Author Topic: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism  (Read 6511 times)

totaliter vivens

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #75 on: September 30, 2010, 03:13:10 PM »
Would you like to play this game with Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34?

Are we playing a game?  I thought we were discussing Scripture.

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! "  Matthew 23:37 (ESV)

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!"   Luke 13:34 (ESV)

I note that the words "as a hen" are used in most English translations indicating a simile.

Frankly, if you are simply looking for places in Scripture that Christ is referred to in a feminine gender, I think something like Proverbs 1 provides a much stronger argument.

20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
   in the markets she raises her voice;
21at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
   at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
Proverbs 1:20-21 (ESV)

Pr. Stoffregen expressed surprised that the Church was expressed in Scripture as a woman.  Well, she is when expressed as the Bride of Christ.

And yet the Church is expressed as an entity when it is expressed as the body of Christ in places like 1 Corinthians 12.

The question is not one of gender, but why a gender is used.  English is a language not overly dependent on gender outside of the description of animate things.  Many other languages are more dependent upon expressing even inanimate things as a male or female gender for certain reasons.

But the point I believe which is relevant to the discussion is that the marriage relationship is described well in Ephesians 5, and it is one between a man and a woman just as described in Genesis 2.

Mike



The "as" appears in Ephesians too.  Let me see... your point is that Christ (person) espouses Church (institution or symbol) and this proves that marriage is between a man (person) and a woman (person). I hope your understanding does not find legal sanction, I fear then we will see CEO espousing their corporations.

SPS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #76 on: September 30, 2010, 03:36:20 PM »
Pr. Stoffregen expressed surprised that the Church was expressed in Scripture as a woman.  Well, she is when expressed as the Bride of Christ.

I expressed no surprise. I asked a question. Is the church female?

Now I ask another one: What does it mean to be "female"?

Quote
But the point I believe which is relevant to the discussion is that the marriage relationship is described well in Ephesians 5, and it is one between a man and a woman just as described in Genesis 2.

Exactly: the marriage relationship described in Ephesians 5 cannot be a sexual one because of the analogy to Christ and the church. The analogy indicates that the marriage relationship is about love, service, sacrifice, care, respect, and submissiveness to each other (see Ep 5:21).
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

totaliter vivens

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #77 on: September 30, 2010, 03:38:00 PM »
The "as" appears in Ephesians too. 

Yes, of course it does.  But the as is used to introduce the simile that the marriage relationship between a husband and wife is similar to the relationship between Christ and the Church.

That the Church is expressed as having feminine gender is not the simile.

Let me see... your point is that Christ (person) espouses Church (institution or symbol) and this proves that marriage is between a man (person) and a woman (person). I hope your understanding does not find legal sanction, I fear then we will see CEO espousing their corporations.

I'm no attorney, but I do believe that corporations are sometimes described in documents with a feminine rather than neutral gender.

What significance your red herring has other than being feebly thrown out in your continuing assault against Scriptural teaching regarding marriage I have no idea.

Mike

Mike, I'm sorry, the red herring is in the traditional application of Scripture, and it went bad a long time ago. I don't assault Scripture, I rebuke literalists.

SPS

Scott6

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #78 on: September 30, 2010, 03:57:30 PM »
I've asked many times for those who hold that all homosexual behavior is sinful to show how the Scripture used for that conclusion is an accurate description of what is going on today.  The only answer I've received so far is that it is the clear Word of God.  If anyone chooses to respond, can we start with the New Testament, please, so we don't get bogged down in holiness codes?  Dueling blogs won't do it either.  Your thoughts, your interpretation of what you believe God is saying.

You may not be getting many takers because this topic has been discussed to death on ALPB.  Really.  To death.  I could link literally thousands of posts around "The Issue" (which is ultimately about scriptural interpretation, btw).

But to enter this discussion again, let's just look at one passage for now, Rom 1:26-27:

26 Διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιμίας, αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν, 27 ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες.

Here we note that vs. 26 speaks of women giving up of "natural relations" (τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν) for those "against nature" (εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν).  Though vs. 26 doesn't explicitly say this is women having relations with women, vs. 27 does make that clear with the particle ὁμοίως ("likewise") when it explicitly indicates that men engaged in relations with men.  Further, a judgment is given on these relations that are "against nature" -- such relations are "the shameless act" (τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην) and "their error" (τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν) for which they receive a penalty in their own bodies.

