Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 3

The Sermon on the Mount Carl Bloch, 1890
The Sermon on the Mount
Carl Bloch, 1890 (from here)

In Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 1,  I reblogged Everything is a Miracle, an insightful post by insanitybytes22. Because I wanted to discuss in some detail some of the comments that followed that post, I decided to do a multi-part post.  Hence, I posted Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 2 and now this post.

Does The Bible Teach Us To Hate Homosexuals?

Does the Bible teach us to hate homosexuals? No. In fact, some silly people say the Bible does not even condemn the practice of homosexuality (Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality). However, that’s going too far. The Bible clearly condemns the practice of homosexuality. See What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Is homosexuality a sin?  and What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

Why would people be confused? The Bible doesn’t have much to say about homosexuality. The Bible makes it clear homosexuality is a sin, a sign of depravity, but it then focuses on more important topics. Moreover, because homosexuality has become so controversial, many ministers don’t even like talking about the subject. Similarly, many ministers don’t like talking about the abortion of babies (see Rev. Graham: ‘Don’t Shut Up!’ – ‘Homosexuality is Wrong’ & Abortion is ‘A Sin Against God, It’s Murder). Thus, it is easy to remain blissfully ignorant.

Since we don’t want to be ignorant, let’s consider the matter. What do the practice of homosexuality and the abortion of babies have in common? They are both sins, and the practitioners of these sins have succeeded in convincing large numbers of people there is nothing wrong with these sins. Homosexuals and abortionists have actually succeeded in doing what most sinners — most human beings — attempt at one time or another.  When they rationalized their sin, they convinced themselves and a great many others that there is nothing wrong with their sin.

People will rationalize even the most abhorrent of sins.

  • When do gluttons finally see themselves as obese and not gourmets?
  • When are alcoholics and other drug abusers finally convinced they have a problem?
  • When we run a traffic light and accept the possibility of killing someone, when do we consider it a sin instead of some kind of game we play with the police?
  • When bank robbers rob banks, don’t they make excuses? Don’t they tell us the bankers stole the money or some such thing, that the rich really did not earn that money? Do bank robbers ever understand they have done something wrong?
  • When the Nazis murdered twelve million in concentration camps, didn’t they offer a justification for persecuting the people they condemned? Didn’t the Communists justify the murder of the tens of millions they purged? When did the Nazis and the Communists finally admit they had sinned?

So what are the consequences? If homosexuality is wrong, the Bible (and therefore Christians) can rightfully condemn the practice. Otherwise, when they condemn the practice of homosexuality, Christians commit a sin, and the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God.

Why does the Bible condemn homosexuality? The Bible doesn’t specifically say. However, the Bible also doesn’t specifically say what is wrong with stealing or murder. Apparently, we are suppose to have enough sense to recognize something is wrong with murder, stealing, and homosexuality.

Well, that is not entirely true. The Bible does give us a clue as to why sexual immorality is wrong. Consider this passage, written by the Apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

Flee Sexual Immorality

12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

The Corinthians Paul addressed in his letter lived in sinful city. According to 1 Corinthians, chapter 6 (www.usccb.org), 1 Corinthians 6 considers two examples of prostitution. Earlier, in verse 9, Paul condemns the used of boy prostitutes. Verses 15 and 16 refer to temple prostitutes who “worshiped” in a temple dedicated to Aphrodite (see 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 (www.godrules.net)). As the passage continues, Paul makes it clear that sexual immorality (or fornication) is a form of idolatry. That is, sex of any kind outside of marriage is sinful.

Verse 18 refers to sexual immorality as a sin against the body. What does that mean? There are various interpretations.  John Wesley offered these comments.

Verse 18 (from the KJV) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Flee fornication — All unlawful commerce with women, with speed, with abhorrence, with all your might. Every sin that a man commits against his neighbour terminates upon an object out of himself, and does not so immediately pollute his body, though it does his soul.

But he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body — Pollutes, dishonours, and degrades it to a level with brute beasts.

However, in Premarital sex – why are Christians so strongly against it?, altruistico provides an explanation that better indicates why sexual immorality is such a subtle poison.

