Sweden skis down the slippery slope to gay marriage

Sweden skis down the slippery slope to gay marriage October 27, 2009

Setting up legalized domestic partnerships for homosexual couples is a better option to gay marriage, isn’t it? And churches might bless gay commitments without buying into gay marriage, can’t they? Well, Sweden is turning domestic partnerships into marriages. And the state church of Sweden, Lutheran though it is, has voted to take the next step from gay blessings to gay weddings:

A majority of the Church of Sweden's general synod meeting in Uppsala decided on October 22 to allow same-sex weddings in church from November 1, six months after the state changed the law on marriage to encompass homosexual people.

Before the marriage law was changed, homosexual couples in Sweden could enter into registered partnerships, a possibility that has now been replaced by marriage. The Church of Sweden will now apply to the state to conduct legally recognized marriages under the new regulations.

Speaking to Swedish Radio, Bishop Martin Lind from Linköping who supported the general synod's decision noted that discussions that led to the vote had begun much earlier and led to the blessing of homosexual partnerships in Sweden some years ago.

"When we said yes to life-long homosexual love we said yes to the decisive part of it all. What is happening now is primarily a question of terminology: Can this also be called marriage?" he said.


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  • fws

    This is extremely problematic.

    There really is no slippery slope. The line is drawn in scripture, and that line is “no sex outside of male/female, lifelong, commitment.”

    Now. Part of the problem is that the line has been drawn otherwise.

    It can be recognized that gay/homosexual men and women are, in fact, (1) fully human, and not the sub-human heterosexual hedonist, rapists, and sexual predators described in the sodom and gomorrah story and romans chapter 1. Christians will lose the battle for truth here if they remain stuck in unjust characture that is, in fact, fully UNsupported by scripture:

    (2)celebacy is extremely difficult for those who do not have the rare gift of celibacy (ergo St Paul´s admonition “better to marry than to burn). (3) Love, whether between two gay/homosexual men/women or man and woman is love of the same kind and quality. This is certain and known because of the certain and verifiable fact in point (1). (4) The church has a duty to support men and women who are not qualified to enter marriage in the goal of life-long persuit of chastity/celibacy in view of the first two facts, and be forgiving and welcoming for those who fall short of this yet still seek to remain both christian and moral citizens of the world, and also seek to be totally open and honest in this pursuit such as myself just exactly as they have the obligation to support heterosexuals in this sysyphan task for heterosexuals who are divorced and commanded to complete their life in celebacy. (5) In fact this last point may be the point where christians can empathize with one another and where a line, previously clear, has been badly muddled without alot of dissention.

    In the past there were monastic orders and other ways these christians could seek to follow God´s will. Maybe there should be some sort of commitment ceremony for a same gender couple! but(!)… that ceremony would, scripturally, need to include in it´s vows, mutual support in seeking chastity and celebacy.

    In view of what St Paul says about the power of the sex drive and marriage, nancy reagan´s “just say no” is probably not a realistic option especially when counseling hormone driven teens for example.

    So what other possibilities are there for teaching our christian and gay youth how to model God pleasing behavior sexually in view of all this? The gospel, along with the practical application of the Law/Will of God requires patience and bold positive and creative proclamation and application and not just trying to insert a finger in the dike of change.

  • fws

    This is extremely problematic.

    There really is no slippery slope. The line is drawn in scripture, and that line is “no sex outside of male/female, lifelong, commitment.”

    Now. Part of the problem is that the line has been drawn otherwise.

    It can be recognized that gay/homosexual men and women are, in fact, (1) fully human, and not the sub-human heterosexual hedonist, rapists, and sexual predators described in the sodom and gomorrah story and romans chapter 1. Christians will lose the battle for truth here if they remain stuck in unjust characture that is, in fact, fully UNsupported by scripture:

    (2)celebacy is extremely difficult for those who do not have the rare gift of celibacy (ergo St Paul´s admonition “better to marry than to burn). (3) Love, whether between two gay/homosexual men/women or man and woman is love of the same kind and quality. This is certain and known because of the certain and verifiable fact in point (1). (4) The church has a duty to support men and women who are not qualified to enter marriage in the goal of life-long persuit of chastity/celibacy in view of the first two facts, and be forgiving and welcoming for those who fall short of this yet still seek to remain both christian and moral citizens of the world, and also seek to be totally open and honest in this pursuit such as myself just exactly as they have the obligation to support heterosexuals in this sysyphan task for heterosexuals who are divorced and commanded to complete their life in celebacy. (5) In fact this last point may be the point where christians can empathize with one another and where a line, previously clear, has been badly muddled without alot of dissention.