Note that no mention of the quality of their relationship is in view.  Only the engaging in relations "against nature" is.  And those are described as the "shameless act."

Further note that it doesn't say "against their nature" as if such activity would be wrong only if they were truly heterosexual and then engaged in homosexual relations.  Rather, it simply calls them "against nature" in general.

For another interpretation of "natural" & "unnatural":

These quotes all come from an essay called "'The Disease of Effemination'; The Charge of Effeminacy and the Verdict of God (Romans 1:18-2:16)," by Diana M. Swancutt, Yale Divinity School, published in Semeia Studies No. 45: New Testament Masculinities.

To my knowledge, of the early interpreters of Romans, only Ambrosiaster explicitly identifies the sex partners of the women as other women. Clement of Alexandria's Paed. 2.10 is far more typical of patristic responses to 1:26. Displaying a total disinterest in the identity of the women's sex objects, Clement highlights the gender-transgressiveness and lustiness of women's sexual activity. He also lists several possible sex acts as "contrary to nature":

It is surely impious for the natural [kata physin] designs to be irrationally perverted into customs that are not natural [para physin].... desire can alter the character of somebody already formed.... the point of this parable concerning the excessive desire and sexual activity of the female hare is to advice abstinence from excessive desire, mutual intercourse  [epallelon synousion], relations with pregnant women, reversal of roles in intercourse [allelobasias], corruption of boys, adultery, and lewdness.

Clement assumes that women who indulged desire in excess would act para physin in various types of intercourse ranging from adultery and sex while pregnant to "mutual intercourse" and a "reversal of sexual roles." [FOOTNOTE 1 below] As John Boswell saw, Clement's emphasis on "mutual intercourse" and the "reversal of sex roles" reflects his discomfort with women who unnaturally assumed the masculine, penetrative role in sex, whether that penetration was of women or of men (Boswell: 358; contra Brooten: 331). The desire that caused gender-transgression could, as Clement notes, alter the character of women. Hence, Clement sought to emphasize that women like those in Rom 1:26 who engaged in unnatural sex both "harm[ed] themselves" and upset the "design of nature." [FOOTNOTE 2 below] pp. 208-210

[1] See also Augustine (Nupt. 20.35), who interprets 1:26 as referring to nonprocreative intercourse between women and men (Brooten: 353).

[2] It is the treatment of para physin in passages such as Paed. 2.10 that finally convinces me that Brooten is incorrect in identifying Rom 1:26 as a reference to female homosexual sex. Her main argument, that "ancient sources depict sexual relations between women as unnatural" (250), works only if ancient sources only depicted sexual relations between women as unnatural. But the bottom line is that they do not (and when they do discuss same-sex intercourse, it is the psychic and/or physical manliness of one of the women that is deemed unnatural). Brooten does not discuss Clement's list at any length. She dismisses the relevance of Philo, who clearly says that sex with menstruants and nonprocreative sex are unnatural (248-52). She also fails to discuss Roman Stoic depictions of sex para physin (251 nn. 101, 103), which, like Clement, circumscribe natural sex to desire-free procreativity. If, as Clement did, we account for the standards of Stoics such as Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, and Seneca, the Romans could have treated as unnatural any unmarried, nonprocreative sex -- including women pursuing another woman's husband, women penetrating boys, men, girls or women, and the forms of "unnatural sex" Brooten lists and dismisses. Give that homoios does not specify the identity of the sex objects in 1:26, that ancients describe a variety of forms of sex involving women as unnatural, and that only one early patristic interpreter of Romans explicitly identified female same-sex intercourse as the subject of 1:26, naming the sex objects of the women in Rom 1:26 is probably a fruitless (and for Paul, at least, an unnecessary) exercise.)


If she is correct that most of the earliest commentators on these verses did not understand "unnatural" to refer to female, same-sex behaviors why should we? Could it be that what is natural/unnatural is defined by culture?

