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June 14, 2014


NT Wright says, "It’s all about God making complementary pairs which are meant to work together."

Do those pairs include rapist and rape-victim marriages as well? (Deut. 22:28-29).

I only ask, Amy, since you wanted Christians to see how marriage "fits into the bigger story about the Bible."

Since the Old Testament is the primary source for opponents of same-sex marriage, I gotta ask why aren't Christians trying to force rape victims to marry their rapists?

I would say that your question is a valid one which does not correlate to NT Wright's argument. He's speaking about the creation narrative and how creation shall continue through complementary pairs ... it's simple an analogy from nature. We are called to co-create, and fulfill the creation mandate by being fruitful and multiplying.

Buck--Actually the New Testament gives some of the most specific and compelling anti-same-sex-marriage descriptions in ALL the Bible, so I'd say it is the primary source for opponents. And as for the rapist/rape-victim scenario, if not for marriage, the women in that society would have been shunned for whatever life they had left without having the benefit of marriage. It was still marriage--between one man and one woman, regardless of the reason for that marriage.


I don't think you understand the culture in which that law is made. This law was made for the protection and benefit of the raped woman. The woman would no longer be considered worthy of marriage because she is not a virgin, and thus would never have a husband to live with (which is necessary for survival of females in the ancient middle east). See the story of David when Tamar is raped. She asks her rapist to marry her. If you're trying to say God is evil or some nonsense like that, this law would not indicate that at all. Also, later other laws in Torah indicate that rapists could face the death penalty. So what you are saying is silly, as well as having absolutely nothing to do with the subject of the article.

This law was made for the protection and benefit of the raped woman.
How does being forced to marry someone benefit or protect a raped women? What is the benefit? And, from what are they protected?
Start Preparing to Defend Marriage within the Church


25% of the country doe NOT self-identify as Christian.
55% of the country supports gay marriage.

Most people who support gay marriage must also self identify as Christian.

What's going on?

Does Amy exclude from 'the Church' a lot of people who self-identify as Christian?

Is it actually well past time to 'start preparing'?

Are there some minds to change 'within the Church' before those minds can realistically be asked to 'prepare to defend marriage'?

Does Amy exclude from 'the Church' a lot of people who self-identify as Christian?

I do. People like John Shelby Spong, Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, and those who think like them, claiming to be Christians while denying most of the central tenants of Christianity, like the atonement and the resurrection of Jesus, are not Christians. And it seems like there's a lot of people out there like that. I wouldn't automatically exclude somebody as a Christian just because they didn't know homosexuality was a sin, but it does seem like there's a correlation between being a "liberal Christian" and thinking homosexuality is hunky dory.

So any idea how big the... er... true? Church is?

No idea.

OK. You mention 'denying ... the atonement and the resurrection of Jesus'.

How about believing or preaching false information about salvation. Won't that disqualify?

I hear a variety of things on who disqualifies who and also a lot of reluctance to nail things down.

I don't know exactly where to draw the line, Ron, but I do know that if you deny the atonement or the resurrection, then you're not a Christian, because that's the heart of the gospel. That's what Paul explicitly called "the gospel" in 1 Corinthians 15. I don't know about Marcus Borg, but John Crossan and John Spong don't even seem to believe God exists, except maybe as just a projection of the human mind. I think it's plainly ridiculous to claim to be a Christian while denying that there's actually a God out there who created the world. And be saying the exact same thing even if I were an atheist.

Interesting, that's more than 'no idea'. You have given the method you think can be used to draw the line - The Bible.

What about Matthew 7:21-23?

Rome seems to use and teach a different formula than STR. Is Rome in? Would you say? A works-based soteriology?

STR is fairly quiet on this. But Matt Slick is not.

I said, "No idea" in answer to your question of how big the true church is. I assume you mean to ask how many people are really Christians in my view, and I have no idea how many there are. That doesn't mean I have no idea what a Christian is.

As I said before, "I don't know exactly where to draw the line." I do know that you can't be a Christian if you deny the resurrection or the atonement. You can't be a Christian if you deny the existence of God or if you deny that Jesus is the Christ. That much I am certain of.

But whether somebody can really be a Christian if they deny the sufficiency of grace in our salvation or mistakenly think their works have some merit toward salvation, I don't know for sure. I'm not even sure if denying the Trinity disqualifies somebody.

As I said before,...
Got it. I recognize the difference.

The Matt I pointed to seems as clear as the Paul you point to.

Deu 22:28 “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,

Deu 22:29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days."

Earlier in the chapeter, language used like forces her and describing how the girl should cry out seems to indicate rape or forcible sex. This is an obvious ommission in the cited text by Buck...the word translated "seizes", taphas has a much less aggressive/offensive meaning according to Strongs.

I'm not trying to dodge a serious challenge, but it looks like there really isn't one here.

RonH, you can find lots of varied opinions on what a true Christian is and I think Sam answers appropriately. Bottom line is, we fallible mankind are in no position to judge the hearts of others before God. There isn't a theology test that can prove positively but diligent study of the bible will give one a sense of whether Roman Catholic doctrine or Protestant is more true to the biblical revelation.

Slick is probably arguing in line with most of Protestantism, but there are subtle doctrinal arguments that most [and I mean more than 99%] do not fully understand. In my opinion, the Roman Catholic church does not propogate the faith as consistently as Reformed Protestantism so I dont attend there...this in no way gives me position to cry "anathema" upon Roman Catholics.