    In the past there were monastic orders and other ways these christians could seek to follow God´s will. Maybe there should be some sort of commitment ceremony for a same gender couple! but(!)… that ceremony would, scripturally, need to include in it´s vows, mutual support in seeking chastity and celebacy.

    In view of what St Paul says about the power of the sex drive and marriage, nancy reagan´s “just say no” is probably not a realistic option especially when counseling hormone driven teens for example.

    So what other possibilities are there for teaching our christian and gay youth how to model God pleasing behavior sexually in view of all this? The gospel, along with the practical application of the Law/Will of God requires patience and bold positive and creative proclamation and application and not just trying to insert a finger in the dike of change.

  • fws

    I would also point out that all humans seem to crave intimacy and bonding and love. This, in fact, seems to be an integral part of the pre-fallen, even pre-sexual image of God found in mankind: in a “very good” world there was only one thing that was not that: “It is not good for man to be alone.” Indeed, it is the only human attribute mentioned of prefallen man isn´t it? And so God formed wo-man out of the side of adam. Not just to complete men´s romantic and sexual longings (for this arrangement is not humanly intrinsic, but rather purely provisional and temporary and will no longer exist in the resurrection) , but, as pebble dropped in pond, to create the larger society that fills the innate need for belonging in the form of children who exist to serve their neighbors in vocation, and this part IS intrinsic and will endure in the resurrection.

    This remains true and an integral and defining human quality for all men and women unlike male or female sexuality. Why would any christian expect homosexuals not to have this need to be UNalone imbued within them, quite apart from the sex drive?

  • fws

    I would also point out that all humans seem to crave intimacy and bonding and love. This, in fact, seems to be an integral part of the pre-fallen, even pre-sexual image of God found in mankind: in a “very good” world there was only one thing that was not that: “It is not good for man to be alone.” Indeed, it is the only human attribute mentioned of prefallen man isn´t it? And so God formed wo-man out of the side of adam. Not just to complete men´s romantic and sexual longings (for this arrangement is not humanly intrinsic, but rather purely provisional and temporary and will no longer exist in the resurrection) , but, as pebble dropped in pond, to create the larger society that fills the innate need for belonging in the form of children who exist to serve their neighbors in vocation, and this part IS intrinsic and will endure in the resurrection.

    This remains true and an integral and defining human quality for all men and women unlike male or female sexuality. Why would any christian expect homosexuals not to have this need to be UNalone imbued within them, quite apart from the sex drive?

  • Tom Hering

    A majority of the Church of Sweden’s general synod meeting in Uppsala decided to offer communion to unrepentant thieves, after the state changed the law on commercial practices to encompass people who steal.

    Speaking to Swedish Radio, a bishop who supported the general synod’s decision noted that discussions that led to the vote had begun much earlier and led to the blessing of thieves in Sweden some years ago.

    “When we said yes to a sincere, life-long commitment to stealing we said yes to the decisive part of it all. What is happening now is primarily a question of terminology: Can this also be called a legitimate vocation?” he said.

  • Tom Hering

    A majority of the Church of Sweden’s general synod meeting in Uppsala decided to offer communion to unrepentant thieves, after the state changed the law on commercial practices to encompass people who steal.

    Speaking to Swedish Radio, a bishop who supported the general synod’s decision noted that discussions that led to the vote had begun much earlier and led to the blessing of thieves in Sweden some years ago.

    “When we said yes to a sincere, life-long commitment to stealing we said yes to the decisive part of it all. What is happening now is primarily a question of terminology: Can this also be called a legitimate vocation?” he said.

  • Jonathan

    Tom @3, very well-played, Sir. Notice how fws’ argument is all about justifying the desires of the person, and the only way to do that is to ignore or invalidate what God has clearly defined as sinful behavior; it takes away repentence, dying-to-self, drowning the Old Adam. It is a statement the Gospel is insufficient for homosexuals.

    “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 Cor. 6 9-11.)

  • Jonathan

    Tom @3, very well-played, Sir. Notice how fws’ argument is all about justifying the desires of the person, and the only way to do that is to ignore or invalidate what God has clearly defined as sinful behavior; it takes away repentence, dying-to-self, drowning the Old Adam. It is a statement the Gospel is insufficient for homosexuals.