First, she misrepresents patristic interpretation of Rom 1:26 when she writes: "Clement of Alexandria's Paed. 2.10 is far more typical of patristic responses to 1:26."  Few others go into the degree of detail wrt to particular sexual practices as Clement does (the Early Church Fathers series translated this section of the Paedegoges into Latin rather than English b/c it was too racy; I guess Latin makes it sound more dignified).  Instead, most patristic authors reference Rom 1:26 as a way to condemn pagan societies and their loose sexual mores, and they do so without going into much detail one way or the other as to what specific practices are being referred to.

Second, Clement does see any sex that is not open to procreation outside or inside marriage to be against nature.  But he does not develop this thesis from Rom 1:26 -- rather, he specifically uses Rom 1:26 to speak against homosexual male sex acts.  He writes in this connection: "Yet, nature has not allowed even the most sensual of beasts to sexually misuse the passage made for excrement." (Paed 2.10.87)  He then goes on with his normal modus operandi in this section in drawing lessons from animals.

Oddly the section Swancutt quotes from as being representative of Clement's treatment of Rom 1:26 isn't in his treatment of 1:26 at all.  Rather, Clement is speaking of Moses' command not to eat the hare.  He goes into considerable detail re: his understanding of the biology of the hare (including the thought that it has 2 wombs), and then closes with the part Swancutt closes her quotation with.

Third, if Clement is taken as normative, as Swancutt wants to imply, then lesbianism is included in the prohibited behaviors Paul has in mind.  It's just a larger category.  That is, her claim that Brooten's argument ", that "ancient sources depict sexual relations between women as unnatural" (250), works only if ancient sources only depicted sexual relations between women as unnatural" is a non sequitur.

Fourth, the ὁμοίως ("likewise") of vs. 27 at the very least indicates that lesbian sexual activity is in view in vs. 26.  Whether or not it restricts understanding only to lesbian activity in no way lessens that particular prohibition.

Finally, I note that the objection was only to a possible reading re: lesbian activity, not male homosexual activity.  Just a note.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 04:07:11 PM by Scott Yakimow »

G.Edward

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #79 on: September 30, 2010, 04:50:39 PM »

Page 11: The Two Ends or Purposes of Marriage

"Marriage has two fundamental ends or purposes towards which it is oriented, namely, the good of the spouses as well as the procreation of children. Thus, the Church teaches that marriage is both unitive and procreative, and that it is inseparably both."

Any sexual act can be understood in this context.  Is it unitive (selfish or giving), and is it procreative (open to and capable of creating life).

Although it never became an "official" statement, the draft in 1993: The Church and Human Sexuality: a Lutheran Perspective included three good purposes for human sexuality. I believe that this reflects the general understanding in the ELCA.

We confess that through the ages the Church too often has overlooked the created goodness of sexuality.

The Old Testament conveys this goodness in terms of procreation (conceiving children), companionship, and pleasure:

PROCREATION: In the creation account of Genesis 1:1-2:4a, human beings are created in the image of God. Male and female are blessed with responsibility for the rest of creation (1:26-27): "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it..." (1:28). This account's emphasis on procreation as the primary purpose of sexuality was especially crucial in an era when Israel's very survival was at stake.

COMPANIONSHIP: The creation story of Genesis 2:4b-25 complements the first account by emphasizing that human beings are created to be in relationships – with God, with one another, and with the rest of creation. The focus is on the mutual companionship between the man and the woman, who are different yet similar: "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh"(Gen. 2:23). This poetic song bursts forth as an expression of joy. Their intimate companionship is expressed in sexual union (2:24), a mutual self-giving of their entire being. Their naked bodies are good, not a reason for shame or fear (2:25).

PLEASURE: The passionate feelings of sexual love are celebrated even more provocatively in the love poetry of the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon). Here the woman's sexual yearnings as well as the man's are boldly and joyously expressed: "I sought him whom my soul loves...when I found him...I would not let him go"(3:1-4). Their attraction to one another can hardly be contained. The pleasure of mutual erotic love is strongly affirmed.



All of which refer to committed opposite-sex relationships, a complementarity that is the image of God and often results in new life.  Thank you for supporting the traditional understanding of marriage.

G.Edward

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #80 on: September 30, 2010, 04:59:01 PM »
Pr. Stoffregen expressed surprised that the Church was expressed in Scripture as a woman.  Well, she is when expressed as the Bride of Christ.

I expressed no surprise. I asked a question. Is the church female?

Now I ask another one: What does it mean to be "female"?


