The Tony Jones Blog at Patheos
Follow PatheosProgressive Christian:
Incorrect theology is still incorrect theology even if its a cartoon. Jesus upheld marriage as one man and one woman.
Did he really? You were there?
“It’s in the Bible.”
Do you worship the Bible or do you worship Christ? How many Gospels have Christ “upholding” man-woman marriage? The greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart and your NEIGHBOR as yourself. Figure out the rest.
Tell him that!!!! I dont see any where in the bible that says anything about homosexuality. not even Jesus. We are all Gods creation. and we love God to the fulest regardless if im Gay or not. Im Gay and im proud to serve Jesus Christ as my lord and savior
Is that the best you have? Can’t dispute the text so you are forced to respond this way? Perfect!
What more can I say to someone who doesn’t have hears to hear? .
ok. I’ll put up my dukes. First of all, the cartoon says nothing about marriage so I’m not sure why you are saying that it is incorrect theology. Second of all, Jesus never says anything about marriage being between a man and a woman. When he is asked about divorce in Matthew 19:3-9, he uses a quote from scripture to back up his statement that heterosexual couples should not divorce. Jesus’ statement does not exclude homosexual marriage.
And I’m not so sure that Jesus is particularly concerned with sexuality, whether it is homo or heterosexual given that it says in Luke 20:34-36: “Jesus said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.'” So, this would imply that celibacy and non-marriage is the sexual preference of those who are in the kingdom.
Three thoughts on the whole “Jesus never talked about homosexuality” discussion that so often comes up in debates that this cartoon highlights.
1. Jesus never talked about a lot of sexual issues that everyone knows are not God’s plan. Jesus never talked about beastilality or incest. Does that mean those practices are fair game? Saying Jesus didn’t talk about something doesn’t really mean much one way or another. Bad argument.
2. Jesus did talk about homosexuality because he talked about “sexual immorality” (Mark 7:21) and the Greek word for sexual immorality was known to include homosexuality. If you want some footnotes on that, let me know.
3. Consider Jesus’ audience. Jesus was talking to Jewish people. And Jewish people knew their OT. What did the OT say about homosexuality? Everyone knows that. So in short, Jesus didn’t say much about homosexuality because he didn’t have to. His audience assumed it was wrong and he knew that, so there was not much to say.
Zach, If you’re right, you know Jesus didn’t say anything about how marriage was practiced at the time either. According to tradition, marrying at 11, 12 or 13 years old is ok and if the girl does not bleed she is beaten and/or killed, then thrown at her fathers door step to bring shame on his family. Oh, and marriage was a transaction for property or money, not love. Jesus was cool with all that?
One more thing, Jesus didn’t say anything about slavery either…
Zach, in the real world, moral decisions are not made purely by abstract theological reasoning. One must consider who will actually be harmed. Our obligation to understand the real world consequences of our theology is inescapable.
In the real world, we must sort through many truths and lies. A pedophile may claim he isn’t hurting anyone, a homosexual may say he isn’t hurting anyone, and a fundamentalist Christian may claim he isn’t hurting anyone. Is the Bible our only guide? Do we have any obligation to listen to the people involved? To talk with the pedophile’s victim? To talk with both people in the loving, committed gay relationship? To ask the fundamentalist if he has actually walked among and listened to the people he is speaking about?
We will not be judged on how well we have formulated ideas based on the Bible, but by how well we have actually cared for others. It’s not easy to care for others, but listening to them is a good start.
Jesus clearly laid out God’s Law for us, ALL of the Law, in Matthew 22:34. It is not hard to figure out where homosexuality fits in God’s Law from this instruction.
Curtis, it IS hard if one’s heart is darkened and one is blind to seeing truth. Just as it didn’t matter that Christ rose from the dead, some still did not believe, so too if Jesus had said “Homosexuality is wrong, end of story. And yes, I mean sexual acts between two consenting adults of the same gender,” people would still deny it was a sin.
Of course non-beievers would have no interest in what Jesus said; that is beside the point. For believers like you and me, Jesus has told us ALL of the Law. Those are Jesus’ words. The Law clearly has room for healthy homosexual behavior.
So then, like Zach said, there’s room for bestiality. And abortion. And incest. He spoke to those things that needed clarification. As Zach also pointed out, the Jews of Jesus’ time knew that homosexuality was wrong, so Jesus didn’t need to clarify anything (as opposed to divorce, anger, murder, lying, etc.)
No. Bestiality, abortion and incest all clearly cause harm to oneself or others, and so are a violation of God’s law given in Matthew 22:34.
Where does God condone or bless homosexual behavior? Anyone?
