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September 01, 2010

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This puffed up guy pretends to know that everyone knows his God exists. Then he says every one who knows this is saved - implicitly referring to and excluding from this salvation people he just said don't exist. Then he pretends to know some other cosmic secrets - about homosexuality and what not.

You're going to decide how to behave toward your fellow man based on what he says? You think you get a pass on this by pointing to him?

Come on.

RonH - sub-Christian

I wonder about a possible problem with this illustration, at least as stated here. If only within the covenant of marriage is a non-idolatrous relationship to God mirrored, what does this entail for single Christians? We from scripture that Paul advised the single state, although he also praised marriage. I agree completely with the biblical, orthodox teaching that homosexual behavior is always sinful.

The problem is, almost ALL girls have increased genital blood flow when looking at nude pics of other girls (aside from their spiritual affiliation).

So their bodies are really working against them and encouraging them to partake in the sin.

Which, I guess, is why virtually every girl i've ever dated has experimented with it.

So this begs the question, 'Why would god program girls to be sexually aroused by OTHER girls, if homosexuality is so bad?'

Northwestern university 2003 study:

"...heterosexual...women tend to become sexually aroused by both male and female erotica, and, thus, have a bisexual arousal pattern. These findings likely represent a fundamental difference between men's and women's brains and have important implications for understanding how sexual orientation development differs between men and women"

- J. Michael Bailey - chair of psychology

So this begs the question

As does your question about God's programming.

Tony,

Wait...you're saying people have a tendency to sin?!!!

Welcome to a fallen world. In fact, that's precisely what JT's post was about--God removing His restraint and giving people over to sin.

This is why, as JT said at the end, the text applies to all of us. If it's not homosexuality, then it's something else (there's a whole list of sins in the passage). And without God's restraint, if we were left completely to our own desires and were free to fully express the sin within us, things would be very ugly indeed.

>>If only within the covenant of marriage is a non-idolatrous relationship to God mirrored, what does this entail for single Christians?

Since the Bible only says that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church (not a single individual), single people aren't part of that illustration. But that doesn't mean singles don't represent Christ to the world, do the works He prepared in advance for them to do, and live in every way as full Christians. It just means they're not in a relationship that illustrates the relationship between Christ and the church to the world.

Amy,

Absolutely.

All this experiment shows is that chicks are genetically programmed to be sexually attracted to other naked chicks.

If I were still Christian, I would just say the brain's attraction circuitry got messed up after the fall of man.

But, like you said, "there's a whole list of sins" and I do find it rather curious that "homosexuality" seems to get so much air time.

In fact, i could be wrong, but of all the sins discussed in the history of this blog, homosexuality is at least in the top 3. I don't know why this sin is such the Pièce de résistance of sin discussions. I mean, just look at how often Alan talks about it...

I dunno...

Well Tony I imagine that STR's condemnation of homosexuality is largely motivated by their realization that God doesn't merely condemn it, He also gives people the strength to turn from this sort of lifestyle and leave it behind. Greg is a courageous example of this.

Of Course, I am pointing not to Greg's successful turn from homosexuality but to those he has courageously assisted by gently reminding them that according to the Scriptures, homosexuals will have no place with God but rather will be cast from His presence to suffer unrelenting pain and horror for all eternity.

>> "homosexuals will...be cast from His presence to suffer unrelenting pain and horror for all eternity."

ya but thats true for gays as well as people who, say, don't stop long enough at a stop sign.

"I don't know why this sin [homosexuality] is such the Pièce de résistance of sin discussions."

Because it's the pièce de résistance of those who want to overturn biblical morality AND to use the courts to enforce an alternate morality on an unwilling populace.

Had STR been around in the 40's I doubt much ink would be spent on the subject of homosexuality.

"Because it's the pièce de résistance of those who want to overturn biblical morality AND to use the courts to enforce an alternate morality on an unwilling populace."
I didn't notice the court ruling requiring everyone to engage in homosexual acts.

eric,

I know you know that "enforcing an alternate morality on an unwilling populace" can take many forms short of "requiring everyone to engage in homosexual acts".

