Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rejecting Christian Homosexual Marriage, Part 2

In coming to the conclusion that there can be no such thing as homosexual marriage within the Christian community, I have relied upon the Scripture of both Old and New Testaments, my personal experience with homosexual feelings (which I can identify having had since as early as seven years old), personal experience living in the homosexual community, and my heterosexual marriage of twenty-nine years now.

It is important at this juncture to establish that I am speaking of marriage as described in the Bible. The larger reality of "marrying," which occurs among people who do not claim Christ as Lord and includes co-habitations, sexual alliances, contractual obligations, political agreements, and homosexuals unions, are not the topic examined here.

It will be argued by many Christians that since God instituted marriage with Adam and Eve, then the institution of marriage belongs to God and must follow His precepts. True enough, perhaps. However, marriage is just one example of many precepts from the Bible which are reflected in larger culture but not practiced. There most likely are about 5.35 billion people in the world who do not acknowledge any of the Bible's teachings, who do not care, or who overtly reject the relevancy of the Christian faith and its teachings. These people are defining marriage for themselves according to human logic and desire outside all God has ordained.

Thus the rejecting of Christian homosexual marriage is a view for those who are within the Body of Christ. I am not speaking to the larger culture and the debates therein over homosexual marriage. However, having brought the ways of those who are not of Christ into this discussion, consider these NT words:

Should Christians be angry or aggressively attempting to legislate the behavior of those who live apart from the Light of the World? If we Christians will live fully in the Spirit and Presence of Christ, the Truth of Him will spread; and in those who come to know Him, the revelation of Truth will convict. Then words upholding marriage as a sacred union which cannot be mimicked through homosexual intimacy will ring true of life and love from God.

Oh...there's the title for next path in the Wild Wood: "The Sacred Union."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rejecting Christian Homosexual Marriage

The short answer for the question of why not receive a "Christian" homosexual union is that the Scripture so clearly forbids it. For a while in my life, I stopped trusting the Bible as the revelation of God to humankind. My sojourn without the Bible (please do not read this as maudlin) coursed through the streets of several major American cities and became a personal trip into the heart of darkness within me. If Joseph Conrad and I shared a few hours over coffee, he would find his knowledge of the dark heart expanded considerably!

This prohibition is stated in both Old and New Testaments. Any reader can find detailed exegesis of these Scriptures from both texts and written from the perspective of both sides. Were I to exegete in support of my view, you would not read much difference between me and all those with whom I agree. The next two posts will not dwell too much on exegesis.

I am proficient with language and still developing wisdom and the result is I sometimes write in tones suggesting I know more than I do (consequentially not intentionally, but nonetheless true). My challenge in this post is finding the strongest expression against something while remaining compassionate, standing apart from dogmatism and hatred, and stating my thoughts thoroughly within God's plumb line.

Next up, I take a swing at the topic within those stated parameters.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fifty-cent Philosophy

Discovered a new author/philosopher. Actually he's been dead since 1965 and just "new" to me. Apparently, I have been in the dark a bit. The back of the book said he has been widely known among baby-boomers.

How did I miss him?

I was enjoying the time of rummaging through rummage sales on Saturday with my wife. I check out used books, any covey of man-junk to be flushed out and the occasional baked goods at these community encounters. Found a book on managing classrooms based on being loving. Brand new book essentially, as it has only been read by one person (original owner was the seller). At the next and last sale, I found the Martin Buber book, I and Thou. Both books were only fifty cents! Gotta love a good bargain.

Went to the car and read, while my wife went back for the half-price sale at noon in the warehouse sized National Guard Armory. Inside of three pages with the Buber book, two things happened. I read one sentence six times and am still not sure what Buber meant by an allusion he used. Second, I was fascinated.

Anyway, if you've come looking for the post I planned on homosexuality. I am still pondering how to say what I want to say. I am also reading a lot currently.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Overcoming Sin, Part 5

Overcoming sin has a practical side. Filling time with fellow believers, especially in acts of service toward others, is key. The old adage, "an idle mind is the devil's workshop," is an adage for a logical reason. Memorizing pertinent scriptures and exercising the discipline to recite them when being tempted to revisit the old pattern helped me. 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 2 Corinthians 5:17 were especially powerful in my circumstance.

However, none of the practical will be effective over the long term, if the biblical revelation of God being a holy God is not accepted as the core reason for seeking to overcome sin--especially sexual sins. There can be no overcoming of sin, if the spiritual truths associated with sin are not embraced.

We do not reject the need for sleep, food, water or excretory function for any reason. We simply accept these drives as necessary for biological life. The sexual drive is a bit more complex since it is a physiological need deeply rooted in our emotional need. Unlike any of the aforementioned biology, the sexual drive may be denied without death occurring as a consequence. So why deny it?

There is no reason for anyone to deny the sexual drive of the human body is the view of most people. After all, it is a biological drive just like eating ... until one considers the words found in the Bible in multiple places regarding sexuality. One interpretation of these references (from my viewpoint the most logical and accurate interpretation) is that the sexual union between man and woman is only authorized by God as occurring within marriage. All other sexual activity is considered sin. Homosexuality is forbidden specifically with no references being found that a committed union may be included in the blessed state of marriage. (That is the subject of the next post.)

Which leads inexorably to denial of all thoughts, desires and decisions around sexual activity outside of marriage. Folks claiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior either accept this or rationalize it away.

How is denial of the sexual drive to be accomplished?

Loving God for Who He is, is the motivational spark which lights the will to self-denial. At the beginning of each day if I am not centering my thinking, my emotions and my will on the whole concept of love for God, I have no hope of maintaining any faithfulness to the commands and principles found in the Bible. To love anyone means knowing that person's characteristics and loving the person fully for the whole--sometimes in spite of--these characteristics. Unconditional love.

Not so with God. There is no "in spite of this characteristic" in loving Him. All God's characteristics, which include both His beautiful grace and His perfect judgment may be easily loved. Of all His characteristics, His holiness is the most compelling and inscrutable attribute. It is because of His holiness that His grace and judgment exist. In His holiness is the source both of the blessings' flow and all His commands against some actions labeled sin, which thus carry negative consequences.

I have learned I cannot overcome sin--any kind of sin-- without the loving of God as my motivation. I cannot truly love God for Who He is, if I deny His holiness. I think this is true for all of us.