    “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 Cor. 6 9-11.)

  • Matt C.

    fws,

    I think a number of your points are extremely problematic as well. I agree with you on (2) and more or less on (4) and (5). I also think you’re absolutely correct in your last two paragraphs in your first post. The modern church has really botched its teachings on sexuality by making them entirely about abstinence (which is not, after all, sexuality’s purpose). However…

    As to (1), the people described in the Sodom and Gomorrah story and in Romans ARE humans, and are presented as humans. They are merely wicked humans, as we all are to some extent or another. Romans 1 is intended to cover all of humanity, even if each individual charge may or may not apply to each individual. To call people (including homosexuals) wicked sinners on the basis of their sins (including lust for members of the same gender) is not a caricature. It is merely exact. Maybe your objection has to do with your definition of “homosexual” as a kind of identity-group. However, not everyone thinks of the word in those terms–especially not those who would typically disagree with you on this issue.

    As to (3), this is simply false and does not proceed from (1) even if (1) were true. While both are human, being a man and being a woman are two different things. This is certainly true biologically, and the mechanics of sex proceed from this difference. The health-problems caused by same-sex coupling are well documented, and I will not go into the details here. Men and women are also different with respect to their non-physical characteristics, and these differences likewise are essential to how coupling works. Deviating from this design means that sexual unions do not produce the self-giving unity they ought to. As J. Budziszewski has written, “The difference between the spouses is crucial to the power of their union to take each out of Self for the Other. Sodomy resists that liberation; it is merely self-love with another body. . . A husband and wife can balance and complete each other, but the sexual reinforcement of identicals merely unhinges them; it makes them not less extreme, but more. The same dynamic of reinforcement takes place in the explosive promiscuity of men who mate men, and in the implosive dependency of women who mate women.” Sexually binding the hearts, minds, and wills of two people who are sexually the same is not the same as a union of two who are sexually different because neither one ever needs to understand and cherish someone fundamentally different from themselves.

    So what does this have to do with the equality of same-sex love? If love is merely thought of as a feeling, then it might be fundamentally the same as opposite-sex love (there is no way to either confirm or deny this). However, love in the sense of a commitment to the good of another person does not involve actions that damage that person. Putting one’s partner at high risk of emotional and physical damage is not for her good. Driving one’s partner to extremes is not in his best interest. Love certainly has a subjective side to it. Each person is a unique individual and therefore every couple will also be unique. No coupling works exactly the same as another. Nevertheless, love has an objective side as well. No person is so unique that he is not a human (including, as you note, homosexuals). No human is so unique that he or she is not either a man or a woman. Therefore, no coupling is so unique that its workings have nothing in common with every other coupling. A love that cuts itself off from the objective good of another can no longer be accurately called love at all.

    Finally, I have to say, I am very surprised at your suggestion of vows similar to those taken in monastic orders to curb fornication. Especially in light of how well you usually think things through, so maybe I’m misunderstanding you here. First, many monastic orders were notoriously unsuccessful at keeping those vows. Secondly, putting two people with the same temptation alone together into some kind of permanent coupling ceremony along with the means to act on their temptation does not strike me as a realistic aid in resisting temptation. Quite the opposite. We should certainly be looking for unique ways to help our homosexual brothers and sisters with their struggles. I am, however, very skeptical of this particular method.

  • Matt C.

    fws,

    I think a number of your points are extremely problematic as well. I agree with you on (2) and more or less on (4) and (5). I also think you’re absolutely correct in your last two paragraphs in your first post. The modern church has really botched its teachings on sexuality by making them entirely about abstinence (which is not, after all, sexuality’s purpose). However…

    As to (1), the people described in the Sodom and Gomorrah story and in Romans ARE humans, and are presented as humans. They are merely wicked humans, as we all are to some extent or another. Romans 1 is intended to cover all of humanity, even if each individual charge may or may not apply to each individual. To call people (including homosexuals) wicked sinners on the basis of their sins (including lust for members of the same gender) is not a caricature. It is merely exact. Maybe your objection has to do with your definition of “homosexual” as a kind of identity-group. However, not everyone thinks of the word in those terms–especially not those who would typically disagree with you on this issue.