There is, in truth, no such thing as “casual” sex, because of the depth of intimacy involved in the sexual relationship. An analogy is instructive here. If we take a sticky note and attach it to a piece of paper, it will adhere. If we remove it, it will leave behind a small amount of residue; the longer it remains, the more residue is left. If we take that note and stick it to several places repeatedly, it will leave residue everywhere we stick it, and it will eventually lose its ability to adhere to anything. This is much like what happens to us when we engage in “casual” sex. Each time we leave a sexual relationship, we leave a part of ourselves behind. The longer the relationship has gone on, the more we leave behind, and the more we lose of ourselves. As we go from partner to partner, we continue to lose a tiny bit of ourselves each time, and eventually we may lose our ability to form a lasting sexual relationship at all. The sexual relationship is so strong and so intimate that we cannot enter into it casually, no matter how easy it might seem. (from here)

So what does all that have to do with homosexuality? Some time back I wrote a series of posts on homosexuality.  Since the topic keeps coming up, I did a rerun a couple of years ago, RERUN: REVIEWING THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST NORMALIZING HOMOSEXUALITY — PART 1. The last part, Part 4, included this paragraph.

Furthermore, homosexual sex is unnatural. If Nature’s God “ruthlessly designed” every aspect of sex to further reproduction, not frivolous pleasure, then what is the likelihood a same-sex relationship will function properly to form and sustain a family? When Nature’s God has no interest in such a relationship, why would he want two people of the same-sex to complement each other as well as two of the opposite sex? (from here)

In practice, when two people of the same-sex have sex, all they can do is mess up their friendship and each other. For the sake of a few minutes of pleasure, they can spread disease to each other, they can play havoc with each others emotions, and they can damage each others ability to form a long-term bond with a member of the opposite sex. What their sexual union cannot do is produce anything productive.

In three posts,  talks about the different types of love spoken of in the Greek language.

  • “What is eros love?”: “Eros is the word used to express sexual love or the feelings of arousal  that are shared between people who are physically attracted to one another.”
  • What is phileo love?: “Philia refers to brotherly love and is most often exhibited in a close friendship. Best friends will display this generous and affectionate love for each other as each seeks to make the other happy.” To have a successful marriage, a husband and wife must be best friends.
  • What is agape love?: “Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself.” When we have agape love for others, we are willing to make sacrifices without the anticipation of gain for those we love.

Sexual intercourse between two people of the same sex is for the most part about eros love and just about exploiting another human being. That is, when two people of the same sex have sexual intercourse, at least one of them is doing so solely for sake of his or her sexual pleasure. As observes:

When shared between husband and wife, erotic love can be a  wonderful thing, but because of our fallen sin nature, eros too often  becomes porneia. When this happens, human beings tend to go to extremes,  becoming either ascetics or hedonists. The ascetic is the person who completely  eschews sexual love because its association with sexual immorality makes it  appear evil and therefore must be avoided. The hedonist is the person who sees  sexual love without restraint as perfectly natural. As usual, the biblical view  is seen in the balance between these two sinful extremes. Within the bonds of  heterosexual marriage, God celebrates the beauty of sexual love: “Let my lover  come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. I have come into my garden, my  sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my  honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, O friends, and  drink; drink your fill, O lovers” (Song of Solomon 4:16–5:1). But outside of biblical  marriage, eros becomes distorted and sinful.

If you are interested in reading more on this subject, please see Homosexuality: SIN OR ABOMINATION by .

To Be Continued (By Next Saturday, hopefully)

Comments welcome. That includes advice on what I should say when I post on the last topic: The definition of a miracle.

12 thoughts on “Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 3

  1. I think it is important to realize that the freedom of speech and religion are gone and that one puts his life and fortune at risk by discussing certain things.

    It is really, really bad out here. I mean REALLY bad.

    A couple of nights ago I was shouted down by the students and insulted by the professor of, get this, an astronomy class.

    My crime?

    I used good old Greco-Roman reasoning to show the absurdity of a claim made by a program on PBS NOVA concerning the existence of alternative universes.

