Over on his blog, Darrell Bock got into a sparring match with a commenter over homosexuality. I'll reproduce his comments:
Submitted by Darrell L. Bock on Tue, 2010-08-17 21:23.
Ok, Lynn, explain this in the Bible--Gen 2 and its definition of marriage as involving a man and a woman, a text Jesus cited (and he was capable of challenging the status quo). Please note I am not talking about the government or civil rights. Just what Jesus taught. To say Jesus accepts same-sex marriage is to say something for which there is no biblical evidence (generic claims about love do not apply) and to ignore how he defined marriage and how he said God defined marriage as well in responding to the issue of the exception in Moses. You are right to raise the issue of consistency in how we let moral violations in heterosexual contexts slide, but as we discussed long ago and long and hard, to use one poorly handled moral area to open the door for another is not moral progress.
On to whomever: I suppose one day people will use the argument that people are born aggressive and thus are murderers by nature, people God cannot help to do better.
Submitted by Darrell L. Bock on Wed, 2010-08-18 21:30.
Please do not misrepresent what I said. Bad place to start. Neither did you answer the question. You tried to skate around it, taking logical missteps along the way.
1) Genesis, which he cites, only mentions a man and a woman in marriage.
(2) Problems in what can be done does not equal allowing what cannot be done (logical fallacy there), so raising 1 Cor 7 does not work. hat is a rabbit trail from my question.
3) Even worse in your reading is that Paul makes clear in 1 Cor 7 that choosing to marry is not sin right there in the context, so this is not a command in any kind of absolute sense as you try to characterize it (even though it is not relevant anyway).
(4) So you misrepresent 1 Cor 7 to try and get out of what Genesis 2 says. Genesis 2 is not a commandment when Jesus cites it but a definition of what marriage is and a description of what happened when God brought Adam and Eve together to start the helpmeet relationship that made for a marriage, a male-female design that Jesus affirms. No where does he say one must do it. In fact Jesus also notes the value of staying single. but what Jesus does say is that this is what constitutes a marriage according to God.
(5) So what Jesus says simply states what a marriage was intended to be and nowhere does he say two partners of any sex, but specifies a man and a woman.
(6) This was no "ideal". (genre mistake) It was a declaration of what marriage is and that it was intended to be permanent. Thus, Jesus' no divorce reply (at least with only adultery as an exception- but all of this detail on divorce is not relevant to my question either). So you calling it and making it ideal is a second logical equation that is not what is taking place in the passage. Each of these moves (commandment, ideal) obscures the point by trying to move away from it and ceases to see the point of why Jesus cited Genesis 2, which was to define marriage as a base for what he goes on to say.
(7) So to say Jesus approved of same sex marriage not only says too much. It says something Jesus denied by the very passage he used to define and discuss marriage.
(8) Not only is nowhere a same sex marriage in the Bible endorsed, but every time a sexual relationship between the same sex comes up, it is condemned. Jesus even referred to Sodom and Gomorrah as evidence of evil. Running to love to cover a multitude of condemnations is yet another run around the text.
For these reasons, you lack of understanding about my position on morality affirmed in the last paragraph of your response does not respond to facts about the text, but efforts to get around what it says. According to Genesis 2 and Jesus' own words we can cite, gender has everything to do with marriage and the morality of it so defined (Judge Walker's view notwithstanding).
I am not going to go around in circles with you again on this topic of same sex relationships. We did that dance already. I will leave it here.
Submitted by Darrell L. Bock on Thu, 2010-08-19 16:45.
You claim another scenario for marriage but cite no text for it. That speaks volumes. You attempt to redefine passages that address the kind of relationship present in same sex marriage. That speaks loads. I let the nature of your answers speak for themselves.
Scripture has two exceptions that permit divorce. Sexual infidelity (Matt 5) and unbeliever desertion (1 Cor 7). I am not missing what the text says there, but the point is irrelevant to the key point being made.
These passages do not stand by themselves. There are several texts on this theme. Not a one is positive. Not a one says (all bad except for this one case where love is present). Nothing. Nada. That speaks tons as well. Not one positive example. Not one.
I am sorry Lynn but as sincerely as you believe this, it is at the expense of the emphasis on this topic in the Word. People who engage in this practice sin (as do others in other areas-- on this we are all agreed). It is sad that it cannot be identified as the sin the Scripture calls it to be. There are different kinds of disobedience-- denial is one kind. That has consequences God will one day sort out for all of us. But Paul warns at the end of Romans 1 that encouraging people to do this is even worse. That is part of what makes your responses so tragic.
What the nation ends up doing probably will have little to do with God's word because we no longer care about that consideration as a society. That is what I most lament. The law permits lots of things that are not moral. It is a low common denominator in part because we love freedom of choice (read no accountability to God) so much. I do not expect good moral judgment (or much of a moral reflection from many in the world who do not care about God) on topics like this. We love our autonomy from God too much. That also is sin.
The only truth you defend is the one you see about this topic while ignoring several counter signs in the text.
Despite all I have said about how I read your view, I also wish you all the best.
Submitted by Darrell L. Bock on Fri, 2010-08-20 17:18.
Still have not answered the core question about same sex relationships in Scripture, running instead to discernment of spirits. You ignore the Hebrews 13 text to continue to discuss many wives. All irrelevant to the direct topic because that is the best you can do. There is no evidence for your category. It is what you have discerned because it is what you want to believe. God speaks but we discern in a direction that has no clear single text. Simply dangerous.
Submitted by Darrell L. Bock on Mon, 2010-08-23 05:40.
When we are not dealing with a text only, but a theme consistently handled negatively with no hint otherwise. The only discernment one needs is to recognize the theme for what it is: teaching. In this scenario, there are no underlying principles to seek out. The text has them in its consistency. That is part of what this topic different than others you raise to try and move around what is explicitly present in the text again and again. Everything you say about principles or dealing with texts where there are a variety of angles being presented (as with polygamy or divorce) and that do ask us to think through qualifications that apply to those topics do not apply in this case. This key difference in how the texts are handled render the examples of these other categories irrelevant to the particulars of this discussion.
The issue is "not to blindly follow Paul's instruction" but to hear the heartbeat of God in a consistently set forth rebuke of a specific sin so serious it is the example of a deep fall of a culture. Your "personally" section states your credal priorities. Sadly, it ignores all of the above. God's creation of male and female and their interaction within marriage are obliterated by what you argue for as acceptable to God. His definition of marriage, affirmed by Jesus, as involving male and female is ignored, set aside as an irrelevancy. If people find affirming that repulsive, then so be it. No one said that calling sin a sin would be popular, not even Jesus had that success in his life. But he screams through his shed blood that forgiveness and transformation (please note this last category) are possible for those who seek him. It is not where we start as people that matters (because we all start in the pit); it is where we turn to get out. That is what makes forgiveness and enablement that comes through him and the work of the cross so beautiful.
Submitted by Darrell L. Bock on Tue, 2010-08-24 05:13.
Our differences are well summarized in your last post. Thank you for that. Just one point. We are not talking about relationships in general here where all the points you make about how people should treat one another apply and where gender does not matter. We are discussing marriage, where gender is a central part of the issue as Genesis 2 presents it. The gospel is not gender-related, but marriage is. The failure to note this biblical distinction in categories is precisely where I think your confusion lies. All the best, Lynn.