THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANITY — PART 2

Sources include:
1. http://santafelibrary.blogspot.com/2012/12/community-chanukah-menorah-lighting-on.html
2: http://plesiologos.blogspot.com/2008/04/el-judaismo.html
3. http://hearingshofar.blogspot.com/2011/03/shofar-clip-art.html

Well, vacation is over. So here is the Part 2 to THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANITY — PART 1. A we observed in Part 1, an article like Where Christian churches, other religions stand on gay marriage (pewresearch.org) suggests which churches are Liberal and which are Conservative and includes a list, Where Major Religions Stand on Same-Sex Marriage. So let’s start with Conservative Judaism.

Conservative Judaism

“Conservative” Judaism supports same-sex marriage? When people abuse words that way,  it becomes difficult to take them seriously.

Supposedly, the liberal Jewish denominations are the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative. My Jewish Learning provides this assessment in an article about the position of the various Jewish denominations on same-sex marriage, Same-Sex Marriage. All these groups seem to accept same-sex marriages, at least to some degree, but the article does not explain why. On the other hand, Orthodox Judaism and LGBTQ Issues clearly states that Orthodox Judaism has problem with same-sex marriage for Biblical reasons.

Here are some of the websites I visited that promote Conservative Judaism.

My inclination is to say that none of these websites put God’s Word front and center, but that’s a judgement call and maybe a bit of an overstatement. What is more important is whether those who practice Conservative Judaism put obedience to God’s Word ahead of their own desires.

When the Bible explicitly condemns same-sex “sexual” relationships, why is same-sex marriage okay with Conservative Judaism? Here is what I got from my research.

  • Condemning same-sex “sexual” relationships hurts the feelings of the LGBT community.
  • If we try hard enough, we can convince ourselves the Torah doesn’t mean what it says.

Anyway, here are some various articles on the subject.

Except for the fact some people take them seriously, articles like HOMOSEXUALITY, HUMAN DIGNITY & HALAKHAH: A COMBINED RESPONSUM FOR THE COMMITTEE ON JEWISH LAW AND STANDARDS would be funny. This damned thing goes on for 36 pages, but here is the essence of the argument. Homosexuality is not a choice and cannot be changed. Celibacy is too hard. So it is mean to homosexuals to tell them they cannot get married. Doesn’t the Torah tell us to love each other, not to be mean to each other?

Keep in mind that the people writing this nonsense know the Bible prohibits same-sex sexual relationships. They cited two of the verses in the Old Testament. However, they ignored much of what the Old Testament says, and they went out of their way to twist the meaning of those verses. Even so, they had to reach this conclusion.

Yet at the conclusion of this section we must acknowledge that the established halakhah presents a comprehensive ban upon homosexual intimacy. Even if most of the possible activities are banned “only” by rabbinic authority, we are rabbis who accept and promote the authority of our predecessors. Our liturgy, diet, festival cycle, ethical and civil codes and all other aspects of religious life are directed by rabbinic precedent. As individuals and as rabbinic leaders of our communities and movement, we are dedicated to spreading these teachings and inculcating their practice. We understand that there is a need for fences to prevent Jews from transgressing the Torah’s sexual prohibitions. If anal sex between men is a cardinal prohibition, then it is clear why our predecessors thought that non-anal sex should generally be prohibited as a fence around the Torah. Whether we follow Rambam or Ramban, the established halakhah presents a complete ban on all acts of homosexual intimacy. (from here)

What is going on here? According to the scholarly analysis of the rabbis who wrote that extract, the Torah only prohibits anal sex. Other types of same-sex sex are okay, but the traditions of men have prohibited them. In effect, the propagators of this nonsense are trying to fool themselves into believing they are only changing traditions of men, not the plain meaning of the Bible. Don’t think so? Check out II. Homosexuality in the Old Testament (bible.org).

 

 

65 thoughts on “THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANITY — PART 2

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  1. Tom, I think what makes marriage so important isn’t just procreation or building stable communities, but because marriage is the analogy God uses for His own relationship with His church, with His bride. Marriage is that one flesh relationship where two become one, much like He invites us to become one with Him. So in a way it isn’t even really about homosexuality, so much as it is about perverting or distorting what has already been designated as Holy. Marriage is actually called “Holy matrimony” for that very reason.

    That is one partial difference between liberal and conservative Christianity. Liberals often want to change what has traditionally been perceived as Holy, as sacred.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @IB

      That is one partial difference between liberal and conservative Christianity. Liberals often want to change what has traditionally been perceived as Holy, as sacred.

      When Liberals do this, they begin to tread down the path of calling what is evil good and what is good evil.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right? Human nature being what it is, we must label what we wish to destroy, “evil.” So now SSM cannot simply be about gay people getting married, it must also be about tearing down the traditional family and naming it as “evil.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep, Jesus died on the cross to teach us what kind of sex we shouldn’t have. Strangely though, He never mentioned the homosexuality once.

    Because you have this quest to split Christians into warring tribes, I can really see how upsetting it must be not to have Jews join your faction. Did you ever consider that their reason for eschewing the pitchfork crowd is that Jews have too often been on the receiving end of such supposedly “Christian” rage? Maybe it’s because Jews know that such Pharisaic fundamentalist purity likely will be turned on them next?

    Just a couple theories on why Jew won’t be Jewish enough to suit you, but what do I know? I’m not a Jew? 🙂

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    1. @tsalmon

      You want me to pretend everyone can have their own truth? What if my truth is that whatever you have is mine? Where do you draw the line? You do, you know? You just denied “my truth,” and you insisted upon your own. Would you split us into warring tribes?

      What does split us into warring tribes? Sin. Adam and Eve sinned when they did not trust and obey God. Instead, desiring to be God, they allowed Satan to deceive them. They denied the truth God had spoken to them.

      The Bible calls fornication, including same-sex sex a sin. Jesus affirmed the Old Testament, and He affirmed marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

      Marriage. One man and one woman. We don’t even need the Bible to figure this out. Our biology affirms this.

      You have your own ideas about marriage? You want your own truth? Most people do. That is why Jesus spoke these words.

      Mark 13:9-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      9 “But [a]be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the [b]courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. 10 The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 When they [c]arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. 12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and [d]have them put to death. 13 You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

      And so with the help of the Holy Spirit those who love God endure to the end.

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      1. 34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’

        37Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ c 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ d 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

        We never cease trying rationalize away our failures to follow this simpler but difficult supreme truth.