    As to (3), this is simply false and does not proceed from (1) even if (1) were true. While both are human, being a man and being a woman are two different things. This is certainly true biologically, and the mechanics of sex proceed from this difference. The health-problems caused by same-sex coupling are well documented, and I will not go into the details here. Men and women are also different with respect to their non-physical characteristics, and these differences likewise are essential to how coupling works. Deviating from this design means that sexual unions do not produce the self-giving unity they ought to. As J. Budziszewski has written, “The difference between the spouses is crucial to the power of their union to take each out of Self for the Other. Sodomy resists that liberation; it is merely self-love with another body. . . A husband and wife can balance and complete each other, but the sexual reinforcement of identicals merely unhinges them; it makes them not less extreme, but more. The same dynamic of reinforcement takes place in the explosive promiscuity of men who mate men, and in the implosive dependency of women who mate women.” Sexually binding the hearts, minds, and wills of two people who are sexually the same is not the same as a union of two who are sexually different because neither one ever needs to understand and cherish someone fundamentally different from themselves.

    So what does this have to do with the equality of same-sex love? If love is merely thought of as a feeling, then it might be fundamentally the same as opposite-sex love (there is no way to either confirm or deny this). However, love in the sense of a commitment to the good of another person does not involve actions that damage that person. Putting one’s partner at high risk of emotional and physical damage is not for her good. Driving one’s partner to extremes is not in his best interest. Love certainly has a subjective side to it. Each person is a unique individual and therefore every couple will also be unique. No coupling works exactly the same as another. Nevertheless, love has an objective side as well. No person is so unique that he is not a human (including, as you note, homosexuals). No human is so unique that he or she is not either a man or a woman. Therefore, no coupling is so unique that its workings have nothing in common with every other coupling. A love that cuts itself off from the objective good of another can no longer be accurately called love at all.

    Finally, I have to say, I am very surprised at your suggestion of vows similar to those taken in monastic orders to curb fornication. Especially in light of how well you usually think things through, so maybe I’m misunderstanding you here. First, many monastic orders were notoriously unsuccessful at keeping those vows. Secondly, putting two people with the same temptation alone together into some kind of permanent coupling ceremony along with the means to act on their temptation does not strike me as a realistic aid in resisting temptation. Quite the opposite. We should certainly be looking for unique ways to help our homosexual brothers and sisters with their struggles. I am, however, very skeptical of this particular method.

  • Peter Leavitt

    The Swedish Lutheran Church has fallen into the modern heresy of equating the natural with the good. Since homosexual people have strong natural sexual desires for one another, what could be wrong with acting out the desires and at the same time going beyond the sex to a truly loving relationship?

    The problem with this is that the Judeo-Christian tradition, contra the pagan tradition, describes most sins, including the sexual ones, as pleasurable, natural, and often lethally habit forming. In short these “natural” pleasures can and easily do become dangerous compulsions and addictions. Few homosexual people living in this modern context are capable of resisting these vaunted pleasures.

    The basic Judeo-Christian view, also, makes clear that men and women were created in part for the purpose of bearing and properly nurturing children. The pagan
    worship of the natural world that allows same sex relations even in the temple has in effect corrupted the Swedish Lutheran church.

    Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist who has counseled and cared much for many homosexuals, in a profound book, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth argues that homosexual behavior is often both physically and spiritually shattering to the men and women involved with it. He, also, has chapters that explain the many excellent Christian and secular therapies that, for interested and willing homosexuals, can effectively change their orientation.

  • Peter Leavitt

    The Swedish Lutheran Church has fallen into the modern heresy of equating the natural with the good. Since homosexual people have strong natural sexual desires for one another, what could be wrong with acting out the desires and at the same time going beyond the sex to a truly loving relationship?

    The problem with this is that the Judeo-Christian tradition, contra the pagan tradition, describes most sins, including the sexual ones, as pleasurable, natural, and often lethally habit forming. In short these “natural” pleasures can and easily do become dangerous compulsions and addictions. Few homosexual people living in this modern context are capable of resisting these vaunted pleasures.

    The basic Judeo-Christian view, also, makes clear that men and women were created in part for the purpose of bearing and properly nurturing children. The pagan
    worship of the natural world that allows same sex relations even in the temple has in effect corrupted the Swedish Lutheran church.

    Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist who has counseled and cared much for many homosexuals, in a profound book, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth argues that homosexual behavior is often both physically and spiritually shattering to the men and women involved with it. He, also, has chapters that explain the many excellent Christian and secular therapies that, for interested and willing homosexuals, can effectively change their orientation.