Never get an answer to this question because the answer is nowhere. However God says quite a it about the sin of homosexual behavior and every single positive scripture on marriage talks about man- woman, husband- wife.
When will the deceived see the actual truth? We can only pray…soon.
The irony, Curtis, is the text you quote (Matt 22:37 I believe you meant) and what comes after it. “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” In other words, Jesus AFFIRMED the OT Law. You choose to ignore him. Fine. But don’t pretend He didn’t say it.
I don’t know that there will ever be agreement on this issue. What I do know is that we are ALL God’s children…..over-eaters, credit junkies, gossipers, those of us with judgmental hearts, and yes, homosexuals…..all of us…….Jesus said “You judge by human standards, I judge no man”…..if our goal is to emulate Christ, then we should spend more time loving and less time judging, just my two cents http://climbingoutblog.com/plucking-splinters/
I agree Tracey but how do we deal with people who say “I am not sinning by doing this” when the bible says they are?
Mentioning incest in this context seems odd. Incest is forbidden under the Law of Moses but is not in itself understood as unnatural in Scripture: Abraham and Sarah are half-siblings married to each other.
actually the word homosexual did not exist in the Greek Language. Jesus would have spoken more Aramaic. the word homosexual did not come onto the scene until the 1800’s.
Several people have pointed out that Jesus fulfilled the OT Law. In Zack’s comment of 5-1-2012 at 5:50, he suggests that Jesus didn’t need to say anything about homosexuality because all the Jews he spoke to KNEW the law. In that same post, Zack said that Jesus never said anything about beastiality or incest. However Zack, based on your thought that Jesus didn’t comment on something (homosexuality) because he knew his audiences knew the law, I guess we could say that he did speak against beastiality and incest through the following Mitzvot: Forbidden Sexual Relations 82.Not to indulge in familiarities with relatives, such as kissing, embracing, winking, skipping, which may lead to incest (Lev. 18:6) (CCN110). 83.Not to commit incest with one’s mother (Lev. 18:7) (CCN112). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 84.Not to commit sodomy with one’s father (Lev. 18:7) (CCN111). 85.Not to commit incest with one’s father’s wife (Lev. 18:8) (CCN113). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 86.Not to commit incest with one’s sister (Lev. 18:9) (CCN127). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 87.Not to commit incest with one’s father’s wife’s daughter (Lev. 18:11) (CCN128). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 88.Not to commit incest with one’s son’s daughter (Lev. 18:10) (CCN119) (Note: CC treats this and the next as one commandment; however, Rambam treats them as two). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 89.Not to commit incest with one’s daughter’s daughter (Lev. 18:10) (CCN119) (Note: CC treats this and the previous as one commandment; however, Rambam treats them as two). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 90.Not to commit incest with one’s daughter (this is not explicitly in the Torah but is inferred from other explicit commands that would include it) (CCN120). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 91.Not to commit incest with one’s fathers sister (Lev. 18:12) (CCN129). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 92.Not to commit incest with one’s mother’s sister (Lev. 18:13) (CCN130). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 93.Not to commit incest with one’s father’s brothers wife (Lev. 18:14) (CCN125). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 94.Not to commit sodomy with one’s father’s brother (Lev. 18:14) (CCN114). 95.Not to commit incest with one’s son’s wife (Lev. 18:15) (CCN115). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 96.Not to commit incest with one’s brother’s wife (Lev. 18:16) (CCN126). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 97.Not to commit incest with one’s wife’s daughter (Lev. 18:17) (CCN121). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 98.Not to commit incest with the daughter of one’s wife’s son (Lev. 18:17) (CCN122). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 99.Not to commit incest with the daughter of one’s wife’s daughter (Lev. 18:17) (CCN123). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 100.Not to commit incest with one’s wife’s sister (Lev. 18:18) (CCN131). See Prohibited Marriages and Illegitimate Children. 101.Not to have intercourse with a woman, in her menstrual period (Lev. 18:19) (CCN132). 102.Not to have intercourse with another man’s wife (Lev. 18:20) (CCN124). 103.Not to commit sodomy with a male (Lev. 18:22) (CCN116). 104.Not to have intercourse with a beast (Lev. 18:23) (CCN117). 105.That a woman shall not have intercourse with a beast (Lev. 18:23) (CCN118). 106.Not to castrate the male of any species; neither a man, nor a domestic or wild beast, nor a fowl (Lev. 22:24) (CCN143).
If I can add a smartass observation, it struck me odd that the Law, in the above 25 Mitzvot seems like #103 sticks out as the one that seems to pertain to homosexual practice — thus leaving the other 24 to control heterosexual behaviour. Just an observation.