        The simple truth is that we don’t selfishly hurt one another in whatever form it takes (theft, adultery, lying) because
        doing so breaks the God’s law of love.

        The law against theft is not some arbitrary rule that God imposes for its own sake. Like all of God’s laws, it is founded in love and like all laws the measure of its sinfulness is judged by its failure to love..

        Christianity is not the Pharisaic intellectual art of rabbinical rule divining. Christianity is the difficult and dynamic practice of God’s love everyday in every minute to everyone.

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        1. @tsalmon

          When Satan tempted Eve, the text suggests Adam stood there and just listened, saying nothing. He allowed Satan to tempt Eve, and he said nothing. He allowed Eve to believe her own truth. Until God questioned them both, Adam did not discomfort Eve at all.

          When Eve offered him the forbidden fruit, Adam accepted and took a bite of it. How did that work out? Is that your idea of love?

          Adam blamed Eve for his sin, but his sin was to love himself and perhaps Eve more than he loved God and His truth.

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          1. In a way we agree in so far as you interpret the metaphor of Adam and Eve as an act of selfishness, but we can be too literal if we think that the sin was in the actual arbitrary eating of apples from a mythical tree rather than finding its real meaning and truth in that act of selfishness, that failure to love.

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          2. “The Old Testament requires capital punishment for murder and the practice of homosexuality. We deal with sin firmly, even applying capital punishment, because we love people.”

            Ok. What didn’t you say?

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          3. @tsalmon

            We don’t execute murderers?

            We are not under the Old Testament covenant. We don’t stone people for 30 different things. Yet the sins remain. Homosexuality remains a sin.

            The point is that when the Old Testament law was in effect God’s law required capital punishment for a larger number of sins. What changed? God? Nope. Are we now suppose to love both the sin and the sinners? Don’t think so. You have the answer. Right? Then what is it?

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        2. Take fornication as an example. A sexual in and of itself is not sinful, no matter what form it takes. Sex is only sinful when it selfishly unloving, when it is harmfully irresponsible. To say that two consenting, responsible
          adults enjoying sex out of the pleasure of their mutual love for one another is a sin if it cannot lead to procreation misunderstands the whole nature of sin.

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          1. @tsalmon

            Hollywood morality doesn’t even work in Hollywood.

            To say that two consenting, responsible
            adults enjoying sex out of the pleasure of their mutual love for one another is a sin if it cannot lead to procreation misunderstands the whole nature of sin.

            About a million unborn babies are aborted every year. That’s why responsible adults don’t have sex out of wedlock.

            The Bible clearly condemns fornication, AND YOU KNOW IT.

            I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this one.

            In a way we agree in so far as you interpret the metaphor of Adam and Eve as an act of selfishness, but we can be too literal if we think that the sin was in the actual arbitrary eating of apples from a mythical tree rather than finding its real meaning and truth in that act of selfishness, that failure to love.

            Because you obviously want to find in the Bible license to believe what you want, you complain about people interpreting the Bible literally. Yet it is ridiculously laughable to argue that the Bible condones fornication.

            You are over sixty years old. You have to know that free love is not free. When a two people get in bed and have sexual relations, in addition to the possibility of procreation, they risk passing diseases to each other and forming emotional entanglements. If people “play the field” when they finally do marry they don’t form as strong a bond with their partner as they should.

            Sex is not a toy. To treat sex as a toy is irresponsible. That’s why responsible adults marry before they have sex. We don’t trifle with the people we love.

            Bottom line. If there is mutual love, then why don’t those two consenting, responsible adults get married instead of setting a bad example.

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          2. Who said I thought the Bible wasn’t against fornication? Reread what I wrote. You are making up what you want to read.

            If you define fornication as unmarried sex, then why is it sinful? It is not because sex in and of itself is sinful. Instead the actual sin is having sex without commitment, without love, that may risk harms that are selfishly irresponsible. That selfish lack concern historically includes unsupported children, the spread of disease, and the prostitution of another person that happens when we use them for recreational sex without the commitment of love.

            If all sin, by God’s definition, is a failure to perfectly follow His command for us to love, then that love standard must be the measure by which we judge any given sin.

            If we legalistically bind ourselves to the rule without any sense of its foundational purpose (love) then we become Pharisaic slaves to the letter of the law while ignoring the spirit of all of God’s Law. Under the spirit of the law, two unmarried consenting adults in a committed, loving, monogamous sexual relationship (that takes responsibility for children produced, or excludes the possibility of children), whether they are married or not, is just not the same sin as adultery was 2000 years ago. Why? Because birth control (or age) can make children an impossibility. Because monogamy precludes STDs. Because living commitment precludes purely selfish sex.

            A purpose of marriage was not to have children, it was to prevent the harm of unsupported and unloved children. The reason why adultery is a sin isn’t simply because it breaks some arbitrary rule. It is because adultery is a selfish unloving act that breaks a promise that can harm an entire family.

            Sins don’t exist in the cold intellectuality of a rule book. Sins exist in the hearts and bodies and minds of real people who act with selfishness and without love as to the harm they are causing to themselves and others.

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          3. @tsalmon

            You do call yourself a Catholic, but I wonder why. Catholicism is just about the most rulebound Christian denomination there is. If you are going to make up your own rules, what is the point?

            As Christians, are we still under the law? No. Do we have to follow a bunch of rules? No. So why do we? Jesus said that if we love Him we will obey His commands.

            Since He gave us His Bible, we turn to it for guidance. The Bible uses marriage, not a so-called committed relationship, to illustrate how much God loves us and how much He wants us to love Him.

            If a man and a woman are seriously committed, they get married, and they stay together. If they don’t get married, they are not serious. They have not made the commitment.

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          4. I’m afraid you don’t know much about Catholicism, or the current disputes within the denomination these days, but then we are talking about religion, denominational doctrine and rituals, not the day to day dynamic practice of love that I believe that it means to be a Christian. Don’t get me wrong. I love Catholicism. I love our rituals. I try to humbly follow our doctrines as best that I can. But My slavishness is not to a denomination- it is to God’s Will. Maybe an example might help.

            Two of my closest friends were never married, and yet they lived together in a loving, committed relationship for many decades. And since they were not shy about such things, I know that they had an active sex life until his death at almost 80 years of age. When he got sick with cancer, she went to nursing school in her late sixties and became a nurse just so she could better care for him. When he died, he made sure she was provided for.

