[percy-l] God's Gender and Ham Sandwiches
tcole at adobe.com
Thu Aug 14 19:48:52 EDT 2003
> However, I don't think we do much good for anyone, including ourselves, by
> judging others -- if we're busy taking the mote out of another's eye often we
> have a log in our own - as someone on the list already said. We have so many
> more important things to do for them. (Jesus declared our most important
> admonishments are to love God first, and our neighbor and ourselves next.)
> Hi Karey, thanks for your reply. I differ with you here. Jesus did more than
> love everyone. He told the woman at the well, for example to go and sin no
> more.¹ He made a bit of a ruckus with the money changers as well. Both the OT
> and NT are full of examples of followers of God/Jesus judging the behaviors of
> others (Matt. 7:20) and fleeing or removing its influence. That sort of
> example/admonition co-exists with the caution about motes and logs. And
> there¹s nothing in Jesus¹ summary of the Law to lead us to believe that we
> are to embrace the disobedience of others (or ourselves for that matter).
> To love God and love others unconditionally does not entail that we turn a
> blind eye to behaviors that the Scripture forbids. It does entail that we love
> others in spite of their imperfections, because we ourselves need the same
> Do you really think the fact that the Pharisees never questioned Jesus about
> homosexuality is the reason that he never mentioned it?
> We don¹t know he never mentioned it. We only know it isn¹t mentioned in the
> Gospels, but other issues are. There are a lot of sins on which Jesus didn¹t
> comment in the Gospel record. Jesus¹ comments on sexual morality and marriage
> indicate that his views were consistent (in general) with the Pharisees of his
> day. He would be considered a very orthodox Jew, and would have condemned
> homosexuality in the same way the Law does and the other writings of his era.
> Are all the things we have recorded about Jesus in direct response to the
> Pharisees or issues of the day?
> No. Are you trying to say that if it really was a sin that Jesus would have
> mentioned it? He doesn¹t mention bestiality, child sacrifice or pederasty
> either. Or insider trading.
> Jesus¹ ministry was primarily to Jews within their culture. The questions he
> was asked were theological issues of the day. We aren't blessed with Jesus
> views on every conceivable topic (which is unfortunate). Had homosexuality
> been something practiced in Jerusalem of his day, as it was in the gentile
> world, then we might have had a record. But, given the fact that it was rare
> to nonexistent within Hebraic culture (because of the OT prohibition), it
> wasn¹t something he addressed. Paul on the other hand, whose ministry was to
> gentiles, did address the issue directly.
> Better to pay attention to our own behavior than try to change others'.... If
> we judge them, we put ourselves above them (pride - the greatest sin), and
> usually we're not paying attention to what we need to do spiritually
> I don¹t follow you here. Paying attention¹ to my own behavior implies that I
> have a standard of right and wrong by which to do that. For Jews and
> Christians, that standard comes from God via the Bible and the law in our
> hearts. In order to judge myself, I put God above me. When I see behavior in
> others that violates God¹s law (whether it be pride, theft, adultery,
> homosexual behavior or whatever), I¹m not appealing to my own authority to
> identify it as such, but to God¹s. I¹m not putting myself above anyone. I¹m
> putting right and wrong as defined by God above myself and others...the same
> standard for all.
> I don¹t see (in your statement or in Scripture) how from an awareness of my
> imperfection that I lose the ability to identify sin as sin, whether it¹s in
> my life or in anyone else¹s.
> Paul's comments were more culturally determined (the "po-mo-phobes" in the
> bunch will probably hate that remark) and much of what he said regarding
> social groups and social arrangements (women, homosexuality, marriage,
> dressing, etc.) can be read as influenced by his social context.
> I think you¹re painting with a brush that¹s way too broad. Romans 1 isn¹t a
> culturally conditioned statement. It¹s an elaboration of what the Torah says,
> adapted to a gentile audience. I don¹t see any cultural loopholes there at
> Dante places the sexual sinners in the first or second (I forget which one,
> but it's early) circle of his Inferno. That's because the sexual sins
> (adultery, etc.) are a kind of "missing the mark" of the greatest virtue,
> Well, we may differ here, but I don¹t give Dante the same respect and
> authority that I would Paul or the rest of the Bible. I think that both what
> the Bible affirms and condemns with regard to marriage, family, love and the
> significance of the union between man and woman clearly indicates that
> homosexual unions are serious violations of the divine design and ought to be
> treated as such. That said, I¹d agree 100% that pride is still worse.
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