If you want to draw a line, do it have a mind. If you want to suggest that a true Christian can believe same sex marraige is no offense to God, you have to draw this from scripture...if you can.

Just to clarify, In Deut. 22, the previous verses leading up to 28-29 are stand alone scenarios and are not culminated in the cited text by Buck that I quoted above...these specific verses depict a specific complete scenario. There is no other information given prior or after. BTW, one of the definitions by Strongs indicates that "taphas" suggests skillful weilding. Could be that this would suggest seduction. Like I said though, I'm not trying to dodge but there doesn't look like there is anything to dodge.

I am a conservative traditionalist in a Bible based evangelical church. Frankly, I don't see the evangelical church really engaging on this issue. They really have not engaged and remain rather clueless on this subject. Yes, when push comes to shove they hold to a moralistic point of view that homosexual behavior is sin and God came to save sinners.

I find evangelicals mostly avoiding this issue in church. Not much is offered, discussed.

Most young evangelicals will have to go outside the local church to be informed on this subject. Local churches are not equipped, do not equip.

Buck and Ron H, I think Brad B did a pretty good job addressing this troublesome and challenging verse. We still have on the books in USA something referred to as "statutory rape". For example, a 20 year old Jr in college has sex with a 17 year old freshman girl. The girls' dad finds out. He is very angry. He files a "statutory rape" case against the 20 year old boy.

Is this rape? Most likely consensual. But it is exploitation of the woman. I think the modern American male has no idea how they exploit and manipulate women to have pre-marital sex. As a father, I find it quite cowardly and reprehensible. In my mind (you may disagree, I really don't care what you think), I'm not is a form of rape.

Ron, I think the best line to draw for most Christians is a belief in the literal resurrection, as this is what most appears in the New Testament as grounds for expulsion. The belief in a physical resurrection is an affirmation that the created order is good and also that our physical behavior matters (like what we do with our bodies during sex, how we pollute the environment, or how we treat the poor). Scholars like Borg, for instance, do not believe in a physical resurrection and have a sort of pantheist foundation to their worldview. Consequentially it's not surprising that someone like Crosson for instance does not care what people do with their bodies sexually. The other grounds for expulsion is when someone is continually doing some sort of sin and refuses to recognize they are sinning when confronted by local leadership. Usually the sin is either just a blatant I do not care attitude, or it might be that the person gravitated towards some other kind of understanding of the centrality of the cross and resurrection. To me, that's the crux of who is a Christian and who is not.

As far as the other question about the rape goes, you might want to read the following story and ask why the raped woman asked her rapist to marry her. Remember that middle eastern culture is a culture of shame/honor, and that we cannot always view everything from the United States cultural impression. 2 Samuel 13:1-21. Here is an excerpt:

Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.” 14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.

15 Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!”

16 “No!” she said to him. “Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me.”

Ask yourself for a minute why she would willingly want to marry the person that raped her? What does that say about this culture and what would happen to a woman if she was raped? Could it be that the law in Torah is actually a very merciful one for a women? I could give other examples if you like.

Ron, Sam-

Historically, the church has 'drawn the line' of who is a Christian and who is not with the creeds.

These do mention things like the Trinity, the Two-Natures in Christ, the Incarnation and the Salvation Story.

They do not mention homosexuality.

This is not to say that the Bible has nothing to say about homosexuality. Of course it does. But if it's a question of who are the members of the Invisible Church...that's probably not an issue.

Of course, anything can become an issue if a sinner starts acting as though he, and not YHWH, is God.

Good point WL, I think if one who doesnt get creedal Christianity right, their opinion on other things concerning the faith is not even worth hearing...logically their point could be true, but they disqualify themselves prior because they miss the central/foundational content.

WisdomLover, good points.

My only caveat is that the gay identity is a modern construct based on a world view. It is not just about sexual sin. The world view behind the modern construct of gay identity is sweeping in scope as it redefines: 1) gender; 2) family structure; 3) sexual morality; 4) marriage itself.

This world view alters all institutions as it reorders civilization to be aligned with the Gay Identity World View.

Sexual sin is sexual sin. God has a way of redeeming and restoring mankind from sin. So obviously homosexuality as a sexual sin is no different than any other sexual sin. God embraces sinners in their repentance. 1John1:9.

But this is not what Amy Hall is warning us about. We are talking about a false teaching that promotes a certain sexual sin as virtuous. This is similar to the warnings to the churches in book of Revelations. The danger is more the world view that justifies sexual sin.

This is what the church must prepare for. This new world view is creeping into the American church.


The law was for the protection and benefit of the woman… How does marrying a rapist protect and benefit the woman? Do you think the abuse ends there? What should the woman do if her newly-minted husband decides to rape her again? Nothing. The woman is essentially destined to be raped again and again by that same man with no consequences at all.

The writers of the bible had a blind spot when it came to seeing women as anything other than mere property. And your god seemed to agree with them, too… Doesn't this bother you at all?


Seizes, forces, clutches, takes hold, coerces -- call it whatever you want. Something is not considered rape based on how aggressiveness the act is; if a woman does not consent to it, then it's rape. It really is that simple.

Twisting scripture isn't going to help you on this one. If any virgin woman was seduced and had sex consensually, she was to be stoned to death (Deut 22:20). The passage I brought us made an exception to this killing, because it was not intentional on the woman's part, hence her not being stoned to death. Therefore, the passage implies something stronger than seduction.

The challenge stands, BradB, even though you pretend it isn't there. You need to read your bible more often and see it for the morally reprehensible piece of fiction that it is.

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