            Were they fornicating because they didn’t really believe in marriage? Because they were both atheists, they would of thought the whole question absurd. By your standard, they were unquestionably breaking a 2000 year old custom. Do I think that they lived in sin? I don’t think so, but since they did not appear to be harming anyone, I don’t think it is for me to judge. I know that there was a great love between my dear friends. I know that I loved them both and I still do.

            I think that to judge sin, any sin, without reference to love is to make an idolatry of the letter of the law over the spirit of all of God’s Law, and the spirit of all of God’s Law is love.

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          5. @tsalmon

            I never set myself up as the judge of persons. We are all sinners, even judges in black robes. So none of us is fit to judge the other. However, we can evaluate what we see of each other’s words and deeds. I am glad your friends stuck with each other, but they still should have married. As it is, it appears they were married in spirit if not in fact.

            In the end, I expect God cares most about what is our hearts, but we cannot see each other’s heart, not even husband and wife. So we have to demonstrate for each what is in our heart. That is one purpose of the marriage ceremony.

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          6. I know about Catholicism. Fides et Ratio.

            Should I use the Church’s understanding of philosphy and teleology to argue Tom’s understanding of marriage and love?

            Should I use the Catholic understanding of the magesterium and the authority invested in it by Jesus Christ?

            Should I first explain the Catholic exegesis of Scripture?

            You can decide, I can do them all, as Tom may not have the Catholic lingo, but he does know the conclusions of Catholic Doctrine.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Love to read anything you write Phillip. You sound real professorial. I can always learn something.

            The controversies that I was referring to, however, have to do with the changes that began with Vatican II. In furthering that revolution in the Holy Church, I think our current Pope wants the Catholic shepherds to think a little less highly of their own grand “magisterium” and to smell a bit more like the sheep.

            To quote Pope Francis from an October 2016 Homily:

            “Blessed are those Christian communities that live in authentic simplicity! Poor in means, they are rich in God. Blessed are the shepherds who pay no mind to worldly success, but follow the law of love: welcoming, listening, serving. Blessed is the Church that goes beyond functionality and organizational efficiency, beyond worries about her image.”

            A personal encounter with Jesus isn’t hiring a lawyer, even a lawyer on Catholic Canon Law. Moralism makes a sad punctilious idol for the God of Love. The law is the slave of love, not the other way around.

            It is these current Catholic controversies that I was referring to. I’m sure you’ve heard something about them.

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          8. @tsalmon

            Before we allow our children to drive a car, we insist that they learn how to drive, including the applicable laws. Marriage and the operation of a family is at least as difficult as driving a car, poses different kinds of dangers, and is regulated by Federal, state, local laws, including school boards. Yet here we have a lawyer saying the only thing that matters is love, no matter how thoughtless it might be.

            Love may cover a multitude of sins, but it does not excuse us from making an effort to do the right thing. Love is suppose to encourage us to make the effort to do the right thing.

            The type of love the Bible talks about is Agape love. Agape love begins as an act of the will, not as an emotional response. Agape love requires us to make a choice in conformance with God’s will, not an exercise in false humility. God gave us brains. We are suppose to use them. That includes learning what God wants from us and striving to obey His commands so that what we do is within His Will.

            God’s law, His commands, are a gift of His love for us. Our obedience glorifies His and demonstrates our love for Him.

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          9. First, I’m just going to talk generally. I guess I need to ask when you use the phrase “God of love” what does that mean?

            Normally, in respect to Thomistic theology, one might say God is love, but of course that gets into the development of “ being”and the transcendental participation in God’s nature that is existence.

            So, if God is love. God is also truth. God is also justice. Following the rules of transcendentals a being is undivided and truth. So when one says God is love it also has to correspond with God is truth, justice, etc. The difficulty being is that with Vatican II language of accompaniment eventually one has to either say a sin is a sin or attempt to either change the magisterial understanding, which would be a house of cards with all other teachings of the Church. The alternative is nothing more than cheap grace.

            A prime example is Fr. James Martin. The Secular love this guy. He generalizes and uses shibboleth slogans and when someone asks him a direct question he either equivocates or evades. Why? In the name of accompaniment?

            Eventually, the doctor has to tell the diabetes patient to stop eating sugar or die. There’s no hate involved.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. @Phillip

            Wise words.Thank you.

            Tsalmon and I have a disagreement over whether God hates. So when you say no is hate involved, I have to suggest otherwise. Because it hurts the people we love, I suspect some people have negative feelings toward diabetes, and I would be quite surprised if God expects anything else from us.

            When Jesus died on the cross, there was a moment when He no longer felt the presence of the Father. He asked why He had been forsaken. There have been various explanations for those words. Is the answer in Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53?

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          11. Tom,

            I think that once again you are reading what you want to read. I agree that we obey laws, but our obedience of law is not out of the love of law – it is out of the love of God. Why is this simple idea controversial with some Christians? I don’t know, but perhaps it’s because there has always been a peacefully seditious quality (particularly to rote conventionalism) about Christ’s law of love. Arguably, it is that sedition of love that made Jesus so dangerous, and caused the hierarchy to crucify Him.

            I never learned Greek, but I’ve read that, unlike English, the ancient Greek language had many words for different types of love, and from my studies, I also know that “agape” was not the only Greek word for love used in Scripture. In context, however, it is obvious that Jesus was not just talking about some cold impersonal love when he said that we should “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The heart is the seat of emotion. Commanding us to love others as we love ourselves also implies a deeply personal and emotional love. I don’t think Jesus let’s us off the hook in our duty to love by playing semantic rationalizations.

            Let’s take a hypothetical. In violation of the law, a desperate mother steals from a grocery store a loaf of bread for her starving child. You are assigned to judge her crime. There is no doubt that the mother violated the letter of the law. But is there really any Christian justice here if the law of love does not preempt and interpret the letter of the law? More generally, is there no nuance between the level of selfishness and harm (in lovelessness) of supposedly sinful acts? And even more broadly, shouldn’t we spend more effort on correcting our own sins before we look for other people’s harmless sins to condemn?

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          12. @tsalmon

            Take a look at Psalm 119. Take another look at my last comment. I don’t think you read it carefully enough.

            Because we love God, we are grateful for His gifts to us. His Law is a gift because it is for our protection and makes us wise.

            There are about four different words for love in Greek. Here is a post => https://citizentom.com/2014/08/24/a-bible-study-are-christians-suppose-to-love-everyone-the-same-way-part-2/.

            Is agape love unemotional? Is laying down one’s life for another unemotional?

            You give the example of a woman stealing for her children.

