The Nashville Statement—A Point-by-Point Response

Nashville Statement
Image credit: screenshot from cbmw.org, fair use.

I imagine most of my readers have heard by now of the “Nashville Statement,” coming from “A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality,” and signed by such conservative watchdogs as Denny Burk, John Piper, James Dobson, Russell Moore, et al.

I really don’t know why I bothered, but something compelled me to write a point-by-point response to all of their affirmations and denials. I should warn you—I did make some effort to rein in my snarkiness, but it became increasingly difficult as their affirmations became increasingly ridiculous. Anyway, here you go:

Article 1 WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage …

Where does scripture state that God designed marriage? (It doesn’t.)

Genesis 2:24 states that God, after fashioning woman from man, explained how men and women would leave their parents and join to one another.

However,

  • This passage is descriptive, not prescriptive.
  • It does not refer to this joining as a marriage.
  • It makes no reference, good or bad, to those who would choose a different path, such as singleness.
  • It makes no reference, good or bad, to those who would choose to join in this manner to multiple partners.
  • It makes no reference, good or bad, to those who are neither man nor woman, nor to those who are both male and female.
  • And it makes no reference, good or bad, to those who would join man to man or woman to woman or any other gender to any other gender.
  • Other passages of scripture specifically condone and at times even command different formats for marriage than the joining here described.

Furthermore,

  • Given what we know about human evolution, we must acknowledge that this story does not represent literal history. It is a myth from which we may draw some significance, but to mandate it as an archetype would be ridiculous, given that it never happened.
  • When Jesus referenced and made application from this myth, he did so in answer to a question on divorce. To apply his words toward any other question would be to twist them from their intended context.
  • Jesus responded to the question in a cultural context where divorce existed to the benefit of men and to the detriment of women. Given that divorce in our cultural context is egalitarian, neither inherently privileging nor damaging either partner over the other, we must rethink how Jesus’ words should apply today.

… to be a covenantal, …

Marriage may be a covenant, but such a covenant can apply to many different kinds of relationships, as scripture itself indicates. (I’ve elsewhere surveyed the many different biblical views of marriage.)

… sexual, …

Many marriages are sexual, but many are not. Are we to believe that marriages are therefore invalid if one or multiple partners are unable to engage in sexuality? (No.)

… procreative, …

As with the above, many marriages are procreative, but many are not. Are we to believe that marriages are therefore invalid if one or multiple partners are unable to procreate? (No.) Or are we to believe that marriages are therefore invalid if they simply choose not to procreate? (No.)

… lifelong union …

Again, many marriages last for a lifetime, but many do not. Even if we were to take the hardest line on Jesus’ words regarding divorce (which would be inadvisable for the reasons given earlier), exceptions would still be present. Are we to believe that marriages are therefore retroactively invalid if they terminate before death? (No.)

… of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, …

Once more, the union of one man and one woman is indeed one format for marriage described in scripture, but it is far from the only one. And nothing in scripture suggests that other formats not described would be unacceptable. Are we to believe that marriages are therefore invalid if they do not equate to one man with one woman? (No.)

… and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church. …

This is indeed one picture that marriage signifies. And it’s worth noting that the church is not a single individual, but billions of individuals, made up of every gender. So the pictured marriage of Christ to the church is both polyamorous and pansexual. Granted, this pictured marriage is figurative, not literal, but we certainly can’t use such a picture to delegitimize polyamory or same-sex relationships.

… WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. …

God did not design marriage to be any one specific format. Marriages come in all shapes and sizes. And God has nowhere forbidden same-sex, polygamous, or polyamorous relationships. As for polygamy specifically, scripture actually commands it in certain instances (Deuteronomy 25:5–6, if the oldest surviving brother was already married).

… We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.

This would depend on the nature of the marriage entered into by given individuals. Within a Christian context, it is likely that the individuals would make their covenant before God, but this would not likely be the case for those who do not believe in God. Are we to believe that marriages are therefore invalid if they do not specifically include God in their covenants? (No.)

