugly head over and over.

    Yes, yes, we’ve already established your criteria for saying such things. You once heard something from this guy you knew. I get it.

    But you only see such things in the realm of “religious fundamentalism” because that’s the only place you’re looking. That’s your schtick here: to knock religious fundamentalism. I get it, thanks.

    Just ask yourself, if those priests had been in normal sexual relationships with women, do you think it’s as likely they would have been abusing little boys?

    Tom already suggested (@20) an alternate (and quite plausible) framework for this particular aspect of your digression.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael, #19

    Let me show you how it’s done:

    Comparison of abuse in the Catholic Church with that in U.S. public schools:

    A U.S. Department of Education report issued in 2004 examined a number of American studies into the prevalence of sexual misconduct by school staff. They found that between 3.5% and 50.3% of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career. They found that teachers, coaches, substitute teachers were the most common offenders.

    If this report is accurate, then sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic church, and by other clergy, appears to pale in comparison with the abuse being experienced by children and youths in the public schools.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/clergy_sex8a.htm

    Notice those aren’t my words. They aren’t the words of some relative of mine. They are words based on research from reliable sources.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael, #19

    Let me show you how it’s done:

    Comparison of abuse in the Catholic Church with that in U.S. public schools:

    A U.S. Department of Education report issued in 2004 examined a number of American studies into the prevalence of sexual misconduct by school staff. They found that between 3.5% and 50.3% of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career. They found that teachers, coaches, substitute teachers were the most common offenders.

    If this report is accurate, then sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic church, and by other clergy, appears to pale in comparison with the abuse being experienced by children and youths in the public schools.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/clergy_sex8a.htm

    Notice those aren’t my words. They aren’t the words of some relative of mine. They are words based on research from reliable sources.

  • formerly just steve

    Tom, #20, these men got to enjoy their proclivities and exempt themselves from the draft at the same time. I’m not sure which was the icing and which was the cake.

  • formerly just steve

    Tom, #20, these men got to enjoy their proclivities and exempt themselves from the draft at the same time. I’m not sure which was the icing and which was the cake.

  • kerner

    If we could just throw a bone to Michael B here, remember that at one time sexual abuse by Catholic priests was just hearsay from a guy (or guys) we knew. The studies and statistics didn’t come for a long time after the anecdotal allegations. I’ve never heard of the “Quiverful” movement before today. Maybe there aren’t any statistics. If the word of someone who was on the inside is all there is at the moment, that may encourage us to be skeptical, but it doesn’t mean we should
    refuse to consider it altogether.

    I also agree that human beings aren’t made to abstain from sex till teir mid twenties. In ancient Israel, they solved that problem by arranging marriages for their children at a muc earlier age. Well, this is a different culoture, although not necessarily a better one. But I see no reason why Christians shouldn’t encourage their children to marry earlier than their mid twenties.

    Finally, my son served in Afghanistan, and he told me that homosexual behavior is common there and that his orders were to not interfere. True, this is just hearsay from a guy I know. But I believe him.

  • kerner

    If we could just throw a bone to Michael B here, remember that at one time sexual abuse by Catholic priests was just hearsay from a guy (or guys) we knew. The studies and statistics didn’t come for a long time after the anecdotal allegations. I’ve never heard of the “Quiverful” movement before today. Maybe there aren’t any statistics. If the word of someone who was on the inside is all there is at the moment, that may encourage us to be skeptical, but it doesn’t mean we should
    refuse to consider it altogether.

    I also agree that human beings aren’t made to abstain from sex till teir mid twenties. In ancient Israel, they solved that problem by arranging marriages for their children at a muc earlier age. Well, this is a different culoture, although not necessarily a better one. But I see no reason why Christians shouldn’t encourage their children to marry earlier than their mid twenties.

    Finally, my son served in Afghanistan, and he told me that homosexual behavior is common there and that his orders were to not interfere. True, this is just hearsay from a guy I know. But I believe him.

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

    The thing about quiver full is that it isn’t an organized movement. A few people wrote some books with their opinions. I guess it is sort of like homeschooling or atheism. I mean, yeah, okay, you could get together with other people of the same opinion on that one thing, but you probably wouldn’t have that much else in common. What is the point of getting organized just because you want a bunch of kids because of your religious views especially when you don’t really have much else in common?

    Orthodox Jews, Mormons, Amish, Traditional Catholics and a few protestants swimming against the tide aka Quiver full all want a bunch of kids. Not much in common really.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull

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

    The thing about quiver full is that it isn’t an organized movement. A few people wrote some books with their opinions. I guess it is sort of like homeschooling or atheism. I mean, yeah, okay, you could get together with other people of the same opinion on that one thing, but you probably wouldn’t have that much else in common. What is the point of getting organized just because you want a bunch of kids because of your religious views especially when you don’t really have much else in common?

    Orthodox Jews, Mormons, Amish, Traditional Catholics and a few protestants swimming against the tide aka Quiver full all want a bunch of kids. Not much in common really.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull

  • fws

    Lutheran Confessions, Apology art XXIII. There we are told that the sexual sinning in the monasteries is because priests and monks were forbidden to marry.

    The general point the Confessions make is that only a miracle or marriage can channel or control the sex drive.

    The points they drive at is that:

    Sex WILL happen because the sex drive is an “ordinance” of God that he has placed in everyone.

    That is why ONLY a miracle (ie God himself cancelling his own ordinance) can make celebacy happen.

    Therefore:

    to demand celebacy of anyone is cruel because it is the equivalent of demanding that someone defy gravity, and therefore….

    demanding celebacy will INEVITABLY lead to incredible sexual sins and vices and a debasement of the morals of whomever it is demanded of and…

    will be detrimental to the moral order of society.

    This is a great example of what all Lutherans formally confess in our Lutheran Confessions.

    The ONLY solution for controlling and channelling the sex drive is marriage and even then, spouses should never ever deny one another sex , in order to avoid creating a space for temptation (1 cor 7). This last point shows just how powerful that sex drive is according to Holy Scripture.

  • fws

    Lutheran Confessions, Apology art XXIII. There we are told that the sexual sinning in the monasteries is because priests and monks were forbidden to marry.

    The general point the Confessions make is that only a miracle or marriage can channel or control the sex drive.

    The points they drive at is that:

    Sex WILL happen because the sex drive is an “ordinance” of God that he has placed in everyone.

    That is why ONLY a miracle (ie God himself cancelling his own ordinance) can make celebacy happen.

    Therefore:

    to demand celebacy of anyone is cruel because it is the equivalent of demanding that someone defy gravity, and therefore….

    demanding celebacy will INEVITABLY lead to incredible sexual sins and vices and a debasement of the morals of whomever it is demanded of and…

    will be detrimental to the moral order of society.

    This is a great example of what all Lutherans formally confess in our Lutheran Confessions.

    The ONLY solution for controlling and channelling the sex drive is marriage and even then, spouses should never ever deny one another sex , in order to avoid creating a space for temptation (1 cor 7). This last point shows just how powerful that sex drive is according to Holy Scripture.

  • fws

    tom @ 20

    I prefer the idea that lots of priests and pastor and psychiatrists enter those professions thinking they can fix what is wrong that way. Gays often enter into marriage with a female for the same reason.

    Lots of times it is a form if idolatrous bargaining with God offering our best effort in an attempt to obligate the Almighty.

    And this happens because Old Adam flees God’s judgement over sin rather than accept it and drop dead. Only the baptized can accept God’s judgement over sin and be appropriately terrified of sin.

    The only two possibilities in that is to become a pharisee or a despairing Judas.

  • fws

    tom @ 20

    I prefer the idea that lots of priests and pastor and psychiatrists enter those professions thinking they can fix what is wrong that way. Gays often enter into marriage with a female for the same reason.

    Lots of times it is a form if idolatrous bargaining with God offering our best effort in an attempt to obligate the Almighty.

    And this happens because Old Adam flees God’s judgement over sin rather than accept it and drop dead. Only the baptized can accept God’s judgement over sin and be appropriately terrified of sin.

    The only two possibilities in that is to become a pharisee or a despairing Judas.

  • Michael

    @Kerner

    “If we could just throw a bone to Michael B here, remember that at one time sexual abuse by Catholic priests was just hearsay from a guy (or guys) we knew. ”

    True. But I think unfortunately on this one I have to admit my opponents may have a point. I simply don’t have the proof to say that Catholic enforced celibacy played a role in the abuse scandal. So I don’t think we can be sure one way or the other. There are a number of alternative hypotheses that could work. Tom @20 pointed out one. Another possibility that the abuse is just as much at other institutions, but just far less reported. I wish we had more data.

  • Michael

    @Kerner

    “If we could just throw a bone to Michael B here, remember that at one time sexual abuse by Catholic priests was just hearsay from a guy (or guys) we knew. ”

    True. But I think unfortunately on this one I have to admit my opponents may have a point. I simply don’t have the proof to say that Catholic enforced celibacy played a role in the abuse scandal. So I don’t think we can be sure one way or the other. There are a number of alternative hypotheses that could work. Tom @20 pointed out one. Another possibility that the abuse is just as much at other institutions, but just far less reported. I wish we had more data.

  • fws

    kerner @ 25

    I have some first hand reports that there is lots of sex going on between men in islamic countries. there are unwritten rules about how to go about it. If those rules get broken the penalty is death by either beheading (saudi arabia) or hanging (iran for example).

    Almost ALL men get married to meet social expectations, and then the sex with other men is done very furtively, but is common knowledge and is even joked about….. Calling someone your “first cousin” is shorthand for that.

    That is usually the way it is anywhere there is legalism. Here in the usa the music directors and choir etc are full of men and women who are gay. It is really obvious but no one says anything. And as long as those gay men and women are the loudest “amens” when the pastor condemns homosexuality, then this is ok. And then these men, as a religious obligation, have only furtive sex with anonymous partners and avoid any form of more lasting relationship or anything like a friendship with their sexual partners that could lead to that. That is how they process their belief that their homosexuality is a sin. Radical compartmentalization.

    In muslim countries a man has to have money to get married. so the poorer men are in a form of enforced celebacy that means. and so they are more likely to seek out other men for sex, but again, there are rules. The biggest rule is to never form any sort of emotional bond whatsoever. not even a friendship or to know the name of the person one is having sex with that means. It is a very dehumanizing way to live.

    Since homosexuals share every single one of the aspirations that God put into us by declaration….”it is not good for man to be alone”… I suggest that mercy demands that we encourage those who do not possess the miraculous (ie extremely rare) gift of celebacy to pair off to avoid even worse sin and vice and social damage, encourage them to live in the faith of their baptism, and let God sort out the rest on judgement day sweetly, by grace.

    Sex is not just about the sex drive or lust or coveting what is not ours. It is about those deepest longings that are what animate most of us to get up in the morning and suffer the problems of life.

    The fact that there is so much music and poetry about the subject of love and romantic love is not about the sex act. It is about something that matters more than just about any other material earthly blessing to most of us. And homosexuals, being fully human, share this thing.

    Platonic friendship as the option for groups requiring mandatory celebacy does not fulfill that desire. Neither does sex that is anonymous and disconnected from the rest of what makes us human fulfill those desires.

    Both of those options result in dehumanization and the deepest of moral degradation.

    Examine your own lives and hearts and tell me that I am wrong about this.

  • fws

    kerner @ 25

    I have some first hand reports that there is lots of sex going on between men in islamic countries. there are unwritten rules about how to go about it. If those rules get broken the penalty is death by either beheading (saudi arabia) or hanging (iran for example).

    Almost ALL men get married to meet social expectations, and then the sex with other men is done very furtively, but is common knowledge and is even joked about….. Calling someone your “first cousin” is shorthand for that.

    That is usually the way it is anywhere there is legalism. Here in the usa the music directors and choir etc are full of men and women who are gay. It is really obvious but no one says anything. And as long as those gay men and women are the loudest “amens” when the pastor condemns homosexuality, then this is ok. And then these men, as a religious obligation, have only furtive sex with anonymous partners and avoid any form of more lasting relationship or anything like a friendship with their sexual partners that could lead to that. That is how they process their belief that their homosexuality is a sin. Radical compartmentalization.

    In muslim countries a man has to have money to get married. so the poorer men are in a form of enforced celebacy that means. and so they are more likely to seek out other men for sex, but again, there are rules. The biggest rule is to never form any sort of emotional bond whatsoever. not even a friendship or to know the name of the person one is having sex with that means. It is a very dehumanizing way to live.

    Since homosexuals share every single one of the aspirations that God put into us by declaration….”it is not good for man to be alone”… I suggest that mercy demands that we encourage those who do not possess the miraculous (ie extremely rare) gift of celebacy to pair off to avoid even worse sin and vice and social damage, encourage them to live in the faith of their baptism, and let God sort out the rest on judgement day sweetly, by grace.

    Sex is not just about the sex drive or lust or coveting what is not ours. It is about those deepest longings that are what animate most of us to get up in the morning and suffer the problems of life.

    The fact that there is so much music and poetry about the subject of love and romantic love is not about the sex act. It is about something that matters more than just about any other material earthly blessing to most of us. And homosexuals, being fully human, share this thing.

    Platonic friendship as the option for groups requiring mandatory celebacy does not fulfill that desire. Neither does sex that is anonymous and disconnected from the rest of what makes us human fulfill those desires.

    Both of those options result in dehumanization and the deepest of moral degradation.

    Examine your own lives and hearts and tell me that I am wrong about this.

  • Michael B.

    @fws@30

    What you described is very similar to what my coworker described. He described sexual relationships among men as very common in Islamic countries, but it is very secret and never legitimized. If asked, any of them would agree that homosexuality is wrong and should even result in criminal penalties. Even though they’re having sex with each other, don’t think they would ever be advocates of anything like gay marriage like over in the US.

  • Michael B.

    @fws@30

    What you described is very similar to what my coworker described. He described sexual relationships among men as very common in Islamic countries, but it is very secret and never legitimized. If asked, any of them would agree that homosexuality is wrong and should even result in criminal penalties. Even though they’re having sex with each other, don’t think they would ever be advocates of anything like gay marriage like over in the US.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 28, I can see that. But why can’t both motives be at work? “I’m entering the priesthood in the hope it will cure my pederasty, but if it doesn’t, I know it will disguise – even protect – my pederasty.” Same for entering marriage.

    The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

    Is it possible this is what Romans 1 addresses? When St. Paul speaks of “the natural function,” he can’t mean heterosexual behavior by itself, can he? Something outside of marriage? Wouldn’t “natural function” and sex within marriage be the same thing for him? Otherwise, he’d be validating a sinful concept?

    So, in Romans 1, is it possible St. Paul was addressing the violation of marriage – as it was commonly violated in that culture?

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 28, I can see that. But why can’t both motives be at work? “I’m entering the priesthood in the hope it will cure my pederasty, but if it doesn’t, I know it will disguise – even protect – my pederasty.” Same for entering marriage.

    The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

    Is it possible this is what Romans 1 addresses? When St. Paul speaks of “the natural function,” he can’t mean heterosexual behavior by itself, can he? Something outside of marriage? Wouldn’t “natural function” and sex within marriage be the same thing for him? Otherwise, he’d be validating a sinful concept?

    So, in Romans 1, is it possible St. Paul was addressing the violation of marriage – as it was commonly violated in that culture?

  • kerner

    fws @27 & 30:

    You are basically making an anti-nomian argument that is not Lutheran (much less scriptural. You are saying that homosexuals are hardwired to be the way they are (usually since early childhood) and that it is impossible for them to be any other way. Therefore, it is cruel and wrong to hold them to the law that prohibits sex out side of a man-woman marriage, because it is impossible for them to comply. You are asserting the first argument of the antinomians that was refuted by Dr. Luther:

    “First Argument
    Against the entire disputation.
    We are not obliged to do the impossible. The law is impossible. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.

    Response: It is said improperly, that is, not rightly and not fittingly, that we are obliged to do what is impossible by the law. When Adam was first created, the law was for him not only something possible, but even something enjoyable. He rendered the obedience the law required with all his will and with gladness of heart, and did so perfectly. Yet what now, after the fall, is impossible, is so not by fault of the law, but by our fault. It is not the fault of the one binding, but of the one sinning, hence this statement, The law urges us to do what is impossible, needs to be understood fittingly, for if you want to preserve the strict sense of the words, it sounds as if God himself is being accused of burdening us with the impossible law. Yet it is sin and Satan, who made the possible and enjoyable law impossible and terrifying, who are to be accused.
    Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit, being driven by whom they also in this life begin to fulfill the law; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.”

    Apply this to the specific case by inserting specific language as follows:

    We are not obliged to [give up man-man sex, because that would be to] do the impossible. The law [against man-man sex]is impossible [for us homosexuals]. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.

    Response: It is said improperly, that is, not rightly and not fittingly, that we [that is, homosexuals] are obliged to do what is impossible by the law. When Adam was first created, the law was for him not only something possible, but even something enjoyable. He rendered the obedience the law required with all his will and with gladness of heart, and did so perfectly. Yet what now, after the fall, is impossible, is so not by fault of the law, but by our [ specifically, in this case, homosexuals] fault. It is not the fault of the one binding, but of the one [ i.e. the homosexual] sinning, hence this statement, The law urges us [homosexuals] to do what is impossible, needs to be understood fittingly, for if you want to preserve the strict sense of the words, it sounds as if God himself is being accused of burdening us [homosexuals] with the impossible law. Yet it is sin and Satan, who made the possible and enjoyable law impossible and terrifying, who are to be accused.
    Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit [including homosexuals], being driven by whom they [including homosexuals] also in this life begin to fulfill the law; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them [including homosexuals], so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.

    This can, of course, by applied specifically to any pattern of sin that any person finds so appealing that it seems impossible to give up. Contrary to what you have accused me of in the past, I do not assert a separate law for gays than for everybody else. Rather, I apply the same law to everyone in common, including gays. Any sinner can make the same argument you do, any any different kind of sinner would be just as wrong as you are, and for the same reasons.

    Notice how the last couple of sentences explain how God’s mercy is a factor here. It is not in pretending that the behavior is not sin by trying to pair it with things we think are good. The mercy you cry for so often is found here:

    “Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit”

    and the merciful result is:

    “being driven by whom they also in this life begin to fulfill the law; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels”

    The Holy Spirit, by the power of Christ’s atonement (those works of Another you often mention) drives Christians to begin to fulfill the law in this life (though we constantly slip and fall in this life), but in the next life, by God’s gracious mercy, we shall be free from sin (including the desire to have man-man sex) altogether.

    So take heart, brother in Christ, you will be mercifully free of this burden someday, as will every Christian from whatever pet sin afflicts him or her. Meanwhile, all of us have to turn from our sins as best we can with the merciful help of the Holy Spirit, and cling to the cross for our salvation, despite out many failures.

  • kerner

    fws @27 & 30:

    You are basically making an anti-nomian argument that is not Lutheran (much less scriptural. You are saying that homosexuals are hardwired to be the way they are (usually since early childhood) and that it is impossible for them to be any other way. Therefore, it is cruel and wrong to hold them to the law that prohibits sex out side of a man-woman marriage, because it is impossible for them to comply. You are asserting the first argument of the antinomians that was refuted by Dr. Luther:

    “First Argument
    Against the entire disputation.
    We are not obliged to do the impossible. The law is impossible. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.

    Response: It is said improperly, that is, not rightly and not fittingly, that we are obliged to do what is impossible by the law. When Adam was first created, the law was for him not only something possible, but even something enjoyable. He rendered the obedience the law required with all his will and with gladness of heart, and did so perfectly. Yet what now, after the fall, is impossible, is so not by fault of the law, but by our fault. It is not the fault of the one binding, but of the one sinning, hence this statement, The law urges us to do what is impossible, needs to be understood fittingly, for if you want to preserve the strict sense of the words, it sounds as if God himself is being accused of burdening us with the impossible law. Yet it is sin and Satan, who made the possible and enjoyable law impossible and terrifying, who are to be accused.
    Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit, being driven by whom they also in this life begin to fulfill the law; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.”

    Apply this to the specific case by inserting specific language as follows:

    We are not obliged to [give up man-man sex, because that would be to] do the impossible. The law [against man-man sex]is impossible [for us homosexuals]. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.

    Response: It is said improperly, that is, not rightly and not fittingly, that we [that is, homosexuals] are obliged to do what is impossible by the law. When Adam was first created, the law was for him not only something possible, but even something enjoyable. He rendered the obedience the law required with all his will and with gladness of heart, and did so perfectly. Yet what now, after the fall, is impossible, is so not by fault of the law, but by our [ specifically, in this case, homosexuals] fault. It is not the fault of the one binding, but of the one [ i.e. the homosexual] sinning, hence this statement, The law urges us [homosexuals] to do what is impossible, needs to be understood fittingly, for if you want to preserve the strict sense of the words, it sounds as if God himself is being accused of burdening us [homosexuals] with the impossible law. Yet it is sin and Satan, who made the possible and enjoyable law impossible and terrifying, who are to be accused.
    Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit [including homosexuals], being driven by whom they [including homosexuals] also in this life begin to fulfill the law; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them [including homosexuals], so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.

    This can, of course, by applied specifically to any pattern of sin that any person finds so appealing that it seems impossible to give up. Contrary to what you have accused me of in the past, I do not assert a separate law for gays than for everybody else. Rather, I apply the same law to everyone in common, including gays. Any sinner can make the same argument you do, any any different kind of sinner would be just as wrong as you are, and for the same reasons.

    Notice how the last couple of sentences explain how God’s mercy is a factor here. It is not in pretending that the behavior is not sin by trying to pair it with things we think are good. The mercy you cry for so often is found here:

    “Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit”

    and the merciful result is:

    “being driven by whom they also in this life begin to fulfill the law; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels”

    The Holy Spirit, by the power of Christ’s atonement (those works of Another you often mention) drives Christians to begin to fulfill the law in this life (though we constantly slip and fall in this life), but in the next life, by God’s gracious mercy, we shall be free from sin (including the desire to have man-man sex) altogether.

    So take heart, brother in Christ, you will be mercifully free of this burden someday, as will every Christian from whatever pet sin afflicts him or her. Meanwhile, all of us have to turn from our sins as best we can with the merciful help of the Holy Spirit, and cling to the cross for our salvation, despite out many failures.

  • kerner

    I got the Luther quotation here:

    http://www.lutheranpress.com/docs/ODE-prev-Ch1.pdf

    And to answer the last 6 paragraph of @30, it is a fallacy to think that gays are intrinsically different from everyone else. Gays simply have a particularly strong compulsion to commit a particular sin. But plenty of other people have equally strong compulsions to commit different sins. And gays aren’t the only people whose strong desire to sin deprives them of something good and honorable either. The world and all human history is full of people whoi loved their sins so much that they sacraficed their families, fortunes and the respect of their communities rather than give up their sins.

    But it is not mercy to help gays or anyone else become comfortable with their sins. As the confessions say, our sins should terrify us. Hence, your desire to have sex with men should terrify you. The last thing we should be doing is to create a cocoon of comfort around our sins of any kind.

    And your desire to have a marriage-like relationship with a man is little more than coveting something that belongs to your female neighbors. It is not God’s fault that gays covet it so desperately that they reject all the proper partners in the world that He has provided for them.

  • kerner

    I got the Luther quotation here:

    http://www.lutheranpress.com/docs/ODE-prev-Ch1.pdf

    And to answer the last 6 paragraph of @30, it is a fallacy to think that gays are intrinsically different from everyone else. Gays simply have a particularly strong compulsion to commit a particular sin. But plenty of other people have equally strong compulsions to commit different sins. And gays aren’t the only people whose strong desire to sin deprives them of something good and honorable either. The world and all human history is full of people whoi loved their sins so much that they sacraficed their families, fortunes and the respect of their communities rather than give up their sins.

    But it is not mercy to help gays or anyone else become comfortable with their sins. As the confessions say, our sins should terrify us. Hence, your desire to have sex with men should terrify you. The last thing we should be doing is to create a cocoon of comfort around our sins of any kind.

    And your desire to have a marriage-like relationship with a man is little more than coveting something that belongs to your female neighbors. It is not God’s fault that gays covet it so desperately that they reject all the proper partners in the world that He has provided for them.

  • fws

    kerner here is precisely where you err:

    You are interpreting Luther’s words according to the second table.
    The second table is about what we do in thought, word and deed.

    It is easy to stop having sex. I do that every day. It is easier for some than others. But that IS doable Kerner. Our Confessions actually assert that it IS possible , but only with considerable effort.

    Here is the Confessional take home point for you Kerner: even pagans can do that . No Holy Spirit is necessary at all for that kind of Law keeping. This is precisely the point of the Confessions in telling us that, concerning civic morality, NOTHING more can be demanded than the ethics of one pagan named Aristotle.

    So you should be observing here that Luther can’t be talking about the word Law by that civic definition as you are saying precisely because we believe teach and confess that the second table Law CAN be kept by even a pagan.

    So how is Luther here using the word Law ?

    Luther is here speaking about that Law that is uniquely found , alone, in the first commandment. This Law is veiled to reason with the “veil of Moses” , which veil is the idea that the Law can be kept by what we do in thought, word and deed. And this Law does not deal with our thoughts, words and deeds. It deals alone with movements that are in our heart.

    Luther is talking about the first commandment, not the other 9 here. The Law in those other 9 does pertain here. The relationship is tree (first commandment) to fruit (the other 9 commandments). For that reason I am not saying that what we do in thought word and deed has NOTHING to do with how Luther is talking about the Law. Yet at the same time I AM saying that you are reading what Luther is saying under the veil of moses, which is all reason can know.

    you are reading what Luther is saying , about that word “Law: according to your legal training as a attorney.

    That is not wrong Kerner. Underline what I just said ok?

    But.. you are missing another meaning of the word “Law” that reason cannot tell you.

    Take a deep breath, step back, and stop reading Luther looking for some support for your view of the Law or using homosexuality as your test case or testing instrument to achieve understanding. Reading that way, you will find what looks like proof texts for your view but will miss the precise point he is saying.

    try reading this by the same author and then use this to interpret what you just presented and get back at me. Luther defines for us here the words he is using.

    Please use his definitions and not your own ok?

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

  • fws

    kerner here is precisely where you err:

    You are interpreting Luther’s words according to the second table.
    The second table is about what we do in thought, word and deed.

    It is easy to stop having sex. I do that every day. It is easier for some than others. But that IS doable Kerner. Our Confessions actually assert that it IS possible , but only with considerable effort.

    Here is the Confessional take home point for you Kerner: even pagans can do that . No Holy Spirit is necessary at all for that kind of Law keeping. This is precisely the point of the Confessions in telling us that, concerning civic morality, NOTHING more can be demanded than the ethics of one pagan named Aristotle.

    So you should be observing here that Luther can’t be talking about the word Law by that civic definition as you are saying precisely because we believe teach and confess that the second table Law CAN be kept by even a pagan.

    So how is Luther here using the word Law ?

    Luther is here speaking about that Law that is uniquely found , alone, in the first commandment. This Law is veiled to reason with the “veil of Moses” , which veil is the idea that the Law can be kept by what we do in thought, word and deed. And this Law does not deal with our thoughts, words and deeds. It deals alone with movements that are in our heart.

    Luther is talking about the first commandment, not the other 9 here. The Law in those other 9 does pertain here. The relationship is tree (first commandment) to fruit (the other 9 commandments). For that reason I am not saying that what we do in thought word and deed has NOTHING to do with how Luther is talking about the Law. Yet at the same time I AM saying that you are reading what Luther is saying under the veil of moses, which is all reason can know.

    you are reading what Luther is saying , about that word “Law: according to your legal training as a attorney.

    That is not wrong Kerner. Underline what I just said ok?

    But.. you are missing another meaning of the word “Law” that reason cannot tell you.

    Take a deep breath, step back, and stop reading Luther looking for some support for your view of the Law or using homosexuality as your test case or testing instrument to achieve understanding. Reading that way, you will find what looks like proof texts for your view but will miss the precise point he is saying.

    try reading this by the same author and then use this to interpret what you just presented and get back at me. Luther defines for us here the words he is using.

    Please use his definitions and not your own ok?

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

  • fws

    Kerner @ 33

    “We are not obliged to [give up man-man sex, because that would be to] do the impossible. The law [against man-man sex]is impossible [for us homosexuals]. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.”

    I do believe this is true because of what the Augsburg Confession and the Apology say about this in article XXIII.

    But what you need to see is this : Article XXIII is indeed addressing the use of the word Law in the sense that you also are using it. They are talking about a Law that IS doable in thought word and deed with considerable effort.

    And then they are talking also about some other thing/category that is not about the Law of God as to civil morality or even matters of the heart, in any sense whatsoever, they are talking about the ordinance of God that is called the sex drive. This is Divine Law in the precise sense that the Law of Gravity is also a Law. And that Ordinance/Law simply cannot be resisted even as the Confessions, St Paul in 1 cor 7 and Luther in various places testify.

    So there is this third category that the Augustana/Apology creates that the Roman Catholics lump in with “natural Law” just in exactly the way that you are doing. And there is an important reason that the Confessions make this 3rd distinction. Without it, Law and Gospel will be horribly confused.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 33

    “We are not obliged to [give up man-man sex, because that would be to] do the impossible. The law [against man-man sex]is impossible [for us homosexuals]. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.”

    I do believe this is true because of what the Augsburg Confession and the Apology say about this in article XXIII.

    But what you need to see is this : Article XXIII is indeed addressing the use of the word Law in the sense that you also are using it. They are talking about a Law that IS doable in thought word and deed with considerable effort.

    And then they are talking also about some other thing/category that is not about the Law of God as to civil morality or even matters of the heart, in any sense whatsoever, they are talking about the ordinance of God that is called the sex drive. This is Divine Law in the precise sense that the Law of Gravity is also a Law. And that Ordinance/Law simply cannot be resisted even as the Confessions, St Paul in 1 cor 7 and Luther in various places testify.

    So there is this third category that the Augustana/Apology creates that the Roman Catholics lump in with “natural Law” just in exactly the way that you are doing. And there is an important reason that the Confessions make this 3rd distinction. Without it, Law and Gospel will be horribly confused.

  • fws

    Kerner @34 You said….

    And to answer the last 6 paragraph of @30, it is a fallacy to think that gays are intrinsically different from everyone else. Gays simply have a particularly strong compulsion to commit a particular sin. But plenty of other people have equally strong compulsions to commit different sins.

    Kerner, we are not talking about “different sins” . We are talking about one specific thing. That one specific thing is something our Confessions call an “ordinance of God” that IS irresistable in precisely the same sense and for the same reason that the Law of Gravity is also irresistable. Cf Apology and Augustana art XXiii.

    Your assertion is this:

    The sex drive is resistable for gays because it is also resistable for heterosexuals.

    Our Confessions disagree that the sex drive is resistable for heterosexuals. That is the core point of apology art XXIII after the Law and Gospel distinction they are centrally driving at. So does St

    Paul also make this same point in in 1 cor 7. There he says that celebacy is a gift not something we are able to chose. It is a miracle. It requires divine intervention, and not the kind you mention that is will power + the Holy Spirit. That remedy you propose is what even pagans can and should do. the Holy Spirit IS necessary for that. He does that through the Law that always accuses even pagans.

    And so marriage is the ONLY remedy, And marriage can only channel and direct the irresistable sex drive. It cannot do more than that. And it can do that even then, ONLY if both married parties are diligent in providing for the sexual needs of their partner without ever neglecting that task.

    Therefore your argument falls because the Confessions simply and clearly disagree with your foundational premise that a heterosexual can resist the sex drive.

    St Paul says that the irresistability of the sex drive holds true within marriage! That is really his point in telling married couples never to deny one another sex except for the briefest of periods!

  • fws

    Kerner @34 You said….

    And to answer the last 6 paragraph of @30, it is a fallacy to think that gays are intrinsically different from everyone else. Gays simply have a particularly strong compulsion to commit a particular sin. But plenty of other people have equally strong compulsions to commit different sins.

    Kerner, we are not talking about “different sins” . We are talking about one specific thing. That one specific thing is something our Confessions call an “ordinance of God” that IS irresistable in precisely the same sense and for the same reason that the Law of Gravity is also irresistable. Cf Apology and Augustana art XXiii.

    Your assertion is this:

    The sex drive is resistable for gays because it is also resistable for heterosexuals.

    Our Confessions disagree that the sex drive is resistable for heterosexuals. That is the core point of apology art XXIII after the Law and Gospel distinction they are centrally driving at. So does St

    Paul also make this same point in in 1 cor 7. There he says that celebacy is a gift not something we are able to chose. It is a miracle. It requires divine intervention, and not the kind you mention that is will power + the Holy Spirit. That remedy you propose is what even pagans can and should do. the Holy Spirit IS necessary for that. He does that through the Law that always accuses even pagans.

    And so marriage is the ONLY remedy, And marriage can only channel and direct the irresistable sex drive. It cannot do more than that. And it can do that even then, ONLY if both married parties are diligent in providing for the sexual needs of their partner without ever neglecting that task.

    Therefore your argument falls because the Confessions simply and clearly disagree with your foundational premise that a heterosexual can resist the sex drive.

    St Paul says that the irresistability of the sex drive holds true within marriage! That is really his point in telling married couples never to deny one another sex except for the briefest of periods!

  • fws

    correction to post 35

    I said:

    It is easy to stop having sex. I do that every day. It is easier for some than others. But that IS doable Kerner. Our Confessions actually assert that it IS possible , but only with considerable effort.

    This is contrary to what our Confessions teach. Therefore it is to be rejected. Therefore I retract it. Completely. See my immediately previous post as to why.

  • fws

    correction to post 35

    I said:

    It is easy to stop having sex. I do that every day. It is easier for some than others. But that IS doable Kerner. Our Confessions actually assert that it IS possible , but only with considerable effort.

    This is contrary to what our Confessions teach. Therefore it is to be rejected. Therefore I retract it. Completely. See my immediately previous post as to why.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 33

    What follows is a point by point response to what you say applying the rule that… You make three errors here. 1) You exceptionalize homosexuality, then… 2) you start talking about GENERAL sins for heterosexuals vs ONE sin that is strictly , in your view, something ONLY homosexuals can commit, by definition! 3) Neither the Confesions nor the Scriptures identify the sex drive as something that falls into a moral category.

    But they both DO say that resisting the sex drive is exactly possible in the same way resisting the Law of Gravity is also possible. And this is precisely where we disagree I suggest Kerner!

    Again: you assert that the sex drive can be resisted by heterosexuals, therefore it can also be resisted by gays. This precise point is contrary to 1 cor 7 and Apology XXIII! So your premise is false therefore your conclusion must also be rejected.

    there is no exceptionalism for homosexuality is your assertion. I fully agree! NO ONE can resist the sex drive. And this, I suggest is the precise point made by st paul in 1 cor 7 and in the Confessions apology XXIII. this point is not alone applicable to heterosexuals who are able, uniquely so, to enter into marriage. Now if you disagree with my previous sentence, then you can present your arguments to the contrary ok? I suspect you do not disagree. Are there hetersexuals also unsuited for marriage? Yes. In the same sense? No. Lets do apples vs apples if you chose to go there. Let’s follow that lack of exceptionalism as our guiding principle here then. We will say heterosexual/homosexual wherever you say homosexual and let’s see what results:

    KERNER You are basically making an anti-nomian argument…heterosexuals/homosexuals are hardwired…. (sexually) that it is impossible for them to be any other way.
    Therefore, it is cruel and wrong to hold them to the law that prohibits sex…. because it is impossible for them to comply.
    FRANK Let’s indentify this argument correctly as to it’s source. This is the argument of the Apology article XXIII. To say that what this article says about the sex drive applies only to those potentially capable of heterosexual marriage is a gloss on the text I suggest. And since this is an assertion of our Confessions, I suggest it is wrong to label it “antinomian”.
    KERNER: [In making this argument] You are asserting the first argument of the antinomians that was refuted by Dr. Luther:… We are not obliged to do the impossible. The law is impossible. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.
    FRANK: The precise argument of St Paul in 1 cor 7 and Apology XXIII is that for heterosexual/homosexual humans, resisting the sex drive is only possible by miraculous , divine intervention. It is impossible this is precisely saying. And they say that it is “cruel” therefore to oblige men to try to do this impossible thing. I agree fully with what Dr Luther says. And I agree fully with Apology art XXIII. I suggest you need to reconcile as well how both statements can be both fully true!
    Here is the precise point of disagreement: God does not oblige anyone to be celebate. Fact. Yet he DOES oblige us to keep his Law. All of it. Down to every single last Jot and titel. You need to reconcile these two facts rather than proof text and ask your reader to chose one or the other.
    LUTHER: …For Adam , the Law was…even something enjoyable…..with all his will and with gladness of hear…. Yet it is sin and Satan, who made the possible and enjoyable law impossible and terrifying, who are to be accused. …for those who believe….the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.”
    FRANK This is not talking about commandments 1-9 which Luther AND the Confessions say IS possible . Even there that keeping is not possible without the Holy Spirit! But there the Holy Spirit is making the Law be kept by the mortification the Law Works. Remember that the HS kills with the Law. He makes alive, that is he changes our heart-keeping, alone by the Gospel. And that Gospel is not in any way about our will power + the HS power. It is ALONE faith in the works of Another. Luther, in contrast, here is talking about that one commandment that is IMpossible to keep apart from faith alone in the works of Another. he is not talking about our keeping or doing. He is talking about a “doing” that is fully done by Another and how faith alone therefore can do it.
    KERNER (modified to conform to our guiding principle by Frank); Apply this to the specific case by inserting specific language as follows: Heterosexuals/homosexuals are not obliged to [give up sex for that would be to oblige someone tp] do the impossible. The law [against sex]is impossible [for us heterosexuals/homosexuals]. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.
    FRANK Remember: No exceptionalism! The Confessions declare this as true. This is indeed the terminal point of the argument of Apology XXIII. But the argument is not contructed as you construct it They dont identify the sex drive as falling under the category of Law as you are doing. So the Confessions identify you as making a category error. They classify the sex drive under “Ordinance of God”. When you read term ” ordinance of God” think of a category that would include things like the Law of Gravity. This law is neither civil/moral 2-9 commandment Law nor heart movement 1st commandment Law . It is something the Confessions place into yet another category. They are saying in Apology art XXIII that the sex drive falls into such a category rather than either civil Law or that first commandment Law that deals with movements of the heart.
    KERNER (Modifying Luther, modified by Frank to conform to nonexceptionalism):
    It is said improperly, that is, not rightly and not fittingly, that we [that is, heterosexuals/homosexuals] are obliged to [be celebate and completely refrain from sex and so] do what is impossible by the law. … For Adam [refraining from sex was] …. something enjoyable. He [did it]…with all his will and with gladness of heart, and did so perfectly. The law urges us [heterosexuals/homosexuals] to do what is impossible, needs to be understood fittingly, for if you want to preserve the strict sense of the words, it sounds as if God himself is being accused of burdening us [heterosexuals/homosexuals] with the impossible law. Yet it is sin and Satan, who made [resisting the sex drive, which is ] possible and enjoyable law [into a Law that is ] impossible and terrifying, who are to be accused. …those who believe in him…also in this life begin to fulfill the law [that obliges homosexuals/heterosexuals to successfully deny the sex drive, and do so with]… the most joyful and perfect obedience …so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.

    KERNER This [obligation to successfully resist the sex drive] can, of course, by applied specifically to any pattern of sin that any person finds so appealing that it seems impossible to give up.
    Contrary to what you have accused me of in the past, I do not assert a separate law [that obligates someone to successfully countermand the sex drive] that is just for gays and not for everybody else.
    [that obligates everyone to resist the sex drive just as one could resist the law of gravity]
    Rather, I apply the same law [that obliges one to have no sex at all] to everyone in common, including gays. Any sinner can make the same argument you do, any any different kind of sinner would be just as wrong as you are, and for the same reasons.
    Notice how the last couple of sentences explain how God’s mercy is a factor here. It is not in pretending that the behavior is not sin by trying to pair it with things we think are good. The mercy you cry for so often is found here: [GOSPEL: THE WORKS OF ANOTHER]
    “Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit”
    and the merciful result is:
    “being driven by whom they also in this life begin to fulfill the law [That obligates everyone to refrain from sex]; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now
    I got the Luther quotation here:
    http://www.lutheranpress.com/docs/ODE-prev-Ch1.pdf

    KERNER And to answer the last 6 paragraph of @30, it is a fallacy to think that gays are intrinsically different from everyone else.
    FRANK But you are not saying that. You are saying that gays must succeed, with the help of the HS, even pagan gays, to do something that is impossible for heterosexuals to do. But your argument is that heterosexuals are able to do it too. And you trot out examples of someone with a spouse that is incapacitated etc. That sort of argument is a) not a biblical argument and b) not a confessional argument. You need to make your Reason captive to the Word of God here Kerner rather than make the Scriptures captive to your logical “for instances”.
    KERNER (modified by frank to remove exceptionalism) gays simply have a …[sex drive]. But [heterosexuals] have equally strong [sex drives]. And gays aren’t the only people whose strong [sex drives] deprives them of something good and honorable either. The world and all human history is full of people who [gave into their sex drive in the wrong way] so much that they sacraficed their families, fortunes and the respect of their communities rather than give up [sex].
    FRANK This is most certainly true, but it does not prove any point you are making.
    KERNER (modified to remove exceptionalism) But it is not mercy to help gays or heterosexuals else become comfortable with [having a sex drive]. As the confessions say, [what we all do with ] our [sex drive] should terrify us. Hence, [your and my ] desire to have sex …should terrify you[ and me]. The last thing we should be doing is to create a cocoon of comfort around our [sex drives].
    And [our mutual and human , non-exceptional ] desire to have a marriage-like relationship…. is little more than covet something that belongs to your… neighbors. It is not God’s fault that gays and heterosexuals covet [sex and the intimacy of marriage] so desperately that [all humans] reject all the proper partners in the world that He has provided for them.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 33

    What follows is a point by point response to what you say applying the rule that… You make three errors here. 1) You exceptionalize homosexuality, then… 2) you start talking about GENERAL sins for heterosexuals vs ONE sin that is strictly , in your view, something ONLY homosexuals can commit, by definition! 3) Neither the Confesions nor the Scriptures identify the sex drive as something that falls into a moral category.

    But they both DO say that resisting the sex drive is exactly possible in the same way resisting the Law of Gravity is also possible. And this is precisely where we disagree I suggest Kerner!

