Archive for the ‘Homosexuality’ Category

James White: The Same Sex Marriage Debate vs Codrington

November 3, 2015

Dr. White debated Graeme Codrington on the topic of same sex marriage (link to debate on SermonAudio). I agreed with Codrington that Dr. White did an excellent job defending the “traditional” view. I wanted to mention a few points that occurred to me in listening to the debate, while encouraging you, my reader, to go listen to the debate for yourself. Also check out the related debate that I mention in my comments below.

1) Heteronomative Scripture
Dr. White made a good point in the debate that it’s more than just the “six verses” that specifically call out homosexual practices as sin. Instead, the remainder of Scripture provides a positive presentation regarding sexuality. That positive presentation makes heterosexual relations the norm. That’s an important point, because it frames the issue. Within the context of Scripture, the pattern is “husband and wife” not simply life partners.

2) Patriarchal Scripture
Codrington raised the point that Scriptures present a patriarchal model in which there is male headship and even male ownership of wives and children. I noticed a similar issue arise in the debate between Jason Wallace and Scott Dalgarno (link to youtube video of that debate). One thing we need to be prepared to do is to confound Codrington and Dalgarno by affirming that the Biblical norm of patriarchy. Basic consistency does demand this from us – if we are going to affirm the creation ordinance of heterosexual marriage, we should also affirm the creation ordinance of how that heterosexual marriage is to be ordered. There is a sort of perverse consistency to Codrington and Dalgarno rejecting the Biblical norm of heterosexuality, given that they have already rejected the Biblical norm of patriarchy. If Biblical norms for the ordering of society matter, we should hold the. If they don’t matter, we shouldn’t insist on them.

3) Ownership of Humans in Scripture
Codrington and Dalgarno raised the ubiquitous objection that Scripture doesn’t condemn slavery. Again, we need to be prepared to confound these men by affirming the Scripture’s position. We are “bought with a price” (1 Cor 6:20 and 7:23). We are slaves of Jesus, our master. He owns us. We are his property. We are not absolutely opposed to slavery on Enlightenment grounds, even though we are opposed to any form of slavery that is based on denying the full humanity of people based on their skin color or the like. We recognize that the Bible affirmed that slaves were the property of their masters (e.g. Exodus 21:20-21 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.). Thus, we don’t agree with the idea that it is somehow intrinsically immoral for a man to own another man, even though we recognize limitations on that ownership (see the same verses above).

Both Codrington and Dalgarno seem to take for granted that the Bible was wrong on the relationship of masters and slaves, husbands and wives, and parents and children. The “liberal church” has certainly begun to take those debates for granted. We need to be ready to shock them by affirming that the Bible was right on those things.

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Douglas Wilson vs. Andrew Sullivan on "Gay Marriage"

February 28, 2013

Doug Wilson has posted the gist of his prepared remarks from a debate with Andrew Sullivan on the topic of so-called “gay marriage.” (link to remarks) In general, I would agree with what Wilson said – although I cannot confirm his positive comments on Sullivan’s behavior (as I did not witness the debate).

Wilson has a great way with words, a gift I would love to obtain. For example:

As Dan Phillips has aptly noted, the most offensive verse in the Bible is not to be found in Leviticus or Deuteronomy with laws concerning homosexuals. It is not to be found in the New Testament when Paul tells wives to be submissive to their own husbands. It is not to be found in the places commanding the Amalekites to be smitten. The most offensive verse in the Bible is the very first one—in the beginning God created the heavens and earth (Gen. 1:1). This means that there are only two ways to go. We can work to discover the meaning of the world around us, a meaning embedded there by God. Or we can rebel against that meaning, and try to roll our own. Once we have rolled it, we usually try to smoke it.

This observation is really central to most of the interaction with non-Christianity – from Atheism/Agnosticism to Roman Catholicism. Our understanding of the world needs to proceed from the revelation God has provided, and if we don’t do that we end up victims of our own foolishness.

-TurretinFan

Response to "Ten Things I wish the Church Knew About Homosexuality"

February 27, 2013

There’s a list of “Ten Things” that the author states he wishes “the Church” knew about what he characterizes as “homosexuality.” I’ll address each item in turn.

1. If Jesus did not mention a subject, it cannot be essential to his teachings.

a) Jesus did mention the subject of sexual sin, and he did so repeatedly. For example:

Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

b) Jesus even specifically mentioned the example of Sodom as a group particularly worthy of judgment.

Luke 10:12
But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

c) Jesus affirmed the whole moral law of the old testament, both by not destroying it, and by instructing his disciples to obey his commandments.

