Exodus president now doubts cure for being gay

Exodus International has been the preeminent Christian ministry to gays.  A major emphasis of that group has been that homosexuals, through prayer and therapy, can lose their same-sex attraction and become heterosexual.  Now the president of that organization is saying something different:

The ex-gay movement has been convulsed as the leader of Exodus, in a series of public statements and a speech to the group’s annual meeting last week, renounced some of the movement’s core beliefs. Alan Chambers, 40, the president, declared that there was no cure for homosexuality and that “reparative therapy” offered false hopes to gays and could even be harmful. His statements have led to charges of heresy and a growing schism within the network. . . .

In a phone interview Thursday from Orlando, Fla., where Exodus has its headquarters, Mr. Chambers amplified on the views that have stirred so much controversy. He said that virtually every “ex-gay” he has ever met still harbors homosexual cravings, himself included. Mr. Chambers, who left the gay life to marry and have two children, said that gay Christians like himself faced a lifelong spiritual struggle to avoid sin and should not be afraid to admit it.

He said Exodus could no longer condone reparative therapy, which blames homosexuality on emotional scars in childhood and claims to reshape the psyche. And in a theological departure that has caused the sharpest reaction from conservative pastors, Mr. Chambers said he believed that those who persist in homosexual behavior could still be saved by Christ and go to heaven. . . .

“I believe that any sexual expression outside of heterosexual, monogamous marriage is sinful according tothe Bible,” Mr. Chambers emphasized. “But we’ve been asking people with same-sex attractions to overcome something in a way that we don’t ask of anyone else,” he said, noting that Christians with other sins, whether heterosexual lust, pornography, pride or gluttony, do not receive the same blanket condemnations. . . .

Mr. Chambers said he was simply trying to restore Exodus to its original purpose when it was founded in 1976: providing spiritual support for Christians who are struggling with homosexual attraction.

He said that he was happy in his marriage, with a “love and devotion much deeper than anything I experienced in gay life,” but that he knew this was not feasible for everyone. Many Christians with homosexual urges may have to strive for lives of celibacy.

But those who fail should not be severely judged, he said, adding, “We all struggle or fall in some way.”

 

via Rift Forms in Movement as Belief in Gay ‘Cure’ Is Renounced – NYTimes.com.

As one might expect, Chambers’ announcement has sparked a huge controversy, which the NY Times article goes into.   Some people who have gone through Exodus International are insisting they have too been changed and no longer struggle with same-sex attraction.   Others, like Chambers himself, are now happily married ( to women), have children and a heterosexual sex life, while also still feeling and battling same sex attractions.  Most gay Christians, though, don’t lose their attraction to the same sex.

Are we perhaps making a mistake by “privileging” homosexuality as a special category of sin?   Theologically, given the “bondage of the will,” can we say that sin is ever just a matter of “choice”?  Aren’t all sins deeply ingrained, even “genetic,” in that we inherit our fallen nature from Adam and Eve?  Don’t we all have to struggle against our own personal besetting sins?  And, certainly, isn’t it precisely sinners who are saved?  Or do you think our salvation rests on being “victorious” over our particular sins?

The problem on the other side, it seems to me, is with those who deny that they are sinners.  That would include both religious legalists and those who insist that when it comes to their particular sin (whether homosexuality, pornography, selfishness, cruelty) “there is nothing wrong with it.”  Such an attitude precludes repentance and denies their need for the gospel.  Not that repentance in itself saves, but that it can drive a person to the Cross, where Jesus bore even those sins in His body, so as to atone for them and win free forgiveness.

We’ve talked about homosexuality a lot on this blog, so could we set that aside for now?  Could we discuss the more general issue of “besetting sins” (the ones each individual is prone to), repentance, failure, and the Christian life?

HT:  Todd

About Gene Veith

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

  • Pete

    It strikes me that Mr. Chambers has arrived at the realization that Alcoholics Anonymous figured out a while ago. Step one is the acknowledgement (confession, if you will) that one is an alcoholic. An acknowledgement that does not change with the passage of alcohol-free time.

  • Pete

    It strikes me that Mr. Chambers has arrived at the realization that Alcoholics Anonymous figured out a while ago. Step one is the acknowledgement (confession, if you will) that one is an alcoholic. An acknowledgement that does not change with the passage of alcohol-free time.

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

    It should be noted, too, that in fairness to Mr. Chambers, he still acknowledges that homosexuality is a sin. He does not justify it, does not condone it, but states that the temptation doesn’t go away.

    The mistake we make as Christians (and I think that much of this falls from the Wesleyan Arminian influence of the church) is that our temptations will vanish away after our salvation/sanctification… or at the very least, that our temptations will diminish to nothing. I fell into this trap during my years involved in the Wesleyan and pentecostal movements, and it does more to harm than heal in many cases. It either builds one up to pride over superficial avoidance of sin, or it burdens and eventually wrecks a person in that they think something is wrong with them because temptations don’t go away.

    One of the things attracting me to both Reformed and Lutheran theology is the (Scriptural) truth expressed in both schools that our temptations and sinful desires do not disappear upon our salvation, nor is there a “second work of grace” that kills our sinful desires. Wesleyans are so afraid to admit they sin, or when they do admit it, they do so with “safe” sins that others won’t pass judgment upon (I lose my temper, I have fear instead of faith, etc). With Luther and Calvin, we sing “Only a sinner saved by grace.” Of course, this is not an excuse to wallow in sin; Luther would have shuddered at that thought. But it is an understanding that the mud will never completely come off this side of eternity.

    It also helps to remember that we need to be careful that we do not “rate” sins. Is homosexuality a sin? Absolutely. So is heterosexual fornication or adultery. So is abortion. So is unjustified anger toward somebody else. So is gossip. So is envy. So is lying. So is divorce on unscriptural grounds. So is pride. So is checking out of work earlier than you are scheduled. Though each of these sins have different outward consequences that may or may not directly follow, they are still damnable in the sight of God. When we start falling into the “sin rating” game, it’s a step back in in the direction of Rome and a Pharisaism of the worst kind.

    We all have besetting sins, some of which may never be fully resolved this side of eternity. Again, that’s not an excuse to practice them or a justification to defend them, but it is a reality, and the Christian will struggle with these sins and temptations for life. In fact, if anything, I worry about the professing Christian who doesn’t claim any struggle with sins. How can one not struggle with sin after encountering the sternness of the law that abhors sin, and the sweetness of the gospel that saves us from sin?

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

    It should be noted, too, that in fairness to Mr. Chambers, he still acknowledges that homosexuality is a sin. He does not justify it, does not condone it, but states that the temptation doesn’t go away.

    The mistake we make as Christians (and I think that much of this falls from the Wesleyan Arminian influence of the church) is that our temptations will vanish away after our salvation/sanctification… or at the very least, that our temptations will diminish to nothing. I fell into this trap during my years involved in the Wesleyan and pentecostal movements, and it does more to harm than heal in many cases. It either builds one up to pride over superficial avoidance of sin, or it burdens and eventually wrecks a person in that they think something is wrong with them because temptations don’t go away.

    One of the things attracting me to both Reformed and Lutheran theology is the (Scriptural) truth expressed in both schools that our temptations and sinful desires do not disappear upon our salvation, nor is there a “second work of grace” that kills our sinful desires. Wesleyans are so afraid to admit they sin, or when they do admit it, they do so with “safe” sins that others won’t pass judgment upon (I lose my temper, I have fear instead of faith, etc). With Luther and Calvin, we sing “Only a sinner saved by grace.” Of course, this is not an excuse to wallow in sin; Luther would have shuddered at that thought. But it is an understanding that the mud will never completely come off this side of eternity.

    It also helps to remember that we need to be careful that we do not “rate” sins. Is homosexuality a sin? Absolutely. So is heterosexual fornication or adultery. So is abortion. So is unjustified anger toward somebody else. So is gossip. So is envy. So is lying. So is divorce on unscriptural grounds. So is pride. So is checking out of work earlier than you are scheduled. Though each of these sins have different outward consequences that may or may not directly follow, they are still damnable in the sight of God. When we start falling into the “sin rating” game, it’s a step back in in the direction of Rome and a Pharisaism of the worst kind.

    We all have besetting sins, some of which may never be fully resolved this side of eternity. Again, that’s not an excuse to practice them or a justification to defend them, but it is a reality, and the Christian will struggle with these sins and temptations for life. In fact, if anything, I worry about the professing Christian who doesn’t claim any struggle with sins. How can one not struggle with sin after encountering the sternness of the law that abhors sin, and the sweetness of the gospel that saves us from sin?

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I wish private confession and absolution was a more typical Lutheran practice because these sorts of besetting sins almost call for that sort of pastoral care.

    I know pastors are supposed to hear private confession but that’s not been the practice in any Lutheran church I’ve ever seen.

    Also it’s not as if these besetting sins are confined to homosexuals. I’d wager nearly all non-elderly men view pornography on the internet.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I wish private confession and absolution was a more typical Lutheran practice because these sorts of besetting sins almost call for that sort of pastoral care.

    I know pastors are supposed to hear private confession but that’s not been the practice in any Lutheran church I’ve ever seen.

    Also it’s not as if these besetting sins are confined to homosexuals. I’d wager nearly all non-elderly men view pornography on the internet.

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

    This really is the core of the issue. We all have to face that we are sinful and cannot just choose not to be sinful. None of us should be standing in the temple thanking God that we are not like that man or woman. Jesus died for our sins, all of them, including the various sexual sins. Just for the sake of stirring the pot, single mothers are probably worse than homosexuals. The church should be calling those women to repentance as well. A very small minority suffer from same sex attraction, while a huge fraction of women are involved in sexual immorality and their children suffer the consequences. But in our society, you can never ever ever criticize women as a group.

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

    This really is the core of the issue. We all have to face that we are sinful and cannot just choose not to be sinful. None of us should be standing in the temple thanking God that we are not like that man or woman. Jesus died for our sins, all of them, including the various sexual sins. Just for the sake of stirring the pot, single mothers are probably worse than homosexuals. The church should be calling those women to repentance as well. A very small minority suffer from same sex attraction, while a huge fraction of women are involved in sexual immorality and their children suffer the consequences. But in our society, you can never ever ever criticize women as a group.

  • Booklover

    I don’t think that Mr. Chambers has said anything shocking. His struggle with homosexual tendencies mirrors what I have observed in those who struggle with alcohol~~some are able to resist it, some battle it every single day and fall along the way, some continue to drink and think they are O.K. Many of us struggle with sin of all kinds. As J. Dean pointed out, the danger is when we say we have no sin.

  • Booklover

    I don’t think that Mr. Chambers has said anything shocking. His struggle with homosexual tendencies mirrors what I have observed in those who struggle with alcohol~~some are able to resist it, some battle it every single day and fall along the way, some continue to drink and think they are O.K. Many of us struggle with sin of all kinds. As J. Dean pointed out, the danger is when we say we have no sin.

  • Orianna Laun

    The old saying goes: “Opportunity knocks only once, but Temptation pounds on the door for years.” Habitual sins of every kind are difficult to impossible to merely lay aside. Daily repentance and trust in God’s forgiveness is needed. Then human nature and Satan’s age-old whisper return to taunt us. “Did God really say. . .?” And, yes, we do ask sinners to overcome the same thing. Our Lord taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” Jesus did not specify which people with which temptations.

  • Orianna Laun

    The old saying goes: “Opportunity knocks only once, but Temptation pounds on the door for years.” Habitual sins of every kind are difficult to impossible to merely lay aside. Daily repentance and trust in God’s forgiveness is needed. Then human nature and Satan’s age-old whisper return to taunt us. “Did God really say. . .?” And, yes, we do ask sinners to overcome the same thing. Our Lord taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” Jesus did not specify which people with which temptations.

  • Jon

    What Pete said @1. This is just an acknowledgement that one may fall off the wagon, so to speak. It calls for daily contrition and repentence. Kill the Old Adam, pick up your cross, and soldier on.

  • Jon

    What Pete said @1. This is just an acknowledgement that one may fall off the wagon, so to speak. It calls for daily contrition and repentence. Kill the Old Adam, pick up your cross, and soldier on.

  • Tom Hering

    “But in our society, you can never ever ever criticize women as a group.”

    Say what? Their appearance is terrible for this reason or that. They work too much. They stay home too much. They’re this, that, or the other thing when they run for office (things men aren’t by nature). They’re too sexual. They aren’t sexual enough (marriage complaint). They’re too aggressive in the workplace. They aren’t as accomplished as men in the workplace. Shall I go on?

  • Tom Hering

    “But in our society, you can never ever ever criticize women as a group.”

    Say what? Their appearance is terrible for this reason or that. They work too much. They stay home too much. They’re this, that, or the other thing when they run for office (things men aren’t by nature). They’re too sexual. They aren’t sexual enough (marriage complaint). They’re too aggressive in the workplace. They aren’t as accomplished as men in the workplace. Shall I go on?

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    We don’t stop sinning because we don’t want to stop sinning.

    We are “bound to sin”.

    But we don’t sweep it under the rug. That’s why we need to stay in front of the Word. We need to receive the sacraments. We live in repentance and forgiveness, as many here have said.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    We don’t stop sinning because we don’t want to stop sinning.

    We are “bound to sin”.

    But we don’t sweep it under the rug. That’s why we need to stay in front of the Word. We need to receive the sacraments. We live in repentance and forgiveness, as many here have said.

  • dwcasey

    JDean @ #1, you asked “How can one not struggle with sin after encountering the sternness of the law that abhors sin, and the sweetness of the gospel that saves us from sin?”

    My guess is there are a lot of folks in churches that are not hearing the law, or even the Gospel. I know some where the sermon is nothing more than an advanced Sunday School lesson and nary a mention of sin, repentance, forgiveness, Jesus, etc.

    Or, they are hearing the Law and then just get a does of “do better”. What does that do for an alcoholic or homosexual or adulterer?

    The Law+Gospel ( ala Lutheran or Tullian or whoever ) approach does not ‘fit’ well into many of today’s churches. Heck, some Lutheran and Reformed churches have ditched it. So sad.

  • dwcasey

    JDean @ #1, you asked “How can one not struggle with sin after encountering the sternness of the law that abhors sin, and the sweetness of the gospel that saves us from sin?”

    My guess is there are a lot of folks in churches that are not hearing the law, or even the Gospel. I know some where the sermon is nothing more than an advanced Sunday School lesson and nary a mention of sin, repentance, forgiveness, Jesus, etc.

    Or, they are hearing the Law and then just get a does of “do better”. What does that do for an alcoholic or homosexual or adulterer?

    The Law+Gospel ( ala Lutheran or Tullian or whoever ) approach does not ‘fit’ well into many of today’s churches. Heck, some Lutheran and Reformed churches have ditched it. So sad.

  • Stephen

    Matthew 16:11 “How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

    Carry on.

  • Stephen

    Matthew 16:11 “How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

    Carry on.

  • Joe

    The misguided approach stems from the misguided belief that there is a cure for sin. There isn’t sin will be with us until we depart this world for the New Creation. Thankfully we have a God who bore the punishment due us for our sins. That is what these men and women need to hear. Not: “I can fix you” but “Christ has died for your sins.”

  • Joe

    The misguided approach stems from the misguided belief that there is a cure for sin. There isn’t sin will be with us until we depart this world for the New Creation. Thankfully we have a God who bore the punishment due us for our sins. That is what these men and women need to hear. Not: “I can fix you” but “Christ has died for your sins.”

  • kerner

    Romans 7
    Romans 7
    Romans 7

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%207&version=NIV

    Most of my besetting sins have been besetting me so long that I sometimes question my own repentence, which is scary and confusing. Because, I sometimes think, that if I REALLY repented of them, I wouldn’t still find myself committing them so often.

    “We’ve talked about homosexuality a lot on this blog, so could we set that aside for now?”

    Maybe, but one prevalent besetting sin on this blog is ignoring the host’s desires and talking about whatever we want. :D

  • kerner

    Romans 7
    Romans 7
    Romans 7

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%207&version=NIV

    Most of my besetting sins have been besetting me so long that I sometimes question my own repentence, which is scary and confusing. Because, I sometimes think, that if I REALLY repented of them, I wouldn’t still find myself committing them so often.

    “We’ve talked about homosexuality a lot on this blog, so could we set that aside for now?”

    Maybe, but one prevalent besetting sin on this blog is ignoring the host’s desires and talking about whatever we want. :D

  • SKPeterson

    The issue with homosexuality is two-fold. Mr. Chambers is right when he declares homosexuality to be a sin, and one that can only be cured by continual washing in the blood of Christ. However, this is set alongside a homosexuality that argues not so much for the tolerance, or rather understanding, between one sinner and another, but the worldly desire to declare a sin to be not a sin. This is a variation of the “I am created in God’s image, and God don’t create no junk” delusion. They excuse their pet sin as being part “Who God created me to be,” while not recognizing that they are making that argument for all sins – any and all sins can be excused because that is the way God created them. This is the most damnable lie itself: in its crude form it makes God out to be the author of sin, and thereby a cruel tyrant who condemns Man for sins He himself has imposed upon us; in its subtle form, the recognition comes that God cannot be the author of sin, therefore nothing is sinful except whatever it is we don’t like. I would even argue that this last tendency manifests itself in the condemnations of women Tom lists @ 8, which is the result of the “Yes, but” school of moral self-justification. The “Sure I might desire to cheat on my wife, but she’s fat” excuse. Replace ‘fat’ with any of the other words or phrases Tom listed.

  • SKPeterson

    The issue with homosexuality is two-fold. Mr. Chambers is right when he declares homosexuality to be a sin, and one that can only be cured by continual washing in the blood of Christ. However, this is set alongside a homosexuality that argues not so much for the tolerance, or rather understanding, between one sinner and another, but the worldly desire to declare a sin to be not a sin. This is a variation of the “I am created in God’s image, and God don’t create no junk” delusion. They excuse their pet sin as being part “Who God created me to be,” while not recognizing that they are making that argument for all sins – any and all sins can be excused because that is the way God created them. This is the most damnable lie itself: in its crude form it makes God out to be the author of sin, and thereby a cruel tyrant who condemns Man for sins He himself has imposed upon us; in its subtle form, the recognition comes that God cannot be the author of sin, therefore nothing is sinful except whatever it is we don’t like. I would even argue that this last tendency manifests itself in the condemnations of women Tom lists @ 8, which is the result of the “Yes, but” school of moral self-justification. The “Sure I might desire to cheat on my wife, but she’s fat” excuse. Replace ‘fat’ with any of the other words or phrases Tom listed.

  • DonS

    I, also, did not find anything shocking in what Mr. Chambers said. We all have our differing temptations with which we especially struggle in our earthly forms, still having our old nature and warring daily between the fleshly and spiritual desires within us. Homosexual attraction is one of those temptations.

    Where we go wrong, as SKP said @ 14, is when we stop warring against these temptations, whatever they are, accommodate them, and attempt to justify our accommodation by denying that the behavior to which we are being tempted is sin.

  • DonS

    I, also, did not find anything shocking in what Mr. Chambers said. We all have our differing temptations with which we especially struggle in our earthly forms, still having our old nature and warring daily between the fleshly and spiritual desires within us. Homosexual attraction is one of those temptations.

    Where we go wrong, as SKP said @ 14, is when we stop warring against these temptations, whatever they are, accommodate them, and attempt to justify our accommodation by denying that the behavior to which we are being tempted is sin.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    To us, this statement is no big deal. We’re all sinnful and we all struggle with the evil within us, only Christ gives us the victory etc.

    However the Ruling Class thinks that this is a big deal because the doen’t understand Christianity. They confuse it with Nestorianism. There are good guys and bad guys and one is obligated to hate the other.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    To us, this statement is no big deal. We’re all sinnful and we all struggle with the evil within us, only Christ gives us the victory etc.

    However the Ruling Class thinks that this is a big deal because the doen’t understand Christianity. They confuse it with Nestorianism. There are good guys and bad guys and one is obligated to hate the other.

  • JGrubb

    Very well put JDEAN.
    SAL@ 3, our LCMS church here in OH offers private confession on a weekly basis.

  • JGrubb

    Very well put JDEAN.
    SAL@ 3, our LCMS church here in OH offers private confession on a weekly basis.

  • Rich

    His statement is neither surprising nor alarming. Anyone’s “success” against homosexuality is not gained by their living a perfectly chaste life in thought, word, and deed; but by Christ who lived, died, and rose for that person’s sins– whether it be homosexual sex, heterosexual sex outside the bonds of marriage, addiction to pornography, drugs, alcohol, etc. I’m happy that yet another highly visible figure in what makes up American Christianity has seen the shortcomings of Wesleyan Arminian theology which is so dominant in the Church today. I’m happy for those who have experienced a change in behavior, but they cannot claim victory but for the sake of Christ. Private or corporate Confession and Absolution is a true gift to the Church freely offered to my congregation.

  • Rich

    His statement is neither surprising nor alarming. Anyone’s “success” against homosexuality is not gained by their living a perfectly chaste life in thought, word, and deed; but by Christ who lived, died, and rose for that person’s sins– whether it be homosexual sex, heterosexual sex outside the bonds of marriage, addiction to pornography, drugs, alcohol, etc. I’m happy that yet another highly visible figure in what makes up American Christianity has seen the shortcomings of Wesleyan Arminian theology which is so dominant in the Church today. I’m happy for those who have experienced a change in behavior, but they cannot claim victory but for the sake of Christ. Private or corporate Confession and Absolution is a true gift to the Church freely offered to my congregation.

  • Stil Too Wild Bill

    Is this why singing Ps. 51:10-12 still resonates with people (me)? A couple of years ago my eyes filled with tears as I realized that despite my lack of faithfulness over the years the Lord had been faithful in answering that prayer. He has not taken His Spirit from me. Praise be to God!

  • Stil Too Wild Bill

    Is this why singing Ps. 51:10-12 still resonates with people (me)? A couple of years ago my eyes filled with tears as I realized that despite my lack of faithfulness over the years the Lord had been faithful in answering that prayer. He has not taken His Spirit from me. Praise be to God!

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    When I saw this statement, I first thought so he finally figured out what we Lutherans have known all along. Sin will only be fully gone when Jesus comes again.

    @#3 You and me both, private absolution has made a big impact on myself and I want others to experience it. My fellow pastor and I set aside time every month for people to come in for individual absolution.

    We are also taking the principles of the 12 steps that Dr Knippel drew up and creating a 12 step program similar to Celebrate Recovery and a big part of it is individual confession and absolution.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    When I saw this statement, I first thought so he finally figured out what we Lutherans have known all along. Sin will only be fully gone when Jesus comes again.

    @#3 You and me both, private absolution has made a big impact on myself and I want others to experience it. My fellow pastor and I set aside time every month for people to come in for individual absolution.

    We are also taking the principles of the 12 steps that Dr Knippel drew up and creating a 12 step program similar to Celebrate Recovery and a big part of it is individual confession and absolution.

  • Grace

    From the article:

    “And in a theological departure that has caused the sharpest reaction from conservative pastors, Mr. Chambers said he believed that those who persist in homosexual behavior could still be saved by Christ and go to heaven.

    The quote BOLDED, Alan Chambers, contradicts the Word of God. The Bible states plainly in Romans 1 those that do such things are given over to a REPROBATE MIND.

    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    Romans 1:28

    Definition reprobate Strong’s Greek Dictionary

    adokimos-ad-ok’-ee-mos
    unapproved, i.e. rejected; by implication, worthless (literally or morally):–castaway, rejected, reprobate.

  • Grace

    From the article:

    “And in a theological departure that has caused the sharpest reaction from conservative pastors, Mr. Chambers said he believed that those who persist in homosexual behavior could still be saved by Christ and go to heaven.

    The quote BOLDED, Alan Chambers, contradicts the Word of God. The Bible states plainly in Romans 1 those that do such things are given over to a REPROBATE MIND.

    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    Romans 1:28

    Definition reprobate Strong’s Greek Dictionary

    adokimos-ad-ok’-ee-mos
    unapproved, i.e. rejected; by implication, worthless (literally or morally):–castaway, rejected, reprobate.

  • Grace

    What I’m reading in many of these posts is; God isn’t able to deliver an individual from their desire to sin? Further more, the individual has been attracted to a particular sin all their life.

    Is one born with a proclivity to steal, hurt others, molest sexually, homosexuality, murder, hatred, wrath, envy – from early childhood?

  • Grace

    What I’m reading in many of these posts is; God isn’t able to deliver an individual from their desire to sin? Further more, the individual has been attracted to a particular sin all their life.

    Is one born with a proclivity to steal, hurt others, molest sexually, homosexuality, murder, hatred, wrath, envy – from early childhood?

  • Fws

    When I read the comments here, as a gay man, I am discouraged.
    The premise here is that Homosexuality is a besetting sin. So homosexuality is a compulsive behavioral disorder. So it is therefore like alcohilism or porn addiction. So we should accept those , as sinners, who have such sins. This makes us feel good doesnt it? Compassioate. It is not.

    We dont define terms. We must mean homosexuality defining it as a compulsion to sexual thoughts and acts. But no one but the religious define that word that way. Doctors dont. gays dont. Most gay men are not compulsive sexually. We do not have sexually addictive behavior.
    They may or may not be offended that you insist on this definition. they for sure will think you are uneducated. And they wont find a conversation with you on the topic anything but pointless. How is that a denial of being a sinner?

    Homos think that they discover they are homos usually around age 4-6. It is hard for them to think this experience is delusional because they immediately consume themselves doing whatever they can think to do to a) undo this “fact” and b) hide this “fact” in sheer terror that someone will find out. how does this fit the clinical description of a compulsive behavior…uh…besetting sin…. Arent we confusing, just a bit …. Theology and clinical definitions?

    You might doctrinally disagree with what homos are quite certain are “facts”. Ok. But if you insist on characterizing and labeling their condition in a way they simply fail to identify with, how would that allow for any kind of real discussion with them? How are they supposed to plug the definition of homosexuality that you insist is the ONLY one allowed by scripture (sic), into what they are very certain they have experienced. Is “repentence” defined as a gay man figuring out a way to accept your definition of homosexuality? why?

    This is how I, as a gay man, process this post and all your comments. I cant see how they fit me as a 6 year old boy who has all those desires to fit in maybe does, but internally knows that is a lie, who thinks he will go to hell unless he can change (heavy stuff for a 6 year old to deal with), and is totally terrified that someone will guess his secret. And I still cant see how your coMments fit me. I do not have sexually compulsive behaviors. but I an still gay for the same reAsons and in the same wAy i was gay at age 6.

    So tell me now. What is my besetting sin as a 6 year old gay boy who does not yet even have a label for what he is. He is attracted to other little boys . Not sexually. What do you tell that boy? What if he cant be fixed.? Imagine you are his parent. What do you do? And today at age 56 the sex drive is low, but i still have a desire for other men. Think of your 80 year old widowed dad still wanting a girlfriend. A boyfriend would be wierd and old buddies just arent the same. The main interest is not sex here. You would not automatically reduce dads desire for a girlfriend to that I hope. Try to get at what I am saying please without seeing it as an attempt to UNsin homosexual sex or homosexuality. I do know i am a sinner. Yes I do sin sexually as well. What is it that is my besetting sin of “homosexuality”?

    Would any of you be offended if I called this entire conversation just a little wierd?

    put besetting sin in that practical context.
    Now continue the conversation please.
    I am curious What you will come up with.
    Especially SK

  • Fws

    When I read the comments here, as a gay man, I am discouraged.
    The premise here is that Homosexuality is a besetting sin. So homosexuality is a compulsive behavioral disorder. So it is therefore like alcohilism or porn addiction. So we should accept those , as sinners, who have such sins. This makes us feel good doesnt it? Compassioate. It is not.

    We dont define terms. We must mean homosexuality defining it as a compulsion to sexual thoughts and acts. But no one but the religious define that word that way. Doctors dont. gays dont. Most gay men are not compulsive sexually. We do not have sexually addictive behavior.
    They may or may not be offended that you insist on this definition. they for sure will think you are uneducated. And they wont find a conversation with you on the topic anything but pointless. How is that a denial of being a sinner?

    Homos think that they discover they are homos usually around age 4-6. It is hard for them to think this experience is delusional because they immediately consume themselves doing whatever they can think to do to a) undo this “fact” and b) hide this “fact” in sheer terror that someone will find out. how does this fit the clinical description of a compulsive behavior…uh…besetting sin…. Arent we confusing, just a bit …. Theology and clinical definitions?

    You might doctrinally disagree with what homos are quite certain are “facts”. Ok. But if you insist on characterizing and labeling their condition in a way they simply fail to identify with, how would that allow for any kind of real discussion with them? How are they supposed to plug the definition of homosexuality that you insist is the ONLY one allowed by scripture (sic), into what they are very certain they have experienced. Is “repentence” defined as a gay man figuring out a way to accept your definition of homosexuality? why?

    This is how I, as a gay man, process this post and all your comments. I cant see how they fit me as a 6 year old boy who has all those desires to fit in maybe does, but internally knows that is a lie, who thinks he will go to hell unless he can change (heavy stuff for a 6 year old to deal with), and is totally terrified that someone will guess his secret. And I still cant see how your coMments fit me. I do not have sexually compulsive behaviors. but I an still gay for the same reAsons and in the same wAy i was gay at age 6.

    So tell me now. What is my besetting sin as a 6 year old gay boy who does not yet even have a label for what he is. He is attracted to other little boys . Not sexually. What do you tell that boy? What if he cant be fixed.? Imagine you are his parent. What do you do? And today at age 56 the sex drive is low, but i still have a desire for other men. Think of your 80 year old widowed dad still wanting a girlfriend. A boyfriend would be wierd and old buddies just arent the same. The main interest is not sex here. You would not automatically reduce dads desire for a girlfriend to that I hope. Try to get at what I am saying please without seeing it as an attempt to UNsin homosexual sex or homosexuality. I do know i am a sinner. Yes I do sin sexually as well. What is it that is my besetting sin of “homosexuality”?

    Would any of you be offended if I called this entire conversation just a little wierd?

    put besetting sin in that practical context.
    Now continue the conversation please.
    I am curious What you will come up with.
    Especially SK

  • Fws

    Robert Gagnon, an associate professor at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and author of books on homosexuality and the Bible, last week issued a public call for Mr. Chambers to resign. “My greatest concern has to do with Alan’s repeated assurances to homosexually active ‘gay Christians’ that they will be with him in heaven,” he said in an e-mail.

  • Fws

    Robert Gagnon, an associate professor at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and author of books on homosexuality and the Bible, last week issued a public call for Mr. Chambers to resign. “My greatest concern has to do with Alan’s repeated assurances to homosexually active ‘gay Christians’ that they will be with him in heaven,” he said in an e-mail.