DECONSTRUCTION ALERT!   DECONSTRUCTION ALERT!!

Scott6

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #81 on: September 30, 2010, 09:36:16 PM »
I've asked many times for those who hold that all homosexual behavior is sinful to show how the Scripture used for that conclusion is an accurate description of what is going on today.  The only answer I've received so far is that it is the clear Word of God.  If anyone chooses to respond, can we start with the New Testament, please, so we don't get bogged down in holiness codes?  Dueling blogs won't do it either.  Your thoughts, your interpretation of what you believe God is saying.

You may not be getting many takers because this topic has been discussed to death on ALPB.  Really.  To death.  I could link literally thousands of posts around "The Issue" (which is ultimately about scriptural interpretation, btw).

But to enter this discussion again, let's just look at one passage for now, Rom 1:26-27:

26 Διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιμίας, αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν, 27 ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες.

Here we note that vs. 26 speaks of women giving up of "natural relations" (τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν) for those "against nature" (εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν).  Though vs. 26 doesn't explicitly say this is women having relations with women, vs. 27 does make that clear with the particle ὁμοίως ("likewise") when it explicitly indicates that men engaged in relations with men.  Further, a judgment is given on these relations that are "against nature" -- such relations are "the shameless act" (τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην) and "their error" (τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν) for which they receive a penalty in their own bodies.

Note that no mention of the quality of their relationship is in view.  Only the engaging in relations "against nature" is.  And those are described as the "shameless act."

Further note that it doesn't say "against their nature" as if such activity would be wrong only if they were truly heterosexual and then engaged in homosexual relations.  Rather, it simply calls them "against nature" in general.

For another interpretation of "natural" & "unnatural":

These quotes all come from an essay called "'The Disease of Effemination'; The Charge of Effeminacy and the Verdict of God (Romans 1:18-2:16)," by Diana M. Swancutt, Yale Divinity School, published in Semeia Studies No. 45: New Testament Masculinities.

To my knowledge, of the early interpreters of Romans, only Ambrosiaster explicitly identifies the sex partners of the women as other women. Clement of Alexandria's Paed. 2.10 is far more typical of patristic responses to 1:26. Displaying a total disinterest in the identity of the women's sex objects, Clement highlights the gender-transgressiveness and lustiness of women's sexual activity. He also lists several possible sex acts as "contrary to nature":

It is surely impious for the natural [kata physin] designs to be irrationally perverted into customs that are not natural [para physin].... desire can alter the character of somebody already formed.... the point of this parable concerning the excessive desire and sexual activity of the female hare is to advice abstinence from excessive desire, mutual intercourse  [epallelon synousion], relations with pregnant women, reversal of roles in intercourse [allelobasias], corruption of boys, adultery, and lewdness.

Clement assumes that women who indulged desire in excess would act para physin in various types of intercourse ranging from adultery and sex while pregnant to "mutual intercourse" and a "reversal of sexual roles." [FOOTNOTE 1 below] As John Boswell saw, Clement's emphasis on "mutual intercourse" and the "reversal of sex roles" reflects his discomfort with women who unnaturally assumed the masculine, penetrative role in sex, whether that penetration was of women or of men (Boswell: 358; contra Brooten: 331). The desire that caused gender-transgression could, as Clement notes, alter the character of women. Hence, Clement sought to emphasize that women like those in Rom 1:26 who engaged in unnatural sex both "harm[ed] themselves" and upset the "design of nature." [FOOTNOTE 2 below] pp. 208-210

[1] See also Augustine (Nupt. 20.35), who interprets 1:26 as referring to nonprocreative intercourse between women and men (Brooten: 353).