>>All this experiment shows is that chicks are genetically programmed to be sexually attracted to other naked chicks.

Well, I'm not conceding that this study's conclusions and interpretations are accurate. It seems a little unlikely to me. But I readily concede that humans have a tendency/desire to sin deeply ingrained in their nature.

Homosexuality comes up because it's the issue our culture happens to be questioning right now. There isn't much need to defend the idea that stealing is wrong, is there? Or lying? There's no need for an apologetics site to defend something our culture already agrees with.

“How can it be so wrong, if it feels so right?”

As a Catholic, any contracepted act is just as gravely sinful as homosexual act, yet, as I understand it, my Protestant brothers and sisters in Christ wonder what all the fuss is about. To them, to be ‘contracepsexual’ is ‘normal’ (and guilt-free), just like a person who’s a homosexual thinks it’s ‘normal’ (although he/she might feel guilty, and I think that's often the issue - the assuaging of the guilt). I might be wrong, but, until the 1930 Lambeth Conference, wasn’t contraception was viewed, universally, by all the churches as gravely sinful? Isn't it merely that because contraception has become a universally accepted practice outside the Catholic Church that it’s no longer seen as sinful?

But, although the 1930 Lambeth Conference declared what it did, by what authority did it do so? Why did other churches follow on behind? Because it made a sin no longer a sin, as if universal acceptance changes God's laws? Or, was the universal acceptance on the gravely sinful and disordered nature of contraception suddenly seen to be ‘unbiblical’, when, up to that point, even staunchly biblical Christians had accepted it as such?

Or, was it, like any other sin, looking for justification for a sinful act that would make the guilt go away, just like the current issue of homosexuality?

If contraception can become a norm just by a group of Anglicans saying so, even after universal condemnation by all churches of it as being gravely sinful – Protestant and Catholic – what’s stopping homosexuality, and then paedophilia, going the same way, and becoming norms within the Christian life (like the growing acceptance of homosexuality within the ‘emerging’ church)?

What about the argument that the sinfulness of contraception isn’t in the Bible, whereas explicit condemnation of homosexuality is? Well, that’s where the notion of the ‘Word of God’ being larger than Scripture alone, comes in, and we have to juxtapose this with Martin Luther’s acceptance of polygamy as acceptable, and not sinful, because he saw it as scripturally warranted.

For Catholics, contraception is gravely sinful in terms of the need to formulate a complete and coherent picture of human sexuality and God’s purposes in creation, and in scripture, it is to be found in the same way that God-as-Trinity is to be found in Scripture. It’s ‘Never read a bible verse – not even a chapter, not even a book, not even a testament, but the whole Bible’. For us, to accept contraception as a norm would be to saw of the branch one is sitting on when it comes to sexual ethics, and the whole thing falls to the ground, because of what we see as God’s purposes for creation, especially of man, from the beginning of Genesis onwards (to be found especially in John Paul II’s catecheses on ‘The Theology of the Body’).

Now, you might disagree with this, and say that the Catholic Church is wrong on the issue of contraception, owing to insufficient scriptural warrant (as in ‘proof texts’), but the issue of it’s universally held condemnation until the 1930s remains a problem. It raises the big issues of ecclesial authority and universal catechisms which are not only globally accepted, but can be shown to hold as norms over time.

That is, doesn’t Christianity have to provide both a ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ protection over the deposit of faith? For example, isn’t the Manhattan Declaration somewhat anachronistic on the ‘vertical’ dimension, if it’s merely based on the principle of , ‘by the people for the people’? For, whatever (Biblical) arguments are used, won’t they be based in current scholarship and trends in the current Christian population generally, and not in what has to remain consistent with the past and thereby show that the truths of Christianity don’t change over time?

Does this show that guilt and conscience can become blunted over time about sin, however grave, if it gets universal acceptance? Doesn’t the Golden Calf incident in Exodus seem to make perfect sense, if read under this rubric?

Bruce,

The thing I take issue with is your use of "enforce". If you say that homosexuality is a big issue among apologists because it is a big issue on the culture, and is an area in which some in the culture are advocating an alternate morality (or at least an alternate view on this issue), then you have a point. If you say the courts are enforcing an alternate morality on an unwilling populace, I think you are overstepping, unless you have some examples to offer that I am not aware of.