  • “Skis”

    Frank, you started out so well…..I would have stayed there and (per Peter’s comments) gone to Malachi 2:15 and other passages that make clear that a great part of God’s purpose for marriage is in childbearing, as well as in illustrating the nature of God.

    That’s where the single–whether hetero or homosexual–really find their help; in understanding how sexuality mirrors God’s holiness.

  • “Skis”

    Frank, you started out so well…..I would have stayed there and (per Peter’s comments) gone to Malachi 2:15 and other passages that make clear that a great part of God’s purpose for marriage is in childbearing, as well as in illustrating the nature of God.

    That’s where the single–whether hetero or homosexual–really find their help; in understanding how sexuality mirrors God’s holiness.

  • EGK

    When Jesus called upon the individual to “deny himself,” the “himself” is the direct object of the verb “deny.” It is our very being that we are to deny, whatever our sexual proclivities might be, or any other proclivities, for that matter.

    Irony in practice: the Google ads next to this topic have included ads for “support gay marriage” t-shirts and GLBT-friendly counseling services.

  • EGK

    When Jesus called upon the individual to “deny himself,” the “himself” is the direct object of the verb “deny.” It is our very being that we are to deny, whatever our sexual proclivities might be, or any other proclivities, for that matter.

    Irony in practice: the Google ads next to this topic have included ads for “support gay marriage” t-shirts and GLBT-friendly counseling services.

  • fws

    #4 jonathan

    “Notice how fws’ argument is all about justifying the desires of the person, and the only way to do that is to ignore or invalidate what God has clearly defined as sinful behavior; it takes away repentence, dying-to-self, drowning the Old Adam. It is a statement the Gospel is insufficient for homosexuals.”

    I am not arguing or justifying anything at all jonathan, and I am sort of amazed that you all can simply ignor my comment that sex outside of marriage is forbidden and then rather casually take my other comments outside of that context.

    something does not pass the smell test here.

    I was actually thinking of pre-puberty youth here and how one would guide them to anticipation and preparation for lifelong celebacy. I think this is a good right and salutary thing to consider and is indeed serving one´s neigbor.

  • fws

    #4 jonathan

    “Notice how fws’ argument is all about justifying the desires of the person, and the only way to do that is to ignore or invalidate what God has clearly defined as sinful behavior; it takes away repentence, dying-to-self, drowning the Old Adam. It is a statement the Gospel is insufficient for homosexuals.”

    I am not arguing or justifying anything at all jonathan, and I am sort of amazed that you all can simply ignor my comment that sex outside of marriage is forbidden and then rather casually take my other comments outside of that context.

    something does not pass the smell test here.

    I was actually thinking of pre-puberty youth here and how one would guide them to anticipation and preparation for lifelong celebacy. I think this is a good right and salutary thing to consider and is indeed serving one´s neigbor.

  • fws

    #8 EGK said:
    “When Jesus called upon the individual to “deny himself,” the “himself” is the direct object of the verb “deny.” It is our very being that we are to deny, whatever our sexual proclivities might be, or any other proclivities, for that matter.”

    was this intended to be as ironic as it reads. Jesus does not call you to invite others to deny themselves is what you are saying.

    If you have time on your hands because you have succeeded fully in what Jesus has called you to do, my hat is off to you.

  • fws

    #8 EGK said:
    “When Jesus called upon the individual to “deny himself,” the “himself” is the direct object of the verb “deny.” It is our very being that we are to deny, whatever our sexual proclivities might be, or any other proclivities, for that matter.”

    was this intended to be as ironic as it reads. Jesus does not call you to invite others to deny themselves is what you are saying.

    If you have time on your hands because you have succeeded fully in what Jesus has called you to do, my hat is off to you.

  • Bruce Gee

    Frank asks, and answers: “So what other possibilities are there for teaching our christian and gay youth how to model God pleasing behavior sexually in view of all this? The gospel, along with the practical application of the Law/Will of God requires patience and bold positive and creative proclamation and application and not just trying to insert a finger in the dike of change.”

    Tough question. It isn’t going to be done, in this culture, en masse, I’ll tell you that. The best bet is honest, clear, open teaching by parents all the way through a child’s life at home. Even then, it isn’t necessarily going to stick , at least at first, when kids grow up and go out into the world, and maybe stop going to church, and maybe get sexually active. But maybe they come back to those childhood teachings “when they are old”. I’m good with that. Frank is being honest here about the terrible challenges of kids–straight and gay–who have to find a way to be chaste when the culture is telling them “that isn’t normal”. If you think speaking the law about sexuality to a straight kid is hard, think about how hard it would be to speak to a kid who is wondering if he’s gay, or is sure of it. This is not for the faint of heart.