  • Grace

    Well fws, you made this statement back in February 2012.

    “I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.”

    Homosexuality is a sin – however you don’t believe it is. With that mind-set, there is nothing to change.

  • Grace

    Well fws, you made this statement back in February 2012.

    “I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.”

    Homosexuality is a sin – however you don’t believe it is. With that mind-set, there is nothing to change.

  • Joanne

    Simul justus et peccator, at the same time righteous and sinner. At confession we pray for all sins even the ones we don’t remember or don’t even know we did. It is so safe just to plead guilty and to beg for forgiveness.

    When I think of sexual sins, I remind myself that they are like sins about food. Usually the sin happens when the hunger gets too strong. And hunger is always with us, it never goes away, and we all hunger for different things. One cannot avoid fried food and another sweets. Sex is a physical hunger.

    St. Paul said, then just don’t get too hungry. I myself don’t hunger for sex, but if you do, go ahead and marry. But the Bible has approved of those who hunger for fried foods and condemned those who hunger for sweets. If you hunger for the correct object of approved sex, go for it. If you hunger for the incorrect object of unapproved sex, then you can just go to hell, I’ve got no comfort or answer for you. (He doesn’t does he?)

    And then there is the wonderful example of the earthly Church of Rome, which forbids its clergy any feeding of their sexual hunger. We don’t care what you hunger for, forget about it. And, remember, Luther did without sex until in his 40s. I never read that sexual hunger was a problem for him. He was not inclined to marry even when he did.

    But as a seelsorger and father confessor he knew very well of it, though very little about the wrong hunger that those filthy Carthusians introduced into Germany from Italy. http://gnesiolutheran.com/luther-on-homosexuality/

    And, we see so often that people get so hungry and then picky. Gotta change spouses, I don’t like this one any more. Divorce and its resultant adultry is the biggest sin accepted in our churches today. And, for a remarried after previous divorces couple, it’s an intractable/besetting sin. Every time the couple hungers for each other, and then again when they actually eat of it, they commit adultry for as long as they both shall live. In terms of numbers of church members, this sin, divorce adultry, is the most prevalent sin in our churches.

    If the church can make room for those living in divorce adultry, we don’t end their new marriages and make their new children bastards, then the church has the power to live with other intractable/besetting sins, just so long as no one claims not to be sinning.

    And, Lutherans never claim not to be sinning. No, I mean that and I know that from confession and absolution.

    We are married, we live together, we have children, and yet our intractable sin is divorce adultry, or (can we name any other sins like this one?) Sins that grab us by the chromazomes, or DNA, or epigenetics, that do indeed show us our helplessness before a just God. Other than the besetting sin, one would think they were happy members of the congregation, doing so well in their sactification, except for the sin that lives in their members.

    There are those who go to confession at least every week because they are beset by sin and they feel it. It will not go away so it must be confessed often. I would say, we’re doing this while we wait for God’s release in life or in death. We all instinctively understand when 2 people just can’t live together anymore. We can see how badly they are paired. So, the divorce comes as a relief/release for the whole family and community. But now we will have divorce adultry that will not go away in this life. (You did say you didn’t want us to talk about the intractable/besetting sin of the gays, right?)

    It is true, we are all beggars.

  • Joanne

    Simul justus et peccator, at the same time righteous and sinner. At confession we pray for all sins even the ones we don’t remember or don’t even know we did. It is so safe just to plead guilty and to beg for forgiveness.

    When I think of sexual sins, I remind myself that they are like sins about food. Usually the sin happens when the hunger gets too strong. And hunger is always with us, it never goes away, and we all hunger for different things. One cannot avoid fried food and another sweets. Sex is a physical hunger.

    St. Paul said, then just don’t get too hungry. I myself don’t hunger for sex, but if you do, go ahead and marry. But the Bible has approved of those who hunger for fried foods and condemned those who hunger for sweets. If you hunger for the correct object of approved sex, go for it. If you hunger for the incorrect object of unapproved sex, then you can just go to hell, I’ve got no comfort or answer for you. (He doesn’t does he?)

    And then there is the wonderful example of the earthly Church of Rome, which forbids its clergy any feeding of their sexual hunger. We don’t care what you hunger for, forget about it. And, remember, Luther did without sex until in his 40s. I never read that sexual hunger was a problem for him. He was not inclined to marry even when he did.

    But as a seelsorger and father confessor he knew very well of it, though very little about the wrong hunger that those filthy Carthusians introduced into Germany from Italy. http://gnesiolutheran.com/luther-on-homosexuality/

    And, we see so often that people get so hungry and then picky. Gotta change spouses, I don’t like this one any more. Divorce and its resultant adultry is the biggest sin accepted in our churches today. And, for a remarried after previous divorces couple, it’s an intractable/besetting sin. Every time the couple hungers for each other, and then again when they actually eat of it, they commit adultry for as long as they both shall live. In terms of numbers of church members, this sin, divorce adultry, is the most prevalent sin in our churches.

    If the church can make room for those living in divorce adultry, we don’t end their new marriages and make their new children bastards, then the church has the power to live with other intractable/besetting sins, just so long as no one claims not to be sinning.

    And, Lutherans never claim not to be sinning. No, I mean that and I know that from confession and absolution.

    We are married, we live together, we have children, and yet our intractable sin is divorce adultry, or (can we name any other sins like this one?) Sins that grab us by the chromazomes, or DNA, or epigenetics, that do indeed show us our helplessness before a just God. Other than the besetting sin, one would think they were happy members of the congregation, doing so well in their sactification, except for the sin that lives in their members.

    There are those who go to confession at least every week because they are beset by sin and they feel it. It will not go away so it must be confessed often. I would say, we’re doing this while we wait for God’s release in life or in death. We all instinctively understand when 2 people just can’t live together anymore. We can see how badly they are paired. So, the divorce comes as a relief/release for the whole family and community. But now we will have divorce adultry that will not go away in this life. (You did say you didn’t want us to talk about the intractable/besetting sin of the gays, right?)

    It is true, we are all beggars.

  • reg

    Grace,
    You ask “Is one born with a proclivity to steal, hurt others, molest sexually, homosexuality, murder, hatred, wrath, envy – from early childhood?” I would say the answer is yes. If coveting is stealing (and Jesus says it is), if hatred is murder and Jesus says it is), If lusting in one’s heart is adultery (and Jesus says it is) then surely in sin I was conceived and in sin I was born! Grace do you meet Jesus’ test of righteous living? If so, then you don’t need a Savior do you.

    Do you have children? They lie, envy, steal from the get go. With God’s grace they get somewhat socialized, but they remain sinners at heart.

  • reg

    Grace,
    You ask “Is one born with a proclivity to steal, hurt others, molest sexually, homosexuality, murder, hatred, wrath, envy – from early childhood?” I would say the answer is yes. If coveting is stealing (and Jesus says it is), if hatred is murder and Jesus says it is), If lusting in one’s heart is adultery (and Jesus says it is) then surely in sin I was conceived and in sin I was born! Grace do you meet Jesus’ test of righteous living? If so, then you don’t need a Savior do you.

    Do you have children? They lie, envy, steal from the get go. With God’s grace they get somewhat socialized, but they remain sinners at heart.

  • Grace

    Sexual sin is the only one, in which one can obtain a divorce and remarry.

    Many diseases are contracted from sexual contact. Some may result in death HIV/AIDS, some may cause cancer, the inability to have children, and a variety of other effects.

    Sexual sin for a Believer is singled out in this passage.

    15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
    16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
    17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
    18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
    19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
    20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
    1 Corinthians 6

  • Grace

    Sexual sin is the only one, in which one can obtain a divorce and remarry.

    Many diseases are contracted from sexual contact. Some may result in death HIV/AIDS, some may cause cancer, the inability to have children, and a variety of other effects.

    Sexual sin for a Believer is singled out in this passage.

    15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
    16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
    17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
    18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
    19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
    20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
    1 Corinthians 6

  • fws

    grace @ 28
    Do you sexually sin?

  • fws

    grace @ 28
    Do you sexually sin?

  • fws

    sorry for my overly long comment.
    The condensed version is this.

    To say that heterosexuality is a besetting sin is sorta crazy.
    Doncha think?
    It a sense it is true, but in any practical useful distinctional way?

    This article starts by defining besetting sin this way.

  • fws

    sorry for my overly long comment.
    The condensed version is this.

    To say that heterosexuality is a besetting sin is sorta crazy.
    Doncha think?
    It a sense it is true, but in any practical useful distinctional way?

    This article starts by defining besetting sin this way.

  • reg

    Grace,
    What sin is singled out in this passage?

    9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  • reg

    Grace,
    What sin is singled out in this passage?

    9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  • Grace

    Reg, the point I made in post 28, was lost on you. Not everyone sins sexually, nor do they lust after others, .. I don’t, I have a wonderful husband.

    The passage you quote @ 31 is wonderful, but it has nothing to do with what I posted @28.

  • Grace

    Reg, the point I made in post 28, was lost on you. Not everyone sins sexually, nor do they lust after others, .. I don’t, I have a wonderful husband.

    The passage you quote @ 31 is wonderful, but it has nothing to do with what I posted @28.

  • Grace

    Sexual sin has many consequences, not just disease, but loss of family, spouses who leave with broken hearts – The mayhem, that is left in the wake of sexual sin, is horrific.

    Lust is a sin, the Word of God says so, but it does not allow anyone to get a divorce, because their husband or wife lusted after another person. Let’s not mix it up!

  • Grace

    Sexual sin has many consequences, not just disease, but loss of family, spouses who leave with broken hearts – The mayhem, that is left in the wake of sexual sin, is horrific.

    Lust is a sin, the Word of God says so, but it does not allow anyone to get a divorce, because their husband or wife lusted after another person. Let’s not mix it up!

  • Joanne

    Hi Grace,

    These Bible passages strike me as being applicable to sex (heterosexual) outside of marriage. The business ladies mentioned here wouldn’t be married to their customers, no matter the marital status of the customer. However, some of the professional women are probably married to a pimp/husband who manages the business for them.

    I’m sure professional sex was legal in the Roman Empire, just as it is in Nevada, and quasi-legal in the vice-zones of most cities.

    St. Paul is railing here, and I’d say quite effectively, against men going a whoring. Like military men just getting off a ship that’s been out for 6 months.

    But we know that men do this, and they excuse it because of great, pent-up hunger. There will always be those with lower sex drives who can wait 6 more months before they get home. But, not many.

    But you Christian men, says Paul, cannot have sex with a woman who is not your wife because you make yourself a part of her and her a part of you. You’re sinning with the instruments of new life. Don’t make a baby with a harlot, she will only kill it so as not to lose any money.

    Now, If Dr. Veith would allow it, I’d mention that back of the vice-zone is a very unprepossessing house, there will be a gay bar or two. I’m sure Paul would have kept his Christian men away from those as well.

    Women civilize and domesticate men. It’s a smell they have. It even works on gay men. When in big groups of all men, any South American soccer game, they go wild and hurt and kill. In America, we bring women and children to football games and it is perfectly safe to do so. In Spain they bring the women and children into the corner bars and practicaly live there peacefully with the whole neighborhood.

    Couples of just men or just women accentuate the difference between the sexes. The sexes need to be closely mixed together even when it’s not just a marriage thing. It’s good for the world.

  • Joanne

    Hi Grace,

    These Bible passages strike me as being applicable to sex (heterosexual) outside of marriage. The business ladies mentioned here wouldn’t be married to their customers, no matter the marital status of the customer. However, some of the professional women are probably married to a pimp/husband who manages the business for them.

    I’m sure professional sex was legal in the Roman Empire, just as it is in Nevada, and quasi-legal in the vice-zones of most cities.

    St. Paul is railing here, and I’d say quite effectively, against men going a whoring. Like military men just getting off a ship that’s been out for 6 months.

    But we know that men do this, and they excuse it because of great, pent-up hunger. There will always be those with lower sex drives who can wait 6 more months before they get home. But, not many.

    But you Christian men, says Paul, cannot have sex with a woman who is not your wife because you make yourself a part of her and her a part of you. You’re sinning with the instruments of new life. Don’t make a baby with a harlot, she will only kill it so as not to lose any money.

    Now, If Dr. Veith would allow it, I’d mention that back of the vice-zone is a very unprepossessing house, there will be a gay bar or two. I’m sure Paul would have kept his Christian men away from those as well.

    Women civilize and domesticate men. It’s a smell they have. It even works on gay men. When in big groups of all men, any South American soccer game, they go wild and hurt and kill. In America, we bring women and children to football games and it is perfectly safe to do so. In Spain they bring the women and children into the corner bars and practicaly live there peacefully with the whole neighborhood.

    Couples of just men or just women accentuate the difference between the sexes. The sexes need to be closely mixed together even when it’s not just a marriage thing. It’s good for the world.

  • Grace

    Joanne,

    This might shock you, but both men and women have often have sex before marriage. Men are not the only ones who do such things. In todays society, both men and women run around, if they didn’t we wouldn’t have all the abortions, STD’s, etc.

    YOU WROTE: “Women civilize and domesticate men. It’s a smell they have. It even works on gay men.”

    I don’t believe women civilize men, just as a mother corrects and disciplines her sons/daughters. There is no “smell” to it, it’s a sin issue, it’s not a woman. Both men and women have to adjust to one another as they date, think about marriage. A woman doesn’t “domesticate” a man. A good man most often has a mother and father who instructed him.

    I’m not familiar with many of the practices you mention in other countries, if in fact that is the norm – I believe it’s not the normal way of life.

    We have traveled a great deal, I have never witnessed what you describe about “corner bars” women and children, almost living there- OR, the other comment you made “Now, If Dr. Veith would allow it, I’d mention that back of the vice-zone is a very unprepossessing house, there will be a gay bar or two.” – REALLY? How do you know all this, have you witnessed it FIRST HAND?

  • Grace

    Joanne,

    This might shock you, but both men and women have often have sex before marriage. Men are not the only ones who do such things. In todays society, both men and women run around, if they didn’t we wouldn’t have all the abortions, STD’s, etc.

    YOU WROTE: “Women civilize and domesticate men. It’s a smell they have. It even works on gay men.”

    I don’t believe women civilize men, just as a mother corrects and disciplines her sons/daughters. There is no “smell” to it, it’s a sin issue, it’s not a woman. Both men and women have to adjust to one another as they date, think about marriage. A woman doesn’t “domesticate” a man. A good man most often has a mother and father who instructed him.

    I’m not familiar with many of the practices you mention in other countries, if in fact that is the norm – I believe it’s not the normal way of life.

    We have traveled a great deal, I have never witnessed what you describe about “corner bars” women and children, almost living there- OR, the other comment you made “Now, If Dr. Veith would allow it, I’d mention that back of the vice-zone is a very unprepossessing house, there will be a gay bar or two.” – REALLY? How do you know all this, have you witnessed it FIRST HAND?

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

    Grace,

    I don’t think anybody here is denying homosexuality is a sin (with the possible exception of Frank), or that it is a serious sin. To be sure, sexual sins carry out a visual consequence that is not so obvious with other sins. But we fall into this “rating sin” game which, as I have said before, is a step back toward Rome and the Pharisees. We must be VERY careful about looking at the sins of others and saying “I’m a better person because I don’t do THEIR sin.” That is the EXACT SAME attitude taken by the Pharisees, and it is a self-deceiving mindset that will harm us.

    Now, in fairness to you, Grace, I agree with your concern as expressed @21. Mr. Chambers’ wording that “practicing homosexuals” gives the impression that one may unrepentantly follow the lifestyle with no evidence of repentance and expect no repercussions accordingly. He should have worded it as “struggling homosexuals,” because there is all the difference in the world between struggling with persistent sin versus wallowing impenitently in persistent sin. In light of the struggles we see with former alcoholics and drug addicts, we should not be so surprised to see this sort of struggle in the life of somebody involved in sexual sin (homo or hetero).

    The Bible makes it clear that we will never be free from sin or temptation this side of the Second Coming. But it is equally as clear that there IS a change at our conversion wrought by the Spirit of God. We are imperfect, yes, but we are also different, and a person who claims saving faith in Jesus Christ but shows no evidence of (at the very least) genuine remorse over his/her sins needs to take a good look at the Law and the Gospel again. When Paul was converted at the Damascus road, he didn’t get up and go back to being an advocate for the High Priest to persecute Christians while professing Christ. He was changed in his spirit, which inevitably produced change in behavior. Sanctification/Mortification, while it is not the source of our salvation, ought NEVER to be divorced from the Christian life. It is always in light of the gospel, but must follow the gospel in some form of evidence.

    (Funny, does anybody else see this topic dovetailing with the “Insider Movement” in some ways?)

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

    Grace,

    I don’t think anybody here is denying homosexuality is a sin (with the possible exception of Frank), or that it is a serious sin. To be sure, sexual sins carry out a visual consequence that is not so obvious with other sins. But we fall into this “rating sin” game which, as I have said before, is a step back toward Rome and the Pharisees. We must be VERY careful about looking at the sins of others and saying “I’m a better person because I don’t do THEIR sin.” That is the EXACT SAME attitude taken by the Pharisees, and it is a self-deceiving mindset that will harm us.

    Now, in fairness to you, Grace, I agree with your concern as expressed @21. Mr. Chambers’ wording that “practicing homosexuals” gives the impression that one may unrepentantly follow the lifestyle with no evidence of repentance and expect no repercussions accordingly. He should have worded it as “struggling homosexuals,” because there is all the difference in the world between struggling with persistent sin versus wallowing impenitently in persistent sin. In light of the struggles we see with former alcoholics and drug addicts, we should not be so surprised to see this sort of struggle in the life of somebody involved in sexual sin (homo or hetero).

    The Bible makes it clear that we will never be free from sin or temptation this side of the Second Coming. But it is equally as clear that there IS a change at our conversion wrought by the Spirit of God. We are imperfect, yes, but we are also different, and a person who claims saving faith in Jesus Christ but shows no evidence of (at the very least) genuine remorse over his/her sins needs to take a good look at the Law and the Gospel again. When Paul was converted at the Damascus road, he didn’t get up and go back to being an advocate for the High Priest to persecute Christians while professing Christ. He was changed in his spirit, which inevitably produced change in behavior. Sanctification/Mortification, while it is not the source of our salvation, ought NEVER to be divorced from the Christian life. It is always in light of the gospel, but must follow the gospel in some form of evidence.

    (Funny, does anybody else see this topic dovetailing with the “Insider Movement” in some ways?)

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

    J Dean

    Homosexuality effects a great many people, not just their group, but the people they’ve left behind, such as; wives, children. Disease, (not just HIV/AIDS but many others, including hepatitis and pneumonia.

    We are all tempted to sin, but God gives us an escape – It’s that escape which people don’t take.

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    1 Corinthians 10:13

    Those who believe God, and believe that HE can and will deliver us from “temptation” will stand on the promise of this passage. God does not lie, nor does he deceive us.

    The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
    2 Peter 2:9

    I’ve seen lives changes through the LORD Jesus Christ. People whos lives were upside down, turned to Christ the only Savior.

  • Grace

    J Dean

    Homosexuality effects a great many people, not just their group, but the people they’ve left behind, such as; wives, children. Disease, (not just HIV/AIDS but many others, including hepatitis and pneumonia.

    We are all tempted to sin, but God gives us an escape – It’s that escape which people don’t take.

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    1 Corinthians 10:13

    Those who believe God, and believe that HE can and will deliver us from “temptation” will stand on the promise of this passage. God does not lie, nor does he deceive us.

    The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
    2 Peter 2:9

    I’ve seen lives changes through the LORD Jesus Christ. People whos lives were upside down, turned to Christ the only Savior.

  • fws

    J Dean @ 37

    The Link you posted. Read it.
    The paragraph starting with:
    “My life was fun… but it wasn’t what I had thought it would be. It wasn’t as satisfying…..”

    What is this? A description of the “gay lifestyle”? (as he claims)
    Nope. I DO know lots of men and women, both gay and heterosexual, whom this paragraph describes.
    Therefore, I hope you understand that this paragraph has nothing to do with being gay. The author can only speak about himself here.
    Larry Flynt also probably also thinks his lifestyle is not all that different from other heterosexuals. I would beg to differ with him for the same reasons.

    And guess what else is true:
    Most gays I know think that drugs, drinking to much, addiction to porn sites, and sleeping around are all a) immoral and b) destructively unhealthy behavior that suggests someone get some professional or spiritual help with.
    Lots of gays want Marriage.
    Why? To pursue this man’s vision of is the “Gay Lifestyle”?
    Are you serious? Think about that….
    And those gays don’t need to be christian to see that J Dean.
    My life has NEVER looked like that.
    I am the rule not the exception J Dean.

    So take “gay” out of this and apply it to anyone except for two very important parts:
    1) People who live in hiding and fear for whatever reason will probably not have healthy lives. Gays live their entire lives in hiding and fear. That part that he describes is exactly right. And it is uniquely a gay experience. I fully identify with that part. So would ALL other gays.
    2) I am glad this man found Christ, and I am glad that he continues to be honest about who he is. I also fully identify with that part.

  • fws

    J Dean @ 37

    The Link you posted. Read it.
    The paragraph starting with:
    “My life was fun… but it wasn’t what I had thought it would be. It wasn’t as satisfying…..”

    What is this? A description of the “gay lifestyle”? (as he claims)
    Nope. I DO know lots of men and women, both gay and heterosexual, whom this paragraph describes.
    Therefore, I hope you understand that this paragraph has nothing to do with being gay. The author can only speak about himself here.
    Larry Flynt also probably also thinks his lifestyle is not all that different from other heterosexuals. I would beg to differ with him for the same reasons.

    And guess what else is true:
    Most gays I know think that drugs, drinking to much, addiction to porn sites, and sleeping around are all a) immoral and b) destructively unhealthy behavior that suggests someone get some professional or spiritual help with.
    Lots of gays want Marriage.
    Why? To pursue this man’s vision of is the “Gay Lifestyle”?
    Are you serious? Think about that….
    And those gays don’t need to be christian to see that J Dean.
    My life has NEVER looked like that.
    I am the rule not the exception J Dean.

    So take “gay” out of this and apply it to anyone except for two very important parts:
    1) People who live in hiding and fear for whatever reason will probably not have healthy lives. Gays live their entire lives in hiding and fear. That part that he describes is exactly right. And it is uniquely a gay experience. I fully identify with that part. So would ALL other gays.
    2) I am glad this man found Christ, and I am glad that he continues to be honest about who he is. I also fully identify with that part.

  • John C

    So much sin, so little time.
    So much sin finely calibrated and apportioned.
    So bloody futile.

  • John C

    So much sin, so little time.
    So much sin finely calibrated and apportioned.
    So bloody futile.

  • fws

    J Dean @ 36

    “I don’t think anybody here is denying homosexuality is a sin (with the possible exception of Frank), ”

    “homosexuality” has been defined here as a compulsive behavioral disorder, ie, besetting sin. Lumped in with alcolholism and porn addiction says that.

    J Dean, let me confess that I do have a compulsion. Coca Cola. I can’t seem to stop drinking the stuff. Beyond that? (sound of crickets). So this entire post has been really sort of silly.

    When you come up with a definition of that word you are just throwing around, then we can talk about what part of that definition is sin. Does “homosexuality” mean for you “same gender sex urges and acts”? it doesnt mean that to me or the medical community that owns the term. (eg prison sex and rape are not homosexuality). And gay men mostly know they are gay at age 6. So to hear homosexuality=sex doesn’t make lots of sense to gays who hear that.

    So to insist on making such distinctions….. Is that UNsinning sin? How so? These are not subtle nuance. They are sorta… um… big. Maybe it is just insisting on discipline and honesty in the use of language?

    Isn’t it usually proper to define terms before they are used? What is “gay lifestyle”? what that guy in the article you link to says it is? Is that true? Why? Because someone who is gay says so, so that is “proof”? Is Larry Flynt ‘s version of reality the heterosexual lifestyle? More silliness.

  • fws

    J Dean @ 36

    “I don’t think anybody here is denying homosexuality is a sin (with the possible exception of Frank), ”

    “homosexuality” has been defined here as a compulsive behavioral disorder, ie, besetting sin. Lumped in with alcolholism and porn addiction says that.

    J Dean, let me confess that I do have a compulsion. Coca Cola. I can’t seem to stop drinking the stuff. Beyond that? (sound of crickets). So this entire post has been really sort of silly.

    When you come up with a definition of that word you are just throwing around, then we can talk about what part of that definition is sin. Does “homosexuality” mean for you “same gender sex urges and acts”? it doesnt mean that to me or the medical community that owns the term. (eg prison sex and rape are not homosexuality). And gay men mostly know they are gay at age 6. So to hear homosexuality=sex doesn’t make lots of sense to gays who hear that.

    So to insist on making such distinctions….. Is that UNsinning sin? How so? These are not subtle nuance. They are sorta… um… big. Maybe it is just insisting on discipline and honesty in the use of language?

    Isn’t it usually proper to define terms before they are used? What is “gay lifestyle”? what that guy in the article you link to says it is? Is that true? Why? Because someone who is gay says so, so that is “proof”? Is Larry Flynt ‘s version of reality the heterosexual lifestyle? More silliness.

  • Carl Vehse

    J. Dean @2: “It should be noted, too, that in fairness to Mr. Chambers, he still acknowledges that homosexuality is a sin. He does not justify it, does not condone it, but states that the temptation doesn’t go away.”

    This view may also explain the difficulty in convincing Demonicrats to abandon their political views. Even if they admit that supporting the party platform and candidate is a sinful, the temptation of and sympathy for left-wing perversion never goes away.

  • Carl Vehse

    J. Dean @2: “It should be noted, too, that in fairness to Mr. Chambers, he still acknowledges that homosexuality is a sin. He does not justify it, does not condone it, but states that the temptation doesn’t go away.”

    This view may also explain the difficulty in convincing Demonicrats to abandon their political views. Even if they admit that supporting the party platform and candidate is a sinful, the temptation of and sympathy for left-wing perversion never goes away.

  • fws

    John C @40

    I hope you dont mean what it sounds like.

    To say one’s wife sins sexually is the truth.
    How do we know that? We all sin sexually. The bible says so.

    To object to “therefore one’s wife is a whore.”
    Is a bit more than an exercise in finely calibrating and apportioning someones sin.
    And it is not an exercise in futility to know the difference.
    It is an exercise in being a moral person.

    For one say that homosexuality is a compulsive disorder lumping it with porn addiction, alcoholism, child molestation, rape etc…
    And the sodom and gommorah story and romans 1:27 are is an accurate depiction of the Gay lifestyle….

    and say objections to this are futile fine calibration or apportionment of sin sounds… sorta wierd. If you cant see how this would be offensive….

  • fws

    John C @40

    I hope you dont mean what it sounds like.

    To say one’s wife sins sexually is the truth.
    How do we know that? We all sin sexually. The bible says so.

    To object to “therefore one’s wife is a whore.”
    Is a bit more than an exercise in finely calibrating and apportioning someones sin.
    And it is not an exercise in futility to know the difference.
    It is an exercise in being a moral person.

    For one say that homosexuality is a compulsive disorder lumping it with porn addiction, alcoholism, child molestation, rape etc…
    And the sodom and gommorah story and romans 1:27 are is an accurate depiction of the Gay lifestyle….

    and say objections to this are futile fine calibration or apportionment of sin sounds… sorta wierd. If you cant see how this would be offensive….

  • Grace

    “Most gays I know think that drugs, drinking to much, addiction to porn sites, and sleeping around are all a) immoral and b) destructively unhealthy behavior that suggests someone get some professional or spiritual help with.

    That isn’t true – the reason? MSM, (Men have sex with Men) is the highest precentage of those who contract HIV/AIDS. If they were not “sleeping around” they wouldn’t have a chance to get the disease.

    CDC

    HIV among Gay and Bisexual Men
    May 20, 2012

    Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM)1 represent approximately 2% of the US population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV. In 2009, MSM accounted for 61% of all new HIV infections, and MSM with a history of injection drug use (MSM-IDU) accounted for an additional 3% of new infections. That same year, young MSM accounted for 69% of new HIV infections among persons aged 13–29 and 44% of infections among all MSM. At the end of 2009, an estimated 441,669 (56%) persons living with an HIV diagnosis in the US were MSM or MSM-IDU. “

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/

  • Grace

    “Most gays I know think that drugs, drinking to much, addiction to porn sites, and sleeping around are all a) immoral and b) destructively unhealthy behavior that suggests someone get some professional or spiritual help with.

    That isn’t true – the reason? MSM, (Men have sex with Men) is the highest precentage of those who contract HIV/AIDS. If they were not “sleeping around” they wouldn’t have a chance to get the disease.

    CDC

    HIV among Gay and Bisexual Men
    May 20, 2012

    Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM)1 represent approximately 2% of the US population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV. In 2009, MSM accounted for 61% of all new HIV infections, and MSM with a history of injection drug use (MSM-IDU) accounted for an additional 3% of new infections. That same year, young MSM accounted for 69% of new HIV infections among persons aged 13–29 and 44% of infections among all MSM. At the end of 2009, an estimated 441,669 (56%) persons living with an HIV diagnosis in the US were MSM or MSM-IDU. “

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/

  • Joanne

    That smell that I said women have. It’s probably a kind of human cheek pheromone. Just like in cats, it is calming and makes us feel at home. One may buy an artificial vesion of the cat cheek pheromone in a plug-in dispersant. The box says it has no effect on people, but I bet it does. Go to Walmart and buy you one and make your cat house into a cat home.

  • Joanne

    That smell that I said women have. It’s probably a kind of human cheek pheromone. Just like in cats, it is calming and makes us feel at home. One may buy an artificial vesion of the cat cheek pheromone in a plug-in dispersant. The box says it has no effect on people, but I bet it does. Go to Walmart and buy you one and make your cat house into a cat home.

  • fws

    grace @ 44

    1) the site you point to talks about an annual infection rate of about 28000 per year. Between 3-10% of the US population is gay. So that works out to between .3%-.1% of the gay population proves that what I said is wrong Grace. Not too convincing.

    And if you look at the heterosexual population , the HIV statistics would indicate that ALL heterosexuals are living completely chaste lives eh?

    Nevertheless, Some gays and heterosexuals are very concerned about these statistics. It is a huge reason why both gays heterosexuals are pushing for monogamy, and for gay marriage to encourage that. Imagine a world where heterosexual monogamous married relationships were actively discouraged and frowned upon. I am surprised that these statistics are not alot worse!

    For bonus points: the site you pointed to has a footnote saying that MSM (men who have sex with men) does not mean homosexuals only.