    Again: you assert that the sex drive can be resisted by heterosexuals, therefore it can also be resisted by gays. This precise point is contrary to 1 cor 7 and Apology XXIII! So your premise is false therefore your conclusion must also be rejected.

    there is no exceptionalism for homosexuality is your assertion. I fully agree! NO ONE can resist the sex drive. And this, I suggest is the precise point made by st paul in 1 cor 7 and in the Confessions apology XXIII. this point is not alone applicable to heterosexuals who are able, uniquely so, to enter into marriage. Now if you disagree with my previous sentence, then you can present your arguments to the contrary ok? I suspect you do not disagree. Are there hetersexuals also unsuited for marriage? Yes. In the same sense? No. Lets do apples vs apples if you chose to go there. Let’s follow that lack of exceptionalism as our guiding principle here then. We will say heterosexual/homosexual wherever you say homosexual and let’s see what results:

    KERNER You are basically making an anti-nomian argument…heterosexuals/homosexuals are hardwired…. (sexually) that it is impossible for them to be any other way.
    Therefore, it is cruel and wrong to hold them to the law that prohibits sex…. because it is impossible for them to comply.
    FRANK Let’s indentify this argument correctly as to it’s source. This is the argument of the Apology article XXIII. To say that what this article says about the sex drive applies only to those potentially capable of heterosexual marriage is a gloss on the text I suggest. And since this is an assertion of our Confessions, I suggest it is wrong to label it “antinomian”.
    KERNER: [In making this argument] You are asserting the first argument of the antinomians that was refuted by Dr. Luther:… We are not obliged to do the impossible. The law is impossible. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.
    FRANK: The precise argument of St Paul in 1 cor 7 and Apology XXIII is that for heterosexual/homosexual humans, resisting the sex drive is only possible by miraculous , divine intervention. It is impossible this is precisely saying. And they say that it is “cruel” therefore to oblige men to try to do this impossible thing. I agree fully with what Dr Luther says. And I agree fully with Apology art XXIII. I suggest you need to reconcile as well how both statements can be both fully true!
    Here is the precise point of disagreement: God does not oblige anyone to be celebate. Fact. Yet he DOES oblige us to keep his Law. All of it. Down to every single last Jot and titel. You need to reconcile these two facts rather than proof text and ask your reader to chose one or the other.
    LUTHER: …For Adam , the Law was…even something enjoyable…..with all his will and with gladness of hear…. Yet it is sin and Satan, who made the possible and enjoyable law impossible and terrifying, who are to be accused. …for those who believe….the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.”
    FRANK This is not talking about commandments 1-9 which Luther AND the Confessions say IS possible . Even there that keeping is not possible without the Holy Spirit! But there the Holy Spirit is making the Law be kept by the mortification the Law Works. Remember that the HS kills with the Law. He makes alive, that is he changes our heart-keeping, alone by the Gospel. And that Gospel is not in any way about our will power + the HS power. It is ALONE faith in the works of Another. Luther, in contrast, here is talking about that one commandment that is IMpossible to keep apart from faith alone in the works of Another. he is not talking about our keeping or doing. He is talking about a “doing” that is fully done by Another and how faith alone therefore can do it.
    KERNER (modified to conform to our guiding principle by Frank); Apply this to the specific case by inserting specific language as follows: Heterosexuals/homosexuals are not obliged to [give up sex for that would be to oblige someone tp] do the impossible. The law [against sex]is impossible [for us heterosexuals/homosexuals]. Therefore we are not obliged to do it.
    FRANK Remember: No exceptionalism! The Confessions declare this as true. This is indeed the terminal point of the argument of Apology XXIII. But the argument is not contructed as you construct it They dont identify the sex drive as falling under the category of Law as you are doing. So the Confessions identify you as making a category error. They classify the sex drive under “Ordinance of God”. When you read term ” ordinance of God” think of a category that would include things like the Law of Gravity. This law is neither civil/moral 2-9 commandment Law nor heart movement 1st commandment Law . It is something the Confessions place into yet another category. They are saying in Apology art XXIII that the sex drive falls into such a category rather than either civil Law or that first commandment Law that deals with movements of the heart.
    KERNER (Modifying Luther, modified by Frank to conform to nonexceptionalism):
    It is said improperly, that is, not rightly and not fittingly, that we [that is, heterosexuals/homosexuals] are obliged to [be celebate and completely refrain from sex and so] do what is impossible by the law. … For Adam [refraining from sex was] …. something enjoyable. He [did it]…with all his will and with gladness of heart, and did so perfectly. The law urges us [heterosexuals/homosexuals] to do what is impossible, needs to be understood fittingly, for if you want to preserve the strict sense of the words, it sounds as if God himself is being accused of burdening us [heterosexuals/homosexuals] with the impossible law. Yet it is sin and Satan, who made [resisting the sex drive, which is ] possible and enjoyable law [into a Law that is ] impossible and terrifying, who are to be accused. …those who believe in him…also in this life begin to fulfill the law [that obliges homosexuals/heterosexuals to successfully deny the sex drive, and do so with]… the most joyful and perfect obedience …so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.

    KERNER This [obligation to successfully resist the sex drive] can, of course, by applied specifically to any pattern of sin that any person finds so appealing that it seems impossible to give up.
    Contrary to what you have accused me of in the past, I do not assert a separate law [that obligates someone to successfully countermand the sex drive] that is just for gays and not for everybody else.
    [that obligates everyone to resist the sex drive just as one could resist the law of gravity]
    Rather, I apply the same law [that obliges one to have no sex at all] to everyone in common, including gays. Any sinner can make the same argument you do, any any different kind of sinner would be just as wrong as you are, and for the same reasons.
    Notice how the last couple of sentences explain how God’s mercy is a factor here. It is not in pretending that the behavior is not sin by trying to pair it with things we think are good. The mercy you cry for so often is found here: [GOSPEL: THE WORKS OF ANOTHER]
    “Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit”
    and the merciful result is:
    “being driven by whom they also in this life begin to fulfill the law [That obligates everyone to refrain from sex]; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now
    I got the Luther quotation here:
    http://www.lutheranpress.com/docs/ODE-prev-Ch1.pdf

    KERNER And to answer the last 6 paragraph of @30, it is a fallacy to think that gays are intrinsically different from everyone else.
    FRANK But you are not saying that. You are saying that gays must succeed, with the help of the HS, even pagan gays, to do something that is impossible for heterosexuals to do. But your argument is that heterosexuals are able to do it too. And you trot out examples of someone with a spouse that is incapacitated etc. That sort of argument is a) not a biblical argument and b) not a confessional argument. You need to make your Reason captive to the Word of God here Kerner rather than make the Scriptures captive to your logical “for instances”.
    KERNER (modified by frank to remove exceptionalism) gays simply have a …[sex drive]. But [heterosexuals] have equally strong [sex drives]. And gays aren’t the only people whose strong [sex drives] deprives them of something good and honorable either. The world and all human history is full of people who [gave into their sex drive in the wrong way] so much that they sacraficed their families, fortunes and the respect of their communities rather than give up [sex].
    FRANK This is most certainly true, but it does not prove any point you are making.
    KERNER (modified to remove exceptionalism) But it is not mercy to help gays or heterosexuals else become comfortable with [having a sex drive]. As the confessions say, [what we all do with ] our [sex drive] should terrify us. Hence, [your and my ] desire to have sex …should terrify you[ and me]. The last thing we should be doing is to create a cocoon of comfort around our [sex drives].
    And [our mutual and human , non-exceptional ] desire to have a marriage-like relationship…. is little more than covet something that belongs to your… neighbors. It is not God’s fault that gays and heterosexuals covet [sex and the intimacy of marriage] so desperately that [all humans] reject all the proper partners in the world that He has provided for them.

  • fws

    kerner what you say makes no sense at all. there is no where in scripture that obligated adam or anyone else to joyfully and spontaneously and from the heart know how to remove the sex drive from our being. There is no Law of God that obligates this of anyone.

    And to the contrary, the scriptures and confessions testify that noone is able to do this. Why? The sex drive is an ordinance of God in the same precise way the Law of Gravity is an ordinance of God. And it can be denies in precisely and only in the same way: by miraculous divine intervention.

    This is where we disagree I suggest: your premise is that heterosexual can, and at times are obligated to negate or turn off their sex drive. Therefore, you reason, homosexuals are likewise all obligated to do the same precisely because they are not able to marry.

    Your premise is rejected by St Paul and the confessions. therefore your conclusion is also to be rejected. it represents exceptionalism precisely because neither gays nor heterosexuals can negate or turn off the sex drive. That this is patently obvious and beyond dispute to everyone is not my argument. It is the precise argument of Apology XXIII. Argue with them. It is not my argument.

  • fws

    kerner what you say makes no sense at all. there is no where in scripture that obligated adam or anyone else to joyfully and spontaneously and from the heart know how to remove the sex drive from our being. There is no Law of God that obligates this of anyone.

    And to the contrary, the scriptures and confessions testify that noone is able to do this. Why? The sex drive is an ordinance of God in the same precise way the Law of Gravity is an ordinance of God. And it can be denies in precisely and only in the same way: by miraculous divine intervention.

    This is where we disagree I suggest: your premise is that heterosexual can, and at times are obligated to negate or turn off their sex drive. Therefore, you reason, homosexuals are likewise all obligated to do the same precisely because they are not able to marry.

    Your premise is rejected by St Paul and the confessions. therefore your conclusion is also to be rejected. it represents exceptionalism precisely because neither gays nor heterosexuals can negate or turn off the sex drive. That this is patently obvious and beyond dispute to everyone is not my argument. It is the precise argument of Apology XXIII. Argue with them. It is not my argument.

  • fws

    kerner:

    to avoid pointless argument I would ask you to observe that I maintain that the keeping of the Law does, and fully so, include the outward keeping in thought, word and deed of the Law down to the very last jot and titel just as our Lord himself declares.

    And our Lord holds up the pharisees in this precise regard, as a model to be emulated such that their example is presented as impossible to supercede as the reaction of the disciples proves as the force of His words here.

    But then Christ also calls the pharisees white washed sepulchers and hipocrites. why? because they are not keeping the outward Law? no. because their keeping of that outward law is wrong or is NOT something that God , indeed, DOES demand of each and every one of us? no!

    Christ is taking the Law into his own hands and is showing us a keeping of the Law that is veiled by the veil of mose and therefore to Reason and can only be known by the regenerate. And so only the regenerate can emanate the proper response to the Law: they are terrified at ALL they can see and do in thought word and deed. Even , and precisely and exactly WHEN they are exceeding the righteousness of the Pharisees!

    Why? read the FC on the Law and Gospel. There you will see what kind of Law Keeping Luther is talking about , which is precisely what FC on Law and Gospel presents when it talks about or Lord taking the Law into his own hands and turning it into an intrument that terrifies us. This is about movements of the heart that alone the perfect keeping of the first commandment, from the heart and emotion can do.

    and this doing is NOT about commandments 2-9 or gays negating the sex drive. it is about a 1st commandment keeping that noone can DO but is done to us by Holy Baptism. It is a “doing” that is done alone for us by the Works of Another. And so the law can no longer accuse us or gays or anyone. Why. Our law keeping that is to terrify us is hidden in the law keeping of Another. that is why.

    And God can only be an object of Love when the Law can no longer accuse us.

    this means gays as well. And how is that done? by telling Gays they cannot have the kingdom unless they manage, we add with the help of the HS, to negate the sex drive? No. it is had alone by being baptized into the name of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity.

    to have gays waste their lives in the unproductive and futile pursuit of negating and turning off their sex drive is indeed cruel as the confessions say. it is a demand made of no one else as a lifelong and heaven-gaining and necessary requirement or “obligation.

    And to ask this is to focus gays on what they are “obligated ” to do, rather than upon what Christ , alone, can do to meet the ‘obligation’ of the Law and of God.

    it is to deny Christ alone as “obligation” keeper.

    And to apply this logic to gay is also damaging to heterosexuals, for the same logic will inevitably lead to a loss of Christ alone for them as well. This is precisely what our Confessions teach us,.

  • fws

    kerner:

    to avoid pointless argument I would ask you to observe that I maintain that the keeping of the Law does, and fully so, include the outward keeping in thought, word and deed of the Law down to the very last jot and titel just as our Lord himself declares.

    And our Lord holds up the pharisees in this precise regard, as a model to be emulated such that their example is presented as impossible to supercede as the reaction of the disciples proves as the force of His words here.

    But then Christ also calls the pharisees white washed sepulchers and hipocrites. why? because they are not keeping the outward Law? no. because their keeping of that outward law is wrong or is NOT something that God , indeed, DOES demand of each and every one of us? no!

    Christ is taking the Law into his own hands and is showing us a keeping of the Law that is veiled by the veil of mose and therefore to Reason and can only be known by the regenerate. And so only the regenerate can emanate the proper response to the Law: they are terrified at ALL they can see and do in thought word and deed. Even , and precisely and exactly WHEN they are exceeding the righteousness of the Pharisees!

    Why? read the FC on the Law and Gospel. There you will see what kind of Law Keeping Luther is talking about , which is precisely what FC on Law and Gospel presents when it talks about or Lord taking the Law into his own hands and turning it into an intrument that terrifies us. This is about movements of the heart that alone the perfect keeping of the first commandment, from the heart and emotion can do.

    and this doing is NOT about commandments 2-9 or gays negating the sex drive. it is about a 1st commandment keeping that noone can DO but is done to us by Holy Baptism. It is a “doing” that is done alone for us by the Works of Another. And so the law can no longer accuse us or gays or anyone. Why. Our law keeping that is to terrify us is hidden in the law keeping of Another. that is why.

    And God can only be an object of Love when the Law can no longer accuse us.

    this means gays as well. And how is that done? by telling Gays they cannot have the kingdom unless they manage, we add with the help of the HS, to negate the sex drive? No. it is had alone by being baptized into the name of the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity.

    to have gays waste their lives in the unproductive and futile pursuit of negating and turning off their sex drive is indeed cruel as the confessions say. it is a demand made of no one else as a lifelong and heaven-gaining and necessary requirement or “obligation.

    And to ask this is to focus gays on what they are “obligated ” to do, rather than upon what Christ , alone, can do to meet the ‘obligation’ of the Law and of God.

    it is to deny Christ alone as “obligation” keeper.

    And to apply this logic to gay is also damaging to heterosexuals, for the same logic will inevitably lead to a loss of Christ alone for them as well. This is precisely what our Confessions teach us,.

  • fws

    Kerner , imagine being told that unless you can find a way to negate/turn off your sex drive, you are denied entrance into the kingdom. How would this affect your life if you believe this to be true and did indeed wish to be included in the kingdom?

    Be honest. And by “sex drive”, I mean to include your deepest longings to feel a part of the life of a special someone else, Turn that off too.

    And then you are informed that a platonic friendship can be just as fulfilling and can fill that void.

    Spend one week imagining that your existence is thus and report back to us.

  • fws

    Kerner , imagine being told that unless you can find a way to negate/turn off your sex drive, you are denied entrance into the kingdom. How would this affect your life if you believe this to be true and did indeed wish to be included in the kingdom?

    Be honest. And by “sex drive”, I mean to include your deepest longings to feel a part of the life of a special someone else, Turn that off too.

    And then you are informed that a platonic friendship can be just as fulfilling and can fill that void.

    Spend one week imagining that your existence is thus and report back to us.

  • fws

    you deny that scripture and the confessions say that the sex drive cannnot be negated or turned off by trotting out examples of spouses with sexually incapacitated wives. and then you argue that because sex is forbidden in such a situation , therefore must be possible to negate/turn off the sex drive by will power + the HS . that a miracle (think denying the law of gravity here) is not necessary.

    this is contrary to scripture 1 cor 7 and apology XXIII. Make your reason captive to the Word of God. your for instances must yield to the plain words of scripture and the confessions. and those words apply to gays and heteros in the same way. no one can negate/turn off the sex drive. therefore celebacy is cruel and pointless to demand of anyone. and it only will inevitably result in moral degradation and social chaos. our confessions tell us this. and we confess this .

  • fws

    you deny that scripture and the confessions say that the sex drive cannnot be negated or turned off by trotting out examples of spouses with sexually incapacitated wives. and then you argue that because sex is forbidden in such a situation , therefore must be possible to negate/turn off the sex drive by will power + the HS . that a miracle (think denying the law of gravity here) is not necessary.

    this is contrary to scripture 1 cor 7 and apology XXIII. Make your reason captive to the Word of God. your for instances must yield to the plain words of scripture and the confessions. and those words apply to gays and heteros in the same way. no one can negate/turn off the sex drive. therefore celebacy is cruel and pointless to demand of anyone. and it only will inevitably result in moral degradation and social chaos. our confessions tell us this. and we confess this .

  • Tom Hering

    Frank … who’s going to read nine posts in a row, sixteen screen pages long, in order to know what your answer to kerner is? Not me. Yikes!

  • Tom Hering

    Frank … who’s going to read nine posts in a row, sixteen screen pages long, in order to know what your answer to kerner is? Not me. Yikes!

  • fws

    Tom @44

    home in on post 35 and 38. your criticism is welcome and point well taken.

    http://www.lutheranpress.com/docs/ODE-prev-Ch1.pdf

    The problem with Kerner’s interpretation of this text is this:

    When this passage is read, the reader thinks Luther is talking about second table 2-9 commandment law that, in the quote, Luther identifies as indeed possible to do. He does say that does he not?

    This Law, that reason is able to fully know and do, deals with “outward” “external” actions that include all we can do in “thought, word and deed.” This Law is written, by God, in the reason of ALL men (rom 2:15) but is NOT written in the heart. In that case, the task of virtue is to make our thinking conform to the Law of God found in reason, which then will guide our words and deeds, and then … imagine that this process is what the bible identifies as Sanctification. And it IS that in the broad (ie Law-driven) sense. But note that even pagans can do this exercise. So it is not “sanctification” in the narrow, or Gospel sense of the Word.

    Maybe the error is to think that “thought” is internal and “word and deed” are external? And so then it is our “thinking” that needs to bcome more “spiritual” as the central task towards virtue? The confessions label “thought/word/deed as “outward/external” works that Old Adam can indeed do without new heart movements.

    But Luther is talking about another Law, that deals alone with the 1st commandment, that is alone known only to the regenerate, that deals with “internal” things. So then what is that “internal Law keeping” that Luther says is impossible to do?

    Those internal things are identified in the confessions as “heart movements” and also as “good/godly emotions” (Apology “On Justification” etc). This is the Law Luther is identifying as impossible to keep.

    We CAN indeed, with much effort, and rarely, conform to the Law in Reason in our thoughts. words and deeds. But note this: The very fact that good works are good WORKS confirms the fact that our heart is not really in those works however. If our heart was truly in them, that is, if our emotions completely resonated with the Law, there would be a doing that would be effortless, or as FC art VI says, “automatic”, “spontaneous”, “like light from sun” and “as the angels do God’s bidding.”

    It is the fact that incredible effort is required to keep the Law , as proof that our heart is not in it, that is reflected in St Paul’s saying that the “work of the Law” IS written in the heart (rom 2:15 ). What is that work of the Law written in the heart? it is weariness and resentment and anger and frustration at God! The fact is, that no matter how hard we try to conform our words, and deeds to our best thinking, and then try to pretend that our heart is in this what is the result? In our “heart of hearts”, we know that we are liars. We are pretenders and fakes. Outwardly we do all right. Inwardly our rational thinking is at total war with our emotions and heart.

    And for this we hate God. It is truly impossible for God to become an Object of our love with this war going on. Instead we perceive God as a cruel taskmaster who demands what we truly cannot do, and then … he demands more and more and literally works us to death in this way!

    This Law that deals , uniquely , with “movements of the heart”, is found uniquely in the first commandment. This Law is veiled to reason by the “veil of moses” . The “veil of moses” is the idea that God’s Law can be kept and fully complied with by succeeding in disciplining and controlling our thoughtrs, words and deeds to conform to some written code of Law found in the Bible.

    Here God demands that we not only externally discipline ourselves to keep the Law in our thoughts, words and deeds, but also…. that we do that Law keeping spontaneously, as light from sun, as the angels do it… from the very spontaneous depths of our heart and emotions as something joyful to do. We can only start to do this when we have received new heart movements and good emotions that are given in holy baptism.

    When this happens we not only have the Law written in our Reason. We also then have a new set of emotions in our heart that resonate with the Law. And as a fruit of that new heart, the Law is again written in the hearts of man , in fulfillment of the prophecy in Jer 31, and in a way that no moses could ever make happen.

    But then there is another “Law” mentioned in the Confessions that the Confessions tell us is impossible to resist, countermand, disobey or negate, no matter how much our will is set against those laws. They call this category “Ordinances of God” (Apology art XXIII). This category would include things like the “Law” of gravity. Into this category the Confessions , in art XXIII place the sex drive. They deliberately remove it as being a part of the Law of God in the sense of being either the civil/moral Law that God commands us to keep by the Law written in reason. It is also not a part of that Law that is about new heart movements and emotions that the first commandment uniquely demands of us to become truly moral in God’s eyes.

    And they tell us that this Law is irresistable, immutable, and simply must be obeyed . Again, think of the Law of Gravity and it’s moral implications etc to get the feel of what they assert here.

    This is the argument in in Augustana/Apology XXIII for this statement:

    To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife. Also: It is better to marry than to burn. Secondly 5] Christ says, Matt. 19:11: All men cannot receive this saying, where He teaches that not all men are fit to lead a single life; for God created man for procreation, Gen. 1:28. 6] Nor is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter this creation. [For it is manifest, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted (from the attempt), but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.] Therefore, 7] those who are not fit to lead a single life ought to 8] contract matrimony. For no man’s law, no vow, can annul the commandment and ordinance of God. For these reasons 9] the priests teach that it is lawful for them to marry wives.

    If this is true for heterosexuals, then it also must be equally true for homosexuals. Yet homosexuals are not suited for marriage to a female. This is called “the horns of a dilema.” We need to accept that this is, indeed, a seemingly unresolvable dilema rather than “resolve” it by declaring (contrary to the Confessions) that heterosexuals ARE able to resist the sex drive, therefore homosexuals also must be capable of that as well.

  • fws

    Tom @44

    home in on post 35 and 38. your criticism is welcome and point well taken.

    http://www.lutheranpress.com/docs/ODE-prev-Ch1.pdf

    The problem with Kerner’s interpretation of this text is this:

    When this passage is read, the reader thinks Luther is talking about second table 2-9 commandment law that, in the quote, Luther identifies as indeed possible to do. He does say that does he not?

    This Law, that reason is able to fully know and do, deals with “outward” “external” actions that include all we can do in “thought, word and deed.” This Law is written, by God, in the reason of ALL men (rom 2:15) but is NOT written in the heart. In that case, the task of virtue is to make our thinking conform to the Law of God found in reason, which then will guide our words and deeds, and then … imagine that this process is what the bible identifies as Sanctification. And it IS that in the broad (ie Law-driven) sense. But note that even pagans can do this exercise. So it is not “sanctification” in the narrow, or Gospel sense of the Word.

    Maybe the error is to think that “thought” is internal and “word and deed” are external? And so then it is our “thinking” that needs to bcome more “spiritual” as the central task towards virtue? The confessions label “thought/word/deed as “outward/external” works that Old Adam can indeed do without new heart movements.

    But Luther is talking about another Law, that deals alone with the 1st commandment, that is alone known only to the regenerate, that deals with “internal” things. So then what is that “internal Law keeping” that Luther says is impossible to do?

    Those internal things are identified in the confessions as “heart movements” and also as “good/godly emotions” (Apology “On Justification” etc). This is the Law Luther is identifying as impossible to keep.

    We CAN indeed, with much effort, and rarely, conform to the Law in Reason in our thoughts. words and deeds. But note this: The very fact that good works are good WORKS confirms the fact that our heart is not really in those works however. If our heart was truly in them, that is, if our emotions completely resonated with the Law, there would be a doing that would be effortless, or as FC art VI says, “automatic”, “spontaneous”, “like light from sun” and “as the angels do God’s bidding.”

    It is the fact that incredible effort is required to keep the Law , as proof that our heart is not in it, that is reflected in St Paul’s saying that the “work of the Law” IS written in the heart (rom 2:15 ). What is that work of the Law written in the heart? it is weariness and resentment and anger and frustration at God! The fact is, that no matter how hard we try to conform our words, and deeds to our best thinking, and then try to pretend that our heart is in this what is the result? In our “heart of hearts”, we know that we are liars. We are pretenders and fakes. Outwardly we do all right. Inwardly our rational thinking is at total war with our emotions and heart.

    And for this we hate God. It is truly impossible for God to become an Object of our love with this war going on. Instead we perceive God as a cruel taskmaster who demands what we truly cannot do, and then … he demands more and more and literally works us to death in this way!

    This Law that deals , uniquely , with “movements of the heart”, is found uniquely in the first commandment. This Law is veiled to reason by the “veil of moses” . The “veil of moses” is the idea that God’s Law can be kept and fully complied with by succeeding in disciplining and controlling our thoughtrs, words and deeds to conform to some written code of Law found in the Bible.

    Here God demands that we not only externally discipline ourselves to keep the Law in our thoughts, words and deeds, but also…. that we do that Law keeping spontaneously, as light from sun, as the angels do it… from the very spontaneous depths of our heart and emotions as something joyful to do. We can only start to do this when we have received new heart movements and good emotions that are given in holy baptism.

    When this happens we not only have the Law written in our Reason. We also then have a new set of emotions in our heart that resonate with the Law. And as a fruit of that new heart, the Law is again written in the hearts of man , in fulfillment of the prophecy in Jer 31, and in a way that no moses could ever make happen.

    But then there is another “Law” mentioned in the Confessions that the Confessions tell us is impossible to resist, countermand, disobey or negate, no matter how much our will is set against those laws. They call this category “Ordinances of God” (Apology art XXIII). This category would include things like the “Law” of gravity. Into this category the Confessions , in art XXIII place the sex drive. They deliberately remove it as being a part of the Law of God in the sense of being either the civil/moral Law that God commands us to keep by the Law written in reason. It is also not a part of that Law that is about new heart movements and emotions that the first commandment uniquely demands of us to become truly moral in God’s eyes.

    And they tell us that this Law is irresistable, immutable, and simply must be obeyed . Again, think of the Law of Gravity and it’s moral implications etc to get the feel of what they assert here.

    This is the argument in in Augustana/Apology XXIII for this statement:

    To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife. Also: It is better to marry than to burn. Secondly 5] Christ says, Matt. 19:11: All men cannot receive this saying, where He teaches that not all men are fit to lead a single life; for God created man for procreation, Gen. 1:28. 6] Nor is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter this creation. [For it is manifest, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted (from the attempt), but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.] Therefore, 7] those who are not fit to lead a single life ought to 8] contract matrimony. For no man’s law, no vow, can annul the commandment and ordinance of God. For these reasons 9] the priests teach that it is lawful for them to marry wives.

    If this is true for heterosexuals, then it also must be equally true for homosexuals. Yet homosexuals are not suited for marriage to a female. This is called “the horns of a dilema.” We need to accept that this is, indeed, a seemingly unresolvable dilema rather than “resolve” it by declaring (contrary to the Confessions) that heterosexuals ARE able to resist the sex drive, therefore homosexuals also must be capable of that as well.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, thanks for condensing your argument.

    Well, all I can tell you is I’ve been resisting the sex drive (I’ve been celibate) since I became a Christian in 1985. Not that I haven’t had a sex drive – quite the opposite (I’m not an asexual). Maybe I’ve received a special gift, maybe not. I don’t know. It sure doesn’t feel like a gift! But it feels right, because marriage doesn’t feel right, for me.

    So, I have some doubt that heterosexuals (and therefore homosexuals) can’t resist the sex drive. But no certainty.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, thanks for condensing your argument.

    Well, all I can tell you is I’ve been resisting the sex drive (I’ve been celibate) since I became a Christian in 1985. Not that I haven’t had a sex drive – quite the opposite (I’m not an asexual). Maybe I’ve received a special gift, maybe not. I don’t know. It sure doesn’t feel like a gift! But it feels right, because marriage doesn’t feel right, for me.

    So, I have some doubt that heterosexuals (and therefore homosexuals) can’t resist the sex drive. But no certainty.

  • Michael B.

    @Tom Hering@46

    “Well, all I can tell you is I’ve been resisting the sex drive (I’ve been celibate) since I became a Christian in 1985.”

    Wow. As in, completely celibate? I only ask because I went to a Christian school where one could easily find people engaging in basically everything except vaginal intercourse and they still considered themselves “pure”. Is even masturbation permitted in your religion?

  • Michael B.

    @Tom Hering@46

    “Well, all I can tell you is I’ve been resisting the sex drive (I’ve been celibate) since I became a Christian in 1985.”

    Wow. As in, completely celibate? I only ask because I went to a Christian school where one could easily find people engaging in basically everything except vaginal intercourse and they still considered themselves “pure”. Is even masturbation permitted in your religion?

  • Tom Hering

    Michael @ 47, without getting into personal details, yes, completely. Believe me, though, it’s not a bragging point. Feels kind of shameful, actually, like there’s something wrong with me. Not that there isn’t. Just not this. Maybe. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Michael @ 47, without getting into personal details, yes, completely. Believe me, though, it’s not a bragging point. Feels kind of shameful, actually, like there’s something wrong with me. Not that there isn’t. Just not this. Maybe. :-D

  • fws

    tom @ 46

    I believe that I faithfully presented the argument given in Apology/Augustana art XXIII. And it seems that they are re-presenting the argument/advice of st Paul in 1 cor 7.

    I know actually of quite a number of gay men and heterosexual men and women who manage to remain celebate in word and deed while maybe not in thought… and certainly not in their heart’s desires. And I am not at all saying “heart’s desires” as being lust. Sex is intimately tied up in our deepest longings to not be alone in the sense of having that special someone in our life eh?

    So I believe you Tom. And I agree that that is not necessarily something to admire or desire. I pray for God to grant me both a sex life and someone to share my life with but for now I am also celebate.

    That all being said, what the Confessions say, reflecting what St Paul says still stands.

    It would be wrong for a Lutheran to argue against it therefore based upon a “for instance” or based upon the anecdotal experience of your own or mine. Different men and women have a diferent level of sex drive. What this all looks like to a 15 year old with raging hormones and romantic dreams looks quite different from the experience of me as a 56 year old who has been around the romantic block more than a few times and is not age 15 as to level of hormones. The argument framed as “others can do it, or even.. I….can do it, therefore so can you” is not a valid argument against what we claim to believe, teach and confess in Apology/Augustana art XXIII.

    Michael B @ 47

    There is no agreement among Lutherans as to masturbation. There is no text in scripture against it. Some use the story of Onan to say masturbation is wrong. That is a gross misuse of that text and misses the entire point of the text. The arguments used against masturbation are basically the same argument some baptists use against dancing. They argue that masturbation cannot be done without impure thoughts and that it leads to vices beyond masturbation.

    St Paul says , in 1 cor 7, along with the Lutheran confessions in the Augustana and Apology art XXIII that the only way to channel (no way to control…..) the sex drive is marriage, short of being granted the miraculous rare gift of celebacy.

    So Lutherans should not encourage chastity among teens. If a teen cannot keep it in his pants then they should encourage early marriage! And also masturbation can be a great way to relieve the sexual urges when one is not able to channel the sex drive into marriage.

    I imagine that those who claim to be celebate do an awful lot of mastubating. I know that that is true in my case. I hope that is not too much information.

  • fws

    tom @ 46

    I believe that I faithfully presented the argument given in Apology/Augustana art XXIII. And it seems that they are re-presenting the argument/advice of st Paul in 1 cor 7.

    I know actually of quite a number of gay men and heterosexual men and women who manage to remain celebate in word and deed while maybe not in thought… and certainly not in their heart’s desires. And I am not at all saying “heart’s desires” as being lust. Sex is intimately tied up in our deepest longings to not be alone in the sense of having that special someone in our life eh?

    So I believe you Tom. And I agree that that is not necessarily something to admire or desire. I pray for God to grant me both a sex life and someone to share my life with but for now I am also celebate.

    That all being said, what the Confessions say, reflecting what St Paul says still stands.

    It would be wrong for a Lutheran to argue against it therefore based upon a “for instance” or based upon the anecdotal experience of your own or mine. Different men and women have a diferent level of sex drive. What this all looks like to a 15 year old with raging hormones and romantic dreams looks quite different from the experience of me as a 56 year old who has been around the romantic block more than a few times and is not age 15 as to level of hormones. The argument framed as “others can do it, or even.. I….can do it, therefore so can you” is not a valid argument against what we claim to believe, teach and confess in Apology/Augustana art XXIII.

    Michael B @ 47

    There is no agreement among Lutherans as to masturbation. There is no text in scripture against it. Some use the story of Onan to say masturbation is wrong. That is a gross misuse of that text and misses the entire point of the text. The arguments used against masturbation are basically the same argument some baptists use against dancing. They argue that masturbation cannot be done without impure thoughts and that it leads to vices beyond masturbation.

    St Paul says , in 1 cor 7, along with the Lutheran confessions in the Augustana and Apology art XXIII that the only way to channel (no way to control…..) the sex drive is marriage, short of being granted the miraculous rare gift of celebacy.

    So Lutherans should not encourage chastity among teens. If a teen cannot keep it in his pants then they should encourage early marriage! And also masturbation can be a great way to relieve the sexual urges when one is not able to channel the sex drive into marriage.

    I imagine that those who claim to be celebate do an awful lot of mastubating. I know that that is true in my case. I hope that is not too much information.

  • fws

    tom @ 46

    Would you agree that you are doubting the factuality/truth of the plain meaning of the text of the Augsburg Confessions I presented in post 45 ?

    That text does seem to more than emphatically claim that the sex drive is simply irresistable short of a miracle (“singular gift and work of God” must mean that yes?)

    It is also clear, I suggest, that the consequences therefore of demanding celebacy of anyone are just as they say….

    So are you saying you are a Confessional Lutheran…… except for Apology /Augustana art XXIII? :)

  • fws

    tom @ 46

    Would you agree that you are doubting the factuality/truth of the plain meaning of the text of the Augsburg Confessions I presented in post 45 ?

    That text does seem to more than emphatically claim that the sex drive is simply irresistable short of a miracle (“singular gift and work of God” must mean that yes?)

    It is also clear, I suggest, that the consequences therefore of demanding celebacy of anyone are just as they say….

    So are you saying you are a Confessional Lutheran…… except for Apology /Augustana art XXIII? :)

  • Tom Hering

    “So are you saying you are a Confessional Lutheran…… except for Apology /Augustana art XXIII?”

    Sorry, but I don’t see where you get that from what I said.

  • Tom Hering

    “So are you saying you are a Confessional Lutheran…… except for Apology /Augustana art XXIII?”

    Sorry, but I don’t see where you get that from what I said.

  • fws

    tom @ 51

    put in th1)e form of a survey question, it seems you would disagree with the following two assertions that are found in the augustana art XXIII or be at least a “don’t know”.

    Agree, disagree, or dont know:
    1) It is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter the drive to procreate (t0 alter the sex drive).

    agree, disagree or dont know:
    2)For it is obvious, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted from the attempt at celebacy, but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.

    It seems that you are saying that you either disagree or are uncertain that these two assertions are the norm as the Augustana seems to be asserting Tom.

    Or would you argue that I am taking these two assertions of the Augustana out of context?

    or? ……

  • fws

    tom @ 51

    put in th1)e form of a survey question, it seems you would disagree with the following two assertions that are found in the augustana art XXIII or be at least a “don’t know”.

    Agree, disagree, or dont know:
    1) It is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter the drive to procreate (t0 alter the sex drive).

    agree, disagree or dont know:
    2)For it is obvious, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted from the attempt at celebacy, but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.

    It seems that you are saying that you either disagree or are uncertain that these two assertions are the norm as the Augustana seems to be asserting Tom.

    Or would you argue that I am taking these two assertions of the Augustana out of context?

    or? ……

  • kerner

    fws @a lot of places but most recently @52:
    You said:
    “Or would you argue that I am taking these two assertions of the Augustana out of context? ”

    Ya think? I mean seriously, let’s fill in some of the context, shall we. It says:

    “7] First, Gen. 1:28 teaches that men were created to be fruitful, and that one sex in a proper way should desire the other. For we are speaking not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that appetite which was to have been in nature in its integrity [which would have existed in nature even if it had remained uncorrupted], which they call physical love. And this love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance. But since this ordinance of God cannot be removed without an extraordinary work of God, it follows that the right to contract marriage cannot be removed by statutes or vows. ”

    and it says:

    “Therefore, just as by human laws the nature of the earth cannot be changed, so, without a special work of God, the nature of a human being can be changed neither by vows nor by human law [that a woman should not desire a man, nor a man a woman].

    and:

    ” Secondly, And because this creation or divine ordinance in man is a natural right, jurists have accordingly said wisely and correctly that the union of male and female belongs to natural right. But since natural right is immutable, the right to contract marriage must always remain.”

    and:

    “11] Therefore let this remain in the case which both Scripture teaches and the jurist says wisely, namely, that the union of male and female belongs to natural right. 12] Moreover, a natural right is truly a divine right, because it is an ordinance divinely impressed upon nature. But inasmuch as this right cannot be changed without an extraordinary work of God, it is necessary that the right to contract marriage remains, because the natural desire of sex for sex is an ordinance of God in nature, and for this reason is a right; otherwise, why would both sexes have been created? 13] And we are speaking, as it has been said above, not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that desire which they call physical love [which would have existed between man and woman even though their nature had remained pure], which concupiscence has not removed from nature, but inflames, so that now it has greater need of a remedy, and marriage is necessary not only for the sake of procreation, but also as a remedy [to guard against sins]”

    And all through the entire article the context demonstrates that the ONLY naturally and divinely “right” outlet for sexuality is that committed relationship between a MAN and a WOMAN that is called “marriage”. http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_22_marriage.php

    You have said above that I ask you to negate/turn off yhour sex drive. This is not true. First of all, I personally don’t ask you to do anything. It is the divine law and ordinance of God that requires everyone to, not negate, but to redirect your sex drive. If you want to have sex in a God honoring way, find a woman, marry her, and have as much sex as you want. Not only that (@42) make her the object of your deepest longings to feel a part of the life of a special someone else. It is only if you cannot, or will not, follow God’s divine ordinanace of marriage between an man and a woman that celibacy becomes your only lawful option. But that’s not on God or His law. That’s on you. You have told us that you have been married (I think you said twice). So, the special someone(s) were there. And I think some of your old comments indicated you had sex with women (and I presume your wives were among those with whom you have had sex).

    You have declined to discuss what happened to your marriages on a public blog, and I certainly don’t blame you for that.

  • kerner

    fws @a lot of places but most recently @52:
    You said:
    “Or would you argue that I am taking these two assertions of the Augustana out of context? ”

    Ya think? I mean seriously, let’s fill in some of the context, shall we. It says:

    “7] First, Gen. 1:28 teaches that men were created to be fruitful, and that one sex in a proper way should desire the other. For we are speaking not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that appetite which was to have been in nature in its integrity [which would have existed in nature even if it had remained uncorrupted], which they call physical love. And this love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance. But since this ordinance of God cannot be removed without an extraordinary work of God, it follows that the right to contract marriage cannot be removed by statutes or vows. ”

    and it says:

    “Therefore, just as by human laws the nature of the earth cannot be changed, so, without a special work of God, the nature of a human being can be changed neither by vows nor by human law [that a woman should not desire a man, nor a man a woman].

    and:

    ” Secondly, And because this creation or divine ordinance in man is a natural right, jurists have accordingly said wisely and correctly that the union of male and female belongs to natural right. But since natural right is immutable, the right to contract marriage must always remain.”

    and:

    “11] Therefore let this remain in the case which both Scripture teaches and the jurist says wisely, namely, that the union of male and female belongs to natural right. 12] Moreover, a natural right is truly a divine right, because it is an ordinance divinely impressed upon nature. But inasmuch as this right cannot be changed without an extraordinary work of God, it is necessary that the right to contract marriage remains, because the natural desire of sex for sex is an ordinance of God in nature, and for this reason is a right; otherwise, why would both sexes have been created? 13] And we are speaking, as it has been said above, not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that desire which they call physical love [which would have existed between man and woman even though their nature had remained pure], which concupiscence has not removed from nature, but inflames, so that now it has greater need of a remedy, and marriage is necessary not only for the sake of procreation, but also as a remedy [to guard against sins]”

    And all through the entire article the context demonstrates that the ONLY naturally and divinely “right” outlet for sexuality is that committed relationship between a MAN and a WOMAN that is called “marriage”. http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_22_marriage.php

    You have said above that I ask you to negate/turn off yhour sex drive. This is not true. First of all, I personally don’t ask you to do anything. It is the divine law and ordinance of God that requires everyone to, not negate, but to redirect your sex drive. If you want to have sex in a God honoring way, find a woman, marry her, and have as much sex as you want. Not only that (@42) make her the object of your deepest longings to feel a part of the life of a special someone else. It is only if you cannot, or will not, follow God’s divine ordinanace of marriage between an man and a woman that celibacy becomes your only lawful option. But that’s not on God or His law. That’s on you. You have told us that you have been married (I think you said twice). So, the special someone(s) were there. And I think some of your old comments indicated you had sex with women (and I presume your wives were among those with whom you have had sex).

    You have declined to discuss what happened to your marriages on a public blog, and I certainly don’t blame you for that.

  • kerner

    fws:

    You have the most romanticized idea of marriage of anyone I have ever met. Do you honestly believe that most male/female marriages maintain that hyper-emotional state we call “being in love” for their entire duration? Or that the highly passionate state of burning desire for each other that may exist at first just continues unabated through the decades. Do you not know that all married couples, in time, begin to learn each other’s irritating foibles. Do you not know that almost all married people begin to see other (for men, usually younger and sexier) people who become the objects of their sexual desire?

    But your argument has been:

    Frank: But gay men are not suited to marriage with a woman.

    Kerner: If you can have sex with them and love them, you are as suited as you need to be.

    Frank: But there are other people who I am much more physically attracted to and for whom I feel romantic longings.

    Kerner: Yeah…you and 95% of married men since the beginning of time. Join the club.

    We are commanded to love our neighbors, Frank. Pick one of your female neighbors, and love her. Give her a couple of children, and keep on loving her and supporting her when she is not particularly physically attractive. Do that and you’ll be 100 times more suited for marriage to a woman than Newt Gingrich is or will ever be.

    When married couple stay married, and continue to love each other, it is not because they continue to feel about each other as they did when they were school childen. It is because they worked at it. And even those who never actually betrayed their vows, most of them committed adultery in their hearts.

    Love is a command. It is part of the law. Like any other part of the law, it always kills, because we can’t fulfill it. I assume that it is harder for you to keep this part of the law, but on the other hand, none of us heterosexuals keep it either. It kills us just as dead as it kills you. But the law never changes.

    But the good news, the Gospel, is that we are forgiven, redeemed. In this life we can begin to be delivered, and in the next life we shall be fully delivered.

  • kerner

    fws:

    You have the most romanticized idea of marriage of anyone I have ever met. Do you honestly believe that most male/female marriages maintain that hyper-emotional state we call “being in love” for their entire duration? Or that the highly passionate state of burning desire for each other that may exist at first just continues unabated through the decades. Do you not know that all married couples, in time, begin to learn each other’s irritating foibles. Do you not know that almost all married people begin to see other (for men, usually younger and sexier) people who become the objects of their sexual desire?

    But your argument has been:

    Frank: But gay men are not suited to marriage with a woman.

    Kerner: If you can have sex with them and love them, you are as suited as you need to be.

    Frank: But there are other people who I am much more physically attracted to and for whom I feel romantic longings.

    Kerner: Yeah…you and 95% of married men since the beginning of time. Join the club.

    We are commanded to love our neighbors, Frank. Pick one of your female neighbors, and love her. Give her a couple of children, and keep on loving her and supporting her when she is not particularly physically attractive. Do that and you’ll be 100 times more suited for marriage to a woman than Newt Gingrich is or will ever be.

    When married couple stay married, and continue to love each other, it is not because they continue to feel about each other as they did when they were school childen. It is because they worked at it. And even those who never actually betrayed their vows, most of them committed adultery in their hearts.

    Love is a command. It is part of the law. Like any other part of the law, it always kills, because we can’t fulfill it. I assume that it is harder for you to keep this part of the law, but on the other hand, none of us heterosexuals keep it either. It kills us just as dead as it kills you. But the law never changes.

    But the good news, the Gospel, is that we are forgiven, redeemed. In this life we can begin to be delivered, and in the next life we shall be fully delivered.

  • Michael B.

    @kerner@54

    “Love is a command. ”

    This is impossible. You can command someone to treat them well. But love is involuntary. What if I were to command you to love me? I suppose you could send me money, or cut my grass, or speak nicely to me, but you couldn’t change how you truly feel.

  • Michael B.

    @kerner@54

    “Love is a command. ”

    This is impossible. You can command someone to treat them well. But love is involuntary. What if I were to command you to love me? I suppose you could send me money, or cut my grass, or speak nicely to me, but you couldn’t change how you truly feel.

  • fws

    kerner @ 53

    “You have declined to discuss what happened to your marriages on a public blog, and I certainly don’t blame you for that.”

    They both passed away.

    Any more pointed personal questions to make a point Kerner on a very public blog? Let me know.

  • fws

    kerner @ 53

    “You have declined to discuss what happened to your marriages on a public blog, and I certainly don’t blame you for that.”

    They both passed away.

    Any more pointed personal questions to make a point Kerner on a very public blog? Let me know.

  • fws

    kerner @ 53

    The fact that the Confessions speak in the context of sex between men and women and know nothing of what the medical community defines as ‘homosexuality” does not remove the force of two assertions Kerner:

    1) If continence were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift. But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all.

    2) God wishes the rest to use the common law of nature which He has instituted (marriage). For God does not wish His ordinances, His creations to be despised. He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented (male/female marriage), in the same way as He wishes to nourish our life by using the normal means of food and drink.

    (2) does not negate , in any way, for any one, the assertion found in (1)

    Your assertion is this: celebacy is a gift that is available to all. You present anecdotal evidence in the form of married folk where one becomes sexually incapacitated. And then say : “see! if heterosexuals can do it, so can all the gay men and women!”

    So again, how am I taking the Confessions out of context? I agree that in the context , “marriage” means male/female marriage. How could it mean anything else since even homosexuality, as we know it today, was a completely unknown concept then. Agreed!

    So you say then that the solution for homosexuals burning with the sex drive is for them to marry a female in order to control that burning. Really? Are you really serious about that? Does that fit the sense of what St paul says in 1 cor 7? You really believe that Kerner?

    But do you also agree with our confessions now that celebacy is NOT available to everyone? Or not?!

  • fws

    kerner @ 53

    The fact that the Confessions speak in the context of sex between men and women and know nothing of what the medical community defines as ‘homosexuality” does not remove the force of two assertions Kerner:

    1) If continence were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift. But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all.

    2) God wishes the rest to use the common law of nature which He has instituted (marriage). For God does not wish His ordinances, His creations to be despised. He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented (male/female marriage), in the same way as He wishes to nourish our life by using the normal means of food and drink.

