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May 12, 2012


Same Bible, Different Verdict

NPR has an interesting article on the two very different Christian views that seek to use the same authority.  That’s probably not a fair word to use since the left gives their bible little to no authority.  What with all that evolving and conforming to the culture, it’s hard to have many authoritarian positions. 

It’s true, says Carmen Fowler LaBerge: You can be a Christian and support same-sex marriage, but, she says, “nobody can say gay marriage is biblical. That’s just foolishness.”

LaBerge resigned her post as minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) after the denomination voted last year to ordain noncelibate gay clergy. She says the Bible is clear.

“From the Old Testament and throughout the New Testament, the only sexual relationships that are affirmed in scripture are those in the context of marriage between one man and one woman,” she says.

Actually, the Old Testament does condone polygamy. Still, LaBerge says, from Leviticus to Paul’s writings in Romans and First Corinthians, homosexual acts are called vile and detestable, and legalizing same-sex relationships does not change the sin.

Not so fast, says the Rev. Susan Russell, an Episcopal priest at All Saints Church in Pasadena, Calif. She takes her cues from Jesus.

“Jesus never said a single word about anything even remotely connected to homosexuality,” she says.

Nothing.  Nada.  Well, maybe sometimes, like in this pesky little section:

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Here is an interview of Rev. Russell where she talks about the conservatives in the church. 

I think what it demonstrates is there is a small percentage of the radical conservative fringe for whom nothing but capitulation to their perspective is going to be enough and one of my questions to the church is how long are we going to continue hold our gospel imperative hostage to that kind of blackmail and bullying.

  Yes, the GLBT gospel imperative is quite evident in that interview, don’t you think?

Isn’t it comforting to know the GLBT lobby will never use that bullying and blackmail stuff? raspberry

If you are a poll junkie, here’s the latest on the gay marriage thing. 


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7 comments

I heard the program.  It was a typical NPR hit piece with a veiner of objectivity.

[1] Posted by Br. Michael on 5-12-2012 at 08:08 AM · [top]

They did not say who Susan Russell is. It sounded like she was just an Episcopal priest.

[2] Posted by Pb on 5-12-2012 at 08:31 AM · [top]

Radical conservative fringe? C’est moi.

So, someone named Susan Russell says, “Jesus never said a single word about anything even remotely connected to homosexuality.”

I wonder how she knows that. Perhaps she is one of the disciples, reincarnated.

Maybe she means to assert that the Bible doesn’t record a specific teaching of Jesus about homosexual practice.

If so, then she doesn’t read the Bible.

There’s this…

That single word is πορνεία porneia. For example, in Matthew 15:18-20. Porneia is one of the things that defiles. Porneia refers to unlawful sexual practice of various kinds. Jesus is speaking to an audience of Jews who know exactly what He means. Later on, Paul, speaking to Gentiles, has to spell it out.

Then, she has the gall to say “our Gospel”? Heh.

[3] Posted by Ralph on 5-12-2012 at 10:36 AM · [top]

Sue Russell is full of [whatever foul substance you wish to imagine].

[4] Posted by Nikolaus on 5-12-2012 at 11:26 AM · [top]

I learned along time ago how to dismantle the argument that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. I simply ask if Jesus was one with the Father (John 10:30). The implication being that Jesus was fully ware of sexual prohibitions on all kinds of sexual sin, including homosexuality (Lev 18; Deut 23). The counter then becomes that Jesus didn’t think homosexuality important to address. I simply ask does that mean everything Jesus didn’t address, like rape, should be permissible? Stops them cold and leaves them grappling for a Scriptural defense of their position. Sometimes even leaves them rethinking their logic.

Of course I have encountered ordained priests who think it is silly to perpetuate that Jesus was more man than you or I. But again, it’s good to get them on record as to their true, non-Scriptural beliefs.

[5] Posted by Festivus on 5-12-2012 at 01:04 PM · [top]

Atheism as a Purification

There are two atheisms of which one is a purification of the notion of God.
  Perhaps, every evil thing has a second aspect—a purification in the course of progress towards the good—a third which is the higher good.
    We have to distinguish carefully between these three aspects because it is very dangerous for thought and for the effective conduct of life to confuse them.

Of two men who have no experience of God, he who denies him is perhaps nearer to him than the other.
  The false God who is like the true one in everything, except that we cannot touch him, prevents us from ever coming to the true one.
  We have to believe in a God who is like the true God in everything, except that he does not exist, since we have not reached the point where God exists.

The errors of our time come from Christianity without the supernatural.  Secularization is the cause—and primarily humanism.

Religion in so far as it is a source of consolation is a hindrance to true faith: in this sense atheism is a purification.  I have to be atheistic with the part of myself which is not made for God.  Among those men in whom the supernatural part has not been awakened, the atheists are right and the believers wrong.

—Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace


That is why St. John of the Cross calls faith a night. With those who have received a Christian education, the lower parts of the soul become attached to these mysteries when they have no right at all to do so. That is why such people need a purification of which St. John of the Cross describes the stages. Atheism and incredulity constitute an equivalent of such a purification.
- Simone Weil, Faiths of Meditation; Contemplation of the Divine

[6] Posted by The Plantagenets on 5-12-2012 at 04:46 PM · [top]

I usually start with Ralph’s response in #3, and move on to Festivus’s response in #5. I would, however, add the question why, even if we accept it as correct, the statement “Jesus never said anything” not only constitutes a requirement that the Jewish prohibition should be overturned, but is, in fact, a demand for “full acceptance”. I’m also curious why we should expect that a bunch of people 2000 years later who strongly disagree with orthodox Christian theology on numerous other points can better infer Jesus’s intention from this supposed silence than one was was (at the very least) contempoary with Jesus,  appointed by Jesus and personally knew and had questioned those who spent three years being taught by Jesus. (Not to mention the unanimity of Church Tradition, suggesting the other apostles believed the same thing, and Jewish culture on this matter.) If we want to know what Jesus thought, and we don’t have any words of His recorded, then surely that will offer some clue.

But most of all, I’m always most amazed that people can keep presenting an argument so obviously flawed as though it were a watertight support for their case.

[7] Posted by Boring Bloke on 5-12-2012 at 08:08 PM · [top]

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