  • fws

    grace @ 44

    1) the site you point to talks about an annual infection rate of about 28000 per year. Between 3-10% of the US population is gay. So that works out to between .3%-.1% of the gay population proves that what I said is wrong Grace. Not too convincing.

    And if you look at the heterosexual population , the HIV statistics would indicate that ALL heterosexuals are living completely chaste lives eh?

    Nevertheless, Some gays and heterosexuals are very concerned about these statistics. It is a huge reason why both gays heterosexuals are pushing for monogamy, and for gay marriage to encourage that. Imagine a world where heterosexual monogamous married relationships were actively discouraged and frowned upon. I am surprised that these statistics are not alot worse!

    For bonus points: the site you pointed to has a footnote saying that MSM (men who have sex with men) does not mean homosexuals only.

  • Grace

    It is a huge reason why both gays heterosexuals are pushing for monogamy, and for gay marriage to encourage that.

    Homosexual marriage won’t change the fact, that same sex relationships, are sin.

    I have known those who are suppposedly in a monogamous relationship, only to find out that one has been infected with HIV/AIDS – then death, this is over a 10 year span within the relationship.

    Another one has just about the same story, except the time as a so called “monogamous” relationship, was longer. Again, so much for the “monogamous” excuse.

    Imagine a world where heterosexual monogamous married relationships were actively discouraged and frowned upon. I am surprised that these statistics are not alot worse!

    That isn’t the world God created. God created a world where man was given a wife, just as it states in Genesis. Adam was given a wife by God.

    21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

    22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

    23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

    24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
    Genesis 2

    It’s not rocket science to see, God made man and a woman to be his wife. Not another man, but a woman.

    Man was not born to be a substitute for a woman, laying with another man – nor was a woman born to take the place of a man, laying with another woman. There is no such abomination which God created. That sort of sexual perversion is of the devil, it’s man’s idea, born of fantasy and evil.

  • Grace

    It is a huge reason why both gays heterosexuals are pushing for monogamy, and for gay marriage to encourage that.

    Homosexual marriage won’t change the fact, that same sex relationships, are sin.

    I have known those who are suppposedly in a monogamous relationship, only to find out that one has been infected with HIV/AIDS – then death, this is over a 10 year span within the relationship.

    Another one has just about the same story, except the time as a so called “monogamous” relationship, was longer. Again, so much for the “monogamous” excuse.

    Imagine a world where heterosexual monogamous married relationships were actively discouraged and frowned upon. I am surprised that these statistics are not alot worse!

    That isn’t the world God created. God created a world where man was given a wife, just as it states in Genesis. Adam was given a wife by God.

    21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

    22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

    23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

    24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
    Genesis 2

    It’s not rocket science to see, God made man and a woman to be his wife. Not another man, but a woman.

    Man was not born to be a substitute for a woman, laying with another man – nor was a woman born to take the place of a man, laying with another woman. There is no such abomination which God created. That sort of sexual perversion is of the devil, it’s man’s idea, born of fantasy and evil.

  • fws

    grace.

    whatever. You arent really responding to my response. So we are done with this topic. You have the final word. Good night Grace.

  • fws

    grace.

    whatever. You arent really responding to my response. So we are done with this topic. You have the final word. Good night Grace.

  • Grace

    I responded. You just don’t like what I posted. Most homosexuals don’t. They want a counterfeit marriage, with the excuse that it will enhance their chances for a “monogamous relationship” – which isn’t true – it’s sin. Nothing that is sinful will bring forth fruit, or anything that will Glorify God, it’s a sham!

  • Grace

    I responded. You just don’t like what I posted. Most homosexuals don’t. They want a counterfeit marriage, with the excuse that it will enhance their chances for a “monogamous relationship” – which isn’t true – it’s sin. Nothing that is sinful will bring forth fruit, or anything that will Glorify God, it’s a sham!

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 49 – “Nothing that is sinful will bring forth fruit, or anything that will Glorify God, it’s a sham!” Very true, but I think you miss the full implication of your statement. In essence, man is always and everywhere a sinner; although created in the image of God, he is so corrupted by sin that he cannot escape. The only escape is Christ, the only source of fruit is the Vine. Our struggle with the Old Adam is a daily affair – continually drowning him in the waters of Baptism in order to take up the life in the New Adam with the help of the Holy Spirit. Our sins are ours; we own them, and often they own us. We are helpless; our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Our good works are never our works. Our victory over sin is never our victory.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 49 – “Nothing that is sinful will bring forth fruit, or anything that will Glorify God, it’s a sham!” Very true, but I think you miss the full implication of your statement. In essence, man is always and everywhere a sinner; although created in the image of God, he is so corrupted by sin that he cannot escape. The only escape is Christ, the only source of fruit is the Vine. Our struggle with the Old Adam is a daily affair – continually drowning him in the waters of Baptism in order to take up the life in the New Adam with the help of the Holy Spirit. Our sins are ours; we own them, and often they own us. We are helpless; our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Our good works are never our works. Our victory over sin is never our victory.

  • SKPeterson

    Here is a timely passage I read just this morning from John Kleinig, in his book Grace upon Grace:

    Much popular literature on the Christian life and prayer seems rather one-sided to me. It reads as if we live in the best of possible worlds where God’s rule is largely unchallenged. We read much about victory, triumph, and peace, but little about struggle, failure, and conflict. These writers dwell on the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, joy, patience, kindness, and so on, as if these fruits hold total sway in the Christian’s life. The impression is given that once people have faith in Christ, they escape the troubles of the world and lead blissful lives free from what ails most people. We have to go a long way before we hear the comforting message that we must undergo many trials before we enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).

  • SKPeterson

    Here is a timely passage I read just this morning from John Kleinig, in his book Grace upon Grace:

    Much popular literature on the Christian life and prayer seems rather one-sided to me. It reads as if we live in the best of possible worlds where God’s rule is largely unchallenged. We read much about victory, triumph, and peace, but little about struggle, failure, and conflict. These writers dwell on the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, joy, patience, kindness, and so on, as if these fruits hold total sway in the Christian’s life. The impression is given that once people have faith in Christ, they escape the troubles of the world and lead blissful lives free from what ails most people. We have to go a long way before we hear the comforting message that we must undergo many trials before we enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).

  • shell

    fws, I have been following this blog for some time now but have rarely posted any comments. I have appreciated some of your comments elsewhere and would now like to understand your position on homosexuality. You have said that it is not defined by sexual attraction. From what I can understand, you would say that it is a preference for the friendship, support, and closeness of a male for a male–a platonic relationship, if you will. In your understanding, are homosexual sex acts a wholesome part of a “monogamous homosexual relationship”? Please understand that this comment is sincere and that I am simply trying to clarify your position.

  • shell

    fws, I have been following this blog for some time now but have rarely posted any comments. I have appreciated some of your comments elsewhere and would now like to understand your position on homosexuality. You have said that it is not defined by sexual attraction. From what I can understand, you would say that it is a preference for the friendship, support, and closeness of a male for a male–a platonic relationship, if you will. In your understanding, are homosexual sex acts a wholesome part of a “monogamous homosexual relationship”? Please understand that this comment is sincere and that I am simply trying to clarify your position.

  • fws

    skpeterson @ 50

    In essence, man is always and everywhere a sinner; although created in the image of God, he is so corrupted by sin that he cannot escape.

    SK, you , along with Seth, were born in the image and likeness of [Old] Adam, not in the Image of God. That Image is totally absent and lost according to your “natural” man. It is lost in all the places described in FC I, which is everywhere including your very nature and essence, body, will, mind, reason, and soul.

    Our Confessions define ‘natural” here as all things that were in Adam before the fall and remain in him after the fall. Things such as Reason, which is what our Confessions exclusively call being “natural law”.

    The fact that the Divine Law is written, fully so, in the Reason of Man is precisely how we can know that the Law cannot be, in any way, a part of the Image of God. It is why and where our Apology utterly rejects Thomist Natural Law Theories that identify the Law in the Decalog and Natural Law as being the revelation of the Mind and, therefore, Image of God.

    The Image of God, alone, what constituted the Original Righeousness of God in Adam. It is that same Original Righeousness that is restored to man in Christ.
    What is that?
    It is faith alone, in Christ alone which is nothing less than the Baptismal restoration of Original Righteousness and the True Fullness of the Knowledge of God only in Christ.

    As a result of this faith being again restored in the heart of man, the prophecy in Jeremiah is also fulfilled in the heart of man as a consequence: the Law of God, that is absent in the heart of fallen man, is now rewritten in the heart of man.

    This is important stuff dear SKP!

    Apology II and IV

  • fws

    skpeterson @ 50

    In essence, man is always and everywhere a sinner; although created in the image of God, he is so corrupted by sin that he cannot escape.

    SK, you , along with Seth, were born in the image and likeness of [Old] Adam, not in the Image of God. That Image is totally absent and lost according to your “natural” man. It is lost in all the places described in FC I, which is everywhere including your very nature and essence, body, will, mind, reason, and soul.

    Our Confessions define ‘natural” here as all things that were in Adam before the fall and remain in him after the fall. Things such as Reason, which is what our Confessions exclusively call being “natural law”.

    The fact that the Divine Law is written, fully so, in the Reason of Man is precisely how we can know that the Law cannot be, in any way, a part of the Image of God. It is why and where our Apology utterly rejects Thomist Natural Law Theories that identify the Law in the Decalog and Natural Law as being the revelation of the Mind and, therefore, Image of God.

    The Image of God, alone, what constituted the Original Righeousness of God in Adam. It is that same Original Righeousness that is restored to man in Christ.
    What is that?
    It is faith alone, in Christ alone which is nothing less than the Baptismal restoration of Original Righteousness and the True Fullness of the Knowledge of God only in Christ.

    As a result of this faith being again restored in the heart of man, the prophecy in Jeremiah is also fulfilled in the heart of man as a consequence: the Law of God, that is absent in the heart of fallen man, is now rewritten in the heart of man.

    This is important stuff dear SKP!

    Apology II and IV

  • SKPeterson

    Frank,

    I shorthanded the FC on Original Sin. It argues that we are created by God in His image, but that sin has so distorted that image, that it is no longer realized or realizable in this life. We must be careful to note that while we are created by God, we are formed from corrupted material. Original righteousness is gone. Replaced by original sin. What I am trying to emphasize is that we have this image of God that is who we really are, and which will be restored at the Resurrection, but that image is now so gone and corrupted that it cannot be relied upon as who we are now. But, we are not Sin. Sin is separate from our creation.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank,

    I shorthanded the FC on Original Sin. It argues that we are created by God in His image, but that sin has so distorted that image, that it is no longer realized or realizable in this life. We must be careful to note that while we are created by God, we are formed from corrupted material. Original righteousness is gone. Replaced by original sin. What I am trying to emphasize is that we have this image of God that is who we really are, and which will be restored at the Resurrection, but that image is now so gone and corrupted that it cannot be relied upon as who we are now. But, we are not Sin. Sin is separate from our creation.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank,

    Here the relevant passages:

    31]Because of this corruption, too, the entire corrupt nature of man is accused and condemned by the Law, unless the sin is forgiven for Christ’s sake.

    32] But the Law accuses and condemns our nature, not because we have been created men by God, but because we are sinful and wicked; not because and so far as nature and its essence, even since the Fall, is a work and creature of God in us, but because and so far as it has been poisoned and corrupted by sin.

    33] But although original sin, like a spiritual poison and leprosy (as Luther says), has poisoned and corrupted the whole human nature, so that we cannot show and point out to the eye the nature apart by itself, and original sin apart by itself, nevertheless the corrupt nature, or essence of the corrupt man, body and soul, or the man himself whom God has created (and in whom dwells original sin, which also corrupts the nature, essence, or the entire man), and original sin, which dwells in man’s nature or essence, and corrupts it, are not one thing; as also in external leprosy the body which is leprous, and the leprosy on or in the body, are not, properly speaking, one thing. But a distinction must be maintained also between our nature as created and preserved by God, in which sin is indwelling, and original sin, which dwells in the nature. These two must and also can be considered, taught, and believed separately according to Holy Scripture.

    34] Moreover, the chief articles of our Christian faith urge and compel us to preserve this distinction. For instance, in the first place, in the article of Creation, Scripture testifies that God has created human nature not only before the Fall, but that it is a creature and work of God also since the Fall, Deut. 32:6; Is. 45:11, 54:5, 64:8; Acts 17:25; Rev. 4:11.

    35] Thine hands, says Job, have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet Thou dost destroy me. Remember, I beseech Thee, that Thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt Thou bring me into dust again? Hast Thou not poured me out as milk and curdled me as cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favor, and Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. Job 10:8-12.

    36] I will praise Thee, says David, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance yet being unperfect, and in Thy book all my members were written which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them, Ps. 139:14-16.

    37] In the Ecclesiastes of Solomon it is written: Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit to God, who gave it, Eccl. 12:7.

    38] These passages clearly testify that God even since the Fall is the Creator of man, and creates his body and soul. Therefore corrupt man cannot, without any distinction, be sin itself, otherwise God would be a creator of sin; as also our Small Catechism confesses in the explanation of the First Article, where it is written: I believe that God has made me and all creatures, that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still preserves them. Likewise in the Large Catechism it is thus written: This is what I believe and mean, that is, that I am a creature of God; that He has given and constantly preserves to me my body, soul, and life, members great and small, and all my senses, mind, and reason. Nevertheless, this same creature and work of God is lamentably corrupted by sin; for the mass (massa) from which God now forms and makes man was corrupted and perverted in Adam, and is thus transmitted by inheritance to us.

    39] And here pious Christian hearts justly ought to consider the unspeakable goodness of God, that God does not immediately cast from Himself into hell-fire this corrupt, perverted, sinful mass, but forms and makes from it the present human nature, which is lamentably corrupted by sin, in order that He may cleanse it from all sin, sanctify and save it by His dear Son.

    40] From this article, now, the distinction is found indisputably and clearly. For original sin does not come from God. God is not a creator or author of sin. Nor is original sin a creature or work of God, but it is a work of the devil.

    41] Now, if there were to be no difference whatever between the nature or essence of our body and soul, which is corrupted by original sin, and original sin, by which the nature is corrupted, it would follow either that God, because He is the Creator of this our nature, also created and made original sin, which, accordingly would also be His work and creature; or, because sin is a work of the devil, that Satan would be the creator of this our nature, of our body and soul, which would also have to be a work or creation of Satan if, without any distinction, our corrupt nature should have to be regarded as sin itself; both of which teachings are contrary to the article of our Christian faith. 42] Therefore, in order that God’s creation and work in man may be distinguished from the work of the devil, we say that it is God’s creation that man has body and soul; also, that it is God’s work that man can think, speak, do, and work anything; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being, Acts 17:28. But that the nature is corrupt, that its thoughts, words, and works are wicked, is originally a work of Satan, who has thus corrupted God’s work in Adam through sin, which from him is transmitted by inheritance to us.

    Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concrd. I. Original Sin. 31 – 42.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank,

    Here the relevant passages:

    31]Because of this corruption, too, the entire corrupt nature of man is accused and condemned by the Law, unless the sin is forgiven for Christ’s sake.

    32] But the Law accuses and condemns our nature, not because we have been created men by God, but because we are sinful and wicked; not because and so far as nature and its essence, even since the Fall, is a work and creature of God in us, but because and so far as it has been poisoned and corrupted by sin.

    33] But although original sin, like a spiritual poison and leprosy (as Luther says), has poisoned and corrupted the whole human nature, so that we cannot show and point out to the eye the nature apart by itself, and original sin apart by itself, nevertheless the corrupt nature, or essence of the corrupt man, body and soul, or the man himself whom God has created (and in whom dwells original sin, which also corrupts the nature, essence, or the entire man), and original sin, which dwells in man’s nature or essence, and corrupts it, are not one thing; as also in external leprosy the body which is leprous, and the leprosy on or in the body, are not, properly speaking, one thing. But a distinction must be maintained also between our nature as created and preserved by God, in which sin is indwelling, and original sin, which dwells in the nature. These two must and also can be considered, taught, and believed separately according to Holy Scripture.

    34] Moreover, the chief articles of our Christian faith urge and compel us to preserve this distinction. For instance, in the first place, in the article of Creation, Scripture testifies that God has created human nature not only before the Fall, but that it is a creature and work of God also since the Fall, Deut. 32:6; Is. 45:11, 54:5, 64:8; Acts 17:25; Rev. 4:11.

    35] Thine hands, says Job, have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet Thou dost destroy me. Remember, I beseech Thee, that Thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt Thou bring me into dust again? Hast Thou not poured me out as milk and curdled me as cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favor, and Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. Job 10:8-12.

    36] I will praise Thee, says David, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance yet being unperfect, and in Thy book all my members were written which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them, Ps. 139:14-16.

    37] In the Ecclesiastes of Solomon it is written: Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit to God, who gave it, Eccl. 12:7.

    38] These passages clearly testify that God even since the Fall is the Creator of man, and creates his body and soul. Therefore corrupt man cannot, without any distinction, be sin itself, otherwise God would be a creator of sin; as also our Small Catechism confesses in the explanation of the First Article, where it is written: I believe that God has made me and all creatures, that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still preserves them. Likewise in the Large Catechism it is thus written: This is what I believe and mean, that is, that I am a creature of God; that He has given and constantly preserves to me my body, soul, and life, members great and small, and all my senses, mind, and reason. Nevertheless, this same creature and work of God is lamentably corrupted by sin; for the mass (massa) from which God now forms and makes man was corrupted and perverted in Adam, and is thus transmitted by inheritance to us.

    39] And here pious Christian hearts justly ought to consider the unspeakable goodness of God, that God does not immediately cast from Himself into hell-fire this corrupt, perverted, sinful mass, but forms and makes from it the present human nature, which is lamentably corrupted by sin, in order that He may cleanse it from all sin, sanctify and save it by His dear Son.

    40] From this article, now, the distinction is found indisputably and clearly. For original sin does not come from God. God is not a creator or author of sin. Nor is original sin a creature or work of God, but it is a work of the devil.

    41] Now, if there were to be no difference whatever between the nature or essence of our body and soul, which is corrupted by original sin, and original sin, by which the nature is corrupted, it would follow either that God, because He is the Creator of this our nature, also created and made original sin, which, accordingly would also be His work and creature; or, because sin is a work of the devil, that Satan would be the creator of this our nature, of our body and soul, which would also have to be a work or creation of Satan if, without any distinction, our corrupt nature should have to be regarded as sin itself; both of which teachings are contrary to the article of our Christian faith. 42] Therefore, in order that God’s creation and work in man may be distinguished from the work of the devil, we say that it is God’s creation that man has body and soul; also, that it is God’s work that man can think, speak, do, and work anything; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being, Acts 17:28. But that the nature is corrupt, that its thoughts, words, and works are wicked, is originally a work of Satan, who has thus corrupted God’s work in Adam through sin, which from him is transmitted by inheritance to us.

    Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concrd. I. Original Sin. 31 – 42.

  • SKPeterson

    [33] is what I was shorthanding, but the rest of the quote puts it in context.

  • SKPeterson

    [33] is what I was shorthanding, but the rest of the quote puts it in context.

  • Stephen

    SK,

    “I shorthanded the FC on Original Sin. It argues that we are created by God in His image . . .”

    Well, no. Read through it. It argues that we are created by God period.

    Colossians 2:9

    “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”

    Christ is the new Adam. Those who are in Christ are also this new creation through faith. What is created by God (still) is natural man after the Old Adam, or you might say, what was left after the fall – a corrupted natural man in whom the Imago Dei (which is complete faith and trust in God alone) was completely lost. That construction sounds like God created sin. But what it means is that God creates natural men who are born into the world of sin and death. This is their inheritance from Adam’s sin. Only through the new birth of Baptism is Original Righteousness, the image of God, restored.

  • Stephen

    SK,

    “I shorthanded the FC on Original Sin. It argues that we are created by God in His image . . .”

    Well, no. Read through it. It argues that we are created by God period.

    Colossians 2:9

    “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”

    Christ is the new Adam. Those who are in Christ are also this new creation through faith. What is created by God (still) is natural man after the Old Adam, or you might say, what was left after the fall – a corrupted natural man in whom the Imago Dei (which is complete faith and trust in God alone) was completely lost. That construction sounds like God created sin. But what it means is that God creates natural men who are born into the world of sin and death. This is their inheritance from Adam’s sin. Only through the new birth of Baptism is Original Righteousness, the image of God, restored.

  • Stephen

    My shorthand. What say ye?

  • Stephen

    My shorthand. What say ye?

  • SKPeterson

    In nature or essence – that is typically what we speak of as the “image” of God. We have to keep separate the notion of God-created man, and man-derived sin, including the imputation or impartation of original sin. As the FC says, God is not the creator of sin, but we are formed from sinful stuff.

    I think we may be working with slightly different versions of imago dei. Here is another interesting passage from a scholarly article from a confessional Lutheran standpoint:

    The imago Dei is first mentioned in Genesis 1:26-27:

    Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, in Our likeness. . .’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them.1

    Although there are other passages of Scripture mentioning God’s image or likeness,2 it is well known that the definition of God’s image in humankind has been imprecise throughout the history of the Church. In his Panarion (ca. A.D. 370-374), Church Father Epiphanius of Salamis affirms the image in every human being while recounting various interpretations of the image.3 In his Lectures on Genesis (1535), Reformer Martin Luther notes the “sea of questions” and asks, “What is that image of God according to which Moses says that man was made?”4(p.60) Lutheran theologian Johann Gerhard, writing in his Loci Theologici (1625), notes the varying definitions of the imago Dei according to the Church Fathers and other teachers: Basil, Ambrose, Augustine, Chrysostom, Bernard, and Peter Lombard, among others. He concludes, “The fathers do not at all agree with each other nor stand with each other on this subject.”5(p.12)

    Even among contemporary Lutherans there seems to be some confusion as to what the imago Dei is. Is the image an expression of “humanity’s dignity and God’s majesty”?6 Or is it an indication that humanity is “unlike” other creatures, that humans (at least initially, before the fall into sin), enjoy a “special, unique communion” with God and are “capable of relating to Him and are responsible to Him for what takes place”?7 Does the imago Dei simply mean “to be made like God,”8 since “both body and soul are created in the image of God”?9 Does the “likeness to God” such as “reason, intellect, and the ability to choose” remaining in human beings after humanity’s fall into sin “[engender] inherent value and respect for human life”?10 Except in cases of imminent death, should ANH be administered to all PVS patients because withdrawal would constitute the taking of a human life created in God’s image?11

    – Robert Baker, The Imago Dei in Pro-life Orthodox Lutheran Discourse: PVS as a Test Case.

    Further on he writes:

    What Is the Orthodox Lutheran Definition of the imago Dei?

    An Accident, Not a Substance

    Orthodox Lutherans were familiar with, and put to use in theological discussions, philosophical categories such as substance and accident.13 Abraham Calov (1612-1686) suggests that the image of God is man’s conformity to God, “which, having been impressed upon our first parents in creation, and having been almost entirely lost through transgression, is to be restored by renovation in this life, and, chiefly, in blessed regeneration for the life to come.”14 This conformity is considered to be accidental, not in the sense that someone had an accident and had to go to the hospital, but in the sense that the imago Dei is not an essential part of man’s nature. Here, an example is order. Let’s say that we have a wall that is white. The wall would be the substance. The quality of the wall that we call “white” is an accident. White is not essential, not substantial, to the wall. There are many other colors of walls! The accident of whiteness is not the substance of wallness. Whiteness is just a quality of wallness. Take away the white and what do you have? You still have a wall, right?15

    In the same way, the orthodox Lutherans reasoned that while the imago Dei was fully in human nature prior to the fall into sin, and is being renewed in those who are baptized and believe, the image was not human nature itself; it was neither body nor soul.16 The imago Dei, according to them, was accidental to human nature, not substantial to it. They deduced this chiefly from those passages of Scripture speaking to the renewal of the imago Dei in believers.17 All the attributes generally ascribed to the imago Dei—righteousness, holiness, perfect use of the bodily faculties, and so on—are not human nature per se, they reasoned. Echoing Peter Lombard, Luther can pile on high praise for humanity in its pristine, primordial state: “Man alone is God’s image, as appears in the Sentences. In the remaining creatures God is recognized by His footprints; but in the human being, especially in Adam, He is truly recognized, because in him there is such wisdom, justice, and knowledge of all things that he may rightly be called a world in miniature.”4(p.68) Yet, while Luther and the orthodox Lutherans could say that when Adam and Eve sinned they “lost” the image of God, they did not mean that Adam and Eve stopped being human. Neither did they mean that there was an essential change to human nature after the fall.18,19

    Bolding is mine.

  • SKPeterson

    In nature or essence – that is typically what we speak of as the “image” of God. We have to keep separate the notion of God-created man, and man-derived sin, including the imputation or impartation of original sin. As the FC says, God is not the creator of sin, but we are formed from sinful stuff.

    I think we may be working with slightly different versions of imago dei. Here is another interesting passage from a scholarly article from a confessional Lutheran standpoint:

    The imago Dei is first mentioned in Genesis 1:26-27:

    Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, in Our likeness. . .’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them.1

    Although there are other passages of Scripture mentioning God’s image or likeness,2 it is well known that the definition of God’s image in humankind has been imprecise throughout the history of the Church. In his Panarion (ca. A.D. 370-374), Church Father Epiphanius of Salamis affirms the image in every human being while recounting various interpretations of the image.3 In his Lectures on Genesis (1535), Reformer Martin Luther notes the “sea of questions” and asks, “What is that image of God according to which Moses says that man was made?”4(p.60) Lutheran theologian Johann Gerhard, writing in his Loci Theologici (1625), notes the varying definitions of the imago Dei according to the Church Fathers and other teachers: Basil, Ambrose, Augustine, Chrysostom, Bernard, and Peter Lombard, among others. He concludes, “The fathers do not at all agree with each other nor stand with each other on this subject.”5(p.12)

    Even among contemporary Lutherans there seems to be some confusion as to what the imago Dei is. Is the image an expression of “humanity’s dignity and God’s majesty”?6 Or is it an indication that humanity is “unlike” other creatures, that humans (at least initially, before the fall into sin), enjoy a “special, unique communion” with God and are “capable of relating to Him and are responsible to Him for what takes place”?7 Does the imago Dei simply mean “to be made like God,”8 since “both body and soul are created in the image of God”?9 Does the “likeness to God” such as “reason, intellect, and the ability to choose” remaining in human beings after humanity’s fall into sin “[engender] inherent value and respect for human life”?10 Except in cases of imminent death, should ANH be administered to all PVS patients because withdrawal would constitute the taking of a human life created in God’s image?11

    – Robert Baker, The Imago Dei in Pro-life Orthodox Lutheran Discourse: PVS as a Test Case.

    Further on he writes:

    What Is the Orthodox Lutheran Definition of the imago Dei?

    An Accident, Not a Substance

    Orthodox Lutherans were familiar with, and put to use in theological discussions, philosophical categories such as substance and accident.13 Abraham Calov (1612-1686) suggests that the image of God is man’s conformity to God, “which, having been impressed upon our first parents in creation, and having been almost entirely lost through transgression, is to be restored by renovation in this life, and, chiefly, in blessed regeneration for the life to come.”14 This conformity is considered to be accidental, not in the sense that someone had an accident and had to go to the hospital, but in the sense that the imago Dei is not an essential part of man’s nature. Here, an example is order. Let’s say that we have a wall that is white. The wall would be the substance. The quality of the wall that we call “white” is an accident. White is not essential, not substantial, to the wall. There are many other colors of walls! The accident of whiteness is not the substance of wallness. Whiteness is just a quality of wallness. Take away the white and what do you have? You still have a wall, right?15

    In the same way, the orthodox Lutherans reasoned that while the imago Dei was fully in human nature prior to the fall into sin, and is being renewed in those who are baptized and believe, the image was not human nature itself; it was neither body nor soul.16 The imago Dei, according to them, was accidental to human nature, not substantial to it. They deduced this chiefly from those passages of Scripture speaking to the renewal of the imago Dei in believers.17 All the attributes generally ascribed to the imago Dei—righteousness, holiness, perfect use of the bodily faculties, and so on—are not human nature per se, they reasoned. Echoing Peter Lombard, Luther can pile on high praise for humanity in its pristine, primordial state: “Man alone is God’s image, as appears in the Sentences. In the remaining creatures God is recognized by His footprints; but in the human being, especially in Adam, He is truly recognized, because in him there is such wisdom, justice, and knowledge of all things that he may rightly be called a world in miniature.”4(p.68) Yet, while Luther and the orthodox Lutherans could say that when Adam and Eve sinned they “lost” the image of God, they did not mean that Adam and Eve stopped being human. Neither did they mean that there was an essential change to human nature after the fall.18,19

    Bolding is mine.

  • fws

    Shell @ 52

    SHELL: I …would …like to understand your position on homosexuality.

    Hi Shell! We are veering off in the way that Dr Veith asked us not to eh? But I will respond since Dr Veith seems to lump “homosexuality’ in with compulsive behavioral categories. And it is not one of those.

    I don’t have a theological position on the medically defined concept we call “homosexuality” per se. Only God’s Word is unchangable.

    “Homosexuality” it is a medical term, like clinical depression. Did clinical depression exist in persons in the Bible? Certainly. Would we then translate the Biblical commandment : “Be joyful always!” as ‘Never be clinically depressed!” No. Why not?

    The strictBiblical/Confessional assumption is this: ALL men are what we would now call “heterosexual”, and will be found to be married. Same gender sex and sexuality fit into that unitary “category”.
    Here is my point: It would be wrong, and even sinful, to not take care to avoid read our modern categories into such texts. To do eisegesis. Neither is it wrong, per se, for science to create new subcatetories for that biblical unitary category.

    Here is the current medical defintion of homosexuality. It may change!

    Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. However, sexual orientation is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of the other sex), gay/lesbian (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of one’s own sex), and bisexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to both men and women). This range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world. Many cultures use identity labels to describe people who express these attractions. In the United States the most frequent labels are lesbians (women attracted to women), gay men (men attracted to men), and bisexual people (men or women attracted to both sexes). However, some people may use different labels or none at all.

    Sexual orientation is distinct from other components of sex and gender, including biological sex (the anatomical, physiological, and genetic characteristics associated with being male or female), gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female),* and social gender role (the cultural norms that define feminine and masculine behavior).

    Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex, gender identity, or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships with others. People express their sexual orientation through behaviors with others, including such simple actions as holding hands or kissing. Thus, sexual orientation is closely tied to the intimate personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy. In addition to sexual behaviors, these bonds include nonsexual physical affection between partners, shared goals and values, mutual support, and ongoing commitment. Therefore, sexual orientation is not merely a personal characteristic within an individual. Rather, one’s sexual orientation defines the group of people in which one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling romantic relationships that are an essential component of personal identity for many people.