    And, back on topic: when the culture (Swedish culture, but also coming soon to a neighborhood near you) says loudly and clearly that homosexual activity and relationships should be honored by the institution of marriage, then we are swimming upstream in a flood.

    We are, for all intents and purposes, back to the late great years of the Roman Empire.

  • Bruce Gee

    Frank asks, and answers: “So what other possibilities are there for teaching our christian and gay youth how to model God pleasing behavior sexually in view of all this? The gospel, along with the practical application of the Law/Will of God requires patience and bold positive and creative proclamation and application and not just trying to insert a finger in the dike of change.”

    Tough question. It isn’t going to be done, in this culture, en masse, I’ll tell you that. The best bet is honest, clear, open teaching by parents all the way through a child’s life at home. Even then, it isn’t necessarily going to stick , at least at first, when kids grow up and go out into the world, and maybe stop going to church, and maybe get sexually active. But maybe they come back to those childhood teachings “when they are old”. I’m good with that. Frank is being honest here about the terrible challenges of kids–straight and gay–who have to find a way to be chaste when the culture is telling them “that isn’t normal”. If you think speaking the law about sexuality to a straight kid is hard, think about how hard it would be to speak to a kid who is wondering if he’s gay, or is sure of it. This is not for the faint of heart.

    And, back on topic: when the culture (Swedish culture, but also coming soon to a neighborhood near you) says loudly and clearly that homosexual activity and relationships should be honored by the institution of marriage, then we are swimming upstream in a flood.

    We are, for all intents and purposes, back to the late great years of the Roman Empire.

  • fws

    #11 bruce gee

    “We are, for all intents and purposes, back to the late great years of the Roman Empire.”

    dear friend, don´t be so quick to buy into the revisionist idea that homosexuality is a sign of the fall of society and was for Rome. One could make the same linkage with the rise of christianity in direct proportion to the decline of Rome eh? Both would be wrong.

    Yes. Imagine trying to condition your prepuberty or teen son or daughter to the concept that they will need to accept that they will NEVER have a romantic relationship. ever. How should we do that?

    if 2-10% of youth in our churches are silently gay, what are we doing to encourage them to stay in church no matter what rather than have them quietly drop out having been informed that the bible says that they are violent predatory rapists and are going to hell for wanting romance unless they can figure out how to not want that?

  • fws

    #11 bruce gee

    “We are, for all intents and purposes, back to the late great years of the Roman Empire.”

    dear friend, don´t be so quick to buy into the revisionist idea that homosexuality is a sign of the fall of society and was for Rome. One could make the same linkage with the rise of christianity in direct proportion to the decline of Rome eh? Both would be wrong.

    Yes. Imagine trying to condition your prepuberty or teen son or daughter to the concept that they will need to accept that they will NEVER have a romantic relationship. ever. How should we do that?

    if 2-10% of youth in our churches are silently gay, what are we doing to encourage them to stay in church no matter what rather than have them quietly drop out having been informed that the bible says that they are violent predatory rapists and are going to hell for wanting romance unless they can figure out how to not want that?

  • Booklover

    “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 Cor. 6 9-11.)

    This is a good list. In our quoting of it for proof of the sinfulness of homosexual acts, and it is sinful, we must be mindful that our churches are positively filled with those who still commit every other listed sin. Every one. I would say especially the “idolatry” one—an idol is that which takes our time and adulation. Or swindlers—seen what certain businessmen charge lately? Or revilers—listened to talk radio lately? Or sexually immoral—know anyone who was a virgin when they got married? . . . . .

  • Booklover

    “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 Cor. 6 9-11.)

    This is a good list. In our quoting of it for proof of the sinfulness of homosexual acts, and it is sinful, we must be mindful that our churches are positively filled with those who still commit every other listed sin. Every one. I would say especially the “idolatry” one—an idol is that which takes our time and adulation. Or swindlers—seen what certain businessmen charge lately? Or revilers—listened to talk radio lately? Or sexually immoral—know anyone who was a virgin when they got married? . . . . .

