Thursday, July 16, 2009

Healthy Economies Rely on Healthy Marriages

I was going to say the emporer from Star Wars. Yes, not the best picture for him.

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I find this odd. After writing a 500 or so word diatribe (while throwing in an occasional phrase such as “how…other people will read it”, it was quite the attack), you receive one short response and then state “seems I hit a nerve”. Huh…..I suppose I wouldn’t characterize it that way. You are correct, though, in that many on this site are passionate about submitting to the authority of scripture (and defending how). And my guess is that this will elicit response worthy of that statement (hitting a nerve), so maybe oddly premature.

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I, too, get uncomfortable when folks immediately go after the dividing the household thing. However, I think it is appropriate here. While the letters (and Christ) speak peace, they are all speak very forcefully against false teaching. We are all sinners. A difference comes, however, when we teach that dark is light or that error is truth. Similarly, we don’t back away (as is so en vogue now) from calling sin, sin. Christ befriended sinners, but he said they were sinners. Likewise throughout the NT. Just a thought.

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Just out of curiosity, would you elaborate on:
Comparing most of the gay people I know to prostitutes or drunks is ridiculous and insulting.

I think I know the answer, but I’m just curious.

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That’s what I assumed (your view on homosexual activity), but I thought I would ask first. Just a few thoughts.
1) “Most [blank] people in society accept [blank] now” or “In time (generations) the society will change so overwhelmingly on this issue ” are a foolish reasons to do anything. It’s even worse to indicate that we should accept something that is unbiblical simply because someone else does (blown about by winds….). But expected. You’re inaccurate that this will be something the church will “just accept” (unless the church, as a whole, abandons biblical inerrancy and authority). I think you are accurate in a sense in that trying to maintain a hold on the word “marriage” is futile.
2) I find it interesting that you hold a view of (this is just a codifying statement) “how are you going to witness to someone who thinks you are a jerk?” yet at the same time bark bigot.
3) The drunk/prostitute part. I’ll kind of cut to the chase. In some ways, the only thing that differentiates me from a prostitute and a drunkard is the type of sin in which I revel. Because I know Christ (and if the drunkard/prostitute doesn’t), then we would be set apart. Saints are not sinless. They sin less and feel worse about it. God’s sons and daughters aren’t always nice either, while I know many wonderfully nice and friendly atheists who soundly reject Christ. So while I understand your physical concerns about the safety of a child, it has nothing to do with the spiritual equivalence of my gossiping and someone else’s adultery or my lust versus some other’s homosexual acts (or a drunkard, or a prostitute, etc.). A difference might come in each of these in that I do not say that my (or Darius’ or my mom’s) gossip or lust is OK because I’m (or they are) a nice person or that I just don’t like that or that society has just accepted it.
4) “down the stree to the Episcopalians, the UCC or just become one of the ever growing number of ‘spiritual’ people….” OK. Sorry to say it, but “they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,”
5) Darius isn’t spreading his message (a reference to your earlier post). It’s not something he made up or I made up. People put too much emphasis on how it’s up to me to get the message. I’m going to convince them. The holy spirit might. We are to preach the message with gentleness and reverence. But it’s the message, not just part of it. And we should respect.
6) Personally, I’m torn on the original remark. On the one hand, I understand respect, we don’t insult, etc. On the other hand, it’s a hijacking of language. Meaning if the goal was really “we just want to live in peace”, then “unions” would be perfectly fine. However, it seems to me that it’s more about forced acceptance. I.e. get someone to call me married and thus they must accept that marriage as norm. Subtle, but it’s what’s happening.

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Just to note, nice != moral != Godly

You have a very elitist hierarchical view of sin (that even seems incompatible with your own statements). Sin is sin.

And, again, I think I know the answer, but which part of what Darius said was “full of hate”?


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Spot on about divorce. We need a strong reformation of marriage as a whole. Acceptance of homosexual marriage is simply the breaking of the dam, so to speak. A quick search on Mohler (this year) returned about a 2 – 1 split (8 to about 4). Of course, much of what he writes on is what is in the news, too. I had written out a response to Kelly prior and I am sad that I didn’t include it:
• Re: marriage, you are spot on. Christians need to be the ones with the lowest divorce rate (by a landslide). And we’re not. We won’t call adultery “good” either, I hope you see the consistency.

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Just to ask, what is the difference between a "committed monogomous and loving gay relationship" and a "committed, polygamist loving relationship" (you can insert several types in that statement)?

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"Iron clad"

So, then, Kelly, since we are the unwashed who don’t understand, you have insulted me and you have no chance of reaching my evangelical brethren by referring to homosexual couples as marriage. You just need to figure out how to talk to evangelicals

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Interesting Sue.