    The medical community has found this, very broad , definition to best fit what the find out , when they do studies of what we might today label as homosexuality. And this also seems to fit the experience of gay men like myself as wll.

    Why is this definition new and as recent as 1980. Until 1980, ALL studies of homosexuals were done in the population of persons in mental hospitals. Do you suppose that those studies might have been missing something? So in 1980, a researcher named Hooker put together about a large, statistically valid and diverse, sample of psychological profiles. She asked prominent psychiatrists to pick out of those random profiles, the ones that were homosexual, based upon the criteria that was ‘known” by those previous studies. It was discovered that this could not be done! So more research was then done that resulted in the current set of definitions.

    SHELL: your understanding, are homosexual sex acts a wholesome part of a “monogamous homosexual relationship”?

    1) I think it is obvious that homosexuality is some sort of deficiency. Your question seems to me exactly like asking if it is “wholesome” to use an artificial limb when a real limb is missing. I could be wrong on this.

    2) Our Confessions, in the Large Catechism, 6th commandment, tell us that the term”sexual self control” is biblically never available through celebacy, short of a miracle, and so is strictly defined as a monogamous pairing off of two humans.
    Remember that there is no such think as homosexuality in the text. So what can I conclude from this as to what homosexuals are to do to exercise “sexual self control”?

    The honest reading of the text then, would yield only two opinions:
    1) celebacy never works as “sexual self control” and therefore ,
    2) all men (including gays?) are to take a wife. Does that make sense to you? Is this the advice I would give to a homosexual? No. Why not?

    2) Since homosexuals are human, and since I am a Lutheran Christian, I would apply what our Augsburg Confessions says to homosexuals. It says this in Art XXIII:

    First, because 4] 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 [ie, he gave them an irrisistable sex drive...cf Apology XXIII for more on this]. 6] Nor is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter this creation.
    and then this:
    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 sexual self control outside of marriage], 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 [that is the sex drive].

    Again, an honest and sincere reading of this text would result in only two opinions: a) attempt at celebacy as “sexual self control” will result in “a horrible and fearful unrest and torment of conscience until the end” and a degradation of public morals, b) therefore ALL men are commanded to marry!

    So celebacy is not a viable option even for christian gays seeking sexual self control. Would I advise gays to get married someone of the opposite gender? No. I don’t think that would word either? Solutions from Scripture or the Confessions? I have none to offer!

    This is the only honest way to read our Scriptures and Confessions I propose.

  • fws

    Shell @ 52

    SHELL: I …would …like to understand your position on homosexuality.

    Hi Shell! We are veering off in the way that Dr Veith asked us not to eh? But I will respond since Dr Veith seems to lump “homosexuality’ in with compulsive behavioral categories. And it is not one of those.

    I don’t have a theological position on the medically defined concept we call “homosexuality” per se. Only God’s Word is unchangable.

    “Homosexuality” it is a medical term, like clinical depression. Did clinical depression exist in persons in the Bible? Certainly. Would we then translate the Biblical commandment : “Be joyful always!” as ‘Never be clinically depressed!” No. Why not?

    The strictBiblical/Confessional assumption is this: ALL men are what we would now call “heterosexual”, and will be found to be married. Same gender sex and sexuality fit into that unitary “category”.
    Here is my point: It would be wrong, and even sinful, to not take care to avoid read our modern categories into such texts. To do eisegesis. Neither is it wrong, per se, for science to create new subcatetories for that biblical unitary category.

    Here is the current medical defintion of homosexuality. It may change!

    Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. However, sexual orientation is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of the other sex), gay/lesbian (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to members of one’s own sex), and bisexual (having emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to both men and women). This range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world. Many cultures use identity labels to describe people who express these attractions. In the United States the most frequent labels are lesbians (women attracted to women), gay men (men attracted to men), and bisexual people (men or women attracted to both sexes). However, some people may use different labels or none at all.

    Sexual orientation is distinct from other components of sex and gender, including biological sex (the anatomical, physiological, and genetic characteristics associated with being male or female), gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female),* and social gender role (the cultural norms that define feminine and masculine behavior).

    Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex, gender identity, or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships with others. People express their sexual orientation through behaviors with others, including such simple actions as holding hands or kissing. Thus, sexual orientation is closely tied to the intimate personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy. In addition to sexual behaviors, these bonds include nonsexual physical affection between partners, shared goals and values, mutual support, and ongoing commitment. Therefore, sexual orientation is not merely a personal characteristic within an individual. Rather, one’s sexual orientation defines the group of people in which one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling romantic relationships that are an essential component of personal identity for many people.

    The medical community has found this, very broad , definition to best fit what the find out , when they do studies of what we might today label as homosexuality. And this also seems to fit the experience of gay men like myself as wll.

    Why is this definition new and as recent as 1980. Until 1980, ALL studies of homosexuals were done in the population of persons in mental hospitals. Do you suppose that those studies might have been missing something? So in 1980, a researcher named Hooker put together about a large, statistically valid and diverse, sample of psychological profiles. She asked prominent psychiatrists to pick out of those random profiles, the ones that were homosexual, based upon the criteria that was ‘known” by those previous studies. It was discovered that this could not be done! So more research was then done that resulted in the current set of definitions.

    SHELL: your understanding, are homosexual sex acts a wholesome part of a “monogamous homosexual relationship”?

    1) I think it is obvious that homosexuality is some sort of deficiency. Your question seems to me exactly like asking if it is “wholesome” to use an artificial limb when a real limb is missing. I could be wrong on this.

    2) Our Confessions, in the Large Catechism, 6th commandment, tell us that the term”sexual self control” is biblically never available through celebacy, short of a miracle, and so is strictly defined as a monogamous pairing off of two humans.
    Remember that there is no such think as homosexuality in the text. So what can I conclude from this as to what homosexuals are to do to exercise “sexual self control”?

    The honest reading of the text then, would yield only two opinions:
    1) celebacy never works as “sexual self control” and therefore ,
    2) all men (including gays?) are to take a wife. Does that make sense to you? Is this the advice I would give to a homosexual? No. Why not?

    2) Since homosexuals are human, and since I am a Lutheran Christian, I would apply what our Augsburg Confessions says to homosexuals. It says this in Art XXIII:

    First, because 4] 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 [ie, he gave them an irrisistable sex drive...cf Apology XXIII for more on this]. 6] Nor is it in man’s power, without a singular gift and work of God, to alter this creation.
    and then this:
    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 sexual self control outside of marriage], 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 [that is the sex drive].

    Again, an honest and sincere reading of this text would result in only two opinions: a) attempt at celebacy as “sexual self control” will result in “a horrible and fearful unrest and torment of conscience until the end” and a degradation of public morals, b) therefore ALL men are commanded to marry!

    So celebacy is not a viable option even for christian gays seeking sexual self control. Would I advise gays to get married someone of the opposite gender? No. I don’t think that would word either? Solutions from Scripture or the Confessions? I have none to offer!

    This is the only honest way to read our Scriptures and Confessions I propose.

  • Stephen

    Right. I don’t see where the first citing you gave actually answers the questions it raises. So I still think there is distinction missing here.

    “In the same way, the orthodox Lutherans reasoned that while the imago Dei was fully in human nature prior to the fall into sin, and is being renewed in those who are baptized and believe, the image was not human nature itself; it was neither body nor soul.”

    This is it exactly. The “change” that occurred with original sin was not in nature or essence. The change that occurred was the loss of the of the image of God to sin – disobedience such as what is described in the 1st commandment, complete trust in God. And it is this disobedience that only Jesus Christ could fulfill through his own obedience of the cross. We, then are baptized into that same death and given His righteousness through faith – another way of saying that the image of God has been fully restored in the new creation. This new creation is fully who we are before God through faith alone.

    So it sounds like what Frank cited @53 is off a bit. It sounds like you are saying that sin only obscures the image of God which, blind as we may be because of sin, remains in some fashion. My point would be to first define what the image of God is and then to say that it is totally missing and ONLY restored through baptism into Christ – by grace alone through faith.

  • Stephen

    Right. I don’t see where the first citing you gave actually answers the questions it raises. So I still think there is distinction missing here.

    “In the same way, the orthodox Lutherans reasoned that while the imago Dei was fully in human nature prior to the fall into sin, and is being renewed in those who are baptized and believe, the image was not human nature itself; it was neither body nor soul.”

    This is it exactly. The “change” that occurred with original sin was not in nature or essence. The change that occurred was the loss of the of the image of God to sin – disobedience such as what is described in the 1st commandment, complete trust in God. And it is this disobedience that only Jesus Christ could fulfill through his own obedience of the cross. We, then are baptized into that same death and given His righteousness through faith – another way of saying that the image of God has been fully restored in the new creation. This new creation is fully who we are before God through faith alone.

    So it sounds like what Frank cited @53 is off a bit. It sounds like you are saying that sin only obscures the image of God which, blind as we may be because of sin, remains in some fashion. My point would be to first define what the image of God is and then to say that it is totally missing and ONLY restored through baptism into Christ – by grace alone through faith.

  • Jon

    BoC aside, I’m still with Shell@52.

    I can’t figure out what FWS in a nutshell wants to convince us of concerning homoerotic feelings and behavior.

    Are they God-pleasing or not?

  • Jon

    BoC aside, I’m still with Shell@52.

    I can’t figure out what FWS in a nutshell wants to convince us of concerning homoerotic feelings and behavior.

    Are they God-pleasing or not?

  • Stephen

    Sorry. Post 61 was to you SK

  • Stephen

    Sorry. Post 61 was to you SK

  • Jon

    And, so, @60….

    So celebacy is not a viable option even for christian gays seeking sexual self control. Would I advise gays to get married someone of the opposite gender? No. I don’t think that would word either? Solutions from Scripture or the Confessions? I have none to offer!

    Scripture and the confessions prescribe marriage as the remedy, and you flatly reject it why?

    Seems it worked for Mr. Chambers.

  • Jon

    And, so, @60….

    So celebacy is not a viable option even for christian gays seeking sexual self control. Would I advise gays to get married someone of the opposite gender? No. I don’t think that would word either? Solutions from Scripture or the Confessions? I have none to offer!

    Scripture and the confessions prescribe marriage as the remedy, and you flatly reject it why?

    Seems it worked for Mr. Chambers.

  • SKPeterson

    Stephen/Frank – Baker follows up quoting Luther and Gerhard to show that some aspects of the image of God remain, mere vestiges, but what is there lacks coherence, or integrity.

    My original quote would better read “In essence, man is always and everywhere a sinner; although once created in the image of God, he is now so corrupted by sin that he cannot escape.

    That probably reads better.

  • SKPeterson

    Stephen/Frank – Baker follows up quoting Luther and Gerhard to show that some aspects of the image of God remain, mere vestiges, but what is there lacks coherence, or integrity.

    My original quote would better read “In essence, man is always and everywhere a sinner; although once created in the image of God, he is now so corrupted by sin that he cannot escape.

    That probably reads better.

  • SKPeterson

    Baker’s point is to try and formulate an orthodox position for the sanctity of life using the Lutheran concept of imago dei, which is often used as an argument against abortion and euthanasia. Here’s his actual quote of Luther and Gerhard with his commentary (good stuff IMO):

    The orthodox Lutherans understood that when Scripture presents the imago Dei, it does so according to two attributes: (1) primarily, the image of God refers to the original righteousness and holiness that Adam and Eve possessed prior to the fall into sin and, now, by God’s grace in Word and Sacrament, is being renewed by the Holy Spirit in all believers; and (2) secondarily, the image of God refers to the perfection of all bodily faculties in concert with such righteousness and holiness. Thus, Luther:

    My understanding of the image of God is this: that Adam had it in his being and that he not only knew God and believed that He was good, but that he also lived a life that was wholly godly; that is, he was without the fear of death or of any other danger, and was content with God’s favor.4(p.63)

    and Gerhard:

    The image of God in the first man was the natural and total perfection of the whole man and the uprightness of all his powers of soul and body, his wholeness, his conformity with God his archetype. . . 5(p.76)

    Notice the emphasis on “wholly, “the whole man” and “wholeness.” In short, the imago Dei consists of integrity of both soul and body. With Luther, the orthodox Lutherans confessed that due to sin, humanity completely lost that integrity in the sense of completely losing original righteousness and holiness. Nevertheless, even after the fall, humans remained human, both body and soul, although corrupted. Likewise, Lutheran and his followers confessed that while some aspects (“vestiges” or “tinders,” they are sometimes called) of the image of God remain, these too do not exist in a state of integrity. However, despite the loss of the image, Luther still can say, “there is still great difference between the human being and the rest of the animals.”4(p.67) Here Luther affirms the dignity of the human being in spite of the near-complete loss of the divine image.

  • SKPeterson

    Baker’s point is to try and formulate an orthodox position for the sanctity of life using the Lutheran concept of imago dei, which is often used as an argument against abortion and euthanasia. Here’s his actual quote of Luther and Gerhard with his commentary (good stuff IMO):

    The orthodox Lutherans understood that when Scripture presents the imago Dei, it does so according to two attributes: (1) primarily, the image of God refers to the original righteousness and holiness that Adam and Eve possessed prior to the fall into sin and, now, by God’s grace in Word and Sacrament, is being renewed by the Holy Spirit in all believers; and (2) secondarily, the image of God refers to the perfection of all bodily faculties in concert with such righteousness and holiness. Thus, Luther:

    My understanding of the image of God is this: that Adam had it in his being and that he not only knew God and believed that He was good, but that he also lived a life that was wholly godly; that is, he was without the fear of death or of any other danger, and was content with God’s favor.4(p.63)

    and Gerhard:

    The image of God in the first man was the natural and total perfection of the whole man and the uprightness of all his powers of soul and body, his wholeness, his conformity with God his archetype. . . 5(p.76)

    Notice the emphasis on “wholly, “the whole man” and “wholeness.” In short, the imago Dei consists of integrity of both soul and body. With Luther, the orthodox Lutherans confessed that due to sin, humanity completely lost that integrity in the sense of completely losing original righteousness and holiness. Nevertheless, even after the fall, humans remained human, both body and soul, although corrupted. Likewise, Lutheran and his followers confessed that while some aspects (“vestiges” or “tinders,” they are sometimes called) of the image of God remain, these too do not exist in a state of integrity. However, despite the loss of the image, Luther still can say, “there is still great difference between the human being and the rest of the animals.”4(p.67) Here Luther affirms the dignity of the human being in spite of the near-complete loss of the divine image.

  • SKPeterson

    Baker has said it much better than I, but if I ever use imago dei I’m generally adhering with Baker’s statement “Nevertheless, even after the fall, humans remained human, both body and soul, although corrupted. Likewise, Luther and his followers confessed that while some aspects (“vestiges” or “tinders,” they are sometimes called) of the image of God remain, these too do not exist in a state of integrity.”

  • SKPeterson

    Baker has said it much better than I, but if I ever use imago dei I’m generally adhering with Baker’s statement “Nevertheless, even after the fall, humans remained human, both body and soul, although corrupted. Likewise, Luther and his followers confessed that while some aspects (“vestiges” or “tinders,” they are sometimes called) of the image of God remain, these too do not exist in a state of integrity.”

  • Stephen

    Jon,

    Two things please God and they are contained in the two tables of the law.

    Luke 10:27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

    In the first table towards God, the ONLY thing which matters is faith alone in Christ alone. In the second, as Luther puts it in the Catechism, that “we do not hurt or harm our neighbor but help and befriend him.” These things please God, so much so that he makes them happen through the Law (second table righteousness that all men known in their Reason – Romans 1:15) and Gospel (through Jesus Christ who fulfills the entire law and imparts his righteousness to us as a gift).

    So, where then does homosexuality fit in there? Given Franks descriptions, what does it mean to love one’s neighbor for a gay person? In what sense is any kind of sex, or for that matter any behavior, not “God-pleasing or not?” The answer is when love and mercy are not the fruit.

    Is there a context in which homosexuals can be fully sexual in a way that brings out the fruit of goodness and mercy for others? Frank is saying that the assumptions of scripture and our confessions do not provide that context. What to do? Impose celibacy? No, in and of itself, celibacy is to do sacrifice that is NOT God-pleasing because it benefits no one at all. If it could be shown that celibacy (as self-sacrifice) for gays in some way benefits the neighbor, then it would be God-pleasing. This would be true for anyone regarding any behavior. We do or do not do for the sake of others, not so that God is appeased by our morality. Man was not made for the Sabbath.

    Homosexuality is like being blind, and as such it is not sin per se. Can there be gay sexual sin. Yes. But that says nothing about it in particular as there can also be heterosexual sexual sin. The only biblical context in which sex is sanctioned (under the LAW) is marriage. Gays do not have that, so they are in between a rock and a hard place. What then must we do?

    I say it is the work of the Law to do mercy for others. Gays need a context. They need marriage, or something like it, because it is better to marry than to burn. And Frank is also saying that this is exactly why they want marriage. God is driving them, as work of the law on their consciences, to seek it. I say they need mercy the same that anyone else does. Mercy would find a way for them to marry. And indeed, in spite of the institutional church’s anxieties, God is having his way and they are getting it.

  • Stephen

    Jon,

    Two things please God and they are contained in the two tables of the law.

    Luke 10:27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

    In the first table towards God, the ONLY thing which matters is faith alone in Christ alone. In the second, as Luther puts it in the Catechism, that “we do not hurt or harm our neighbor but help and befriend him.” These things please God, so much so that he makes them happen through the Law (second table righteousness that all men known in their Reason – Romans 1:15) and Gospel (through Jesus Christ who fulfills the entire law and imparts his righteousness to us as a gift).

    So, where then does homosexuality fit in there? Given Franks descriptions, what does it mean to love one’s neighbor for a gay person? In what sense is any kind of sex, or for that matter any behavior, not “God-pleasing or not?” The answer is when love and mercy are not the fruit.

    Is there a context in which homosexuals can be fully sexual in a way that brings out the fruit of goodness and mercy for others? Frank is saying that the assumptions of scripture and our confessions do not provide that context. What to do? Impose celibacy? No, in and of itself, celibacy is to do sacrifice that is NOT God-pleasing because it benefits no one at all. If it could be shown that celibacy (as self-sacrifice) for gays in some way benefits the neighbor, then it would be God-pleasing. This would be true for anyone regarding any behavior. We do or do not do for the sake of others, not so that God is appeased by our morality. Man was not made for the Sabbath.

    Homosexuality is like being blind, and as such it is not sin per se. Can there be gay sexual sin. Yes. But that says nothing about it in particular as there can also be heterosexual sexual sin. The only biblical context in which sex is sanctioned (under the LAW) is marriage. Gays do not have that, so they are in between a rock and a hard place. What then must we do?

    I say it is the work of the Law to do mercy for others. Gays need a context. They need marriage, or something like it, because it is better to marry than to burn. And Frank is also saying that this is exactly why they want marriage. God is driving them, as work of the law on their consciences, to seek it. I say they need mercy the same that anyone else does. Mercy would find a way for them to marry. And indeed, in spite of the institutional church’s anxieties, God is having his way and they are getting it.

  • Stephen

    SK,

    I’d like to read where these “vestiges” are noted in Luther. I may be wrong, but I don’t think that is to be found in the Confessions. And for what it is worth, I appreciate the effort that Baker is making, but I think it is a swing and a miss. I would rather see someone formulate a pro-life argument on the premise that Christ died for all, including children in the womb.

  • Stephen

    SK,

    I’d like to read where these “vestiges” are noted in Luther. I may be wrong, but I don’t think that is to be found in the Confessions. And for what it is worth, I appreciate the effort that Baker is making, but I think it is a swing and a miss. I would rather see someone formulate a pro-life argument on the premise that Christ died for all, including children in the womb.

  • Stephen

    That should have been Romans 2:15 at post #68.

  • Stephen

    That should have been Romans 2:15 at post #68.

  • fws

    skp @ 59

    “In nature or essence – that is typically what we speak of as the “image” of God. ”

    This is an idea that the Lutheran Confessions specifically and categorically reject. FC flees from this notion. That IS it’s point. FC I continues to maintain that we to confess that we are Original Sin as to our very nature and essence it says in fact, even as it also rejects the error of Flaccius. As do the rest of our Confessions. Why?

    John Gerhard also says this:

    “Hence to deny that the Image of God was lost is the same thing as to deny the very reality of original sin.” (John Gerhard, Loci Theologici IV, 130])

    This specific fact, is why Lutherans utterly and completely reject Thomist Scholastic theories on Natural Law.

    Reread please, carefully what I wrote to you @ 53. You and Seth are born after what Image and Likeness? the Image and Likeness of ….Adam. That is the text you need to hold to here.

    Also note this dear SKP:
    Robert Baker wants Lutherans to reembrace the Thomist Scholasticism. One Lutheran pastor in his book on this even asserts that Luther was a Thomist (sic!). It is an actual agenda that he does not deny.
    I pray, very hard, that he fails.
    For the reason John Gerhard gives.

    You would never guess that Gerhard says what he says from what Robert Baker writes on the Image of God.
    Ask yourself why that is SKP.

    Baker is deliberately obsfuscating a very clear and sharp Lutheran assertion to further an agenda that would destroy the very heart of Lutheran Theology.

    I am not exagerating. To deny Original Sin is to destroy Lutheran Theology at it’s very foundations.

  • fws

    skp @ 59

    “In nature or essence – that is typically what we speak of as the “image” of God. ”

    This is an idea that the Lutheran Confessions specifically and categorically reject. FC flees from this notion. That IS it’s point. FC I continues to maintain that we to confess that we are Original Sin as to our very nature and essence it says in fact, even as it also rejects the error of Flaccius. As do the rest of our Confessions. Why?

    John Gerhard also says this:

    “Hence to deny that the Image of God was lost is the same thing as to deny the very reality of original sin.” (John Gerhard, Loci Theologici IV, 130])

    This specific fact, is why Lutherans utterly and completely reject Thomist Scholastic theories on Natural Law.

    Reread please, carefully what I wrote to you @ 53. You and Seth are born after what Image and Likeness? the Image and Likeness of ….Adam. That is the text you need to hold to here.

    Also note this dear SKP:
    Robert Baker wants Lutherans to reembrace the Thomist Scholasticism. One Lutheran pastor in his book on this even asserts that Luther was a Thomist (sic!). It is an actual agenda that he does not deny.
    I pray, very hard, that he fails.
    For the reason John Gerhard gives.

    You would never guess that Gerhard says what he says from what Robert Baker writes on the Image of God.
    Ask yourself why that is SKP.

    Baker is deliberately obsfuscating a very clear and sharp Lutheran assertion to further an agenda that would destroy the very heart of Lutheran Theology.

    I am not exagerating. To deny Original Sin is to destroy Lutheran Theology at it’s very foundations.

  • SKPeterson

    Baker’s quote of Luther is from Lectures on Genesis, vol. 1. and the Gerhard quote is from Commonplace VIII: On the image of God in man before the fall.

  • SKPeterson

    Baker’s quote of Luther is from Lectures on Genesis, vol. 1. and the Gerhard quote is from Commonplace VIII: On the image of God in man before the fall.

  • fws

    skp @ 67

    human=Image of God?
    You will NEVER find that in Luther or the Confessions (or Scripture). Yes Luther never says that adam stopped being human. But that is a deliberate misdirection. It is the precise misdirection you will find in the Council of Trent as a major objection to what? The Lutheran position on Original Sin! Get hold of a copy of Chemnitz’s wonderful “Examine of the Council of Trent” to see this point battled out between Chemnitz and the Thomists of Trent.

    Geeez. I can’t believe that you fell for that SKP!

    The Image of God persists as faint embers or tinders is Roman Catholic and Reformed dogma. It is a notion, categorically and specifically rejected by the Confessions. This would be a denial of Original Sin as Lutherans teach it just as J Gerhard says.

    There ARE faint embers or tinders of the knowledge of God found in the Law written, in both tables, in their Reason.
    Luther says that this is what that means: Pagans can know that there is a God, that he is merciful, and that he is good. What they cannot know, apart from Christ is what only the restored Image knows… that God’s will is to be merciful to ME.

    You will find the comment about those “faint embers ” in the same book by Gerhard, where he says , exactly, in context, what I quoted him as saying SKP.

  • fws

    skp @ 67

    human=Image of God?
    You will NEVER find that in Luther or the Confessions (or Scripture). Yes Luther never says that adam stopped being human. But that is a deliberate misdirection. It is the precise misdirection you will find in the Council of Trent as a major objection to what? The Lutheran position on Original Sin! Get hold of a copy of Chemnitz’s wonderful “Examine of the Council of Trent” to see this point battled out between Chemnitz and the Thomists of Trent.

    Geeez. I can’t believe that you fell for that SKP!

    The Image of God persists as faint embers or tinders is Roman Catholic and Reformed dogma. It is a notion, categorically and specifically rejected by the Confessions. This would be a denial of Original Sin as Lutherans teach it just as J Gerhard says.

    There ARE faint embers or tinders of the knowledge of God found in the Law written, in both tables, in their Reason.
    Luther says that this is what that means: Pagans can know that there is a God, that he is merciful, and that he is good. What they cannot know, apart from Christ is what only the restored Image knows… that God’s will is to be merciful to ME.

    You will find the comment about those “faint embers ” in the same book by Gerhard, where he says , exactly, in context, what I quoted him as saying SKP.

  • fws

    SKP

    Bakers thrust is that Lutherans can reach for Thomist Natural Law as a tool and weapon to preserve the sanctity of life and also to respond to homosexuality. So we ditch the very core of our theology for the greater good of preserving societal morality. NO!

    This is very similar to the thinking that we can use modern worship forms and ditch the Liturgy and that our theology will remain intact. Why would we want to do this? The greater good of church growth. NO!

  • fws

    SKP

    Bakers thrust is that Lutherans can reach for Thomist Natural Law as a tool and weapon to preserve the sanctity of life and also to respond to homosexuality. So we ditch the very core of our theology for the greater good of preserving societal morality. NO!

    This is very similar to the thinking that we can use modern worship forms and ditch the Liturgy and that our theology will remain intact. Why would we want to do this? The greater good of church growth. NO!

  • fws

    skp @ 72
    Baker has a definite agenda that he does not deny:
    He feels that Thomist Scholasticism is…
    a) fully compatible with Lutheran Theology, and
    b) it is THE tool to use to respond to homosexuality and sanctity of life issues.

    I am urging you to consider that the “cure” he proposes is one that will kill that patient.

  • fws

    skp @ 72
    Baker has a definite agenda that he does not deny:
    He feels that Thomist Scholasticism is…
    a) fully compatible with Lutheran Theology, and
    b) it is THE tool to use to respond to homosexuality and sanctity of life issues.

    I am urging you to consider that the “cure” he proposes is one that will kill that patient.

  • fws

    SKP

    Baker selectively quotes Luther and Gerhard to suggest that the Image of God consists of mankinds conformity to the Divine Law (decalog) and the Divine Design found, by reason, in creation which Thomas defines as Natural Law.

    The idea is that man’s Telos is a Law Telos. It is to again become reconformed to the Law. It is the Law that is THE Revelation of the Mind or Image of God.

    Lutherans say that THE Revelation of the Mind of God and his Image is alone Christ, and the Image restored in Man then , is alone Faith that reinserts us, literally, into that Image of God Who is , alone, Christ.

    Bakers and St Thomas’ idea is that the return to the Divine Image is by means of the Law. Grace becomes enabling grace which enables and actualizes this process. We Lutherans reject this vision.

    This is the very essence of our departure from Rome theologically.

  • fws

    SKP

    Baker selectively quotes Luther and Gerhard to suggest that the Image of God consists of mankinds conformity to the Divine Law (decalog) and the Divine Design found, by reason, in creation which Thomas defines as Natural Law.

    The idea is that man’s Telos is a Law Telos. It is to again become reconformed to the Law. It is the Law that is THE Revelation of the Mind or Image of God.

    Lutherans say that THE Revelation of the Mind of God and his Image is alone Christ, and the Image restored in Man then , is alone Faith that reinserts us, literally, into that Image of God Who is , alone, Christ.

    Bakers and St Thomas’ idea is that the return to the Divine Image is by means of the Law. Grace becomes enabling grace which enables and actualizes this process. We Lutherans reject this vision.

    This is the very essence of our departure from Rome theologically.

  • Stephen

    fws @ 74, 75

    Hammer hits nail precisely on the head!

    “I am urging you to consider that the “cure” he proposes is one that will kill that patient.”

    And then where would we be? How is this different in an essential way than the “peace and justice” ELCA? It isn’t. Both are seeking after a utopia at the expense of the living truth. This is bass-akwards – where there is (pro)life there is forgiveness! No!

  • Stephen

    fws @ 74, 75

    Hammer hits nail precisely on the head!

    “I am urging you to consider that the “cure” he proposes is one that will kill that patient.”

    And then where would we be? How is this different in an essential way than the “peace and justice” ELCA? It isn’t. Both are seeking after a utopia at the expense of the living truth. This is bass-akwards – where there is (pro)life there is forgiveness! No!

  • SKPeterson

    There is also this:

    In his On the Trinity, Augustine uses Ephesians 4:23 and Colossians 3:9 to argue that the renewal of the image of God is chiefly spiritual: “If, then, we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and he is the new man who is renewed to the knowledge of God after the image of Him that created him; no one can doubt, that man was made after the image of Him that created him, not according to the body, nor indiscriminately according to any part of the mind, but according to the rational mind, wherein the knowledge of God can exist. And it is according to this renewal, also, that we are made sons of God by the baptism of Christ; and putting on the new man, certainly put on Christ through faith.” Book VII, Ch. 7. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. Schaff P, ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956;159.

    Frank/Stephen – taking a look at Augustine’s formulation above, it is apparent that what you are saying is correct. The imago is “renewed” in Christ. How though do you read this part: “no one can doubt, that man was made after the image of Him that created him, not according to the body, nor indiscriminately according to any part of the mind, but according to the rational mind, wherein the knowledge of God can exist.” Now this would appear to involve the spiritual regeneration of Baptism, but it also implies that the image of God does exist in some form in order to be renewed, that “man was made after the image of Him that created him.” What then is this “image” that Augustine refers to? It seems to be a characteristic of the new man, but it is a “renewal,” a restoration of true existence.

    Baker elucidates further from Nathan Jastram a simplified image of God:

    Jastram, noted above [Jastram N., Man as male and female: created in the image of God. In: Concordia Theological Quarterly. Fort Wayne, Indiana: Concordia Theological Seminary, 2004;17.], induces from numerous Scriptural passages about the image to form the general conclusion that the image simply is “to be like God” in some way. Jastram says that since mountains (Psalm 36:6), cedars (Psalm 80:10), fire (Job 1:16), stars (Isaiah 14:13), and other animate and inanimate objects are like God since they have certain characteristics, they likewise are images of God. Telephone conversation with Dr. Nathan Jastram, April 22, 2010.