    And my most vocal critics were the brightest and most accomplished students.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I can understand that.
      😉

      There are obviously alternative universes. There is one for men and one for women. There is one for Liberals, and there is one for Moderates. There is one for Communists. There is one for Nazis. There is one for militant pacifists…. Is there one for Conservatives? It seems we are rooted in this world. Maybe the next life….?

      There is an alternative universe for Atheists. Except for agnostics, the practitioners of most other religions seem think the can make their own universe, that it is all about doing, not being. Agnostics are uncertain any universe exists. Radical Muslims, on the other hand insist upon invading everyone else’s universe and bringing those submit to Allah (Those who don’t die.) back to their own universe.

      Only Christians insist that we all live this universe, that Jesus will come again and be our King.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There are two general concepts of alternative universes; one is unknown and unknowable in our present understanding, the other is an absurdity that is considered by some to be real because the math seems to work.

      The first one Citizen Tom has already discussed; the idea of bubble universes. (As an aside, the evidence for the Big Bang is quite strong.) But bubble universes, while interesting, don’t seem at current time to have any possibility of interacting with ours or being detected; in fact, any such contact would generally be destructive were it even conceptually possible. So, there may be bubble universes out there, each with its own set of physical laws and thus very different from ours — but it doesn’t matter.

      There is a possibility that our understanding may increase to the point where this knowledge can be useful; however small, this is worth spending some time and treasure on. For one thing, this “quantum foam” that gives rise to the idea of bubble universes is connected to the idea of zero-point energy. And if we were able to figure out how to tap into that, our energy problem would be permanently solved.

      The second multiple-universe notion is named after its originator: Everett’s Many-Worlds Hypothesis. This addresses the probability notion of events at the quantum level with a new world created for each possible outcome. It is implied by the math of probabilities, but rather than assuming our understanding is incomplete, Everett assumed that every possible outcome comes true.

      The scale of Everett’s Many Worlds idea takes a moment to appreciate. Defenders of this, and there are some such as this one, use the “classical” example of Schrödinger’s Cat. No matter which way the event is observed, cat dead or alive (this fellow more gently assumes “asleep or awake”), the one universe becomes two separate universes, one for each of these outcomes.

      All right, somehow another universe has come into being, this flatly states. You now have twice as much mass, twice as much energy (yes, sort of the same statement), and twice as much space that this arrangement exists in. How was one displaced from the other so that they do not interfere or interact? Where did all of that come from, the force that could create the second universe as a replica of the first without disturbing it? We have a sense of where the Big Bang got its mass and energy, but that was a very messy event that we can still see echoes of, literally, nearly fourteen billion years later.

      But it’s not just two universes. Unlike the (maybe) poor cat, each quantum scale particle has an infinite number of possible positions. The “expected” positions are the most probably, but all others are possible. A quantum particle may even appear on the other side of an impenetrable barrier; this is called “quantum tunneling.” The particle did not pass “through” the barrier, it simply appeared on the other side.

      In fact, this odd effect is the key to radioactive decay. In an atomic nucleus, a particle may appear (move, sort of) to a point far enough from normal to cause a sensitive nucleus to fall apart as a result from the now unbalanced forces. This is with no outside force acting or influencing events. Since it is governed by probabilities, it happens at a steady rate predictable from the structure of the nucleus, and thus radioactive decay rates are stable over long periods of time. (In essence, all materials are radioactive, but most have such long half-lives that they don’t have a decent chance of even one decay event in a universe-long lifetime.)

      So now back to Everett: Every quantum-scale particle in the entire universe can be in every possible position every tiny fraction of a second, and according to the Everett interpretation, every one of these possibilities is a real outcome and creates a pair of universes. But this is an infinite number of possibilities times a near-infinite number of particles times a near-infinite number of occasions (the smallest element of time is Planck time; it’s pretty small) — and all of this has been going on since the beginning.

      So, to make the math of quantum probability more comfortable, the Everett folks imply a number of universes and mechanism for creating them with math that makes its own horrendous new problems.

