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  1. February 27, 2015 3:16 am

    A DIFFERENT TAKE . . .

    God doesn’t hate gays (jesus died for everyone Jn 3:16). There is nothing in the Bible (zero) that condemns a person’s sexual orientation. I firmly stand by that statement.

    Leviticus passages (2) and Romans 1 make the strongest statements about mano-i-mano behavior. In Leviticus the penalty is death. This is the same penalty for adultery; working on the Sabbath. Lots and lots of things with death penalties in the OT. There is nothing said about female gay relationships in the OT at all; and only (1 passage – Rom1) that I think condemns the behavior. Note here that it does not condemn PEOPLE, which is an enormously important point.

    ===
    Yes, the bible does condemn certain actions. Like idolatry; sacrificing infants to Molech; adultery; incest; hypocrites; murder. Three of these are codified in US and European law – so I’m not sure that condemning things is that big a deal. We moderns do that all the time.

    Regarding “Obedience to Christ:” Per Jesus in John 15:10+

    “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

    And John 15:14+ You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

    Point: the commands are to be executed by the Jesus follower because of the love relationship between them and God. -> Not exactly a harsh “do it or else” paradigm. We love because He first loved us.

    ===

    Re: Mr. Peacock’s quote, the passage is from Ephesians 5:22-33. While parts of this may rub people the wrong way today, you have to read the whole passage to get the context.

    Jesus upped the ante over the OT law on many topics, focusing on love and mercy (see Matt ch 5-7). In that in mind, Paul says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, AS TO THE LORD (e.g., in the same manner as the wife would submit to Jesus). “Submission” is willingly submitting to the command to love each other (quoted from above John 15).

    Importantly then, here is what it also says to the husband: “Love your wives as Christ loved the church (church = followers of Jesus) and GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR HER… Jesus DIED willingly for the church;

    –> Paul’s direction to the community: is for husbands to support and love their wives as even unto death.

    Further, “Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” –> Any view that this is a tyrannical overlording is a mis-reading of the passage.

    Certainly it is true that by today’s standards the statements – removed from their original context – may seem bigoted and wrong – but 2000 years ago it was a radical departure from the husband/wife marital expectations of that time. At the time it represented a very moral standard; certainly in comparison to the practice of women being “contracted for” and divorced on the whim of the husband.

    ===
    I get your point tho. Statements people make, out of context, and/or that are simply wrong, don’t necessarily portray Jesus’ teaching.

    When I see statements that are assumed/purported to be Christian, particularly as it relates to people interactions, and those statements appear to violate these simple principles, the person’s statement should be clarified or viewed with caution.

    1. Love your neighbor as yourself
    2. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    3. Show mercy, love and forgiveness.

    So no, Jesus does not hate you or anyone else. Doesn’t matter who you are. This is a statement I firmly stand behind. . . :+)

  2. February 27, 2015 7:22 am

    ===
    I get your point tho.

    Ted, Does your contextual reading of the Bible condone or condemn King Solomon for having multiple wives and many concubines and a plethora of human slaves? Let’s say he loved them as Christ loved the Jesus followers. And does it force divorce upon people in same-sex marriages in America today? Let’s assume Ephesians 5 was millennia ago some new Greek radical departure from the household culture codes of Abraham in Genesis.

  3. March 2, 2015 2:59 am

    Re: Solomon’s wives: Deut 17: 16-17 “The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.”

    Yes: polygamy was practiced for a very long time in the ancient world, including Israelites. The Deuteronomy passage anticipates multiple wives for the King, so certainly Moses didn’t condemn polygamy – but in this case he warned against excess. Moses position seems to not find this to be a in opposition to Genesis 2:24 (given that authorship of both is attributed to Moses there’s something we don’t understand here).

    I do not believe Solomon came anywhere near practicing or constraining himself to the Deuteronomy admonition above. So no, I don’t think the scripture condones his overall behavior; rather – I’d say he appears to have abandoned and violated the core no-nos of the Law. Hedonism is a word that comes to mind when I think about Solomon. Caring for the condition of human suffering generally was not on the plate of ancient Kings.

    I don’t see any link off hand to Solomon’s behavior with his wives, concubines, serfs etc. and Jesus’ example of “Love your neighbor as yourself” as being the 2nd most important commandment.

    ——-

    #2: Re: Divorce: In the US, certain States and other European countries, the civil law authorizes same-sex couples to be married. I see no legal rationale for forcing anyone to do anything that would undo a civil marriage.

    On the “Religious Side” there is quite a debate in the gay community of believers on this topic, so I don’t view it as a “straight vs. gay” issue. Contrast Matthew Vines’ “God and the Gay Christian” and “Washed and Waiting” by Wesley Hill. Two gay men raised in the church with opposite views on the topic of gay marriage.

    ——-

    In regard to Ephesians 5, it is not surprising that the same-sex topic is not addressed. As a Pharisee, Paul would have had Leviticus 18 & 20 prohibitions in mind. Paul also urged people to follow civil law. Polygamy was not permitted under Roman law (due to inheritance issues) so Paul would not be inclined to suggest something that was not legal. Hence 1 man one wife. Further, within the Jewish community if you were 20 you were probably married (even if you were gay) because of the command to be fruitful and multiply.

    ——-
    In terms of church practice, I would not, under any circumstances, want to discourage or dissuade anyone who is gay from following Jesus; in fact, just the opposite. God absolutely, unequivocally loves people regardless of orientation.

    The bottom line: We treat our neighbors as ourselves, consistent with the command. We would do well to not “pick specs out of our brother’s eye while we have a log in our own eye.” We love because that is the greatest commandment (see John 15).

  4. March 2, 2015 6:22 pm

    Ted,
    Do you think both Matthew Vines and Wesley Hill would agree together on what Jack Phillips says and wishes to do (or not to do)?

  5. March 7, 2015 8:52 pm

    Absolutely no idea! Problem with speculation is it is speculative… :+)

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