  • SKPeterson

    There is also this:

    In his On the Trinity, Augustine uses Ephesians 4:23 and Colossians 3:9 to argue that the renewal of the image of God is chiefly spiritual: “If, then, we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and he is the new man who is renewed to the knowledge of God after the image of Him that created him; no one can doubt, that man was made after the image of Him that created him, not according to the body, nor indiscriminately according to any part of the mind, but according to the rational mind, wherein the knowledge of God can exist. And it is according to this renewal, also, that we are made sons of God by the baptism of Christ; and putting on the new man, certainly put on Christ through faith.” Book VII, Ch. 7. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. Schaff P, ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956;159.

    Frank/Stephen – taking a look at Augustine’s formulation above, it is apparent that what you are saying is correct. The imago is “renewed” in Christ. How though do you read this part: “no one can doubt, that man was made after the image of Him that created him, not according to the body, nor indiscriminately according to any part of the mind, but according to the rational mind, wherein the knowledge of God can exist.” Now this would appear to involve the spiritual regeneration of Baptism, but it also implies that the image of God does exist in some form in order to be renewed, that “man was made after the image of Him that created him.” What then is this “image” that Augustine refers to? It seems to be a characteristic of the new man, but it is a “renewal,” a restoration of true existence.

    Baker elucidates further from Nathan Jastram a simplified image of God:

    Jastram, noted above [Jastram N., Man as male and female: created in the image of God. In: Concordia Theological Quarterly. Fort Wayne, Indiana: Concordia Theological Seminary, 2004;17.], induces from numerous Scriptural passages about the image to form the general conclusion that the image simply is “to be like God” in some way. Jastram says that since mountains (Psalm 36:6), cedars (Psalm 80:10), fire (Job 1:16), stars (Isaiah 14:13), and other animate and inanimate objects are like God since they have certain characteristics, they likewise are images of God. Telephone conversation with Dr. Nathan Jastram, April 22, 2010.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – I am no Thomist; more of a Augustinian ne0-Platonist with overtones of Husserlian phenomenology. I would say though, that we Lutherans do not categorically reject natural law, we just don’t freight it with as much theological import as Thomas. We simply hold to natural law as being that which is derived from reason, but that it is entirely a worldy rationality, God-given though it be. As Luther says in the SC: “I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them; in addition thereto, clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and homestead, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life, protects me from all danger, and guards me and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.”

    Our reason is just one of the many gifts bestowed upon us by God. From this we discern the Law as written on our hearts. Moreover, it allows us to navigate somewhat sensibly through our earthly lives.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – I am no Thomist; more of a Augustinian ne0-Platonist with overtones of Husserlian phenomenology. I would say though, that we Lutherans do not categorically reject natural law, we just don’t freight it with as much theological import as Thomas. We simply hold to natural law as being that which is derived from reason, but that it is entirely a worldy rationality, God-given though it be. As Luther says in the SC: “I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them; in addition thereto, clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and homestead, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life, protects me from all danger, and guards me and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.”

    Our reason is just one of the many gifts bestowed upon us by God. From this we discern the Law as written on our hearts. Moreover, it allows us to navigate somewhat sensibly through our earthly lives.

  • fws

    SKP
    “Baker’s point is to try and formulate an orthodox position for the sanctity of life using the Lutheran concept of imago dei,…”

    No SKP. Baker’s intent is to very selectively quote Luther and others to make it seem that the Lutheran definition of the Image of God is identical to that of the Thomist Scholastics.

    Why is it important for him to deceive people in this way (yes I am aware deceive is a strong accusation)?

    It is because he knows that the Confessions reject Thomist Scholaticism, and so also his Natural Law Theories precisely, and very exactly on this point.

    Gerhard is right. To deny that the Image of God was lost is to deny Original Sin.

    The Lutheran position is simple:
    1)Whatever the Image of God is was COMPLETELY lost in the Fall.
    2)Therefore whatever is in Man both before and after the fall cannot be included in what it is that the Image of God consisted of.
    3) whatever exists in man before and after the fall is all to be fully included in “natural man”, that is , man who is born, like Seth , in the image and likeness of Adam.
    4) it is in this precise sense that the Confessions exclusive-ly define “natural” law as the Divine Law written in Reason.
    5) The Law cannot be part of the Image of God therefore.
    6) The fact that the Image must be restored, is proof that it was lost according to Gerhard in a sylogism in his Loci.
    7) The Image of God restored in Baptism is alone Faith Alone in Christ.
    7) the texts in support of this assertion by the Lutherans are 2 Cor 3:18, Eph 4:23, and Col 3:10.
    8) See also the Apology: Original Righeousness=Image of God. What is original sin? a) Lack/Absence of Faith in Christ + Concupiscence.
    9) Please note carefully that the Apology REdefines “concupiscence” away from the Augustinian/Thomist definition. Concupiscence becomes a “false faith” or “anti-faith” (think antimatter here) that is a coveting that seeks to put it’s fear love and trust in anything BUT Christ alone.
    10) The Image of God is precisely that thing that is alone restored in the waters of Baptism SKP!
    11) as a CONSEQUENCE of that restoration of the Image and Righteousness that is faith alone, the Law is once Again written in the heart (not just in the Reason ) of mankind , in fulfillment of Jer 31 (cf Apology IV “Love and Law” at the very beginning of that section)

    Here is a book where you can read all those Gerhard quotes for your own self SKP. You can download it as a kindle book from Amazon. Its about 10 bucks and a short read:

    http://www.amazon.com/Doctrine-Writings-Chemnitz-Gerhard-ebook/dp/B006BOT88O/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342021707&sr=1-1&keywords=the+doctrine+of+man+in+the+writings+of+martin+chemnitz#reader_B006BOT88O

  • fws

    SKP
    “Baker’s point is to try and formulate an orthodox position for the sanctity of life using the Lutheran concept of imago dei,…”

    No SKP. Baker’s intent is to very selectively quote Luther and others to make it seem that the Lutheran definition of the Image of God is identical to that of the Thomist Scholastics.

    Why is it important for him to deceive people in this way (yes I am aware deceive is a strong accusation)?

    It is because he knows that the Confessions reject Thomist Scholaticism, and so also his Natural Law Theories precisely, and very exactly on this point.

    Gerhard is right. To deny that the Image of God was lost is to deny Original Sin.

    The Lutheran position is simple:
    1)Whatever the Image of God is was COMPLETELY lost in the Fall.
    2)Therefore whatever is in Man both before and after the fall cannot be included in what it is that the Image of God consisted of.
    3) whatever exists in man before and after the fall is all to be fully included in “natural man”, that is , man who is born, like Seth , in the image and likeness of Adam.
    4) it is in this precise sense that the Confessions exclusive-ly define “natural” law as the Divine Law written in Reason.
    5) The Law cannot be part of the Image of God therefore.
    6) The fact that the Image must be restored, is proof that it was lost according to Gerhard in a sylogism in his Loci.
    7) The Image of God restored in Baptism is alone Faith Alone in Christ.
    7) the texts in support of this assertion by the Lutherans are 2 Cor 3:18, Eph 4:23, and Col 3:10.
    8) See also the Apology: Original Righeousness=Image of God. What is original sin? a) Lack/Absence of Faith in Christ + Concupiscence.
    9) Please note carefully that the Apology REdefines “concupiscence” away from the Augustinian/Thomist definition. Concupiscence becomes a “false faith” or “anti-faith” (think antimatter here) that is a coveting that seeks to put it’s fear love and trust in anything BUT Christ alone.
    10) The Image of God is precisely that thing that is alone restored in the waters of Baptism SKP!
    11) as a CONSEQUENCE of that restoration of the Image and Righteousness that is faith alone, the Law is once Again written in the heart (not just in the Reason ) of mankind , in fulfillment of Jer 31 (cf Apology IV “Love and Law” at the very beginning of that section)

    Here is a book where you can read all those Gerhard quotes for your own self SKP. You can download it as a kindle book from Amazon. Its about 10 bucks and a short read:

    http://www.amazon.com/Doctrine-Writings-Chemnitz-Gerhard-ebook/dp/B006BOT88O/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342021707&sr=1-1&keywords=the+doctrine+of+man+in+the+writings+of+martin+chemnitz#reader_B006BOT88O

  • SKPeterson

    All of which is to say that the last 30+ comments have gotten us away from Grace’s comment @ 49 where she implied a false dichotomy between the manifesting of the fruits of the Spirit and the presence of sinful men. Grace appears to conflate unrepentance with the repeated, yet repentant, struggle against sin. Something noted in the quote from Kleinig.

  • SKPeterson

    All of which is to say that the last 30+ comments have gotten us away from Grace’s comment @ 49 where she implied a false dichotomy between the manifesting of the fruits of the Spirit and the presence of sinful men. Grace appears to conflate unrepentance with the repeated, yet repentant, struggle against sin. Something noted in the quote from Kleinig.

  • JonathanH

    I’m curious about anyone’s response to #64.
    I understand the dilemma. That celibacy would just cause more problems.

    And fws, you said @60:
    “1) I think it is obvious that homosexuality is some sort of deficiency. Your question seems to me exactly like asking if it is “wholesome” to use an artificial limb when a real limb is missing. I could be wrong on this.”

    If gay marriage is like using a prosthetic limb, could a heterosexual marriage be like taking the original arm (assuming you still had it) and sewing it back on to the body? Maybe it would be more painful, but at least you’ve got a real arm.

    Basically, I wonder why M+F is 100% out of the picture for a gay man or woman.

  • JonathanH

    I’m curious about anyone’s response to #64.
    I understand the dilemma. That celibacy would just cause more problems.

    And fws, you said @60:
    “1) I think it is obvious that homosexuality is some sort of deficiency. Your question seems to me exactly like asking if it is “wholesome” to use an artificial limb when a real limb is missing. I could be wrong on this.”

    If gay marriage is like using a prosthetic limb, could a heterosexual marriage be like taking the original arm (assuming you still had it) and sewing it back on to the body? Maybe it would be more painful, but at least you’ve got a real arm.

    Basically, I wonder why M+F is 100% out of the picture for a gay man or woman.

  • fws

    SKP

    I know you are not a Thomist..
    But it is good to know that Baker is one.
    More misdirection SKP. Lutherans state, in the Confessions, that the Divine Law is fully written in Reason such that, concerning morality , nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle. Our Confessions concede this much power to Reason SKP. See the Apology on Free will , aka Moral Reasoning. We conceed ALL power to Reason except ONLY one! That is the power to know God and to truly fear love and trust in him. That is: that ONE thing reason cannot know or do is precisely what is restored in Baptismal Regeneration. ALL other powers the Confessions grant to reason minus just this one.!

    “I would say though, that we Lutherans do not categorically reject natural law, we just don’t freight it with as much theological import as Thomas”

    The Confessions DO, categorically, reject the Thomist definition of both the terms “Natural ” and “Law”.

    NATURAL:
    Lutherans do this precisely in their use of the term “natural” and “law”. You write as though the term “natural law” means the same to everyone.

    Baker uses that common thoughtlessness to misdirect. as in.. “see! Lutherans use the term “natural law” therefore… “. The problem with this is that in the very way that our Confessions employ that term , they are deliberately and decisively departing from and rejecting the way St Thomas means the term!

    Baker knows this. But he has an agenda to push. And as I said, I pray he fails in that agenda. It would mean the end of Confessional Lutheranism if he succeeds.

    “Natural” is defined by our Confessions, to mean ALL that is in man both before, and after the fall. Why does this matter?
    “The natural man” does not know the things of God nor can he.”

    Therefore any “knowing of God” that is part of the definition of “Image of God” must be something Lutherans, within this framework of thinking would call “super-natural.” As in “you must be born AGAIN, supernaturally, from above!” The Image of God must be restored. You should be thinking here: “Seth was born in the image and likeness of …. Adam.

    LAW:
    And we Lutherans also redefine that word Law and Divine Law. Rome and Geneva say that the “content” is the Decalog. Why? They claim that the Law found in man, his conscience, is fallen. It is precisely the conscience that they both identify as being that “faint ember” of the Image of God. So the Decalog was needed to restore that content since they (falsely) assert that the Law, written in fallen reason, is also fallen. We reject this. And it is true that this idea has crept into American Lutheranism. It is still wrong.

    Lutherans say this: “Divine Law is [fully] written in the Reason of ALL men. (Rom 2:15). Reason is fallen. The Law written in Reason is not. So why is it that man can’t seem to keep a Law that can fully know by reason?
    And Lutherans assert that “natural man” CAN fully know the moral Law. ‘Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle” we declare. (ap III). Nothing.
    It is because the Law is not written in the heart of man. The heart of man is in full rebellion. The Law can exist in the heart of man, only after the Image of God, which is faith alone, is restored in the heart by regeneration. Only then can the prophecy about this in Jer 31 can be fulfilled. (Ap IV)

  • fws

    SKP

    I know you are not a Thomist..
    But it is good to know that Baker is one.
    More misdirection SKP. Lutherans state, in the Confessions, that the Divine Law is fully written in Reason such that, concerning morality , nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle. Our Confessions concede this much power to Reason SKP. See the Apology on Free will , aka Moral Reasoning. We conceed ALL power to Reason except ONLY one! That is the power to know God and to truly fear love and trust in him. That is: that ONE thing reason cannot know or do is precisely what is restored in Baptismal Regeneration. ALL other powers the Confessions grant to reason minus just this one.!

    “I would say though, that we Lutherans do not categorically reject natural law, we just don’t freight it with as much theological import as Thomas”

    The Confessions DO, categorically, reject the Thomist definition of both the terms “Natural ” and “Law”.

    NATURAL:
    Lutherans do this precisely in their use of the term “natural” and “law”. You write as though the term “natural law” means the same to everyone.

    Baker uses that common thoughtlessness to misdirect. as in.. “see! Lutherans use the term “natural law” therefore… “. The problem with this is that in the very way that our Confessions employ that term , they are deliberately and decisively departing from and rejecting the way St Thomas means the term!

    Baker knows this. But he has an agenda to push. And as I said, I pray he fails in that agenda. It would mean the end of Confessional Lutheranism if he succeeds.

    “Natural” is defined by our Confessions, to mean ALL that is in man both before, and after the fall. Why does this matter?
    “The natural man” does not know the things of God nor can he.”

    Therefore any “knowing of God” that is part of the definition of “Image of God” must be something Lutherans, within this framework of thinking would call “super-natural.” As in “you must be born AGAIN, supernaturally, from above!” The Image of God must be restored. You should be thinking here: “Seth was born in the image and likeness of …. Adam.

    LAW:
    And we Lutherans also redefine that word Law and Divine Law. Rome and Geneva say that the “content” is the Decalog. Why? They claim that the Law found in man, his conscience, is fallen. It is precisely the conscience that they both identify as being that “faint ember” of the Image of God. So the Decalog was needed to restore that content since they (falsely) assert that the Law, written in fallen reason, is also fallen. We reject this. And it is true that this idea has crept into American Lutheranism. It is still wrong.

    Lutherans say this: “Divine Law is [fully] written in the Reason of ALL men. (Rom 2:15). Reason is fallen. The Law written in Reason is not. So why is it that man can’t seem to keep a Law that can fully know by reason?
    And Lutherans assert that “natural man” CAN fully know the moral Law. ‘Concerning morality, nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle” we declare. (ap III). Nothing.
    It is because the Law is not written in the heart of man. The heart of man is in full rebellion. The Law can exist in the heart of man, only after the Image of God, which is faith alone, is restored in the heart by regeneration. Only then can the prophecy about this in Jer 31 can be fulfilled. (Ap IV)

  • fws

    Jonathan H @ 82

    I don’t have any objections to your way of thinking. I think that these are honest questions.

    It is good to note that Exodus started out with exactly the same thoughts you are proposing. And that was the entire point of the article that this thread is about. This change in posture came about in a group dedicated to proving that what you suggest can actually work. They seem to have learned otherwise from experience… or… maybe they ARE just caving in to public pressure and have simply “lost faith”? How would we judge which of those it is?

    They have now officially discarded that idea as a viable one.
    And the argument is precisely whether or not they were right to do so.

  • fws

    Jonathan H @ 82

    I don’t have any objections to your way of thinking. I think that these are honest questions.

    It is good to note that Exodus started out with exactly the same thoughts you are proposing. And that was the entire point of the article that this thread is about. This change in posture came about in a group dedicated to proving that what you suggest can actually work. They seem to have learned otherwise from experience… or… maybe they ARE just caving in to public pressure and have simply “lost faith”? How would we judge which of those it is?

    They have now officially discarded that idea as a viable one.
    And the argument is precisely whether or not they were right to do so.

  • fws

    SKP @ 81

    Ok. You think you are gonna budge Grace and that she wants a sincere exchange on that? Good luck. I DO trust that God’s Word ,IS working on her heart, but it’s gonna take time

    I would suggest that this conversation about the Image of God is a very very important one for you. You seem to not have been directly exposed to all that is at stake in this difference between Thomist Natural Law proponents and the Confessional Lutheran position on Original Sin that will be destroyed by the embrace of Thomist Natural Law.

  • fws

    SKP @ 81

    Ok. You think you are gonna budge Grace and that she wants a sincere exchange on that? Good luck. I DO trust that God’s Word ,IS working on her heart, but it’s gonna take time

    I would suggest that this conversation about the Image of God is a very very important one for you. You seem to not have been directly exposed to all that is at stake in this difference between Thomist Natural Law proponents and the Confessional Lutheran position on Original Sin that will be destroyed by the embrace of Thomist Natural Law.

  • fws

    Jon @ 62 & 64

    Read the article again. Mr Chambers seems to be saying that he is the rare exception to the rule. That seems to be the exact point of change and also controversy in the article that started this thread.

    Note that I am trying to be extremely careful to not offer my opinion on this. I am trying very honestly to present what it is that Lutherans have said from Scriptures on this topic and utterly nothing more.

    Jonathan H @82 Please note that I have attempted to merely outline precisely the limits of what Lutherans say the Scriptures and Confessions declare and have tryed to omit any of my own opinions on the subject. Where I have failed to do this, and have colored what I say Scripture do and do not say, I would wish to retract those things as you are able to point them out to me.

    My “agenda” is to advocate for the honest use of language, words, definitions, and texts that do not manupulate people in any way.

  • fws

    Jon @ 62 & 64

    Read the article again. Mr Chambers seems to be saying that he is the rare exception to the rule. That seems to be the exact point of change and also controversy in the article that started this thread.

    Note that I am trying to be extremely careful to not offer my opinion on this. I am trying very honestly to present what it is that Lutherans have said from Scriptures on this topic and utterly nothing more.

    Jonathan H @82 Please note that I have attempted to merely outline precisely the limits of what Lutherans say the Scriptures and Confessions declare and have tryed to omit any of my own opinions on the subject. Where I have failed to do this, and have colored what I say Scripture do and do not say, I would wish to retract those things as you are able to point them out to me.

    My “agenda” is to advocate for the honest use of language, words, definitions, and texts that do not manupulate people in any way.

  • fws

    Jon and Jonathan H.

    By the way, I would categorically reject any argument constructed from silence, as in:

    Jesus doesnt say that gay marriage ,sex, (fill in the blank) is wrong, THEREFORE it is not wrong.

    Such things may or may not be right or wrong, but that would be a false and dangerous method to try to prove such a thing.

  • fws

    Jon and Jonathan H.

    By the way, I would categorically reject any argument constructed from silence, as in:

    Jesus doesnt say that gay marriage ,sex, (fill in the blank) is wrong, THEREFORE it is not wrong.

    Such things may or may not be right or wrong, but that would be a false and dangerous method to try to prove such a thing.

  • fws

    SKP @ 81

    Try this:
    Grace, as do all EvangelReformedBaptiCostals, use the word Sanctification to describe the Christian life.

    You use the word Repentence.
    Repentence includes Law and Gospel.

    One struggles to place the Law into that word Sanctification.
    So the proper distinction of Law and Gospel in the life of a Christian becomes blurred for that very reason.

  • fws

    SKP @ 81

    Try this:
    Grace, as do all EvangelReformedBaptiCostals, use the word Sanctification to describe the Christian life.

    You use the word Repentence.
    Repentence includes Law and Gospel.

    One struggles to place the Law into that word Sanctification.
    So the proper distinction of Law and Gospel in the life of a Christian becomes blurred for that very reason.

  • SKPeterson

    I’m aware of your concerns about natural law, but I’ve not fully engaged the debate, as it were. For natural law, I’m operating, as I think Lutherans in would, that it is Aristotle’s or Plato’s virtue ethics, as you say (I think Luther included Aesop, too, if I recall correctly) in tandem with Paul’s quote at Romans 2:14-15 that provide the scope of “natural” and “law.” Or rather, perhaps we should define it as a “proper” natural law. I don’t think we would accept many of the tenets of an Epicurean virtue ethic as demonstrative of what we would call natural law.

  • SKPeterson

    I’m aware of your concerns about natural law, but I’ve not fully engaged the debate, as it were. For natural law, I’m operating, as I think Lutherans in would, that it is Aristotle’s or Plato’s virtue ethics, as you say (I think Luther included Aesop, too, if I recall correctly) in tandem with Paul’s quote at Romans 2:14-15 that provide the scope of “natural” and “law.” Or rather, perhaps we should define it as a “proper” natural law. I don’t think we would accept many of the tenets of an Epicurean virtue ethic as demonstrative of what we would call natural law.

  • fws

    SKP @ 89
    The Apology was addressed to a specific reader and audience.
    The Apology was addressed to the Thomist Scholastic.
    It was specifically to UNbaptize Aristotle from theology.

    So their comment on Aristotle’s Ethics as being FULLY sufficient as to knowing and doing morals and ethics should be read in that exact context.

    The point is to grant to the powers of Reason utterly EVERYTHING as to earthly morality.

    This is to help the Thomist to see that heavenly righeousness is something wholy OTHER than that.
    It is alone of Faith. Love is excluded. That is to say this:
    It’s aim is to teach Two Kingdoms aka Law and Gospel.

  • fws

    SKP @ 89
    The Apology was addressed to a specific reader and audience.
    The Apology was addressed to the Thomist Scholastic.
    It was specifically to UNbaptize Aristotle from theology.

    So their comment on Aristotle’s Ethics as being FULLY sufficient as to knowing and doing morals and ethics should be read in that exact context.

    The point is to grant to the powers of Reason utterly EVERYTHING as to earthly morality.

    This is to help the Thomist to see that heavenly righeousness is something wholy OTHER than that.
    It is alone of Faith. Love is excluded. That is to say this:
    It’s aim is to teach Two Kingdoms aka Law and Gospel.

  • SKPeterson

    Are you indicating that Baker is surreptitiously advocating for a Thomistic understanding of natural law that would be somehow soteriological in application? I understand Gerhard’s objection, as well. I don’t think that “vestiges” of imago dei should imply divine spark, or any ability on our part to cooperate in our salvation. Gerhard sees any argument against the complete erasure of imago dei in the Fall as allowing for a downstream argument for exactly such cooperation – the Thomistic division of grace that ends up finally in the bollixed Arminian prevenient type.

  • SKPeterson

    Are you indicating that Baker is surreptitiously advocating for a Thomistic understanding of natural law that would be somehow soteriological in application? I understand Gerhard’s objection, as well. I don’t think that “vestiges” of imago dei should imply divine spark, or any ability on our part to cooperate in our salvation. Gerhard sees any argument against the complete erasure of imago dei in the Fall as allowing for a downstream argument for exactly such cooperation – the Thomistic division of grace that ends up finally in the bollixed Arminian prevenient type.

  • Grace

    No one need go any further, or “shorthand” God’s Word.

    “he is the image and glory of God:”

    7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

    8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

    9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

    10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    1 Corinthians 11:7

  • Grace

    No one need go any further, or “shorthand” God’s Word.

    “he is the image and glory of God:”

    7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

    8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

    9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

    10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    1 Corinthians 11:7

  • shell

    fws,
    Thank you for your response (to my off topic question).

  • shell

    fws,
    Thank you for your response (to my off topic question).

  • fws

    skp @ 91

    Baker has said that he sees no conflict between Thomism and Lutheranism.

    Answer your own question:

    Is there anything at all in what you read on his “Imagio Dei” page that would let one know that Lutherans teach that the Image of God was totally lost in the Fall?
    Or that the denial of this is, categorically, to deny Original Sin?

    Do his selective quotations steer you to thinking of the Righeousness and knowing of God that IS the Image of God is something that is conformity to the Law or is that Righeousness that is Faith in Christ?

    Does he make it seem that the Lutherans , especially Luther say that there is just alot of possible ways to look at Image of God and they really don’t have any well defined opinions on what that is?

    Fact: The Lutheran teaching as to what the Image of God is and is not is
    a) very clear and
    b) is foundational to Lutheran Theology and
    c) marks exactly THE break with Thomist Scholasticism that starts with the declaration of the total loss of the Image of God.
    d) Thomist Natural Law is an inseparable and integral part of this. To say this isn’t true, is like saying we can use church growth methods and still retain Lutheran Orthodoxy.

    So yes. I am saying that Baker is trying to get Thomism adopted into Confessional Lutheranism using similar methods to what the Church Growth folk used:
    a) we can do it and be compatible with Orthodoxy
    b) it will meet a pressing and urgent need that traditional Lutheran methods have not succeeded in successfully andressing.
    c) It is dishonest at worse or horribly misguided at best.

  • fws

    skp @ 91

    Baker has said that he sees no conflict between Thomism and Lutheranism.

    Answer your own question:

    Is there anything at all in what you read on his “Imagio Dei” page that would let one know that Lutherans teach that the Image of God was totally lost in the Fall?
    Or that the denial of this is, categorically, to deny Original Sin?

    Do his selective quotations steer you to thinking of the Righeousness and knowing of God that IS the Image of God is something that is conformity to the Law or is that Righeousness that is Faith in Christ?

    Does he make it seem that the Lutherans , especially Luther say that there is just alot of possible ways to look at Image of God and they really don’t have any well defined opinions on what that is?

    Fact: The Lutheran teaching as to what the Image of God is and is not is
    a) very clear and
    b) is foundational to Lutheran Theology and
    c) marks exactly THE break with Thomist Scholasticism that starts with the declaration of the total loss of the Image of God.
    d) Thomist Natural Law is an inseparable and integral part of this. To say this isn’t true, is like saying we can use church growth methods and still retain Lutheran Orthodoxy.

    So yes. I am saying that Baker is trying to get Thomism adopted into Confessional Lutheranism using similar methods to what the Church Growth folk used:
    a) we can do it and be compatible with Orthodoxy
    b) it will meet a pressing and urgent need that traditional Lutheran methods have not succeeded in successfully andressing.
    c) It is dishonest at worse or horribly misguided at best.

  • John C

    You may be a sinner, Frank, but I am not. I am not a member 0f the Lutheran church. I’ve come to religion too late. I find no intellectual or spiritual comfort in Biblical notions of sin.
    When someone says that homosexuality is a serious sin or our fallen nature is inherited from Adam, they might as well be speaking a foreign language . I understand the words but their meaning is utterly incomprehensible.
    I do know that I could not be a member of a congregation that regarded homosexuality as a sin though.
    I do admire the struggle, Frank.

  • John C

    You may be a sinner, Frank, but I am not. I am not a member 0f the Lutheran church. I’ve come to religion too late. I find no intellectual or spiritual comfort in Biblical notions of sin.
    When someone says that homosexuality is a serious sin or our fallen nature is inherited from Adam, they might as well be speaking a foreign language . I understand the words but their meaning is utterly incomprehensible.
    I do know that I could not be a member of a congregation that regarded homosexuality as a sin though.
    I do admire the struggle, Frank.

  • fws

    SKP @ 91

    Explain to me how it is that one could have a Thomist view of Natural Law that is not, unavoidably, soterialogical in it’s implications but not in it’s “applications”.

    The Confessions accept Aristotelian morality as being fully sufficient to be a moral person.
    THAT is the **confessional** way one is to separate “application” from “soteriology.
    Lutherans categorically reject any soteriological component to morality, exactly by granting reason and Aristotle as being ALL that is necessary for morals and virtue on earth.
    This is to say that the unitary soteriological significance of any and all morality is mortification and death..,plus…. [sound of crickets].
    Therefore: they reject Thomist adaptation/baptism of Aristotle.

    Baker is not suggesting that.
    He is promoting Natural Law as a sort of Third Use that can be wielded only by Christians.
    The Decalog, HS and Regeneration are necessary for even earthly morality to happen he says.
    So why is that so important for him to assert?

    It is this:

    Thomist Natural Law has a Teleological (read soteriological) trajectory.
    It is to once again reconform to the Divine Mind and Image which is revealed…. in the LAW of God.
    That IS the the path to the redemption of creation.
    And Grace then becomes enabling grace.
    Of course no soteriology is possible without Divine Grace!
    Morality cannot happen without regeneration.
    For the aim of earthy morality is the Telos of being remade in Gods Image.
    This is what it means to flourish.

    Lutherans say that any “flourishing” is the Goodness and Mercy God extorts, as fruit called Good Works, out of a life of Old Adam that is the Law working death. Only death.

  • fws

    SKP @ 91

    Explain to me how it is that one could have a Thomist view of Natural Law that is not, unavoidably, soterialogical in it’s implications but not in it’s “applications”.

    The Confessions accept Aristotelian morality as being fully sufficient to be a moral person.
    THAT is the **confessional** way one is to separate “application” from “soteriology.
    Lutherans categorically reject any soteriological component to morality, exactly by granting reason and Aristotle as being ALL that is necessary for morals and virtue on earth.
    This is to say that the unitary soteriological significance of any and all morality is mortification and death..,plus…. [sound of crickets].
    Therefore: they reject Thomist adaptation/baptism of Aristotle.

    Baker is not suggesting that.
    He is promoting Natural Law as a sort of Third Use that can be wielded only by Christians.
    The Decalog, HS and Regeneration are necessary for even earthly morality to happen he says.
    So why is that so important for him to assert?

    It is this:

    Thomist Natural Law has a Teleological (read soteriological) trajectory.
    It is to once again reconform to the Divine Mind and Image which is revealed…. in the LAW of God.
    That IS the the path to the redemption of creation.
    And Grace then becomes enabling grace.
    Of course no soteriology is possible without Divine Grace!
    Morality cannot happen without regeneration.
    For the aim of earthy morality is the Telos of being remade in Gods Image.
    This is what it means to flourish.