Article 2 WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage …

Where exactly is this will revealed? Scripture does include a number of atrocious sexual mandates based on the patriarchal idea of males essentially owning their females. Such notions are dehumanizing, and must be rejected. However, nothing in scripture gives a blanket prohibition against consensual sexual encounters outside of marriage. In fact, the Song of Songs describes and celebrates one such non-marital sexual rendezvous.

… and fidelity within marriage. …

Fidelity is a virtue within any kind of relationship. It simply means being faithful to the agreements of that relationship. What those agreements may be will differ from one relationship to another. If a relationship is of a strictly monogamous nature, then sex outside of that relationship may constitute infidelity. However, if a relationship is of a polyamorous nature, then sex outside of that relationship may not constitute infidelity. It just depends on the parameters for fidelity established and agreed to by all involved.

… WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; …

The responses outlined above show this denial to be groundless.

… nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality. …

But what is sexual immorality? Is not immorality of any kind defined by the violation of Jesus’ command to love one another? In as much as any sexual act fails the test of love, it is immoral. In as much as it passes the test of love (which must include such things as consent, mutuality, etc.), then it is perfectly within the bounds of morality.

Article 3 WE AFFIRM that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female. …

On the one hand, given the reality of evolution, we have to acknowledge that God did not create Adam and Eve as the first human beings. Humanity evolved to become what we are. Nonetheless, the idea that all humans bear the image of God is an important theological truth. The image of God is not some quality God created us with; it is rather the declaration that we humans represent God here on earth.

Furthermore, to affirm that male and female equally bear the image of God is to say that God encompasses all gender. The language of Genesis is limited, but we must go beyond it to affirm that male, female, agender, genderfluid, genderqueer, intersex, gender non-conforming, transgender, and every other gender are all equals in bearing God’s image.

But God did not create the supposed distinctions between male and female. The reality of gender is far more fluid, and God surely delights in the diversity our genders represent.

… WE DENY that the divinely ordained differences between male and female render them unequal in dignity or worth.

There are no divinely ordained differences between male and female. All humans deserve the dignity of their own unique identifications. And all are of unsurpassable worth.

Article 4 WE AFFIRM that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing. WE DENY that such differences are a result of the Fall or are a tragedy to be overcome.

Nope. See above.

Article 5 WE AFFIRM that the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female. …

Based on what exactly? Please do show from scripture anywhere that biological sex is linked to gender identity in this way.

… WE DENY that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.

So this means what, exactly, for those who have no distinguishable biological sex?

Article 6 WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known. WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.

This still doesn’t answer the question related to those who have no distinguishable biological sex. They’re just skirting around an issue that their paradigm is incapable of adequately addressing.

Article 7 WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture. WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.

We’ve already covered this ground. Such so-called “holy purposes” have no basis in scripture or any other revelation from God. They are, in reality, nothing more than human bigotry that has been projected onto God.

Article 8 WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life. …

Well, at least God doesn’t just damn them outright for the way they were born, right?

… WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.

So they deny that the alleged male–female distinction is a result of the Fall. But same-sex attraction (being not a part of the very good creation) is a result of the Fall? Well, that’s awfully convenient for straight folks, isn’t it?

Article 9 WE AFFIRM that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality—a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality. WE DENY that an enduring pattern of desire for sexual immorality justifies sexually immoral behavior.

I agree that that all orientations are capable of the same acts of sexual immorality. That is, as discussed earlier, any sexual act can be immoral if it does not pass the test of love. But same-sex activity is no more prone to this than is heterosexual activity.

Article 10 WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness. WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.

Wow. Is everyone catching this? So not only is engaging in these things a sin, but even being mistaken in affirming them is a sin. There’s no room for respectful disagreement or differing perspectives here. One view is right. The other view is “an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.” I’m not the only one who sees how utterly ridiculous this is, right?

Article 11 WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female. WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his imagebearers as male and female.

Translation: God commands you to be an asshole to your trans neighbors. Never mind “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In this case, God wants you to stomp all over their identities and preferred pronouns and names with the inerrant truth you’ve been granted about who they “really” are.

Article 12 WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.

No complaint with these words, except for the context in which they’re being stated.

Article 13 WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ enables sinners to forsake transgender selfconceptions and by divine forbearance to accept the God-ordained link between one’s biological sex and one’s self-conception as male or female. WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ sanctions self-conceptions that are at odds with God’s revealed will.