    (2) does not negate , in any way, for any one, the assertion found in (1)

    Your assertion is this: celebacy is a gift that is available to all. You present anecdotal evidence in the form of married folk where one becomes sexually incapacitated. And then say : “see! if heterosexuals can do it, so can all the gay men and women!”

    So again, how am I taking the Confessions out of context? I agree that in the context , “marriage” means male/female marriage. How could it mean anything else since even homosexuality, as we know it today, was a completely unknown concept then. Agreed!

    So you say then that the solution for homosexuals burning with the sex drive is for them to marry a female in order to control that burning. Really? Are you really serious about that? Does that fit the sense of what St paul says in 1 cor 7? You really believe that Kerner?

    But do you also agree with our confessions now that celebacy is NOT available to everyone? Or not?!

  • fws

    michael B @ 55

    yes Michael. this IS impossible. And it is what the Law demands of us. God demands that we LOVE God with all our heart soul and mind and that we Love our neighbor in the same way. And we can’t.

    Michael you precisely define what the ‘outward keeping” of the Law that IS possible looks like. And to do this we need to discipline that outward Law keeping that is to train our thinking.

    But even though we CAN do this, it requires an extreme effort. Why is that you need to ask? It is because our emotions, our hearts are not really aimed in the same direction! it is only when we receive new hearts in regeneration, that our emotions line up with the the Law God has written in our reason commands us to do.

    Then our feelings and emotions are no longer at war with our conscience and reason but resonnate completely with that Law as a fruit of those new heart movements and good emotions. Only then can we start to love God and our neighbor as we are commanded to do. Christ did say that love IS the sum or the complete fulfillment of the Law. Kerner is absolutely right here.! And love is an emotion.

    Romans 2:15 says that the Law of God is written in our minds, in our Reason. What is written in the fallen hearts of all men is the work of the Law. And that work is to demand of us what our heart does not want to do. And then demand some more and continue to accuse us….. even if we manage to keep the letter of the law by doing just as you describe! And we resent God as a cruel taskmaster and flee from his judgement and become either a self justifying pharisee or despairing Judas.

    Kerner are ya listening buddy? this is precisely the keeping of the Law that Luther says is IMpossible. Keeping the Law in our emotions. Keeping the Law in our thoughts, words and deeds, what the confessions call an “external keeping” , yes including thoughts…. is what IS possible. you can see that from precisely what you quoted. it is the heart keeping uniquely demanded in the first commandment that Luther and Paul say is impossible to do without the new birth.

    go back and reread!

    http://www.lutheranpress.com/docs/ODE-prev-Ch1.pdf

  • fws

    michael B @ 55

    yes Michael. this IS impossible. And it is what the Law demands of us. God demands that we LOVE God with all our heart soul and mind and that we Love our neighbor in the same way. And we can’t.

    Michael you precisely define what the ‘outward keeping” of the Law that IS possible looks like. And to do this we need to discipline that outward Law keeping that is to train our thinking.

    But even though we CAN do this, it requires an extreme effort. Why is that you need to ask? It is because our emotions, our hearts are not really aimed in the same direction! it is only when we receive new hearts in regeneration, that our emotions line up with the the Law God has written in our reason commands us to do.

    Then our feelings and emotions are no longer at war with our conscience and reason but resonnate completely with that Law as a fruit of those new heart movements and good emotions. Only then can we start to love God and our neighbor as we are commanded to do. Christ did say that love IS the sum or the complete fulfillment of the Law. Kerner is absolutely right here.! And love is an emotion.

    Romans 2:15 says that the Law of God is written in our minds, in our Reason. What is written in the fallen hearts of all men is the work of the Law. And that work is to demand of us what our heart does not want to do. And then demand some more and continue to accuse us….. even if we manage to keep the letter of the law by doing just as you describe! And we resent God as a cruel taskmaster and flee from his judgement and become either a self justifying pharisee or despairing Judas.

    Kerner are ya listening buddy? this is precisely the keeping of the Law that Luther says is IMpossible. Keeping the Law in our emotions. Keeping the Law in our thoughts, words and deeds, what the confessions call an “external keeping” , yes including thoughts…. is what IS possible. you can see that from precisely what you quoted. it is the heart keeping uniquely demanded in the first commandment that Luther and Paul say is impossible to do without the new birth.

    go back and reread!

    http://www.lutheranpress.com/docs/ODE-prev-Ch1.pdf

  • kerner

    Michael B:

    Wrong.

    The entire law is a command to love. First, we are commended to love God. Second, we are commanded to love our neighbors. You may or may not command me to love you, but God absolutely has done so. How I “feel” has nothing to do with love in Scripture.

    Indeed, can you quote one passage of Scripture that defines love as a feeling we can’t control? Or does all scripture basically treat love as an act we are commanded to do?

    Take Ephesians 5. Husbands are commanded to love their wives. This in a time when many people did not pick whom they married. But St. Paul commands men to love their wives without exception. Whoever their wives were, however they got them, and whether or not they were particularly lovely.

  • kerner

    Michael B:

    Wrong.

    The entire law is a command to love. First, we are commended to love God. Second, we are commanded to love our neighbors. You may or may not command me to love you, but God absolutely has done so. How I “feel” has nothing to do with love in Scripture.

    Indeed, can you quote one passage of Scripture that defines love as a feeling we can’t control? Or does all scripture basically treat love as an act we are commanded to do?

    Take Ephesians 5. Husbands are commanded to love their wives. This in a time when many people did not pick whom they married. But St. Paul commands men to love their wives without exception. Whoever their wives were, however they got them, and whether or not they were particularly lovely.

  • kerner

    But I agree that in one sense being commanded to love is impossible. And that is in the sense that keeping the law is impossible. Nobody can keep the Law perfectly, and the unbelievers can’t keep it at all. Christians can keep it imperfectly because the Holy Spirit leads us to, but our flesh and fallen natures constantly lead us into sin (failing to love).

  • kerner

    But I agree that in one sense being commanded to love is impossible. And that is in the sense that keeping the law is impossible. Nobody can keep the Law perfectly, and the unbelievers can’t keep it at all. Christians can keep it imperfectly because the Holy Spirit leads us to, but our flesh and fallen natures constantly lead us into sin (failing to love).

  • kerner

    fws @57

    “So you say then that the solution for homosexuals burning with the sex drive is for them to marry a female in order to control that burning. Really? Are you really serious about that? Does that fit the sense of what St paul says in 1 cor 7? You really believe that Kerner?”

    Why not? Didn’t you? Twice?

  • kerner

    fws @57

    “So you say then that the solution for homosexuals burning with the sex drive is for them to marry a female in order to control that burning. Really? Are you really serious about that? Does that fit the sense of what St paul says in 1 cor 7? You really believe that Kerner?”

    Why not? Didn’t you? Twice?

  • kerner

    fws @57:

    ” homosexuality, as we know it today, was a completely unknown concept then”

    First of all, I’m not convinced that homosexuality as we “know” it today is much more than the wisdom of this age. Not quite a complete figment of the imagination, but more of an attempt to redefine sin in non-moral terms. Today we “know” the concept of “sexual addiction”. They didn’t know anything about sexual addictions when the confessions or the Bible were written either. That doesn’t negatge everything that the Bible says about promiscuity.

    But really, I don’t see why it matters. The law always asks us to do the impossible, and always kills us for not being able to do it. WHy should your particular sin be any different?

  • kerner

    fws @57:

    ” homosexuality, as we know it today, was a completely unknown concept then”

    First of all, I’m not convinced that homosexuality as we “know” it today is much more than the wisdom of this age. Not quite a complete figment of the imagination, but more of an attempt to redefine sin in non-moral terms. Today we “know” the concept of “sexual addiction”. They didn’t know anything about sexual addictions when the confessions or the Bible were written either. That doesn’t negatge everything that the Bible says about promiscuity.

    But really, I don’t see why it matters. The law always asks us to do the impossible, and always kills us for not being able to do it. WHy should your particular sin be any different?

  • fws

    kerner:

    The law, therefore, cannot be eliminated, but it remains, prior to Christ as not fulfilled, after Christ as to be fulfilled, although this does not happen perfectly in this life even by the justified.

    why not? the first commandment demands not merely a keeping in thought word and deed, an “outward keeping” but that we do it with our emotions in full agreement. Love. An emotion. Love is not our actions. Those actions are the goodness and mercy that are the fruit of Love. And that Goodness and Mercy is the SAME fruit that is worked by the small L love that the Law works in us, or by that Love that is the Incarnate Gospel named Christ. we see that here:

    For it requires that we love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves (cf. Matt. 22:37, 39). This will happen perfectly first in the coming life.

    and Reason veiled by the veil of moses, is of the opinion that the Law can be kept by what we can do in th0ught word and deed if we only work at it hard enough. Reason can even add “but only with the help of the Holy Spirit” to try to spiritualize this external effort and make it seem like something more than any pagan can and must do. In that case the effort looks like us training our thinking until thinking a certain way becomes a habit and then our thinking will govern our actions and emotions. Pagan aristotle teaches this, and it is the only path to virtue. But still, even a pagan can and should do this. This is not, properly thinking, what sanctification looks like and is. This is the Old Adam talking when this process is declared to be sanctification in the proper and narrow meaning of that term!

    But Reason cannot know this:

    The law says to a certain person: “Render what you owe; God has given the law that you might fulfill it, yet you have not fulfilled it, therefore you have an irate God and strict Judge.” Meanwhile the law does not say in what way or by whom that person can fulfill it. It cannot show him who fulfills it, until the Gospel comes and says: Christ has done it.

  • fws

    kerner:

    The law, therefore, cannot be eliminated, but it remains, prior to Christ as not fulfilled, after Christ as to be fulfilled, although this does not happen perfectly in this life even by the justified.

    why not? the first commandment demands not merely a keeping in thought word and deed, an “outward keeping” but that we do it with our emotions in full agreement. Love. An emotion. Love is not our actions. Those actions are the goodness and mercy that are the fruit of Love. And that Goodness and Mercy is the SAME fruit that is worked by the small L love that the Law works in us, or by that Love that is the Incarnate Gospel named Christ. we see that here:

    For it requires that we love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves (cf. Matt. 22:37, 39). This will happen perfectly first in the coming life.

    and Reason veiled by the veil of moses, is of the opinion that the Law can be kept by what we can do in th0ught word and deed if we only work at it hard enough. Reason can even add “but only with the help of the Holy Spirit” to try to spiritualize this external effort and make it seem like something more than any pagan can and must do. In that case the effort looks like us training our thinking until thinking a certain way becomes a habit and then our thinking will govern our actions and emotions. Pagan aristotle teaches this, and it is the only path to virtue. But still, even a pagan can and should do this. This is not, properly thinking, what sanctification looks like and is. This is the Old Adam talking when this process is declared to be sanctification in the proper and narrow meaning of that term!

    But Reason cannot know this:

    The law says to a certain person: “Render what you owe; God has given the law that you might fulfill it, yet you have not fulfilled it, therefore you have an irate God and strict Judge.” Meanwhile the law does not say in what way or by whom that person can fulfill it. It cannot show him who fulfills it, until the Gospel comes and says: Christ has done it.

  • kerner

    So, what are you saying? That you can’t be good and merciful to a woman?

  • kerner

    So, what are you saying? That you can’t be good and merciful to a woman?

  • fws

    kerner @ 62

    you did not really answer my response to you did you.

    The confessions make an important distinction between the possible and the impossible. The Law demands of us what is possible. This is what Reason can know that is the Law of God written in the minds of ALL men (romans 2:15). This possible Law looks like doing in thought word and deed. It looks precisely what Aristotle describes. it is to train our thinking in order to bring our “natural appetites” or “baser instincts” (ie our emotions and hearts) under control.

    This is nothing less than a war between reason in our mind , which is the Law of God that the confessions tell us is the SAME law found in the decalog versus the true desires of our heart.

    The confessions tell us that the Law demands that we fight this war. But this demand is made of ALL men by the conscience/reason written in the mind of ALL men.

    The scholastics, and many neo-scholastics today, describe this process, that any pagan can do , as “sanctification”. And it IS that in the very broadest sense. But in the sense that any pagan also can do it with the “assistence” of the HS in the form of the Law driving it and extorting it out of him! This is how the Old Adam of Believers is driven as well in ALL that the believer can see and do (fc art VI).

    Then there is that part of the Law that is only found in the first commandment. The first commandment demands what our fallen heart is devoid of. That is fear, love and trust in God above all other things. That is the Law that is IMpossible to do Kerner! It is not what we can think, say or do. Those things are possible. They are … DOable! What we cannot do is what alone the first commandment demands of us. That is for our hearts to have the emotions God demands that are called fear, love and trust. Only those who are baptized can do this internal law keeping that is from the heart,

  • fws

    kerner @ 62

    you did not really answer my response to you did you.

    The confessions make an important distinction between the possible and the impossible. The Law demands of us what is possible. This is what Reason can know that is the Law of God written in the minds of ALL men (romans 2:15). This possible Law looks like doing in thought word and deed. It looks precisely what Aristotle describes. it is to train our thinking in order to bring our “natural appetites” or “baser instincts” (ie our emotions and hearts) under control.

    This is nothing less than a war between reason in our mind , which is the Law of God that the confessions tell us is the SAME law found in the decalog versus the true desires of our heart.

    The confessions tell us that the Law demands that we fight this war. But this demand is made of ALL men by the conscience/reason written in the mind of ALL men.

    The scholastics, and many neo-scholastics today, describe this process, that any pagan can do , as “sanctification”. And it IS that in the very broadest sense. But in the sense that any pagan also can do it with the “assistence” of the HS in the form of the Law driving it and extorting it out of him! This is how the Old Adam of Believers is driven as well in ALL that the believer can see and do (fc art VI).

    Then there is that part of the Law that is only found in the first commandment. The first commandment demands what our fallen heart is devoid of. That is fear, love and trust in God above all other things. That is the Law that is IMpossible to do Kerner! It is not what we can think, say or do. Those things are possible. They are … DOable! What we cannot do is what alone the first commandment demands of us. That is for our hearts to have the emotions God demands that are called fear, love and trust. Only those who are baptized can do this internal law keeping that is from the heart,

  • kerner

    “why not? the first commandment demands not merely a keeping in thought word and deed, an “outward keeping” but that we do it with our emotions in full agreement.”

    Again, so what? Do you believe that there is a married man anywhere in the world who has perfectly kept that commandment?

  • kerner

    “why not? the first commandment demands not merely a keeping in thought word and deed, an “outward keeping” but that we do it with our emotions in full agreement.”

    Again, so what? Do you believe that there is a married man anywhere in the world who has perfectly kept that commandment?

  • fws

    kerner @ 60

    no the unbeliever can keep the law in the outward sense that is doable and possible. In fact Jesus praised the pharisees and held them up as an example that is impossible to exceed. The reaction of the apostles reflects the intended force of Jesus words there.

    We should ALL strive to make our Old Adams “whitewashed sepulchers” . How could old adam be anything else? Old Adam can only do dead works for the good and mercy of others. there is no Life in the Law. The mistake of the pharisees was to imagine that their law keeping was not about becoming sepulchers but rather thinking that they could find Life in DOing the Law in thought word and deed.

    that God demands this Law keeping and that this sort of keeping IS possible is reflected in the fact that he promises earthly blessings such as a long life and even heavenly blessings, and he promises to punish those who dont do the goodness and mercy for others that is his will to be done. And we can know whether or not we are doing this Law simply by reflecting whether our actions are improving the life and long term happiness of others or not. “see how they love one another!” what image does that evoke?

  • fws

    kerner @ 60

    no the unbeliever can keep the law in the outward sense that is doable and possible. In fact Jesus praised the pharisees and held them up as an example that is impossible to exceed. The reaction of the apostles reflects the intended force of Jesus words there.

    We should ALL strive to make our Old Adams “whitewashed sepulchers” . How could old adam be anything else? Old Adam can only do dead works for the good and mercy of others. there is no Life in the Law. The mistake of the pharisees was to imagine that their law keeping was not about becoming sepulchers but rather thinking that they could find Life in DOing the Law in thought word and deed.

    that God demands this Law keeping and that this sort of keeping IS possible is reflected in the fact that he promises earthly blessings such as a long life and even heavenly blessings, and he promises to punish those who dont do the goodness and mercy for others that is his will to be done. And we can know whether or not we are doing this Law simply by reflecting whether our actions are improving the life and long term happiness of others or not. “see how they love one another!” what image does that evoke?

  • fws

    kerner @ 60

    I am saying this:

    1) If continence were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift. But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all.
    2) God wishes the rest to use the common law of nature which He has instituted (marriage). For God does not wish His ordinances, His creations to be despised. He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented (male/female marriage), in the same way as He wishes to nourish our life by using the normal means of food and drink.

    (2) does not negate the assertion found in (1) , in any way, even agreeing FULLY that it IS talking about male/female marriage, for any one….

    Your assertion is this: celebacy is a gift that is available to ALL. You present anecdotal evidence in the form of married folk where one becomes sexually incapacitated. And then say : “see! if heterosexuals can do it, so can all the gay men and women!”

    But do you now also agree with our confessions that celebacy is NOT available to everyone?…… Or not?!

    That is what I am asking.

  • fws

    kerner @ 60

    I am saying this:

    1) If continence were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift. But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all.
    2) God wishes the rest to use the common law of nature which He has instituted (marriage). For God does not wish His ordinances, His creations to be despised. He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented (male/female marriage), in the same way as He wishes to nourish our life by using the normal means of food and drink.

    (2) does not negate the assertion found in (1) , in any way, even agreeing FULLY that it IS talking about male/female marriage, for any one….

    Your assertion is this: celebacy is a gift that is available to ALL. You present anecdotal evidence in the form of married folk where one becomes sexually incapacitated. And then say : “see! if heterosexuals can do it, so can all the gay men and women!”

    But do you now also agree with our confessions that celebacy is NOT available to everyone?…… Or not?!

    That is what I am asking.

  • fws

    kerner @ 66

    No. Nor a gay man either. Doing the Law as our Reason knows it, that is about thought word and deed is possible according to our Confessions.

    Doing it from the bottom of our hearts is IMpossible. And that heart doing, is what the 1st commandment uniquely demands. Our reason is of the opinion that the law is kept by doing , even if our heart is not in it.

    But there is a third category that the Confessions say is not the possibly doable Law or even the IMpossible to do Law. They call this the “ordinances” of God. Into this class they place the sex drive in the same sense one would consider the Law of Gravity. It is an order God has placed in creation that is impossible to resist. This category of thing is A-moral until it is inflamed by the desires of our heart. But they are things that are irrisistable all the same.

    the confessions say that this sex drive is irresistable in this way for ALL men unless a “singular gift and work of God” happens. And because ALL men have their sex drive inflamed by desire unless they have that miracle, then ALL men are commanded to get married.

    The confessions say that this “singular gift and work of God” called celebacy is NOT available to all. Do you accept this as true Kerner or not?

  • fws

    kerner @ 66

    No. Nor a gay man either. Doing the Law as our Reason knows it, that is about thought word and deed is possible according to our Confessions.

    Doing it from the bottom of our hearts is IMpossible. And that heart doing, is what the 1st commandment uniquely demands. Our reason is of the opinion that the law is kept by doing , even if our heart is not in it.

    But there is a third category that the Confessions say is not the possibly doable Law or even the IMpossible to do Law. They call this the “ordinances” of God. Into this class they place the sex drive in the same sense one would consider the Law of Gravity. It is an order God has placed in creation that is impossible to resist. This category of thing is A-moral until it is inflamed by the desires of our heart. But they are things that are irrisistable all the same.

    the confessions say that this sex drive is irresistable in this way for ALL men unless a “singular gift and work of God” happens. And because ALL men have their sex drive inflamed by desire unless they have that miracle, then ALL men are commanded to get married.

    The confessions say that this “singular gift and work of God” called celebacy is NOT available to all. Do you accept this as true Kerner or not?

  • kerner

    fws @65:

    “you did not really answer my response to you did you”.

    I don’t even know what your question was. Could we just this once cut through all the wordy bullsh!t and speak plainly.

    “Those things are possible. They are … DOable!”

    Not perfectly they’re not. Why do you think Jesus said in Matthew 5:

    ” 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[b] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,[c]’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. ”

    and

    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. ”

    It’s because he was speaking to people who thought they could perfectly keep the letter of the law, and he was telling them that nobody can.

    For this same reason St. Paul cries out in Romans 7:

    “14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord”

    A great amount of modern psychology is simply the attempts of our present age to give a new, clinical non-moral-sounding name to what St. Paul was struggling with. “Homosexuality” is just one example of that. there are plenty of other clinical names for the inability to stop doing something that the law defines as sin. We don’t know which ones St. Paul was struggling with. But it doesn’t matter what they were. What matters is that he didn’t try to disguise his sins and his fallen nature as some kind of psychological condition. He saw them for what they were and cried for deliverance. As should you. As should I. And as should we all.

  • kerner

    fws @65:

    “you did not really answer my response to you did you”.

    I don’t even know what your question was. Could we just this once cut through all the wordy bullsh!t and speak plainly.

    “Those things are possible. They are … DOable!”

    Not perfectly they’re not. Why do you think Jesus said in Matthew 5:

    ” 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[b] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,[c]’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. ”

    and

    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. ”

    It’s because he was speaking to people who thought they could perfectly keep the letter of the law, and he was telling them that nobody can.

    For this same reason St. Paul cries out in Romans 7:

    “14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord”

    A great amount of modern psychology is simply the attempts of our present age to give a new, clinical non-moral-sounding name to what St. Paul was struggling with. “Homosexuality” is just one example of that. there are plenty of other clinical names for the inability to stop doing something that the law defines as sin. We don’t know which ones St. Paul was struggling with. But it doesn’t matter what they were. What matters is that he didn’t try to disguise his sins and his fallen nature as some kind of psychological condition. He saw them for what they were and cried for deliverance. As should you. As should I. And as should we all.

  • fws

    kerner: I am saying this:

    answer my question as to whether you:

    agree with the assertion of the confessions and st paul that celebacy is a singular work and miraculous Gift of God that is NOT available to all.

    or not.

  • fws

    kerner: I am saying this:

    answer my question as to whether you:

    agree with the assertion of the confessions and st paul that celebacy is a singular work and miraculous Gift of God that is NOT available to all.

    or not.

  • kerner

    “Your assertion is this: celebacy is a gift that is available to ALL. ”

    That is not my assertion. I long ago asserted that there are times when people are put in a position when there is no lawful way to have sex. One example is when someone is married to a person who has been incompacitated. Another is when a person wants to get married but can’t find a person who wants to marry him/her. Another is when a person can find people who will marry him, but he doesn’t want to marry any of them.

    You keep saying that I am forcing gays into celibacy, but I am not. God has provided 3.5 billion people in this world that gay men can lawfully marry. But your response is, “But we don’t WANT to marry any of them!” So it becomes all about you. Article XXIII of the Apology is pretty clear that God ordained man and woman to have sex, and this is why He made two sexes. But all that has to change because you don’t like that idea?

    You haven’t really answered MY question either, Frank. You married two women. Why do you choose to be celibate rather than marry another?

  • kerner

    “Your assertion is this: celebacy is a gift that is available to ALL. ”

    That is not my assertion. I long ago asserted that there are times when people are put in a position when there is no lawful way to have sex. One example is when someone is married to a person who has been incompacitated. Another is when a person wants to get married but can’t find a person who wants to marry him/her. Another is when a person can find people who will marry him, but he doesn’t want to marry any of them.

    You keep saying that I am forcing gays into celibacy, but I am not. God has provided 3.5 billion people in this world that gay men can lawfully marry. But your response is, “But we don’t WANT to marry any of them!” So it becomes all about you. Article XXIII of the Apology is pretty clear that God ordained man and woman to have sex, and this is why He made two sexes. But all that has to change because you don’t like that idea?

    You haven’t really answered MY question either, Frank. You married two women. Why do you choose to be celibate rather than marry another?

  • kerner

    Argh! I meant incapacitated!

  • kerner

    Argh! I meant incapacitated!

  • fws

    Kerner:

    No the letter of the Law IS DOable. That is what you are missing. It is the spirit of the Law that is not. See how Luther contrasts the two. don’t duel with me over this….

    this is a very short read…

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

    Excerpt:

    You must not understand the word law here in human fashion, i.e., a regulation about what sort of works must be done or must not be done.

    That’s the way it is with human laws: you satisfy the demands of the law with works, whether your heart is in it or not.

    God judges what is in the depths of the heart. Therefore his law also makes demands on the depths of the heart and doesn’t let the heart rest content in works; rather it punishes as hypocrisy and lies all works done apart from the depths of the heart. All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart. Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not.

    Both Luther and the Apology concede that though rare, it IS possible to outwardly keep the Law according to the Letter. Indeed Christ hold up the Pharisees as the nearly impossible gold standard here. It it is not at all their outward letter of the Law keeping he criticizes!

    Therefore in chapter 2, St. Paul adds that the Jews are all sinners and says that only the doers of the law are justified in the sight of God.

    What he is saying is that no one is a doer of the law by works.

    Note that this is different than to say that it is impossible to keep the letter of the Law. Love is not the letter of the Law, it is the “sum” of the Law.

    On the contrary, he says to them, “You teach that one should not commit adultery, and you commit adultery. You judge another in a certain matter and condemn yourselves in that same matter, because you do the very same thing that you judged in another.”

    It is as if he were saying, “Outwardly you live quite properly in the works of the law and judge those who do not live the same way; you know how to teach everybody. You see the speck in another’s eye but do not notice the beam in your own.”

    Outwardly you keep the law with works out of fear of punishment or love of gain.

    Note that Luther and the Confessions are not saying that these people “keep” the Law according to the letter. He is saying that they really do outwardly keep the Law. To the letter! But there is an “inner” keeping that is beyond the letter of the Law that is missing. What does that look like?

    Likewise you do everything without free desire and love of the law; you act out of aversion and force. You’d rather act otherwise if the law didn’t exist. It follows, then, that you, in the depths of your heart, are an enemy of the law. What do you mean, therefore, by teaching another not to steal, when you, in the depths of your heart, are a thief and would be one outwardly too, if you dared. (Of course, outward work doesn’t last long with such hypocrites.) So then, you teach others but not yourself; you don’t even know what you are teaching. You’ve never understood the law rightly. Furthermore, the law increases sin, as St. Paul says in chapter 5. That is because a person becomes more and more an enemy of the law the more it demands of him what he can’t possibly do.

    It look like the opposite of that. So that is where that “spiritual keeping comes in. What does that mean kerner? It is not the letter of the law keeping. That IS possible. it is rather this:

    In chapter 7, St. Paul says, “The law is spiritual.” What does that mean? If the law were physical, then it could be satisfied by works [ie by DOing the Letter of the Law], but since it is spiritual, no one can satisfy it unless…

    everything he does springs from the depths of the heart.

    KernerL this is not about keeping the ‘letter of the law ‘ is it? And here is that IMpossible part….and that is NOT the letter of the Law keeping….

    But no one can give such a heart except the Spirit of God, who makes the person be like the law, so that he actually conceives a heartfelt longing for the law and henceforward does everything, not through fear or coercion, but from a free heart. Such a law is spiritual since it can only be loved and fulfilled by such a heart and such a spirit. If the Spirit is not in the heart, then there remain sin, aversion and enmity against the law, which in itself is good, just and holy.

    So here is what you need to get right Kerner, and this is way way beyond our small and eternally unimportant side discussion about homosexuality ok?

    You must get used to the idea that it is one thing to do the works of the law [ie keep the letter of the Law by doing] and quite another to fulfill it [by having our emotions in agreement].

    The works of the law are every thing that a person does or can do of his own free will and by his own powers to obey the law.

    And you are wrong if you think the Confessions teach that we can’t do that outward letter-of-the-law keeping…. they do not teach that!

    But because in doing such works the heart abhors the law and yet is forced to obey it, the works are a total loss and are completely useless. That is what St. Paul means in chapter 3 when he says, “No human being is justified before God through the works of the law.”

    And then this… this again, is not denying that one can outwardly keep the letter of the law or that that is impossible to do….

    From this you can see that the schoolmasters [i.e., the scholastic theologians] and sophists are seducers when they teach that you can prepare yourself for grace by means of works. How can anybody prepare himself for good by means of works if he does no good work except with aversion and constraint in his heart? How can such a work please God, if it proceeds from an averse and unwilling heart?

    No. they are saying something much more radical. They are saying that even IF we keep the letter of the Law completely, we are still not fulfilling the Law! Why not?

    The right emotions are missing. Our emotions are contrary to this doing. Our heart is not in the right place. And this is the Law that is IMpossible to do. This is the first commandment. We CAN keep the 2-10th commandment in our outward thoughts words and deeds.

    It is the first commandment heart movements or emotions that we cannot do . This is the demand of God to fear love and trust in Him.

    and so you are wrong in what you told Michael in post 59 and 60.

    “How I “feel” has nothing to do with love in Scripture. Indeed, can you quote one passage of Scripture that defines love as a feeling we can’t control? Or does all scripture basically treat love as an act we are commanded to do?

    What we DO , according to scripture, is the fruit and visible evidence of Love. It is not Love. How is it that you feel that fear, love and trust are NOT emotions? In what dictionary do I find that? The ARE emotions. And they are demanded of us in the first commandment.

    The fact we can’t emote as God demands is not proof that it is not demanded or cannot be demanded. God demands of our hearts that they have the right emotions of fear, love and trust in Him above all other things. Emotions.

    This is the Law that is not the letter of the Law that we CAN do, and , in fact, the Law that is IMpossible to do. Because our hearts are devoid of that Love. Our Old Adam hearts insist on fearing, trusting, and loving anything BUT God. Love (an emotion) is the sum of the Law . it is the fulfilling of the Law. It is the thing that is missing from our hearts that would allow the fruit of Love to flow from our hearts “spontaneously”,”automatically” .”as light from sun” and “as the angels do it” and that is now begun in us “insofar as we are regenerate” (FC art VI).. And this Love (which is nothing other than Christ who is Love incarnate) is planted in our hearts in Holy Baptism. Only then can we start to bear the fruit of Love that is goodness and mercy, now from the heart and not just outwardly according to the Letter of the Law that the Law in our Reason is able to do, but……. not from the heart.

  • fws

    Kerner:

    No the letter of the Law IS DOable. That is what you are missing. It is the spirit of the Law that is not. See how Luther contrasts the two. don’t duel with me over this….

    this is a very short read…

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

    Excerpt:

    You must not understand the word law here in human fashion, i.e., a regulation about what sort of works must be done or must not be done.

    That’s the way it is with human laws: you satisfy the demands of the law with works, whether your heart is in it or not.

    God judges what is in the depths of the heart. Therefore his law also makes demands on the depths of the heart and doesn’t let the heart rest content in works; rather it punishes as hypocrisy and lies all works done apart from the depths of the heart. All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart. Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not.

    Both Luther and the Apology concede that though rare, it IS possible to outwardly keep the Law according to the Letter. Indeed Christ hold up the Pharisees as the nearly impossible gold standard here. It it is not at all their outward letter of the Law keeping he criticizes!

    Therefore in chapter 2, St. Paul adds that the Jews are all sinners and says that only the doers of the law are justified in the sight of God.

    What he is saying is that no one is a doer of the law by works.

    Note that this is different than to say that it is impossible to keep the letter of the Law. Love is not the letter of the Law, it is the “sum” of the Law.

    On the contrary, he says to them, “You teach that one should not commit adultery, and you commit adultery. You judge another in a certain matter and condemn yourselves in that same matter, because you do the very same thing that you judged in another.”

    It is as if he were saying, “Outwardly you live quite properly in the works of the law and judge those who do not live the same way; you know how to teach everybody. You see the speck in another’s eye but do not notice the beam in your own.”

    Outwardly you keep the law with works out of fear of punishment or love of gain.

    Note that Luther and the Confessions are not saying that these people “keep” the Law according to the letter. He is saying that they really do outwardly keep the Law. To the letter! But there is an “inner” keeping that is beyond the letter of the Law that is missing. What does that look like?

    Likewise you do everything without free desire and love of the law; you act out of aversion and force. You’d rather act otherwise if the law didn’t exist. It follows, then, that you, in the depths of your heart, are an enemy of the law. What do you mean, therefore, by teaching another not to steal, when you, in the depths of your heart, are a thief and would be one outwardly too, if you dared. (Of course, outward work doesn’t last long with such hypocrites.) So then, you teach others but not yourself; you don’t even know what you are teaching. You’ve never understood the law rightly. Furthermore, the law increases sin, as St. Paul says in chapter 5. That is because a person becomes more and more an enemy of the law the more it demands of him what he can’t possibly do.

    It look like the opposite of that. So that is where that “spiritual keeping comes in. What does that mean kerner? It is not the letter of the law keeping. That IS possible. it is rather this:

    In chapter 7, St. Paul says, “The law is spiritual.” What does that mean? If the law were physical, then it could be satisfied by works [ie by DOing the Letter of the Law], but since it is spiritual, no one can satisfy it unless…

    everything he does springs from the depths of the heart.

    KernerL this is not about keeping the ‘letter of the law ‘ is it? And here is that IMpossible part….and that is NOT the letter of the Law keeping….

    But no one can give such a heart except the Spirit of God, who makes the person be like the law, so that he actually conceives a heartfelt longing for the law and henceforward does everything, not through fear or coercion, but from a free heart. Such a law is spiritual since it can only be loved and fulfilled by such a heart and such a spirit. If the Spirit is not in the heart, then there remain sin, aversion and enmity against the law, which in itself is good, just and holy.

    So here is what you need to get right Kerner, and this is way way beyond our small and eternally unimportant side discussion about homosexuality ok?

    You must get used to the idea that it is one thing to do the works of the law [ie keep the letter of the Law by doing] and quite another to fulfill it [by having our emotions in agreement].

    The works of the law are every thing that a person does or can do of his own free will and by his own powers to obey the law.

    And you are wrong if you think the Confessions teach that we can’t do that outward letter-of-the-law keeping…. they do not teach that!

    But because in doing such works the heart abhors the law and yet is forced to obey it, the works are a total loss and are completely useless. That is what St. Paul means in chapter 3 when he says, “No human being is justified before God through the works of the law.”

    And then this… this again, is not denying that one can outwardly keep the letter of the law or that that is impossible to do….

    From this you can see that the schoolmasters [i.e., the scholastic theologians] and sophists are seducers when they teach that you can prepare yourself for grace by means of works. How can anybody prepare himself for good by means of works if he does no good work except with aversion and constraint in his heart? How can such a work please God, if it proceeds from an averse and unwilling heart?

    No. they are saying something much more radical. They are saying that even IF we keep the letter of the Law completely, we are still not fulfilling the Law! Why not?

    The right emotions are missing. Our emotions are contrary to this doing. Our heart is not in the right place. And this is the Law that is IMpossible to do. This is the first commandment. We CAN keep the 2-10th commandment in our outward thoughts words and deeds.

    It is the first commandment heart movements or emotions that we cannot do . This is the demand of God to fear love and trust in Him.

    and so you are wrong in what you told Michael in post 59 and 60.

    “How I “feel” has nothing to do with love in Scripture. Indeed, can you quote one passage of Scripture that defines love as a feeling we can’t control? Or does all scripture basically treat love as an act we are commanded to do?

    What we DO , according to scripture, is the fruit and visible evidence of Love. It is not Love. How is it that you feel that fear, love and trust are NOT emotions? In what dictionary do I find that? The ARE emotions. And they are demanded of us in the first commandment.

    The fact we can’t emote as God demands is not proof that it is not demanded or cannot be demanded. God demands of our hearts that they have the right emotions of fear, love and trust in Him above all other things. Emotions.

    This is the Law that is not the letter of the Law that we CAN do, and , in fact, the Law that is IMpossible to do. Because our hearts are devoid of that Love. Our Old Adam hearts insist on fearing, trusting, and loving anything BUT God. Love (an emotion) is the sum of the Law . it is the fulfilling of the Law. It is the thing that is missing from our hearts that would allow the fruit of Love to flow from our hearts “spontaneously”,”automatically” .”as light from sun” and “as the angels do it” and that is now begun in us “insofar as we are regenerate” (FC art VI).. And this Love (which is nothing other than Christ who is Love incarnate) is planted in our hearts in Holy Baptism. Only then can we start to bear the fruit of Love that is goodness and mercy, now from the heart and not just outwardly according to the Letter of the Law that the Law in our Reason is able to do, but……. not from the heart.

  • fws

    kerner @ 72

    Let me be clear first that you have answered my question:

    You agree with the confessions that celebacy is a singular gift and work of God that is NOT available to ALL. That it is a miracle. Miracle , by definition, is God breaking the normal laws of nature, physics, biology or what the Confessions call “ordinances”.

    Are we agreed here dear Kerner that the Confessions declare this according to matt 19 and 1 cor 7 and you fully agree with it?

  • fws

    kerner @ 72

    Let me be clear first that you have answered my question:

    You agree with the confessions that celebacy is a singular gift and work of God that is NOT available to ALL. That it is a miracle. Miracle , by definition, is God breaking the normal laws of nature, physics, biology or what the Confessions call “ordinances”.

    Are we agreed here dear Kerner that the Confessions declare this according to matt 19 and 1 cor 7 and you fully agree with it?

  • fws

    kerner you still did not answer my question about whether or not you agree with the confessions as to whether or not celebacy is a gift that is available to ALL or not did you?

    You are hemming and hawing.

    Once I am clear on your answer here, I own you an answer as to why marrying a female would be an immoral option for me . And I will be happy to answer than question , just as I was happy to let you dig into my personal life about my previous marriages to see if you could score a debate point ok?

    Take your time. But please answer with a yes or no.

  • fws

    kerner you still did not answer my question about whether or not you agree with the confessions as to whether or not celebacy is a gift that is available to ALL or not did you?

    You are hemming and hawing.

    Once I am clear on your answer here, I own you an answer as to why marrying a female would be an immoral option for me . And I will be happy to answer than question , just as I was happy to let you dig into my personal life about my previous marriages to see if you could score a debate point ok?

    Take your time. But please answer with a yes or no.

  • kerner

    OK, I read it. But I only got to the 5th paragraph when Luther contradicted you. In describing those who lead an outwardly lawful life but are corrupt within Luther says: “(Of course, outward work doesn’t last long with such hypocrites.) ” Which is to say that those we perceive as keeping the outward letter of the law can’t really do so consistantly. They violate the letter of the law eventually (though perhaps not as often nor as flagrantly), but are simply good at covering it up when they do so.

    I think you are reading something into this sermon that isn’t there because Luther’s point is not about the letter of the law. I fully agree with you about what Luther says about the spirit of the law, that no one can keep it. But I don’t agree that the contrast Luther is drawing necessarily means that the letter of the law can be kept perfectly.

  • kerner

    OK, I read it. But I only got to the 5th paragraph when Luther contradicted you. In describing those who lead an outwardly lawful life but are corrupt within Luther says: “(Of course, outward work doesn’t last long with such hypocrites.) ” Which is to say that those we perceive as keeping the outward letter of the law can’t really do so consistantly. They violate the letter of the law eventually (though perhaps not as often nor as flagrantly), but are simply good at covering it up when they do so.

    I think you are reading something into this sermon that isn’t there because Luther’s point is not about the letter of the law. I fully agree with you about what Luther says about the spirit of the law, that no one can keep it. But I don’t agree that the contrast Luther is drawing necessarily means that the letter of the law can be kept perfectly.

  • fws

    Kerner: the confessions say it is futile, and cruel to try to force either oneself or others into celebacy. so no, I KNOW you are not trying to do that!

    Why?

    because celebacy is available only as “a singular work and gift of God (ie miracle), and is NOT available to all.”

    Therefore: I would not say you are trying to force gays into celebacy, since that would be quite impossible, IF what the confessions say is true, and furthermore, the confessions say that anyone attempting to attain celebacy by will power without the gift would end up, usually, with this result:

    “[For it is manifest, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted (from the attempt at celebacy ), but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.] ” Augsburg confession art XXIII.

    And you confess this to be true right?

  • fws

    Kerner: the confessions say it is futile, and cruel to try to force either oneself or others into celebacy. so no, I KNOW you are not trying to do that!

    Why?

    because celebacy is available only as “a singular work and gift of God (ie miracle), and is NOT available to all.”

    Therefore: I would not say you are trying to force gays into celebacy, since that would be quite impossible, IF what the confessions say is true, and furthermore, the confessions say that anyone attempting to attain celebacy by will power without the gift would end up, usually, with this result:

    “[For it is manifest, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted (from the attempt at celebacy ), but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.] ” Augsburg confession art XXIII.

    And you confess this to be true right?

  • fws

    kerner @ 77.

    come on Kerner. letter of the Law is what to you? the command to love? no. that is the sum or fulfillment of the Law. hat is the spirit of the Law.

    by pointing out that those who think they can keep the law by the letter always skate as close as they can to the very edge of that is well known to you as an attorney.

    The fact that usually most letter of the law types are such hipocrites that they do not keep even that up for long is NOT Luther saying that the letter of the law is IMpossible to keep.

    Try again kerner!

    i am sure you personally know of many who keep the “letter of the law’ in this way yet do not keep the “spirit” of the Law. they do not do what the law is intended to produce. And that is justice that bears fruit in mercy. it is about doing for others rather than gaining self advantage or self justification.

  • fws

    kerner @ 77.

    come on Kerner. letter of the Law is what to you? the command to love? no. that is the sum or fulfillment of the Law. hat is the spirit of the Law.

    by pointing out that those who think they can keep the law by the letter always skate as close as they can to the very edge of that is well known to you as an attorney.

    The fact that usually most letter of the law types are such hipocrites that they do not keep even that up for long is NOT Luther saying that the letter of the law is IMpossible to keep.

    Try again kerner!

    i am sure you personally know of many who keep the “letter of the law’ in this way yet do not keep the “spirit” of the Law. they do not do what the law is intended to produce. And that is justice that bears fruit in mercy. it is about doing for others rather than gaining self advantage or self justification.

  • fws

    kerner @ 77

    “I think you are reading something into this sermon that isn’t there because Luther’s point is not about the letter of the law.”

    Well now. Yes it is. no he does not use the expression “letter of the Law”. Agreed.

    I would expect you however, legal eagle that you are, to be able to see that he is in fact contrasting letter of the law keeping with the the spiritual keeping of the law.

    he does it in this way:

    he constrasts a keeping that looks like a civil keeping that is done down to the very last letter that would satisfy a judge in any courtroom , but …..the heart is not in it…..

    and then he compares that to spiritual keeping…. where the emotions are in complete and perfect alignment with that letter of the Law keeping.

    This is an argumentative outline that is repeated over and over in the apology kerner.

    my. what did you have for breakfast Kerner. you are more of your frisky argumentative attorney self than even usual!

  • fws

    kerner @ 77

    “I think you are reading something into this sermon that isn’t there because Luther’s point is not about the letter of the law.”

    Well now. Yes it is. no he does not use the expression “letter of the Law”. Agreed.

    I would expect you however, legal eagle that you are, to be able to see that he is in fact contrasting letter of the law keeping with the the spiritual keeping of the law.

    he does it in this way:

    he constrasts a keeping that looks like a civil keeping that is done down to the very last letter that would satisfy a judge in any courtroom , but …..the heart is not in it…..

    and then he compares that to spiritual keeping…. where the emotions are in complete and perfect alignment with that letter of the Law keeping.

    This is an argumentative outline that is repeated over and over in the apology kerner.

    my. what did you have for breakfast Kerner. you are more of your frisky argumentative attorney self than even usual!

  • kerner

    I’m not hemming or hawing, and I thought I answered you pretty clearly. I do not believe that all, or even most, people are capable of being perfectly celebate. The confessions teach this and of course scripture does too.

    But it is your next leap of logic that I find to be problematic. You seem to think that, when caught in a position where marriage is not available, that an “outlet for our sexuality” suddenly becomes lawful outside of marriage. Take your earlier point about masturbation. Masturbation is nothing more than acting on the “lust in your heart” that the law forbids It is a sexual act outside of marriage. Hence, unlawful.

  • kerner

    I’m not hemming or hawing, and I thought I answered you pretty clearly. I do not believe that all, or even most, people are capable of being perfectly celebate. The confessions teach this and of course scripture does too.

    But it is your next leap of logic that I find to be problematic. You seem to think that, when caught in a position where marriage is not available, that an “outlet for our sexuality” suddenly becomes lawful outside of marriage. Take your earlier point about masturbation. Masturbation is nothing more than acting on the “lust in your heart” that the law forbids It is a sexual act outside of marriage. Hence, unlawful.

  • fws

    kerner

    All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart. Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not.