    Lutherans say that any “flourishing” is the Goodness and Mercy God extorts, as fruit called Good Works, out of a life of Old Adam that is the Law working death. Only death.

  • fws

    John C @ 95

    “When someone says that [fill in the blank] is a serious sin or our fallen nature is inherited from Adam, they might as well be speaking a foreign language . I understand the words but their meaning is utterly incomprehensible.”

    John C. Do you realize that you perfectly expressed very orthodox Lutheran doctrine on the idea of original sin? I am serious.

    Stick around. You may not be as far removed from being a Lutheran as you imagine!

  • fws

    John C @ 95

    “When someone says that [fill in the blank] is a serious sin or our fallen nature is inherited from Adam, they might as well be speaking a foreign language . I understand the words but their meaning is utterly incomprehensible.”

    John C. Do you realize that you perfectly expressed very orthodox Lutheran doctrine on the idea of original sin? I am serious.

    Stick around. You may not be as far removed from being a Lutheran as you imagine!

  • fws

    shell @ 93

    I hope you find my answers useful in being helpful to others as we are all supposed to be.

  • fws

    shell @ 93

    I hope you find my answers useful in being helpful to others as we are all supposed to be.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – If Thomist natural law presupposes that one may, by reason, apprehend God and then know and do what is right so as to cooperate in our salvation, then I see your point. In that case, then, Thomist natural law is the ground for the Roman view of grace.

    However, if one rejects the Roman view of grace and that natural law points us toward salvation, but finds Thomist natural law is still of value in our ordering of daily life, then Thomist nautral law may be of value. However, at that point, it is probably not much distinguishable from classic Aristotelian virtue ethics.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – If Thomist natural law presupposes that one may, by reason, apprehend God and then know and do what is right so as to cooperate in our salvation, then I see your point. In that case, then, Thomist natural law is the ground for the Roman view of grace.

    However, if one rejects the Roman view of grace and that natural law points us toward salvation, but finds Thomist natural law is still of value in our ordering of daily life, then Thomist nautral law may be of value. However, at that point, it is probably not much distinguishable from classic Aristotelian virtue ethics.

  • fws

    skp @ 91

    Here is a great example that popped into my email.
    It gives marriage a sacramental telos that require faith and bible.
    So what about the Law being kept by the married who are pagans?
    The bible (which is “God’s owner’s manual” now!) is necessary to achieve this telos.
    It is well meaning.
    It is destructive to Law and Gospel distinction and so…
    of the proclamation Holy Gospel.
    The unitary teleological import of marriage is… death.. plus…nothing.

    https://marriageada.org/donationland/?ref=EB120711EANT

    Lutherans reject all that.

  • fws

    skp @ 91

    Here is a great example that popped into my email.
    It gives marriage a sacramental telos that require faith and bible.
    So what about the Law being kept by the married who are pagans?
    The bible (which is “God’s owner’s manual” now!) is necessary to achieve this telos.
    It is well meaning.
    It is destructive to Law and Gospel distinction and so…
    of the proclamation Holy Gospel.
    The unitary teleological import of marriage is… death.. plus…nothing.

    https://marriageada.org/donationland/?ref=EB120711EANT

    Lutherans reject all that.

  • Grace

    It’s too bad this subject revolves around fws, his defense of homosexuality, etc., etc.

    God is all powerful, HE makes an “escape” when tempted, no matter what the temptation is. Alan Chambers, has decided that “homosexuality” can’t be cured.

    Little man makes a pronouncement that God is incappable of healing, making an “escape” when we are tempted?

    Man wants his own way, stating God can’t cure? Does that give the wilfull man an evil “escape” to do as he chooses?

    The Bible states:

    For with God nothing shall be impossible.
    Luke 1:37

    11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
    12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
    13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
    14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. John 5:14

    The man was made whole, he was also warned “sin no more” that would mean he had a choice, he could sin, or refrain from sinning.

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    1 Corinthians 10:13

  • Grace

    It’s too bad this subject revolves around fws, his defense of homosexuality, etc., etc.

    God is all powerful, HE makes an “escape” when tempted, no matter what the temptation is. Alan Chambers, has decided that “homosexuality” can’t be cured.

    Little man makes a pronouncement that God is incappable of healing, making an “escape” when we are tempted?

    Man wants his own way, stating God can’t cure? Does that give the wilfull man an evil “escape” to do as he chooses?

    The Bible states:

    For with God nothing shall be impossible.
    Luke 1:37

    11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
    12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
    13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
    14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. John 5:14

    The man was made whole, he was also warned “sin no more” that would mean he had a choice, he could sin, or refrain from sinning.

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    1 Corinthians 10:13

  • fws

    skp @ 99

    if one rejects the Roman view of grace and that natural law points us toward salvation,
    but finds Thomist natural law is still of value in our ordering of daily life, then Thomist nautral law may be of value.
    However, at that point, it is probably not much distinguishable from classic Aristotelian virtue ethics.

    Exactly.
    This is the EXACT point that the Apology seeks to make!
    You ALMOST nailed it. You just need to tweak that last sentence. Let me help you do that!

    “However, as to both morality and soteriology, Thomist Natural Law is NO different than classic Aristotelian virtue ethics. The Telos (soteriology) is death!”

    “Regarding morality nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”
    Regarding soteriology, Aritotelian notions of Telos are precisely Reason in Old Adam trying, desperately! to give the Law and Love some soteriological significance that is more than….mortification and eternal death.

    The Telos of the Law is death.
    The Telos of the Spirit is Faith alone in Christ alone.
    Romans 8
    The telos of the flesh is to perish. It is death.
    The telos of the spirit that is alone faith in Christ is eternal life.

    Scholasticism sees the movement in romans 8 as being from vice to virtue.
    Lutheranism sees the movement in romans 8 as being from Virtue to alone faith in Christ.

  • fws

    skp @ 99

    if one rejects the Roman view of grace and that natural law points us toward salvation,
    but finds Thomist natural law is still of value in our ordering of daily life, then Thomist nautral law may be of value.
    However, at that point, it is probably not much distinguishable from classic Aristotelian virtue ethics.

    Exactly.
    This is the EXACT point that the Apology seeks to make!
    You ALMOST nailed it. You just need to tweak that last sentence. Let me help you do that!

    “However, as to both morality and soteriology, Thomist Natural Law is NO different than classic Aristotelian virtue ethics. The Telos (soteriology) is death!”

    “Regarding morality nothing can be demanded beyond the Ethics of Aristotle”
    Regarding soteriology, Aritotelian notions of Telos are precisely Reason in Old Adam trying, desperately! to give the Law and Love some soteriological significance that is more than….mortification and eternal death.

    The Telos of the Law is death.
    The Telos of the Spirit is Faith alone in Christ alone.
    Romans 8
    The telos of the flesh is to perish. It is death.
    The telos of the spirit that is alone faith in Christ is eternal life.

    Scholasticism sees the movement in romans 8 as being from vice to virtue.
    Lutheranism sees the movement in romans 8 as being from Virtue to alone faith in Christ.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Hey there – hope to get back to you on the other thread. I have not read what you wrote there yet, but look forward to it (its here if others want to see what we are discussing – it is related to this: http://www.geneveith.com/2012/06/20/the-law-in-the-life-of-christians/ ).

    What do we do then about the passage in Genesis 9?:

    4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

    6 “Whoever sheds human blood,
    by humans shall their blood be shed;
    for in the image of God
    has God made mankind.

    7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

    And the ones that Grace mentioned?

    That said, I won’t get more involved than this here, though I wish I could. Carry on!

    +Nathan

    ps – for those who are interested regarding the issue of the struggle Christians with homosexual inclinations face, years ago, I scanned the conversation that followed this blog post: http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=12535 , particularly following the fascinating posters, Andrew (who struggles with homosexual desires) and John. I find post # 72, #102 and 103 (on the first page of comments), and #’s 4-9 and #28 (on the second page of comments) to be very valuable, and they really helped me understand even more deeply the struggle some Christians face. From post 102 and 103, you see that Andrew (who actually wrote the LCMS doc on how to deal with persons with homosexual inclinations) thinks the club mentioned in this post should be more or less like an AA club (one commenter said this later on) that leads people to Jesus/the Divine Service. I guess I do not understand why comparing an alcoholic’s struggle to a homosexuals is not a good analogy (even if we don’t call both “compulsive”, which I don’t believe Dr. Veith did, using only the word “besetting”).

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Hey there – hope to get back to you on the other thread. I have not read what you wrote there yet, but look forward to it (its here if others want to see what we are discussing – it is related to this: http://www.geneveith.com/2012/06/20/the-law-in-the-life-of-christians/ ).

    What do we do then about the passage in Genesis 9?:

    4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

    6 “Whoever sheds human blood,
    by humans shall their blood be shed;
    for in the image of God
    has God made mankind.

    7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

    And the ones that Grace mentioned?

    That said, I won’t get more involved than this here, though I wish I could. Carry on!

    +Nathan

    ps – for those who are interested regarding the issue of the struggle Christians with homosexual inclinations face, years ago, I scanned the conversation that followed this blog post: http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=12535 , particularly following the fascinating posters, Andrew (who struggles with homosexual desires) and John. I find post # 72, #102 and 103 (on the first page of comments), and #’s 4-9 and #28 (on the second page of comments) to be very valuable, and they really helped me understand even more deeply the struggle some Christians face. From post 102 and 103, you see that Andrew (who actually wrote the LCMS doc on how to deal with persons with homosexual inclinations) thinks the club mentioned in this post should be more or less like an AA club (one commenter said this later on) that leads people to Jesus/the Divine Service. I guess I do not understand why comparing an alcoholic’s struggle to a homosexuals is not a good analogy (even if we don’t call both “compulsive”, which I don’t believe Dr. Veith did, using only the word “besetting”).

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 101 – Most of the last 40 or 50 posts have been about the “etc, etc” and not about homosexuality. Do you assume that anything Frank posts will automatically be about homosexuality? Frank’s posts are usually about 1) the Lutheran Confessions, 2) the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, or 3) the proper distinction of Law and Gospel. Now you may quibble that those aren’t always germane to the topic at hand, but to simply write off anything Frank says as “gay” is doing him and the rest of us a disservice.

    See my posts at 50 and 51, and then you can gladly skip until about 90 or so in order to follow along and get back into the conversation, or steer us back as the case may be.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 101 – Most of the last 40 or 50 posts have been about the “etc, etc” and not about homosexuality. Do you assume that anything Frank posts will automatically be about homosexuality? Frank’s posts are usually about 1) the Lutheran Confessions, 2) the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, or 3) the proper distinction of Law and Gospel. Now you may quibble that those aren’t always germane to the topic at hand, but to simply write off anything Frank says as “gay” is doing him and the rest of us a disservice.

    See my posts at 50 and 51, and then you can gladly skip until about 90 or so in order to follow along and get back into the conversation, or steer us back as the case may be.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson,

    I don’t believe that ALL of fws’s posts are about homosexuality, but a great many are. He likes to preach law and grace, but believes homosexuality isn’t a sin. For that reason, I rarely read the posts he preaches.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson,

    I don’t believe that ALL of fws’s posts are about homosexuality, but a great many are. He likes to preach law and grace, but believes homosexuality isn’t a sin. For that reason, I rarely read the posts he preaches.

  • fws

    skp @ 99

    Let’s make one important thing clear.
    The error of Old Adam, St Thomas, Robert Baker, SKP,FWS, Reason, and Aristitotle is NOT to assign a soteriological significance or telos to …
    …Virtue, Godly Morals, Good Works and Love.
    This MUST be done.
    These all have the most profound teleotic and soteriological significance that natural man can know.
    Death.
    Life is death. Life is mortification.
    It does not follow that mortification is Life.

  • fws

    skp @ 99

    Let’s make one important thing clear.
    The error of Old Adam, St Thomas, Robert Baker, SKP,FWS, Reason, and Aristitotle is NOT to assign a soteriological significance or telos to …
    …Virtue, Godly Morals, Good Works and Love.
    This MUST be done.
    These all have the most profound teleotic and soteriological significance that natural man can know.
    Death.
    Life is death. Life is mortification.
    It does not follow that mortification is Life.

  • fws

    skp

    the error is that we all want to assign an telotic and soteriological significance to love and what we can do that is Life.

  • fws

    skp

    the error is that we all want to assign an telotic and soteriological significance to love and what we can do that is Life.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 103

    God did make man in his Image at creation. No one denies that.
    It is also true that Seth, and you and me, are born into, not God’s Image but after the Image and Likeness of [Old Adam]

    The problem with classing homosexuality as a compulsive behavioral disorder along with alcolholism, porn and other addictions and child molestation (things that are all, to use a quaint word “besetting”) is simply that it is not true.
    The medical community agrees with this assessment.
    What is there not to understand in that Nathan?

  • fws

    Nathan @ 103

    God did make man in his Image at creation. No one denies that.
    It is also true that Seth, and you and me, are born into, not God’s Image but after the Image and Likeness of [Old Adam]

    The problem with classing homosexuality as a compulsive behavioral disorder along with alcolholism, porn and other addictions and child molestation (things that are all, to use a quaint word “besetting”) is simply that it is not true.
    The medical community agrees with this assessment.
    What is there not to understand in that Nathan?

  • Grace

    Nathan @ 103

    I LINKED to the thread you recommended. I glanced at the last post, which fws wrote – after doing a word number count, of 4,477 words, I left. It’s too long and time consuming. It might be interesting, but this is a blog. It’s not a place to write a short form thesis.

    I do enjoy reading your posts.

  • Grace

    Nathan @ 103

    I LINKED to the thread you recommended. I glanced at the last post, which fws wrote – after doing a word number count, of 4,477 words, I left. It’s too long and time consuming. It might be interesting, but this is a blog. It’s not a place to write a short form thesis.

    I do enjoy reading your posts.

  • fws

    SKP @ 91

    Try this just for fun:

    1) Point out to anyone who pushes for [Thomist]Natural Law that marriage, birth control, one-flesh-union, etc are all and ONLY about the mortification of Old Adam. Death. Insist that there is NO eternal consequence or significance to any of those things except mortification and death.

    2) Watch them go absolutely wild.

    Old Adam always “surreptiously” wants to find Life in something other than faith alone in Christ alone.
    It is all he really knows to do.

    Life is, alone , in the Works of Another, outside of us and for us.

  • fws

    SKP @ 91

    Try this just for fun:

    1) Point out to anyone who pushes for [Thomist]Natural Law that marriage, birth control, one-flesh-union, etc are all and ONLY about the mortification of Old Adam. Death. Insist that there is NO eternal consequence or significance to any of those things except mortification and death.

    2) Watch them go absolutely wild.

    Old Adam always “surreptiously” wants to find Life in something other than faith alone in Christ alone.
    It is all he really knows to do.

    Life is, alone , in the Works of Another, outside of us and for us.

  • fws

    Grace @ 109 and Nathan @ 103

    I am with Grace on this Nathan.
    We need to move those sorts of discussions to private email.

  • fws

    Grace @ 109 and Nathan @ 103

    I am with Grace on this Nathan.
    We need to move those sorts of discussions to private email.

  • Grace

    Nathan

    Nowhere, is “old Adam” mentioned in the passage I presented
    at Genesis 9.

    Below is a post I wrote, in answer to fws on this blog “Not knowing if you are a Christian” and LINK:

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/06/08/not-knowing-if-you-are-a-christian/#comment-152416

    Read a few of these posts, if you have time, to 79, and see how the subject is handled.

    .

    POST 67 Grace June 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    fws @ 64

    YOU WROTE: “Gen 9:6. Where does the text refer to noah or say that noah is in the image of God? I am not seeing that.

    1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
    2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
    3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
    4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
    5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
    6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
    7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
    Genesis 9

  • Grace

    Nathan

    Nowhere, is “old Adam” mentioned in the passage I presented
    at Genesis 9.

    Below is a post I wrote, in answer to fws on this blog “Not knowing if you are a Christian” and LINK:

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/06/08/not-knowing-if-you-are-a-christian/#comment-152416

    Read a few of these posts, if you have time, to 79, and see how the subject is handled.

    .

    POST 67 Grace June 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    fws @ 64

    YOU WROTE: “Gen 9:6. Where does the text refer to noah or say that noah is in the image of God? I am not seeing that.

    1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
    2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
    3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
    4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
    5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
    6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
    7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
    Genesis 9

  • Grace

    fws @111

    Just to be CLEAR. I didn’t suggest using email. I do believe your posts are too long, on many of the blogs here. They inhibit interest.

  • Grace

    fws @111

    Just to be CLEAR. I didn’t suggest using email. I do believe your posts are too long, on many of the blogs here. They inhibit interest.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks for answering. Let me clarify just this once and then I’ll let others continue this line of argument if they want.

    I do not understand why it is not true to say that Christian alcoholics struggle with desires to drink until they are drunk and homosexuals struggle with desires to engage in sexual relationships with those of the same sex. Both persons are “beset” by these sins (lets leave out the words “compulsive behavioral disorder” as again, I think *you* are the one choosing to use this vocab)

    Others of us especially struggle with other besetting sins, and are tempted in other ways…

    There are men I am attracted to as well (some more than others), and with some of them I have very deep and personal relationships. But my attraction is not sexual and I do not desire to engage in sexual relationships with them.

    That said – even if I did, a distinction between temptation and sinful desires/actions would still need to be made here (i.e. the sexual attraction itself and the stoking of that attraction into sexual desire, fantasy, flirting, physical engagement, etc)

    The same holds true for a man who is attracted to a woman other than his wife and gives into temptation, leading to desire, fantasy, flirting, physical engagement… (before God, all of these sins are mortal, but as to their actual effect of driving out faith, in general, actions > words > thoughts > desires [Koberle, Quest for Holiness, I believe])

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Thanks for answering. Let me clarify just this once and then I’ll let others continue this line of argument if they want.

    I do not understand why it is not true to say that Christian alcoholics struggle with desires to drink until they are drunk and homosexuals struggle with desires to engage in sexual relationships with those of the same sex. Both persons are “beset” by these sins (lets leave out the words “compulsive behavioral disorder” as again, I think *you* are the one choosing to use this vocab)

    Others of us especially struggle with other besetting sins, and are tempted in other ways…

    There are men I am attracted to as well (some more than others), and with some of them I have very deep and personal relationships. But my attraction is not sexual and I do not desire to engage in sexual relationships with them.

    That said – even if I did, a distinction between temptation and sinful desires/actions would still need to be made here (i.e. the sexual attraction itself and the stoking of that attraction into sexual desire, fantasy, flirting, physical engagement, etc)

    The same holds true for a man who is attracted to a woman other than his wife and gives into temptation, leading to desire, fantasy, flirting, physical engagement… (before God, all of these sins are mortal, but as to their actual effect of driving out faith, in general, actions > words > thoughts > desires [Koberle, Quest for Holiness, I believe])

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    I do not understand why it is not true to say that Christian alcoholics struggle with desires to drink until they are drunk and *Christian* homosexuals struggle with desires…

    Sorry about that.

    Grace – Thank you.

    Frank – I’d rather do it on the blog, because that way anyone who does find our topic matter interesting and conversation compelling can see it for themselves.

    OK- I’m out now!

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    I do not understand why it is not true to say that Christian alcoholics struggle with desires to drink until they are drunk and *Christian* homosexuals struggle with desires…

    Sorry about that.

    Grace – Thank you.

    Frank – I’d rather do it on the blog, because that way anyone who does find our topic matter interesting and conversation compelling can see it for themselves.

    OK- I’m out now!

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan,

    I am not a psychiatrist or very interested in psychology. I would suggest you google on compulsive behavioral disorders to find out more about all that.

  • fws

    Nathan,

    I am not a psychiatrist or very interested in psychology. I would suggest you google on compulsive behavioral disorders to find out more about all that.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 115

    here you go.
    http://behavenet.com/obsessive-compulsive-disorder

    If you don’t understand how homosexuality or heterosexuality does not fit these diagnostics then I would not be sure where to direct you from there Nathan.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 115

    here you go.
    http://behavenet.com/obsessive-compulsive-disorder

    If you don’t understand how homosexuality or heterosexuality does not fit these diagnostics then I would not be sure where to direct you from there Nathan.

  • fws

    nathan @ 115
    Maybe you could take a compulsive disorder here and substitute the word “gay lifestyle” 0r some other term replacing the name of the the specificcompulsive disorder you are trying to compare to homosexuality. Not sure how you would do that Nathan.
    Like a said, the medical community does not have a diagnosis for homosexuality since they were not able to identify diagnostics for the condition. This would be necessary to define something as a pathology.
    Good luck with all that.

  • fws

    nathan @ 115
    Maybe you could take a compulsive disorder here and substitute the word “gay lifestyle” 0r some other term replacing the name of the the specificcompulsive disorder you are trying to compare to homosexuality. Not sure how you would do that Nathan.
    Like a said, the medical community does not have a diagnosis for homosexuality since they were not able to identify diagnostics for the condition. This would be necessary to define something as a pathology.
    Good luck with all that.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    OK – not out. But will be literally in 5 minutes (no internet access – good for me)

    Again, who here besides you is talking about “compulsive behavioral disorders” at all, much less how homosexuality fits into any diagnostic? Not me. Not Dr. Veith. Or did I miss something?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    OK – not out. But will be literally in 5 minutes (no internet access – good for me)

    Again, who here besides you is talking about “compulsive behavioral disorders” at all, much less how homosexuality fits into any diagnostic? Not me. Not Dr. Veith. Or did I miss something?

    +Nathan

  • fws

    grace @ 112

    Yup. Gen 9 states that God made man in his image.
    No one is disputing that Grace.

    In fall the Image of God was lost to man.
    So we seth was born into the image and likeness of…. Adam

    I think I am missing your point.

  • fws

    grace @ 112

    Yup. Gen 9 states that God made man in his image.
    No one is disputing that Grace.

    In fall the Image of God was lost to man.
    So we seth was born into the image and likeness of…. Adam

    I think I am missing your point.

  • Grace

    fws writes this: .. “Like a said, the medical community does not have a diagnosis for homosexuality since they were not able to identify diagnostics for the condition.”

    What damn difference does it make what the “medical community” deems a “diagnosis” for “homosexuality” – it’s sin. Many scientists don’t believe in God.

    One only need look at the abortion issue – medicine doesn’t consider that a sin, even though the older physcians took an oath not to abort the unborn.

  • Grace

    fws writes this: .. “Like a said, the medical community does not have a diagnosis for homosexuality since they were not able to identify diagnostics for the condition.”

    What damn difference does it make what the “medical community” deems a “diagnosis” for “homosexuality” – it’s sin. Many scientists don’t believe in God.

    One only need look at the abortion issue – medicine doesn’t consider that a sin, even though the older physcians took an oath not to abort the unborn.

  • Grace

    fws @ 120

    “In fall the Image of God was lost to man.
    So we seth was born into the image and likeness of…. Adam”

    You are stuck fws. Read the passage in 1 Corinthians. It’s clear, not to long and easy to understand!

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    1 Corinthians 11:7

  • Grace

    fws @ 120

    “In fall the Image of God was lost to man.
    So we seth was born into the image and likeness of…. Adam”

    You are stuck fws. Read the passage in 1 Corinthians. It’s clear, not to long and easy to understand!

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    1 Corinthians 11:7

  • fws

    nathan @ 119
    is there some difference between “beseting behavior” and
    obsessive compulsive behavior”?

    Homosexuality is a medical and technical term nathan. It always has been. And it does not fit into any diagnostic. That is why is is not considered to be a medical term for a pathology.

    In 114 you confessed ignorance of the difference between the two medically defined conditions called alchoholism and homosexuality . Alcoholism is defined as a behavioral compulsive disorder and homosexuality is not.

    I was trying to answer your question and not Dr Veith’s comments. But Dr Veith also places homosexuality in a list of things that have all been defined medically as behavioral compulsive disorders. So homosexuality stands out in the list as the outlier.

  • fws

    nathan @ 119
    is there some difference between “beseting behavior” and
    obsessive compulsive behavior”?

    Homosexuality is a medical and technical term nathan. It always has been. And it does not fit into any diagnostic. That is why is is not considered to be a medical term for a pathology.

    In 114 you confessed ignorance of the difference between the two medically defined conditions called alchoholism and homosexuality . Alcoholism is defined as a behavioral compulsive disorder and homosexuality is not.

    I was trying to answer your question and not Dr Veith’s comments. But Dr Veith also places homosexuality in a list of things that have all been defined medically as behavioral compulsive disorders. So homosexuality stands out in the list as the outlier.

  • Grace

    fws

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    1 Corinthians 11:7

    image Strong’s Greek

    eikon – i-kone’

    a likeness, i.e. (literally) statue, profile, or (figuratively) representation, resemblance:–image.

  • Grace

    fws

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    1 Corinthians 11:7

    image Strong’s Greek

    eikon – i-kone’

    a likeness, i.e. (literally) statue, profile, or (figuratively) representation, resemblance:–image.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 119
    It is like me making a list like this…

    dog, cat, horse, fish.
    And then say: These are all the same in the same way.

    Fish stands out. It is an outlier in the list. Fish is not the same in the same way. it is a reptile not a mammal.

    If I make a list:
    porn addiction,
    child molestation,
    alcoholism
    gluttony,
    homosexuality

    homosexuality stand out in the same way,
    4 of the 5 items are behavioral, compulsive, and disorders.
    You could say homosexual is a disorder, and also say it is not behavioral by defintion or compulsive.

    I don’t want to argue about my lists Nathan. That is not the point is it? I am answering why I object to having homosexuality put into the same list as addiction or alcoholism. You asked me why that was a problem. My point was to tell you why.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 119
    It is like me making a list like this…

    dog, cat, horse, fish.
    And then say: These are all the same in the same way.

    Fish stands out. It is an outlier in the list. Fish is not the same in the same way. it is a reptile not a mammal.

    If I make a list:
    porn addiction,
    child molestation,
    alcoholism
    gluttony,
    homosexuality

    homosexuality stand out in the same way,
    4 of the 5 items are behavioral, compulsive, and disorders.
    You could say homosexual is a disorder, and also say it is not behavioral by defintion or compulsive.

    I don’t want to argue about my lists Nathan. That is not the point is it? I am answering why I object to having homosexuality put into the same list as addiction or alcoholism. You asked me why that was a problem. My point was to tell you why.

  • Grace

    fws,

    Your list is composed of sin – all of it is sin. God doesn’t give us a pass when it comes to sin, be it fornication, stealing, homosexuality, drunkeness, pedophelia, murder, envy, etc, it’s all sin.

    Your constant denial of homosexuality being sin, doesn’t change the fact that it is. You’re in denial!

  • Grace

    fws,

    Your list is composed of sin – all of it is sin. God doesn’t give us a pass when it comes to sin, be it fornication, stealing, homosexuality, drunkeness, pedophelia, murder, envy, etc, it’s all sin.

    Your constant denial of homosexuality being sin, doesn’t change the fact that it is. You’re in denial!

  • fws

    grace @ 124
    Yes I am stuck Grace actually. Do you always cover your head and never cut your hair? Is woman created in the Image of God or not? Do you keep silent in church?

    Genesis says that we are now all born after the Image and Likeness of Adam.
    And second cor 3, eph 4 and col 3 say that the image of God needs to be restored. Something that was not lost has no need to be restored or renewed.

  • fws

    grace @ 124
    Yes I am stuck Grace actually. Do you always cover your head and never cut your hair? Is woman created in the Image of God or not? Do you keep silent in church?

    Genesis says that we are now all born after the Image and Likeness of Adam.
    And second cor 3, eph 4 and col 3 say that the image of God needs to be restored. Something that was not lost has no need to be restored or renewed.

  • fws

    grace @ 126
    The way homosexuality is defined as a medical term, it does not seem to fit the scriptural definition of sin

    . Maybe if I knew what your own private definition of that word homosexulity was, then maybe I would agree with you that , by your own private definition, homosexuality is a sin.

    But you have never told me what your definition is.

    You stated that you do not sin sexually. So right there, you can be certain that every Lutheran here disagrees with your definition the word Sin. Not just me.

  • fws

    grace @ 126
    The way homosexuality is defined as a medical term, it does not seem to fit the scriptural definition of sin

    . Maybe if I knew what your own private definition of that word homosexulity was, then maybe I would agree with you that , by your own private definition, homosexuality is a sin.

    But you have never told me what your definition is.

    You stated that you do not sin sexually. So right there, you can be certain that every Lutheran here disagrees with your definition the word Sin. Not just me.

  • Grace

    fws @127

    MY POST 124 Lets cover 1 Corinthians first:

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    1 Corinthians 11:7

    This is a very easy passage to understand.

  • Grace

    fws @127

    MY POST 124 Lets cover 1 Corinthians first:

    For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    1 Corinthians 11:7

    This is a very easy passage to understand.

  • Grace

    fws, your constant squirming when avoiding answering a post is obvious. Manipulating the questions…. it never changes.

  • Grace

    fws, your constant squirming when avoiding answering a post is obvious. Manipulating the questions…. it never changes.

  • Joanne

    Now Paul, Luther, et. al., would indeed say that one who is not suited for the celebate life, almost everyone, should marry to manage their hunger for sex. They will insist that you marry, a woman. They will insist that you have sex with a woman even if you don’t hunger for a woman.

    You’d be the husband that keeps lecturing his wife about her intense, unnatual, constant desire for sex. Can’t she be happy with sex once a month, or every other month. And she says no, she wants you and she wants you now, and you just had sex last week and you can’t keep this constantly whining and begging from turning your bedroom into a boxing ring.

    You sleep as often as possible in another bedroom. Your wife comes in at 2:00 am and wakes you, again wanting sex. You say she is a sex addict, that she always wants sex and she says you never do, and it’s so true, you never do, with her. Other men think she is sexy as hello, but you wouldn’t know. You promise her that if she will leave you in peace, you’ll talk with her about her constant and uncontrollble desires tomorrow. Tomorrow, you phone and tell her you have to work late and you sleep at the office.

    What would it be like to be married to a gay man. Lots of women have done it, I know a few. It was always a struggle and unnatural. You could always tell there was tension and lots of philosophising, talking talking talking so as to avoid having to actually make love.

    And every gay man is different, I know some who say they love their wives, but they’ve married women who hardly ever want sex, so no boxing ring in the bedroom. The notion of gay marrying lesbian and forming a curious couple at parties where they always split up at parties and he talks with the men and she with the women.

    I think what Mr. Chambers is saying here is that the misery of the charade, the boxing bed room, is over for him now. He and his wife have finally reached an agreement to live celibately together. And, maybe we’ll go another 5 years and 3 books on what that’s like as a solution to the struggle.

    Eventually though, they will go their own ways. She will find a straight man who actually wants sex more than she does. She’ll think she’s in heaven. “Was this what it was always suppossed to be like.”