[2] It is the treatment of para physin in passages such as Paed. 2.10 that finally convinces me that Brooten is incorrect in identifying Rom 1:26 as a reference to female homosexual sex. Her main argument, that "ancient sources depict sexual relations between women as unnatural" (250), works only if ancient sources only depicted sexual relations between women as unnatural. But the bottom line is that they do not (and when they do discuss same-sex intercourse, it is the psychic and/or physical manliness of one of the women that is deemed unnatural). Brooten does not discuss Clement's list at any length. She dismisses the relevance of Philo, who clearly says that sex with menstruants and nonprocreative sex are unnatural (248-52). She also fails to discuss Roman Stoic depictions of sex para physin (251 nn. 101, 103), which, like Clement, circumscribe natural sex to desire-free procreativity. If, as Clement did, we account for the standards of Stoics such as Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, and Seneca, the Romans could have treated as unnatural any unmarried, nonprocreative sex -- including women pursuing another woman's husband, women penetrating boys, men, girls or women, and the forms of "unnatural sex" Brooten lists and dismisses. Give that homoios does not specify the identity of the sex objects in 1:26, that ancients describe a variety of forms of sex involving women as unnatural, and that only one early patristic interpreter of Romans explicitly identified female same-sex intercourse as the subject of 1:26, naming the sex objects of the women in Rom 1:26 is probably a fruitless (and for Paul, at least, an unnecessary) exercise.)


If she is correct that most of the earliest commentators on these verses did not understand "unnatural" to refer to female, same-sex behaviors why should we? Could it be that what is natural/unnatural is defined by culture?

First, she misrepresents patristic interpretation of Rom 1:26 when she writes: "Clement of Alexandria's Paed. 2.10 is far more typical of patristic responses to 1:26."  Few others go into the degree of detail wrt to particular sexual practices as Clement does (the Early Church Fathers series translated this section of the Paedegoges into Latin rather than English b/c it was too racy; I guess Latin makes it sound more dignified).  Instead, most patristic authors reference Rom 1:26 as a way to condemn pagan societies and their loose sexual mores, and they do so without going into much detail one way or the other as to what specific practices are being referred to.

Second, Clement does see any sex that is not open to procreation outside or inside marriage to be against nature.  But he does not develop this thesis from Rom 1:26 -- rather, he specifically uses Rom 1:26 to speak against homosexual male sex acts.  He writes in this connection: "Yet, nature has not allowed even the most sensual of beasts to sexually misuse the passage made for excrement." (Paed 2.10.87)  He then goes on with his normal modus operandi in this section in drawing lessons from animals.

Oddly the section Swancutt quotes from as being representative of Clement's treatment of Rom 1:26 isn't in his treatment of 1:26 at all.  Rather, Clement is speaking of Moses' command not to eat the hare.  He goes into considerable detail re: his understanding of the biology of the hare (including the thought that it has 2 wombs), and then closes with the part Swancutt closes her quotation with.

Third, if Clement is taken as normative, as Swancutt wants to imply, then lesbianism is included in the prohibited behaviors Paul has in mind.  It's just a larger category.  That is, her claim that Brooten's argument ", that "ancient sources depict sexual relations between women as unnatural" (250), works only if ancient sources only depicted sexual relations between women as unnatural" is a non sequitur.

Fourth, the ὁμοίως ("likewise") of vs. 27 at the very least indicates that lesbian sexual activity is in view in vs. 26.  Whether or not it restricts understanding only to lesbian activity in no way lessens that particular prohibition.

Finally, I note that the objection was only to a possible reading re: lesbian activity, not male homosexual activity.  Just a note.

Chappy?

You're the one who requested the conversation...  I see that you've checked in.  Are you still there?

Tom Eckstein

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #82 on: September 30, 2010, 10:38:13 PM »
I've asked many times for those who hold that all homosexual behavior is sinful to show how the Scripture used for that conclusion is an accurate description of what is going on today.  The only answer I've received so far is that it is the clear Word of God.  If anyone chooses to respond, can we start with the New Testament, please, so we don't get bogged down in holiness codes?  Dueling blogs won't do it either.  Your thoughts, your interpretation of what you believe God is saying.

You may not be getting many takers because this topic has been discussed to death on ALPB.  Really.  To death.  I could link literally thousands of posts around "The Issue" (which is ultimately about scriptural interpretation, btw).

But to enter this discussion again, let's just look at one passage for now, Rom 1:26-27:

26 Διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιμίας, αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν, 27 ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες.

Here we note that vs. 26 speaks of women giving up of "natural relations" (τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν) for those "against nature" (εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν).  Though vs. 26 doesn't explicitly say this is women having relations with women, vs. 27 does make that clear with the particle ὁμοίως ("likewise") when it explicitly indicates that men engaged in relations with men.  Further, a judgment is given on these relations that are "against nature" -- such relations are "the shameless act" (τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην) and "their error" (τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν) for which they receive a penalty in their own bodies.

