Archive for the ‘Seventh Commandment’ Category

Conchita Wurst – Orthodox Condemnation, Vatican Approbation

May 27, 2014

It was interesting to read a report of responses to the victory of Conchita Wurst in the Eurovision competition (link).  Amongst the reactions:

“This [flood] is not a coincidence, but a warning,” Patriarch Amfilohije of Montenegro said, according to e.novine.com. “God sent the rains as a reminder that people should not join the wild side.”

And likewise:

Patriarch Irinej, the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Serbs, reportedly said the floods were “divine punishment for their vices” and that “God is thus washing Serbia of its sins”.

And again:

The Russian Orthodox Church has previously described Conchita as an “abomination” and that his victory was “one more step in the rejection of the Christian identity of European culture”.

Interestingly, by contrast, on the Vatican website one finds this:

Die Gesellschaft in ganz Europa wird immer mehr bereit, Menschen zu akzeptieren und zu respektieren, so wie sie sind: Das ist für den Bad Mitterndorfer Pfarrer Michael Unger die durchaus frohe Botschaft nach dem Erfolg des aus dem Ort stammenden Tom Neuwirth. Dieser hat als bärtige „Conchita Wurst“ den Eurovisions-Songcontest gewonnen. Die Gemeinde im steirischen Salzkammergut und gerade auch die Pfarrgemeinde hätten sich nach dem Sensationssieg riesig gefreut, zumal Tom/Conchita dort bestens bekannt sei: Mehrere Jahre lang sei der „schon damals sehr selbstbewusste“ Wirtsleute-Spross als Sternsinger von Haus zu Haus gegangen und habe sein offenkundiges Talent für kirchliche Entwicklungshilfeprojekte eingesetzt, so Pfarrer Unger. Das deutliche Ergebnis habe klargestellt, dass Europa auf Vielfalt setzt, und den Vertretern von Uniformität eine Absage erteilt. (kap)

(source)The segment from Vatican radio talks about how this is an illustration of how diverse and tolerant Europe has become. You can see “Pfarrer” (Father) Michael Unger meeting with “Conchita” here (link).

-TurretinFan

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Living in Sin is not a New Thing

December 9, 2009

It is, however, remarkable that a fairly new Britney Spears track (that one hears constantly on the radio if one has not glued one’s radio dial to the classical music frequency) about a particular sexual perversion contains the line: “Livin’ in sin is the new thing” as well as the claim that “What we do is innocent Just for fun and nothin’ meant.” It’s really not. Sexual union is only appropriate within marriage. Living in sin is nothing new, but it’s also nothing good. Far from being innocent, it produces guilt in the participants: not subjective guilt in the form of feelings of guilt (though it may), but objective guilt in the form of being under the wrath and curse of God. At least, however, Ms. Spears recognizes that what she is promoting is sin. Perhaps others will also note that and repent.

Sin of Onan

September 29, 2009

*** Caveat ***

Onan’s sin was something disgusting, something that displeased God, and for which Onan was slain. The reason I’m spending a whole post on this topic is that recently some Roman Catholics have been trying to use the issue of Onan’s sin as some sort of argument that “Protestant” folks are unwilling to consider Scripture.

I realize, as well, that there are some Roman Catholics for whom this is not a matter of serious consideration. They have a theology that their church has given them (or so they think) and they are going to stick with that, regardless of what Scripture says or doesn’t say.

I also realize that some of them think that it is a notable matter that many of the Reformers held over some traditional ideas that influenced their view of what Onan’s sin was. Apparently, for them, it is a significant issue if our understanding of the text is different than the majority view of the text from relatively early in the patristic period through at least the first two centuries of the Reformation era.

Finally, of course, I’ve tried to use euphemism in the following discussion, for reasons that should be apparent to any adult. If you decide to comment on this post, keep in mind that if your comments are explicit, I will censor them.

*** End of Caveat ***

What is the sin of Onan? Many Roman Catholics today argue against certain contraceptive activities on, among other things, the idea that this is condemned as the sin of Onan in Genesis 38:9. The following is a response to that idea.

First, the text:

Genesis 38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

Next, the text in context:

Genesis 38:6-11
And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also. Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.

i) Genesis 38:9 does not provide any universal moral commandment.

The wording of the verse itself should be a clue to that. Also, of course, the context of the verse should be a clue. The verse is worded in that God was displeased by what Onan did and slew Onan. Furthermore, this discussion is not given in the context of a set of laws, but rather in the context of an historical account.

ii) Genesis 38:9 is susceptible to several possible interpretations, because it merely states that the thing that Onan did displeased God and that consequently God slew him.

There are several possible things that displeased God about what Onan did. The thing that displeased God could be:

1) Because Onan slept with his brother’s widow.