  • Joanne

    Now Paul, Luther, et. al., would indeed say that one who is not suited for the celebate life, almost everyone, should marry to manage their hunger for sex. They will insist that you marry, a woman. They will insist that you have sex with a woman even if you don’t hunger for a woman.

    You’d be the husband that keeps lecturing his wife about her intense, unnatual, constant desire for sex. Can’t she be happy with sex once a month, or every other month. And she says no, she wants you and she wants you now, and you just had sex last week and you can’t keep this constantly whining and begging from turning your bedroom into a boxing ring.

    You sleep as often as possible in another bedroom. Your wife comes in at 2:00 am and wakes you, again wanting sex. You say she is a sex addict, that she always wants sex and she says you never do, and it’s so true, you never do, with her. Other men think she is sexy as hello, but you wouldn’t know. You promise her that if she will leave you in peace, you’ll talk with her about her constant and uncontrollble desires tomorrow. Tomorrow, you phone and tell her you have to work late and you sleep at the office.

    What would it be like to be married to a gay man. Lots of women have done it, I know a few. It was always a struggle and unnatural. You could always tell there was tension and lots of philosophising, talking talking talking so as to avoid having to actually make love.

    And every gay man is different, I know some who say they love their wives, but they’ve married women who hardly ever want sex, so no boxing ring in the bedroom. The notion of gay marrying lesbian and forming a curious couple at parties where they always split up at parties and he talks with the men and she with the women.

    I think what Mr. Chambers is saying here is that the misery of the charade, the boxing bed room, is over for him now. He and his wife have finally reached an agreement to live celibately together. And, maybe we’ll go another 5 years and 3 books on what that’s like as a solution to the struggle.

    Eventually though, they will go their own ways. She will find a straight man who actually wants sex more than she does. She’ll think she’s in heaven. “Was this what it was always suppossed to be like.”

  • Grace

    Joanne @31

    Where have you found the material for your stories? The scenarios are strange, however you might have insight that some of us are lacking. What might that be?

    Waiting for your reply.

  • Grace

    Joanne @31

    Where have you found the material for your stories? The scenarios are strange, however you might have insight that some of us are lacking. What might that be?

    Waiting for your reply.

  • Trey

    Frank @ 108 stated,” The medical community agrees with this assessment.”

    They haven’t always, and they might change in the future. Seems you are committing two logical fallacies: false appeal to authority (medical community is not infallible) and appeal to popularity (might doesn’t make right).

    I do not discount that perhaps some who identify themselves as homosexual may not have homosex as the besetting sin, but some may. We all have besetting sin, which we struggle with and may never in this life conquer. We should confess these to God and constantly receive His grace in Christ.

    Both are right man is made in Adam’s image, but that image is from God. We may not be in ourselves holy, righteous and wise as God is. The devil attacks us because we are God’s creation and he attacks God in effigy. We bear God’s image, yet it is corrupted.

  • Trey

    Frank @ 108 stated,” The medical community agrees with this assessment.”

    They haven’t always, and they might change in the future. Seems you are committing two logical fallacies: false appeal to authority (medical community is not infallible) and appeal to popularity (might doesn’t make right).

    I do not discount that perhaps some who identify themselves as homosexual may not have homosex as the besetting sin, but some may. We all have besetting sin, which we struggle with and may never in this life conquer. We should confess these to God and constantly receive His grace in Christ.

    Both are right man is made in Adam’s image, but that image is from God. We may not be in ourselves holy, righteous and wise as God is. The devil attacks us because we are God’s creation and he attacks God in effigy. We bear God’s image, yet it is corrupted.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Good morning. Want to clarify again.

    “But Dr Veith also places homosexuality in a list of things that have all been defined medically as behavioral compulsive disorders. So homosexuality stands out in the list as the outlier.”

    I’m guessing Dr. Veith did not realize that the medical community (I know its not monolithic) defined those other 4 things as “behavioral compulsive disorders”. That’s debatable in any case I think (do all people who call themselves [and we call] “alcoholics” fit that description you linked to?). In any case, the point again is not this or whether I or anyone else believe there are “homosexuals” Let me re-word what I said earlier:

    Christian who desire alcohol and its effects struggle with these desires to drink until they are drunk…

    Christians who sexual desire sexual relationships with the opposite sex struggle with these desires.

    Both persons are “beset” by these sins, which can mean that they deal with them on a somewhat consistent basis.

    Finally, in post #114 I made a crucial distinction between sin and temptation:

    “a distinction between temptation and sinful desires/actions [needs] to be made here (i.e. the sexual attraction itself and the stoking of that attraction into sexual desire, fantasy, flirting, physical engagement, etc)”

    I hope this helps.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    Good morning. Want to clarify again.

    “But Dr Veith also places homosexuality in a list of things that have all been defined medically as behavioral compulsive disorders. So homosexuality stands out in the list as the outlier.”

    I’m guessing Dr. Veith did not realize that the medical community (I know its not monolithic) defined those other 4 things as “behavioral compulsive disorders”. That’s debatable in any case I think (do all people who call themselves [and we call] “alcoholics” fit that description you linked to?). In any case, the point again is not this or whether I or anyone else believe there are “homosexuals” Let me re-word what I said earlier:

    Christian who desire alcohol and its effects struggle with these desires to drink until they are drunk…

    Christians who sexual desire sexual relationships with the opposite sex struggle with these desires.

    Both persons are “beset” by these sins, which can mean that they deal with them on a somewhat consistent basis.

    Finally, in post #114 I made a crucial distinction between sin and temptation:

    “a distinction between temptation and sinful desires/actions [needs] to be made here (i.e. the sexual attraction itself and the stoking of that attraction into sexual desire, fantasy, flirting, physical engagement, etc)”

    I hope this helps.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Joanne,

    Well, its either that or celibacy. That said, I’m guessing that for many, the struggles you mention would be there. Still, there are heterosexual couples that exist where there is a really low desire partner as well.

    Interesting stuff:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/gay-mormon-unicorn/

    http://www.peter-ould.net/2010/01/18/the-day-i-decided-to-stop-being-gay/

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Joanne,

    Well, its either that or celibacy. That said, I’m guessing that for many, the struggles you mention would be there. Still, there are heterosexual couples that exist where there is a really low desire partner as well.

    Interesting stuff:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/gay-mormon-unicorn/

    http://www.peter-ould.net/2010/01/18/the-day-i-decided-to-stop-being-gay/

    +Nathan

  • Stephen

    Joanne,

    Nicely put. I’ll bet you know a few gay church musicians.

  • Stephen

    Joanne,

    Nicely put. I’ll bet you know a few gay church musicians.

  • fws

    Trey @ 133

    FRANK ” The medical community agrees with this assessment.”
    TREY They haven’t always, and they might change in the future.

    Amen Trey! I base my opinions on that same exact point @60. Was I unclear in making it, or did you miss it? Only God’s Word is unchanging Truth. We must always start there. Here is that post Trey:
    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/07/10/exodus-president-now-doubts-cure-for-being-gay/#comment-155680

    I do not discount that perhaps some who identify themselves as homosexual may not have homosex as the besetting sin

    Why not apply what your first statement says here. The bible knows of no division of humanity between homos and heteros. That does not mean that it would be wrong or untrue for science to make such subclassifications either. But it is science/observation that is the basis for this. And , as you say, that could change, and often does!

    Therefore , I suggest, you MUST conform your thinking about humans, sexuality, and sin and say this:

    I do not discount that perhaps some humans beings may not have sex as the besetting sin.

    Full. Stop.

    You are accepting, as fact, that there is a class of human beings (homosexuals) who are somehow humanly different when it comes to how they act out sexually or in relationships.

    To simply and unquestioningly, assume this classifying, as a given fact, and perhaps read this anachronism into Scripture (eg: by using the word “homosexuality” in Bible translations) , I suggest, is contrary to Holy Scripture.

    Perhaps science is right and there IS such a class. I believe that there is. However this is true as well: To debate that is not to debate anything theological. This means that I would never and could never, prove from Sciptures, that I am right or wrong. I would not attempt to prove the Law of Gravity from Scriptures either. That does not mean that gravity exists or does not. It is not a theological question.

    And the “truth” of science WILL change, just as you say.

    Now that brings us to a very important the0logical point that I DO need to disagree with you in.

    1)Man WAS made in the Image of God. Seth, and you and I are all born after the Image, not of God, but of Old Adam.
    2) That Image was TOTALLY lost in the Fall.
    3) That Image was, alone, faith in Christ/God.
    4) The Image of God is restored, alone, through Baptismal Regeneration.
    5) Gays can alone be reconformed to The Image of God then, and ARE fully reconformed to Gods Image in the Waters of Holy Baptism. Full.Stop. Col 2.
    6) This, alone, is Lutheran Orthodox teaching on God’s Image. Therefore Lutherans categorically and emphatically reject [Thomist}Natural Law as a denial of Justification by Faith.
    7)John Gernard and Ap II: To deny that the Image of God was TOTALLY lost, is to deny Original Sin.

  • fws

    Trey @ 133

    FRANK ” The medical community agrees with this assessment.”
    TREY They haven’t always, and they might change in the future.

    Amen Trey! I base my opinions on that same exact point @60. Was I unclear in making it, or did you miss it? Only God’s Word is unchanging Truth. We must always start there. Here is that post Trey:
    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/07/10/exodus-president-now-doubts-cure-for-being-gay/#comment-155680

    I do not discount that perhaps some who identify themselves as homosexual may not have homosex as the besetting sin

    Why not apply what your first statement says here. The bible knows of no division of humanity between homos and heteros. That does not mean that it would be wrong or untrue for science to make such subclassifications either. But it is science/observation that is the basis for this. And , as you say, that could change, and often does!

    Therefore , I suggest, you MUST conform your thinking about humans, sexuality, and sin and say this:

    I do not discount that perhaps some humans beings may not have sex as the besetting sin.

    Full. Stop.

    You are accepting, as fact, that there is a class of human beings (homosexuals) who are somehow humanly different when it comes to how they act out sexually or in relationships.

    To simply and unquestioningly, assume this classifying, as a given fact, and perhaps read this anachronism into Scripture (eg: by using the word “homosexuality” in Bible translations) , I suggest, is contrary to Holy Scripture.

    Perhaps science is right and there IS such a class. I believe that there is. However this is true as well: To debate that is not to debate anything theological. This means that I would never and could never, prove from Sciptures, that I am right or wrong. I would not attempt to prove the Law of Gravity from Scriptures either. That does not mean that gravity exists or does not. It is not a theological question.

    And the “truth” of science WILL change, just as you say.

    Now that brings us to a very important the0logical point that I DO need to disagree with you in.

    1)Man WAS made in the Image of God. Seth, and you and I are all born after the Image, not of God, but of Old Adam.
    2) That Image was TOTALLY lost in the Fall.
    3) That Image was, alone, faith in Christ/God.
    4) The Image of God is restored, alone, through Baptismal Regeneration.
    5) Gays can alone be reconformed to The Image of God then, and ARE fully reconformed to Gods Image in the Waters of Holy Baptism. Full.Stop. Col 2.
    6) This, alone, is Lutheran Orthodox teaching on God’s Image. Therefore Lutherans categorically and emphatically reject [Thomist}Natural Law as a denial of Justification by Faith.
    7)John Gernard and Ap II: To deny that the Image of God was TOTALLY lost, is to deny Original Sin.

  • fws

    Errata @ 137

    Col 3

  • fws

    Errata @ 137

    Col 3

  • fws

    Nathan @ 134

    To waste time trying to parse temptation/sin, willful/unwillful sinning, mortal/venial sin is not the Lutheran way. It is useless. It doesnt drive us to the works St James sends us to. It quite often is moral masturbation.

    The Lutheran position is that the entire Christian life is described in a single word: Repentence.
    And Repentence, we are told in the LC, is nothing other than Baptism:

    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. ”
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para21

    Wherefore, [such faith] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. (ibid)

    [Only a true believer can know and experience] how the remission of sins occurs, and how, in the judgment of God and terrors of conscience, trust in works is driven out of us.
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para20

    Focus on repentence in Christ Nathan IN you, and then get busy in acts of mercy for your neighbor. They need you for this!

  • fws

    Nathan @ 134

    To waste time trying to parse temptation/sin, willful/unwillful sinning, mortal/venial sin is not the Lutheran way. It is useless. It doesnt drive us to the works St James sends us to. It quite often is moral masturbation.

    The Lutheran position is that the entire Christian life is described in a single word: Repentence.
    And Repentence, we are told in the LC, is nothing other than Baptism:

    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. ”
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para21

    Wherefore, [such faith] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. (ibid)

    [Only a true believer can know and experience] how the remission of sins occurs, and how, in the judgment of God and terrors of conscience, trust in works is driven out of us.
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para20

    Focus on repentence in Christ Nathan IN you, and then get busy in acts of mercy for your neighbor. They need you for this!

  • fws

    Joanne #31

    the Augsburg Confession and the Apology in Art XXIII agree with your assessment.

    Luther in the Large Catechism, 6th Commandment , also agrees with your assessment.

    Luther refuses to make the point of marriage as being some sacramental one-flesh-union .

    Luther says that marriage is the ONLY Biblical form of “sexual self discipline”. This is why ALL men are commanded to marry. It is so that each man has his “ration of sex” so that he is less likely to covet someone elses spouse. It is in THIS way that Luther says the marriages of others are protected from you. And your marriage is protected from that of others.

    So marriage is alone about mortification of the flesh. It is , alone, about the death of Old Adam. there is NO teleological or soteriological or eternal consequence to it.

    None.

    except for one….

    Eternal death for Old Adam.

    Gay men committing to a monogamous relationship with another man, just might be less likely to try to snag that married man who is gay that you described in your story. That would be a good thing for everyone in society I think.

  • fws

    Joanne #31

    the Augsburg Confession and the Apology in Art XXIII agree with your assessment.

    Luther in the Large Catechism, 6th Commandment , also agrees with your assessment.

    Luther refuses to make the point of marriage as being some sacramental one-flesh-union .

    Luther says that marriage is the ONLY Biblical form of “sexual self discipline”. This is why ALL men are commanded to marry. It is so that each man has his “ration of sex” so that he is less likely to covet someone elses spouse. It is in THIS way that Luther says the marriages of others are protected from you. And your marriage is protected from that of others.

    So marriage is alone about mortification of the flesh. It is , alone, about the death of Old Adam. there is NO teleological or soteriological or eternal consequence to it.

    None.

    except for one….

    Eternal death for Old Adam.

    Gay men committing to a monogamous relationship with another man, just might be less likely to try to snag that married man who is gay that you described in your story. That would be a good thing for everyone in society I think.

  • fws

    nathan @ 135

    Well, its either that or celibacy.

    Right. and this is what YOU confess in the Lutheran Confessions declares is the consequence of attempting chastity through celebacy:

    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 chastity by celebacy, but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.

    This is what ALL Lutherans here confess.

    Still, there are heterosexual couples that exist where there is a really low desire partner as well.

    So this is an argument for what? That God wills this sort of suffering? In the Bible, Marriage starts by purchasing a bride. Often an old fart marries a very young girl. The purchase of more than one girl (think 13-16 years old here) was not uncommon. Women had ZERO volition sexually. The Biblical definition of rape was not that the women was unwilling. It was a property violation. Why? Women were literally chattel property.

    That was the norm. So? The suffering this had to represent argues for what Nathan? The suffering in a heterosexual marriage where sex isn’t good is an argument for what? Righteousness=suffering?

  • fws

    nathan @ 135

    Well, its either that or celibacy.

    Right. and this is what YOU confess in the Lutheran Confessions declares is the consequence of attempting chastity through celebacy:

    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 chastity by celebacy, but a horrible, fearful unrest and torment of conscience has been felt by many until the end.

    This is what ALL Lutherans here confess.

    Still, there are heterosexual couples that exist where there is a really low desire partner as well.

    So this is an argument for what? That God wills this sort of suffering? In the Bible, Marriage starts by purchasing a bride. Often an old fart marries a very young girl. The purchase of more than one girl (think 13-16 years old here) was not uncommon. Women had ZERO volition sexually. The Biblical definition of rape was not that the women was unwilling. It was a property violation. Why? Women were literally chattel property.

    That was the norm. So? The suffering this had to represent argues for what Nathan? The suffering in a heterosexual marriage where sex isn’t good is an argument for what? Righteousness=suffering?

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “To waste time trying to parse temptation/sin, willful/unwillful sinning, mortal/venial sin is not the Lutheran way.”

    Generally I agree with you. The distinction here is perhaps critical however for young people with homosexual inclinations who are convinced that they are a sinner in a class by themselves (extra bad sinners). They aren’t. There is a distinction between temptation and sin. Period. There is no need to make homosexual temptation bad where heterosexual temptation is good.

    “That was the norm. So? The suffering this had to represent argues for what Nathan? The suffering in a heterosexual marriage where sex isn’t good is an argument for what? Righteousness=suffering?”

    Well, the norm wasn’t right, but it was the norm. Much of the O.T. is descriptive while not necessarily being prescriptive. We know God desired more than that for them (just see the original plan Jesus hearkens back to for this). Still, we are to be content with our situations (and thankful), yes, even as, if given the opportunity to improve our situations we take it. This holds true in whatever our circumstances. Regarding celibacy, I agree with you – this is a gift not all have. However are those with this gift (here perhaps?: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/life-without-sex-the-third-phase-of-the-asexuality-movement/254880/ ) only those who have basically no desire, or can it also be those, with *lower* desires (regardless of orientation). Celibacy should be upheld as the greater thing to do, as the Scriptures say. These people need all our support.

    Also, marriage was a pre-fall institution. Therefore, it seems very clear that it fundamentally must be about more than just each man having his “ration of sex” so that he is less likely to covet someone else’s wife.

    Finally, repentance. As I said to you earlier:

    “Faith only exists in repentance. And repentance is from our sin nature and objective sins. If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.”

    That goes for any sin.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    “To waste time trying to parse temptation/sin, willful/unwillful sinning, mortal/venial sin is not the Lutheran way.”

    Generally I agree with you. The distinction here is perhaps critical however for young people with homosexual inclinations who are convinced that they are a sinner in a class by themselves (extra bad sinners). They aren’t. There is a distinction between temptation and sin. Period. There is no need to make homosexual temptation bad where heterosexual temptation is good.

    “That was the norm. So? The suffering this had to represent argues for what Nathan? The suffering in a heterosexual marriage where sex isn’t good is an argument for what? Righteousness=suffering?”

    Well, the norm wasn’t right, but it was the norm. Much of the O.T. is descriptive while not necessarily being prescriptive. We know God desired more than that for them (just see the original plan Jesus hearkens back to for this). Still, we are to be content with our situations (and thankful), yes, even as, if given the opportunity to improve our situations we take it. This holds true in whatever our circumstances. Regarding celibacy, I agree with you – this is a gift not all have. However are those with this gift (here perhaps?: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/life-without-sex-the-third-phase-of-the-asexuality-movement/254880/ ) only those who have basically no desire, or can it also be those, with *lower* desires (regardless of orientation). Celibacy should be upheld as the greater thing to do, as the Scriptures say. These people need all our support.

    Also, marriage was a pre-fall institution. Therefore, it seems very clear that it fundamentally must be about more than just each man having his “ration of sex” so that he is less likely to covet someone else’s wife.

    Finally, repentance. As I said to you earlier:

    “Faith only exists in repentance. And repentance is from our sin nature and objective sins. If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.”

    That goes for any sin.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    I said: “Still, there are heterosexual couples that exist where there is a really low desire partner as well. ”

    This is not the end of the world. It is certainly not a justification for divorce. We are to be content, but as I say, also try to improve our situation as we can, as Paul says (stuff that promotes ideas like this are not evil in themselves: http://www.ruthblog.org/2011/04/10/the-married-man-sex-life-primer-2011/ ) .

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    I said: “Still, there are heterosexual couples that exist where there is a really low desire partner as well. ”

    This is not the end of the world. It is certainly not a justification for divorce. We are to be content, but as I say, also try to improve our situation as we can, as Paul says (stuff that promotes ideas like this are not evil in themselves: http://www.ruthblog.org/2011/04/10/the-married-man-sex-life-primer-2011/ ) .

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 142

    marriage was a pre-fall institution. Therefore , it seems very clear that it fundamentally must be about more than just each man having his “ration of sex” so that he is less likely to covet someone else’s wife.

    There are many things that exist in man before and after the Fall. Reason. The Divine Law that is fully written in reason. Marriage. External forms of Worshipping God, essence of the human soul, intellect, will, other faculties of the soul, general similarity which the human soul bears to some of the divine characteristics such as incorporiety, spirituality, intelligence, and free will of things under it’s control, dominion over creatures which is a secondary sense only is the Image of God found, moral principles born in us, etc.

    Lutherans call all these things “natural”. And so they are all part of the “natural man”. These are ALL Romans 8 “of the flesh”, “natural man” that will perish. Only Faith Alone , which is alone the Image of God that was utterly lost to man and is restored in Baptism will not perish.

    Nathan, your “therefore” is found nowhere in Scripture. It is an error of Reason. It is Original Sin and Old Adam thinking.

    Fact: marriage is about mortification. The eternal Telos and consequence of it is alone, death to Old Adam.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 142

    marriage was a pre-fall institution. Therefore , it seems very clear that it fundamentally must be about more than just each man having his “ration of sex” so that he is less likely to covet someone else’s wife.

    There are many things that exist in man before and after the Fall. Reason. The Divine Law that is fully written in reason. Marriage. External forms of Worshipping God, essence of the human soul, intellect, will, other faculties of the soul, general similarity which the human soul bears to some of the divine characteristics such as incorporiety, spirituality, intelligence, and free will of things under it’s control, dominion over creatures which is a secondary sense only is the Image of God found, moral principles born in us, etc.

    Lutherans call all these things “natural”. And so they are all part of the “natural man”. These are ALL Romans 8 “of the flesh”, “natural man” that will perish. Only Faith Alone , which is alone the Image of God that was utterly lost to man and is restored in Baptism will not perish.

    Nathan, your “therefore” is found nowhere in Scripture. It is an error of Reason. It is Original Sin and Old Adam thinking.

    Fact: marriage is about mortification. The eternal Telos and consequence of it is alone, death to Old Adam.

  • fws

    nathan @ 142

    I would like to ask you to just get straight to the point.
    Often you say “yes. but!” or “generally I agree”.
    This is really disagreement.

    What is it you disagree on?
    I won’t be offended. Go straight to that.
    I am seeking the discipline (for me) of brevity here.
    No one likes to slog through more than a few short paragraphs.
    I am trying to honor that fact.

  • fws

    nathan @ 142

    I would like to ask you to just get straight to the point.
    Often you say “yes. but!” or “generally I agree”.
    This is really disagreement.

    What is it you disagree on?
    I won’t be offended. Go straight to that.
    I am seeking the discipline (for me) of brevity here.
    No one likes to slog through more than a few short paragraphs.
    I am trying to honor that fact.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I’m not sure I get your point.

    The curb of “Do not…” is needed after the Fall, not before. This is not the case with marriage. Marriage helps function as a curb, but it also is for intimacy, pleasure, and procreation. It was a “do” right away, and the pre-fall conscience of man rejoiced in this gift, in an environment where there were *no* negative prohibitions, save that only one….

    Its a picture of Christ and the Church. Of God’s love not just for sinners, but for His creation.

    “Lutherans call all these things “natural”. And so they are all part of the “natural man”. These are ALL Romans 8 “of the flesh”, “natural man” that will perish. Only Faith Alone , which is alone the Image of God that was utterly lost to man and is restored in Baptism will not perish.”

    Your Scripture for asserting this? Are you so sure that this is not Original Sin and Old Adam thinking?

    I thought faith was the thing that would not be needed in the life to come (I Cor. 13).

    “Faith alone” means just that. It does not include love. *That* is scholasticism.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Frank,

    I’m not sure I get your point.

    The curb of “Do not…” is needed after the Fall, not before. This is not the case with marriage. Marriage helps function as a curb, but it also is for intimacy, pleasure, and procreation. It was a “do” right away, and the pre-fall conscience of man rejoiced in this gift, in an environment where there were *no* negative prohibitions, save that only one….

    Its a picture of Christ and the Church. Of God’s love not just for sinners, but for His creation.

    “Lutherans call all these things “natural”. And so they are all part of the “natural man”. These are ALL Romans 8 “of the flesh”, “natural man” that will perish. Only Faith Alone , which is alone the Image of God that was utterly lost to man and is restored in Baptism will not perish.”

    Your Scripture for asserting this? Are you so sure that this is not Original Sin and Old Adam thinking?

    I thought faith was the thing that would not be needed in the life to come (I Cor. 13).

    “Faith alone” means just that. It does not include love. *That* is scholasticism.

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan @ 143

    Ruthblog is a part of a roman catholic group that is mobilized to “save marriage”.
    They falsely claim that the Image of God is not alone faith in Christ.
    Salvation is looks like Gays and others becoming reconformed to a Divine Design (Natural Law) found in marriage and natural birthcontrol, etc that reason sees in nature and the Decalog.

    They claim this to be true:

    1) Allowing gays to get a civil marriage license will destroy marriage. Is that really true?!
    2) Further, they claim that using scarce resources of money and social influence is best focused on this rather than divorce, etc, as the MOST DIRECT threat to heterosexual marriage. Is that really true?!

    We Lutherans can do better than ingest Roman Catholic poison that is the false doctrine of Thomist Natural Law that will cure the patient by killing him, rather than pointing him to the Life that , alone, is found, not in reconformity to the Law, but , alone, by faith in Christ alone.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 143

    Ruthblog is a part of a roman catholic group that is mobilized to “save marriage”.
    They falsely claim that the Image of God is not alone faith in Christ.
    Salvation is looks like Gays and others becoming reconformed to a Divine Design (Natural Law) found in marriage and natural birthcontrol, etc that reason sees in nature and the Decalog.

    They claim this to be true:

    1) Allowing gays to get a civil marriage license will destroy marriage. Is that really true?!
    2) Further, they claim that using scarce resources of money and social influence is best focused on this rather than divorce, etc, as the MOST DIRECT threat to heterosexual marriage. Is that really true?!

    We Lutherans can do better than ingest Roman Catholic poison that is the false doctrine of Thomist Natural Law that will cure the patient by killing him, rather than pointing him to the Life that , alone, is found, not in reconformity to the Law, but , alone, by faith in Christ alone.

  • fws

    Nathan @146

    “Lutherans call all these things “natural”. And so they are all part of the “natural man”. These are ALL Romans 8 “of the flesh”, “natural man” that will perish.

    Only Faith Alone , which is alone the Image of God that was utterly lost to man and is restored in Baptism will not perish.”

    This is, everywhere, what the Lutheran Confessions teach Nathan. If you do not accept this, then I have nothing more to offer.
    Scripture? Only one is needed. But there are many more:

    “that which is not of faith is sin”
    The opposite of sin is not goodness or sinlessness in that sense.
    The opposite of sin is faith , alone, in Christ, alone. Full. Stop.
    Apology art II.

  • fws

    Nathan @146

    “Lutherans call all these things “natural”. And so they are all part of the “natural man”. These are ALL Romans 8 “of the flesh”, “natural man” that will perish.

    Only Faith Alone , which is alone the Image of God that was utterly lost to man and is restored in Baptism will not perish.”

    This is, everywhere, what the Lutheran Confessions teach Nathan. If you do not accept this, then I have nothing more to offer.
    Scripture? Only one is needed. But there are many more:

    “that which is not of faith is sin”
    The opposite of sin is not goodness or sinlessness in that sense.
    The opposite of sin is faith , alone, in Christ, alone. Full. Stop.
    Apology art II.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 146

    ALL , EVERTHING, you can see and are able to do has , alone , the eternal consequence of eternal death. Including marriage. Including even preaching the Law and Gospel.
    ALL means ALL.

    So what ALONE is Life eternal? FAITH, alone, in Christ ALONE.

    It was FAITH alone, in Christ Alone. that was the Original Righeousness and Image of God lost, completely to Adam.

    It is FAITH alone, in Christ Alone, that is and will remain forever, the restored Image of God and Eternal Righeousness that we will live by Eternally.

    We now have faith as the evidence and substance of things to come. In the resurrection we be face to face with the Object of Faith Who is Christ. In that sense of the word faith, we will not need faith. Yet Faith in Christ alone was the Righeousness of Adam and is our Righeousness and also will be that of Adam when we are rejoined to him before the Eternal Throne of Light.

  • fws

    Nathan @ 146

    ALL , EVERTHING, you can see and are able to do has , alone , the eternal consequence of eternal death. Including marriage. Including even preaching the Law and Gospel.
    ALL means ALL.

    So what ALONE is Life eternal? FAITH, alone, in Christ ALONE.

    It was FAITH alone, in Christ Alone. that was the Original Righeousness and Image of God lost, completely to Adam.

    It is FAITH alone, in Christ Alone, that is and will remain forever, the restored Image of God and Eternal Righeousness that we will live by Eternally.

    We now have faith as the evidence and substance of things to come. In the resurrection we be face to face with the Object of Faith Who is Christ. In that sense of the word faith, we will not need faith. Yet Faith in Christ alone was the Righeousness of Adam and is our Righeousness and also will be that of Adam when we are rejoined to him before the Eternal Throne of Light.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    fws,

    I only linked to that post because of the book advertised there (which is by an atheist) as I was making the point that improving one’s condition in marriage was a good thing.

    Faith alone in Christ does save Frank. But that does not mean all of the other things you mentioned will not be continued in some form in the life to come.

    My main point? Narrowing everything down? Probably this then:

    Finally, repentance. As I said to you earlier:

    “Faith only exists in repentance. And repentance is from our sin nature and objective sins. If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.”

    That’s the main thing I think needs to be said here. You agree with this to, I take it, except that you are not convinced the Scripture calls homosexual behavior sin?

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    fws,

    I only linked to that post because of the book advertised there (which is by an atheist) as I was making the point that improving one’s condition in marriage was a good thing.

    Faith alone in Christ does save Frank. But that does not mean all of the other things you mentioned will not be continued in some form in the life to come.

    My main point? Narrowing everything down? Probably this then:

    Finally, repentance. As I said to you earlier:

    “Faith only exists in repentance. And repentance is from our sin nature and objective sins. If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.”

    That’s the main thing I think needs to be said here. You agree with this to, I take it, except that you are not convinced the Scripture calls homosexual behavior sin?

    +Nathan

  • fws

    Nathan

    God loves his whole creation. True.
    Creation fell through the fall of one Man.
    Creation HAS been redeemed through the restoration of the Image of God in man by One Man. The Second Adam.
    Restoration HAS ALREADY happened alone by faith in Christ.
    Full.Stop.