Bible definitely teaches that homosexuality is sin. Bible is definitely the source for God’s perspective on the matter. I have now said definitely three times.
Carson, it does, if you have a 6th grade understanding of the bible.
Ignore Jay, Carson. His kindergarten understanding of the Bible could use a little 6th grade understanding.
The prelate only condemns homosexual intercourse between consenting adults. Nonconsensual same-sex intercourse with children, not so much.
I would love to hear if anyone has any thoughts (agreed, Bradford that listening is quite good) about Eph. 5 and Paul’s understanding that marriage is tied to the very nature of Christ and the church and how our gender plays a very significant role in the picture. Becoming “one flesh” is a picture of Christ and the church. God is up to way more than just us having a good time when a married man and woman have sex. It’s a picture of the intimacy that he has with his bride, the church. The thought that homosexual acts could bring glory to Christ and the church seems pretty far fetched does it not?
Bradford, yes, I have walked quite a bit with those who don’t share my views. Just because I don’t agree with homosexual practice, why would you assume that I have no gay friends or have not “walked” with them?
I honestly think that one doesn’t need to debate all the “homosexuality texts” in the Bible to know that homosexual practice (not the desire or the temptation) deviates from his desires for his people. Seems like this text doesn’t get brought up much in reference to discussions like this.
Jay, so, I don’t think Jesus would have been ok with all those things you rattled off. But then again, you are reinforcing my point. Just because Jesus didn’t say anything about something doesn’t help us that much. Some Christians like to use the “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality” argument to justify their support of the lifestyle. You and I agree, I guess that the silence of Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean that.
“Becoming “one flesh” is a picture of Christ and the church. God is up to way more than just us having a good time when a married man and woman have sex. It’s a picture of the intimacy that he has with his bride, the church. The thought that homosexual acts could bring glory to Christ and the church seems pretty far fetched does it not?” And yet the “Bride” of Christ is composed of men as well as women. Marital intimacy between men would be part of that. Is the focus more on the act or the intimacy? If the act why? and why would heterosexual acts bring glory to God at all?
“The thought that homosexual acts could bring glory to Christ and the church seems pretty far fetched”. and ” homosexual practice (not the desire or the temptation) deviates from his desires for his people”
I don’t follow you. The Bible teaches us that union of two adults, both physical as well as emotional, is God’s desire for all people. Why can not homosexual acts bring glory to Christ? Because they are icky, or do you have some other reason in mind?
It one of their weakest arguments and yet no one seems embarrassed to even bring it up. How sad that their ignorance, pride and selfishness blinds them.
What do you do with passages such as these? Paul and Jesus weren’t at odds with one another.
 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.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)
 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,  understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,  the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,  in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. (1 Tim 1:8-11, ESV)
 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;  and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26-27 ESV)
I think folks are over-reading the point of the cartoon. One of the big complaints registered against the nuns is their not speaking out against homosexuality. And the cartoon is pointing out that Christ seems himself to be pretty quiet about the topic, too. Reasonable replies would include (1) Maybe Christ said plenty about this that didn’t make it into the gospels [Replies to that reply: (a) Yeah, well, maybe not; (b) at least Christ-as-recorded-in-the-inspired-gospels seems pretty quiet about the topic, which seems worth something] (2) Maybe the nuns’ situation is such that they should have been speaking out, while Christ’s situation was not so. But the issue of what conclusions we can/should draw from this silence about the status of homosexuality seems beside the point, at least where the point is whether silence on the issue is itself objectionable in a follower of Christ.
Keith DR, you are such a party pooper… insisting on a reasonable interpretation of the cartoon and plausible accounts of the “silence” of Jesus and the nuns….
I know. It’s always better to re scripture and Gods word to make a “point.” I guess since you cannot show theologically using scripture that homosexual behavior in any from is ok a straw man “point”is all you got.
Looks like Frank either didn’t read or can’t understand Keith’s comment….
As I said the point is theologically incorrect as Jesus defines marriage as man and woman. He was not silent at all.
Oh dear. FrankFrankFrank…leave it to you to start something that somehow, through the comments, incorporates slavery and some other off topic from a two sentence cartoon. I actually feel truly sorry for a lot of the good, decent priests out there. I have the utmost respect for the Pope and think Mother Theresa is a saint, but that cartoon was kinda funny..just a little:) Maybe it is the wording. I don’t think that is a representation of the Pope though..just an Archbishop or something:)
I don’t know: dude in the cartoon looks pretty Benedict-y to me
He is not wearing the Pope ring so it is an inaccurate representation:)
maybe it’s on the other hand.