            Proverbs 6:30-31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
            30 [a]Men do not despise a thief if he steals
            To satisfy [b]himself when he is hungry;
            31 But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold;
            He must give all the [c]substance of his house.

            When a society is does not maintain order, no one eats. Stealing does not solve a problem. It just creates another.

            In mercy we withhold the punishment some deserves. Out of grace we give someone what they do not deserve. God is both merciful and gracious. Therefore, if we repent and trust Him, we will not received the punishment we deserve. We will receive eternal life. Still, because God is just, His Son died on a cross in our place. We love Him because He loved us first.

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          13. Phillip,

            I’m familiar with the Thomist and the C.S. Lewis arguments, and I agree with them. I think that you misunderstand if you think that I (or Pope Francis for that matter) advocate Antinomianism.

            Intellectualism and metaphysics aside, Jesus’ call to love perfectly is just not that theologically complex or mysterious. An illiterate slave could immediately grasp it. It is also firmly based in the Gospel. The dynamic, interpersonal and situational practice of that sacred call is what is sometimes immensely difficult, even impossible. But with God all things are possible.

            No one is letting anyone off the tender hooks of their duty to the law here. What Jesus asked is much harder than mere legalistic compliance with arbitrary rules. Remember Jesus’ advice to the young man who said that he followed the law? How many times did Jesus say that mere legalism without devotion to love was just not enough? Who is really the ting to make it too easy here?

            For eternal life one has to do more than just stop eating the bad foods. One has to lovingly try to feed the masses with His Bread of Life.

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          14. Honestly, I think you’re equivocating here. First off, I didn’t say anything about Pope Francis. He is the Pope and I support him. If you my Augustinian commentaries two of them I quote Pope Francis encyclicals.

            Nonetheless, “the smell of the sheep” is a bumper stricken slogan. So, how about you describe what that exactly looks like for me, because I would argue that Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity have the smell of the sheep in their work.

            Liked by 1 person

          15. Tom,

            I don’t really think that we disagree. Yes, Jesus came to fulfill scripture, the Prophets and the Law. Indeed, the Law is meaningless and arbitrary without Jesus. This is not an argument for some form of Antinomianism. I’m just not radical or smart enough to found any new heresies, much less dredge up old ones. Matthew 22:36-39 is indeed radical, but it’s not new to Christianity after 2000 years (although to the the conservative establishment in every age that is endlessly threatened by it, you’d think it was constantly revolutionary). Jesus and his command to love is the foundation and the apex and the spirit of all of God’s Law.

            No one is saying to throw out the Old Testament here. However, Jesus radically changed and grew our understanding of the Old Testament and the Law, and He put love as the anchor upon which it all hangs, to the point where, if we are complying with, interpreting or exercising judgement on any law without reference to love, then it is not God’s Law. It is not really justice.

            This new understanding gives a tension to the law where we must balance between the order that the clear and sometimes cruel letter of the law provides and the uncomfortable, often disorderly, sacrifice for the sake of love and mercy that is the underlying spirit of the God’s law. That was my point with the hypothetical.

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          16. @tsalmon

            Actually, I think you have proposed an excuse, love, to avoid complying with the spirit of the law. Antinomianism? Not going argue for a particular label.

            We differ about what marriage should involve. That includes both who can marry (same-sex marriage?) and the need for a ceremony before a marriage is consumated.

            Love, supposedly, is all a marriage needs. Love does not, however, incorporate knowledge, wisdom, truth,… Love is caring for someone. Love does not tell us what to do because we care.

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          17. “Nonetheless, ‘the smell of the sheep’ is a bumper stricken slogan. So, how about you describe what that exactly looks like for me, because I would argue that Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity have the smell of the sheep in their work.”

            It seems that you have provided your own example.

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          18. Okay… I know a great many, if not most, Catholics that will clothe,feed, give drink, etc. the poorest of the poor no matter their gender, creed, religion etc.

            But when asked Mother Theresa made clear what is sin and what is not. My point is that there are those who play politics rather than preach the entirety of the Gospel.

            Liked by 1 person

          19. Phillip,

            You are the self proclaimed erudite who promised to to enlighten and correct me with your superior academic expertise on the dogmas of our shared denominational theology. I love to learn professor and I await your schooling, but so far all you have done is tell me things that I already know and heartily with you on. What is it that you are trying to prove? That you are a very smart fellow and I am not? You win my friend and brother. I concede. Now, tell me something that I don’t know.

            As for sins, from what I have read from and about both of them, I think Pope Francis and the late Mother Theresa would say that all our sins are the failure to love as we should. Because love is the basis for all our sins and all our religious laws against sinning, it is also the lens through which we, with mercy and reticence about how we will be judged, practice judging others. If I’m somehow wrong in this clear simple interpretation of what Jesus said and did, and of what Pope Francis constantly emphasizes, then I await schooling. Is that unequivocal enough for you my good professor.

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          20. I spoke briefly about philosophy, you dismissed it. And said something about the smell of the sheep. I said give me an example, I provided an example of the Missionaries of Charity, you said that fits the bill. I said except the founder spoke often with clarity.

            So, I can have a discussion certainly on those topics, but to converse I need you to define what things mean such as God of Love, smell of the sheep, etc.

            Furthermore, if you prefer smell of the sheep bumper sticker slogans in comparison to the root of philosopher with Aeterni Patris by Pope Leo XIII and the importance to know things with that old antiquated understanding, it would be difficult to converse on much anything at all.

            All I am seeing is the skirting around doctrine into error, but not saying anything definite as to not show actual error. It’s a tactic employed by James Martin.

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          21. So, we can discuss or we can continue with your sour attitude, which, of course, I only interjected when you more or less claimed Tom didn’t know anything about the topics at hand.

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          22. “We differ about what marriage should involve. That includes both who can marry (same-sex marriage?) and the need for a ceremony before a marriage is consummated.”

            Actually, I have not proposed any such thing. What I have said is that I am responsible for my own sins, and when judging the sins of others, I should do so with the mercy and love that I hope mine will be judged by.

            As I said before, the worship of rules is the easy way out, the “excuse” for a hateful moralism by which we spinelessly evade our more difficult God given responsibilities to the love based morality that God’s Law of Love demands.

            Until I am the perfect spouse, indeed a man sinless in all things, who am I to judge the quality of two other person’s loving and committed relationship? By customs and legalistic formalities?