  • fws

    Nathan

    God loves his whole creation. True.
    Creation fell through the fall of one Man.
    Creation HAS been redeemed through the restoration of the Image of God in man by One Man. The Second Adam.
    Restoration HAS ALREADY happened alone by faith in Christ.
    Full.Stop.

  • Stephen

    Nathan,

    “If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.”

    If I continue to despair and am not “cured” of whatever it is in my experience I ran to Jesus for, does that mean I did something wrong in my repentance? Perhaps it was not sincere enough, is that it? This sounds like works righteousness – If/then.

    And you presume too much here. You have a problem with people being gay, not the other way around. you are projecting your own troubled conscience on others. Not the point, though it is a lot easier. Do mercy for others, now that is difficult because it requires your death to the needs of your Self.

    Does God remove his gift from me if I never “get better?” I assure you, there are gay people who have run to Jesus many a time, and are probably being encouraged to do it over and over by pastors at this very moment. So what are they doing wrong exactly?

    Do you see what you are doing here? You are tacitly threatening eternal punishment for doing or not doing. Is that all the gospel there is for gay people – “do this and you will live?” That is no gospel at all.

    ALONE. That is the word you are missing in its fullest sense.

  • Stephen

    Nathan,

    “If God reveals sins to you in your conscience and you do not flee from them to His Son when He is given to you as the Answer, your spiritual life is in peril.”

    If I continue to despair and am not “cured” of whatever it is in my experience I ran to Jesus for, does that mean I did something wrong in my repentance? Perhaps it was not sincere enough, is that it? This sounds like works righteousness – If/then.

    And you presume too much here. You have a problem with people being gay, not the other way around. you are projecting your own troubled conscience on others. Not the point, though it is a lot easier. Do mercy for others, now that is difficult because it requires your death to the needs of your Self.

    Does God remove his gift from me if I never “get better?” I assure you, there are gay people who have run to Jesus many a time, and are probably being encouraged to do it over and over by pastors at this very moment. So what are they doing wrong exactly?

    Do you see what you are doing here? You are tacitly threatening eternal punishment for doing or not doing. Is that all the gospel there is for gay people – “do this and you will live?” That is no gospel at all.

    ALONE. That is the word you are missing in its fullest sense.

  • fws

    grace @ 122

    whatever your passage means, it needs to be harmonized with 1 cor 15:49. Mathew Henry wont be of much help to you here. So you are probably stuck on doing that.

  • fws

    grace @ 122

    whatever your passage means, it needs to be harmonized with 1 cor 15:49. Mathew Henry wont be of much help to you here. So you are probably stuck on doing that.

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Stephen,

    “Does God remove his gift from me if I never “get better?” I assure you, there are gay people who have run to Jesus many a time, and are probably being encouraged to do it over and over by pastors at this very moment. So what are they doing wrong exactly?”

    Maybe you could tell me what I am doing wrong to. Or Dr. Veith: “Don’t we *all* have to struggle against our own personal besetting sins?” Jesus has a problem with sinners with actual concrete objective sins even children can understand Stephen, but He is also their friend. I’ve always thought that was the Lutheran teaching.

    Frank,

    So tempting to continue to talk here. But perhaps I best not. Although I have a reply in mind, I must hold my tongue now.

    I have absolutely no ill will for you friend. It is always a pleasure.

    (you to Stephen!).

    Out for good (Dr. Veith – please block me if I fail… : ) ~ thank you)

    God’s blessings,
    Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Stephen,

    “Does God remove his gift from me if I never “get better?” I assure you, there are gay people who have run to Jesus many a time, and are probably being encouraged to do it over and over by pastors at this very moment. So what are they doing wrong exactly?”

    Maybe you could tell me what I am doing wrong to. Or Dr. Veith: “Don’t we *all* have to struggle against our own personal besetting sins?” Jesus has a problem with sinners with actual concrete objective sins even children can understand Stephen, but He is also their friend. I’ve always thought that was the Lutheran teaching.

    Frank,

    So tempting to continue to talk here. But perhaps I best not. Although I have a reply in mind, I must hold my tongue now.

    I have absolutely no ill will for you friend. It is always a pleasure.

    (you to Stephen!).

    Out for good (Dr. Veith – please block me if I fail… : ) ~ thank you)

    God’s blessings,
    Nathan

  • Joanne

    Hi Grace,

    I’m old, I’ve been around the bend several times, and during a time of doing child and family social work for the State of Florida, I attended a class that taught a very simple thing called “active listening.” It was in a program call PET, Parent Effectiveness Training, and meant to help parents communicate with their unruly teens. It was for desperate parents of teenagers that had shut them out.

    Also during that time I became interested in Family Therapy. It took the broader approach of treating the whole family instead of just the one family member who was the “presenting problem.” I took a couple of classes in Family Therapy. Because my whole job delt with getting disfunctiion families, with acting-out children, to do something that would make things better, so I could bring their children home to them from foster homes that also might have been disfunctional. I was looking for any therapy that would help me do that. I did this for years and years, way past my burn-out date.

    But it was the simple active listening that opened the world to me. If you listen, they will talk. After a while, I began to wonder if people were talking with me about very personal things, even when I was a stranger, simple because I was listening, whether actively or not. It’s a great luxury to have someone listen to you, very similar to a full-body massage with coconut oil.

    When I became very comfortable with active listening and not sounding like a replay of a tape recorder, it simply became a way I behaved. Everybody told me everything. The young girl who lived across the hall told me she had been sexually abused by a grocer in the small neighborhood store. A colleague at work told me she and her sister used to compete with their mother for sex with their father. She hated her mother.

    And on and on and on. I had to stop active listening most of the time, because I couldn’t handle all the private sins of the world. You may wonder, but our pastors are actually afraid to do private confession for this same reason. Can they handle knowing all the private sins of their flock?

    Grace, you have to assume that everyone you meet is loaded with secret sins, and if you just listen, over time, or “right here, right now” they will tell you everything that they have never told anyone else before. Use your poker face to show no shock or any kind of judgement or you will shut-down the communications.

    I have to say, I didn’t do much active listening with men; I’m just too shy around men, so most of what I say about men in this arena has come from the women in their lives. My shyness around men also limited how effective I could be with Family Therapy, it was someting I had to concentrate on with a lot of mental energy.

    And, as Family Therapists warn you, your family walks in one day for therapy (a family that seems just like your own family), and you just can’t be non-judgemental with “Mama and Daddy.” I believed I didn’t have a family of my own and so would never be an effective family therapist. So I moved into adoptions studies after a terrible automobile accident made it the obvious thing to do.

    And, I’m the type of person who keeps my friends. If you’ve ever been my friend, you still are, all over the country. I’ve been out there on the streets at mid-night in the worst parts of Miami tracking down a runaway pre-teen, who was ultimately killed by a male adult under an Oleander bush on a golf course that you could see everytime you drove up and down I-95.

    She was not the only child that I lost and the funerals were very painful for me. That job ate big holes in my brain and made me pretty much unshockable.

  • Joanne

    Hi Grace,

    I’m old, I’ve been around the bend several times, and during a time of doing child and family social work for the State of Florida, I attended a class that taught a very simple thing called “active listening.” It was in a program call PET, Parent Effectiveness Training, and meant to help parents communicate with their unruly teens. It was for desperate parents of teenagers that had shut them out.

    Also during that time I became interested in Family Therapy. It took the broader approach of treating the whole family instead of just the one family member who was the “presenting problem.” I took a couple of classes in Family Therapy. Because my whole job delt with getting disfunctiion families, with acting-out children, to do something that would make things better, so I could bring their children home to them from foster homes that also might have been disfunctional. I was looking for any therapy that would help me do that. I did this for years and years, way past my burn-out date.

    But it was the simple active listening that opened the world to me. If you listen, they will talk. After a while, I began to wonder if people were talking with me about very personal things, even when I was a stranger, simple because I was listening, whether actively or not. It’s a great luxury to have someone listen to you, very similar to a full-body massage with coconut oil.

    When I became very comfortable with active listening and not sounding like a replay of a tape recorder, it simply became a way I behaved. Everybody told me everything. The young girl who lived across the hall told me she had been sexually abused by a grocer in the small neighborhood store. A colleague at work told me she and her sister used to compete with their mother for sex with their father. She hated her mother.

    And on and on and on. I had to stop active listening most of the time, because I couldn’t handle all the private sins of the world. You may wonder, but our pastors are actually afraid to do private confession for this same reason. Can they handle knowing all the private sins of their flock?

    Grace, you have to assume that everyone you meet is loaded with secret sins, and if you just listen, over time, or “right here, right now” they will tell you everything that they have never told anyone else before. Use your poker face to show no shock or any kind of judgement or you will shut-down the communications.

    I have to say, I didn’t do much active listening with men; I’m just too shy around men, so most of what I say about men in this arena has come from the women in their lives. My shyness around men also limited how effective I could be with Family Therapy, it was someting I had to concentrate on with a lot of mental energy.

    And, as Family Therapists warn you, your family walks in one day for therapy (a family that seems just like your own family), and you just can’t be non-judgemental with “Mama and Daddy.” I believed I didn’t have a family of my own and so would never be an effective family therapist. So I moved into adoptions studies after a terrible automobile accident made it the obvious thing to do.

    And, I’m the type of person who keeps my friends. If you’ve ever been my friend, you still are, all over the country. I’ve been out there on the streets at mid-night in the worst parts of Miami tracking down a runaway pre-teen, who was ultimately killed by a male adult under an Oleander bush on a golf course that you could see everytime you drove up and down I-95.

    She was not the only child that I lost and the funerals were very painful for me. That job ate big holes in my brain and made me pretty much unshockable.

  • Stephen

    Wow. That’s too bad Nathan. Sorry if you felt attacked, but I have been reading along and find your stuff really confusing. I wish I knew what this meant:

    “Jesus has a problem with sinners with actual concrete objective sins even children can understand Stephen, but He is also their friend. I’ve always thought that was the Lutheran teaching. ”

    There’s a lot in there to unpack I’d say. But at first glance I’d say there is no gospel in that. That is, I hear no message of Jesus who is actually for me, period. Instead, this is a Jesus who maybe, under certain conditions, tolerates me.

    Actually, Jesus is not at his best when he’s just my friend, unless you mean a very specific kind of friend, one who willingly takes on my actual, concrete, objective, horrifying, wicked, self-interested, damning sin and kills it in his own flesh. That is the friend I need in Him. Somehow, that is not what I think you mean.

    We are not problems to be solved. We are sinners in need of a savior.

  • Stephen

    Wow. That’s too bad Nathan. Sorry if you felt attacked, but I have been reading along and find your stuff really confusing. I wish I knew what this meant:

    “Jesus has a problem with sinners with actual concrete objective sins even children can understand Stephen, but He is also their friend. I’ve always thought that was the Lutheran teaching. ”

    There’s a lot in there to unpack I’d say. But at first glance I’d say there is no gospel in that. That is, I hear no message of Jesus who is actually for me, period. Instead, this is a Jesus who maybe, under certain conditions, tolerates me.

    Actually, Jesus is not at his best when he’s just my friend, unless you mean a very specific kind of friend, one who willingly takes on my actual, concrete, objective, horrifying, wicked, self-interested, damning sin and kills it in his own flesh. That is the friend I need in Him. Somehow, that is not what I think you mean.

    We are not problems to be solved. We are sinners in need of a savior.

  • fws

    Stephen @ 156

    “We are not problems to be solved. We are sinners in need of a savior.”

    You are going to be, and are, the most wonderfully flawed, human, conflicted, forgiving father and husband to your dear family Stephen. I wish everyone could have someone like you in their life and I am glad that you are in mine.

    In Christ. Only in him. Apart from him….. um…

    Bless you.

  • fws

    Stephen @ 156

    “We are not problems to be solved. We are sinners in need of a savior.”

    You are going to be, and are, the most wonderfully flawed, human, conflicted, forgiving father and husband to your dear family Stephen. I wish everyone could have someone like you in their life and I am glad that you are in mine.

    In Christ. Only in him. Apart from him….. um…

    Bless you.

  • fws

    Joanne @ 131 and 155

    What a blessing it has been to read your posts here Joanne.
    I am pretty sure that you learned all that empathy the way our Apology says that faith is strengthened and grows.

    You have told us of the suffering of others you have taken upon your own self here. You remind me of the big black guy who is the Christ-figure in that movie “The Green Mile”. Have you seen it Joanne? I love your phrasing “way past my burnout date”.

    You say you are older and without a family of your own, but beyond that you have not said alot about yourself in modesty. I would be willing to bet big dollars that the mercy you are full of did not come without alot of personal suffering in your own life.

    As you know, I am a gay man. I am old too and without a family. I have lots of persons come to me with their secrets as well. But it is not because I am such a good listener like you. I think it is because they feel safe that I would not throw stones at their sexual sinning since they know I am gay and make alot of assumptions about me behind that fact. So I got to know more about the sexual lives of people in my small congregation than the pastor knows or would probably even want to know.

    We practiced private confession, but pastors are human too. It is not convenient for them to know that a pillar of the congretation is getting it on with the a church staff member who is married to the son of the most important family in the church. What to do with that sort of mess?!

    What I want to say Joanne, is this: I am probably the most judgemental and legalistic person I know. Persons come to me and tell me their secrets and often I end up judging them and giving them unasked for and probably bad advice. Usually very moralistic and legalistic advice. And I fail to give them the mercy they deserve. I take it upon myself to try to fix them when it is simply not my job to do that.

    Do you have any advice to me on how to break that nasty habit and be more useful to others? I am finding that I confess this sin, but seem unable to break myself out of it. Help!

    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. ”
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para21

    Wherefore, [such faith] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. (ibid)

    [Only a true believer can know and experience] how the remission of sins occurs, and how, in the judgment of God and terrors of conscience, trust in works is driven out of us.
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para20

  • fws

    Joanne @ 131 and 155

    What a blessing it has been to read your posts here Joanne.
    I am pretty sure that you learned all that empathy the way our Apology says that faith is strengthened and grows.

    You have told us of the suffering of others you have taken upon your own self here. You remind me of the big black guy who is the Christ-figure in that movie “The Green Mile”. Have you seen it Joanne? I love your phrasing “way past my burnout date”.

    You say you are older and without a family of your own, but beyond that you have not said alot about yourself in modesty. I would be willing to bet big dollars that the mercy you are full of did not come without alot of personal suffering in your own life.

    As you know, I am a gay man. I am old too and without a family. I have lots of persons come to me with their secrets as well. But it is not because I am such a good listener like you. I think it is because they feel safe that I would not throw stones at their sexual sinning since they know I am gay and make alot of assumptions about me behind that fact. So I got to know more about the sexual lives of people in my small congregation than the pastor knows or would probably even want to know.

    We practiced private confession, but pastors are human too. It is not convenient for them to know that a pillar of the congretation is getting it on with the a church staff member who is married to the son of the most important family in the church. What to do with that sort of mess?!

    What I want to say Joanne, is this: I am probably the most judgemental and legalistic person I know. Persons come to me and tell me their secrets and often I end up judging them and giving them unasked for and probably bad advice. Usually very moralistic and legalistic advice. And I fail to give them the mercy they deserve. I take it upon myself to try to fix them when it is simply not my job to do that.

    Do you have any advice to me on how to break that nasty habit and be more useful to others? I am finding that I confess this sin, but seem unable to break myself out of it. Help!

    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. ”
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para21

    Wherefore, [such faith] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. (ibid)

    [Only a true believer can know and experience] how the remission of sins occurs, and how, in the judgment of God and terrors of conscience, trust in works is driven out of us.
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para20

  • Stephen

    “What a blessing it has been to read your posts here Joanne.”

    as they say around here – +1

  • Stephen

    “What a blessing it has been to read your posts here Joanne.”

    as they say around here – +1

  • reg
  • reg
  • kerner

    fws: up the thread a ways you said this:

    ” In the Bible, Marriage starts by purchasing a bride. Often an old fart marries a very young girl. The purchase of more than one girl (think 13-16 years old here) was not uncommon. Women had ZERO volition sexually. The Biblical definition of rape was not that the women was unwilling. It was a property violation. Why? Women were literally chattel property.”

    Now, some of that seems to me to be true, and some of it not true (or at least skewed or exagerated), but I remember you saying similar things before. I haven’t really discussed it much, because I don’t understand why you keep bringing it up. But you rarely say something repeatedly unless you think it’s important.

    So, why are all those things you say about marriage and rape and so on significant to these discussions?

  • kerner

    fws: up the thread a ways you said this:

    ” In the Bible, Marriage starts by purchasing a bride. Often an old fart marries a very young girl. The purchase of more than one girl (think 13-16 years old here) was not uncommon. Women had ZERO volition sexually. The Biblical definition of rape was not that the women was unwilling. It was a property violation. Why? Women were literally chattel property.”

    Now, some of that seems to me to be true, and some of it not true (or at least skewed or exagerated), but I remember you saying similar things before. I haven’t really discussed it much, because I don’t understand why you keep bringing it up. But you rarely say something repeatedly unless you think it’s important.

    So, why are all those things you say about marriage and rape and so on significant to these discussions?

  • Grace

    Kerner @161

    It get’s attention, even if its negative nonsense!

  • Grace

    Kerner @161

    It get’s attention, even if its negative nonsense!

  • fws

    reg @ 160

    Let’s review:
    Alan Chambers, … declared that
    1) there was no cure for homosexuality and that
    2) “reparative therapy” offered false hopes to gays and could even be harmful.
    3) He said that virtually every “ex-gay” he has ever met still harbors homosexual cravings, himself included. …gay Christians like himself faced a lifelong spiritual struggle to avoid sin and should not be afraid to admit it.
    4) Mr. Chambers said he believed that those who persist in homosexual behavior could still be saved by Christ and go to heaven. . . .
    5) “I believe that any sexual expression outside of heterosexual, monogamous marriage is sinful according tothe Bible,” Mr. Chambers emphasized.
    6) “But we’ve been asking people with same-sex attractions to overcome something in a way that we don’t ask of anyone else,” he said, noting that Christians with other sins, whether heterosexual lust, pornography, pride or gluttony, do not receive the same blanket condemnations. . . .

    So Horton says what in response ( I have matched up what he says to what Chambers says numbering the points) . He completely agrees with Chambers by the way:
    5) Does Scripture forbid homosexual behavior? Of course it does.
    6) There is no reason to think that Christians who struggle with these attractions are any less justified and renewed by God’s grace in Christ than are those who wrestle especially with greed or anger or gossip. …there is also no scriptural basis for greater laxity in God’s judgment of this sin.
    4) These passages do not threaten believers who struggle with indwelling sin and fall into grievous sins (see Romans 7 for that category); [One man I counseled ]He told his parents that he was neither “gay” nor “straight.”… he was a Christian struggling with same-sex attraction …his pastor [said he had been ] …”given up” by God to … depraved desires, [and]…committed suicide.
    1-2) it may …on balance [be] salutary [ for the APA to warn against those] those who regard homosexuality as a “disorder.”
    3) A repentant Christian …agrees … about …sin and …redemption through Jesus Christ. Even when such a person falls, the face is set against the besetting sin and fixed on the faithful Savior at the Father’s right hand. Repentance means “change of mind.” … the struggle indicates repentance!

    Then he adds these points.

    Churches often turn marriage and family into an idolatry and have nothing to offer singles. Good.
    But then this…..
    1)We like the idea of the church as a hospital for sinners-in-general; it’s specific illnesses that we’d rather not have to treat.
    2) they… see…how true the gospel is on the ground, … who have been forgiven much and therefore love much.
    3)Refusing to agree with God about the nature of such behavior as sinful, …[ is to] reject the gospel.
    4) We are all under church discipline: …obligation to mutual accountability…exercised, by…pastors and elders.
    It is one of the most obvious teachings in the New Testament that without repentance no one can be saved.
    Repentance means “change of mind.”…the struggle indicates repentance!

    Lutherans:
    1) The Church is a hospice for the dying.
    Church is not a hospital.
    Repentence is about our death.
    Repentence is not Life-giving treatment of our sin.
    2) “See. Gospel. On the ground. Our. Love.” NO!
    Gospel is, alone the Works of Christ. Outside of us. For us. Full Stop.
    3) The Gospel is forgivness to those who know they are sinners.
    The Gospel and the forgiveness of sin, is not dependent upon our correctly compiling a list of do’s and don’ts. Eg: If we don’t recognize that a particular false doctrine is false and a sin and repent of it (eg Infant Baptism), we are not saved only when we fix our sin-list and make it a complete one!
    4) The description for the ENTIRE Christian life is Repentence.
    Repentence is BOTH Law and Gospel.
    Repentence =Baptism! Literally!

    So Horton reflects the errors of the Reformed faith here well.

  • fws

    reg @ 160

    Let’s review:
    Alan Chambers, … declared that
    1) there was no cure for homosexuality and that
    2) “reparative therapy” offered false hopes to gays and could even be harmful.
    3) He said that virtually every “ex-gay” he has ever met still harbors homosexual cravings, himself included. …gay Christians like himself faced a lifelong spiritual struggle to avoid sin and should not be afraid to admit it.
    4) Mr. Chambers said he believed that those who persist in homosexual behavior could still be saved by Christ and go to heaven. . . .
    5) “I believe that any sexual expression outside of heterosexual, monogamous marriage is sinful according tothe Bible,” Mr. Chambers emphasized.
    6) “But we’ve been asking people with same-sex attractions to overcome something in a way that we don’t ask of anyone else,” he said, noting that Christians with other sins, whether heterosexual lust, pornography, pride or gluttony, do not receive the same blanket condemnations. . . .

    So Horton says what in response ( I have matched up what he says to what Chambers says numbering the points) . He completely agrees with Chambers by the way:
    5) Does Scripture forbid homosexual behavior? Of course it does.
    6) There is no reason to think that Christians who struggle with these attractions are any less justified and renewed by God’s grace in Christ than are those who wrestle especially with greed or anger or gossip. …there is also no scriptural basis for greater laxity in God’s judgment of this sin.
    4) These passages do not threaten believers who struggle with indwelling sin and fall into grievous sins (see Romans 7 for that category); [One man I counseled ]He told his parents that he was neither “gay” nor “straight.”… he was a Christian struggling with same-sex attraction …his pastor [said he had been ] …”given up” by God to … depraved desires, [and]…committed suicide.
    1-2) it may …on balance [be] salutary [ for the APA to warn against those] those who regard homosexuality as a “disorder.”
    3) A repentant Christian …agrees … about …sin and …redemption through Jesus Christ. Even when such a person falls, the face is set against the besetting sin and fixed on the faithful Savior at the Father’s right hand. Repentance means “change of mind.” … the struggle indicates repentance!

    Then he adds these points.

    Churches often turn marriage and family into an idolatry and have nothing to offer singles. Good.
    But then this…..
    1)We like the idea of the church as a hospital for sinners-in-general; it’s specific illnesses that we’d rather not have to treat.
    2) they… see…how true the gospel is on the ground, … who have been forgiven much and therefore love much.
    3)Refusing to agree with God about the nature of such behavior as sinful, …[ is to] reject the gospel.
    4) We are all under church discipline: …obligation to mutual accountability…exercised, by…pastors and elders.
    It is one of the most obvious teachings in the New Testament that without repentance no one can be saved.
    Repentance means “change of mind.”…the struggle indicates repentance!

    Lutherans:
    1) The Church is a hospice for the dying.
    Church is not a hospital.
    Repentence is about our death.
    Repentence is not Life-giving treatment of our sin.
    2) “See. Gospel. On the ground. Our. Love.” NO!
    Gospel is, alone the Works of Christ. Outside of us. For us. Full Stop.
    3) The Gospel is forgivness to those who know they are sinners.
    The Gospel and the forgiveness of sin, is not dependent upon our correctly compiling a list of do’s and don’ts. Eg: If we don’t recognize that a particular false doctrine is false and a sin and repent of it (eg Infant Baptism), we are not saved only when we fix our sin-list and make it a complete one!
    4) The description for the ENTIRE Christian life is Repentence.
    Repentence is BOTH Law and Gospel.
    Repentence =Baptism! Literally!

    So Horton reflects the errors of the Reformed faith here well.

  • helen

    SK, I think? somewhere back there…. or maybe Stephen
    Frank’s posts are usually about 1) the Lutheran Confessions, 2) the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, or 3) the proper distinction of Law and Gospel. Now you may quibble that those aren’t always germane to the topic at hand, but to simply write off anything Frank says as “gay” is doing him and the rest of us a disservice.

    You might want to have the Confessions handy, if you haven’t studied them recently.
    fws rephrases them to his advantage here and there, or perhaps reads selectively,
    (just as he “can’t find” homosexuality mentioned in the Bible).
    [The English term isn't in the original text, but the concept is certainly there.]

    Dr. Veith, on topic:
    We’ve talked about homosexuality a lot on this blog, so could we set that aside for now? Could we discuss the more general issue of “besetting sins” (the ones each individual is prone to), repentance, failure, and the Christian life?

    Nice try, but apparently we couldn’t .

    On a college campus, we have a small (but noisy) group of GLBT’s but far more heteros engaged in everything from one night stands (usually accompanied by too much alcohol) to laisons which may last through most of college, so they don’t have to worry about being without a partner on date night.

    [I don't think we are told things because we're 'this' or 'that', fws, but more likely because we're old enough to be expected to have heard it all already.]
    The elaboration of the 6th commandment in the Large Catechism (a part fws did not quote) says (in summary) that not only are we to be chaste but we are to encourage chastity. If you overlook unchaste behavior as if it did not concern you, you are as guilty as the participants. LC, 6th # 204-205 [Readers Edition pg 408]

    Which means, as I understand it, that if you are the receiver of ‘confidences’ your work is assigned….

  • helen

    SK, I think? somewhere back there…. or maybe Stephen
    Frank’s posts are usually about 1) the Lutheran Confessions, 2) the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, or 3) the proper distinction of Law and Gospel. Now you may quibble that those aren’t always germane to the topic at hand, but to simply write off anything Frank says as “gay” is doing him and the rest of us a disservice.

    You might want to have the Confessions handy, if you haven’t studied them recently.
    fws rephrases them to his advantage here and there, or perhaps reads selectively,
    (just as he “can’t find” homosexuality mentioned in the Bible).
    [The English term isn't in the original text, but the concept is certainly there.]

    Dr. Veith, on topic:
    We’ve talked about homosexuality a lot on this blog, so could we set that aside for now? Could we discuss the more general issue of “besetting sins” (the ones each individual is prone to), repentance, failure, and the Christian life?

    Nice try, but apparently we couldn’t .

    On a college campus, we have a small (but noisy) group of GLBT’s but far more heteros engaged in everything from one night stands (usually accompanied by too much alcohol) to laisons which may last through most of college, so they don’t have to worry about being without a partner on date night.

    [I don't think we are told things because we're 'this' or 'that', fws, but more likely because we're old enough to be expected to have heard it all already.]
    The elaboration of the 6th commandment in the Large Catechism (a part fws did not quote) says (in summary) that not only are we to be chaste but we are to encourage chastity. If you overlook unchaste behavior as if it did not concern you, you are as guilty as the participants. LC, 6th # 204-205 [Readers Edition pg 408]

    Which means, as I understand it, that if you are the receiver of ‘confidences’ your work is assigned….

  • Abby
  • Abby
  • fws

    abby @ 165

    “On the other side you have conservatives who want to see the church maintain purity and biblical fidelity. They want homosexuals to be loved and treated with respect. But they believe the behavior cannot be tolerated as Christian behavior. They see this as a gospel issue.

    Ok. So they confuse law and gospel. Surprise.
    So maybe there is a 4th category that is not liberal/conservative/moderate

  • fws

    abby @ 165

    “On the other side you have conservatives who want to see the church maintain purity and biblical fidelity. They want homosexuals to be loved and treated with respect. But they believe the behavior cannot be tolerated as Christian behavior. They see this as a gospel issue.

    Ok. So they confuse law and gospel. Surprise.
    So maybe there is a 4th category that is not liberal/conservative/moderate

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Back to see how this discussion turned out.

    Stephen,

    I only stopped talking because I had to work – not because I couldn’t take it anymore. : )

    I said:

    “Jesus has a problem with sinners with actual concrete objective sins even children can understand Stephen, but He is also their friend. I’ve always thought that was the Lutheran teaching. ”

    You said:

    “There’s a lot in there to unpack I’d say. But at first glance I’d say there is no gospel in that. That is, I hear no message of Jesus who is actually for me, period. Instead, this is a Jesus who maybe, under certain conditions, tolerates me.

    Actually, Jesus is not at his best when he’s just my friend, unless you mean a very specific kind of friend, one who willingly takes on my actual, concrete, objective, horrifying, wicked, self-interested, damning sin and kills it in his own flesh. That is the friend I need in Him. Somehow, that is not what I think you mean.”

    Yes that’s the right Jesus. You got Him! Period!

    But what is that you say? You don’t call “sin” what He calls sin?

    “We are not problems to be solved. We are sinners in need of a savior.”

    I agree. Still, Jesus has a problem with real sinners with actual, concrete, real sins. And He is very happy to take off our hands the guilt of those sins.

    If we want Him to.

    With that, I can’t talk anymore today, but will try to check back again in a week.

    +Nathan

  • http://infanttheology.wordpress.com Nathan

    Back to see how this discussion turned out.

    Stephen,

    I only stopped talking because I had to work – not because I couldn’t take it anymore. : )

    I said:

    “Jesus has a problem with sinners with actual concrete objective sins even children can understand Stephen, but He is also their friend. I’ve always thought that was the Lutheran teaching. ”

    You said:

    “There’s a lot in there to unpack I’d say. But at first glance I’d say there is no gospel in that. That is, I hear no message of Jesus who is actually for me, period. Instead, this is a Jesus who maybe, under certain conditions, tolerates me.

    Actually, Jesus is not at his best when he’s just my friend, unless you mean a very specific kind of friend, one who willingly takes on my actual, concrete, objective, horrifying, wicked, self-interested, damning sin and kills it in his own flesh. That is the friend I need in Him. Somehow, that is not what I think you mean.”

    Yes that’s the right Jesus. You got Him! Period!

    But what is that you say? You don’t call “sin” what He calls sin?

    “We are not problems to be solved. We are sinners in need of a savior.”

    I agree. Still, Jesus has a problem with real sinners with actual, concrete, real sins. And He is very happy to take off our hands the guilt of those sins.

    If we want Him to.

    With that, I can’t talk anymore today, but will try to check back again in a week.

    +Nathan

  • Pingback: The Restored Hope Network: Picking Up Snake Oil Sales Where Exodus Left Off | Jessica Sideways.com

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