They really want to keep beating the same dead horse, don’t they? We’ve covered this already.

Article 14 WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure. WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.

No major complaint here, but I just have to comment on some of the language used. Trusting in Christ as “Savior” and “Lord” is standard fare. But where’s this “supreme treasure” phrase coming from? I mean, I agree that Christ is our supreme treasure, but what’s the significance of adding it as a required element for salvation? Just curious.

Additionally, from their last sentence, I have to assume that they hold out hope for universal reconciliation. If no sinner is beyond God’s reach, that must include those in hell, right?

"I know this thread is old, but since the black banner is still here, I ..."

What Do You Think of Patheos’ ..."
"Hey, Anna. This post is quite old by now. I did take the initial input ..."

What Do You Think of Patheos’ ..."
"WHY the HUGE BLACK BANNER that takes up a quarter of the screen?WHY? It's intrusive, ..."

What Do You Think of Patheos’ ..."
"Yes, together with the footnotes, they're the best part of this translation, in my opinion. ..."

The New Testament: A Translation by ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/ Daniel Wilcox

    Well, Chuck, noticing the signers of The Nashville Statement, such as John Piper, I can see I am a complete atheist to their concept of God.

    As for your opening contrary statement about marriage in the Bible: “Genesis 2:24 states…However,
    This passage is descriptive, not prescriptive.
    It does not refer to this joining as a marriage.”

    ? How then do you handle Jesus’ statement in Mark 10:5-12?
    “5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’; [b] so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

    10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. 11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

    Sounds like Jesus is being very “prescriptive” quoting Genesis, emphasizing that the “two shall become one flesh” and that God has “joined” them together.

    ?

    • http://hippieheretic.com/ Chuck McKnight

      What question is Jesus responding to?

      • http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/ Daniel Wilcox

        ?
        “And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

        Seems very clear.

        Jesus is being very prescriptive about marriage–“two become one.”

        • http://hippieheretic.com/ Chuck McKnight

          Divorce. The question is only about divorce. The response can only be taken in the context of divorce (the culturally specific form of divorce present at that day). Jesus was not asked to define marriage, and his response cannot be taken to do so. That’s a blatant misrepresentation of his words.

          • http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/ Daniel Wilcox

            My background is in literary interpretation. I taught that for many years.
            From that perspective, it seems that you are using eisegesis, not exegesis of the text.

            Jesus was responding exactly to what marriage is, and explaining why since marriage is of God (“So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.)”
            then divorce is wrong,
            and has only existed because of the “hardness” of humans (“And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.”)

            Of course, a person can choose to disagree with the text.

            I don’t agree with many texts in the Bible. That is one reason I no longer am a Christian (though I was one for 55 years, minister, Bible teacher, etc.)

            However, your statement that Jesus isn’t dealing with marriage in this passage seems unwarranted.

            Where is there any passage in the New Testament where Jesus has a contrary view of marriage to the passage in Mark?

            Please give me any evidence from the New Testament that isn’t so. Or direct me to an article you have written on this. Thanks.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            Jesus doesn’t “define marriage” but declare divorce a sin. He doesn’t say who should or should not get married, only that having made the commitment of marriage they shouldn’t then break it.

          • http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/ Daniel Wilcox

            ? Look at Jesus’ words again: “So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

            Sounds like a definitive definition.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            How’s that a definition? It is an instruction against divorce.

          • http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/ Daniel Wilcox

            What? No, it isn’t. Jesus’ instructions for divorce is that it is prohibited, except in adultery. And that the Old Testament Mosaic Law’s allowance was because of humans’ hardness.

            As Jesus explains all of that, he clarifies that marriage is “two become one flesh…What therefor God has joined together, let not many separate.” Those words are ALL about marriage, that “two become one” and live in relationship to each other and to God.

            That definition of marriage by Jesus is why Jesus held that divorce is so wrong.