            It’s strange to me that, of all the terrible harmful sins in the world being committed out of a selfish failure to love as we should, a disagreement over the inarguably victimless taboos against fornication and homosexuality are the ones you choose to see some split in the Body of Christ over. Our actions and our judgements in accordance with the Law either follow the preeminent Law of Love, or they don’t. Jesus was clear on this and it is only to excuse our own sinful failures to love that we idolize the easy letter of the law over the arduous, situational, active and dynamic love that is the spirit of the law.

            Saul mercilessly condemned and persecuted those he judged sinners based on his understanding of the Letter of Law, but Paul tried to live and preach the Spirit of the Law manifested in the love of Jesus Christ.

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          23. @tsalmon

            What’s there to talk about?

            Victimless sin. That is an oxymoron. Who is the victim of sexual immorality? Those who died before they were born. Children transgendered by insane parents. The reckless, forlorned lovers who thought they had found their true love. The victims of STDs….

            Are there more victims? As I observed before, Hollywood morality does not even work in Hollywood. I suspect that if you made a serious effort you could list more victims.

            Judging others. The criteria for judging others is to judge their words and deeds the way we would be judged. That is dealt with in Matthew 7:15.

            When someone sins, there isn’t much point in shaming them. We all sin. Moreover, when someone sins, they cannot avoid being a victim of the own foolishness. So shaming is just piling on.

            We hold each other accountable by reminding each other that the costs of sin far exceeds the rewards. How? We point people to the Bible, and we pray.

            James 1:21-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
            21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all [a]that remains of wickedness, in [b]humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his [c]natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, [d]he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but [e]an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in [f]what he does.

            The Bible shows us to ourselves as we are, but that isn’t what we want to see.

            So is your preaching about love correct? The problem with your argument is that there is enough truth in it to be deceptive.

            Look up Mark 7:1-23. Jesus told the Pharisees that they had made the traditions men more important than God’s Law. With their twisted traditions they had so distorted what God wanted from them they had reached the point they were doing the opposite.

            In the second part of Mark 7:1-23 Jesus tells that what comes from heart defiles us.

            Love is not an excuse for disobeying God’s Word. Love should drive us to the Bible in search of wisdom, the wisdom to love wisely, to help the people we care about as much as we can.

            Hebrews 4:12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
            12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

            Like

          24. Phillip,

            I don’t mean to come off as having a “sour attitude”. I really don’t. I’ll try to be more accommodating to you, but I’m confused as to what you want. You seem like an agreement out in search of a fight, but you can’t figure out what to fight about or how to conduct the fight.

            There’s a scene in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” where giant fellow challenges Butch to a knife fight for leadership of the gang. Butch says ok, but first he wants to set the rules of the knife fight. When the big fellow scornfully says that there are no rules to knife fights, Butch says ok then, and kicks the big fellow in the nuts, ending the leadership problem.

            I’m trying to figure out what your disagreement is and you’re wanting to discuss the rules. At the cost of being unmannerly, excuse me then if I tend guard the family jewelry.

            I didn’t dismiss you philosophical examples – in so much as I am familiar with them, I was clear that I agree with those philosophers. As far as I know they don’t disagree with Jesus’ postulate on loving being the first of commandments, the anchoring foundation of all the law and the Prophets. How is that not clear and simple enough for you?

            Like

          25. I feel as though the discussion is being talked around and perhaps that’s just your communication style.

            How about let’s use an example:

            Bishop Tobin who said Catholics shouldn’t go to Pride events? What are your thoughts? Is going accompaniment? Or does going involve scandal?

            Now, I will admit his tweet wasn’t the most tactful and if he left off the children part it probably wouldn’t have been I’ll received.

            Now, did I think one could argue that Bishop Tobin acted with love toward his sheep in his diocese.

            Like

          26. Phillip,

            I’m not being evasive. Other than the most obvious cases, I just have no idea what everyone should or should not do in every case. I distrust easy and careless moralism in the face of real life moral dilemmas and crisis. I don’t think God made it that deterministically easy for us.

            I’ve been to two pride events. The first was about 20 years ago when my wife and I accidentally ended up at a gay pride parade on Decadence Weekend in New Orleans. She came down with me while I was drilling in the Navy Reserves. We went to the French Quarter for dinner and unwittingly got caught up in the festivities. I wouldn’t recommend it, not because of its gayness, but because it was exactly as it was billed “decadent”. Even then I was just too old to any longer appreciate that sort of lascivious eroticism, even of a heterosexual nature. As an old sailor who has visited port cities in the Orient and around the world, I’m not so easily shocked into prudishness though. It’s not my place to say anyone should or should not go there. If a Shepard really believes this is wicked, then this is where the lost sheep are to be found.

            The second gay pride event we went to was on purpose. My wife, daughter and her husband went to watch the Gay Easter Parade in New Orleans. There was plenty of trannies in hats and dresses, but all around, it was pretty sedate. Actually, it was a lot of fun in the gaudy, almost comedic, over-the-top way of such entertainment. We all wore hats and bonnets ourselves, drank hurricanes, and ate good Cajun food. To each his own, but I would bring my own grandkids to it if it were ever up to me.

            Have you heard of the psychological terms “repression” and “projection”? It is not an accident that many of the same Catholic and Protestant Clergy leadership who inveigled against gay sex were either secretly covering it up or actually promoting it.

            So I don’t have a black and white truism for your example. Like most things, I think that if we try to do the most loving, empathetic and compassionate thing, we are doing the best that Jesus expects from us. If we start separating ourselves from all the sinners, pretty soon we will all be standing alone, unloved, joyless, but smugly self righteous as Hell…and we’ll still be sinners even if we deny it to ourselves.

            Like

          27. After reflection, I don’t think any of us disagree per say. I think it’s more or less an idea of what is love and that’s why I asked for it to be defined. What is the teleology of love? what is the purpose of love? what is the end of love?

            My wife and I had to take a questionaire, I think separately when we were married. The Priest asked her, “Does your husband ever impede your will?” And she stumped him by saying, “I suppose that depends, did I step out in front of a car in the street because then I hope he impedes my will.”

            Since the inception of Christianity, there has been competing ideologies: Stoicism and hedonism(The Epicureans). So, for me, I wouldn’t take my family to an event because, as a historian, I see that it’s ultimately culture that moves history–that moves people’s hearts. And for the most part, Catholicism since Vatican II has rendered its culture mute. I would never put on any Pride clothes because I think if given the opportunity many of the folks would like to see me sent to the Gulag Archipelago. Now, that’s not to say I am against Vatican II–I’m not. I think the document on religious freedom Nostra Aetate is a good document. I think Sacrosanctum Concillium is a good document. So, in affect, by saying such, I’m already an enemy of the traditionalist.