Also, the courts enforcing an alternate morality on an unwilling populace is not always a bad thing. Sometimes the morality of the unwilling populace is wrong, and the alternative being enforced is right.

"Of Course, I am pointing not to Greg's successful turn from homosexuality..."

Ummm... Greg was gay?

eric,

Thank you for clarifying. I like your substitution of the word advocate.

I really don't want to quibble, but I do think that "enforce" is appropriate usage given that, for instance, if same sex marriage is elevated (by judicial decree) to the same status as traditional (opposite sex) marriage, it will have to receive equal treatment under the law, including how these matters are represented in the public schools and in how the tax laws are applied. The courts will enforce the law; that's what they do.

>>Ummm... Greg was gay?

Before any rumors get started, Renewed's comment was trying to clarify that that was not what he was saying.

Amy,

I think STR can have the integrity to refuse to either confirm or deny something like this. It's totally irrelevant to any rational discussion of the issue.

lol

ya u really gotta read Renewed's comments twice to see what he meant.

i think...

hah

You got that right, ToNy.

"I think STR can have the integrity to refuse to either confirm or deny something like this. It's totally irrelevant to any rational discussion of the issue."

I agree that it's irrelevant to the topic. It's not irrelevant to STR though. There are a few ministries that are headed by former homosexuals. I was just interested if this was the case with STR. Evidently not. Thanks for clarifying.

"God hands us over to what we have chosen and dramatizes it by male and female turning to images of themselves for sexual union, namely their own sex"

Are you trying to say that people who are attracted to those of the same sex, and who are in a committed and loving relationships to someone of the same sex, have been "handed over" from God to some evil, sin-filled, grossly perverse existence?

If so, this whole conversation is as anthropologically primitive as affirming a flat earth or geocentric solar system. Really. You can talk all day long about metaphors between Christ and the Church, where Christ is man and church is woman, and the opposing roles that entails, and about a particular interpretation of Romans, and that is interesting theologically and historically in how it has affected Christians through the ages, but it says nothing about the world as IS. It's equally as ignorant as geocentrism.

Here's a simple summary: In the real world boys and girls live and grow, and when the pre-teen/teenage years hit, boys develop crushes on girls and vice versa, and before you know it they're dating. Eventually the love deepens and marriage occurs. However in a small percentage of the population, boys never will develop crushes on girls and never will desire to be in a relationship with a girl. The same applies to some girls. From as far back as these individuals can remember, they have always been attracted to those of the same sex. (The same applies to all heterosexuals when they think back about when they first "chose" to be straight, or when they became attracted to their opposite, whatever silly way you wish to word it).

These individuals usually feel intense guilt over this, and try to start relationships with those of the opposite sex, but it never feels right and doesn't seem natural.

Yes...... it doesn't seem natural.


Just as most every other girl and boy out there, these individuals come from loving families in which they are afraid to talk about this reality they are experiencing, and usually it goes unspoken. This is because their parents have never experienced the feeling of love and attraction to the same sex, just as most everyone else (based on an unavoidable definitional ignorance).

These people are literally doomed to never be in a relationship with someone with whom they feel an intense love and joy.

It is here that I think it demonstrates the utmost arrogance and insensitivity to condemn these people as having been handed over to evil, with God doing the handing over. These pronouncements are always made by someone who knows what it's like to feel a love towards someone in which it is "acceptable" to express and love in return.

And no, this has NOTHING to do with people having a "tendency to sin" and having to resist it.
A "tendency to sin" would be a temptation to look at pornography, steal, lie, or cheat on one's spouse (OR partner) --- imagine! Same sex couples deal with all the tempations that accompany heterosexual relationships as well! And succumbing to those temptations are equally sinful.

"A tempation to sin" has nothing to do with denying how God has made you sexually. It means denying to express how God made you sexually in a sinful manner. It means updating the Christian cosmology to include the homosexual reality, just as it meant updating the Christian cosmology when we learned about the true location of the sun.

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