            However, as I already said, I am not a Christian, BUT I do care about the careful explication of an ancient text, because I am a retired literature-history teacher.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            Jesus’s words assume (naturally enough) that marriage is between a man and a woman, rather than expressly define it as such, and go on to explain its intended effect (that they become one flesh etc). There is nothing in the text to even hint that marriage might be anything other than between one man and one woman, even in the form of polygamy, and since that has biblical precedent, if Jesus’s words were intended to abolish any other form of marriage, including polygamy, one would expect them to be express.

          • http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/ Daniel Wilcox

            No, that is a weak argument from silence. Jesus, as a prophet of the Jewish people didn’t express his opposition to many actions. That doesn’t mean then they are okay.

            As for the intent of marriage according to Jesus, please look at the text again:
            #1: And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.

            According to Jesus, divorce is a sign of intentional ethical disobedience by the Hebrews.

            For instance, see the Israeli Jerusalem Post News article by Moshe Dann:
            “Rambam, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, (Mishne Torah, Hilchot Teshuva) insists that everyone has free will; one can choose to do good, or evil. The ability to choose freely defines us as human beings; our choices define us as individuals. Freedom to choose is an essential and inherent right, but it is not absolute; there are consequences to actions…“hardening,” and “heavy.” He refuses to change, even though he recognizes God’s existence. But then he becomes recalcitrant and arrogant – which is described as “his heart was strengthened…The ability to choose, to exercise free will without honest self-evaluation and introspection, is self-destructive and destructive to others.”

            #2: Jesus doesn’t “assume” anything. He explicitly states the original purpose of marriage:
            “6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,a 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

            Humans may disagree with the Jewish leader, BUT he is very explicit about what is marriage and that marriage is related to God–“God made them male and female;” a guy shall leave his parents and “hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh.”

            This obviously excludes any form of multiple sexual relationships by the very wording: 2 shall become 1
            (NOT 3, or 4, or 5).

            Then, as though, Jesus, realizes there may still be doubt in some humans minds, he clinches
            his ethical view by stating that
            “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

            Marriage of 2 to 1 is of God and from God.

            #3 Divorce isn’t.
            “10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.

            The disciples, being men of the Jewish religion which has a very relaxed view of marriage are shocked!

            In Judaism, divorce was very simple: “Under Jewish law, a man can divorce a woman for any reason or no reason. The Talmud specifically says that a man can divorce a woman because she spoiled his dinner or simply because he finds another woman more attractive, and the woman’s consent to the divorce is not required.”
            –from Judaism 101

            Jesus contradicts the general view of Moses and Judaism:
            “11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

            This passage is very clear.

            It is true that in this situation, Jesus doesn’t specifically deal with immoral and unjust ethical violations such as multiple sexual partners, rape, incest, abuse, etc.
            BUT those unethical actions aren’t being discussed.

            Jesus was asked about divorce.

            First, he emphasizes God’s view of marriage according to him and scripture (Genesis)
            and then explains why divorce is therefore wrong.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            I am not engaging in any “argument from silence” merely pointing out that the silence is there. You can’t say Jesus “defines marriage” in a particular way in the passages concerned because he does not expressly define it differently in the passages concerned.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            Sorry to reply twice. Additional note: Jesus does not abolish Moses’s allowance for divorce, as far as I can see. What he says was “not the case from the beginning” is that Moses *commanded* (as opposed to allowed for) divorce. This understanding is made necessary by the grammar: Jesus’s words use the Greek perfect tense which refer to something which was and still is the case, and can’t refer to something that was the case but isn’t any more.

          • http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/ Daniel Wilcox

            See my extensive comment below. However, briefly– on the contrary, Jesus does very explicitly rejects the view of Moses and Palestinian Judaism.

            Look at the text: “11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

            This passage is very clear.

            It is true, that Jews of the Roman time period continued to allow divorce for almost any reason.

            BUT Jesus says that is wrong, and that divorce and remarriage is “adultery.”

          • Iain Lovejoy

            There were two Palestinian Jewish schools of thought on divorce, Hillel and Shammai: Shammai held a similar position to Jesus (Shammai was less popular, for some reason). Both were Jewish and neither “rejected the view of Moses”, and nor did Jesus. What he says is that the Pharisees have understood Moses wrong, in that Moses did not say divorce is a not a sin, let alone “commanded” it, as they claimed, only provided a legal mechanism for making the end of a marriage official and, importantly, enabling a discarded wife to remarry without accusations of adultery.
            Jesus you will notice condemns divorce and remarriage as a unit as adultery. He is also clear that divorce in and of itself is an act of adultery, which would therefore logically leave the wronged party free to marry again, as their marriage would have ended due to the “adultery” of the guilty party.