    This is clearly saying that the Law is not kept even IF one keeps the letter of the Law perfectly. That IS the point here.

    Why do I bring this up? You are talking about a law that is IMpossible to keep. When the confessions and Luther talk about that IMpossible to keep Law, they are NOT talking about the letter of the Law.

    That is the point I am making. And if you dont catch this distinction then I suggest that you will simply be blind to the most important and central argument the confessions make as to faith , works, the law , reason, emotions and the heart.

  • fws

    kerner

    All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart. Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not.

    This is clearly saying that the Law is not kept even IF one keeps the letter of the Law perfectly. That IS the point here.

    Why do I bring this up? You are talking about a law that is IMpossible to keep. When the confessions and Luther talk about that IMpossible to keep Law, they are NOT talking about the letter of the Law.

    That is the point I am making. And if you dont catch this distinction then I suggest that you will simply be blind to the most important and central argument the confessions make as to faith , works, the law , reason, emotions and the heart.

  • kerner

    fws @77:

    On the contrary. I know of nobody who has kept the letter of the law perfectly. I know of a lot of people who like to believe that they can. And I know a lot of people who have kept the letter of the law well enough so that they may seem to be keeping it compared to their more flagrantly sinful neighbors. But nobody is really keeping the letter of the law all the time, or even most of the time. As Luther pointed out, it is only a matter of time before those who do not keep the spirit of the law (everyone) slip up and break the letter of the law too.

    So, too, the Apology Art III, v.9 states:

    “Although, therefore, civil works, i.e., the outward works of the Law, can be done, in a measure.” Which is to say, sometimes, but not perfectly all the time.

    And as you say, it is only the Holy Spirit who motivates us to love as we should, but we cannot do this perfectly in this life, even with His help, and therefore our attempts to keep even the letter of the law “do not last long”, as Luther says, and fail.

  • kerner

    fws @77:

    On the contrary. I know of nobody who has kept the letter of the law perfectly. I know of a lot of people who like to believe that they can. And I know a lot of people who have kept the letter of the law well enough so that they may seem to be keeping it compared to their more flagrantly sinful neighbors. But nobody is really keeping the letter of the law all the time, or even most of the time. As Luther pointed out, it is only a matter of time before those who do not keep the spirit of the law (everyone) slip up and break the letter of the law too.

    So, too, the Apology Art III, v.9 states:

    “Although, therefore, civil works, i.e., the outward works of the Law, can be done, in a measure.” Which is to say, sometimes, but not perfectly all the time.

    And as you say, it is only the Holy Spirit who motivates us to love as we should, but we cannot do this perfectly in this life, even with His help, and therefore our attempts to keep even the letter of the law “do not last long”, as Luther says, and fail.

  • fws

    I am suggesting that the following points are what we can for sure say from holy scripture and the confessions:

    a) celebacy is a singular work and act of God that is not available to all. IE it is a miracle. Miracle=walking on water, water changed to wine. It is not “miracle” as in “the ‘miracle’ of childbirth”.
    b) there is nothing in scripture that would sanction, according to the letter of the law, same gender marriage.
    c) Paul and the confessions say that the ONLY way to exercise sexual self-control is by literally having non-stop sex in male/female marriage and lots of it.
    d) Paul says the intended purpose of getting married is to satisfy the sex drive by having lots of sex.
    e) this is a solution providing sexual self control that would not work for a gay man.
    f) the sum of a-e adds up to what? nothing tidy that looks like anything less than an unresolvable dilema.

    I think you are thinking that I am driving this all to try to somehow justify gay sex or marriage 0r…. whatever. You are waiting for some other shoe to drop….

    Why would you need to assume that?
    What of my points a-f are faulty?

  • fws

    I am suggesting that the following points are what we can for sure say from holy scripture and the confessions:

    a) celebacy is a singular work and act of God that is not available to all. IE it is a miracle. Miracle=walking on water, water changed to wine. It is not “miracle” as in “the ‘miracle’ of childbirth”.
    b) there is nothing in scripture that would sanction, according to the letter of the law, same gender marriage.
    c) Paul and the confessions say that the ONLY way to exercise sexual self-control is by literally having non-stop sex in male/female marriage and lots of it.
    d) Paul says the intended purpose of getting married is to satisfy the sex drive by having lots of sex.
    e) this is a solution providing sexual self control that would not work for a gay man.
    f) the sum of a-e adds up to what? nothing tidy that looks like anything less than an unresolvable dilema.

    I think you are thinking that I am driving this all to try to somehow justify gay sex or marriage 0r…. whatever. You are waiting for some other shoe to drop….

    Why would you need to assume that?
    What of my points a-f are faulty?

  • fws

    kerner: I agree that point e is not scriptural. But do you really disagree with it? If so, on what basis?

    it seems self evident to me that it would be pretty hard to get or give sexual satisfaction if one cannot get a hard on.

    as to your post @ 83

    yes. and the confessions say that even that “in a measure” is a very rare thing.

    But my point is that when Luther and the confessions talk about a law that cannot be kept by doing it, they mean not even ‘in a measure”! they are not talking about commandments 2-10 or the civil law . they are making a contrast to that kind of law keeping. That is very clear and briefly made clear in luthers wonderful preface to the romans. See my point now?

    They are talking about a heart keeping. that keeping, in constrast, cannot even be kept in even the smallest “in a measure”. they ARE making a contrast Kerner, and I am suggesting that it is a very important one and that you should look for it.

  • fws

    kerner: I agree that point e is not scriptural. But do you really disagree with it? If so, on what basis?

    it seems self evident to me that it would be pretty hard to get or give sexual satisfaction if one cannot get a hard on.

    as to your post @ 83

    yes. and the confessions say that even that “in a measure” is a very rare thing.

    But my point is that when Luther and the confessions talk about a law that cannot be kept by doing it, they mean not even ‘in a measure”! they are not talking about commandments 2-10 or the civil law . they are making a contrast to that kind of law keeping. That is very clear and briefly made clear in luthers wonderful preface to the romans. See my point now?

    They are talking about a heart keeping. that keeping, in constrast, cannot even be kept in even the smallest “in a measure”. they ARE making a contrast Kerner, and I am suggesting that it is a very important one and that you should look for it.

  • fws

    kerner @ 83

    “And as you say, it is only the Holy Spirit who motivates us to love as we should, but we cannot do this perfectly in this life, even with His help, and therefore our attempts to keep even the letter of the law “do not last long”, as Luther says, and fail.”"

    It is really, really important to see that I am saying what FC art VI says; It is the same HS who makes BOTH our Old Adam and New Man to bear the same identical fruit of Goodness and Mercy that is the Will of God.

    he makes the fruits of Love happen in our Old Adam that is ALL we can see and do , by extorting it out of our flesh by the Law.This happens even though and because our hearts are devoid of true Love for God or neighbor, along with fear, and trust in God.. Luke 18 shows that it is God who makes this happen even in an antinomian judge by driving him with a nagging conscience that is dead to Love.

    In the new man, the SAME fruits of Love that is goodness and mercy. But no law is necessary. New man has a heart that is Love Incarnate, or Christ. So the same fruit of Goodness and Mercy that is driven out of Old Adam by the Law just simply flows , spontaneously, out of our new man heart! this is the point that art VI in the FC makes.

  • fws

    kerner @ 83

    “And as you say, it is only the Holy Spirit who motivates us to love as we should, but we cannot do this perfectly in this life, even with His help, and therefore our attempts to keep even the letter of the law “do not last long”, as Luther says, and fail.”"

    It is really, really important to see that I am saying what FC art VI says; It is the same HS who makes BOTH our Old Adam and New Man to bear the same identical fruit of Goodness and Mercy that is the Will of God.

    he makes the fruits of Love happen in our Old Adam that is ALL we can see and do , by extorting it out of our flesh by the Law.This happens even though and because our hearts are devoid of true Love for God or neighbor, along with fear, and trust in God.. Luke 18 shows that it is God who makes this happen even in an antinomian judge by driving him with a nagging conscience that is dead to Love.

    In the new man, the SAME fruits of Love that is goodness and mercy. But no law is necessary. New man has a heart that is Love Incarnate, or Christ. So the same fruit of Goodness and Mercy that is driven out of Old Adam by the Law just simply flows , spontaneously, out of our new man heart! this is the point that art VI in the FC makes.

  • kerner

    Let me put this another way. I believe that, at any given moment, any person, even the unsaved, can choose to do the right thing and “keep the letter of the law” in that moment. Eg. I see something I want, but it does not belong to me. I don’t take it, I have not stolen. I have kept the letter of the law.

    But because everyone has a corrupt heart such that no one can keep the spirit of the law (to love God and ones neighbor), no one can consistently keep the letter of the law for very long. With the exception of Jesus Christ, there is no one who has gone his whole life and kept the letter of the law the whole time. I dare say there is no one (at least no one who is not unconscious) who can even go one day without transgressing the letter of the law at least once. I see nothing in the confessions that suggests that there is any person other than Jesus Christ who is capable of never committing a violation of the letter of the law.

  • kerner

    Let me put this another way. I believe that, at any given moment, any person, even the unsaved, can choose to do the right thing and “keep the letter of the law” in that moment. Eg. I see something I want, but it does not belong to me. I don’t take it, I have not stolen. I have kept the letter of the law.

    But because everyone has a corrupt heart such that no one can keep the spirit of the law (to love God and ones neighbor), no one can consistently keep the letter of the law for very long. With the exception of Jesus Christ, there is no one who has gone his whole life and kept the letter of the law the whole time. I dare say there is no one (at least no one who is not unconscious) who can even go one day without transgressing the letter of the law at least once. I see nothing in the confessions that suggests that there is any person other than Jesus Christ who is capable of never committing a violation of the letter of the law.

  • fws

    Dear Kerner:

    My Life does not in any way depend upon winning any argument at all about the morality or lack of it in homosexuality. Why would I try to argue a case that has been declared dismissed by God?

    It is true that ALL I do has eternal consequences. And it is important to see that the eternal consequences of ALL I can do or refrain from doing is …. death. temporal and eternal punishment in fact.

    So I hide all my doing in the Works of Another Kerner

    So this means I am free to not worry about the eternal consequences of anything I can do or refrain from doing. I know that those belong to my Old Adam and my task is to hasten his demise.

    And knowing that , I am free to aim all my works then not at checking off a list of Gods requirements, but instead checking off a list of what it is that my neighbor requires of me.

    And so I identify here as a gay man. and as a christian and Lutheran gay man. Why? you will not read a single paper in the LCMS that piously talks about the need to “minister to homosexuals and their families’ that talks about them as though
    they are ‘in the room”. I challenge you to find such a paper.

    I am in the room here with you. And we are talking about stuff that is way more important that who I have sex with. And our basis for talking is our common baptism. And I want to encourage you and others to invite others like me into the room. Where else would it be that Gays can have that one Power that can truly allow us to start to keep the Law.

    Am I wrong about homosexuality. Maybe. But I need to be shown that from scriptures or the Confessions and not some anecdotal argument. but I AM in the room. just as a calvinist is in the room even th0ugh they are wrong about many things and deny parts of scripture. and ditto with roman catholics.

    Why is it that this is not also the case with Gays who simply cannot see it as obvious that the sodom and gomorrah story, etc , describes typical gay behavior or defines the word ‘homosexual’ biblically? This is a doctrinal issue.

    And I would suggest that this is a doctrinal issue that is not a denial of holy scripture or a denial that gays are sinners and need a savior as every one is and does. and I would suggest that this issue uniquely does flush out alot of …um.. doctrinal issues that need to be flushed out. about things as basic as baptism, repentence, sin, gospel, faith, etc.

  • fws

    Dear Kerner:

    My Life does not in any way depend upon winning any argument at all about the morality or lack of it in homosexuality. Why would I try to argue a case that has been declared dismissed by God?

    It is true that ALL I do has eternal consequences. And it is important to see that the eternal consequences of ALL I can do or refrain from doing is …. death. temporal and eternal punishment in fact.

    So I hide all my doing in the Works of Another Kerner

    So this means I am free to not worry about the eternal consequences of anything I can do or refrain from doing. I know that those belong to my Old Adam and my task is to hasten his demise.

    And knowing that , I am free to aim all my works then not at checking off a list of Gods requirements, but instead checking off a list of what it is that my neighbor requires of me.

    And so I identify here as a gay man. and as a christian and Lutheran gay man. Why? you will not read a single paper in the LCMS that piously talks about the need to “minister to homosexuals and their families’ that talks about them as though
    they are ‘in the room”. I challenge you to find such a paper.

    I am in the room here with you. And we are talking about stuff that is way more important that who I have sex with. And our basis for talking is our common baptism. And I want to encourage you and others to invite others like me into the room. Where else would it be that Gays can have that one Power that can truly allow us to start to keep the Law.

    Am I wrong about homosexuality. Maybe. But I need to be shown that from scriptures or the Confessions and not some anecdotal argument. but I AM in the room. just as a calvinist is in the room even th0ugh they are wrong about many things and deny parts of scripture. and ditto with roman catholics.

    Why is it that this is not also the case with Gays who simply cannot see it as obvious that the sodom and gomorrah story, etc , describes typical gay behavior or defines the word ‘homosexual’ biblically? This is a doctrinal issue.

    And I would suggest that this is a doctrinal issue that is not a denial of holy scripture or a denial that gays are sinners and need a savior as every one is and does. and I would suggest that this issue uniquely does flush out alot of …um.. doctrinal issues that need to be flushed out. about things as basic as baptism, repentence, sin, gospel, faith, etc.

  • fws

    kerner @ 87

    Let me put this another way. I believe that, at any given moment, any person, even the unsaved, can choose to do the right thing and “keep the letter of the law” in that moment. Eg. I see something I want, but it does not belong to me. I don’t take it, I have not stolen. I have kept the letter of the law.

    Ok. But Luther is not arguing about whether or not you can do that or that impossible means that you can only do it for a split second. reason and any pagan can know all that Kerner.

    neither the confessions or I are contending oar arguing whether or not someone can ALWAYS keep the letter of the Law. the argument is instead this one>

    Even IF one COULD keep the Letter of the Law perfectly, they have still not kept the Law. And the confessions say that reason is blind to this fact. this fact can only be known by the Word of God in faith.

    that is the contrast and point they are making Kerner. and it is THE contrast that one must look for to understand the confesions in any part. it is the battle between reason where God has written the Law and the emotions in the heart that is devoid of any true fear , love and trust for neighbor or God just as is the antinomian judge in luke 18 drive to do justice by a nagging conscience dead to love.

    and so , for that reason, our emotions are at constant war with Reason which is the Law of God that is the same Law as we find in the Decalog,, which is why reason agrees with the decalog.

    only in the new birth are we given new heart movements, fear love and trust in God. then the will of God that is goodness and mercy flows without any need to be driven by the Law because it perfectly agrees with the Law down to the very last jot and titel.

    so one then has both the letter of the law AND the spirit. One is not opposed to the other at all!

    The confessions talk about a part of the Law, found only in the first commandment, that deals with emotions, that reason is veiled to. What is that veil? it is the opinion that the Law can be kept by doing something or not doing something EVEN if the heart is not in it. That the Law can be fulfilled by doing the letter of the Law.

  • fws

    kerner @ 87

    Let me put this another way. I believe that, at any given moment, any person, even the unsaved, can choose to do the right thing and “keep the letter of the law” in that moment. Eg. I see something I want, but it does not belong to me. I don’t take it, I have not stolen. I have kept the letter of the law.

    Ok. But Luther is not arguing about whether or not you can do that or that impossible means that you can only do it for a split second. reason and any pagan can know all that Kerner.

    neither the confessions or I are contending oar arguing whether or not someone can ALWAYS keep the letter of the Law. the argument is instead this one>

    Even IF one COULD keep the Letter of the Law perfectly, they have still not kept the Law. And the confessions say that reason is blind to this fact. this fact can only be known by the Word of God in faith.

    that is the contrast and point they are making Kerner. and it is THE contrast that one must look for to understand the confesions in any part. it is the battle between reason where God has written the Law and the emotions in the heart that is devoid of any true fear , love and trust for neighbor or God just as is the antinomian judge in luke 18 drive to do justice by a nagging conscience dead to love.

    and so , for that reason, our emotions are at constant war with Reason which is the Law of God that is the same Law as we find in the Decalog,, which is why reason agrees with the decalog.

    only in the new birth are we given new heart movements, fear love and trust in God. then the will of God that is goodness and mercy flows without any need to be driven by the Law because it perfectly agrees with the Law down to the very last jot and titel.

    so one then has both the letter of the law AND the spirit. One is not opposed to the other at all!

    The confessions talk about a part of the Law, found only in the first commandment, that deals with emotions, that reason is veiled to. What is that veil? it is the opinion that the Law can be kept by doing something or not doing something EVEN if the heart is not in it. That the Law can be fulfilled by doing the letter of the Law.

  • fws

    kerner

    you say:

    But because everyone has a corrupt heart such that no one can keep the spirit of the law (to love God and ones neighbor), no one can consistently keep the letter of the law for very long.

    No. the point they are making is not how much letter of the Law stamina one has because of a bad heart.

    the point is that EVEN IF one could keep letter of the Law perfectly, one still has not kept the Law. Reason finds this unreasonable.

    God demands not just that we keep the letter whether our heart is in it or not. that the only keeping that makes sense (ie seems fair) to reason.

    God really does demand what Michael and also you seem to feel is unreasonable. because it is in the sense reason is blind to it.

    God demands that we have the proper emotions of fear love, trust, and respect for our neighbor and for God as the driver for every single act of thought word and deed that we do.

    and we DO have the start of this only when we are Baptized.

  • fws

    kerner

    you say:

    But because everyone has a corrupt heart such that no one can keep the spirit of the law (to love God and ones neighbor), no one can consistently keep the letter of the law for very long.

    No. the point they are making is not how much letter of the Law stamina one has because of a bad heart.

    the point is that EVEN IF one could keep letter of the Law perfectly, one still has not kept the Law. Reason finds this unreasonable.

    God demands not just that we keep the letter whether our heart is in it or not. that the only keeping that makes sense (ie seems fair) to reason.

    God really does demand what Michael and also you seem to feel is unreasonable. because it is in the sense reason is blind to it.

    God demands that we have the proper emotions of fear love, trust, and respect for our neighbor and for God as the driver for every single act of thought word and deed that we do.

    and we DO have the start of this only when we are Baptized.

  • kerner

    fws @84:

    It’s late and whatever I had for breakfast, I’m running out of gas. But I’ll work through a through f with you before going to bed.

    a) I sort of agree. I think that most people have a biological impulse to have sex that is very difficult to resist. Basic physiology, including the production and build up of semen and testosterone in males give us a motivation to have sex that makes lifelong celibacy impossible for most of us. If the ability to maintain lifelong celebacy is not quite on the “walking on water” level, it is certainly not the norm, particularly among males.

    b)I agree, as far as it goes.

    c) You have taken what might have been a reasonable proposition to absurd lengths. The ONLY way to exercize self control is non-stop sex? Really? At any given moment one can’t just think about something else for an hour or two? Take a cold shower? Watch cartoons? Mow the lawn? Martin Luther himself didn’t get married until 1525. I hope you are not suggesting that he spent every day before that in some kind of sexual sin.

    d) Not exactly. Paul says that ONE intended purpose of marraige is to satisfy the sex drive by having at least enough sex to tone down the propensity toward sexual sin. It is certainly not the only intended purpose and probably not even the most important.

    e) I guess you would have more personal knowledge about that than I do, but I don’t see why it would not have at least some helpful effect, even for gay men. To the extent that the sex drive is a biological urge, I would think that relieving the build-up of semen, even with a woman, would ease at least a little of the pressure. And I don’t see why there could not be some level of emotional closeness with a woman. Look, Framk, I really don’t mean to pry, and I’m sorry if I came off that way. But you are not the only self identifying gay man I know that has had sex with and/or been married to a woman. It’s hard for me to believe that all those men had no feelings for their wives at all.

    And, I’ve been fruitlessly trying to point out to you that marriage is not a particularly successful cure for sexual sin among hetersexuals either. Ask any pastor about the number of married men who have confessed to porn addictions if you don’t believe me. This is not even to mention all the overt adultery that goes on, or the coveting of neighbors’ wives(and husbands). Marriage is not the magic bullet that you seem to think it is, for any of us.

    f) While I grant you that it is a heavy burden to bear, I think “unresolveable dilemma” does not describe it. The fact is, none of us can keep from sinning (inclluding from breaking bioth the letter and the spirit of the law) for long. Therefore, I don’t see how this dillemma is so different than anyone else’s. Sooner or later the glutton is going to over eat, the lazy man will goof off, the gossip will, er, gossip, the hot head will lose his temper, etc., etc…and the gay man will want sex with another man. Maybe he’ll actually go an do it. Mayby he’ll just sit home and fantasize, or whatnot. And maybe the the heterosexual man will do something similar with or about a woman not his wife. It’s all the same and its’s all sin.

  • kerner

    fws @84:

    It’s late and whatever I had for breakfast, I’m running out of gas. But I’ll work through a through f with you before going to bed.

    a) I sort of agree. I think that most people have a biological impulse to have sex that is very difficult to resist. Basic physiology, including the production and build up of semen and testosterone in males give us a motivation to have sex that makes lifelong celibacy impossible for most of us. If the ability to maintain lifelong celebacy is not quite on the “walking on water” level, it is certainly not the norm, particularly among males.

    b)I agree, as far as it goes.

    c) You have taken what might have been a reasonable proposition to absurd lengths. The ONLY way to exercize self control is non-stop sex? Really? At any given moment one can’t just think about something else for an hour or two? Take a cold shower? Watch cartoons? Mow the lawn? Martin Luther himself didn’t get married until 1525. I hope you are not suggesting that he spent every day before that in some kind of sexual sin.

    d) Not exactly. Paul says that ONE intended purpose of marraige is to satisfy the sex drive by having at least enough sex to tone down the propensity toward sexual sin. It is certainly not the only intended purpose and probably not even the most important.

    e) I guess you would have more personal knowledge about that than I do, but I don’t see why it would not have at least some helpful effect, even for gay men. To the extent that the sex drive is a biological urge, I would think that relieving the build-up of semen, even with a woman, would ease at least a little of the pressure. And I don’t see why there could not be some level of emotional closeness with a woman. Look, Framk, I really don’t mean to pry, and I’m sorry if I came off that way. But you are not the only self identifying gay man I know that has had sex with and/or been married to a woman. It’s hard for me to believe that all those men had no feelings for their wives at all.

    And, I’ve been fruitlessly trying to point out to you that marriage is not a particularly successful cure for sexual sin among hetersexuals either. Ask any pastor about the number of married men who have confessed to porn addictions if you don’t believe me. This is not even to mention all the overt adultery that goes on, or the coveting of neighbors’ wives(and husbands). Marriage is not the magic bullet that you seem to think it is, for any of us.

    f) While I grant you that it is a heavy burden to bear, I think “unresolveable dilemma” does not describe it. The fact is, none of us can keep from sinning (inclluding from breaking bioth the letter and the spirit of the law) for long. Therefore, I don’t see how this dillemma is so different than anyone else’s. Sooner or later the glutton is going to over eat, the lazy man will goof off, the gossip will, er, gossip, the hot head will lose his temper, etc., etc…and the gay man will want sex with another man. Maybe he’ll actually go an do it. Mayby he’ll just sit home and fantasize, or whatnot. And maybe the the heterosexual man will do something similar with or about a woman not his wife. It’s all the same and its’s all sin.

  • kerner

    fws:

    Maybe I’m exhausted, but I can’t find one thing to disagree with @89-90. Good night Frank. Sleep well.

  • kerner

    fws:

    Maybe I’m exhausted, but I can’t find one thing to disagree with @89-90. Good night Frank. Sleep well.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, I still don’t see how my comment @ 46 contradicts Scripture or our Confessions’ explanation of Scripture.

    For it is obvious, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted from the attempt at celibacy, but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.

    How is this saying one can’t resist the sex drive short of a miracle? I read it as saying that while some have acted on their sex drive in secret, and others have made excuses for certain sexual acts, still others have successfully refused to act on their sex drive. But even these latter haven’t practiced celibacy with joy, integrity, and peace of mind – haven’t practiced it without suffering and hypocrisy. Indeed, no one can without God changing their very nature. (This is precisely where a miraculous gift would come in!)

    So, I don’t think our Confessions are saying that no one can successfully resist the sex drive, short of a miracle. Rather, considering the miserable realities of celibacy (for everyone who practices it, successfully or not), no one should be required to practice celibacy. Period. Which is not the same as saying celibacy shouldn’t be commended to those (heterosexual and homosexual) who can’t or don’t want to marry a person of the opposite sex. Bearing a cross is better than disobedience, and no special miracle is required for this – every Christian has the promise that the Holy Spirit will help him to bear his cross.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, I still don’t see how my comment @ 46 contradicts Scripture or our Confessions’ explanation of Scripture.

    For it is obvious, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted from the attempt at celibacy, but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.

    How is this saying one can’t resist the sex drive short of a miracle? I read it as saying that while some have acted on their sex drive in secret, and others have made excuses for certain sexual acts, still others have successfully refused to act on their sex drive. But even these latter haven’t practiced celibacy with joy, integrity, and peace of mind – haven’t practiced it without suffering and hypocrisy. Indeed, no one can without God changing their very nature. (This is precisely where a miraculous gift would come in!)

    So, I don’t think our Confessions are saying that no one can successfully resist the sex drive, short of a miracle. Rather, considering the miserable realities of celibacy (for everyone who practices it, successfully or not), no one should be required to practice celibacy. Period. Which is not the same as saying celibacy shouldn’t be commended to those (heterosexual and homosexual) who can’t or don’t want to marry a person of the opposite sex. Bearing a cross is better than disobedience, and no special miracle is required for this – every Christian has the promise that the Holy Spirit will help him to bear his cross.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 91

    a) and b) I suggest is what the confessions say , based mostly upon matt 19 and 1 cor 7.

    c) exercising self-control looks like having lots of non-stop sex in marriage. Doesn’t that seem to what St Paul says in 1 cor 7? I paraphrase: “only put off sex for the very shortest of time and even then ONLY by mutual consent , and if you don’t do this then you are leaving an opening to temptation”.

    This does seem sort of extreme to me as well, but it does see to be the force of what Paul says under divine inspiration. Maybe he was thinking of 15 year old newlyweds here when he wrote it?

    Can we agree there that “have sex anytime you feel like it OR your spouse feels like it” does not look like any form of “self control” that I would personally label as “self-control”? Yet… in this case, it is the ONLY form of sexual self-control that Paul says is , ordinarily, available regarding sex. That makes the sex drive seem to described, by divine inspiration, as pretty powerful indeed doesn’t it?

    d) Well, in 1 cor 7 it does seem to say that that is the ONLY reason necessary to buy a bride. Maybe those other reasons are a consequence of this one? I agree with you. TO reinforce that: “it is not good for man to be alone” is a declaration about human nature in the context of why a helpmeet was created for Adam . So that would logically seem to trump, the command that created the sex drive 1 cor 7 focusses on, as in “be fruitful and multiply” and which seems will be no longer in effect in the life to come.

    But in 1 cor 7 it still seems to suggest that that non-stop sex in marriage is the ONLY scripturally given remedy that defines “sexual self control”. Period. And it is presented as the only reason necessary for a man to go out and shop for and buy the chattel property called “bride.”

    e) If celebacy is not available to gays short of a miracle and neither is the non stop sex of marriage, then what does “sexual self control” scripturally look like for a homosexual?

    As far as I can tell, gay men who get married fall in to a few different categories.

    1) there are those who think marriage will fix them. This is often encouraged by truly well meaning church members such as yourself. people seem to often become pastors, priests or psychiatrists for similar reasons.

    2) to make a bargain with God. if I do this God and obey the letter of the Law then You , O Lord , are obligated to fix me.

    3) Or they do it to meet the eons old motive for marriage of securing family wellbeing, family aliances, property, etc and secure themselves as to social position. This is especially manifest still today in conservative cultures in the sense of middle eastern islamic culture where arranged marriage is still the norm.

    4) Some men and women are truly bi sexual and can chose on or the other, or….. their same sex attraction is so weak that it does, indeed , look exactly like a sexual compultion that can be overcome by some 12-step clone group accountability program like exodus. I dont discount that possibility. The error would be the program members or other to point at that success and declare that this is proof that this is possible for most or even ALL homosexuals.

    5) in 1-3 you would find that even in the sex act, the gay partner needs to fantasize about having sex with a male or …. they just manifest no interest at all in sex. Sex is a chore and obligation. This certainly does not look even remotely close to 1 cor 7 does it? It would be the wife bugging the husband for sex. Usually it is the other way around as far as I can tell. ha.

    6) There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question Kerner. What was and is true for me is not something to overlay upon the general population of homos. So I am not sure it matters what my particular situation looks like or doesnt look like.

    I suggest that we start with points a-d that are scripturally and confessionally certain, and they overlay those points on what we can observe anecdotally, and conform our observations to points a-d. And that is a “solution” that really satisfies no one at all. But there it is. I DO call this the horns of a dilema Kerner.

    We can solve the delema by reaching for anecdotal evidence that would seem to contradict confession and scripture. I dont think that is wise or safe.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 91

    a) and b) I suggest is what the confessions say , based mostly upon matt 19 and 1 cor 7.

    c) exercising self-control looks like having lots of non-stop sex in marriage. Doesn’t that seem to what St Paul says in 1 cor 7? I paraphrase: “only put off sex for the very shortest of time and even then ONLY by mutual consent , and if you don’t do this then you are leaving an opening to temptation”.

    This does seem sort of extreme to me as well, but it does see to be the force of what Paul says under divine inspiration. Maybe he was thinking of 15 year old newlyweds here when he wrote it?

    Can we agree there that “have sex anytime you feel like it OR your spouse feels like it” does not look like any form of “self control” that I would personally label as “self-control”? Yet… in this case, it is the ONLY form of sexual self-control that Paul says is , ordinarily, available regarding sex. That makes the sex drive seem to described, by divine inspiration, as pretty powerful indeed doesn’t it?

    d) Well, in 1 cor 7 it does seem to say that that is the ONLY reason necessary to buy a bride. Maybe those other reasons are a consequence of this one? I agree with you. TO reinforce that: “it is not good for man to be alone” is a declaration about human nature in the context of why a helpmeet was created for Adam . So that would logically seem to trump, the command that created the sex drive 1 cor 7 focusses on, as in “be fruitful and multiply” and which seems will be no longer in effect in the life to come.

    But in 1 cor 7 it still seems to suggest that that non-stop sex in marriage is the ONLY scripturally given remedy that defines “sexual self control”. Period. And it is presented as the only reason necessary for a man to go out and shop for and buy the chattel property called “bride.”

    e) If celebacy is not available to gays short of a miracle and neither is the non stop sex of marriage, then what does “sexual self control” scripturally look like for a homosexual?

    As far as I can tell, gay men who get married fall in to a few different categories.

    1) there are those who think marriage will fix them. This is often encouraged by truly well meaning church members such as yourself. people seem to often become pastors, priests or psychiatrists for similar reasons.

    2) to make a bargain with God. if I do this God and obey the letter of the Law then You , O Lord , are obligated to fix me.

    3) Or they do it to meet the eons old motive for marriage of securing family wellbeing, family aliances, property, etc and secure themselves as to social position. This is especially manifest still today in conservative cultures in the sense of middle eastern islamic culture where arranged marriage is still the norm.

    4) Some men and women are truly bi sexual and can chose on or the other, or….. their same sex attraction is so weak that it does, indeed , look exactly like a sexual compultion that can be overcome by some 12-step clone group accountability program like exodus. I dont discount that possibility. The error would be the program members or other to point at that success and declare that this is proof that this is possible for most or even ALL homosexuals.

    5) in 1-3 you would find that even in the sex act, the gay partner needs to fantasize about having sex with a male or …. they just manifest no interest at all in sex. Sex is a chore and obligation. This certainly does not look even remotely close to 1 cor 7 does it? It would be the wife bugging the husband for sex. Usually it is the other way around as far as I can tell. ha.

    6) There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question Kerner. What was and is true for me is not something to overlay upon the general population of homos. So I am not sure it matters what my particular situation looks like or doesnt look like.

    I suggest that we start with points a-d that are scripturally and confessionally certain, and they overlay those points on what we can observe anecdotally, and conform our observations to points a-d. And that is a “solution” that really satisfies no one at all. But there it is. I DO call this the horns of a dilema Kerner.

    We can solve the delema by reaching for anecdotal evidence that would seem to contradict confession and scripture. I dont think that is wise or safe.

  • Tom Hering

    What about the question of sexual nature? I’m sure you’d agree that everyone’s sexual nature is fallen. For example, no one – since the Fall – is sexually monogamous by nature. Yet monogamous marriage is the sort of marriage required by the New Testament. And it’s no less of a cross than celibacy. In fact, it’s more of a cross, as there’s no possibility of receiving a special “gift of monogamy”!

  • Tom Hering

    What about the question of sexual nature? I’m sure you’d agree that everyone’s sexual nature is fallen. For example, no one – since the Fall – is sexually monogamous by nature. Yet monogamous marriage is the sort of marriage required by the New Testament. And it’s no less of a cross than celibacy. In fact, it’s more of a cross, as there’s no possibility of receiving a special “gift of monogamy”!

  • fws

    kerner:

    we have two choices:

    1)we can start by saying a-d is the rule and any anecdotal situation we can offer is the exception to the rule, and so confirms there is a rule rather than negates that fact.

    In that case, neither celebacy, nor never-to-be-denied-sex-in–marriage-as-the-ONLY-form-of-sexual-self-control-that-is-scriptural-apart-from-a-miracle is available to the typical homosexual.

    At the same time there is nothing in the letter of the Law found in Scripture or perhaps even in reason that would sanction gay “marriage.”

    How is this NOT a dilema IF what I assert IS the full limit of what we can say about this alone from Scripture and the Confessions?

    2) Or we can start with anecdotal evidence, often our own experience as to sex and marriage, and work from there and just ignore the confessions matt 19 and 1 cor 7.

    I suggest that both religious conservatives and gays would all , as a general rule, do things in this second way. The do seem to share that in common.

    We can do better Kerner. We can make our reason , in the form of how we deal with the anecdotal evidence, captive to the Word of God.

  • fws

    kerner:

    we have two choices:

    1)we can start by saying a-d is the rule and any anecdotal situation we can offer is the exception to the rule, and so confirms there is a rule rather than negates that fact.

    In that case, neither celebacy, nor never-to-be-denied-sex-in–marriage-as-the-ONLY-form-of-sexual-self-control-that-is-scriptural-apart-from-a-miracle is available to the typical homosexual.

    At the same time there is nothing in the letter of the Law found in Scripture or perhaps even in reason that would sanction gay “marriage.”

    How is this NOT a dilema IF what I assert IS the full limit of what we can say about this alone from Scripture and the Confessions?

    2) Or we can start with anecdotal evidence, often our own experience as to sex and marriage, and work from there and just ignore the confessions matt 19 and 1 cor 7.

    I suggest that both religious conservatives and gays would all , as a general rule, do things in this second way. The do seem to share that in common.

    We can do better Kerner. We can make our reason , in the form of how we deal with the anecdotal evidence, captive to the Word of God.

  • fws

    Tom @ 95

    Your observation seems to be one shared by the men who wrote our confessions and they resolve it in the following two step manner in the augustana and apology art XXIII

    1) first they make a clean break from the scholastic “natural law” of St Thomas by carving out 3 categories: a) the Law written in Reason and that deals with what we can do or refrain from doing “outwardly” in our thoughts, words and deeds. And they carefully limit and restrict the term “natural law” to mean ONLY this category Then….

    b) that Law that deals with our heart/emotions, this is the fear, love and trust in God above all else, along with respect for neighbor that God demands that is absent from our heart. They say that this Law is veiled to reason because reason is of the opinion that we can keep the Law by doing, even if… our heart and emotions are not into it. Then they carefully carve out a third category that is a radical departure from the ethics of “natural Law”. They say there is a category called “Ordinances of God.” You can get a feel for what this looks like by thinking of the Law of Gravity. They place the sex drive into that very category.

    Then their argument is this: ALL men have this sex drive. It is truly irresistable, and for that reason it is cruel to demand celebacy just as it would be cruel to demand that one negate the law of gravity. it is an exercise in futility they are saying.

    Then… they say that “concupiscience” which they describe as a putting of ones fear, love and trust in anything other than God fans this irresistable urge into sin.

    Celibacy does not remove either the ordinance called the sex urge nor concupiscence, therefore the attempt at celebacy can only result in this for most men:

    For it is manifest, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted (from the attempt), but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end

    And the only solution then is …

    Paul says, 1 Cor. 7:2,9: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife. Also: It is better to marry than to burn. Secondly 5] Christ says, Matt. 19:11: All men cannot receive this saying, where He teaches that not all men are fit to lead a single life; for God created man for procreation, Gen. 1:28. 6] Nor is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter this creation.

    The Roman scholastics argued, as did Kerner and as do others, that celebacy is available generally to ALL men. The Confessions counter by saying that if it were available to ALL men, then it would not require a special work of God as Jesus says in matt 19, and the only remedy offered to ALL is to never deny sex to one another in marriage. “never denying sex to one another in marriage” looks like “you are commanded to have sex whenever you OR your spouse feels the urge” .

    Observation: That does not look like any form of “self-control” that I would normally imagine as being labeled that.

    Other observation: But that is precisely the ONLY form of “sexual self control” that st paul says, scripturally, is available. not cold showers. not will power. Not trying harder. not even masturbation. and certainly not demanding and trying to enforce celebacy of our own selves or others.

  • fws

    Tom @ 95

    Your observation seems to be one shared by the men who wrote our confessions and they resolve it in the following two step manner in the augustana and apology art XXIII

    1) first they make a clean break from the scholastic “natural law” of St Thomas by carving out 3 categories: a) the Law written in Reason and that deals with what we can do or refrain from doing “outwardly” in our thoughts, words and deeds. And they carefully limit and restrict the term “natural law” to mean ONLY this category Then….

    b) that Law that deals with our heart/emotions, this is the fear, love and trust in God above all else, along with respect for neighbor that God demands that is absent from our heart. They say that this Law is veiled to reason because reason is of the opinion that we can keep the Law by doing, even if… our heart and emotions are not into it. Then they carefully carve out a third category that is a radical departure from the ethics of “natural Law”. They say there is a category called “Ordinances of God.” You can get a feel for what this looks like by thinking of the Law of Gravity. They place the sex drive into that very category.

    Then their argument is this: ALL men have this sex drive. It is truly irresistable, and for that reason it is cruel to demand celebacy just as it would be cruel to demand that one negate the law of gravity. it is an exercise in futility they are saying.

    Then… they say that “concupiscience” which they describe as a putting of ones fear, love and trust in anything other than God fans this irresistable urge into sin.

    Celibacy does not remove either the ordinance called the sex urge nor concupiscence, therefore the attempt at celebacy can only result in this for most men:

    For it is manifest, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted (from the attempt), but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end

    And the only solution then is …

    Paul says, 1 Cor. 7:2,9: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife. Also: It is better to marry than to burn. Secondly 5] Christ says, Matt. 19:11: All men cannot receive this saying, where He teaches that not all men are fit to lead a single life; for God created man for procreation, Gen. 1:28. 6] Nor is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter this creation.

    The Roman scholastics argued, as did Kerner and as do others, that celebacy is available generally to ALL men. The Confessions counter by saying that if it were available to ALL men, then it would not require a special work of God as Jesus says in matt 19, and the only remedy offered to ALL is to never deny sex to one another in marriage. “never denying sex to one another in marriage” looks like “you are commanded to have sex whenever you OR your spouse feels the urge” .

    Observation: That does not look like any form of “self-control” that I would normally imagine as being labeled that.

    Other observation: But that is precisely the ONLY form of “sexual self control” that st paul says, scripturally, is available. not cold showers. not will power. Not trying harder. not even masturbation. and certainly not demanding and trying to enforce celebacy of our own selves or others.

  • fws

    I say that the confessors deal with your observation by saying that the sex drive, the urge to procreate is simply like the Law of Gravity. It is amoral. So ok. the urge to have sex with anything that moves is in that category.

    But then , since the fall, men also have original sin in the form of concupiscence, which is a vicious drive to place ones fear love and trust in anything but God.

    It is this driver called concupiscence that fans the sex drive into flames and the result is sin.

    so the solution that the bible labels as the only form of “sexual self control ” available to man is what?

    get marriage and WHENEVER either spouse feels the urge for sex, NEVER say no!

    Again , that does not look like anything I would label as “sexual self control”

    But that is precisely the ONLY think St Paul says sexual self control can look like. And the confessions repeat this.

  • fws

    I say that the confessors deal with your observation by saying that the sex drive, the urge to procreate is simply like the Law of Gravity. It is amoral. So ok. the urge to have sex with anything that moves is in that category.

    But then , since the fall, men also have original sin in the form of concupiscence, which is a vicious drive to place ones fear love and trust in anything but God.

    It is this driver called concupiscence that fans the sex drive into flames and the result is sin.

    so the solution that the bible labels as the only form of “sexual self control ” available to man is what?

    get marriage and WHENEVER either spouse feels the urge for sex, NEVER say no!

    Again , that does not look like anything I would label as “sexual self control”

    But that is precisely the ONLY think St Paul says sexual self control can look like. And the confessions repeat this.

  • fws

    tom :

    your premise seems to be that the “gift” of celebacy is available to all, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

    Here you seem to read “gift” as in “he is a gifted (musician, artist, businessperson). Gift does not have that meaning in the text. “Gift” here means miracle, which is to say that for all practical purposes, NO one has it. it is specifically meant and intended as the very opposite of what you are understanding as “gift” I suggest. it is meant in the sense that Grace is a gift. it can only be given and not worked at.

    This idea that celebacy is a gift available to all with hard work and the help of the Holy Spirit is the assertion of the scholastics that is and specifically and categorically rejected by the confessions based upon matt 19. here is where and how they reject that notion tom.:

    . [st paul says in 1 cor]… 7:9: It is better to marry than to burn.

    And Christ has clearly said, Matt. 19:11: All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

    … since sin [since the fall of Adam], these two things concur, namely,
    natural appetite and
    concupiscence, which inflames the natural appetite,…

    Paul accordingly speaks of marriage as a remedy, and on account of these flames commands to marry.

    Neither can any human authority, any law, any vows remove this declaration: It is better to marry than to burn, because they do not remove the nature or concupiscence.

    17] Therefore all who burn, [are bound]… By this commandment of Paul: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, all are held bound who do not truly keep themselves continent; the decision concerning which pertains to the conscience of each one.

    18] For as they here give the command to seek continence of God, and to weaken the body by labors and hunger, why do they not proclaim these magnificent commandments to themselves?

    19] If continence were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift. But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all.

    God wishes the rest to use the common law of nature [ie never-to-be-refused-sex-in-marriage] which He has instituted.

    For God does not wish His ordinances, His creations to be despised.

    He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented,[ in exactly the same way that]…. He wishes to nourish our life [by the ordinary] use [of] food and drink.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_22_marriage.php#para14

  • fws

    tom :

    your premise seems to be that the “gift” of celebacy is available to all, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

    Here you seem to read “gift” as in “he is a gifted (musician, artist, businessperson). Gift does not have that meaning in the text. “Gift” here means miracle, which is to say that for all practical purposes, NO one has it. it is specifically meant and intended as the very opposite of what you are understanding as “gift” I suggest. it is meant in the sense that Grace is a gift. it can only be given and not worked at.

    This idea that celebacy is a gift available to all with hard work and the help of the Holy Spirit is the assertion of the scholastics that is and specifically and categorically rejected by the confessions based upon matt 19. here is where and how they reject that notion tom.:

    . [st paul says in 1 cor]… 7:9: It is better to marry than to burn.

    And Christ has clearly said, Matt. 19:11: All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

    … since sin [since the fall of Adam], these two things concur, namely,
    natural appetite and
    concupiscence, which inflames the natural appetite,…

    Paul accordingly speaks of marriage as a remedy, and on account of these flames commands to marry.

    Neither can any human authority, any law, any vows remove this declaration: It is better to marry than to burn, because they do not remove the nature or concupiscence.

    17] Therefore all who burn, [are bound]… By this commandment of Paul: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, all are held bound who do not truly keep themselves continent; the decision concerning which pertains to the conscience of each one.

    18] For as they here give the command to seek continence of God, and to weaken the body by labors and hunger, why do they not proclaim these magnificent commandments to themselves?

    19] If continence were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift. But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all.

    God wishes the rest to use the common law of nature [ie never-to-be-refused-sex-in-marriage] which He has instituted.

    For God does not wish His ordinances, His creations to be despised.