If you read Eph. 5 you’ll see that Paul is quoting Genesis and creation account. It seems quite clear that God created male and female as inherent to the image of God. This image of God (male and female) is displayed in the marital union. God is united amount distinction (Trinity) and so are men and women in marriage and the sexual union. This sexual union points to the Gospel. That’s the point of Eph. 5. God created them male and female and to united to one another to display the glory of the image of God and the unity that the husband (Jesus) would have with this bride (the church). To think that we can the do away with gender and say, “If people just love each other, what’s the big deal” kind of misses the point Paul is making in Eph. 5.
Zach didn’t you get the memo? All of Paul’s writings have been redacted. Can’t let the truth get in the way of the religion.
Oh Scot. You failed miserably at your attempt to discredit Gagnons fine work and I am the one who has no ears to hear? It would be funny if it weren’t so pitiful.
When I read the gospels, one message comes through clear to me. Compassion trumps law.
Yes indeed but is it compassionate to lie to people or to let them live in sin?
The critics of this editorial drawing are missing the point… by a mile. The point isn’t “Jesus didn’t say anything about gay relationships, therefore such relationships are automatically good”. The point is: If Jesus spent most of his time on ministry and less on discussing sexual issues, why are the nuns being condemned for doing the same thing? (Especially when most nuns and sisters probably agree with the church’s “no sex before marriage for anyone” policy, even if they aren’t spending all their time trying to outlaw same-sex marriages like the bishops want them to!)
The fact that this issue itself is getting ignored says a lot.
Why not make it really simple? If homosexuality has a natural genetic origin then the Bible and Jesus, who most likely agreed with the Jewish law on homosexuality was wrong, but if homosexuality is not of a natural genetic origin then perhaps the Bible’s condemnation of the practice has validity.
I don’t think Jesus agreed with the Jewish law and practice of the time. That was kind of his whole point.
You are setting up a false dichotomy. If science eventually finds a genetic origin for homosexuality then that in no way means that Jesus or the bible is wrong. It validates what we already know… that sin has distorted everything, even our genes.
Since addiction has been found to have genetic origins does that mean that its ok to be an addict and Jesus would approve of it? Of course not.
Jay, men are generally predisposed to polygamy, that doesn’t make adultery right. Being “born gay” doesn’t change a thing, like Frank said. Many forms of sin have some genetic ties. Which makes sense since through Adam all men are warped.
You do realize that you’re arguing that the image of God displayed in Eph. 5 is UNITY (and NOT gender). You’re trying to mix the literal and the figurative to serve YOUR agenda. And you do it pretty well, I might add. But not well enough to fool me. If Paul’s point is that the union of woman/man displays the Trinity, then the point could also be made if Paul used the union of two women. “Isn’t this beautiful? Two human beings uniting in kenotic love!” – St. Paul
I read the comments on here, and hear the diatribes from pastors like Sean Harris, and it makes me thankful as a gay man that we have a 2nd Amendment so that I can take steps to protect myself from the ever growing violence of “Christians”, including all the “love the sinner” types who swear that they mean us no harm as they incite hatred and bigotry against us.
The irony of most of the comments above is that they reflect the point of the cartoon. The Pope is rebuking the nun and Jesus for failing to prioritize their ministry so as to focus on rules and rule enforcement. Homosexuality is but an example of the Church’s rule preoccupation. The nun and Jesus have triggered the condemnation of the Pope (who could also be alegorized as the institutional Church) because the un and Jesus don’t pay enough attention to promulgating rules and instead devote their energies to hands-on ministries of compassion. The editorial point is that the Pope(Church) should be taking directions from Jesus, not the other way around! The cartoon suggests that the Pope is chiding Jesus for spending too much time on ministires of compassion and not enough time on preaching about rules.
Our agenda should be set by Jesus, whose clear priority was a paramount concern for the “least of these.” As for rules and rule enforcement, we each work out our own salvation with fear, and trembling, and most of all, grace.
The least of these that Jesus was talking about we’re not people who openly and unrepentantly live in sin or those that lie and deceive people to follow that path.
Hey Mike, the Papal ring is worn on the left hand.
So Evelyn, that would be incorrect theology my friend:)
A few years ago, my son came to a startling realization: “I have two dads. That makes me kind of like Jesus.”
From the mouth of babes…
1. What's Up with Rob Bell?
2. Is Sojourners for Straights Only?
3. There Are Two Marriages
4. Homoerotic Churches
5. Would John Piper Excommunicate His Son?
6. A Call to Clergy: Stop Performing (Legal) Marriages
7. Mark Driscoll's House of Cards
Follow Patheos on