Matthew 5:17
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

John 15:10
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Recall:

Deuteronomy 7:9
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

d) Whether it is “essential” or not is not the point. The central message of Jesus was to repent (of sin) and believe the Gospel. The emphasis was clearly on the gospel, yet it would be foolishness to ignore repentance from sin. Understanding repentance from sin requires that we recognize what sin is. That applies to a broad range of sins, many of which Jesus did not discuss in depth.

2. You are not being persecuted when prevented from persecuting others.

This point is somewhat vague, but the obvious counter-points are:
a) It’s not in itself persecution to tell people to repent of their sins; and
2) It’s not in itself persecution to prosecute criminal behavior, including criminal sexual behavior.

3. Truth isn’t like wine that gets better with age. It’s more like manna you must recognize wherever you are and whoever you are with.

a) Truth is absolute and timeless. It doesn’t get “better with age,” but it does stay true.
b) Manna was sent from heaven. So was the moral law delivered to Moses. If you recognized that, we wouldn’t need to have this discussion.
c) Manna is not just whatever you want it to be, and neither is truth.

4. You cannot call it “special rights” when someone asks for the same rights you have.

a) People who want the “right” to sleep with someone to whom they are not married are not asking for rights that I have. I have the right to sleep with my spouse, and not with anyone else.
b) People who want the right to call their fornication “marriage” are not asking for the rights that I have. I don’t have the “right” to call my fornication “marriage,” and neither does anyone else.
c) People who want the right to marry same sex are not asking for the rights that I have. I have the right to marry opposite sex, and they have that same right – they just have no desire to exercise that right.

5. It is no longer your personal religious view if you’re bothering someone else.

a) I’m pretty sure one of the major reasons for having rights to express people’s personal views is exactly because they bother other people. If they didn’t bother other people, why would the state need to protect such speech?
b) It’s not just our personal religious view – it’s the view of our churches.
c) It’s also not just our personal religious view, our the view of our churches, but it is an actual matter of fact, revealed by God.

6. Marriage is a civil ceremony, which means it’s a civil right.

a) This argument seems to be based on the particular cultural conventions of modern Western society. Modern society is not a source of truth – it’s traditions and norms shift over time.
b) Homosexuals don’t usually want to marry (in the normal sense of that word), because they are not interested in the opposite-sex obligations of marriage.
c) Even if in some sense marriage is a “civil right,” surely does not mean that there cannot be limitations on it.

7. If how someone stimulates the pubic nerve has become the needle to your moral compass, you are the one who is lost.

Don’t worry, that’s not the needle of our moral compass.

8. To condemn homosexuality, you must use parts of the Bible you don’t yourself obey. Anyone who obeyed every part of Leviticus would rightly be put in prison.

It is always sad, but not surprising, when people are so morally bankrupt that they think the civil laws of Leviticus are bad laws – evil laws. But what is the basis for that moral judgment?

9. If we do not do the right thing in our day, our grandchildren will look at us with same embarrassment we look at racist grandparents.

Again, what is the standard of what is “right”? If the Bible is the standard, it is those who are exalting homosexuality that will be embarrassed on the day of judgment.

10. When Jesus forbade judging, that included you.

This text is an important text:
Matthew 7:1-2
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

So is this text:

John 7:24
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

And so is this text:

1 Corinthians 6:2
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

And most people who appeal to the first one are not even aware of the other two, or the proper harmony amongst them.

A full explanation would exceed the scope of this post, but suffice to say that Matthew 7:1-2 does not mean that we cannot or should not pass moral judgments on people or behaviors. If it did, that would mean we cannot say that murder is wrong, or say that thieves are sinning in what they are doing. That’s an absurd result, and it should demonstrate the absurdity of applying the verse to say that we can’t say that criminal sexual acts are sinful.

-TurretinFan

Doug Wilson Discussing Sexuality

June 30, 2012

Canon Wired has a set of videos including lectures delivered by Doug Wilson on a university campus. There are some minor points I would probably disagree with Wilson on, but it was nice to see that he gave a clear, evangelistic message as part of the presentation.

I thought I had previously posted a clip that showed one of the disruptions that took place during this presentation, though perhaps I did I not. Wilson does a good job of keeping fairly calm throughout the heckling and “protesting.”

I found it interesting to listen to the 2 hr. Q&A session first, and then go back and listen to the lectures (about 1 hr. 15 min. combined). It helped to highlight points where what the students heard was not necessarily what was said. It was also interesting to see how some of the people from the Q&A behaved during the lecture.