  • EGK

    FWS #10 re my #8:

    No irony intended at all. Every one of us is to despair of ourselves, repudiate our very beings, that we turn to Christ, who receives sinners. And if we are all little Christs in carrying His message to the world, we call others to do what Christ has called us to do, namely deny ourselves. This is not meant to be seen as people holy by nature calling others to do something that they themselves have not already done. It is one sinner who has received Christ’s righteousness inviting others to do the same.

  • EGK

    FWS #10 re my #8:

    No irony intended at all. Every one of us is to despair of ourselves, repudiate our very beings, that we turn to Christ, who receives sinners. And if we are all little Christs in carrying His message to the world, we call others to do what Christ has called us to do, namely deny ourselves. This is not meant to be seen as people holy by nature calling others to do something that they themselves have not already done. It is one sinner who has received Christ’s righteousness inviting others to do the same.

  • Jonathan

    fws #9 If the aim/concern is to instruct our youth what God expects in terms of sexual ethics, then why not just tell them straight out–God’s plan is for sex in the marriage bed, period, dot.

    Why should it matter or make a difference in how we teach them or what we say depending on what they perceive their “orientation” to be as a pre-teen, for pete-sake?

    Do we have to preface the lession with some sort of an apology that acknowledges that the world’s view is different, and if they should have homoerotic feelings, well, then the best we can offer them is celebacy as a booby prize? Just teach them, again full-stop, that God’s remedy for “aloneness,” or rather His best plan for their fulfillment, is the vocation of marriage that He instituted. Kids aren’t so dull–they will get it. I think kids actually want bright line answers; they don’t want the “it depends” relativist answers. Yet, our modern, enlightened culture tells us that we have to acknowledge the other side of the lifestyle coin. In so doing, I think we further the chances that a kid may choose to embrace a gay orientation. In short, I think we make too much of it and end up adding to their confusion.

    I just have to wonder of those law-filled Christian communities, like the Amish for example, how many of their youth end up deciding they’re gay-celebate (or otherwise not the marryin’ type) or end up diving in to the gay lifestyle full-stop. It’s miniscule, I bet.

  • Jonathan

    fws #9 If the aim/concern is to instruct our youth what God expects in terms of sexual ethics, then why not just tell them straight out–God’s plan is for sex in the marriage bed, period, dot.

    Why should it matter or make a difference in how we teach them or what we say depending on what they perceive their “orientation” to be as a pre-teen, for pete-sake?

    Do we have to preface the lession with some sort of an apology that acknowledges that the world’s view is different, and if they should have homoerotic feelings, well, then the best we can offer them is celebacy as a booby prize? Just teach them, again full-stop, that God’s remedy for “aloneness,” or rather His best plan for their fulfillment, is the vocation of marriage that He instituted. Kids aren’t so dull–they will get it. I think kids actually want bright line answers; they don’t want the “it depends” relativist answers. Yet, our modern, enlightened culture tells us that we have to acknowledge the other side of the lifestyle coin. In so doing, I think we further the chances that a kid may choose to embrace a gay orientation. In short, I think we make too much of it and end up adding to their confusion.

    I just have to wonder of those law-filled Christian communities, like the Amish for example, how many of their youth end up deciding they’re gay-celebate (or otherwise not the marryin’ type) or end up diving in to the gay lifestyle full-stop. It’s miniscule, I bet.

  • fws

    #13 booklover:

    #4 Jonathan “men who practice homosexuality” quoting 1 corinthians, which is quoting Leviticus 18″ and booklover´s (excelent) response “This is a good list. In our quoting of it for proof of the sinfulness of homosexual acts”

    I disagree. So we are using a new 1940s medical term to define God´s Word. This is called “revisionism”. Next we will define clinical depression as a sin in view of the biblical command to “be joyful always.” okaaaaaay.

    the translation doesn´t even say “same gender sex (which is wrong) or “homosexual sex” (which is also wrong). it says “practice homosexuality” which means what? Unfortunately for the world at large and for homosexuals it does not mean sex or a sex act. It means something else. Which means that it means nothing at all when used to translate a 1st century greek word in a text that clearly refers to a passage in leviticus that describes rape and a sex act that any homosexual would also find pretty vile and disgusting and would seek to avoid (typical gay men would feel very degraded to be raped with the intent of humiliating them by treating them like a woman sexually… think prison rape here…).