    He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented,[ in exactly the same way that]…. He wishes to nourish our life [by the ordinary] use [of] food and drink.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_22_marriage.php#para14

  • fws

    tom, in every day english, when we say “nothing short of a miracle” is to underline the word “nothing” or “never”. It is not to identify miracle as something we are to expect.

    the confessions, following matt 19 and 1 cor 7 say that celebacy requires a miracle to be possible. It is thus saying that celebacy is NEVER a way to achieve sexual self-control.

    So what does scripture , alone describe ‘sexual self control ” as looking like? it looks like getting married… and then…. NEVER refusing to have sex ever, when the other spouse is feeling the urge to have it.

    Again, I agree that one would never ordinarily say this is the picture of anything that looks like “self control”, but scripture says that this is the ONLY think that meets the biblical defintion of “sexual self control”.

    You seem to disagree with this assessment. And if so, you are disagreeing with both Scripture and the Confessions.

    Are things more clear now?

  • fws

    tom, in every day english, when we say “nothing short of a miracle” is to underline the word “nothing” or “never”. It is not to identify miracle as something we are to expect.

    the confessions, following matt 19 and 1 cor 7 say that celebacy requires a miracle to be possible. It is thus saying that celebacy is NEVER a way to achieve sexual self-control.

    So what does scripture , alone describe ‘sexual self control ” as looking like? it looks like getting married… and then…. NEVER refusing to have sex ever, when the other spouse is feeling the urge to have it.

    Again, I agree that one would never ordinarily say this is the picture of anything that looks like “self control”, but scripture says that this is the ONLY think that meets the biblical defintion of “sexual self control”.

    You seem to disagree with this assessment. And if so, you are disagreeing with both Scripture and the Confessions.

    Are things more clear now?

  • fws

    tom @ 93

    For it is obvious, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted from the attempt at celibacy, but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.

    How is this saying one can’t resist the sex drive short of a miracle?

    I suggest that we read this as what the Confessions say is the ordinary result of attempting to be celebate as the path to sexual self control.

    see my post 99 for precisely where the Confessions reject the notion that celebacy is available to all with hard work and the assistence of the Holy Spirit as rome was claiming.

  • fws

    tom @ 93

    For it is obvious, and many have confessed that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted from the attempt at celibacy, but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.

    How is this saying one can’t resist the sex drive short of a miracle?

    I suggest that we read this as what the Confessions say is the ordinary result of attempting to be celebate as the path to sexual self control.

    see my post 99 for precisely where the Confessions reject the notion that celebacy is available to all with hard work and the assistence of the Holy Spirit as rome was claiming.

  • fws

    kerner @ 81

    But it is your next leap of logic that I find to be problematic. You seem to think that, when caught in a position where marriage is not available, that an “outlet for our sexuality” suddenly becomes lawful outside of marriage.

    No Kerner.

    This is something you are reading into what I am saying. I have never made this assertion. Show me where I have made such an assertion on this blog or anywhere else.

  • fws

    kerner @ 81

    But it is your next leap of logic that I find to be problematic. You seem to think that, when caught in a position where marriage is not available, that an “outlet for our sexuality” suddenly becomes lawful outside of marriage.

    No Kerner.

    This is something you are reading into what I am saying. I have never made this assertion. Show me where I have made such an assertion on this blog or anywhere else.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 81. That IS precisely why I employ word “dilema”. I see no logical way to leap out of fact that there is no explicit thing in scripture that describes a form of ‘sexual self control ” for homosexuals.

    Why?

    a) saying that celebacy is never available short of a miracle is to simply say it is ordinarily never what we are to seek as the path to “sexual self control”

    b) the ONLY picture scripture labels as “sexual self control” is to get married and then NEVER refuse sex when either partner feels the urge to have sex.

    c) A gay man would NEVER feel the urge to have sex with a female. Therefore marriage would not provide “sexual self control” for a gay man, yet it is the ONLY thing labeled as that in any of scripture!

    d) so what would sexual self control look like for a gay man? Short answer? I dont know! If you know, from scripture, please share this with us!

  • fws

    Kerner @ 81. That IS precisely why I employ word “dilema”. I see no logical way to leap out of fact that there is no explicit thing in scripture that describes a form of ‘sexual self control ” for homosexuals.

    Why?

    a) saying that celebacy is never available short of a miracle is to simply say it is ordinarily never what we are to seek as the path to “sexual self control”

    b) the ONLY picture scripture labels as “sexual self control” is to get married and then NEVER refuse sex when either partner feels the urge to have sex.

    c) A gay man would NEVER feel the urge to have sex with a female. Therefore marriage would not provide “sexual self control” for a gay man, yet it is the ONLY thing labeled as that in any of scripture!

    d) so what would sexual self control look like for a gay man? Short answer? I dont know! If you know, from scripture, please share this with us!

  • Tom Hering

    “… you are disagreeing with both Scripture and the Confessions.” – Frank @ 100.

    Scripture:

    Matthew 19:11, “But He said to them, ‘Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.’”

    Here is the statement that not all men can accept:

    Matthew 19:12, “‘For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.’”

    There seems to be some early acknowledgement that we Lutherans went too far in arguing against a requirement of celibacy for priests.

    German text, AC XXVII, 28:

    “… it is well known to what degree perpetual chastity lies within human power and ability.”

    Latin text, AC XXVII, 28:

    “… it is not known to what extent perpetual chastity is within human capability.”

    So, the Confessional position may not be quite as black-and-white as you say, Frank. Just as you may have too romantic a notion of marriage, your notion of how authoritatively our Confessions speak on each and every matter may be too “fundamentalist.” Yes, perhaps I fall short as a Confessional Lutheran, but at my confirmation, I didn’t bind myself to the Book of Concord – I bound myself to the Small Catechism. I believe I’m free to argue the rest of our Confessions.

    As for Scripture, Matthew 19:11 isn’t talking about a special gift or miracle of celibacy. Matthew 19:12 makes that clear as a bell. It’s talking about an ability to accept what Jesus says.

  • Tom Hering

    “… you are disagreeing with both Scripture and the Confessions.” – Frank @ 100.

    Scripture:

    Matthew 19:11, “But He said to them, ‘Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.’”

    Here is the statement that not all men can accept:

    Matthew 19:12, “‘For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.’”

    There seems to be some early acknowledgement that we Lutherans went too far in arguing against a requirement of celibacy for priests.

    German text, AC XXVII, 28:

    “… it is well known to what degree perpetual chastity lies within human power and ability.”

    Latin text, AC XXVII, 28:

    “… it is not known to what extent perpetual chastity is within human capability.”

    So, the Confessional position may not be quite as black-and-white as you say, Frank. Just as you may have too romantic a notion of marriage, your notion of how authoritatively our Confessions speak on each and every matter may be too “fundamentalist.” Yes, perhaps I fall short as a Confessional Lutheran, but at my confirmation, I didn’t bind myself to the Book of Concord – I bound myself to the Small Catechism. I believe I’m free to argue the rest of our Confessions.

    As for Scripture, Matthew 19:11 isn’t talking about a special gift or miracle of celibacy. Matthew 19:12 makes that clear as a bell. It’s talking about an ability to accept what Jesus says.

  • fws

    Tom fair enough.

    You are saying that you do not agree with what the apology in art XXIII paragraph 19 says, that I quoted in post 99 ?

    I find it odd that the german and latin say something that negates what the other says. I will ask a former pastor about this and get back to you. I have my own preliminary thoughts on this, but I dont want to share them until I have confirmed my own translation of both the latin and german ok?

    Still there remains this point Tom: The ONLY process that is labeled in Holy scripture as representing what “sexual self control” looks like is a) to get married and then b) to always have sex whenever either spouse is feeling the urge for it. And the full context of 1 cor 7 seems to support that word ONLY.

    What passage or passages are you thinking of that would indicate we should seek some other form of sexual self control Tom? Dp you feel that matt 19 is telling us to seek celebacy as an alternative to marriage as a form of sexual self control?

  • fws

    Tom fair enough.

    You are saying that you do not agree with what the apology in art XXIII paragraph 19 says, that I quoted in post 99 ?

    I find it odd that the german and latin say something that negates what the other says. I will ask a former pastor about this and get back to you. I have my own preliminary thoughts on this, but I dont want to share them until I have confirmed my own translation of both the latin and german ok?

    Still there remains this point Tom: The ONLY process that is labeled in Holy scripture as representing what “sexual self control” looks like is a) to get married and then b) to always have sex whenever either spouse is feeling the urge for it. And the full context of 1 cor 7 seems to support that word ONLY.

    What passage or passages are you thinking of that would indicate we should seek some other form of sexual self control Tom? Dp you feel that matt 19 is telling us to seek celebacy as an alternative to marriage as a form of sexual self control?

  • fws

    Tom fair enough.

    You are saying that you do not agree with what the apology in art XXIII paragraph 19 says, that I quoted in post 99 ?

    I find it odd that the german and latin say something that negates what the other says. I will ask a former pastor about this and get back to you. I have my own preliminary thoughts on this, but I dont want to share them until I have confirmed my own translation of both the latin and german ok?

    Still there remains this point Tom: The ONLY process that is labeled in Holy scripture as representing what “sexual self control” looks like is a) to get married and then b) to always have sex whenever either spouse is feeling the urge for it. And the full context of 1 cor 7 seems to support that word ONLY.

    What passage or passages are you thinking of that would indicate we should seek some other form of sexual self control Tom? Dp you feel that matt 19 is telling us to seek celebacy as an alternative to marriage as a form of sexual self control?

    your method of dealing with the text seems to be to look for some excape clause that supports your view. We need to deal with the whole text. You need to deal with what I quoted in my post 99, which is not at all ambiguous. and I now need to deal with the issues you have raised as well. but we are not to pick out a passage that supports our view and use it to make the confession contradict itself and therefore permit us to ignore what it says in the general flow of it’s argument. agree?

  • fws

    Tom fair enough.

    You are saying that you do not agree with what the apology in art XXIII paragraph 19 says, that I quoted in post 99 ?

    I find it odd that the german and latin say something that negates what the other says. I will ask a former pastor about this and get back to you. I have my own preliminary thoughts on this, but I dont want to share them until I have confirmed my own translation of both the latin and german ok?

    Still there remains this point Tom: The ONLY process that is labeled in Holy scripture as representing what “sexual self control” looks like is a) to get married and then b) to always have sex whenever either spouse is feeling the urge for it. And the full context of 1 cor 7 seems to support that word ONLY.

    What passage or passages are you thinking of that would indicate we should seek some other form of sexual self control Tom? Dp you feel that matt 19 is telling us to seek celebacy as an alternative to marriage as a form of sexual self control?

    your method of dealing with the text seems to be to look for some excape clause that supports your view. We need to deal with the whole text. You need to deal with what I quoted in my post 99, which is not at all ambiguous. and I now need to deal with the issues you have raised as well. but we are not to pick out a passage that supports our view and use it to make the confession contradict itself and therefore permit us to ignore what it says in the general flow of it’s argument. agree?

  • fws

    Tom @ 104

    The latin is mistranslated. the German translation is correct.

    Mistranslation of the Latin: non est ignotum. It is not unknown…

    Any other arguments you have, or is your argument now that you are free to discard what the Augustana and apology says because you only promised to subscribe to the catechism? Interesting position for a confessional Lutheran to take Tom….

  • fws

    Tom @ 104

    The latin is mistranslated. the German translation is correct.

    Mistranslation of the Latin: non est ignotum. It is not unknown…

    Any other arguments you have, or is your argument now that you are free to discard what the Augustana and apology says because you only promised to subscribe to the catechism? Interesting position for a confessional Lutheran to take Tom….

  • fws

    tom @ 104

    “Just as you may have too romantic a notion of marriage….”

    ahem. I say that the “biblical” pattern of marriage is where a man, in order to maintain “sexual self control” shops for and purchases the chattel property called a bride.

    The fact that marriage is where a man purchases his bride, she has no choice at all in the matter, and the bride becomes his chattel property is precisely what we are to understand when we read about christ being the groom and the bride being his church.

    What about that view is overly romantic Tom?

  • fws

    tom @ 104

    “Just as you may have too romantic a notion of marriage….”

    ahem. I say that the “biblical” pattern of marriage is where a man, in order to maintain “sexual self control” shops for and purchases the chattel property called a bride.

    The fact that marriage is where a man purchases his bride, she has no choice at all in the matter, and the bride becomes his chattel property is precisely what we are to understand when we read about christ being the groom and the bride being his church.

    What about that view is overly romantic Tom?

  • Tom Hering

    My position is that Matthew 19, while it speaks of celibacy, says nothing about a special gift of celibacy. And where such a gift is spoken of, 1 Corinthians 7, it is tied to living a life of devotion – a life concerned with the Lord’s affairs. Are you living such a life, Frank? Am I? My own answer is no, yet I’ve remained celibate. Because, and only because (therefore I’m not bragging), one fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of self-control in the context of sexual behavior, among other things. It doesn’t say only some Christians will bear this fruit (though I think it’s correct to observe we all bear it in different ways at different times). Neither does it make an exception for sexual behavior, i.e., “in this area you’ve got to have a special gift.”

  • Tom Hering

    My position is that Matthew 19, while it speaks of celibacy, says nothing about a special gift of celibacy. And where such a gift is spoken of, 1 Corinthians 7, it is tied to living a life of devotion – a life concerned with the Lord’s affairs. Are you living such a life, Frank? Am I? My own answer is no, yet I’ve remained celibate. Because, and only because (therefore I’m not bragging), one fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 speaks of self-control in the context of sexual behavior, among other things. It doesn’t say only some Christians will bear this fruit (though I think it’s correct to observe we all bear it in different ways at different times). Neither does it make an exception for sexual behavior, i.e., “in this area you’ve got to have a special gift.”

  • fws

    Tom @ 109

    I am surprised. This is the first time I have seen you disagree with the Confessions.

  • fws

    Tom @ 109

    I am surprised. This is the first time I have seen you disagree with the Confessions.

  • Tom Hering

    Well, if our Confessions say some unmarried Christians receive a special gift of celibacy, then I agree with them. But if our Confessions say unmarried Christians, who don’t receive this special gift, receive no grace whatsoever to help with self-control of sexual behavior, then yes, I disagree with them. But it seems to me they simply don’t address that matter. Rather, they confine themselves to arguing for the natural right of priests to marry, and for every priest’s freedom of conscience. I’m skeptical their arguments were meant to be extended beyond the question of priests and marriage.

  • Tom Hering

    Well, if our Confessions say some unmarried Christians receive a special gift of celibacy, then I agree with them. But if our Confessions say unmarried Christians, who don’t receive this special gift, receive no grace whatsoever to help with self-control of sexual behavior, then yes, I disagree with them. But it seems to me they simply don’t address that matter. Rather, they confine themselves to arguing for the natural right of priests to marry, and for every priest’s freedom of conscience. I’m skeptical their arguments were meant to be extended beyond the question of priests and marriage.

  • fws

    tom @ 111

    Well now Tom. Reread post 99. That is the full context with my own comments as guidance. I do believe my comments reflect the intent of the text. Tell me where you see otherwise. So what does that text say?

    1) celebacy is a gift . “gift” in the sense of being a miracle that cannot be worked at and is not available to all. matt 19

    2) Paul says that the only biblical prescribed method to acheive true “sexual self-control” is to (1) buy a wife, and (2) never refuse to have sex whenever either spouse is feeling the urge.

    3) granted that this probably doesnt look like what YOU imagine “sexual self control” as looking like when you read Galatians. But Paul here interprets Galations for you in his own words here in 1 c0r 7 doesn’t he?

    4) the confessions say that it is sinful idolatry to seek a miraculous provision when God has provided an ordinary provisiob . They say that to do this for sexual self control by reaching for the miracle of celebacy rather than marriage is the same as seeking to be nourished miraculously by God and refusing to eat the ordinary food he has provide. That is precisely what they say!

    5) so they say that for those who do not have the miracle of celebacy, those men and women are commanded, by God , to get married!

    6) I dont see anything here that would be “sexual self-control” for a gay man. Why not? “never deny sex to the other whenever either spouse is feeling the urge”. 1 cor 7 paraphrased. (a) a gay man would never “feel the urge” in a hetero marriage and (b) he could not even get it up probably. So what saint paul urges as the ONLY method to achieve sexual self-control is useless to a gay man.

    7) so what is the biblical means of sexual self control for a gay man? I really dont know Tom if we need a literal letter of the law command or permission just for gays….. this is called by the word “dilema.”

    Deal with this honestly Tom is my advice. You are rejecting all this , I suggest, because of all the investment you have placed in your own celebacy. it would be a bummer to have to realize that all that was something God never asked you to do wouldnt it be?

  • fws

    tom @ 111

    Well now Tom. Reread post 99. That is the full context with my own comments as guidance. I do believe my comments reflect the intent of the text. Tell me where you see otherwise. So what does that text say?

    1) celebacy is a gift . “gift” in the sense of being a miracle that cannot be worked at and is not available to all. matt 19

    2) Paul says that the only biblical prescribed method to acheive true “sexual self-control” is to (1) buy a wife, and (2) never refuse to have sex whenever either spouse is feeling the urge.

    3) granted that this probably doesnt look like what YOU imagine “sexual self control” as looking like when you read Galatians. But Paul here interprets Galations for you in his own words here in 1 c0r 7 doesn’t he?

    4) the confessions say that it is sinful idolatry to seek a miraculous provision when God has provided an ordinary provisiob . They say that to do this for sexual self control by reaching for the miracle of celebacy rather than marriage is the same as seeking to be nourished miraculously by God and refusing to eat the ordinary food he has provide. That is precisely what they say!

    5) so they say that for those who do not have the miracle of celebacy, those men and women are commanded, by God , to get married!

    6) I dont see anything here that would be “sexual self-control” for a gay man. Why not? “never deny sex to the other whenever either spouse is feeling the urge”. 1 cor 7 paraphrased. (a) a gay man would never “feel the urge” in a hetero marriage and (b) he could not even get it up probably. So what saint paul urges as the ONLY method to achieve sexual self-control is useless to a gay man.

    7) so what is the biblical means of sexual self control for a gay man? I really dont know Tom if we need a literal letter of the law command or permission just for gays….. this is called by the word “dilema.”

    Deal with this honestly Tom is my advice. You are rejecting all this , I suggest, because of all the investment you have placed in your own celebacy. it would be a bummer to have to realize that all that was something God never asked you to do wouldnt it be?

  • fws

    tom @111

    “if the confessions say”

    go back and reread art XXIII with an open mind trying to see what THEY are saying rather than looking for a prooftext in support of your own, deeply cherished it would seem, view.

    Let the text challenge your thinking is what I am asking. Ponder how they use the texts from scripture they offer. If this means you need to discard a tightly held view, then …. let go of it. What would you be gaining? the truth.

    Wherever the truth leads you, your Christ will be with you.

  • fws

    tom @111

    “if the confessions say”

    go back and reread art XXIII with an open mind trying to see what THEY are saying rather than looking for a prooftext in support of your own, deeply cherished it would seem, view.

    Let the text challenge your thinking is what I am asking. Ponder how they use the texts from scripture they offer. If this means you need to discard a tightly held view, then …. let go of it. What would you be gaining? the truth.

    Wherever the truth leads you, your Christ will be with you.

  • fws

    Tom @ 111

    There are two things that startle me in this discussion with you and also with Kerner:

    1) you trust the Confessions on stuff like baptism, the gospel etc. So where would I guess that you have a problem accepting them? A doctrine that is about the Law and Gospel or something major? Nope. What then?

    The confessions say that “sexual self-control” is ONLY defined as two married spouses never , ever, denying one another sex when they feel the urge. Period. not masturbation. Not cold showers, not some 12 step clone called Exodus, and SPECIFICALLY and CATEGORICALLY not an attempt at celibacy by hard effort.

    It seems that you and Kerner both want to reject this that is so clearly taught in the Confessions. Why? Reason. Your reason demands a Law solution for Gays and others for whom the ONLY biblical definition of “sexual self control” does not fit.

    Suggestion: Make your reason captive to the Word of God.

    2) Kerner insists on reading the bible like a legal tome. But even when civil law is interpreted, it is not only permitted but mandatory to try to understand the intent or intended fruit that any Law was meant to yield by it’s authors. Kerner seems to think that do this textual criticism as to sexual self control and marriage would be to negate and deny scripture.

    I just dont get that , especially coming from an attorney.

  • fws

    Tom @ 111

    There are two things that startle me in this discussion with you and also with Kerner:

    1) you trust the Confessions on stuff like baptism, the gospel etc. So where would I guess that you have a problem accepting them? A doctrine that is about the Law and Gospel or something major? Nope. What then?

    The confessions say that “sexual self-control” is ONLY defined as two married spouses never , ever, denying one another sex when they feel the urge. Period. not masturbation. Not cold showers, not some 12 step clone called Exodus, and SPECIFICALLY and CATEGORICALLY not an attempt at celibacy by hard effort.

    It seems that you and Kerner both want to reject this that is so clearly taught in the Confessions. Why? Reason. Your reason demands a Law solution for Gays and others for whom the ONLY biblical definition of “sexual self control” does not fit.

    Suggestion: Make your reason captive to the Word of God.

    2) Kerner insists on reading the bible like a legal tome. But even when civil law is interpreted, it is not only permitted but mandatory to try to understand the intent or intended fruit that any Law was meant to yield by it’s authors. Kerner seems to think that do this textual criticism as to sexual self control and marriage would be to negate and deny scripture.

    I just dont get that , especially coming from an attorney.

  • Tom Hering

    Whoa! Which of us is holding to a view because we’re invested in it?

  • Tom Hering

    Whoa! Which of us is holding to a view because we’re invested in it?

  • kerner

    fws @88:

    “And so I identify here as a gay man. and as a christian and Lutheran gay man. Why? you will not read a single paper in the LCMS that piously talks about the need to “minister to homosexuals and their families’ that talks about them as though
    they are ‘in the room”. I challenge you to find such a paper.

    I am in the room here with you. And we are talking about stuff that is way more important that who I have sex with. And our basis for talking is our common baptism. And I want to encourage you and others to invite others like me into the room. Where else would it be that Gays can have that one Power that can truly allow us to start to keep the Law.

    Am I wrong about homosexuality. Maybe. But I need to be shown that from scriptures or the Confessions and not some anecdotal argument. but I AM in the room. ”

    Okay, THAT I can understand. And, if I may say so, Bravo.

    You, and others like you, SHOULD be “in the room”. You are, after all, in the world, and it is the business of the Church to help you not be of it.

    And I hope you accept it when I say that I do not argue with you on this subject because I don’t care about you. If I did not care, the easiest thing would be to ignore you, or to bury you in cliches.

  • kerner

    fws @88:

    “And so I identify here as a gay man. and as a christian and Lutheran gay man. Why? you will not read a single paper in the LCMS that piously talks about the need to “minister to homosexuals and their families’ that talks about them as though
    they are ‘in the room”. I challenge you to find such a paper.

    I am in the room here with you. And we are talking about stuff that is way more important that who I have sex with. And our basis for talking is our common baptism. And I want to encourage you and others to invite others like me into the room. Where else would it be that Gays can have that one Power that can truly allow us to start to keep the Law.

    Am I wrong about homosexuality. Maybe. But I need to be shown that from scriptures or the Confessions and not some anecdotal argument. but I AM in the room. ”

    Okay, THAT I can understand. And, if I may say so, Bravo.

    You, and others like you, SHOULD be “in the room”. You are, after all, in the world, and it is the business of the Church to help you not be of it.

    And I hope you accept it when I say that I do not argue with you on this subject because I don’t care about you. If I did not care, the easiest thing would be to ignore you, or to bury you in cliches.

  • kerner

    But I still say you have misinterpreted 1 Corinthians 7. Your extreme interpretation is so far removed from the reality of marriage that I can’t believe that that St. Paul meant what you said at item c.

    Non-stop sex? Come on. Basic human physiology tells us that for at least a few days a month, that shop is closed. We HAVE to find our self control elsewhere. And unless the couple is so wealthy that they have a small army of servants, the vocation of parenthood unavoidably interferes with non-stop sex as the only means of self-control. With all those diapers to change, meals to prepare, noses to wipe, homework to help with, basketball games to attend, etc., husbands often find that their wives’ yearning for romance fails to coincide with their own. While I appreciate St. Paul’s admonitions, I have to believe that this is more in the nature of urging us to keep our vocations as spouses in a superior position to our other vocations.

    And I agree with Tom that the point of Art. XXIII of the Apology is condemning the requirement that the clergy be celebate. I don’t think the point of it is to dismiss every other means of sexual self control. It is not mere anecdote to observe that marriage is no panacea like cure for lust. Nor is it mere anecdote to observe that marriage, by leading to parenthood, by its very nature eliminates non-stop sex as a means of dealing with lust. When an interpretation of a passage leads to absurd conclusions, that is when one must look at other passages and let Scripture interpret Scripture. Tom has done this by pointing out that there are a lot more passages addressing self control than 1 Cor. 7, and we need to consider them all before accepting an absurd conclusion, even if that passage, standing alone in a vacuum, seems to say what you think it says.

    I have said before that there are plenty of reasons, other than being gay, for married sex to be unavailable. THis means that there are a lot of people in “an unsolveable dilemma” very similar to that of gay people. Tom has pointed out that monogamy, for a lot of people, comes no more naturally than male-female sex comes to gay people. Again, a similar dilemma.

    21st century culture has firmly decided that the best way to deal with dilemmas like these is to re-write the letter of the law. I mentioned Newt Gingrich before. Here is a man who found his first wife unattractive, so he divorced her for a younger, more attractive, woman. Later, he did the same thing with his second wife. Today our culture would say that this is better than adultery, but Jesus said that it IS adultery.

    By the way, you never got around to telling my why it would be a sin for you to marry again.

  • kerner

    But I still say you have misinterpreted 1 Corinthians 7. Your extreme interpretation is so far removed from the reality of marriage that I can’t believe that that St. Paul meant what you said at item c.

    Non-stop sex? Come on. Basic human physiology tells us that for at least a few days a month, that shop is closed. We HAVE to find our self control elsewhere. And unless the couple is so wealthy that they have a small army of servants, the vocation of parenthood unavoidably interferes with non-stop sex as the only means of self-control. With all those diapers to change, meals to prepare, noses to wipe, homework to help with, basketball games to attend, etc., husbands often find that their wives’ yearning for romance fails to coincide with their own. While I appreciate St. Paul’s admonitions, I have to believe that this is more in the nature of urging us to keep our vocations as spouses in a superior position to our other vocations.

    And I agree with Tom that the point of Art. XXIII of the Apology is condemning the requirement that the clergy be celebate. I don’t think the point of it is to dismiss every other means of sexual self control. It is not mere anecdote to observe that marriage is no panacea like cure for lust. Nor is it mere anecdote to observe that marriage, by leading to parenthood, by its very nature eliminates non-stop sex as a means of dealing with lust. When an interpretation of a passage leads to absurd conclusions, that is when one must look at other passages and let Scripture interpret Scripture. Tom has done this by pointing out that there are a lot more passages addressing self control than 1 Cor. 7, and we need to consider them all before accepting an absurd conclusion, even if that passage, standing alone in a vacuum, seems to say what you think it says.

    I have said before that there are plenty of reasons, other than being gay, for married sex to be unavailable. THis means that there are a lot of people in “an unsolveable dilemma” very similar to that of gay people. Tom has pointed out that monogamy, for a lot of people, comes no more naturally than male-female sex comes to gay people. Again, a similar dilemma.

    21st century culture has firmly decided that the best way to deal with dilemmas like these is to re-write the letter of the law. I mentioned Newt Gingrich before. Here is a man who found his first wife unattractive, so he divorced her for a younger, more attractive, woman. Later, he did the same thing with his second wife. Today our culture would say that this is better than adultery, but Jesus said that it IS adultery.

    By the way, you never got around to telling my why it would be a sin for you to marry again.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 117

    Ok so you say I am misinterpreting the text of 1 cor 7 and the augustana/apology XXiii without dealing with the texts that you say I am misinterpreting arent you? Let’s do the texts ok?

    1) “Your extreme interpretation is so far removed from the reality of marriage that I can’t believe that that St. Paul meant what you said”.
    Ok!
    So give me another paraphrase of this sentence from 1 cor 7 that sounds like something less than I suggested.
    My point was really to say that what st Paul is here commanding of all men and women is something wildly different than anything I would imagine to label “self control”.
    Yet it is the ONLY method of “sexual self control” explicitly commanded in the bible :

    because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should h ave his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. …Do not deprive one another, except, perhaps, by agreement for a limited time , that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
    (1 Corinthians 7:2-5 ESV)

    Note that the confessions call both the marriage and the sexual self control parts a commandment of God for all men.

    And then …

    “I agree with Tom that the point of Art. XXIII of the Apology is condemning the requirement that the clergy be celebate. I don’t think the point of it is to dismiss every other means of sexual self control.” ok Kerner….

    tell me how these two passage from the confessions ONLY should properly be understood to apply ONLY to the situation of celebate priests and not to anyone else, and ……also how their precise point is not to specifically reject celebacy as a means of sexual self control:

    Apology first paragraph art XXIII:

    [Our reason for allowing priest to marry are] ….
    First : Paul says, 1 Cor. 7:2,9: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife.
    Also: It is better to marry than to burn.
    Secondly 5] Christ says, Matt. 19:11: All men cannot receive this saying, where He teaches that not all men are fit to lead a single life. Nor is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter this creation[and be celebate] .
    For it is obvious, and many have confessed, that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted from the attempt [at celebacy], but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end. Therefore, 7] those who are not fit to lead a single life ought to 8] contract matrimony.

    and this from the apology that further explains what they meant in the augustana:

    19] If [sexual self-control/celibacy/countenance]….were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift. But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all. God wishes the rest to use the common law of nature which He has instituted [which is marriage]. For God does not wish His ordinances, His creations to be despised. He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented [which is marriage] , in the same way as He wishes that we use food and drink to nourish our life ..

  • fws

    Kerner @ 117

    Ok so you say I am misinterpreting the text of 1 cor 7 and the augustana/apology XXiii without dealing with the texts that you say I am misinterpreting arent you? Let’s do the texts ok?

    1) “Your extreme interpretation is so far removed from the reality of marriage that I can’t believe that that St. Paul meant what you said”.
    Ok!
    So give me another paraphrase of this sentence from 1 cor 7 that sounds like something less than I suggested.
    My point was really to say that what st Paul is here commanding of all men and women is something wildly different than anything I would imagine to label “self control”.
    Yet it is the ONLY method of “sexual self control” explicitly commanded in the bible :

    because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should h ave his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. …Do not deprive one another, except, perhaps, by agreement for a limited time , that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
    (1 Corinthians 7:2-5 ESV)

    Note that the confessions call both the marriage and the sexual self control parts a commandment of God for all men.

    And then …

    “I agree with Tom that the point of Art. XXIII of the Apology is condemning the requirement that the clergy be celebate. I don’t think the point of it is to dismiss every other means of sexual self control.” ok Kerner….

    tell me how these two passage from the confessions ONLY should properly be understood to apply ONLY to the situation of celebate priests and not to anyone else, and ……also how their precise point is not to specifically reject celebacy as a means of sexual self control:

    Apology first paragraph art XXIII:

    [Our reason for allowing priest to marry are] ….
    First : Paul says, 1 Cor. 7:2,9: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife.
    Also: It is better to marry than to burn.
    Secondly 5] Christ says, Matt. 19:11: All men cannot receive this saying, where He teaches that not all men are fit to lead a single life. Nor is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter this creation[and be celebate] .
    For it is obvious, and many have confessed, that no good, honest, chaste life, no Christian, sincere, upright conduct has resulted from the attempt [at celebacy], but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end. Therefore, 7] those who are not fit to lead a single life ought to 8] contract matrimony.

    and this from the apology that further explains what they meant in the augustana:

    19] If [sexual self-control/celibacy/countenance]….were possible to all, it would not require a peculiar gift. But Christ shows that it has need of a peculiar gift; therefore it does not belong to all. God wishes the rest to use the common law of nature which He has instituted [which is marriage]. For God does not wish His ordinances, His creations to be despised. He wishes men to be chaste in this way, that they use the remedy divinely presented [which is marriage] , in the same way as He wishes that we use food and drink to nourish our life ..

  • fws

    kerner

    “By the way, you never got around to telling my why it would be a sin for you to marry again.”

    That should be obvious from what I am suggesting st paul commands sexually of both spouses in 1 cor 7 and which is THE reason, at least in 1 cor 7 for his commandment to get married and his commanded form of exercising sexual self discipline within marriage.

    In both my marriages we ended up as best of friends. If you really , really want more details, I will be happy to share those but not here. what gets written here is eternally available to the entire world through google. fwsonnek@gmail.com

  • fws

    kerner

    “By the way, you never got around to telling my why it would be a sin for you to marry again.”

    That should be obvious from what I am suggesting st paul commands sexually of both spouses in 1 cor 7 and which is THE reason, at least in 1 cor 7 for his commandment to get married and his commanded form of exercising sexual self discipline within marriage.

    In both my marriages we ended up as best of friends. If you really , really want more details, I will be happy to share those but not here. what gets written here is eternally available to the entire world through google. fwsonnek@gmail.com

  • kerner

    “In both my marriages we ended up as best of friends.”

    A lot of married couples should be so blessed.

    Busy day ahead, amigo. I’ll try to come back to this later.

  • kerner

    “In both my marriages we ended up as best of friends.”

    A lot of married couples should be so blessed.

    Busy day ahead, amigo. I’ll try to come back to this later.

  • Tom Hering

    In the Large Catechism, Sixth Commandment, 211, Luther identifies three kinds of valid chastity (as opposed to enforced celibacy).

    1.) Marriage.
    2.) Special exemption/exception.
    3.) A high supernatural gift.

    [Kolb/Wengert] To be sure, there are some (albeit rare) exceptions whom God has especially exempted, in that some are unsuited for married life, or others God has released by a high, supernatural gift so that they can maintain chastity outside of marriage.

    [Bente/Dau] … yet with some exceptions (although few) whom God has especially excepted, so that they are not fit for the married state, or whom He has released by a high, supernatural gift that they can maintain chastity without this estate.

    The first is the norm, the second is for those “unsuited for married life” or “not fit for the married estate,” and the third no doubt refers to 1 Corinthians 7. My own interest is in the second kind of chastity. What sort of chaste life is Luther referring to here? How is it possible? Sadly, he doesn’t expand on the category, except to imply (212) that nature doesn’t function, or run its course, as implanted by God.

  • Tom Hering

    In the Large Catechism, Sixth Commandment, 211, Luther identifies three kinds of valid chastity (as opposed to enforced celibacy).

    1.) Marriage.
    2.) Special exemption/exception.
    3.) A high supernatural gift.

    [Kolb/Wengert] To be sure, there are some (albeit rare) exceptions whom God has especially exempted, in that some are unsuited for married life, or others God has released by a high, supernatural gift so that they can maintain chastity outside of marriage.

    [Bente/Dau] … yet with some exceptions (although few) whom God has especially excepted, so that they are not fit for the married state, or whom He has released by a high, supernatural gift that they can maintain chastity without this estate.

    The first is the norm, the second is for those “unsuited for married life” or “not fit for the married estate,” and the third no doubt refers to 1 Corinthians 7. My own interest is in the second kind of chastity. What sort of chaste life is Luther referring to here? How is it possible? Sadly, he doesn’t expand on the category, except to imply (212) that nature doesn’t function, or run its course, as implanted by God.

  • Tom Hering

    In A Treatise on Good Works (1520), in the chapter dealing with the sixth commandment, Luther commends the Scriptural remedy for unchastity. Surprisingly, he nowhere mentions marriage or the gift of celibacy!

    … the holy Apostle Paul calls fasting, watching and labor godly weapons, with which unchastity is mastered; but, as has been said above, these execises must do no more than overcome unchastity, and not pervert nature.

    Above all this, the strongest defense is prayer and the Word of God; namely, that when evil lust stirs, a man flee to prayer, call upon God’s mercy and help, read and meditate on the Gospel, and in it consider Christ’s sufferings …

    … In all these [things to be avoided] no one can fix a definite rule and measure. Each one must watch himself and see what things are needful to him for chastity, in what quantity and how long they help him to be chaste, that he may thus choose and observe them for himself; if he cannot do this, let him for a time give himself up to be controlled by another, who may hold him to such observance until he can learn to rule himself …

    … In this work a good strong faith is a great help, more noticeably so than in almost any other; so for this reason also Isaiah XI says that “faith is a girdle of the reins,” that is, a guard of chastity. For he who so lives that he looks to God for all grace, takes pleasure in spiritual purity; therefore he can so much more easily resist fleshly impurity: and in such faith the Spirit tells him of a certainty how he shall avoid evil thoughts and everything that is repugnant to chastity …

    … For that chastity is not precious which is at ease, but that which is at war with unchastity, and fights, and without ceasing drives out all the poison with which the flesh and the evil spirit attack it. Thus St. Peter says, “I beseech you, abstain from fleshly desires and lusts, which war always against the soul.” And St. Paul, Romans VI, “Ye shall not obey the body in its lusts.” In these and like passages it is shown that no one is without evil lust; but that everyone shall and must daily fight against it. But although this brings uneasiness and pain, it is nonetheless a work that gives pleasure, in which we shall have our comfort and satisfaction.

    Frank, I hope I’ve shown, @ 121, how a Confessional writing says there is a state of God-given chastity besides marriage and the gift of celibacy. Though the outlines of this state are still unclear to me, it has to do with being unsuited for marriage. So you may not be in the dilemma you believe you’re in – unable to marry a woman (again) and without the gift of celibacy. (Wouldn’t that be good news?)

    I hope I’ve also shown, in this comment, how every Christian – every new creation with the gift of faith – is both commanded and able to practice chastity, as a good work that flows from faith. (Therefore it’s truly a good work!) You might argue this is early Luther, but to my knowledge, Luther never disowned his treatise on good works. And this treatise, too, is good news! It’s message is there’s grace – help and comfort – for the unmarried, for those unsuited for marriage, and for those without the gift of celibacy.

  • Tom Hering

    In A Treatise on Good Works (1520), in the chapter dealing with the sixth commandment, Luther commends the Scriptural remedy for unchastity. Surprisingly, he nowhere mentions marriage or the gift of celibacy!

    … the holy Apostle Paul calls fasting, watching and labor godly weapons, with which unchastity is mastered; but, as has been said above, these execises must do no more than overcome unchastity, and not pervert nature.

    Above all this, the strongest defense is prayer and the Word of God; namely, that when evil lust stirs, a man flee to prayer, call upon God’s mercy and help, read and meditate on the Gospel, and in it consider Christ’s sufferings …

    … In all these [things to be avoided] no one can fix a definite rule and measure. Each one must watch himself and see what things are needful to him for chastity, in what quantity and how long they help him to be chaste, that he may thus choose and observe them for himself; if he cannot do this, let him for a time give himself up to be controlled by another, who may hold him to such observance until he can learn to rule himself …

    … In this work a good strong faith is a great help, more noticeably so than in almost any other; so for this reason also Isaiah XI says that “faith is a girdle of the reins,” that is, a guard of chastity. For he who so lives that he looks to God for all grace, takes pleasure in spiritual purity; therefore he can so much more easily resist fleshly impurity: and in such faith the Spirit tells him of a certainty how he shall avoid evil thoughts and everything that is repugnant to chastity …

    … For that chastity is not precious which is at ease, but that which is at war with unchastity, and fights, and without ceasing drives out all the poison with which the flesh and the evil spirit attack it. Thus St. Peter says, “I beseech you, abstain from fleshly desires and lusts, which war always against the soul.” And St. Paul, Romans VI, “Ye shall not obey the body in its lusts.” In these and like passages it is shown that no one is without evil lust; but that everyone shall and must daily fight against it. But although this brings uneasiness and pain, it is nonetheless a work that gives pleasure, in which we shall have our comfort and satisfaction.

    Frank, I hope I’ve shown, @ 121, how a Confessional writing says there is a state of God-given chastity besides marriage and the gift of celibacy. Though the outlines of this state are still unclear to me, it has to do with being unsuited for marriage. So you may not be in the dilemma you believe you’re in – unable to marry a woman (again) and without the gift of celibacy. (Wouldn’t that be good news?)

    I hope I’ve also shown, in this comment, how every Christian – every new creation with the gift of faith – is both commanded and able to practice chastity, as a good work that flows from faith. (Therefore it’s truly a good work!) You might argue this is early Luther, but to my knowledge, Luther never disowned his treatise on good works. And this treatise, too, is good news! It’s message is there’s grace – help and comfort – for the unmarried, for those unsuited for marriage, and for those without the gift of celibacy.

  • fws

    Tom @ 121

    This looks like those who pit one verse of the bible against another to say either the bible contradicts inself or is somehow unclear about something. It is wrong to do that to the Confessions as well Tom might I suggest?

    What do you say to such a person who jumps around the bible shopping for texts to chain together to “prove” their point of view rather than letting the text inform and dictate what their point of view is to be?

    Have we dealt with and discarded the other attempts at dis-harmonizing the confessional text, such as pitting latin against the german? Or do we need to revisit those? Please advice Tom. This is not feeling right….

    Let’s look at your new text, large catechism, 6th commandment, para 211.

    But first, I would like to point you to some statements that might help you better interpret the apology in it’s full context:

    1) when Christ taught that all men are not fit for celibacy, it is indeed true, and on this account… let the man pray, and he will be able to receive Christ’s word concerning continence, as St. Paul says: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Phil. 4:13. For continence is a gift of God, Wisd. 8:21.
    2) those who are consecrated to God have other remedies of infirmities; as, for instance, let them avoid the society of women, shun idleness, macerate the flesh by fasting and vigils, keep the outward senses, especially sight and hearing, from things forbidden, turn away their eyes from beholding vanity, and finally dash their little ones – i.e. their carnal thoughts – upon a rock (and Christ is the Rock), suppress their passions, and frequently and devoutly resort to God in prayer.
    These are undoubtedly the most effectual remedies for incontinence in ecclesiastics and servants of God.
    St. Paul said aright that the doctrine of those who forbid marriage is a doctrine of demons. But the Church does not thus forbid marriage

    You will find the full text in the book of concord site under “roman refutation”.

    Ok… large catechism 6th commandment. para 211…

    199] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    200] These commandments now [that follow] are easily understood from [the explanation of] the preceding; for they are all to the effect that we [be careful to] avoid doing any kind of injury to our neighbor.

    Luther has just told us here God’s entire purpose for ordering us to maintain sexual self control. There is no other reason. We are to be obedient to God, alone, by being obedient to the need of others. Capital O Obedience that is vectored towards God is idolatry. It disrespect the Obedience that alone is Christ’s.

    first, they treat of his own person[ in commandment 5]. Then they proceed to the closest possession…after his body, … his wife, Therefore it is explicitly forbidden here to bring any disgrace upon him in respect to his wife. … it really aims at adultery, because among the Jews it was ordained and commanded that every one must be married….God by this commandment wishes to hedge round about and protect [as with a rampart] every spouse that no one trespass against them. ….this commandment is aimed directly at the state of matrimony …He both sanctions and guards it. He has sanctioned it above in the Fourth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother; but here He has (as we said) hedged it about and protected it

    So Luther is telling us, very clearly, that this discussion is all and only about the married estate. I find it to be new information how he puts the 4th commandment together with the 6th. Interesting! This is how we are to read a text Tom. We let it speak to us on it’s own terms. We don’t read it shopping for talking points or points that support our view.

    And now , in that context, we will take up the text you have pointed us to starting at paragraph 211:

    211] … you must know also that …[marriage] is not only an honorable, but also a necessary state, and
    it is solemnly commanded by God that, in general, in all conditions , men and women,
    who were created for it,
    shall be found in this estate;

    This would all seem to track so far to the Apology/Augustana art XXIII yes? That comma after “men and women” is important! All men and women were created for Marriage. Now the part you quote…

    … yet with some exceptions (although few) whom God has especially excepted,
    so that they are not fit for the married estate,
    or whom He has released by a high, supernatural gift so that
    [both types] … can maintain chastity without this estate.

    I inserted “both types” because of what follows. context matters!:

    212] For where nature has its course, as it is implanted by God, it is not possible to remain chaste without marriage.
    For flesh and blood remain flesh and blood, and the natural inclination and excitement have their course without let or hindrance, as everybody sees and feels.
    In order, therefore, that it may be the more easy in some degree to avoid inchastity, God has commanded the estate of matrimony,

    Why?

    that every one may have his[own] proper portion and be satisfied therewith;

    Note here that Luther feels perfectly comfortable with getting at the reason or purpose behind every commandment. There is no “we are to obey just because, whether we understand it or not”. And the purpose of the second table is strictly and only to put a wall between mine and thine. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing about proving our love to God by obeying. God does not need our obedience. Our neighbor does need our obedience to his needs.

    although God’s grace besides is required in order that the heart also may be pure.