You seem to fall in the same lines (though perhaps not same theological framework) as Kelly. Sort of summed up in "most [blank] people in society accept (or are offended by) [blank] now, ergo, we as the church should, too". I think that part of Dr. Burk’s interest in this was the simple fact that a Christian leader (all those who disagree, just hang on to that thought) is making a "public access" argument. It seems like the arguments brought forth most often fall into that trap. I know you are simply keying off of statements in the pope’s letter (or so I assume, I still haven’t read it *blush*), but you’ve written similar posts before as well.

In a completely related yet off topic part, I get a piece of mail every once in a while from an address that is on Powerscourt drive. I always giggle. Can a grown man giggle? I’ll have to check with Piper on that.....

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I’ll say it. Insulting someone to their face is not the best way to start a conversation. Did someone do that here? Even Dr. Burke’s discussion (which was a commentary, not a conversation with someone) didn’t start of with that (it was well into the comment.).

"Have you heard me say that anything goes?"
"In time (generations) the society will change so overwhelmingly on this issue that the church will follow suit anyway..."

It was said we should not be like children "carried about by every wind of doctrine."

Do you see a discrepancy between descriptive reasoning based in the bible and prescriptive?

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I’ll take another view yet. OK, not another, actually a different subject. So, Sue, what you seemed to write was essentially "I baited you and you didn’t take it. C’mon, I want to argue!" Which, I suppose, is fine. It just seems a bit like the pointless arguments Paul mentions. To which I am certainly not immune unfortunately for me.

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A few thoughts...
● The two of us have a fundamental difference, I believe. Mostly in what exactly the inspired, inerrant word of God is. Interpretations can be flawed, but in their original text they are inerrant. It is final and does not point to some hidden meaning (you didn't say that, just how I've seen it argued). It seems you believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) that parts of the bible were inspired, parts are merely human writings that are subject to human prejudice and error?
● While it seems a big jumble to you, the discussion flowed to the topic of acceptance of homosexuality. Polygamy was not part of an argument per se, it was part of a series of questions. There was only equating it in your mind.
● You specifically stated that "In time (generations) the society will change so overwhelmingly on this issue that the church will follow suit anyway..." You have put your finger in the wind to see where society goes. So goes society, so goes your church. It's not saying anything goes as in complete anarchy. But my question is, as a believing church, what is your defense against something like polygamy? Is it simply well, no major church has accepted it, so we're not either. OK, but you have simply relegated your church to whatever is popular opinion (see your statement above). I think it's appropriate.
● So, then, since it hasn't been asked, how do you deal with Romans 1, 1 Cor 6 and 1 Tim 1? Again, I think I know the myriad answers, but it's always interesting to hear a take on it.
● No, I am not a seminarian or a minister. I can tell by your earlier post what your thoughts are of seminary students (ghetto). Again, a fascinating part of an argument denouncing someone's insult.
● Back to where this all started, if he had been really wordy and wrote "homosexual unions (I do not agree that they are married)" or something similar, would it have been appropriate? Or is it merely the fact that it's a contrary stance or....? Again, I was still in the air over this, though the longer it goes, the more I have a tendency to agree with Mohler about the hijacking of language.

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I think it's a foolish redirect, but since I've never heard of him, some quick info I read (online) about Giordano Bruno (a compilation of several sites.....none of them wikipedia ;-):

He could not conceive that God and nature could be separate and distinct entities as taught by Genesis, as taught by the Church and as even taught by Aristotle.
He had written of an infinite universe which had left no room for that greater infinite conception which is called God.
He is one martyr whose name should lead all the rest. He was not a mere religious sectarian who was caught up in the psychology of some mob hysteria. He was a sensitive, imaginative poet, fired with the enthusiasm of a larger vision of a larger universe ... and he fell into the error of heretical belief.
Bruno was not condemned for his defence of the Copernican system of astronomy, nor for his doctrine of the plurality of inhabited worlds, but for his theological errors, among which were the following: that Christ was not God but merely an unusually skilful magician, that the Holy Ghost is the soul of the world, that the Devil will be saved, etc.

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Should he preach traditional marriage or should he talk about social policies that have been known to boost the fertility rate?

You're right, Sue, sticking to biblical values including the traditional definition of marriage might be a better idea. Lay the cards on the table and work to help (witness, feed, care) fellow man. Making a secular-based argument (whether or not you agree with him) is a trap that we all fall into at one point or another. Regarding statistics and such, I believe it was the Psalter who asked why do the wicked prosper (I was thinking that it also mentions his generations, but that may just be me crossing these two topics). Hope everyone has a superb weekend!

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