    The sacred text of Holy Scripture should not be treated so cavalierly in translation. This will in fact, usher in the same problems we see in ELCA and sweden more rapidly. Why should others respect Holy Scripture if we obviously are not bothered by playing fast and loose with it?

    #15 Jonathan

    “do we have to preface the lession with some sort of an apology that acknowledges that the world’s view is different, and if they should have homoerotic feelings, well, then the best we can offer them is celebacy as a booby prize?”

    last time I checked, 8 year olds do not have “homoerotic feelings” or erotic feelings of any type. They often DO have romantic aspirations. Usually called “puppy love”. I knew around age 4 that I was “different” but did not have a label for what that”different” was growing up in a small town as a Lutheran in the dakotas. Long after puberty I did not have sex, for christian reasons. I have never lusted or burned with lust ever. I HAVE longed for some sort of intimate relationship with another human.

    Jonathan, I am pretty certain that that longing for intimacy with another human is not sinful, and I am also certain that it WOULD be extremely sinful for me to have tried to marry a female for the selfish purpose of “fixing ” myself.

    We are either talking about two entirely different things or …..I will assume that we are talking past each other and. due to my shortcomings in communication, you are completely clueless as to what I am talking about. What is it that you think “homosexuality ” is? Obviously your definition is different. There is NOTHING in the bible anywhere that describes what I, along with the AMA, APA, ABA etc would describe as “homosexuality”. the bible talks about rape (sodom and gomorrah, leviticus 18 and romans 1). So in your mind the youth I am talking about are contemplating becoming rapists? you cannot be serious about the Holy Scriptures.

  • fws

    #13 booklover:

    #4 Jonathan “men who practice homosexuality” quoting 1 corinthians, which is quoting Leviticus 18″ and booklover´s (excelent) response “This is a good list. In our quoting of it for proof of the sinfulness of homosexual acts”

    I disagree. So we are using a new 1940s medical term to define God´s Word. This is called “revisionism”. Next we will define clinical depression as a sin in view of the biblical command to “be joyful always.” okaaaaaay.

    the translation doesn´t even say “same gender sex (which is wrong) or “homosexual sex” (which is also wrong). it says “practice homosexuality” which means what? Unfortunately for the world at large and for homosexuals it does not mean sex or a sex act. It means something else. Which means that it means nothing at all when used to translate a 1st century greek word in a text that clearly refers to a passage in leviticus that describes rape and a sex act that any homosexual would also find pretty vile and disgusting and would seek to avoid (typical gay men would feel very degraded to be raped with the intent of humiliating them by treating them like a woman sexually… think prison rape here…).

    The sacred text of Holy Scripture should not be treated so cavalierly in translation. This will in fact, usher in the same problems we see in ELCA and sweden more rapidly. Why should others respect Holy Scripture if we obviously are not bothered by playing fast and loose with it?

    #15 Jonathan

    “do we have to preface the lession with some sort of an apology that acknowledges that the world’s view is different, and if they should have homoerotic feelings, well, then the best we can offer them is celebacy as a booby prize?”

    last time I checked, 8 year olds do not have “homoerotic feelings” or erotic feelings of any type. They often DO have romantic aspirations. Usually called “puppy love”. I knew around age 4 that I was “different” but did not have a label for what that”different” was growing up in a small town as a Lutheran in the dakotas. Long after puberty I did not have sex, for christian reasons. I have never lusted or burned with lust ever. I HAVE longed for some sort of intimate relationship with another human.

    Jonathan, I am pretty certain that that longing for intimacy with another human is not sinful, and I am also certain that it WOULD be extremely sinful for me to have tried to marry a female for the selfish purpose of “fixing ” myself.

    We are either talking about two entirely different things or …..I will assume that we are talking past each other and. due to my shortcomings in communication, you are completely clueless as to what I am talking about. What is it that you think “homosexuality ” is? Obviously your definition is different. There is NOTHING in the bible anywhere that describes what I, along with the AMA, APA, ABA etc would describe as “homosexuality”. the bible talks about rape (sodom and gomorrah, leviticus 18 and romans 1). So in your mind the youth I am talking about are contemplating becoming rapists? you cannot be serious about the Holy Scriptures.

  • fws

    #14 jonathan

    I hope you are capable of reading what I wrote when I said that sex outside of marriage is wrong and not come back as though you are talking to someone else….

  • fws

    #14 jonathan

    I hope you are capable of reading what I wrote when I said that sex outside of marriage is wrong and not come back as though you are talking to someone else….