    And this last statement is true for pagans as well. This is not grace here is not Grace. It is grace. The 10 commandments are about killing our Old Adam. There is no Life here. There is death only. the Law always and only accuses.When it instructs, the instructions are to kill the Old Adam!

    Uh. Tom…there is this last paragraph….

    213] From this you see how this popish rabble … resist God’s order and commandment, inasmuch as they … presume and vow to maintain perpetual chastity, …in short, even though they abstain from the act, their hearts are so full of unchaste thoughts and evil lusts that there is a continual burning and secret suffering, which can be avoided in the married life.
    216] Therefore all vows of chastity out of the married state are condemned by this commandment, and … even the command is given …to abandon the unchaste state and enter the married life, considering that even if the monastic life were godly , it would nevertheless not be in their power to maintain chastity, and if they remain in it, they must only sin more and more against this commandment.

    Ok Tom. And you are saying there is new information here that is not in the Augustana or Apology or…. um… what? This seems to only reinforce what I say are the 3 points of art XXIII

    a) celibacy is a miraculous pure gift that cannot be worked at to acquire.
    b) It is therefore sinful and futile to require it of anyone.
    c) the results of attempting celibacy is to be tortured to the end because it is a cruel exercise in futility.
    d)Marriage is therefore the only means of sexual self-control provided by God and is commanded by God in fact.

    It is perfectly fine to disagree with the Lutheran Confessions as long as we are honest about it.
    They seem to all say the same thing don’t they?

    We have to read them on their own terms. And only then can we decide whether we agree with them or not. First we need to honestly seek to hear what they say. If we look for a way to inject our own preheld views we simply won’t be able to do that I suggest. This is reading to look for prooftexts. The text needs to be allowed to challenge our thinking on its own terms.

  • fws

    Tom @ 121

    This looks like those who pit one verse of the bible against another to say either the bible contradicts inself or is somehow unclear about something. It is wrong to do that to the Confessions as well Tom might I suggest?

    What do you say to such a person who jumps around the bible shopping for texts to chain together to “prove” their point of view rather than letting the text inform and dictate what their point of view is to be?

    Have we dealt with and discarded the other attempts at dis-harmonizing the confessional text, such as pitting latin against the german? Or do we need to revisit those? Please advice Tom. This is not feeling right….

    Let’s look at your new text, large catechism, 6th commandment, para 211.

    But first, I would like to point you to some statements that might help you better interpret the apology in it’s full context:

    1) when Christ taught that all men are not fit for celibacy, it is indeed true, and on this account… let the man pray, and he will be able to receive Christ’s word concerning continence, as St. Paul says: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Phil. 4:13. For continence is a gift of God, Wisd. 8:21.
    2) those who are consecrated to God have other remedies of infirmities; as, for instance, let them avoid the society of women, shun idleness, macerate the flesh by fasting and vigils, keep the outward senses, especially sight and hearing, from things forbidden, turn away their eyes from beholding vanity, and finally dash their little ones – i.e. their carnal thoughts – upon a rock (and Christ is the Rock), suppress their passions, and frequently and devoutly resort to God in prayer.
    These are undoubtedly the most effectual remedies for incontinence in ecclesiastics and servants of God.
    St. Paul said aright that the doctrine of those who forbid marriage is a doctrine of demons. But the Church does not thus forbid marriage

    You will find the full text in the book of concord site under “roman refutation”.

    Ok… large catechism 6th commandment. para 211…

    199] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    200] These commandments now [that follow] are easily understood from [the explanation of] the preceding; for they are all to the effect that we [be careful to] avoid doing any kind of injury to our neighbor.

    Luther has just told us here God’s entire purpose for ordering us to maintain sexual self control. There is no other reason. We are to be obedient to God, alone, by being obedient to the need of others. Capital O Obedience that is vectored towards God is idolatry. It disrespect the Obedience that alone is Christ’s.

    first, they treat of his own person[ in commandment 5]. Then they proceed to the closest possession…after his body, … his wife, Therefore it is explicitly forbidden here to bring any disgrace upon him in respect to his wife. … it really aims at adultery, because among the Jews it was ordained and commanded that every one must be married….God by this commandment wishes to hedge round about and protect [as with a rampart] every spouse that no one trespass against them. ….this commandment is aimed directly at the state of matrimony …He both sanctions and guards it. He has sanctioned it above in the Fourth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother; but here He has (as we said) hedged it about and protected it

    So Luther is telling us, very clearly, that this discussion is all and only about the married estate. I find it to be new information how he puts the 4th commandment together with the 6th. Interesting! This is how we are to read a text Tom. We let it speak to us on it’s own terms. We don’t read it shopping for talking points or points that support our view.

    And now , in that context, we will take up the text you have pointed us to starting at paragraph 211:

    211] … you must know also that …[marriage] is not only an honorable, but also a necessary state, and
    it is solemnly commanded by God that, in general, in all conditions , men and women,
    who were created for it,
    shall be found in this estate;

    This would all seem to track so far to the Apology/Augustana art XXIII yes? That comma after “men and women” is important! All men and women were created for Marriage. Now the part you quote…

    … yet with some exceptions (although few) whom God has especially excepted,
    so that they are not fit for the married estate,
    or whom He has released by a high, supernatural gift so that
    [both types] … can maintain chastity without this estate.

    I inserted “both types” because of what follows. context matters!:

    212] For where nature has its course, as it is implanted by God, it is not possible to remain chaste without marriage.
    For flesh and blood remain flesh and blood, and the natural inclination and excitement have their course without let or hindrance, as everybody sees and feels.
    In order, therefore, that it may be the more easy in some degree to avoid inchastity, God has commanded the estate of matrimony,

    Why?

    that every one may have his[own] proper portion and be satisfied therewith;

    Note here that Luther feels perfectly comfortable with getting at the reason or purpose behind every commandment. There is no “we are to obey just because, whether we understand it or not”. And the purpose of the second table is strictly and only to put a wall between mine and thine. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing about proving our love to God by obeying. God does not need our obedience. Our neighbor does need our obedience to his needs.

    although God’s grace besides is required in order that the heart also may be pure.

    And this last statement is true for pagans as well. This is not grace here is not Grace. It is grace. The 10 commandments are about killing our Old Adam. There is no Life here. There is death only. the Law always and only accuses.When it instructs, the instructions are to kill the Old Adam!

    Uh. Tom…there is this last paragraph….

    213] From this you see how this popish rabble … resist God’s order and commandment, inasmuch as they … presume and vow to maintain perpetual chastity, …in short, even though they abstain from the act, their hearts are so full of unchaste thoughts and evil lusts that there is a continual burning and secret suffering, which can be avoided in the married life.
    216] Therefore all vows of chastity out of the married state are condemned by this commandment, and … even the command is given …to abandon the unchaste state and enter the married life, considering that even if the monastic life were godly , it would nevertheless not be in their power to maintain chastity, and if they remain in it, they must only sin more and more against this commandment.

    Ok Tom. And you are saying there is new information here that is not in the Augustana or Apology or…. um… what? This seems to only reinforce what I say are the 3 points of art XXIII

    a) celibacy is a miraculous pure gift that cannot be worked at to acquire.
    b) It is therefore sinful and futile to require it of anyone.
    c) the results of attempting celibacy is to be tortured to the end because it is a cruel exercise in futility.
    d)Marriage is therefore the only means of sexual self-control provided by God and is commanded by God in fact.

    It is perfectly fine to disagree with the Lutheran Confessions as long as we are honest about it.
    They seem to all say the same thing don’t they?

    We have to read them on their own terms. And only then can we decide whether we agree with them or not. First we need to honestly seek to hear what they say. If we look for a way to inject our own preheld views we simply won’t be able to do that I suggest. This is reading to look for prooftexts. The text needs to be allowed to challenge our thinking on its own terms.

  • fws

    Tom

    The purpose of Marriage Luther says is so that each man may have his own portion/ration of sex, and so not desire the portion of someone else. This, and nothing else, is how marriage provides “sexual self control”.

    The confessions say that this is what sexual self control looks like.

    So when you read Galatians about sexual self control, the Confessions would point you to 1 cor 7 as Paul interpreting what he means by self control as to sex in Galatians, rather than have Tom Hering fill in his own blanks as to what self control sexual is supposed to look like. Text interprets its own self that way.

  • fws

    Tom

    The purpose of Marriage Luther says is so that each man may have his own portion/ration of sex, and so not desire the portion of someone else. This, and nothing else, is how marriage provides “sexual self control”.

    The confessions say that this is what sexual self control looks like.

    So when you read Galatians about sexual self control, the Confessions would point you to 1 cor 7 as Paul interpreting what he means by self control as to sex in Galatians, rather than have Tom Hering fill in his own blanks as to what self control sexual is supposed to look like. Text interprets its own self that way.

  • fws

    Tom @ 122

    Tom, tom, tom…. dear Tom.

    Yes Tom. Luther did formally and publicly and explicitly and categorically reject the views in his 1520 treatise on good works. He did it first in the Apology and Augustana. You can read what the Romans say in the Confutation that I quoted @ 123. The confutation looks pretty identical to Luthers thinking in 1520. He categorically rejected those ideas.

    then… we can go to the Large Catechism and read starting at paragraph 213.

    Surprise.

    The Large Catechism of 1528 agrees with the Augstana and Apology of 1530.

    There is a reason for that! The Apology had to be written very quickly. Luther and Melancthon used both the catechism and the early Loci of Melancthon as their crib notes for the Apology!

  • fws

    Tom @ 122

    Tom, tom, tom…. dear Tom.

    Yes Tom. Luther did formally and publicly and explicitly and categorically reject the views in his 1520 treatise on good works. He did it first in the Apology and Augustana. You can read what the Romans say in the Confutation that I quoted @ 123. The confutation looks pretty identical to Luthers thinking in 1520. He categorically rejected those ideas.

    then… we can go to the Large Catechism and read starting at paragraph 213.

    Surprise.

    The Large Catechism of 1528 agrees with the Augstana and Apology of 1530.

    There is a reason for that! The Apology had to be written very quickly. Luther and Melancthon used both the catechism and the early Loci of Melancthon as their crib notes for the Apology!

  • fws

    Tom may I ask you why you feel you are unsuitable for marriage? You , of course, are under no obligation to respond.

  • fws

    Tom may I ask you why you feel you are unsuitable for marriage? You , of course, are under no obligation to respond.

  • fws

    tom,

    one is not done with interpreting a text until one has answered objections to ones interpretation from the text itself. i respond to you by going directly to the text you present as supporting your view and show that, in context, it does not.

  • fws

    tom,

    one is not done with interpreting a text until one has answered objections to ones interpretation from the text itself. i respond to you by going directly to the text you present as supporting your view and show that, in context, it does not.

  • Tom Hering

    So, apart from marriage, or a high supernatural gift of celibacy, there is no help from God for the Christian who wants to flee sexual immorality. Do I understand you correctly, Frank?

  • Tom Hering

    So, apart from marriage, or a high supernatural gift of celibacy, there is no help from God for the Christian who wants to flee sexual immorality. Do I understand you correctly, Frank?

  • kerner

    I’m reading all this as best I can at a busy time for me. But I submit to both fws and Tom, as I think I’ve done in the past, that the Large Catechism on the 6th Commandment is a far better place to start when considering marriage and celebacy for the laity than are the portions of the Apology that we have considered so far. I say this because this part of the Large Catechism was written to directly address the subject at hand. While the Apology XXIII was written to address the subject of a celebate clergy and the issue of whether a life of celebacy is a higher, holier, life than a life of chastity within marriage. I think we can agree that the conclusion reached by the Apology XXIII is that there is nothing particularly holy about celebacy and that very few people are specifically called to it, and that for most people it is a real stumbling block because they are incapable of keeping vows of celebacy.

    The Large Catechism, however, seems to address sexual morality for the laity in everyday life.

    As I read it, the Large Catechism approaches the issue in a very parctical way. Human beings (generally, with some exceptions) are sexual beings by nature. God created them that way so they could enter into marriage and form families and procreate. (Procreatuon is in itself a good thing. And “not being alone” is also in itself a good thing). Therefore, it is a mistake to say that the purpose of marriage is to give us an outlet for our sex drive. Correctly put, the purpose of our sex drive is to encourage us to enter into marriage.

    And in response to this, Luther in the Large Catechism and the Apology XXIII say that most people who try to stay celebate are doomed by their biological natures to fail and fall into sin. Therefore, for most people, the only recourse is to get married and have sex in the way God intended they should. And it is, therefore, a really bad idea to tell people they cannot marry.

    I hope both of you are with me this far.

    But marriage is that Male-Female relationship that God instituted in creation. There is virtually no overt support in Scripture or the Confessions that it means anything else. And there’s the rub.

    But it’s a “rub” for all three of us. It’s a rub for Frank, because you fall into that broad catagory called “gay”. It’s a rub for me, a married heterosexual for at least a dozen reasons I can go into a little if you like (though I don’t like to talk about my personal life specifically). And it’s a rub for Tom, a heterosexual, but single, man.

    So then the question becomes whether the 6th commandment needs to be modified to accomodate us, or whether our difficulty/inability in keeping the 6th commandment is simply a function of our corrupt natures that we have to repent of.

  • kerner

    I’m reading all this as best I can at a busy time for me. But I submit to both fws and Tom, as I think I’ve done in the past, that the Large Catechism on the 6th Commandment is a far better place to start when considering marriage and celebacy for the laity than are the portions of the Apology that we have considered so far. I say this because this part of the Large Catechism was written to directly address the subject at hand. While the Apology XXIII was written to address the subject of a celebate clergy and the issue of whether a life of celebacy is a higher, holier, life than a life of chastity within marriage. I think we can agree that the conclusion reached by the Apology XXIII is that there is nothing particularly holy about celebacy and that very few people are specifically called to it, and that for most people it is a real stumbling block because they are incapable of keeping vows of celebacy.

    The Large Catechism, however, seems to address sexual morality for the laity in everyday life.

    As I read it, the Large Catechism approaches the issue in a very parctical way. Human beings (generally, with some exceptions) are sexual beings by nature. God created them that way so they could enter into marriage and form families and procreate. (Procreatuon is in itself a good thing. And “not being alone” is also in itself a good thing). Therefore, it is a mistake to say that the purpose of marriage is to give us an outlet for our sex drive. Correctly put, the purpose of our sex drive is to encourage us to enter into marriage.

    And in response to this, Luther in the Large Catechism and the Apology XXIII say that most people who try to stay celebate are doomed by their biological natures to fail and fall into sin. Therefore, for most people, the only recourse is to get married and have sex in the way God intended they should. And it is, therefore, a really bad idea to tell people they cannot marry.

    I hope both of you are with me this far.

    But marriage is that Male-Female relationship that God instituted in creation. There is virtually no overt support in Scripture or the Confessions that it means anything else. And there’s the rub.

    But it’s a “rub” for all three of us. It’s a rub for Frank, because you fall into that broad catagory called “gay”. It’s a rub for me, a married heterosexual for at least a dozen reasons I can go into a little if you like (though I don’t like to talk about my personal life specifically). And it’s a rub for Tom, a heterosexual, but single, man.

    So then the question becomes whether the 6th commandment needs to be modified to accomodate us, or whether our difficulty/inability in keeping the 6th commandment is simply a function of our corrupt natures that we have to repent of.

  • kerner

    fws @125:

    I don’t want to speak for Tom, but I fear you are missing his point. If I am reading him correctly, Tom is:

    1. NOT married, and

    2. Trying to keep the 6th commandment.

    Tom has not gone into why he is not married, and that is a pretty personal thing (I’m NOT prying Tom. PLEASE don’t think this is an oblique way of getting you to explain your personal life).

    But let’s just assume for the moment that he simply hasn’t met the right girl. What’s a guy like Tom supposed to do? Marriage is for the present unavailable to him. For a guy who values mercy (as opposed to sacrafice) as much as you do, where is mercy for Tom?

    @33 I suggested that it is found where Luther said it was in his response to the first argument against the Antinomians…here:

    “Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit, being driven by whom they also in this life begin to fulfill the law; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.”

  • kerner

    fws @125:

    I don’t want to speak for Tom, but I fear you are missing his point. If I am reading him correctly, Tom is:

    1. NOT married, and

    2. Trying to keep the 6th commandment.

    Tom has not gone into why he is not married, and that is a pretty personal thing (I’m NOT prying Tom. PLEASE don’t think this is an oblique way of getting you to explain your personal life).

    But let’s just assume for the moment that he simply hasn’t met the right girl. What’s a guy like Tom supposed to do? Marriage is for the present unavailable to him. For a guy who values mercy (as opposed to sacrafice) as much as you do, where is mercy for Tom?

    @33 I suggested that it is found where Luther said it was in his response to the first argument against the Antinomians…here:

    “Christ, however, by willingly submitting himself to the law and enduring all its curses, earned for those who believe in him the Spirit, being driven by whom they also in this life begin to fulfill the law; and in the life to come the most joyful and perfect obedience will be within them, so that they will do in body and soul as now do the angels.”

  • Tom Hering

    Then there’s the question of whether our Confessions teach everything Scripture teaches on this matter. Even within the expanded, pastoral purpose of the Large Catechism. Or did Luther feel that his teaching on other aspects of chastity was widespread enough – given the popularity of his treatise on good works – that there was no need to repeat it in a larger Catechism that was already going to be, well, large enough, thank you? Frank’s assertion that the Confessions don’t deal with anything but marriage and the gift of celibacy when it comes to chastity is close to correct – but that doesn’t mean the Scriptures don’t deal with more. I also question his assertion that our Confessions negate what Luther taught in his 1520 treatise. Because that treatise strikes me as entirely Scriptural, even if it’s not Confessional.

  • Tom Hering

    Then there’s the question of whether our Confessions teach everything Scripture teaches on this matter. Even within the expanded, pastoral purpose of the Large Catechism. Or did Luther feel that his teaching on other aspects of chastity was widespread enough – given the popularity of his treatise on good works – that there was no need to repeat it in a larger Catechism that was already going to be, well, large enough, thank you? Frank’s assertion that the Confessions don’t deal with anything but marriage and the gift of celibacy when it comes to chastity is close to correct – but that doesn’t mean the Scriptures don’t deal with more. I also question his assertion that our Confessions negate what Luther taught in his 1520 treatise. Because that treatise strikes me as entirely Scriptural, even if it’s not Confessional.

  • kerner

    Tom:

    In 1520, Luther was single. By 1528, he was married. It could just be he was writing from a different point of view.

  • kerner

    Tom:

    In 1520, Luther was single. By 1528, he was married. It could just be he was writing from a different point of view.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank and kerner, I don’t mind telling you the reason I’m unmarried. I’ve always liked living alone. I’m the kind of person who needs a lot of alone time, and I treasure my solitude. I once had an offer of marriage, but wisely declined for both our sakes. I would have been lousy at meeting her needs. (See how I made myself a noble person there? :-D )

  • Tom Hering

    Frank and kerner, I don’t mind telling you the reason I’m unmarried. I’ve always liked living alone. I’m the kind of person who needs a lot of alone time, and I treasure my solitude. I once had an offer of marriage, but wisely declined for both our sakes. I would have been lousy at meeting her needs. (See how I made myself a noble person there? :-D )

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 132, yes, it could be as simple as that. Luther was the kind of guy who took everything all the way, wasn’t he? But that’s okay. We’re talking about the writings of a man, and of other men. Not sacred texts.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 132, yes, it could be as simple as that. Luther was the kind of guy who took everything all the way, wasn’t he? But that’s okay. We’re talking about the writings of a man, and of other men. Not sacred texts.

  • kerner

    fws:

    What I mean by that quotation, and what I think Tom means, is that in any time of trial and temptation, God sends his Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen His people. And this applies to an unmarried man who wants to have sex as much as it does to any other Christian whose flesh craves something it shouldn’t. This does not mean that most of us do not often stumble and fall on many occasions anyway. Most of us do. But I don’t think we can just brush off the comfort and strength the Holy Spirit gives us as a great big nothing. It’s our fault if we sin anyway, not His.

  • kerner

    fws:

    What I mean by that quotation, and what I think Tom means, is that in any time of trial and temptation, God sends his Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen His people. And this applies to an unmarried man who wants to have sex as much as it does to any other Christian whose flesh craves something it shouldn’t. This does not mean that most of us do not often stumble and fall on many occasions anyway. Most of us do. But I don’t think we can just brush off the comfort and strength the Holy Spirit gives us as a great big nothing. It’s our fault if we sin anyway, not His.

  • Tom Hering

    And we’re to do all that’s commanded of us, like abstaining from fleshly lusts, which we now want to abstain from, and more and more do indeed abstain from, being new creations, even if, because of the law of sin in our members, we don’t always do what we want to do. Though a decline in libido as we get older helps a lot. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    And we’re to do all that’s commanded of us, like abstaining from fleshly lusts, which we now want to abstain from, and more and more do indeed abstain from, being new creations, even if, because of the law of sin in our members, we don’t always do what we want to do. Though a decline in libido as we get older helps a lot. :-D

  • fws

    tom @ 128

    Tom , not quite.. Understand that my reading so far of the apology , the augustana and the catechism offers no solution or comfort or even seems to pertain to my particular situation.

    I am trying to read the text as honestly as I can for what it intends to say. And I when I read the text, without reading into it my own biases, personal experiences and views, what I come up with is what I am expressing here.

    So your question would be better this: “so frank, you are telling me that you are able to find no other way to read the text, from the text itself other than (fill in the blank)? ”

    or “frank, do you agree with what the text says , meaning does it agree with your personal experience or what you think you know about marriage or countenance or sexual self control?’

    those are two different questions. I think, tom , that you are really asking me more the second question and not the first.

    I am suggesting that first we need to read the text to answer the first question. And only then, we get to move beyond that and not read the text in some sort of amish anachronistic way. But we dare not reject the plain meaning of the text saying ” It simply CANT mean that!” because what it says does not square with what we think we know from our personal experience. I would also grant that, once we do undersstand the text, as best as we can, that it would also be wrong to not try to apply the text to our contemporary situation. But first, we need to see what it says in IT’S terms.

    I hope this makes more clear what my method and aim is here.

  • fws

    tom @ 128

    Tom , not quite.. Understand that my reading so far of the apology , the augustana and the catechism offers no solution or comfort or even seems to pertain to my particular situation.

    I am trying to read the text as honestly as I can for what it intends to say. And I when I read the text, without reading into it my own biases, personal experiences and views, what I come up with is what I am expressing here.

    So your question would be better this: “so frank, you are telling me that you are able to find no other way to read the text, from the text itself other than (fill in the blank)? ”

    or “frank, do you agree with what the text says , meaning does it agree with your personal experience or what you think you know about marriage or countenance or sexual self control?’

    those are two different questions. I think, tom , that you are really asking me more the second question and not the first.

    I am suggesting that first we need to read the text to answer the first question. And only then, we get to move beyond that and not read the text in some sort of amish anachronistic way. But we dare not reject the plain meaning of the text saying ” It simply CANT mean that!” because what it says does not square with what we think we know from our personal experience. I would also grant that, once we do undersstand the text, as best as we can, that it would also be wrong to not try to apply the text to our contemporary situation. But first, we need to see what it says in IT’S terms.

    I hope this makes more clear what my method and aim is here.

  • fws

    kerner @ 129

    “Therefore, it is a mistake to say that the purpose of marriage is to give us an outlet for our sex drive. Correctly put, the purpose of our sex drive is to encourage us to enter into marriage.”

    Quote the part of the text that imparted this contrast to you. that teachings you that the first is a mistake and the second is the correct expression.

    Why cant we discuss the text.

    Both of you try this:

    Home in on that part of the text that seems to disagree with what your point of view is. And deal with that text until you either find a way to accept what it says or reject it clearly. Do not ignore it. Do not focus only on a text out of context that is a proof text for your point.

  • fws

    kerner @ 129

    “Therefore, it is a mistake to say that the purpose of marriage is to give us an outlet for our sex drive. Correctly put, the purpose of our sex drive is to encourage us to enter into marriage.”

    Quote the part of the text that imparted this contrast to you. that teachings you that the first is a mistake and the second is the correct expression.

    Why cant we discuss the text.

    Both of you try this:

    Home in on that part of the text that seems to disagree with what your point of view is. And deal with that text until you either find a way to accept what it says or reject it clearly. Do not ignore it. Do not focus only on a text out of context that is a proof text for your point.

  • fws

    Here is how I see a radical difference in our approach to all this.

    I am offering a proposed reading of the text that I propose is the only possible way to understand what the text is saying..

    Whether my personal opinion or opinions agree with the text or not is not at play for me at the moment.

    In contrast, you are both each defending your personal opinions. And you are referencing whatever texts you can find seeking to find proof passages in support of those positions.

    I am suggesting that my method of approaching a text is more honest.

    you see the difference i hope.

  • fws

    Here is how I see a radical difference in our approach to all this.

    I am offering a proposed reading of the text that I propose is the only possible way to understand what the text is saying..

    Whether my personal opinion or opinions agree with the text or not is not at play for me at the moment.

    In contrast, you are both each defending your personal opinions. And you are referencing whatever texts you can find seeking to find proof passages in support of those positions.

    I am suggesting that my method of approaching a text is more honest.

    you see the difference i hope.

  • fws

    kerner @ 130

    “tom hasnt met the right girl.” The biblical model is to purchase a bride and an arranged marriage. Define for us biblically “the right girl”. Overlay this in an honest way on 1 cor 7. what would ” the right Girl” look like for a homo” . You say that most marriages would be blest to become best of friends. Try that line on your wife Kerner: ” I have decided that we should JUST become best of friends and n0thing more. ”

    Ok. cool. this is the kinda conversation you love! it is PURE speculation based on reason and anecdotal information.

    But where would i find the specific answers to this in the 5 texts we have now referenced: apology, augustana, catechism, 1520 good works, and the roman confutation? That is what I am insisting we stick to.

    The first few paragraphs of Luthers antinomian disputation dont count. I need to see more context Kerner. sorry!

  • fws

    kerner @ 130

    “tom hasnt met the right girl.” The biblical model is to purchase a bride and an arranged marriage. Define for us biblically “the right girl”. Overlay this in an honest way on 1 cor 7. what would ” the right Girl” look like for a homo” . You say that most marriages would be blest to become best of friends. Try that line on your wife Kerner: ” I have decided that we should JUST become best of friends and n0thing more. ”

    Ok. cool. this is the kinda conversation you love! it is PURE speculation based on reason and anecdotal information.

    But where would i find the specific answers to this in the 5 texts we have now referenced: apology, augustana, catechism, 1520 good works, and the roman confutation? That is what I am insisting we stick to.

    The first few paragraphs of Luthers antinomian disputation dont count. I need to see more context Kerner. sorry!

  • fws

    tom @ 131

    this post deserves a detailed response:

    TOM Then there’s the question of whether our Confessions teach everything Scripture teaches on this matter. Even within the expanded, pastoral purpose of the Large Catechism.

    FRANK Ok Tom. Let’s just assume that what is taught in the confessions is only .0000001% of what is taught on this matter (sexual self control , what it looks like and how God provides help for it). What does that .000000001% tell us? Do we accept it?

    TOM Or did Luther feel that his teaching on other aspects of chastity was widespread enough – given the popularity of his treatise on good works – that there was no need to repeat it in a larger Catechism that was already going to be, well, large enough, thank you?

    FRANK Ok TOM. So we are to assume that Luther , if he were here blogging with us, would have us look to a work of 1520 that seems to look remarkably like what the Roman Confutation of the Augustana teaches….

    1) when Christ taught that all men are not fit for celibacy, it is indeed true, and on this account… let the man pray, and he will be able to receive Christ’s word concerning continence, as St. Paul says: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Phil. 4:13. For continence is a gift of God, Wisd. 8:21.
    2) those who are consecrated to God have other remedies of infirmities; as, for instance, let them avoid the society of women, shun idleness, macerate the flesh by fasting and vigils, keep the outward senses, especially sight and hearing, from things forbidden, turn away their eyes from beholding vanity, and finally dash their little ones – i.e. their carnal thoughts – upon a rock (and Christ is the Rock), suppress their passions, and frequently and devoutly resort to God in prayer.
    These are undoubtedly the most effectual remedies for incontinence in ecclesiastics and servants of God.
    St. Paul said aright that the doctrine of those who forbid marriage is a doctrine of demons. But the Church does not thus forbid marriage

    The Roman position was that celebacy was a gift available to all with effort and the assistance of the Holy Spirit. And the Apology says that celibacy is available to no one short of a miracle. What is not clear about this Tom? You really think I am misreading the apology AND paragraph 122 of the catechism wrong here? Really?! I am not saying whether I agree with it or not please note!

    Frank’s assertion that the Confessions don’t deal with anything but marriage and the gift of celibacy when it comes to chastity is close to correct – but that doesn’t mean the Scriptures don’t deal with more. I also question his assertion that our Confessions negate what Luther taught in his 1520 treatise. Because that treatise strikes me as entirely Scriptural, even if it’s not Confessional.

  • fws

    tom @ 131

    this post deserves a detailed response:

    TOM Then there’s the question of whether our Confessions teach everything Scripture teaches on this matter. Even within the expanded, pastoral purpose of the Large Catechism.

    FRANK Ok Tom. Let’s just assume that what is taught in the confessions is only .0000001% of what is taught on this matter (sexual self control , what it looks like and how God provides help for it). What does that .000000001% tell us? Do we accept it?

    TOM Or did Luther feel that his teaching on other aspects of chastity was widespread enough – given the popularity of his treatise on good works – that there was no need to repeat it in a larger Catechism that was already going to be, well, large enough, thank you?

    FRANK Ok TOM. So we are to assume that Luther , if he were here blogging with us, would have us look to a work of 1520 that seems to look remarkably like what the Roman Confutation of the Augustana teaches….

    1) when Christ taught that all men are not fit for celibacy, it is indeed true, and on this account… let the man pray, and he will be able to receive Christ’s word concerning continence, as St. Paul says: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Phil. 4:13. For continence is a gift of God, Wisd. 8:21.
    2) those who are consecrated to God have other remedies of infirmities; as, for instance, let them avoid the society of women, shun idleness, macerate the flesh by fasting and vigils, keep the outward senses, especially sight and hearing, from things forbidden, turn away their eyes from beholding vanity, and finally dash their little ones – i.e. their carnal thoughts – upon a rock (and Christ is the Rock), suppress their passions, and frequently and devoutly resort to God in prayer.
    These are undoubtedly the most effectual remedies for incontinence in ecclesiastics and servants of God.
    St. Paul said aright that the doctrine of those who forbid marriage is a doctrine of demons. But the Church does not thus forbid marriage

    The Roman position was that celebacy was a gift available to all with effort and the assistance of the Holy Spirit. And the Apology says that celibacy is available to no one short of a miracle. What is not clear about this Tom? You really think I am misreading the apology AND paragraph 122 of the catechism wrong here? Really?! I am not saying whether I agree with it or not please note!

    Frank’s assertion that the Confessions don’t deal with anything but marriage and the gift of celibacy when it comes to chastity is close to correct – but that doesn’t mean the Scriptures don’t deal with more. I also question his assertion that our Confessions negate what Luther taught in his 1520 treatise. Because that treatise strikes me as entirely Scriptural, even if it’s not Confessional.

  • fws

    TOM @ 131 continued…

    TOM Frank’s assertion that the Confessions don’t deal with anything but marriage and the gift of celibacy when it comes to chastity is close to correct –

    FRANK I am not arguing for whether the Confessions or even St Paul in 1 cor 7 or even christ is right or wrong in mat 19 or even if the confessions are correctly interpretting the biblical text. So what is it I am trying to get us to agree on?

    What IS it that the confessional text is clearly saying?

    And I argue that it IS clear what the catechism/apology/angustana are saying. There is no ambiguity whatsoever. For example those with the gift of celebacy and those unfit for marriage are in the same category in the large catechism. We dont need to ponder for example, what the difference is because Luther is telling that in both situations God there is no need to work at countenance. How do we know that? Because he says that those who struggle with sexual self control are commanded to get married!
    Further I argue that there is not one scintilla of difference between the 3 texts of the confessions not even in the slightest.

    tom. It is really, really , wrong to point to a 1520 text of luther and tell anyone that they are supposed to let that text stand in judgement over the confessions. Luther would tell us to do the exact reverse!

    TOM but that doesn’t mean the Scriptures don’t deal with more.

    FRANK oK. Again: lets assume that the confessions deal with only .000000001%. what they say is very very clear. So whatever it is they dont deal with or spell out more specifically would need to conform to what they DO say. right?

    TOM I also question his assertion that our Confessions negate what Luther taught in his 1520 treatise.

    FRANK. the text the text the text the text. Lay the two side by side Tom. there is no contradiction at all? Cool if not.

    TOM Because that treatise strikes me as entirely Scriptural, even if it’s not Confessional.

    FRANK So then tom, you agree with the roman confutation and DISagree with the augustana and with the apology in art XXIII. tell me where the roman confutation is not in complete agreement with the 1520 luther writing! the confutation could have used that luther writing as their crib notes! honestly Tom!

  • fws

    TOM @ 131 continued…

    TOM Frank’s assertion that the Confessions don’t deal with anything but marriage and the gift of celibacy when it comes to chastity is close to correct –

    FRANK I am not arguing for whether the Confessions or even St Paul in 1 cor 7 or even christ is right or wrong in mat 19 or even if the confessions are correctly interpretting the biblical text. So what is it I am trying to get us to agree on?

    What IS it that the confessional text is clearly saying?

    And I argue that it IS clear what the catechism/apology/angustana are saying. There is no ambiguity whatsoever. For example those with the gift of celebacy and those unfit for marriage are in the same category in the large catechism. We dont need to ponder for example, what the difference is because Luther is telling that in both situations God there is no need to work at countenance. How do we know that? Because he says that those who struggle with sexual self control are commanded to get married!
    Further I argue that there is not one scintilla of difference between the 3 texts of the confessions not even in the slightest.

    tom. It is really, really , wrong to point to a 1520 text of luther and tell anyone that they are supposed to let that text stand in judgement over the confessions. Luther would tell us to do the exact reverse!

    TOM but that doesn’t mean the Scriptures don’t deal with more.

    FRANK oK. Again: lets assume that the confessions deal with only .000000001%. what they say is very very clear. So whatever it is they dont deal with or spell out more specifically would need to conform to what they DO say. right?

    TOM I also question his assertion that our Confessions negate what Luther taught in his 1520 treatise.

    FRANK. the text the text the text the text. Lay the two side by side Tom. there is no contradiction at all? Cool if not.

    TOM Because that treatise strikes me as entirely Scriptural, even if it’s not Confessional.

    FRANK So then tom, you agree with the roman confutation and DISagree with the augustana and with the apology in art XXIII. tell me where the roman confutation is not in complete agreement with the 1520 luther writing! the confutation could have used that luther writing as their crib notes! honestly Tom!

  • fws

    kerner @ 132

    insight into how you personally develop your own theological perspective?

    Maybe Luther was better undertanding Law and Gospel? And maybe from actually reading a text? Or is our reading of the text governed by our personal experience as you seem to suggest?

  • fws

    kerner @ 132

    insight into how you personally develop your own theological perspective?

    Maybe Luther was better undertanding Law and Gospel? And maybe from actually reading a text? Or is our reading of the text governed by our personal experience as you seem to suggest?

  • fws

    tom and kerner.

    sigh. this all sounds pious and all. And there is nothing at all here that disagrees with the Roman Confutation. Nothing at all. So why did the confessions even bother with the augustana or apology. and if those are strictly about a priestly celebacy that has nothing to say about regular folk, why is what the 1530 augustana/apology say a repeat almost word for word of what the 1528 large catechism says. and why is is that the confutation is almost a word for word repeat of what Luther says in his 1520 work that Tom says is MORE scriptural than what the catechism and apology/augustana say?

    the text. the text. the text. the text.

    if you disagee with the confessions it is better to just say so. but do not ignore the text.

    fws:

    What I mean by that quotation, and what I think Tom means, is that in any time of trial and temptation, God sends his Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen His people. And this applies to an unmarried man who wants to have sex as much as it does to any other Christian whose flesh craves something it shouldn’t. This does not mean that most of us do not often stumble and fall on many occasions anyway. Most of us do. But I don’t think we can just brush off the comfort and strength the Holy Spirit gives us as a great big nothing. It’s our fault if we sin anyway, not His.
    . 136 Tom Hering April 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    And we’re to do all that’s commanded of us, like abstaining from fleshly lusts, which we now want to abstain from, and more and more do indeed abstain from, being new creations, even if, because of the law of sin in our members, we don’t always do what we want to do. Though a decline in libido as we get older helps a lot.

  • fws

    tom and kerner.

    sigh. this all sounds pious and all. And there is nothing at all here that disagrees with the Roman Confutation. Nothing at all. So why did the confessions even bother with the augustana or apology. and if those are strictly about a priestly celebacy that has nothing to say about regular folk, why is what the 1530 augustana/apology say a repeat almost word for word of what the 1528 large catechism says. and why is is that the confutation is almost a word for word repeat of what Luther says in his 1520 work that Tom says is MORE scriptural than what the catechism and apology/augustana say?

    the text. the text. the text. the text.

    if you disagee with the confessions it is better to just say so. but do not ignore the text.

    fws:

    What I mean by that quotation, and what I think Tom means, is that in any time of trial and temptation, God sends his Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen His people. And this applies to an unmarried man who wants to have sex as much as it does to any other Christian whose flesh craves something it shouldn’t. This does not mean that most of us do not often stumble and fall on many occasions anyway. Most of us do. But I don’t think we can just brush off the comfort and strength the Holy Spirit gives us as a great big nothing. It’s our fault if we sin anyway, not His.
    . 136 Tom Hering April 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    And we’re to do all that’s commanded of us, like abstaining from fleshly lusts, which we now want to abstain from, and more and more do indeed abstain from, being new creations, even if, because of the law of sin in our members, we don’t always do what we want to do. Though a decline in libido as we get older helps a lot.

  • fws

    the only problem I have is that you simply want to not talk about what the catechism and confessions say clearly

    A} short of a miracle, the only way to exercise sexual self control is to get married. (LC, augustana, apology, 1 cor 7 )

    B) marriage is THE biblical method of sexual self control because (1) each man gets is own portion/ration/object to get sex from so he is not tempted to commit adultery with someone elses portion who is duty bound to never deny him sex (cf LC, 1 cor 7 ) and (2) it is assumed by the text that ALL men are attracted sexually to females. Hard to imagine how any of this could be written without that assumption.

    C) attempts at celebacy for most is an exercise in futility, to demand it therefore is cruel, and is a torture to conscience to the end. Therefore celebacy can be demanded of no one {1 cor 7, apology, augustana, LC, Matt 19)

    the real dividing assertion however is this:

    D) Celibacy is not possible for all. (matt 19, LC, Apology, Augustana).

    THIS is the main point of difference between Rome and the Lutherans in all 3 parts of the confessions we are referencing.

    Tom and Kerner both disagree with this.

    This is the rub Kerner. it is not that each of us has our own personal experiences which are each different. THIS is what I suggest we are really contending over.

  • fws

    the only problem I have is that you simply want to not talk about what the catechism and confessions say clearly

    A} short of a miracle, the only way to exercise sexual self control is to get married. (LC, augustana, apology, 1 cor 7 )

    B) marriage is THE biblical method of sexual self control because (1) each man gets is own portion/ration/object to get sex from so he is not tempted to commit adultery with someone elses portion who is duty bound to never deny him sex (cf LC, 1 cor 7 ) and (2) it is assumed by the text that ALL men are attracted sexually to females. Hard to imagine how any of this could be written without that assumption.

    C) attempts at celebacy for most is an exercise in futility, to demand it therefore is cruel, and is a torture to conscience to the end. Therefore celebacy can be demanded of no one {1 cor 7, apology, augustana, LC, Matt 19)

    the real dividing assertion however is this:

    D) Celibacy is not possible for all. (matt 19, LC, Apology, Augustana).

    THIS is the main point of difference between Rome and the Lutherans in all 3 parts of the confessions we are referencing.

    Tom and Kerner both disagree with this.

    This is the rub Kerner. it is not that each of us has our own personal experiences which are each different. THIS is what I suggest we are really contending over.

  • fws

    Tom and Kerner:

    after reading all your posts here are the two views that are in contention:

    Kerner, Tom, the Roman Confutation, Luther in 1520:

    “Celebacy is a gift that is available to ALL if they pray for it, work hard at it, but not without the help of the Holy Spirit.

    The Catechism 1528 then the 1530 Augustana and the Apology in response to the Roman Refutation:

    “celebacy is NOT avaliable to ALL. In fact, short of a miracle, it is available to NO one. Therefore, short of a miracle, ALL are commanded to marry.

    Frank’s position: Unknown.

    So who should frank be following here? Tell him. and why.

  • fws

    Tom and Kerner:

    after reading all your posts here are the two views that are in contention:

    Kerner, Tom, the Roman Confutation, Luther in 1520:

    “Celebacy is a gift that is available to ALL if they pray for it, work hard at it, but not without the help of the Holy Spirit.

    The Catechism 1528 then the 1530 Augustana and the Apology in response to the Roman Refutation:

    “celebacy is NOT avaliable to ALL. In fact, short of a miracle, it is available to NO one. Therefore, short of a miracle, ALL are commanded to marry.

    Frank’s position: Unknown.

    So who should frank be following here? Tell him. and why.

  • fws

    tom and kerner. I think that my last post is really THE point that is in contention and nothing else really.

    Kerner : You say that marriage is about lots of stuff. Cool . I agree. But ALL the texts we are dealing with are about marriage in the narrow context of sexual self control. Period. And we are dealing with THESE texts and not others. this is really really clear.

  • fws

    tom and kerner. I think that my last post is really THE point that is in contention and nothing else really.

    Kerner : You say that marriage is about lots of stuff. Cool . I agree. But ALL the texts we are dealing with are about marriage in the narrow context of sexual self control. Period. And we are dealing with THESE texts and not others. this is really really clear.

  • fws

    tom and kerner:

    again, I am not arguing for a position. I am not arguing whether the confessions are right or wrong,

    I am arguing that they 1) make several assertions as to what matt 19 and 1 cor 7 and other texts say, 2) those assertions are clear and indisputable in their assertions, and 3) one needs to take a look at the Roman Refutation to see the position the Apology opposes to really see the full context of the Apology.

    Further , 4) I contend that there is catagorical and complete agreement between the catechism of 1528 and the 1530 augustana and the 1530 response to the Roman Confutation called the Apology of 1530.

    tom so what if the Bible has more to say. If one wishes to say ” I am Lutheran’ one would need to harmonize those additional things to what the Confessions teach. so I dont understand your point that you made there.

  • fws

    tom and kerner:

    again, I am not arguing for a position. I am not arguing whether the confessions are right or wrong,

    I am arguing that they 1) make several assertions as to what matt 19 and 1 cor 7 and other texts say, 2) those assertions are clear and indisputable in their assertions, and 3) one needs to take a look at the Roman Refutation to see the position the Apology opposes to really see the full context of the Apology.

    Further , 4) I contend that there is catagorical and complete agreement between the catechism of 1528 and the 1530 augustana and the 1530 response to the Roman Confutation called the Apology of 1530.

    tom so what if the Bible has more to say. If one wishes to say ” I am Lutheran’ one would need to harmonize those additional things to what the Confessions teach. so I dont understand your point that you made there.

  • fws

    tom,

    what would those many other things be in the Bible beyond the few things the confessions teach about sexual self control?

    That those who cant get married should work at celebacy with the aid of the HS?

    Doesnt that turn what the confessions say clearly and exactly on its head??!!

  • fws

    tom,

    what would those many other things be in the Bible beyond the few things the confessions teach about sexual self control?

    That those who cant get married should work at celebacy with the aid of the HS?

    Doesnt that turn what the confessions say clearly and exactly on its head??!!

  • fws

    tom @ 136

    i hope you realize that there is nothing in the doing you describe that is not identical to what a pagan also is to do and can do in thought word and deed. it is the Law of God written in their Reason that is the SAME law found in the decalog that extorts this behavior out of both their old adam and ours.

    it is really simple here:

    ALL we can see and do that is good is what God is doing TO us by the Law extorting justice out of Old Adam so goodness and mercy for others canbe made to happen.

    all that is l new creation, is something God has already done IN us, and completely so, by the creation of new man in baptism.

    All we do? Law killing us. The Holy Spirit is making us do this!
    Holy Spirit is doing it? Gospel making alive with no doing necessary.