2) Because Onan spilled his seed on the ground.

3) Because Onan refused to raise up seed to his brother.

4) Because Onan disobeyed his father.

We can rule out (1), because Judah had commanded Onan to do this, and Judah’s command is supported by the later Mosaic codification of the levirate law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).

If (2) is correct (and, in a sense, it is correct), the question is why? The only clear answer is …

That (3) is correct. The reason that spilling the seed on the ground was wrong was because it was a refusal to perform the duty required by Judah and later codified by Moses. Onan failed to honor his father, and God slew him.

We might add (4) as well, but (4) is correct inasmuch as (3) is correct.

iii) Several less general principles can be drawn from this passage.

It is dangerous to rush to generalizations from a single passage. There are several generalizations that could be made from this text, in view of the meaning of the text.

1) That disobedience to parents is wrong.

2) That failure to obey the levirate law is wrong.

3) That levirate relations should be procreative only.

4) That marital relations should be procreative only.

Given the level of detail provided in the text, (1) seems to be unsatisfying. It does not seem that God was simply displeased because Onan disobeyed his father, but over the manner in which he did so.

The fourth option (4) is much too general. The fact that this was a levirate relationship is significant to the flow of the text, and a generalization that fails to account for this seems to fail to identify the true issue.

The remaining options are (2) and (3). These are not far apart. Nevertheless, we can distinguish between the two. The issue is not one in which Onan obeyed the levirate law and then did something else in addition, instead it is one in which he refused to obey the levirate law. Thus, (2) is the better answer than (3).

iv) The fact that Calvin (and Luther?) viewed Onan’s activity to be inherently displeasing to God does not make it so.

A surprising number of people think that it is significant that Luther (?) and Calvin generalized Onan’s sin rather differently than we do. Nevertheless, Luther and Calvin agreed with us that their views ought to be held up to the light of Scripture. Since their views of this particular text do not seem to be sustainable exegetically, we are justified in departing from their position on this issue.

Some have even gone so far as to suggest that if we say Luther/Calvin/whoever misunderstood this text, we’re saying they were unsaved. Certainly that is not what we are saying. The fact that people disagree with the best exegesis of the text does not mean that those people are not Christians.

v) Does Onan’s intent matter?

In seeking to generalize the teaching of the verse differently, some have asserted that Onan’s intent in doing what he did was unimportant. It didn’t really matter (say they) that he was seeking to avoiding raising up children to his brother. I find this idea strange. Intent is normally highly significant. Furthermore, the text makes a point of telling us Onan’s intent.

If we ignore Onan’s intent, we would be in the position of saying that even if Onan simply spilled it accidentally, God would still have slain him and that Scripture uselessly provided us with this information about what was going on inside Onan’s mind. Can any reasonable person think that is the case?

vi) What about Er?

Note that Er was also wicked and was slain by God. We’re not told what Er did, and yet we know Er didn’t have children. Some have interpolated this to mean that Er was doing the same basic act as what Onan was doing, and have attempted to use this to justify generalizing beyond the levirate situation.

The problem with such a claim is that the extent of our knowledge is that Onan’s older brother Er was wicked and was slain by God. We’re not told why or what he did. We are not told that he did anything remotely similar to what Onan did. Furthermore, Judah’s concern regarding Shelah does not seem to be motivated by a fear that he will do the same thing as Onan, but more of essentially a fear that Tamar was “bad luck.”

Likewise, the larger context (which I have omitted for brevity) adds that Judah ultimately blocked Onan’s younger brother from marrying Tamar (Er/Onan’s widow). Subsequently, Judah himself did (unintentionally) raise up seed to his son, by sleeping with his son’s widow (whom he thought at the time was a prostitute). It should be noted, however, that the children of that union are never attributed to Er, but always to Judah.

vii) But is the death penalty the appropriate punishment for violation of the levirate law?

While Moses did not appoint death for violation of the levirate law, God is free to sentence to death everyone who violates His law in any degree (James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.) And, in any event, dishonoring one’s parents was a capital crime under Mosaic system, and the command here was a command of Onan’s father.

-TurretinFan

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 26

June 30, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

James 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Luke 13:3 (and 5) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Matthew 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 25

June 29, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Proverbs 29:3 Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.

Proverbs 6:26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

Proverbs 23:27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 24

June 28, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Deuteronomy 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

Deuteronomy 23:18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 23

June 27, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Leviticus 19:29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

Leviticus 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

Deuteronomy 22:21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 22

June 26, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Matthew 5:27-28
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 21

June 25, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Proverbs 6:32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

June – Sexual Depravity "Pride Month" – Part 20

June 24, 2009

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Deuteronomy 5:18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.


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