          • http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/ Daniel Wilcox

            I am aware of all of this, have been for many years. I was a Baptist minister, Bible teacher, dropped out of seminary, blah, blah…

            Yes, Hillel was the liberal…Shammai, the conservative when it came to divorce, etc.

            We obviously strongly disagree on the nature of the biblical text, etc.

            Jesus did VERY STRONGLY disagree with Moses’ views!

            But I’ve had my say. Thanks for the dialog.

          • Iain Lovejoy

            I would agree that Jesus wasn’t defining marriage, but I can’t see how you can get round his rejection of divorce: I don’t see what “culturally specific” aspect of divorce in Jesus’s day means what he says about divorce can be happily ignored today.

          • http://hippieheretic.com/ Chuck McKnight

            Jesus taught that every command hangs on the principle of love. So when he gives a command, we have to ask why—what is the love-based principle behind it? For divorce, the obvious answer is that divorce of the day was privileged to men. They could get a divorce practically at the drop of a hat, and it left their ex-wives destitute. To this, Jesus says no. Stay with the woman you married and continue to support her. But none of this is true today. What is the love-based reason for forbidding divorce across the board today? If both parties desire it, then doesn’t the Golden Rule demand that we allow such a divorce?

          • Iain Lovejoy

            It is apparently not true that women couldn’t in practice divorce men. What actually happened was that they petitioned the court which then ordered the husband to write a divorce certificate: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Instone-Brewer/prepub/Woman%2520divorcing%2520with%2520the%2520Selim%2520get.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwi-0vCv8v_VAhWLJsAKHVM5DBcQFggwMAE&usg=AFQjCNGzMWZdXttJsL_VMe46crJdb9CQ8w.
            Your explanation does not make sense of Mark 10:12 – if Jesus’s teaching is to protect women thus verse makes no sense. Likewise Matthew 5:32 makes no sense: how does seeking to prevent a man marrying a woman whose husband has consented to a divorce protect the woman? Or indeed how is this scenario any different from the apparently perfectly OK modern consensual divorce?
            Jesus does not say in Matthew 19:8 that in the beginning Moses law was not the case: the Greek uses the perfect tense, indicates ng an ongoing result. Jesus is saying that what the Pharisees are saying in verse 7 has never been the case: Moses allowed for divorce, never commanded it. Jesus is not therefore abolishing divorce in the subsequent verses.
            I think you are making the same mistake as the Pharisees in the Matthew story. Jesus said that Moses allowed for divorce because of people’s hardness of heart (I.e. stubbornness), which presumably meant because they will reject, desert or abuse their spouses, regardless of the law, and the law had to allow for this and sort out how to deal with it. He did not abolish Moses’ law and say divorce should be (or is) impossible, he said that the fact that the law allowed for divorce didn’t mean that it wasn’t a sin to actually do it, as the Pharisees seemed to assume.
            As to love-based, while there is no love-based reason for the law to legally lock a couple into a marriage both of them are determined to end (which is why Jesus doesn’t abolish divorce) Jesus is clear why marriage is supposed to be a life commitment neither should break, whether the other agrees or not, rather than convenient arrangement terminable by mutual consent: its purpose is for two people to grow so together in love and commitment so as to become one flesh.

          • James Marzak

            you’re spending an awful lot of time trying to manipulate The Word rather than just submit, humble yourself and serve.

  • improvislaw

    Fantastic article. Helps me see that what I thought was not unique.

  • Scooter

    After reading through this stuff I can understand why you would include “heretic” in your blog name. You would certainly ruffle a few conservative feathers throughout your post. I find it very interesting reading comments on atheist blogs that many former professors of Christianity began their journey into apostasy by questioning the Genesis account of creation invariably giving credence to general evolution. What follows is a typical re-imagining of the Christian faith re-interpreting those “hard doctrines” particularly espoused by the apostle Paul. What is left eventually is an amorphous idea of “love” being the ultimate arbiter of human behavior.