  • fws

    tom @ 136

    i hope you realize that there is nothing in the doing you describe that is not identical to what a pagan also is to do and can do in thought word and deed. it is the Law of God written in their Reason that is the SAME law found in the decalog that extorts this behavior out of both their old adam and ours.

    it is really simple here:

    ALL we can see and do that is good is what God is doing TO us by the Law extorting justice out of Old Adam so goodness and mercy for others canbe made to happen.

    all that is l new creation, is something God has already done IN us, and completely so, by the creation of new man in baptism.

    All we do? Law killing us. The Holy Spirit is making us do this!
    Holy Spirit is doing it? Gospel making alive with no doing necessary.

  • fws

    tom @ 136

    while it is true that it is our Old Adam doing the Law. it is God using the Law to drive us to do it!

    in luke 18 that antinomian judge had no faith in god and no respect for his neighbor. shorthand for: he denied that the Law existed.

    So what happened? the law simply would not take no for an answer. It came back again and again. It nagged and nagged. There was not even that love or emotions that antinomians are accused of using as a law-replacement. that nagging conscience is widowed to love.

    so what happens? someone finally persuades the judge to get his thinking right? and then his right thinking results in right actions?

    nope.

    he just gets worn down by that nagging conscience that is dead to l0ve that simply wont go away and will not take no for an answer. sort of like a bad song that insists on playing over and over in your head.

    So he does what the Law works to do: Justice is done. A sacrifice is made. someone is made to pay. someone is made to become dead to rights.

    Your picture of how the Law works looks like we have some choice in the matter.

    We really do not!

    we can obey and serve others willingly, or we can be made to serve others whether we like it or not. but we WILL serve others sexually and in every other way.

  • fws

    tom @ 136

    while it is true that it is our Old Adam doing the Law. it is God using the Law to drive us to do it!

    in luke 18 that antinomian judge had no faith in god and no respect for his neighbor. shorthand for: he denied that the Law existed.

    So what happened? the law simply would not take no for an answer. It came back again and again. It nagged and nagged. There was not even that love or emotions that antinomians are accused of using as a law-replacement. that nagging conscience is widowed to love.

    so what happens? someone finally persuades the judge to get his thinking right? and then his right thinking results in right actions?

    nope.

    he just gets worn down by that nagging conscience that is dead to l0ve that simply wont go away and will not take no for an answer. sort of like a bad song that insists on playing over and over in your head.

    So he does what the Law works to do: Justice is done. A sacrifice is made. someone is made to pay. someone is made to become dead to rights.

    Your picture of how the Law works looks like we have some choice in the matter.

    We really do not!

    we can obey and serve others willingly, or we can be made to serve others whether we like it or not. but we WILL serve others sexually and in every other way.

  • kerner

    fws, you said:

    “Therefore, it is a mistake to say that the purpose of marriage is to give us an outlet for our sex drive. Correctly put, the purpose of our sex drive is to encourage us to enter into marriage.”

    Quote the part of the text that imparted this contrast to you. that teachings you that the first is a mistake and the second is the correct expression.

    Why cant we discuss the text”

    OK.

    “104] Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother.
    105] To this estate of fatherhood and motherhood God has given the special distinction above all estates that are beneath it that He not simply commands us to love our parents, but to honor them. For with respect to brothers, sisters, and our neighbors in general He commands nothing higher than that we love them, so that He separates and distinguishes father and mother above all other persons upon earth, and places them at His side. 106] For it is a far higher thing to honor than to love one, inasmuch as it comprehends not only love, but also modesty, humility, and deference as to a majesty there hidden, 107] and requires not only that they be addressed kindly and with reverence, but, most of all, that both in heart and with the body we so act as to show that we esteem them very highly, and that, next to God, we regard them as the very highest. For one whom we are to honor from the heart we must truly regard as high and great. ”

    Large Catechism, The Ten Commndments

    and also as to the 6th Commandment:

    “But since this commandment is aimed directly at the state of matrimony and gives occasion to speak of the same, you must well understand and mark, first, how gloriously God honors and extols this estate, inasmuch as by His commandment He both sanctions and guards it. He has sanctioned it above in the Fourth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother; but here He has (as we said) hedged it about and protected it. 207] Therefore He also wishes us to honor it, and to maintain and conduct it as a divine and blessed estate; because, in the first place, He has instituted it before all others, and therefore created man and woman separately (as is evident), not for lewdness, but that they should [legitimately] live together, be fruitful, beget children, and nourish and train them to the honor of God.

    208] Therefore God has also most richly blessed this estate above all others, and, in addition, has bestowed on it and wrapped up in it everything in the world, to the end that this estate might be well and richly provided for. Married life is therefore no jest or presumption; but it is an excellent thing and a matter of divine seriousness. For it is of the highest importance to Him that persons be raised who may serve the world and promote the knowledge of God, godly living, and all virtues, to fight against wickedness and the devil.

    209] Therefore I have always taught that this estate should not be despised nor held in disrepute, as is done by the blind world and our false ecclesiastics, but that it be regarded according to God’s Word, by which it is adorned and sanctified, so that it is not only placed on an equality with other estates, but that it precedes and surpasses them all, whether they be that of emperor, princes, bishops, or whoever they please. For both ecclesiastical and civil estates must humble themselves and all be found in this estate, as we shall hear. 210] Therefore it is not a peculiar estate, but the most common and noblest estate, which pervades all Christendom, yea which extends through all the world.”

    Clearly, from the text, the institutions of marriage and the family are of very great importance to God, so much so that they are estates elevated above all others. They are not mere afterthoughts designed to accomodate our sex drives. Rather, from the text, our sex drives were created to impel us toward marriage and procreation.

  • kerner

    fws, you said:

    “Therefore, it is a mistake to say that the purpose of marriage is to give us an outlet for our sex drive. Correctly put, the purpose of our sex drive is to encourage us to enter into marriage.”

    Quote the part of the text that imparted this contrast to you. that teachings you that the first is a mistake and the second is the correct expression.

    Why cant we discuss the text”

    OK.

    “104] Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother.
    105] To this estate of fatherhood and motherhood God has given the special distinction above all estates that are beneath it that He not simply commands us to love our parents, but to honor them. For with respect to brothers, sisters, and our neighbors in general He commands nothing higher than that we love them, so that He separates and distinguishes father and mother above all other persons upon earth, and places them at His side. 106] For it is a far higher thing to honor than to love one, inasmuch as it comprehends not only love, but also modesty, humility, and deference as to a majesty there hidden, 107] and requires not only that they be addressed kindly and with reverence, but, most of all, that both in heart and with the body we so act as to show that we esteem them very highly, and that, next to God, we regard them as the very highest. For one whom we are to honor from the heart we must truly regard as high and great. ”

    Large Catechism, The Ten Commndments

    and also as to the 6th Commandment:

    “But since this commandment is aimed directly at the state of matrimony and gives occasion to speak of the same, you must well understand and mark, first, how gloriously God honors and extols this estate, inasmuch as by His commandment He both sanctions and guards it. He has sanctioned it above in the Fourth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother; but here He has (as we said) hedged it about and protected it. 207] Therefore He also wishes us to honor it, and to maintain and conduct it as a divine and blessed estate; because, in the first place, He has instituted it before all others, and therefore created man and woman separately (as is evident), not for lewdness, but that they should [legitimately] live together, be fruitful, beget children, and nourish and train them to the honor of God.

    208] Therefore God has also most richly blessed this estate above all others, and, in addition, has bestowed on it and wrapped up in it everything in the world, to the end that this estate might be well and richly provided for. Married life is therefore no jest or presumption; but it is an excellent thing and a matter of divine seriousness. For it is of the highest importance to Him that persons be raised who may serve the world and promote the knowledge of God, godly living, and all virtues, to fight against wickedness and the devil.

    209] Therefore I have always taught that this estate should not be despised nor held in disrepute, as is done by the blind world and our false ecclesiastics, but that it be regarded according to God’s Word, by which it is adorned and sanctified, so that it is not only placed on an equality with other estates, but that it precedes and surpasses them all, whether they be that of emperor, princes, bishops, or whoever they please. For both ecclesiastical and civil estates must humble themselves and all be found in this estate, as we shall hear. 210] Therefore it is not a peculiar estate, but the most common and noblest estate, which pervades all Christendom, yea which extends through all the world.”

    Clearly, from the text, the institutions of marriage and the family are of very great importance to God, so much so that they are estates elevated above all others. They are not mere afterthoughts designed to accomodate our sex drives. Rather, from the text, our sex drives were created to impel us toward marriage and procreation.

  • kerner

    It is only after laying the foundation of the importance of the estates of marriage and parenthood that the Large Catechism moves on to this:

    “In the second place, you must know also that it is not only an honorable, but also a necessary state, and it is solemnly commanded by God that, in general, in all conditions, men and women, who were created for it(Marriage), shall be found in this estate; yet with some exceptions (although few) whom God has especially excepted, so that they are not fit for the married estate, or whom He has released by a high, supernatural gift that they can maintain chastity without this estate. 212] For where nature has its course, as it is implanted by God, it is not possible to remain chaste without marriage. For flesh and blood remain flesh and blood, and the natural inclination and excitement have their course without let or hindrance, as everybody sees and feels. In order, therefore, that it may be the more easy in some degree to avoid inchastity, God has commanded the estate of matrimony, that every one may have his proper portion and be satisfied therewith; although God’s grace besides is required in order that the heart also may be pure. ”

    So we see that marriage and the family precede sex drive in importance for God’s design. At the very most, we might conclude that sex was created to encourage marriage and families, and marriage was created to give a purpose to sex, therefore these mat be co-equal; different sides of the same coin.

    But what we cannot escape from is that, according to the Lutheran confessions, male/female marriage and the family, and human sex drive, are inextricable bound together. There is no legitimate place for our sex drive outside the matrix of male/female marriage and, ideally, the family.

    Not that a lot of people don’t try. For many (perhaps the majority of) heterosexual men, it is the monogamy and commitment that we don’t like. For many heterosexual men, their sex drive leads them to want to treat sex as a trip to Baskin Robbins, sampling as many flavors as the can for the sheer pleasure of it all. And the last thing they want is to have to shoulder all the responsibility for wife and children that marriage requires. All the more so as their wives get older and less sexy. This is why so many dump the aging mothers of their children for new trophy wive. Gay men, on the other hand, want to jettison the female component of marriage, claiming they want to keep the monogamy component (although I suspect that gay men as a group would be no better than straight men at monogamy).

    But the point of the text is that no one can just cherry pick the parts of the God ordained male/female marriage sexuality institution that appeals to him and leave out the rest. The text is saying that it is a package deal and each of us has to accept the whole thing. And if there is some part of it that doesn’t appeal to us, it is because we have fallen and corrupt natures that don’t want to love and serve God and our neighbors the way God intended us to.

  • kerner

    It is only after laying the foundation of the importance of the estates of marriage and parenthood that the Large Catechism moves on to this:

    “In the second place, you must know also that it is not only an honorable, but also a necessary state, and it is solemnly commanded by God that, in general, in all conditions, men and women, who were created for it(Marriage), shall be found in this estate; yet with some exceptions (although few) whom God has especially excepted, so that they are not fit for the married estate, or whom He has released by a high, supernatural gift that they can maintain chastity without this estate. 212] For where nature has its course, as it is implanted by God, it is not possible to remain chaste without marriage. For flesh and blood remain flesh and blood, and the natural inclination and excitement have their course without let or hindrance, as everybody sees and feels. In order, therefore, that it may be the more easy in some degree to avoid inchastity, God has commanded the estate of matrimony, that every one may have his proper portion and be satisfied therewith; although God’s grace besides is required in order that the heart also may be pure. ”

    So we see that marriage and the family precede sex drive in importance for God’s design. At the very most, we might conclude that sex was created to encourage marriage and families, and marriage was created to give a purpose to sex, therefore these mat be co-equal; different sides of the same coin.

    But what we cannot escape from is that, according to the Lutheran confessions, male/female marriage and the family, and human sex drive, are inextricable bound together. There is no legitimate place for our sex drive outside the matrix of male/female marriage and, ideally, the family.

    Not that a lot of people don’t try. For many (perhaps the majority of) heterosexual men, it is the monogamy and commitment that we don’t like. For many heterosexual men, their sex drive leads them to want to treat sex as a trip to Baskin Robbins, sampling as many flavors as the can for the sheer pleasure of it all. And the last thing they want is to have to shoulder all the responsibility for wife and children that marriage requires. All the more so as their wives get older and less sexy. This is why so many dump the aging mothers of their children for new trophy wive. Gay men, on the other hand, want to jettison the female component of marriage, claiming they want to keep the monogamy component (although I suspect that gay men as a group would be no better than straight men at monogamy).

    But the point of the text is that no one can just cherry pick the parts of the God ordained male/female marriage sexuality institution that appeals to him and leave out the rest. The text is saying that it is a package deal and each of us has to accept the whole thing. And if there is some part of it that doesn’t appeal to us, it is because we have fallen and corrupt natures that don’t want to love and serve God and our neighbors the way God intended us to.

  • kerner

    And the Apology XXIII follows a similar pattern. The very first point made is this:

    “7 First, Gen. 1:28 teaches that men were created to be fruitful, and that one sex in a proper way should desire the other. For we are speaking not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that appetite which was to have been in nature in its integrity [which would have existed in nature even if it had remained uncorrupted], which they call physical love. And this love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance. But since this ordinance of God cannot be removed without an extraordinary work of God, it follows that the right to contract marriage cannot be removed by statutes or vows. ”

    From this we learn:

    1. Men and women were created to be fruitful and in a proper way to desire each other. and

    2. Men and women would be desiring each other in marriage even if there had been no fall and our natures had remained uncorrupted.

    There was no promiscuity nor any gay sexual orientation until after the fall, Frank, what does that tell you?

    But it is only after laying this primary foundation of where marriage came from and how it should be that Apology XXIII continues to say what follows. You are trying to take away that foundation while retaining the parts of the text that seem to support your view. But without the underlying foundation, the parts you are trying to retain fall down.

  • kerner

    And the Apology XXIII follows a similar pattern. The very first point made is this:

    “7 First, Gen. 1:28 teaches that men were created to be fruitful, and that one sex in a proper way should desire the other. For we are speaking not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that appetite which was to have been in nature in its integrity [which would have existed in nature even if it had remained uncorrupted], which they call physical love. And this love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance. But since this ordinance of God cannot be removed without an extraordinary work of God, it follows that the right to contract marriage cannot be removed by statutes or vows. ”

    From this we learn:

    1. Men and women were created to be fruitful and in a proper way to desire each other. and

    2. Men and women would be desiring each other in marriage even if there had been no fall and our natures had remained uncorrupted.

    There was no promiscuity nor any gay sexual orientation until after the fall, Frank, what does that tell you?

    But it is only after laying this primary foundation of where marriage came from and how it should be that Apology XXIII continues to say what follows. You are trying to take away that foundation while retaining the parts of the text that seem to support your view. But without the underlying foundation, the parts you are trying to retain fall down.

  • kerner

    fws @147:

    “Kerner : You say that marriage is about lots of stuff. Cool . I agree. But ALL the texts we are dealing with are about marriage in the narrow context of sexual self control. Period. And we are dealing with THESE texts and not others. this is really really clear”

    It is not clear at all. Especially in ther case of the Large Catechism, the text is talking about Marriage and the family and their importance to God and human civilization, and how sex factors into those very important institutions which are important for reasons far above the comparitively minor fact that they give us a place to put our genitals when we feel the physical need.

    @146:

    “celebacy is NOT avaliable to ALL. In fact, short of a miracle, it is available to NO one”

    But the same can be said for love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance
    (Galatians 5:22-23), so what?

  • kerner

    fws @147:

    “Kerner : You say that marriage is about lots of stuff. Cool . I agree. But ALL the texts we are dealing with are about marriage in the narrow context of sexual self control. Period. And we are dealing with THESE texts and not others. this is really really clear”

    It is not clear at all. Especially in ther case of the Large Catechism, the text is talking about Marriage and the family and their importance to God and human civilization, and how sex factors into those very important institutions which are important for reasons far above the comparitively minor fact that they give us a place to put our genitals when we feel the physical need.

    @146:

    “celebacy is NOT avaliable to ALL. In fact, short of a miracle, it is available to NO one”

    But the same can be said for love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance
    (Galatians 5:22-23), so what?

  • fws

    kerner @ 152, 153 and 154

    bravo Kerner! you actually used the text in a proper way to make the very point that the text makes! Now THAT is how to treat a text.

    You made the point, and directly from the text (aleluia!!) that the main deal is not sex, but rather that marriage was sanctioned by God and is the greatest societal gift to mankind from which all other societal gifts of service to neighbor, good government etc flow. And…
    You made that point brilliantly from the text! Excellent Kerner

    And sex? Well, that is where you went off the rails. In THIS text that part reads like this doesnt it?
    God uses the marriage of OTHERS as a way to safeguard YOUR marriage by using marriage to as ( the only) means of sexual self control. So that is also a purpose of marriage.

    There is no need to read on. I have just fully described both your error and also have identified completely what the text DOES say.

    But if you want to read my thoughts on your specific errors you may read on dear friend. And you are a dear friend Kerner. Someday I hope you and me and Tom will have a cold brasilian beer together!

    You cant seem to resist reading into the text in a couple of places. Why the need to do that Kerner?

    1) you felt the need to bold “men and women” for example . What you bold could be translated as this: “ALL men and women have a natural desire for the opposite sex .” This is a statement of fact they see as being obvious. This obvious fact is used as an argument that…… all must marry short of a miracle happening.
    Because of this very assumption they also assert that those other “unspeakable things” that was probably (we arent told for sure) same gender sex in the monasteries, is caused by the demand for celebacy. Therefore…. all must marry! That is how they construct their argument.

    There is no one arguing that there is another form of ‘natural sexual desire’ beside male/female. Therefore…. ALL are commanded to marry short of a miracle!

    I am not evading the fact that they fully assume that all males and females are, naturally, attracted to the other sex therefore we could also conclude that any other form of sexual desire is not a natural one. No other possiblity occurs in nature! Therefore, naturally , short of a miracle…. ALL are commanded to marry!

    2) You say “Rather, from the text, our sex drives were created to impel us toward marriage and procreation.”

    Where does the text say that the sex drive exists with the purpose of impelling us towards marriage ? What specific text of the confessions is this paraphrasing Kerner?

    3)

    So we see that marriage and the family precede sex drive in importance for God’s design.

    Not in the text. Not anywhere. “sanction and then guard”, not primary/secondary, not precede/succeed, and especially not divine design vs immoral-contrary-to-design.

    So lets pause here. Why “sanction” and not “Divinely Design?” Didnt that word “sanction” strike you as just a little odd or discordant?

    This is the theological reason: There was no marriage before the fall and there will be no marriage after the fall.
    Why not?
    Marriage exists because of the fall.
    Marriage can only be contemplated in the context of the list of curses found in Gen 3. Gen 3 tells us, for example, that men and women were coequal before the fall.
    This is why Lutheranism lists marriage as one of the 3 “governments/ordos/orders” within fallen earthly society.
    Any government is about the Law function of someone being in charge of ordering others to do their duties. it is about the fall. It is about driving Old Adam with the Law.
    Rome’s prattle about design design equaling some natural moral law following aristotle misses the part about the fall. And that hat is why the confessions specifically rejected roman Natural Law theories Kerner!

    To be specific: Thomist natural law has the idea that the Image of God is reflected in Divine Design, ie the Law! That would mean that the Image of God was not fully lost. It was only very very very very badly damaged. So the task is to fan the flame of that weak ember of the image of God to restore us back to that Image. And how do we do that? We fix peoples thinking! We get them to think right and then their actions will follow! Aristotle!

    Lutherans say no. The Image of God was COMPLETELY lost. what was that Image of God? It was alone, faith alone in the Works of Another. it was not obedience Adam performed , to not eat from the forbidden fruit that means. It was Adam’s faith that God would do the work to provide ALL Adam needed. not eating the fruit was the fruit of that faith that was God’s Image reflected. It was not the essence of the matter. So the Image was COMPLETELY lost. it was the right emotion in the heart that was lost. And only in baptism is that right emotion or heart restored.

    This is all the Law/Gospel discussion that is behind the Lutheran rejection of Natural Law theories Kerner. I am sorry I cant do a better job of articulating it but I hope this makes some sense to you.

    So then, this discussion of marriage and the un-naturalness of celebacy (!!) falls into the epicenter of that law and gospel distinction debate that is much more important to our theology!

    This is really the part you need to work at understanding Kerner I would suggest. But first you need to understand what the Confessions mean when they employ the word “Law”. You are not there yet! Again, I would urge you to parse Luthers preface to his 1545 romans translation. It is all right there. and it is such a short read! There he defines all terms such as law and sin etc in the Lutheran way. Luther and the confessions say that Rome reads that word “law” and therefore the word “sin” in the way aristotle would read it or a barrister in a courtroom would read it. And they say this reading makes us blind to the central point of the entire Bible.

    At the very most, we might conclude that sex was created to encourage marriage and families, and marriage was created to give a purpose to sex, therefore these mat be co-equal; different sides of the same coin.

    This is not in the text. No we are not permitied to conclude that from THIS text. it is foreign to the text.

    according to the Lutheran confessions, male/female marriage and the family, and human sex drive, are inextricable bound together.

    No. that is not precisely it. It is sanction and then guard. marriage is sanctioned. And then it is guarded from someone outside that marriage precisely by , also, having that man be married as well. See my lead in comments. THAT is the structure. That is what the text says.

    There is no legitimate place for our sex drive outside the matrix of male/female marriage and, ideally, the family. etc etc etc and then you go on and on…

    The text says this. it has a different thrust than what you are saying. Let me repeat myself here! The text (everywhere in the confessions!) is saying something over and over and over and… well… over. It says that ALL are to get married short of a miracle.. That is the full thrust of all this. Not anything else you are injecting! :

    For in this way we might in the course of time bring it about that married life be restored to honor, and that there might be less of the filthy, dissolute, disorderly doings which now run riot the world over in open prostitution and other shameful vices arising from disregard of married life. 218] Therefore it is the duty of parents and the government to see to it that our youth be brought up to discipline and respectability, and when they have come to years of maturity, to provide for them, that is, to have them married.

  • fws

    kerner @ 152, 153 and 154

    bravo Kerner! you actually used the text in a proper way to make the very point that the text makes! Now THAT is how to treat a text.

    You made the point, and directly from the text (aleluia!!) that the main deal is not sex, but rather that marriage was sanctioned by God and is the greatest societal gift to mankind from which all other societal gifts of service to neighbor, good government etc flow. And…
    You made that point brilliantly from the text! Excellent Kerner

    And sex? Well, that is where you went off the rails. In THIS text that part reads like this doesnt it?
    God uses the marriage of OTHERS as a way to safeguard YOUR marriage by using marriage to as ( the only) means of sexual self control. So that is also a purpose of marriage.

    There is no need to read on. I have just fully described both your error and also have identified completely what the text DOES say.

    But if you want to read my thoughts on your specific errors you may read on dear friend. And you are a dear friend Kerner. Someday I hope you and me and Tom will have a cold brasilian beer together!

    You cant seem to resist reading into the text in a couple of places. Why the need to do that Kerner?

    1) you felt the need to bold “men and women” for example . What you bold could be translated as this: “ALL men and women have a natural desire for the opposite sex .” This is a statement of fact they see as being obvious. This obvious fact is used as an argument that…… all must marry short of a miracle happening.
    Because of this very assumption they also assert that those other “unspeakable things” that was probably (we arent told for sure) same gender sex in the monasteries, is caused by the demand for celebacy. Therefore…. all must marry! That is how they construct their argument.

    There is no one arguing that there is another form of ‘natural sexual desire’ beside male/female. Therefore…. ALL are commanded to marry short of a miracle!

    I am not evading the fact that they fully assume that all males and females are, naturally, attracted to the other sex therefore we could also conclude that any other form of sexual desire is not a natural one. No other possiblity occurs in nature! Therefore, naturally , short of a miracle…. ALL are commanded to marry!

    2) You say “Rather, from the text, our sex drives were created to impel us toward marriage and procreation.”

    Where does the text say that the sex drive exists with the purpose of impelling us towards marriage ? What specific text of the confessions is this paraphrasing Kerner?

    3)

    So we see that marriage and the family precede sex drive in importance for God’s design.

    Not in the text. Not anywhere. “sanction and then guard”, not primary/secondary, not precede/succeed, and especially not divine design vs immoral-contrary-to-design.

    So lets pause here. Why “sanction” and not “Divinely Design?” Didnt that word “sanction” strike you as just a little odd or discordant?

    This is the theological reason: There was no marriage before the fall and there will be no marriage after the fall.
    Why not?
    Marriage exists because of the fall.
    Marriage can only be contemplated in the context of the list of curses found in Gen 3. Gen 3 tells us, for example, that men and women were coequal before the fall.
    This is why Lutheranism lists marriage as one of the 3 “governments/ordos/orders” within fallen earthly society.
    Any government is about the Law function of someone being in charge of ordering others to do their duties. it is about the fall. It is about driving Old Adam with the Law.
    Rome’s prattle about design design equaling some natural moral law following aristotle misses the part about the fall. And that hat is why the confessions specifically rejected roman Natural Law theories Kerner!

    To be specific: Thomist natural law has the idea that the Image of God is reflected in Divine Design, ie the Law! That would mean that the Image of God was not fully lost. It was only very very very very badly damaged. So the task is to fan the flame of that weak ember of the image of God to restore us back to that Image. And how do we do that? We fix peoples thinking! We get them to think right and then their actions will follow! Aristotle!

    Lutherans say no. The Image of God was COMPLETELY lost. what was that Image of God? It was alone, faith alone in the Works of Another. it was not obedience Adam performed , to not eat from the forbidden fruit that means. It was Adam’s faith that God would do the work to provide ALL Adam needed. not eating the fruit was the fruit of that faith that was God’s Image reflected. It was not the essence of the matter. So the Image was COMPLETELY lost. it was the right emotion in the heart that was lost. And only in baptism is that right emotion or heart restored.

    This is all the Law/Gospel discussion that is behind the Lutheran rejection of Natural Law theories Kerner. I am sorry I cant do a better job of articulating it but I hope this makes some sense to you.

    So then, this discussion of marriage and the un-naturalness of celebacy (!!) falls into the epicenter of that law and gospel distinction debate that is much more important to our theology!

    This is really the part you need to work at understanding Kerner I would suggest. But first you need to understand what the Confessions mean when they employ the word “Law”. You are not there yet! Again, I would urge you to parse Luthers preface to his 1545 romans translation. It is all right there. and it is such a short read! There he defines all terms such as law and sin etc in the Lutheran way. Luther and the confessions say that Rome reads that word “law” and therefore the word “sin” in the way aristotle would read it or a barrister in a courtroom would read it. And they say this reading makes us blind to the central point of the entire Bible.

    At the very most, we might conclude that sex was created to encourage marriage and families, and marriage was created to give a purpose to sex, therefore these mat be co-equal; different sides of the same coin.

    This is not in the text. No we are not permitied to conclude that from THIS text. it is foreign to the text.

    according to the Lutheran confessions, male/female marriage and the family, and human sex drive, are inextricable bound together.

    No. that is not precisely it. It is sanction and then guard. marriage is sanctioned. And then it is guarded from someone outside that marriage precisely by , also, having that man be married as well. See my lead in comments. THAT is the structure. That is what the text says.

    There is no legitimate place for our sex drive outside the matrix of male/female marriage and, ideally, the family. etc etc etc and then you go on and on…

    The text says this. it has a different thrust than what you are saying. Let me repeat myself here! The text (everywhere in the confessions!) is saying something over and over and over and… well… over. It says that ALL are to get married short of a miracle.. That is the full thrust of all this. Not anything else you are injecting! :

    For in this way we might in the course of time bring it about that married life be restored to honor, and that there might be less of the filthy, dissolute, disorderly doings which now run riot the world over in open prostitution and other shameful vices arising from disregard of married life. 218] Therefore it is the duty of parents and the government to see to it that our youth be brought up to discipline and respectability, and when they have come to years of maturity, to provide for them, that is, to have them married.

  • Tom Hering

    tom so what if the Bible has more to say. If one wishes to say ” I am Lutheran’ one would need to harmonize those additional things to what the Confessions teach.

    Whoa! Frank! Did you really just say that our Confessions are the norming norm and the Scriptures are the normed norm?

  • Tom Hering

    tom so what if the Bible has more to say. If one wishes to say ” I am Lutheran’ one would need to harmonize those additional things to what the Confessions teach.

    Whoa! Frank! Did you really just say that our Confessions are the norming norm and the Scriptures are the normed norm?

  • fws

    Kerner and Tom :

    Let me try to offer up a criticism to help you see what I am trying to drive at. “what would be a summary that characterizes the entire text of all three confessions? I would say it is this:

    God (A) sanctions (commandment 4) and then (B) guards Marriage (commandment 6) .

    There.

    In a nutshell.

    “sanction” and “guard”. we dont have to guess what is meant by these two words!

    There is nothing else in the text at all beyond these two things.

    And in saying all that, it also says that your getting married, alone is what can provide the sexual self control that you need, for the purpose of protecting the marriages of others from you .

    Kerner and Tom. In contrast you both fail to go to the text to see what is meant by “sanction” and then “guard”. Instead your interest in the text is not for it to inform and dictate your views but rather to mine for proof text of a previously held viewpoint. The text itself is quite elegantly simple to understand if we avoid attempting to prove something with the text.

    Expanded:

    We are to see that marriage was sanctioned by God. What is it that God ” sanctions” in Marriage? :

    Summary: within the earthly government of family, we are taught to obey also the two other governments of society, and the church , because they are all governments in exactly the same sense! Ihave just summarize the entire 4th commandment in the LC!

    <blockquote] [FAMILY:] For God has assigned this estate [read "government" here!] the highest place [and so we are to be obedient to this government].
    [obey this government and] have everything which belongs to long life, such as health, wife, and children, livelihood, peace, good government, etc., without which this life can neither be enjoyed in cheerfulness nor long endure. [or...] obey the hangman; if you will not obey him, then submit to the skeleton-man, i.e., death … Either if you obey Him, rendering love and service, He will reward you abundantly with all good, or if you offend Him, He will send upon you both death and the hangman….

    [SOCIETY:] …In this commandment belongs a further statement regarding all kinds of obedience to persons in authority who have to command and to govern. For all authority flows and is propagated from the authority of parents…..

    [CHURCH:] … [therefore we are to see that ] we have two kinds of fathers…. fathers in blood and fathers in office, or those to whom belongs the care of the family, and those to whom belongs the care of the country….there are yet spiritual fathers; …as St. Paul boasts his fatherhood 1 Cor. 4:15, … since they are fathers they are entitled to their honor, even above all others. … those who would be Christians are under obligation … [to] deal well with them and provide for them.

    [FINALLY A WORD TO THOSE WHO GOVERN:]

    167]… it would be well to preach to the parents also, and such as bear their office, as to how they should deport themselves toward those who are committed to them for their government.

    177] And because this is disregarded, God so fearfully punishes the world that there is no discipline, government, or peace, of which we all complain, but do not see that it is our fault; for as we train them, we have spoiled and disobedient children and subjects.

    (B) ” GUARD”

    God uses the marriage of OTHERS as a way to safeguard YOUR marriage by using marriage as ( the only) means of sexual self control he has provided on earth, short of a miracle.

    So “guarding” is about sex. And that sexual guarding is also a purpose of marriage,and in that specific sense and no other, at least within the context of the confesssions we are quoting here.

    now it is obvious that there would BE no government if there was no sex. So how do the Confessions deal with this fact? They say that the urge to procreate falls in the same class as the Law of Gravity. it just is. it is an amoral fact of life. And then our coveting that is the topic of commandments 4-10 fans this fact into the flame of sin.

    sex and procreation simply WILL happen with or without being governed by marriage! And this was true before the fall as well. But now after the fall and only because of it, we must be governed by that government called marriage. because of the fall, the government of marriage, along with the other two governments become necessary.

    see how this is very very different from the logical chain of roman catholic thomist aristotelian natural law? Lutherans deal with the consequence of sin. Rome does not.

  • fws

    Kerner and Tom :

    Let me try to offer up a criticism to help you see what I am trying to drive at. “what would be a summary that characterizes the entire text of all three confessions? I would say it is this:

    God (A) sanctions (commandment 4) and then (B) guards Marriage (commandment 6) .

    There.

    In a nutshell.

    “sanction” and “guard”. we dont have to guess what is meant by these two words!

    There is nothing else in the text at all beyond these two things.

    And in saying all that, it also says that your getting married, alone is what can provide the sexual self control that you need, for the purpose of protecting the marriages of others from you .

    Kerner and Tom. In contrast you both fail to go to the text to see what is meant by “sanction” and then “guard”. Instead your interest in the text is not for it to inform and dictate your views but rather to mine for proof text of a previously held viewpoint. The text itself is quite elegantly simple to understand if we avoid attempting to prove something with the text.

    Expanded:

    We are to see that marriage was sanctioned by God. What is it that God ” sanctions” in Marriage? :

    Summary: within the earthly government of family, we are taught to obey also the two other governments of society, and the church , because they are all governments in exactly the same sense! Ihave just summarize the entire 4th commandment in the LC!

    <blockquote] [FAMILY:] For God has assigned this estate [read "government" here!] the highest place [and so we are to be obedient to this government].
    [obey this government and] have everything which belongs to long life, such as health, wife, and children, livelihood, peace, good government, etc., without which this life can neither be enjoyed in cheerfulness nor long endure. [or...] obey the hangman; if you will not obey him, then submit to the skeleton-man, i.e., death … Either if you obey Him, rendering love and service, He will reward you abundantly with all good, or if you offend Him, He will send upon you both death and the hangman….

    [SOCIETY:] …In this commandment belongs a further statement regarding all kinds of obedience to persons in authority who have to command and to govern. For all authority flows and is propagated from the authority of parents…..

    [CHURCH:] … [therefore we are to see that ] we have two kinds of fathers…. fathers in blood and fathers in office, or those to whom belongs the care of the family, and those to whom belongs the care of the country….there are yet spiritual fathers; …as St. Paul boasts his fatherhood 1 Cor. 4:15, … since they are fathers they are entitled to their honor, even above all others. … those who would be Christians are under obligation … [to] deal well with them and provide for them.

    [FINALLY A WORD TO THOSE WHO GOVERN:]

    167]… it would be well to preach to the parents also, and such as bear their office, as to how they should deport themselves toward those who are committed to them for their government.

    177] And because this is disregarded, God so fearfully punishes the world that there is no discipline, government, or peace, of which we all complain, but do not see that it is our fault; for as we train them, we have spoiled and disobedient children and subjects.

    (B) ” GUARD”

    God uses the marriage of OTHERS as a way to safeguard YOUR marriage by using marriage as ( the only) means of sexual self control he has provided on earth, short of a miracle.

    So “guarding” is about sex. And that sexual guarding is also a purpose of marriage,and in that specific sense and no other, at least within the context of the confesssions we are quoting here.

    now it is obvious that there would BE no government if there was no sex. So how do the Confessions deal with this fact? They say that the urge to procreate falls in the same class as the Law of Gravity. it just is. it is an amoral fact of life. And then our coveting that is the topic of commandments 4-10 fans this fact into the flame of sin.

    sex and procreation simply WILL happen with or without being governed by marriage! And this was true before the fall as well. But now after the fall and only because of it, we must be governed by that government called marriage. because of the fall, the government of marriage, along with the other two governments become necessary.

    see how this is very very different from the logical chain of roman catholic thomist aristotelian natural law? Lutherans deal with the consequence of sin. Rome does not.

  • fws

    tom and kerner:

    You two are forcing me to dig more deeply into what the text DOES say and not just focus on what it does NOT say or what it categorically denies (eg that celibacy is available to all).

    That is a great thing! Thanks!

    We Lutherans have lost the idea that marriage and church are not vocations but are governments in exactly the same sense as the civil government is. And so it is proper to say that WITHIN the government/estate/order/ordo of marriage there are vocations: child, mother , father, manservant, maidservant, butler, choffeur, etc etc.

    Consider how the Lutherans have shifed the definition of Marriage away from what you read in Roman Catholic stuff. We despiritualize all that and also desacramentalize it as well.

  • fws

    tom and kerner:

    You two are forcing me to dig more deeply into what the text DOES say and not just focus on what it does NOT say or what it categorically denies (eg that celibacy is available to all).

    That is a great thing! Thanks!

    We Lutherans have lost the idea that marriage and church are not vocations but are governments in exactly the same sense as the civil government is. And so it is proper to say that WITHIN the government/estate/order/ordo of marriage there are vocations: child, mother , father, manservant, maidservant, butler, choffeur, etc etc.

    Consider how the Lutherans have shifed the definition of Marriage away from what you read in Roman Catholic stuff. We despiritualize all that and also desacramentalize it as well.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’m not sure I agree that thee was no “marriage ” before the3 fall or that Adam and eEven were co-equal before the fall. I also don’ think rape was just a propetrty crime in the OT days or that women were merely property. I don’t argue about those things because there are main points to discuss, but just saying.

    But on to the main points.

    Frank: “What you bold could be translated as this: “ALL men and women have a natural desire for the opposite sex .”

    kerner: Frank, now you are the one interpreting the text rather than just reading it.

    Frank: “Marriage exists because of the fall”

    Kerner: Same problem.

    Apology XXIII says:

    Gen. 1:28 teaches that men were created to be fruitful, and that one sex in a proper way should desire the other. For we are speaking not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that appetite which was to have been in nature in its integrity [which would have existed in nature even if it had remained uncorrupted], which they call physical love. And this love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance. But since this ordinance of God cannot be removed without an extraordinary work of God, it follows that the right to contract marriage cannot be removed by statutes or vows.”

    and

    ” because this creation or divine ordinance in man is a natural right, jurists have accordingly said wisely and correctly that the union of male and female belongs to natural right. But since natural right is immutable, the right to contract marriage must always remain. For where nature does not change, that ordinance also with which God has endowed nature does not change, and cannot be removed by human laws.”

    Thus, marriage was before the fall and is now after the fall. It is a natural right because it was, and still is, a divine ordinance. That is, a law.

    But before the fall the Law was not the terrifying deadly thing that it is today. As Luther said in his refutation of the Antinomians:

    “When Adam was first created, the law was for him not only something possible, but even something enjoyable. He rendered the obedience the law required with all his will and with gladness of heart, and did so perfectly. Yet what now, after the fall, is impossible, is so not by fault of the law, but by our fault.”

    And this contains the response to our dilema, if not a solution.

    Frank: There is no one arguing that there is another form of ‘natural sexual desire’ beside male/female. Therefore…. ALL are commanded to marry short of a miracle!

    I am not evading the fact that they fully assume that all males and females are, naturally, attracted to the other sex therefore we could also conclude that any other form of sexual desire is not a natural one. No other possiblity occurs in nature! Therefore, naturally , short of a miracle…. ALL are commanded to marry.”

    Kerner: Almost true. The confessions do not necessarily assume that all sexual desire will seek out and be satisfied by man/woman marriage. They assume that all sexual desire SHOULD seek out and be satisfied by marriage. Apo9logy XXIII does in fact say:

    ” Paul says, 1 Cor. 7:2: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife. This now is an express command pertaining to all who are not fit for celibacy…It is better to marry than to burn, because they do not remove the nature or concupiscence. 17] Therefore all who burn, retain the right to marry. By this commandment of Paul: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, all are held bound who do not truly keep themselves continent; the decision concerning which pertains to the conscience of each one.”

    I agree the confessions do in fact say that marriage, that is for a man to have a wife (a woman) is the only means of sexual self control that the great majority of men are going to get. Only a small minority will be given another special gift.

    But there is no guaranty anywhere in the text that this means of self control is going to universally actually control human sexuality. It is not mere retreat into anecdote to note that the institution of marriage has not eliminated sexual sin.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I’m not sure I agree that thee was no “marriage ” before the3 fall or that Adam and eEven were co-equal before the fall. I also don’ think rape was just a propetrty crime in the OT days or that women were merely property. I don’t argue about those things because there are main points to discuss, but just saying.

    But on to the main points.

    Frank: “What you bold could be translated as this: “ALL men and women have a natural desire for the opposite sex .”

    kerner: Frank, now you are the one interpreting the text rather than just reading it.

    Frank: “Marriage exists because of the fall”

    Kerner: Same problem.

    Apology XXIII says:

    Gen. 1:28 teaches that men were created to be fruitful, and that one sex in a proper way should desire the other. For we are speaking not of concupiscence, which is sin, but of that appetite which was to have been in nature in its integrity [which would have existed in nature even if it had remained uncorrupted], which they call physical love. And this love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance. But since this ordinance of God cannot be removed without an extraordinary work of God, it follows that the right to contract marriage cannot be removed by statutes or vows.”

    and

    ” because this creation or divine ordinance in man is a natural right, jurists have accordingly said wisely and correctly that the union of male and female belongs to natural right. But since natural right is immutable, the right to contract marriage must always remain. For where nature does not change, that ordinance also with which God has endowed nature does not change, and cannot be removed by human laws.”

    Thus, marriage was before the fall and is now after the fall. It is a natural right because it was, and still is, a divine ordinance. That is, a law.

    But before the fall the Law was not the terrifying deadly thing that it is today. As Luther said in his refutation of the Antinomians:

    “When Adam was first created, the law was for him not only something possible, but even something enjoyable. He rendered the obedience the law required with all his will and with gladness of heart, and did so perfectly. Yet what now, after the fall, is impossible, is so not by fault of the law, but by our fault.”

    And this contains the response to our dilema, if not a solution.

    Frank: There is no one arguing that there is another form of ‘natural sexual desire’ beside male/female. Therefore…. ALL are commanded to marry short of a miracle!

    I am not evading the fact that they fully assume that all males and females are, naturally, attracted to the other sex therefore we could also conclude that any other form of sexual desire is not a natural one. No other possiblity occurs in nature! Therefore, naturally , short of a miracle…. ALL are commanded to marry.”

    Kerner: Almost true. The confessions do not necessarily assume that all sexual desire will seek out and be satisfied by man/woman marriage. They assume that all sexual desire SHOULD seek out and be satisfied by marriage. Apo9logy XXIII does in fact say:

    ” Paul says, 1 Cor. 7:2: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife. This now is an express command pertaining to all who are not fit for celibacy…It is better to marry than to burn, because they do not remove the nature or concupiscence. 17] Therefore all who burn, retain the right to marry. By this commandment of Paul: To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, all are held bound who do not truly keep themselves continent; the decision concerning which pertains to the conscience of each one.”

    I agree the confessions do in fact say that marriage, that is for a man to have a wife (a woman) is the only means of sexual self control that the great majority of men are going to get. Only a small minority will be given another special gift.

    But there is no guaranty anywhere in the text that this means of self control is going to universally actually control human sexuality. It is not mere retreat into anecdote to note that the institution of marriage has not eliminated sexual sin.

  • fws

    kerner

    so then, in the Lutheran context, it simply doesnt fit to talk about marriage between male and female as being “Original Divine Design” any more than it would make sense to describe or speak about the civil government or church government in that way. See what I am saying? it is an entirely different thought structure and paradymn!

    see this:

    In commandment 6 is the complete summary of 4 and 6:

    206] …this commandment is aimed directly at the state of matrimony …by His commandment He both (A) sanctions and(B) guards it.
    He has (A) sanctioned it above in the Fourth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother;
    but here He has (as we said) (B) hedged it about and protected it.

    And then there is also this that follows immediately after, that could be made to assert a context of Thomist Natural Law.

    207] ….
    1) INSTITUTION: He has instituted it before all others, and
    2) MALE/FEMALE SEX DRIVE: therefore created man and woman separately (as is evident),
    3)SEXUAL SELF-CONTROL/GUARDING: not for lewdness, but that they should [legitimately] live together,
    4)PROCREATION: be fruitful, 6) beget children, and
    5)GOVERNMENT: nourish and train them to the honor of God.

    The confessions deal with each of these 5 elements in the body of the 3 texts we are all looking at. It is how they interrelate all these elements that make your Thomistic views Kerner and your Luther-of-1520-and-Roman-Confutation views different.

    So you can prooftext, and still really miss the point, because you are really not interested in where they place these elements in the ecology of their argument.

    There argument is this:
    a) INSTITUTION/GOVERNMENT marriage is a government we need since the fall into sin and is the training center for the other two governments of society and church. Marriage is the foundation of the other two governments established first and before all others. Commandment 4)
    b)SELF CONTROL/GUARDING and God uses the marriage of others to protect your marriage
    c) MALE/FEMALE SEX DRIVE: It will always happen to ALL , short of a miracle, just as the Law of Gravity will happen, So any attempt at chastity is futile and will lead to a tragic end. And since sin enflames this ordinance in ALL, ALL are commanded to marry.