            Let’s take a look at scriptural exegesis, I think here is where folks tend to separate. One of Christ’s great parables is the Wheat and the Tares. When I read your anecdotal experience. I think of it. Now, also, I think of Christ speaking in Matthew Chapter 10 when he says that families will ultimately turn against each other over His word. “I have not come to bring peace on earth.” In the Augustinian tradition, we have the City of God and the City of man. In the Lutheran tradition, I believe it’s the two kingdoms, I think off the top of my head, one of the Pope’s called it the two swords? At any rate, although we must not hide from the world, we must separate how we live from the world is the basic premise of that particular exegesis.

            I’m going to end here to get your thoughts. PS wordpress doesn’t notify me when comment, so I always have to come back and look.

            Liked by 1 person

          28. Tom,

            If all sin is the failure to love as we should, then sin requires a victim of our hatred and/or our selfishness, including the careless and irresponsible selfishness that engenders unwanted children, the spread of STDs, or forms child abuse. There is no such thing as a victimless sin, even if the victim is only ourselves by separating us from God. Sin requires a victim to actually be a sin. If you carefull reread what wrote, you will find that you misquoted me. I said “victimless taboos”, not “victimless sins”.You are the one promoting the concept of sins without victims, not me.

            The irony is that this completely flies in the face of all the very true things (which I completely agree with) that you wrote after this.

            Like

          29. @tsalmon

            One of the differences between the wise and the foolish is that wise adapt to the actual facts of the situation. The foolish adapt the facts.

            Sexual immorality is not about victimless taboos. The Apostle Paul counseled us to flee sexual immorality to avoid the unfortunate consequences of becoming a victim, of making someone else a victim.

            Like

          30. Amen to that Tom. But then the question is when is something immoral? Another question is are some things more immoral, more sinful than others? Why? What ruler do we as Christians use to measure all immorality by if it is not what Jesus called the most important commandments of all, indeed the commandments upon which all the other laws are anchored? As Christians, should our repentance, our mercy and our our path to holiness rely upon the Pharisaic rule worshiping that Jesus disdained as hypocrisy, or should it instead be upon the rocky, sometimes indeterminate, but joyful ground of Christ’s new, redeeming covenant of love?

            What is our faith if it is not grounded in love? In her “Theology of Love” Wynkoop puts it this way:

            “…That Christ may dwell in the hearts of the Ephesians, by faith, was Paul’s prayer (3:17), and this is related to a rooting and grounding ‘in love’. To the Galatians, Paul says it was not the external things, whether circumcision or no circumcision, but faith working by love (5:6) that availed with God. Faith is put in the context of love in Corinthians 13, not contrawise. Love is the only permanent ‘virtue’.

            “One of the most remarkable and significant teachings about the Christian life is that it is not faith that satisfies the law, but it is love that is the fulfillment of of the whole law. This does not mean, obviously, that one could love without faith but that faith comes into its moral significance in love.”

            Like

          31. @tsalmon

            We are not discussing something people have not been discussing for a couple of thousand years. So it is relatively easy to find both sensible and rather foolish commentaries on this subject.

            Why the foolishness? We want to make everything about what makes us “happy.” Because of our pride, we have a difficult time understanding that we cannot be happy until we humble ourselves before God, accept the fact He created us, not the other way around.

            Because God has given us the answers we need, that is why I keep pointing you at the Bible. Through its writers God anticipated our questions.

            What is a sin? The discussion of that can get a bit arcane => https://www.gotquestions.org/definition-sin.html. Basically, however, sin is just disobedience to God, and any sin — any disobedience — sends us to Hell (check out Matthew 5-7). Only Jesus had the capacity to live a perfect life, but that is the requirement.

            Fortunately for us, Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. With His life, death, and resurrection He covered our sins. We need only accept His gift by repenting and turning to Him. The grace of God, not our love, is our salvation. We can love, but we cannot fulfill the requirements of the Law with our love.

            What does the expression “The Law” refer to? The Torah. The first five books of the Old Testament. Here are several articles that address how we should apply the Old Testament today. I think the first most directly addresses your question, but the other two provide valuable points.
            =>https://www.str.org/articles/how-does-the-old-testament-law-apply-to-christians-today
            =>https://carm.org/christians-bound-by-law
            =>https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/should-we-obey-old-testament-law

            Still, the Bible should be our primary source, not the commentary of some good, bad, popular, or indifferent scholar. Paul explains how Jesus saved us from our bondage to sin in Romans. So that is a good place to start, and I think (for what it is worth) our primary reaction, once we understand what Jesus did, should be gratitude. We have nothing to give God that He should want. Yet He saved us. In amazement, we should to study the Bible as carefully as we can. Who is this God who did this for us?

            Like

          32. You think that I disagree where I don’t on some things:

            1. The scholarly work that I am citing is very much grounded in Scripture. You may note that the Wynkoop cite in particular has more than a few references to Paul. She also deals the etymology of words in Scripture translated from Greek and Hebrew and how those words affect meaning depending upon the translation lexicon and grammatical cases chosen in English. I also try to look up the Scriptural references as I read different scholars, No matter how we study the Bible, unless we are experts in Ancient Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew, we rely on scholars and their interpretations. While I agree that there has been a lot of foolishness in scholarly interpretation over the centuries, basically neither you nor I are able to pretend at this point that we are studying Scripture without a good deal of scholarly interpretation. We can only choose which interpretations in which we find the most revelation and truth.

            2. I agree completely that love alone is not enough, but it is the grace of God that saves us. Wynkoop basically says that in the quote provided. Only God can provide the salvation that Jesus sacrificed for, but through faith, grace and love we have to voluntarily and humbly ask to receive. Nobody is arguing this point.

            3. You seem to think that I am equating love with personal satisfaction or personal “happiness”, with some feel good religion. I’m actually saying just the opposite. Real love (as Jesus says and exemplifies) requires personal sacrifice. This, as Pope Francis says, can bring about a God given joy that one might call happiness, perhaps the ultimate happiness, in giving one’s life to God and others, but that is another discussion.