-TurretinFan

Steve Ray’s "Convert" Promotion

June 27, 2012

Steve Ray recently promoted the supposed conversion story of atheist Leah Libresco. I wonder if he’s aware of her own self-description:

I’m bisexual. Other queer people’s experience of their orientation varies, but, as far as I’m concerned, I’m bisexual because gender feels about as salient to me as hair color when it comes to looking for dates. That means I’m already out of step with the Catholic Church before you even get up to gay marriage or any issue like that, because the Church thinks gender is much more central to someone’s identity than I do.

I imagine I’ll do a lot more reading and pick a lot more fights over the next few years. I’m willing to not date women in the meantime, but I wouldn’t necessarily universalize that choice. …

As to the larger political question: civil marriage is different than sacramental marriage. If people can’t muster a convincing argument against gay marriage that doesn’t depend on the revealed truths of the Catholic Church, then asking the government to ban it is like expecting the State to enforce kosher dietary law on everyone (or even only secular Jews). I still support civil gay marriage.

(source)

-TurretinFan

Why I’m Against the 150 Mile Fence Suggestion

May 31, 2012

The Scriptures tell us how various family relations crimes should be punished (all verse references are to Leviticus 20):

Cursing Mother or Father – Death (9)

For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

Adulterer and Adulteress – Death (10)

And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Incest with Father’s Wife – Death (11)

And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Incest with Daughter in Law – Death (12)

And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.

Male Homosexuality – Death (13)

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Incest with Step-Daughter, Daughter, or Mother-in-Law – Death by Fire (14)

And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

Male or Female Bestiality – Death (15-16)

And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Incest with Sister or Half-Sister – God Will Punish (17)

And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

Sex During a Woman’s Period – God Will Punish (18)

And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

Incest with Aunt – God Will Punish (19-20)

And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity. And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.

Incest with Sister-in-Law – God Will Punish (21)

And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.

Summary

Yes, male homosexuality is set forth as being a capital crime, like a number of family relations crimes. In terms of the sentence given it, it is more heinous in God’s sight than certain kinds of incest and period violation. But for those of you who like to beat up on homosexuals, note that it is not the most heinous. The most heinous is taking both a woman and her mother. There, the punishment is not just death, but death by fire.

So, no. The appropriate Biblical teaching regarding how to deal with these family crimes is not internment in a prison camp.

On the other hand, if you want to rush to impose the Biblical sentence of death, keep in mind that for consistency you must be ready to hand out death sentences for bestiality, all adulterers, and most types of incest. You also can’t include lesbians in your plan. While Scripture certainly does teach that lesbianism is a sin, the code doesn’t provide for lesbianism to be punished.

Frank Turek on Same Sex Marriage

May 27, 2012

Marcus McElhaney has posted a video series from Frank Turek providing arguments about and against same sex marriage. I don’t fully agree with Turek’s approach of saying that we shouldn’t bring the Bible into the discussion, but the arguments he uses mostly seem like pretty strong arguments. Check it out at this link.

Homosexuality and Ethiopia

December 23, 2008

It is reported that religious leaders in Ethiopia are pushing for a constitutional ban on homosexuality (link). While it is great that a nation would condemn sin, governmental action is not enough. The church needs to be active in preaching the true Gospel of repentance and faith in Christ. While the government does have a role in restraining sin, the primary responsibility for transforming the heart of the nation, so that sins like homosexuality will continue to be detestable, is on the ministers of God.

May God give Ethiopia greater reformation of its Christianity,

-TurretinFan

Natural Law, Theonomy, and Homosexual Marriage

October 27, 2008

R. Scott Clark has an interesting blog post up on the issue of Homosexual Marriage (link). RSC approaches the issue from the standpoint of “two kingdoms theology,” a viewpoint that I’m not sure I can fully embrace. Instead, I tend to self-identify with “theonomy” (a term that’s perhaps even more liable to confusion than “two kingdoms theology”). Accordingly, I’ve prepared some thoughts on the issue in parallel to those of RSC, but with an emphasis on the civil law of Israel.

Issue: how, from a “theonomic” perspective one should think about the question of whether the state should sanction homosexual marriage? Beyond the ambiguity over what constitutes “theonomic,” there’s some ambiguity in the question, since “sanction” can mean either “approve” or “enforce a penalty against.” Thus, we’ll consider the issue as broadly as possible.

1. Explicit Old Testament Law
A. The Old Testament specifically condemns homosexual behavior:

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

B. The Old Testament also specifically prescribes the death penalty to both parties to a homosexual act:

Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

2. New Testament Light

A. The New Testament confirms that the disapprobation of homosexual behavior was not merely a matter of ceremony:

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Timothy 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

B. The New Testament also draws an equivalence between Male and Female homosexuality:

Romans 1:26-27 and 32
26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Romans 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

3. Resolution of the Issue

Therefore, the most fitting rule for the King to implement is not only to prohibit so-called homosexual marriages from recognition as marriage, but also to punish capitally those who engage in these abominable practices.