    Now the Roman format. It is more logically tight than I am presenting it:

    a) We restore the shattered Image of God by returning our actions to conformity to the Divine Design.
    b) we to this by disciplining our inward thought in order to control our outward actions.
    c) Divine Design is evident to Reason in nature and is MALE/FEMALE SEX DRIVE. Note that “natural appetites” are precisely that, therefore we cannot be held culpable for them , therefore they are not sin. Lots of wiggle room here. In the EXACT same way homosexuality is “objectively disordered” but is not sin, because it is not the fault of gays who are gay. This is a whole different world of thought. The dots are connected differently. so much so that, it is difficult to do a one to one correspondence.
    d) so how does celibacy, marriage etc fit into their schema? not in the same way! But you are trying to use some of their elements and overlay them into ours. Why? Their schema is very very reasonable is why. It appeals to reason much more than our schema does!

  • fws

    kerner

    so then, in the Lutheran context, it simply doesnt fit to talk about marriage between male and female as being “Original Divine Design” any more than it would make sense to describe or speak about the civil government or church government in that way. See what I am saying? it is an entirely different thought structure and paradymn!

    see this:

    In commandment 6 is the complete summary of 4 and 6:

    206] …this commandment is aimed directly at the state of matrimony …by His commandment He both (A) sanctions and(B) guards it.
    He has (A) sanctioned it above in the Fourth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother;
    but here He has (as we said) (B) hedged it about and protected it.

    And then there is also this that follows immediately after, that could be made to assert a context of Thomist Natural Law.

    207] ….
    1) INSTITUTION: He has instituted it before all others, and
    2) MALE/FEMALE SEX DRIVE: therefore created man and woman separately (as is evident),
    3)SEXUAL SELF-CONTROL/GUARDING: not for lewdness, but that they should [legitimately] live together,
    4)PROCREATION: be fruitful, 6) beget children, and
    5)GOVERNMENT: nourish and train them to the honor of God.

    The confessions deal with each of these 5 elements in the body of the 3 texts we are all looking at. It is how they interrelate all these elements that make your Thomistic views Kerner and your Luther-of-1520-and-Roman-Confutation views different.

    So you can prooftext, and still really miss the point, because you are really not interested in where they place these elements in the ecology of their argument.

    There argument is this:
    a) INSTITUTION/GOVERNMENT marriage is a government we need since the fall into sin and is the training center for the other two governments of society and church. Marriage is the foundation of the other two governments established first and before all others. Commandment 4)
    b)SELF CONTROL/GUARDING and God uses the marriage of others to protect your marriage
    c) MALE/FEMALE SEX DRIVE: It will always happen to ALL , short of a miracle, just as the Law of Gravity will happen, So any attempt at chastity is futile and will lead to a tragic end. And since sin enflames this ordinance in ALL, ALL are commanded to marry.

    Now the Roman format. It is more logically tight than I am presenting it:

    a) We restore the shattered Image of God by returning our actions to conformity to the Divine Design.
    b) we to this by disciplining our inward thought in order to control our outward actions.
    c) Divine Design is evident to Reason in nature and is MALE/FEMALE SEX DRIVE. Note that “natural appetites” are precisely that, therefore we cannot be held culpable for them , therefore they are not sin. Lots of wiggle room here. In the EXACT same way homosexuality is “objectively disordered” but is not sin, because it is not the fault of gays who are gay. This is a whole different world of thought. The dots are connected differently. so much so that, it is difficult to do a one to one correspondence.
    d) so how does celibacy, marriage etc fit into their schema? not in the same way! But you are trying to use some of their elements and overlay them into ours. Why? Their schema is very very reasonable is why. It appeals to reason much more than our schema does!

  • kerner

    Time for one of those imaginary dialogue comments.

    St. Paul and the confessions: If you have sexual desire and no special gift to help you control it, you should get married.

    Gay man: But marriage does not solve my problem. I still burn with sexual desire. But my wife is not the preferred object of that desire. I frequently have to imagine someone else to even be interested in sex with her. Marital sex is just a chore. How can marriage be the ONLY solution to the sex drive of someone like me?

    Most straight men: But marriage does not solve my problem either. Maybe it got close when my wife was young and hot, but that lasted only a very short time. In a very little while my wife figured out all my faults and started having children. She got older and put on weight. I have certain techniques I would like to try that she refuses to consider. Marital sex is just a chore. How can marriage be the ONLY solution to the sex drive of someone like me?

    Gay man and most straight men in unison: You say that marriage is the only solution to our sex drives, but we don’t like it. How can you expect us to negate our sex drives? That’s impossible! And we are on the horns of a dilema.

    Lutheran theologian: What did you expect? Marriage is the law, and in this fallen world, the law always kills. Oh, the law has uses. It curbs our sinful desires to some degree. It shows us our sins. It even guides Christians as to how to love God and our neighbors. But it is ridiculous to think that the law will be possible for you to keep consistenly or that you will even want to keep it. Your hearts will never be fully in the spirit of the law in this life. And, therefore, you will never be able to keep the letter of the law for more than a little while, and then you will break that too. The law always kills.

    So, it makes perfect sense that the OLNY means of sexual self control doesn’t actually prevent you from committing sexual sins consistently. Your fallen and corrupt natures prevent that. The Holy Spirit will help you obey the law (of marriage, like all other law) in part in this life, but you’ll still end up running to the foot of the cross every time you fail to keep it, which will be often. So, your common dilema is no different that this same dilema that every Christian faces with all the sin in this life, as St. Paul said in Romans 7:

    “14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! ”

    So, sorry fellas. The only means you have to control sexual sin (marriage, i.e. the law) is going to be no more successful that any other part of the law when it comes to controling your sinful natures. Which is to say it wiill not work. You will still need to Gospel to free you from the guilt of your many transgressions.

  • kerner

    Time for one of those imaginary dialogue comments.

    St. Paul and the confessions: If you have sexual desire and no special gift to help you control it, you should get married.

    Gay man: But marriage does not solve my problem. I still burn with sexual desire. But my wife is not the preferred object of that desire. I frequently have to imagine someone else to even be interested in sex with her. Marital sex is just a chore. How can marriage be the ONLY solution to the sex drive of someone like me?

    Most straight men: But marriage does not solve my problem either. Maybe it got close when my wife was young and hot, but that lasted only a very short time. In a very little while my wife figured out all my faults and started having children. She got older and put on weight. I have certain techniques I would like to try that she refuses to consider. Marital sex is just a chore. How can marriage be the ONLY solution to the sex drive of someone like me?

    Gay man and most straight men in unison: You say that marriage is the only solution to our sex drives, but we don’t like it. How can you expect us to negate our sex drives? That’s impossible! And we are on the horns of a dilema.

    Lutheran theologian: What did you expect? Marriage is the law, and in this fallen world, the law always kills. Oh, the law has uses. It curbs our sinful desires to some degree. It shows us our sins. It even guides Christians as to how to love God and our neighbors. But it is ridiculous to think that the law will be possible for you to keep consistenly or that you will even want to keep it. Your hearts will never be fully in the spirit of the law in this life. And, therefore, you will never be able to keep the letter of the law for more than a little while, and then you will break that too. The law always kills.

    So, it makes perfect sense that the OLNY means of sexual self control doesn’t actually prevent you from committing sexual sins consistently. Your fallen and corrupt natures prevent that. The Holy Spirit will help you obey the law (of marriage, like all other law) in part in this life, but you’ll still end up running to the foot of the cross every time you fail to keep it, which will be often. So, your common dilema is no different that this same dilema that every Christian faces with all the sin in this life, as St. Paul said in Romans 7:

    “14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! ”

    So, sorry fellas. The only means you have to control sexual sin (marriage, i.e. the law) is going to be no more successful that any other part of the law when it comes to controling your sinful natures. Which is to say it wiill not work. You will still need to Gospel to free you from the guilt of your many transgressions.

  • kerner

    Frank: “c) MALE/FEMALE SEX DRIVE: It will always happen to ALL ”

    Kerner: So, what are you saying? That the underlying assumptions of the Catechism and Apology XXIII are wrong? Bercause male/female sex drive does NOT (anecdotally) happen to some people?

  • kerner

    Frank: “c) MALE/FEMALE SEX DRIVE: It will always happen to ALL ”

    Kerner: So, what are you saying? That the underlying assumptions of the Catechism and Apology XXIII are wrong? Bercause male/female sex drive does NOT (anecdotally) happen to some people?

  • fws

    kerner @ 160

    No. The text you cited does not say that marriage existed before the fall. it says instead this. Slow down and read more carefully. You are missing their argument. It is a very very carefully contructed one:

    because this creation or divine ordinance in man [ie the sex drive] is a natural right….

    this “ordinance” is the sex drive Kerner we know from the context.

    Important sidebar: Remember how I explain that there are two categories of Law in the Confessions…

    1) Written in Reason and about what we can do ,….

    2) the Law that demands new emotions that we can’t do demanded by the 1st commandment and that Reason can’t see, and then….

    one category that is not Law that the call “ordinances of God” into which one would place stuff like the Law of Gravity and into which they place the sex drive in art XXIII?

    So because this sex drive existed before the fall, it is a “natural right” to be allowed to marry. that 3 category business is why they are careful not to call it a “moral ” right.

    ….., jurists have accordingly said wisely and correctly that the union [marriage] of male and female belongs to natural right.

    The argument has two steps or elements. If you read carefully Kerner, I am really pretty sure you will see that this is a two step argument that is as I am presenting it.
    It may seem like a nit or unimportant, but this important distinction gives LC commandment 4 the context it needs and it represents an underlying and absolutely critical Law and Gospel distinction that is the very distinction that led the Apologists to reject St Thomas/aristotelian natural Law theories.
    The argument is not that marriage existed before the fall and so it is a natural right after it.
    It is this: that the sex drive existed before the fall, THEREFORE it is the natural right of all to marry after the fall because the government of Marriage is necessary on account of the sin that is in a fallen world is the complete argument dear Kerner..

    KERNER But there is no guaranty anywhere in the text that this means of self control is going to universally actually control human sexuality. It is not mere retreat into anecdote to note that the institution of marriage has not eliminated sexual sin.

    212] For where nature has its course, as it is implanted by God, it is not possible to remain chaste without marriage. For flesh and blood remain flesh and blood, and the natural inclination and excitement have their course without let or hindrance, as everybody sees and feels. In order, therefore, that it may be the more easy in some degree to avoid inchastity, God has commanded the estate of matrimony, that every one may have his proper portion and be satisfied therewith; although God’s grace besides is required in order that the heart also may be pure.

    FRANK Actually the Confessions themselves declare exactly what you are saying. So let me give you the text you need to quote to support what you are saying Confessionally Kerner:

  • fws

    kerner @ 160

    No. The text you cited does not say that marriage existed before the fall. it says instead this. Slow down and read more carefully. You are missing their argument. It is a very very carefully contructed one:

    because this creation or divine ordinance in man [ie the sex drive] is a natural right….

    this “ordinance” is the sex drive Kerner we know from the context.

    Important sidebar: Remember how I explain that there are two categories of Law in the Confessions…

    1) Written in Reason and about what we can do ,….

    2) the Law that demands new emotions that we can’t do demanded by the 1st commandment and that Reason can’t see, and then….

    one category that is not Law that the call “ordinances of God” into which one would place stuff like the Law of Gravity and into which they place the sex drive in art XXIII?

    So because this sex drive existed before the fall, it is a “natural right” to be allowed to marry. that 3 category business is why they are careful not to call it a “moral ” right.

    ….., jurists have accordingly said wisely and correctly that the union [marriage] of male and female belongs to natural right.

    The argument has two steps or elements. If you read carefully Kerner, I am really pretty sure you will see that this is a two step argument that is as I am presenting it.
    It may seem like a nit or unimportant, but this important distinction gives LC commandment 4 the context it needs and it represents an underlying and absolutely critical Law and Gospel distinction that is the very distinction that led the Apologists to reject St Thomas/aristotelian natural Law theories.
    The argument is not that marriage existed before the fall and so it is a natural right after it.
    It is this: that the sex drive existed before the fall, THEREFORE it is the natural right of all to marry after the fall because the government of Marriage is necessary on account of the sin that is in a fallen world is the complete argument dear Kerner..

    KERNER But there is no guaranty anywhere in the text that this means of self control is going to universally actually control human sexuality. It is not mere retreat into anecdote to note that the institution of marriage has not eliminated sexual sin.

    212] For where nature has its course, as it is implanted by God, it is not possible to remain chaste without marriage. For flesh and blood remain flesh and blood, and the natural inclination and excitement have their course without let or hindrance, as everybody sees and feels. In order, therefore, that it may be the more easy in some degree to avoid inchastity, God has commanded the estate of matrimony, that every one may have his proper portion and be satisfied therewith; although God’s grace besides is required in order that the heart also may be pure.

    FRANK Actually the Confessions themselves declare exactly what you are saying. So let me give you the text you need to quote to support what you are saying Confessionally Kerner:

  • fws

    kerner @ 162 and 163

    None of that matters right now.

    What matters is what is it , objectively speaking, that the text says?
    We need to agree as to what the text says and what it does not say FIRST.

    Only then can we discuss what it it means for us in practical terms and/or whether we chose to agree with the text or not.

    What you are doing is what a good contract attorney does. You try to anticipate every possible disagreement that could arise and make provision for that in the contractual text.

    Here is where the contract has already been written. 1) We either accept what it says and abides by its terms, 2) say some or all of it is null since it is impossible to perform for a variety of possible reasons, or 3) we simply break the contract and accept the consequences of that. This last option looks like a quatenus “in sofar as I agree” subscription to the confessions.

    So in your dialog, lets say all three of those guys agree on a single fixed meaning of the text. Lets say they ALL agree that the text says that

    a) the sex drive existed before the fall. it is an ordinance of God. it is neither good or bad.
    b) but since the fall, our greed and covetousness fans this sex drive into a flame.
    c) celibacy is not an option since it is NOT available to all by working at it and with the help of the HS as our opponents assert! Rather, countenance requires a miracle to be worked and given by God, and so to attempt or be forced to attempt it leads only to a tragic end for most.
    d) it is better to marry than to burn
    e) therefore the only remedy, short of a miracle, to maintain sexual self control, is marriage.

    Does the text say that or not? is there some nuance I am missing here Kerner?

    You seem to be reading ahead and trying to anticipate possible objections/loopholes like whatever I am saying is a setup setting the stage for some “gotcha’ that supports the gay agenda or .. whatever…..

    Try instead to see if it would be possible to read my part of the conversation as being of one who is trying to read the text as honestly as possible and avoid reading into the text. See if that fits or not.

    Ultimately every article of the confessions is intended, by its authors to be a demonstration of how to apply Law and Gospel distinction to resolve any and all controversy in the church.

    That is most certainly true in art XXIII. the main deal is not even marriage or celibacy.

    It is applying the distinction of law and gospel to give clarity where there was none. Can you see how Law and Gospel is being explicitly used to resolve this particular issue Kerner? That is what the authors would have us see.

  • fws

    kerner @ 162 and 163

    None of that matters right now.

    What matters is what is it , objectively speaking, that the text says?
    We need to agree as to what the text says and what it does not say FIRST.

    Only then can we discuss what it it means for us in practical terms and/or whether we chose to agree with the text or not.

    What you are doing is what a good contract attorney does. You try to anticipate every possible disagreement that could arise and make provision for that in the contractual text.

    Here is where the contract has already been written. 1) We either accept what it says and abides by its terms, 2) say some or all of it is null since it is impossible to perform for a variety of possible reasons, or 3) we simply break the contract and accept the consequences of that. This last option looks like a quatenus “in sofar as I agree” subscription to the confessions.

    So in your dialog, lets say all three of those guys agree on a single fixed meaning of the text. Lets say they ALL agree that the text says that

    a) the sex drive existed before the fall. it is an ordinance of God. it is neither good or bad.
    b) but since the fall, our greed and covetousness fans this sex drive into a flame.
    c) celibacy is not an option since it is NOT available to all by working at it and with the help of the HS as our opponents assert! Rather, countenance requires a miracle to be worked and given by God, and so to attempt or be forced to attempt it leads only to a tragic end for most.
    d) it is better to marry than to burn
    e) therefore the only remedy, short of a miracle, to maintain sexual self control, is marriage.

    Does the text say that or not? is there some nuance I am missing here Kerner?

    You seem to be reading ahead and trying to anticipate possible objections/loopholes like whatever I am saying is a setup setting the stage for some “gotcha’ that supports the gay agenda or .. whatever…..

    Try instead to see if it would be possible to read my part of the conversation as being of one who is trying to read the text as honestly as possible and avoid reading into the text. See if that fits or not.

    Ultimately every article of the confessions is intended, by its authors to be a demonstration of how to apply Law and Gospel distinction to resolve any and all controversy in the church.

    That is most certainly true in art XXIII. the main deal is not even marriage or celibacy.

    It is applying the distinction of law and gospel to give clarity where there was none. Can you see how Law and Gospel is being explicitly used to resolve this particular issue Kerner? That is what the authors would have us see.

  • Tom Hering

    c) celibacy is not an option since it is NOT available to all by working at it and with the help of the HS as our opponents assert! Rather, countenance requires a miracle to be worked and given by God, and so to attempt or be forced to attempt it leads only to a tragic end for most.

    Receiving the Holy Spirit, and all the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit, isn’t a miracle that changes our nature?

  • Tom Hering

    c) celibacy is not an option since it is NOT available to all by working at it and with the help of the HS as our opponents assert! Rather, countenance requires a miracle to be worked and given by God, and so to attempt or be forced to attempt it leads only to a tragic end for most.

    Receiving the Holy Spirit, and all the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit, isn’t a miracle that changes our nature?

  • fws

    Kerner @ 162

    KERNER OUR PANEL MODERATOR: St. Paul and the confessions: If you have sexual desire and no special gift to help you control it, you should get married.

    GAY MAN: But marriage does not solve my problem.

    FRANK: Everything you just described is true for your heterosexual married counterpart as well. and you know that since gay men all grow up in a heterosexual world.
    But you always could and even now can easily easily have sex with another man. Now THAT is something that sets you apart from your heterosexual counterpart.
    What if , when you had proposed to your wife the honest truth that you knew: “please marry me and we will be strictly best friends and nothing more.”

    STRAIGHT GUY: But marriage does not solve my problem either.

    FRANK : Interesting, your problem looks absolutely identical to the gay man who married a female and, I dont think by pure coincidence, to the two gay men who are a couple, who were not allowed into the room since they are “practicing homos”. All three of you couples seem to be experiencing the exact same problems with something called a lack of sexual self control.

    HETEROSEXUALLY MARRIED GAY MAN AND STRAIGHT MARRIED MAN AND GAY COUPLE (This apparently is a guys only group?) SHOUT IN UNISON:
    You say that marriage is the only solution to our sex drives, but we don’t like it. How can you expect us to negate our sex drives? That’s impossible! And we are on the horns of a dilema.

    FRANK: Interesting. Your problems all look identical. You are ALL sinners in exactly the same way with the same need to exercise self control. I would further note that only the gay couple are Lutheran christians who claim to be confessional (wicked grin) . Why does that not matter in this discussion?

    KERNER, OUR EXCELLENT MODERATOR: What did you expect? Marriage is the law, and in this fallen world, the law always kills. Oh, the law has uses. It curbs our sinful desires to some degree. It shows us our sins. It even guides Christians as to how to love God and our neighbors. But it is ridiculous to think that the law will be possible for you to keep consistenly or that you will even want to keep it. Your hearts will never be fully in the spirit of the law in this life. And, therefore, you will never be able to keep the letter of the law for more than a little while, and then you will break that too. The law always kills.

    So, it makes perfect sense that the OLNY means of sexual self control doesn’t actually prevent you from committing sexual sins consistently. Your fallen and corrupt natures prevent that. The Holy Spirit will help you obey the law (of marriage, like all other law) in part in this life.

    FRANK: Let me here interject here that the Holy Spirit “helps ”
    us do what we are all talking about with the Law. And the Law always kills and accuses. Marriage is a government. Governments exist to control and regulate and punish where necessary.

    KERNER: [ I agree with Frank, and that is precisely why marriage will have you ]…..still end up running to the foot of the cross every time you fail to keep it, which will be often. So, your common dilema is no different that this same dilema that every Christian faces with all the sin in this life, as St. Paul said in Romans 7:

    “14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! ”

    FRANK: Great Law Gospel quote Kerner. So outwardly, in our thoughts words and deeds and in everything we can do we are talking about the eternal consequences of what we do or neglect to do. Those are death. Then there is the inner man with those new emotions, those new heart movements. And that inner man knows to be terrifed at what ALL he sees and not only run to the foot of the holy cross, but HIDE ALL he can do inside the Works of Another.

    KERNER So, sorry fellas. The only means you have to control sexual sin (marriage, i.e. the law) is going to be no more successful that any other part of the law when it comes to controling your sinful natures. Which is to say it wiill not work. You will still need to Gospel to free you from the guilt of your many transgressions.

    FRANK: But this means that if your law keeping is about pleasing God then you are in deep trouble and you will become a good pharisee or a dispairing judas in that case. That is what our Lutheran confessions tell us are the only two choices (fc “law and gospel”) But if you are christian , or even if you are not, you know that the point of all our doing of the Law and any real and not religiously hipocritical morality is about serving our neighbor.

    So you need to think about ALL your relationships as a way to self discipline and the point of that self discipline is not to balance the scales with God but is rather to equip you to attend to the needs of others and to avoid taking from others (ie adultery) what does not belong to you , since God himself has give you your “portion”.

    Ah, and one more thing, You gay guys! You know that there is nothing in either scripture or the confessions that explicitly give you permission to try to exercise self discipline by pairing off and working hard at monogamy right? So what gives with that? and ALL the texts say that marriage is , by definition, male/female. You know that too right? and you know that we are forbidden to demand celebacy of you right? Hey you want to marry Kerner’s daughter? He would be ALL for that!

  • fws

    Kerner @ 162

    KERNER OUR PANEL MODERATOR: St. Paul and the confessions: If you have sexual desire and no special gift to help you control it, you should get married.

    GAY MAN: But marriage does not solve my problem.

    FRANK: Everything you just described is true for your heterosexual married counterpart as well. and you know that since gay men all grow up in a heterosexual world.
    But you always could and even now can easily easily have sex with another man. Now THAT is something that sets you apart from your heterosexual counterpart.
    What if , when you had proposed to your wife the honest truth that you knew: “please marry me and we will be strictly best friends and nothing more.”

    STRAIGHT GUY: But marriage does not solve my problem either.

    FRANK : Interesting, your problem looks absolutely identical to the gay man who married a female and, I dont think by pure coincidence, to the two gay men who are a couple, who were not allowed into the room since they are “practicing homos”. All three of you couples seem to be experiencing the exact same problems with something called a lack of sexual self control.

    HETEROSEXUALLY MARRIED GAY MAN AND STRAIGHT MARRIED MAN AND GAY COUPLE (This apparently is a guys only group?) SHOUT IN UNISON:
    You say that marriage is the only solution to our sex drives, but we don’t like it. How can you expect us to negate our sex drives? That’s impossible! And we are on the horns of a dilema.

    FRANK: Interesting. Your problems all look identical. You are ALL sinners in exactly the same way with the same need to exercise self control. I would further note that only the gay couple are Lutheran christians who claim to be confessional (wicked grin) . Why does that not matter in this discussion?

    KERNER, OUR EXCELLENT MODERATOR: What did you expect? Marriage is the law, and in this fallen world, the law always kills. Oh, the law has uses. It curbs our sinful desires to some degree. It shows us our sins. It even guides Christians as to how to love God and our neighbors. But it is ridiculous to think that the law will be possible for you to keep consistenly or that you will even want to keep it. Your hearts will never be fully in the spirit of the law in this life. And, therefore, you will never be able to keep the letter of the law for more than a little while, and then you will break that too. The law always kills.

    So, it makes perfect sense that the OLNY means of sexual self control doesn’t actually prevent you from committing sexual sins consistently. Your fallen and corrupt natures prevent that. The Holy Spirit will help you obey the law (of marriage, like all other law) in part in this life.

    FRANK: Let me here interject here that the Holy Spirit “helps ”
    us do what we are all talking about with the Law. And the Law always kills and accuses. Marriage is a government. Governments exist to control and regulate and punish where necessary.

    KERNER: [ I agree with Frank, and that is precisely why marriage will have you ]…..still end up running to the foot of the cross every time you fail to keep it, which will be often. So, your common dilema is no different that this same dilema that every Christian faces with all the sin in this life, as St. Paul said in Romans 7:

    “14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! ”

    FRANK: Great Law Gospel quote Kerner. So outwardly, in our thoughts words and deeds and in everything we can do we are talking about the eternal consequences of what we do or neglect to do. Those are death. Then there is the inner man with those new emotions, those new heart movements. And that inner man knows to be terrifed at what ALL he sees and not only run to the foot of the holy cross, but HIDE ALL he can do inside the Works of Another.

    KERNER So, sorry fellas. The only means you have to control sexual sin (marriage, i.e. the law) is going to be no more successful that any other part of the law when it comes to controling your sinful natures. Which is to say it wiill not work. You will still need to Gospel to free you from the guilt of your many transgressions.

    FRANK: But this means that if your law keeping is about pleasing God then you are in deep trouble and you will become a good pharisee or a dispairing judas in that case. That is what our Lutheran confessions tell us are the only two choices (fc “law and gospel”) But if you are christian , or even if you are not, you know that the point of all our doing of the Law and any real and not religiously hipocritical morality is about serving our neighbor.

    So you need to think about ALL your relationships as a way to self discipline and the point of that self discipline is not to balance the scales with God but is rather to equip you to attend to the needs of others and to avoid taking from others (ie adultery) what does not belong to you , since God himself has give you your “portion”.

    Ah, and one more thing, You gay guys! You know that there is nothing in either scripture or the confessions that explicitly give you permission to try to exercise self discipline by pairing off and working hard at monogamy right? So what gives with that? and ALL the texts say that marriage is , by definition, male/female. You know that too right? and you know that we are forbidden to demand celebacy of you right? Hey you want to marry Kerner’s daughter? He would be ALL for that!

  • fws

    tim @ 166

    the problem is, in context that is not the way the word miracle is being employed.

    The romans in the confutation say that , by nature, no one is equipped for celebacy. BUT, it is available to ALL if one works at it and seeks the help of the Holy Spirit.

    the response of the Apology must be read in that context Tom. And it respond with” matt 19 if celibacy did not require a give it would be available to all, but it requires a gift” and…then ” Celibacy, short of a miracle, is available to NO one, therefore ALL are COMMANDED to marry.”

  • fws

    tim @ 166

    the problem is, in context that is not the way the word miracle is being employed.

    The romans in the confutation say that , by nature, no one is equipped for celebacy. BUT, it is available to ALL if one works at it and seeks the help of the Holy Spirit.

    the response of the Apology must be read in that context Tom. And it respond with” matt 19 if celibacy did not require a give it would be available to all, but it requires a gift” and…then ” Celibacy, short of a miracle, is available to NO one, therefore ALL are COMMANDED to marry.”

  • fws

    tom @157

    FRANK tom so what if the Bible has more to say. If one wishes to say ” I am Lutheran’ one would need to harmonize those additional things to what the Confessions teach.

    TOM Whoa! Frank! Did you really just say that our Confessions are the norming norm and the Scriptures are the normed norm?

    FRANK the ordination vows of our pastors are that they will teach holy scripture in conformity with the ecumenical and other creeds and confessions found in the Book of Concord. I am saying the same thing.

    And that same think is not to say what you think y0u hear me say dear Tom.

  • fws

    tom @157

    FRANK tom so what if the Bible has more to say. If one wishes to say ” I am Lutheran’ one would need to harmonize those additional things to what the Confessions teach.

    TOM Whoa! Frank! Did you really just say that our Confessions are the norming norm and the Scriptures are the normed norm?

    FRANK the ordination vows of our pastors are that they will teach holy scripture in conformity with the ecumenical and other creeds and confessions found in the Book of Concord. I am saying the same thing.

    And that same think is not to say what you think y0u hear me say dear Tom.

  • Tom Hering

    So, the only way to account for my 27 years of celibacy is a miracle. And I shouldn’t think celibacy is possible for most other Christians, because that would be cruel. Okay, but I still give the Holy Spririt all the credit for this miracle, and I know He performs it every day. Not that there isn’t a war going on every day.

  • Tom Hering

    So, the only way to account for my 27 years of celibacy is a miracle. And I shouldn’t think celibacy is possible for most other Christians, because that would be cruel. Okay, but I still give the Holy Spririt all the credit for this miracle, and I know He performs it every day. Not that there isn’t a war going on every day.

  • fws

    tom @ 170

    “it is better to marry that to burn” that was the calculation st paul made. he says it is a personal decision.

    You chose differently it sounds like.

    Kierkegaard said that it is better to be well hung than ill wed.

  • fws

    tom @ 170

    “it is better to marry that to burn” that was the calculation st paul made. he says it is a personal decision.

    You chose differently it sounds like.

    Kierkegaard said that it is better to be well hung than ill wed.

  • fws

    Tom in any case the text says what it says whether it agrees with our personal experience or not.

    I would say that still, there is room , only AFTER reading the text on it’s own terms, to observe that some things have indeed changed. There are no arranged marriages. Women have volition as to whom they will marry.

    In the old days you would have purchased your bride and she would have become, quite literally your property. Kerner doesnt like that I say the biblical definition of rape is that it is a property violation. he probably likes it less that the biblical legal remedy for rape is that the rapist marry the rape victim. But that all is what the text says. Should we go back to all that so that we truly can say we have “biblical marriage?”

    I dont think so. why not? the Law is made for man and not man for the Law. it is to set a fence between mine and thine and that justice that is the WORK of the Law is to bear the FRUIT of goodness and mercy, And mercy is the opposite of what the Law works , yet at the same time it is the fruit that God says is the SUM of any Law keeping or the fulfilment of the Law. and Justice is not that.

    Kerner, the text being what it is and says, i think my argument would be one towards the purpose of the Law. Yes the confessions and scripture exclude any possibility for an explicit legal basis for two men to pair off as a method of sexual self discipline.

    At the same time I would argue that the movement for gay marriage is precisely the Law at work in the minds and reason of gay men and women. it is the Law in their reason that tells them that pairing off and attempting monogamy is better and less painful that whoreing around. is it good? no. Does it look like very single person in that dialog you presented Kerner. Yes. It looks identical!

    And imagine that! it is hard enough for heterosexuals to buy into the concept when they have the full support of government, society and church constantly urging them towards it. Yet the Law is having its way in the minds of Gays in spite of the fact that society and church are mostly arrayed against this.

  • fws

    Tom in any case the text says what it says whether it agrees with our personal experience or not.

    I would say that still, there is room , only AFTER reading the text on it’s own terms, to observe that some things have indeed changed. There are no arranged marriages. Women have volition as to whom they will marry.

    In the old days you would have purchased your bride and she would have become, quite literally your property. Kerner doesnt like that I say the biblical definition of rape is that it is a property violation. he probably likes it less that the biblical legal remedy for rape is that the rapist marry the rape victim. But that all is what the text says. Should we go back to all that so that we truly can say we have “biblical marriage?”

    I dont think so. why not? the Law is made for man and not man for the Law. it is to set a fence between mine and thine and that justice that is the WORK of the Law is to bear the FRUIT of goodness and mercy, And mercy is the opposite of what the Law works , yet at the same time it is the fruit that God says is the SUM of any Law keeping or the fulfilment of the Law. and Justice is not that.

    Kerner, the text being what it is and says, i think my argument would be one towards the purpose of the Law. Yes the confessions and scripture exclude any possibility for an explicit legal basis for two men to pair off as a method of sexual self discipline.

    At the same time I would argue that the movement for gay marriage is precisely the Law at work in the minds and reason of gay men and women. it is the Law in their reason that tells them that pairing off and attempting monogamy is better and less painful that whoreing around. is it good? no. Does it look like very single person in that dialog you presented Kerner. Yes. It looks identical!

    And imagine that! it is hard enough for heterosexuals to buy into the concept when they have the full support of government, society and church constantly urging them towards it. Yet the Law is having its way in the minds of Gays in spite of the fact that society and church are mostly arrayed against this.

  • fws

    kerner, there is one thing you made me change my view on here:

    I was saying that masturbation is a viable means to exercise sexual self control. I am not completely rejecting that. Lets say you are a married man who travels alot. I am , in that case, not so sure masturbation is not a bad alternative. or maybe if the man really has a high sex drive, he simply needs to make the sacrifice of earning less and staying closer to home.

    Now I am pretty certain that marriage and the sex that goes with it in any situation is about service towards others. sex , in a way unique to all good things, is meant to be shared. that seems logically obvious.

    Your wife can feed herself and care for herself in all ways except that one way. She needs you for sex. So I think I need to change how I was thinking ab0ut masturbation.

    Is it about that roman catholic natural law thing about sex is for procreation and so….. nooooo! if sex is in the same class as the law of gravity, then it is not, per se, wrong to use a condom, or stuff like that any more than it is wrong to fly a plane. But… in a fallen world, even condoms, birth control and airlplanes have collateral consequences that are about harm being done somewhere. ditto high damns on rivers… ditto well… anything man touches obeying that other irresistable urge and “ordinance” God has placed into all men : “subdue the earth”.

  • fws

    kerner, there is one thing you made me change my view on here:

    I was saying that masturbation is a viable means to exercise sexual self control. I am not completely rejecting that. Lets say you are a married man who travels alot. I am , in that case, not so sure masturbation is not a bad alternative. or maybe if the man really has a high sex drive, he simply needs to make the sacrifice of earning less and staying closer to home.

    Now I am pretty certain that marriage and the sex that goes with it in any situation is about service towards others. sex , in a way unique to all good things, is meant to be shared. that seems logically obvious.

    Your wife can feed herself and care for herself in all ways except that one way. She needs you for sex. So I think I need to change how I was thinking ab0ut masturbation.

    Is it about that roman catholic natural law thing about sex is for procreation and so….. nooooo! if sex is in the same class as the law of gravity, then it is not, per se, wrong to use a condom, or stuff like that any more than it is wrong to fly a plane. But… in a fallen world, even condoms, birth control and airlplanes have collateral consequences that are about harm being done somewhere. ditto high damns on rivers… ditto well… anything man touches obeying that other irresistable urge and “ordinance” God has placed into all men : “subdue the earth”.

  • kerner

    Frank:

    I’m not going to be able to participate in theis conversation till at least late this evening, and maybe for some time after that. SO, please try not to gallop out so far ahead of me that there becomes so much to respond to that I give up.

    But, on one small point, it seems to me that you and Tom have more in common than you realize. Tom’s stated reason for not getting married when he had the opportunity is (@133):

    “I once had an offer of marriage, but wisely declined for both our sakes. I would have been lousy at meeting her needs.”

    That’s pretty much the same reason you have given, isn’t it Frank? Different needs, I guess, but being lousy at meeting the prospective wife’s needs is why both of you don’t marry, and struggle. Right?

    Well, back later, I hope.

  • kerner

    Frank:

    I’m not going to be able to participate in theis conversation till at least late this evening, and maybe for some time after that. SO, please try not to gallop out so far ahead of me that there becomes so much to respond to that I give up.

    But, on one small point, it seems to me that you and Tom have more in common than you realize. Tom’s stated reason for not getting married when he had the opportunity is (@133):

    “I once had an offer of marriage, but wisely declined for both our sakes. I would have been lousy at meeting her needs.”

    That’s pretty much the same reason you have given, isn’t it Frank? Different needs, I guess, but being lousy at meeting the prospective wife’s needs is why both of you don’t marry, and struggle. Right?

    Well, back later, I hope.

  • fws

    kerner @ 174

    I do believe it is not a very small point. If you had been impotent or lacking a penis, could you have married a female in good conscience? No. Tom is not lacking in that area from what I am hearing. This isnt a small point.

    Gay men, as far as women are concerned, dont have a penis. they cant get it up. Probably at age 18 they can. At that age they could do a tree stump. So fit that into the context of 1 cor 7. it doesnt fit. But it fits Matt 19! But wait…

    But they ARE fully functional for another man. And this is emotionally as well. and they crave not only sex but more.

    Kerner, tell me something: would it be more “out of your skin” to a) have sex with another man, or b) to do those romantic things you would do on a “date” with a woman, but do them with another man that is not just a meeting of two friends.

    I can tell you that it is b) that would be the most viscerally vomit inducing for a gay man. a) would be mechanically impossible except for a very young man full of hormones but… not so visceral. I suspect it is because the emotions along with the sense of personal identity cound be detached from the mechanical act. Which proves ……nothing at all. But it still matters if one wishes to do “apologetics” with a gay man.

    Most male hustlers are not gay. The fact I can say that says something important. so then if they stop doing guys they are not ex-gay. but then that depends on definitions right? or does it? Is there a biblical definition? who owns the definitions here? does it matter?

    My point here: I know we can go round and round on this if we turn this into a debate. I am not seeking to do that. I am wanting you to see that , for a gay man, it is this second part that would label someone as gay. there are lots of young men who experiment and are not gay. Gays fully recognize this. “yeah he has fooled around with guys but he is not really gay.” And he really truly is not. Not even bi.

    Then there are guys that have never fooled around with other guys but would take up a baseball bat to gay men or lesbians. Usually, we suspect, that person has some issues about his own sexuality.

    Now whether our thinking is right or wrong or is valid or invalid is not a point i wish to debate. What is the 3rd party authority we could appeal to to win such an argument. Reason? Bible? Confessions?

    What I want you to see is that how homos very instinctively define the line between gay and not gay is quite different than how most religious conservatives would construct that line, if , indeed, they really had any real definition of “gay” that was more than really a visceral sodom and gomorrah or romans 1 image in their head. Assume that I am not being terribly articulate and so dont hang me with my words here like the brilliant attorney you are ok?

    This definition I am presenting is truly instinctive. So to argue “the bible says gay is clearly this” when the passages presented dont describe anything a gay man would say ‘yup that is gay” is sort of pointless.

    No one would do apologetics with a mormon, buddhist, or jw in that fashion would they? But there are no such apologetics for gays that start out trying to truly understand their point of view and be able to articulate it sympathetically as the starting point for arguing against it. not even for baptized ones. Why is that? there is just a stonewalling : “you reject the obvious meaning of scripture and therefore you deny that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and further, you deny that you are a sinner!” END of dialog. “gay and christian ” is an oxymoron we are told.

  • fws

    kerner @ 174

    I do believe it is not a very small point. If you had been impotent or lacking a penis, could you have married a female in good conscience? No. Tom is not lacking in that area from what I am hearing. This isnt a small point.

    Gay men, as far as women are concerned, dont have a penis. they cant get it up. Probably at age 18 they can. At that age they could do a tree stump. So fit that into the context of 1 cor 7. it doesnt fit. But it fits Matt 19! But wait…

    But they ARE fully functional for another man. And this is emotionally as well. and they crave not only sex but more.

    Kerner, tell me something: would it be more “out of your skin” to a) have sex with another man, or b) to do those romantic things you would do on a “date” with a woman, but do them with another man that is not just a meeting of two friends.

    I can tell you that it is b) that would be the most viscerally vomit inducing for a gay man. a) would be mechanically impossible except for a very young man full of hormones but… not so visceral. I suspect it is because the emotions along with the sense of personal identity cound be detached from the mechanical act. Which proves ……nothing at all. But it still matters if one wishes to do “apologetics” with a gay man.

    Most male hustlers are not gay. The fact I can say that says something important. so then if they stop doing guys they are not ex-gay. but then that depends on definitions right? or does it? Is there a biblical definition? who owns the definitions here? does it matter?

    My point here: I know we can go round and round on this if we turn this into a debate. I am not seeking to do that. I am wanting you to see that , for a gay man, it is this second part that would label someone as gay. there are lots of young men who experiment and are not gay. Gays fully recognize this. “yeah he has fooled around with guys but he is not really gay.” And he really truly is not. Not even bi.

    Then there are guys that have never fooled around with other guys but would take up a baseball bat to gay men or lesbians. Usually, we suspect, that person has some issues about his own sexuality.

    Now whether our thinking is right or wrong or is valid or invalid is not a point i wish to debate. What is the 3rd party authority we could appeal to to win such an argument. Reason? Bible? Confessions?

    What I want you to see is that how homos very instinctively define the line between gay and not gay is quite different than how most religious conservatives would construct that line, if , indeed, they really had any real definition of “gay” that was more than really a visceral sodom and gomorrah or romans 1 image in their head. Assume that I am not being terribly articulate and so dont hang me with my words here like the brilliant attorney you are ok?

    This definition I am presenting is truly instinctive. So to argue “the bible says gay is clearly this” when the passages presented dont describe anything a gay man would say ‘yup that is gay” is sort of pointless.

    No one would do apologetics with a mormon, buddhist, or jw in that fashion would they? But there are no such apologetics for gays that start out trying to truly understand their point of view and be able to articulate it sympathetically as the starting point for arguing against it. not even for baptized ones. Why is that? there is just a stonewalling : “you reject the obvious meaning of scripture and therefore you deny that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and further, you deny that you are a sinner!” END of dialog. “gay and christian ” is an oxymoron we are told.

  • fws

    kerner @ 174

    “But they ARE fully functional for another man. And this is emotionally as well. and they crave not only sex but more. ”

    Kerner, understand why I keep dragging in the emotional/romantic aspect.

    when i hear conservatives talk about gay sex I am hearing always this: gay sex=lust . period. Romans 1. Sodom and gomorrah.

    I keep bringing in the emotions and romantic part merely to suggest that this is simply wrong. Why could one not assume that the ONLY difference between gay and hetero is the object of affection being the same gender, and in ALL other respects a hetero could understand gay sexuality by looking at his own sexual relationship. read again my response to your made up dialog. I agree with the “gay and straight say together”. And come to a different conclusion than you do in doing that eh?

    True that for some hetero men, even married ones: sex=lust and nothing at all more. But…….

  • fws

    kerner @ 174

    “But they ARE fully functional for another man. And this is emotionally as well. and they crave not only sex but more. ”

    Kerner, understand why I keep dragging in the emotional/romantic aspect.

    when i hear conservatives talk about gay sex I am hearing always this: gay sex=lust . period. Romans 1. Sodom and gomorrah.

    I keep bringing in the emotions and romantic part merely to suggest that this is simply wrong. Why could one not assume that the ONLY difference between gay and hetero is the object of affection being the same gender, and in ALL other respects a hetero could understand gay sexuality by looking at his own sexual relationship. read again my response to your made up dialog. I agree with the “gay and straight say together”. And come to a different conclusion than you do in doing that eh?

    True that for some hetero men, even married ones: sex=lust and nothing at all more. But…….

  • AbedalMessiah

    I come really late to this party, and I’m crashing it only because I stumbled into it by chance. I haven’t read each and every entry because they seem to strain at successively smaller gnats while missing the obvious camel.
    The U.S. is spending hundreds of billions and squandering lives in the vanity of continued operations in a country and a culture that we refuse to attempt to change. The only hope for these pitiable boys (and don’t miss the scene in The Kite Runner, which indicates the pervasive bigotry and prejudice of the place) is in Jesus Christ. Yet the gospel is forbidden, and with lives, limbs and treasure we prop up a sham government where death for apostasy is constitutionally sanctioned. Could we be more foolish? And the highest death threat now comes at the hands of those working closest to US and international trainers.
    My point is that it is folly for you each to worry about what the other does with his stuff, as much as I oppose the homosexual agenda and child farming on principle. We are losing our will to survive as a nation for shame of our Christian heritage. And look into Tyranny’s Apostle. Deviance was there from the beginning as an integral part of mohammed’s life.

  • AbedalMessiah

    I come really late to this party, and I’m crashing it only because I stumbled into it by chance. I haven’t read each and every entry because they seem to strain at successively smaller gnats while missing the obvious camel.
    The U.S. is spending hundreds of billions and squandering lives in the vanity of continued operations in a country and a culture that we refuse to attempt to change. The only hope for these pitiable boys (and don’t miss the scene in The Kite Runner, which indicates the pervasive bigotry and prejudice of the place) is in Jesus Christ. Yet the gospel is forbidden, and with lives, limbs and treasure we prop up a sham government where death for apostasy is constitutionally sanctioned. Could we be more foolish? And the highest death threat now comes at the hands of those working closest to US and international trainers.
    My point is that it is folly for you each to worry about what the other does with his stuff, as much as I oppose the homosexual agenda and child farming on principle. We are losing our will to survive as a nation for shame of our Christian heritage. And look into Tyranny’s Apostle. Deviance was there from the beginning as an integral part of mohammed’s life.


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