            Where we actually seem to disagree is that it is obeying arbitrary rules that brings salvation. What is the source and the purpose of rule following if it is not, as Jesus says, to obey the ultimate rules God gave us concerning love? Sin does not necessarily derive from the breaking of the rule, but in the failure to love that breaking a given rule represents. Given the situational dilemma or choice at hand, if a custom or rule, whether it is found in Scripture or not, does not effect, either positively or negatively, the foundational, premier commandment to love, then we may be following some letter of an arcane law, but we are not following the spirit of the law, because the ultimate spirit of God’s law is His love. If you really need Scriptural cites for this point, then you really don’t have to look far. Just look up every reference to “love” in the New Testament.

            Finally, if this New Covenant of Love, this new understanding and compact based on Christ is not wholistic, profound, transformational and transcendent of everything that came before it, not only in the Law and the Prophets, but in all of history, then Jesus is meaningless. If the Law and the Prophets alone could redeem us, then why Jesus? Jesus obviously changed, transcended and completed everything. To simply look at the Old Testament laws, customs and the knowledge and wisdom it gives us of God alone, without Jesus, is meaningless legalism.

            Jesus’ New Covenant of Love does not make salvation easier. The fundamentalism of following rules is easy. The difficult, incremental, discrimination of determining what is most living makes it much harder. But with God and only with God, it becomes possible.

            Like

          33. @tsalmon

            Where we actually seem to disagree is that it is obeying arbitrary rules that brings salvation.

            We obey God’s commands because we love Him.

            Where we differ is that I don’t think the Bible contains any arbitrary rules. I believe the Bible was inspired by God.

            Do we have to read the Bible in the original language in order to understand it? No. Do the translations contain some errors? Yes. Nevertheless, we can compare multiple translations. We can get an accurate understanding of the Bible.

            Then why do people disagree about the Bible? Why do some Christians insist on being pacifists? Why do some, like yourself, insist Jesus would not call same-sex marriage a sin? Translation errors? No. Because we are still sinners, we don’t think as well as we should. We sometimes see things in the Bible that are not there and ignore things that are there.

            The two examples I mention above both involved exaggerated notions about God’s command to love. When Jesus summarized the Old Testament with two commands (see Matthew 22:40), He cited the Old Testament. The Old Testament requires capital punishment for murder and the practice of homosexuality. We deal with sin firmly, even applying capital punishment, because we love people.

            So do I have special insight into the Bible? Am I some kind of modern Moses? No. I just believe the whole Bible is God’s Word. Until we both see the Bible that way, I think we should expect to interpret the Bible differently

            Like

          34. Phillip,

            Thank you for that comment. I also don’t think that we essentially disagree. Your thoughts on Vatican II mirror my own confusion, but you have obviously given it much more study.

            As to the question of love, I’m not avoiding defining it. The problem is that defining it intellectually is so difficult, and yet love is so fundamental to everything about being a Christian. I’ve mentioned this somewhere before, but did you ever think about the fact that love, like faith, has no meaning independent of the act itself? We define it in doing it more than in intellectualizing it. Part of the problem is that love seems to involve mind, body and spirit (heart), not just mind alone. In fact, it has been argued that, in intellectualizing love, we diminish its full qualities to some extent. Jesus talked a good deal about love, but it was His life and the mounting of the Cross that really gives us our ultimate expression and understanding of the word.

            I’ll give some thought to your enlightening exegesis about separation. I don’t disagree. Perhaps, however, the path to holiness, or sanctification, requires less of a physical separation from sinners, than a personal abrogation of sin within ourselves, within our own minds, hearts and souls. Because love is required for salvation, separating ourselves from sinners subverts the actualization of that redeeming love. Like Jesus, isn’t it our duty to provide a loving example to the unreserved? How can we help save the lost sheep by hiding in the herd, or worse separating ourselves into a small band of supposedly pure white sheep so that we don’t get the foul smell of those sodden sheep on ourselves? This supposed quarantine may have just the opposite effect by subjecting us to perhaps the worse sin of all, false pride. That said, I would be lost without a good deal of Christian communion, including the rock and tumble, but mostly civil, communion that I find here.

            Like

          35. “No. I just believe the whole Bible is God’s Word. Until we both see the Bible that way, I think we should expect to interpret the Bible differently.”

            We should legally stone adulterers and homosexuals because we love them? Yes, I think you are right there about interpretive differences, but not in the way that you characterize the disagreement.

            I too believe that the Bible, the whole Bible, was “inspired by God” but after that general principle is where your interpretive understanding appears to me to get muddled in conflict and inconsistencies. Because I don’t think you are literalist in your interpretation of all the rules and customs (particularly in Leviticus), then I can only assume that you want to be a selective literalist. At least the all-in Fundamentalist believes he’s being consistent in his literalism about dinosaurs on the Ark, talking snakes and the historic actuality of world wide floods.

            Does a theology based on what Jesus said about love have perfect unambiguity and clarity? No, I wish God made it that simple. A foundation based on love, compassion and sacrifice, however, does put the whole of Scripture in a thematic context that makes sense and gives a place to stand when addressing intractable problems, even if it does not provide final solutions like killing those we judge sexual sinners. Also a love based thematic theology allows the spirit of the law (love) to give precedence, understanding and justice to the letter of the law in the same way that Jesus did so in the Gospel.

            Honestly, I really don’t see how you gel such arbitrary cruelty in your mind with Christ’s message of mercy, compassion, sacrifice and love, but I’m happy to discuss it. I must admit, my whole faith might starve without God’s bread of life in love. I don’t know how you feed your spirit on the inconsistent cruelty of such literalist legalisms. I’ll pray for the grace to understand though.

            Like

          36. @tsalmon

            Of course I am monster. I am a Conservative. 😈

            Never suggested stoning adulterers or homosexuals, but it might seem that way to a properly indoctrinated Democrat😇.

            God does not change, but we are under a different covenant. Ancient Israel could execute people for a wide variety of crimes. Why? Some people just assume that the God of the Old Testament was cruel, but the rules changed because Jesus is full of love (and truth too, BTW). However, Jesus emphatically endorsed the Old Testament. So it cannot be that simple.

            What is the answer. As the apostle of love, you must know. What are your thoughts on the matter?

            Keep in mind I sent you three articles on this subject, none of which suggested stoning anyone.

            Like

          37. “The Old Testament requires capital punishment for murder and the practice of homosexuality. We deal with sin firmly, even applying capital punishment, because we love people.”

            Ok. I must have missed my bus to the political indoctrination camp, but this still confused me.. Glad to hear that you don’t actually what support what you seem to say that you support. 😒

            PS

            Apologies for placing this in the wrong place first.

            Like

          38. @tsalmon

            Here is reply to your comment in the correct location.

            BEGIN[We don’t execute murderers?