4. Objections Answered

A. It may be objected: “The moral law of God has been revealed in creation and re-stated, in the context of the national covenant with Israel. For the purposes of deciding deciding post-theocratic civil questions, the national covenant having been fulfilled by Christ and thus having expired and having been abrogated, it is proper to appeal to the natural revelation of the moral law in creation.” (source, R. Scott Clark)

We answer: that although the national laws of Israel are expired and abrogated, and though the ceremonial aspects of the national laws of Israel are fulfilled in Christ, the moral aspects of the national laws of Israel remain. As demonstrated above, the prohibition on homosexual behavior is a matter of moral law, not mere ceremony. Furthermore, where the moral law is explicit, there is no need to appeal to the natural revelation of the moral law in creation, since it is not proper to interpret the more clear by the less clear. We acknowledge, however, that general revelation is from God, and that consequently – in principle – natural law, as derived from general revelation, is not rendered completely illegitimate, simply because it is not completely clear.

Furthermore, even examining such a scholarly source as R. Scott Clark, we cannot find a very rigorous argument from natural law alone (i.e. without recourse to special revelation) to determine what path should be taken.

B. It may be objected, that “Some scholars however, e.g. John Boswell, have argued over the last twenty-five years that earlier periods in church history were more approving of homosexuality than once thought.” (noted by RSC with disapproval)

We answer: since our rule of faith does not depend on the customs of men, we do not have a vested interest in the outcome of the historical battle over whether previous generations of Christians were more or less approving of homosexuality.

We note, however, that if we are to return to the apostolic and Old Testament periods of church history, the clear evidence is severe condemnation.

C. It may be objected, that “in contrast to our own times, most of the ancient Christian writers were not, by contemporary standards, very explicit about homosexual behavior. Doubtless some will attempt to capitalize on the rhetorical restraint of earlier times as a sort of tacit approval of homosexuality.” (noted by RSC with disapproval)

We answer: again, for the same reasons as above, we do not have a vested interest in this historical battle. We note, however, that a reasonable alternative explanation for such guarded language among the ancients is shame because of recognition of the sinfulness of the acts:

Ephesians 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

D. It may be objected, that “Romans 1:27 indicates that those engaging in homosexual activity were ‘receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.'”

We answer: it seems most natural to view this phrase as referring not to the reception of the reward for the error of homosexual behavior, but for the error of worshiping the creature more than the Creator. There are several reasons to believe that this reading is more natural and the proper reading:

1) the point of the passage is to emphasize that God is punishing the wicked for sins against himself; and
2) in general, in the passage a system of punishments are laid out for us:
vss. 20-21 punishment for refusing to act on the obvious knowledge of God = darkening of the mind
– further impact: vs. 22-23 punishment for claiming to be wise = that they become fools
— yet further impact: vs. 24 – punishment for dishonoring God by images = that their own bodies are dishonored among themselves
— still further impact: vss. 25-27 – punishment for worshiping the opposite of what they should = that their bodies’ lusts are unnaturally reversed
– parallel impact vss. 28-32 – punishment for being unmindful of God = a reprobate mind.

Nevertheless, even if the point of vs. 27 is merely to identify the impact of homosexuality, and even further assuming that the impact is simply the laws of nature (sexually transmitted diseases and so forth, as opposed to execution by the King) being applied to homosexual acts, we would not therefore conclude that the King is forbidden to impose a prohibition on the wicked acts of men, since among the list of things resulting from a reprobate mind are murder, which the King must not tolerate.

-TurretinFan

Vatican vs. San Francisco

July 16, 2008

World Net Daily has a rather one-sided article (favoring the Vatican) reporting on a recent clash between the Vatican and the City of San Francisco. (link) Obviously, the issue is homosexuality. It’s unclear to me why the Vatican thinks that suing the City of San Francisco over what amounts to nothing more than a statement of opinion is good use of their resources, but evidently the case has not only been brought to court, but appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In one way, it is kind of interesting to see how both groups view the other as employing hatespeech: the sodomites call the papists “anti-gay” and intolerant, meanwhile the papists call the sodomites “anti-Catholic” and intolerant.

In another way, it is sad to see that this is even an issue. Homosexual behavior is plainly contrary to Scripture. It is sinful, just as any sexual relations outside of legitimate marriage are sinful. It really ought to be a crime, but that’s not what the majority of judges want.

May God have mercy on America,

-TurretinFan


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