  • Phil

    I am seeing a major flaw in the argument. You claim, using scripture, that God never mentioned homosexuality as a sin or, as you put it, never said anything against same sex marriage. The problem is, SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS HOMOSEXUALITY. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    “Nor men who practice homosexuality… will inherit the kingdom of God”

    Translation: (as you put it) If you are homosexual you are committing an abomination or sin as said in Leviticus 20:13

    Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth and told them to purge the sin from their ranks. That meant that any person in the church committing any sexual or physical sin WILLINGLY and with no regret must be expelled. This doesn’t say that Christians hate Homosexuals, this says that no Christian can be a Homosexual.

    That is what the Nashville statement is or should be. A statement that homosexuality, and other activities of a sexual manner OUT OF WEDLOCK, is a SIN.

  • Phil

    I am seeing a major flaw in the argument. You claim, using scripture, that God never mentioned homosexuality as a sin or, as you put it, never said anything against same sex marriage. The problem is, SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS HOMOSEXUALITY. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    “Nor men who practice homosexuality… will inherit the kingdom of God”

    Translation: (as you put it) If you are homosexual you are committing an abomination or sin as said in Leviticus 20:13 

    Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth and told them to purge the sin from their ranks. That meant that any person in the church committing any sexual or physical sin WILLINGLY and with no regret must be expelled. This doesn’t say that Christians hate Homosexuals, this says that no Christian can be a Homosexual.

    That is what the Nashville statement is or should be. A statement that homosexuality, and other activities of a sexual manner OUT OF WEDLOCK, is a SIN.

    • http://hippieheretic.com/ Chuck McKnight

      Yeah, except that “homosexuality” is not an accurate translation. That’s not at all what Paul was referring to. See the article I linked to for more on that.

      • Phil

        Saying that homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned may be true but have no bearing in this discussion.

        Homosexuality is determined as a sexual attraction to ones own sex.
        Again, Leviticus 20:13 says that being with or laying with a male as a male or female as a female is an abomination.
        Sex is not casual, No one can say they are not sexually attracted to those they have been with. Let me repeat: Homosexuality is sexual attraction to ones own sex. So if you are laying with one of the same sex then you are homosexual and therefore sinning.

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Chuck,
    Your suggestion that God didn’t have a design for marriage, actually asserting that scripture doesn’t say he did, is just astonishingly obtuse (to put it as mildly as I can). You say “where does scripture state that God designed marriage?” and then declare “(It doesn’t.)” Have you ever heard of that guy that is quoted as having said “but from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’” and ‘“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”’ I’m pretty sure that is in the scripture some where, and it takes a great deal of desire and purpose to deny what it says as you have.

    • http://toholdsway.blogspot.com/ Jamie Carter

      That guy in question was answering a debate between Rabbis Hillel and Shammai – “Is it permissible for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason – even if she’s a bad cook?” The divorce problem that existed in Jesus’ day was called ‘putting away’ – a husband would find fault with his wife, void her prenuptial agreement, and keep the dowry money for himself. Then he’d marry another lady and proceed to repeat the process. The ex-wives were no longer considered marriageable and often could only turn to prostitution to support themselves – or in the case of the Woman at the Well, a string of lovers who would provide for her as long as she could please them.
      Were that guy still here today, he might be answering questions on what Piper or MacArthur teaches in the context of our religious environment, not establishing a theological kingdom that will become a theocracy to rule over the world through the institution of marriage as it’s main weapon. What he would say about marriage would be in our culture’s terms and current condition – not those of first century patriarchal Israel.

  • http://buyusedcubes.com Bob Shiloh

    You invoke scripture, “Genesis 2:24 states that God, after fashioning woman from man, explained how men and women would leave their parents and join to one another” to tell us what it doesn’t mean. So happy that after 6000 years someone came along to clarify it.

  • Joshua

    Seems to me it was the same lack of understanding that led Eve to being deceived into sexual immorality. Sin crept in and matured through the lineage of Ham paving the way for the need of our Lord and Savior. Three measures of leaven…