            We are not under the Old Testament covenant. We don’t stone people for 30 different things. Yet the sins remain. Homosexuality remains a sin.

            The point is that when the Old Testament law was in effect God’s law required capital punishment for a larger number of sins. What changed? God? Nope. Are we now suppose to love both the sin and the sinners? Don’t think so. You have the answer. Right? Then what is it?

            BTW. Next time consider the context.]END

            Anyway, this thread has gotten too complex.

            You are welcome to answer my question and to explain why we can just arbitrarily ignore parts of the Bible, but I am done with it. I will be too busy. However, I will eventually get to the next post in this series.

            Thanks for your comments.

            Like

          39. In explaining that we no longer kill consenting adults for OT capital sex crimes, you seem to have answered your own question. I’ll look forward to you next post. Thanks for letting me participate.

            Like

          40. I think with that question you have gotten to the nut of the issue. How is the OT dramatically different from the NT? Why did Jesus say that the Commandments to love were first in importance, and the ones upon which the hundreds of other rules, customs and Commandments, as well as all the words of the Prophets hang if He was not saying that the ultimate objective, purpose and guide to obedience to God is love? Read in the light Jesus’ redemption of us in faith and love, everything in the OT makes sense. Without it nothing makes sense.

            Why would God’s blessing of sex, any kind of sex (premarital, sex using birth control, sexy in old age, homosexual sex, anal sex, oral sex, onanism, etc.) , be a sin, and when would it not be sinful? Why was circumcision no longer required? Why was, unlike the Judaism of the OT, Christianity no a tribal religion, but the universal religion for all peoples of every culture, race, ethnicity, nation and tribe everywhere? What is the common denominator, the common measure by which we are to judge and be judged if not our love and our failure to love as God commands? How does everything in the OT prepare for the profound change and fulfillment that resounds like a eternal thunderclap in the words and example of compassion, mercy and sacrificial love of that is the resurrected Christ?

            There are no Democrat or Republican Christians. There are only sinners trying to be more Christlike, and endlessly failing and trying again and again. You are trying to look to an insignificant dispute in time and place, the idiocy of the current culture wars, to examine the infinitely profound and eternal. In doing so we shrink the infinite, the awesome, the most Holy of Holies, the eternal love down to the blasphemy of our petty squabbles, ant not even over poverty or genocide or the endless suffering that we rain on each other, but about our stupid sexual customs and practices. Out of perfect love, God laid down His life for us in exquisite suffering, and we look for stupid excuses to hate and squabble and divide over such stupid things. In gratitude, we should be proclaiming and sharing His love endlessly, but instead we do this. We chastise and judge others for the most venial of sins, if they are even sins at all, while at the same time we applaud the rich for robbing the poor, we let the powerful rape the world of its life and beauty and we try to wall out suffering families fleeing persecution. I don’t know if Jesus hates, but we know He weeps. He must be weeping still.

            Instead of worrying about which of us sinning followers of Christ are conservative and which are liberal based on who makes love to whom and how in this insignificant moment in time and place, maybe we ought to figure out what it means to practice the love Jesus taught and showed us that is eternal.

            Like

  3. I’ve never met an orthodox Jew who ever thought same-sex relationships were condoned by God…but who am I to say…not an orthodox Jew…
    I don’t know… reading that men not laying down with men or women laying down with women pretty much puts the kibosh on that idiocy…just saying.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “Celibacy is too hard.” Aaaannnd, this is where I come to a full stop.

    If this statement be true, then I have managed a near biblical miracle for the last 40 years. 😉 (of course being irritable and prone to saying what is on my mind before I think doesn’t help me have friends, let alone male companionship)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Wyldkat

      I too was amazed by that one, and I appreciate your comment.

      It is a bit odd for clerical people to say celibacy is too hard. The Bible does suggest marriage as an option to celibacy, but not for homosexuals. That would be kind of like saying it is okay for kleptomaniacs to steal.

      God made us all for a different purpose, some to remain celibate. Some to marry. Some to have children.

      Jesus certainly had no problem with celibacy. Still, it can be difficult for us sinners to avoid fornication, but that difficulty — the fact we sin — doesn’t excuse fornication. Instead, the fact we are tempted and want to avoid sin should cause us to turn to Christ, to let Him free us from our slavery to sin.

      There is a punishment embedded in every sin we commit. In our hearts we know that. When we treat people as objects — mere things to be used instead of loving them — we leave behind a trail of tears, including not a few of our own. Hence, when we are wise we reserve sexual intimacy for marriage, the union of a man and a woman,

      Liked by 1 person

    1. @IB

      It is an amazingly obvious oxymoron. Have to wonder what drives that sort of thinking.

      Consider the context. We have a major political party ADVOCATING same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, deindustrialization, population control, gambling, the legalization of marijuana, nationalized medicine…… That party doesn’t seem to like people very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Is the term “same sex marriage” an oxymoron? To answer that, you first have to define marriage itself, and cite your authority for that definition. I define marriage as a covenant between a man and woman, mediated and dedicated to God, for the purposes of 1. exemplifying Christ’s relationship to His church (husband is symbolically Christ, wife is symbolically the church); 2. Providing for procreation (for the ultimate purpose of dominion of God’s kingdom over the earth); 3. Companionship (“it is not good for man to be alone). By that definition, the authority for which is the Bible, same-sex marriage is most certainly an oxymoron.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @iamcurmudgeon

      Oxymoron? Yep! You certainly put it clearly enough.

      So why do so many people accept the concept of same-sex “marriage”? They don’t want to call same-sex sexual relationships sinful.

      In a society where everyone supposedly has their own truth, there is no such thing as an oxymoron, at least, in theory. However, that theory is a lie. There are no societies where everyone has their own truth. There are only people who have repented and those trying to find some way to excuse their sins. There are only people who have discovered God’s Truth and His forgiveness and those who have not.

      Like

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The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

SGM

Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God. – Rick Warren

Communio

"Fear Not, Only Believe." Mk. 5:36

All Along the Watchtower

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

The Bull Elephant

Conservative and libertarian news, analysis, and entertainment

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Family Foundation Blog - The Family Foundation

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Dr. Luis C. Almeida

Why Complicate If You Can Simplify?

praythroughhistory

Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Dr. Lloyd Stebbins

Deliberate Joy

Lillie-Put

The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

quotes and notes and opinions

from a Biblical perspective

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

nebraskaenergyobserver

The view from the Anglosphere

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

Running The Race

Hebrews 12:1

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

atimetoshare.me

My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

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