      I’d agree with you: This notion is an absurdity. And it will go away, eventually, with new insight into quantum probabilities.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Like

      1. I suppose I should be perturbed that Silence started these unrelated threads, but I majored in science, not homosexuality.

        I also see Silence inspired a post on your blog.
        http://www.dehavelle.com/2015/08/universes/

        Since it is not directly related to the concept of alternate universes, here is something I would like to take up here.

        There is a possibility that our understanding may increase to the point where this knowledge can be useful; however small, this is worth spending some time and treasure on. For one thing, this “quantum foam” that gives rise to the idea of bubble universes is connected to the idea of zero-point energy. And if we were able to figure out how to tap into that, our energy problem would be permanently solved.

        I don’t disagree that money needs to be spent on the research. I don’t know enough to disagree. I just wish the Federal Government would stop spending our money on research that is not military related.

        With respect to promoting progress in the progress in science and the arts, here is what the Constitution authorizes Congress to do.

        To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

        Some time ago I reached the conclusion that government funding of research wastes too much money. Given that Congress has exceeded its authority, I suppose we should not be surprised by that. However, I was once naive enough to think NASA was doing something wonderful with its manned space program. Instead, Congress just started us down the road of Socialism in space, and Ronald Reagan did not quite kill that initiative.

        Like

        1. You’ll notice I never said the US government should do this, just that it should be done.

          On a practical basis, when governments do fund these sorts of cases, the costs are usually modest. A notable exception is in the area of colliders; those are megaprojects that are sometimes large enough to span states and countries. Interesting but tougher to justify, even (or especially) to the large funders willing to spend billions on other causes.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Like

        2. Yeah. I noticed you did not say who should fund it.

          You say the costs are usually modest? Well, maybe, but I think that is because you are thinking about what spend on social programs.

          There is also a hidden cost. When government funds the research, that gives government busybodies a foot in the door. Think about our space program and all those wasted years.

          Like

    3. @silenceofmind, who wrote:

      I think it is important to realize that the freedom of speech and religion are gone and that one puts his life and fortune at risk by discussing certain things.

      I agree that these are largely compromised now. One stark example is that of the school superintendent in Miami who had the temerity to voice, earlier this year, that he thought that the pool party policeman was probably not a racist. He said this in his capacity as a private individual.

      He was relieved of his post. The fact that he was right doesn’t help him.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Like

      1. Here are a couple of links.
        http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/North-Miami-Senior-High-School-Principal-Alberto-Iber-Loses-Job-Over-Post-on-Police-Incident-in-McKinney-Texas-306816711.html
        http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article23616994.html

        It doesn’t sound like the guy intended represent the school. It just sounds like he is a principal at a mostly black school. Thus, the question arises. Is he is only allowed to say things that make black racists happy? It most seem so.

        Have blacks lost their minds? If they don’t treat people the way they want to be treated, it is just going blow up in their faces. In fact, it already is. What advantage have they gotten by supporting that racists they help to put in the White House?

        Like

  2. Citizen,

    Yes, and the signature of at least one of those alternative universes is superimposed upon the signature of our own universe, the cosmic microwave background radiation…

    …at least according to PBS NOVA.

    I kid you not!

    Like

    1. When science becomes religion, whatever we want to believe becomes science.

      The idea of alternate universes is really just a silly abuse of the language. It comes from redefining the meaning of the term “universe.” It comes from thinking small.

      If there was one BIG BANG, then in infinite amount of space and time (eternity), it is reasonable to assume that the phenomenon is not unique. There have been other BIG BANGs, and there will be more BIG BANGs. What we don’t know is whether there were any BIG BANGs. We merely have scientists who have taken what little data they have to extrapolate the position of the stars back in time. Their projections indicate an expanding universe. Meaning?

      Nevertheless, we have this talk of bubble universes, and people trying to prove they exist. Shrug. I don’t know why anyone would get angry about such speculation. I just wish the people who believe in such things would use their own money to do the research.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/do-we-live-in-a-parallel-universe-2015-4 discusses the topic.
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/physics/2015/05/a-new-way-to-detect-bubble-universe-collisions/

      Liked by 1 person

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