Note that no mention of the quality of their relationship is in view.  Only the engaging in relations "against nature" is.  And those are described as the "shameless act."

Further note that it doesn't say "against their nature" as if such activity would be wrong only if they were truly heterosexual and then engaged in homosexual relations.  Rather, it simply calls them "against nature" in general.

And also note that while the specific sin in view is idolatry (and yes, we have plenty of our own idolatries today, worshiping what is created rather than the Creator, but let's leave that obvious point aside for the moment), the description of the appropriateness of homosexual behavior in no way hinges upon whether or not they are idolaters.  Rather, such relations are said to be "against nature" and the acts themselves are called "shameless," and that they are a punishment for the specific sin of (crude) idolatry but the judgment regarding such activity is not so bound.

Good points, Scott!

This weekend I should finish my book "Bearing Their Burden" which should be just shy of 400 pages on this issue.  It should be out by the end of October.
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

J.L. Precup

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #83 on: October 01, 2010, 04:08:34 AM »
I've asked many times for those who hold that all homosexual behavior is sinful to show how the Scripture used for that conclusion is an accurate description of what is going on today.  The only answer I've received so far is that it is the clear Word of God.  If anyone chooses to respond, can we start with the New Testament, please, so we don't get bogged down in holiness codes?  Dueling blogs won't do it either.  Your thoughts, your interpretation of what you believe God is saying.

Chappy?

You're the one who requested the conversation...  I see that you've checked in.  Are you still there?

Yes, still here.  Mostly checking in to look at posts because I have been made aware that a member of my extended family is dying.  She is slightly younger than I, and my focus has been on her mother, my dear aunt.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

LutherMan

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #84 on: October 01, 2010, 06:45:01 AM »
Prayers ascending for your family, Chaplain.

Scott6

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #85 on: October 01, 2010, 08:08:36 AM »
I've asked many times for those who hold that all homosexual behavior is sinful to show how the Scripture used for that conclusion is an accurate description of what is going on today.  The only answer I've received so far is that it is the clear Word of God.  If anyone chooses to respond, can we start with the New Testament, please, so we don't get bogged down in holiness codes?  Dueling blogs won't do it either.  Your thoughts, your interpretation of what you believe God is saying.

Chappy?

You're the one who requested the conversation...  I see that you've checked in.  Are you still there?

Yes, still here.  Mostly checking in to look at posts because I have been made aware that a member of my extended family is dying.  She is slightly younger than I, and my focus has been on her mother, my dear aunt.

Ah -- both are in my prayers.

Scott6

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #86 on: October 01, 2010, 09:42:09 AM »
I've asked many times for those who hold that all homosexual behavior is sinful to show how the Scripture used for that conclusion is an accurate description of what is going on today.  The only answer I've received so far is that it is the clear Word of God.  If anyone chooses to respond, can we start with the New Testament, please, so we don't get bogged down in holiness codes?  Dueling blogs won't do it either.  Your thoughts, your interpretation of what you believe God is saying.

You may not be getting many takers because this topic has been discussed to death on ALPB.  Really.  To death.  I could link literally thousands of posts around "The Issue" (which is ultimately about scriptural interpretation, btw).

But to enter this discussion again, let's just look at one passage for now, Rom 1:26-27:

26 Διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιμίας, αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν, 27 ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες.

Here we note that vs. 26 speaks of women giving up of "natural relations" (τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν) for those "against nature" (εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν).  Though vs. 26 doesn't explicitly say this is women having relations with women, vs. 27 does make that clear with the particle ὁμοίως ("likewise") when it explicitly indicates that men engaged in relations with men.  Further, a judgment is given on these relations that are "against nature" -- such relations are "the shameless act" (τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην) and "their error" (τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν) for which they receive a penalty in their own bodies.

Note that no mention of the quality of their relationship is in view.  Only the engaging in relations "against nature" is.  And those are described as the "shameless act."

Further note that it doesn't say "against their nature" as if such activity would be wrong only if they were truly heterosexual and then engaged in homosexual relations.  Rather, it simply calls them "against nature" in general.

And also note that while the specific sin in view is idolatry (and yes, we have plenty of our own idolatries today, worshiping what is created rather than the Creator, but let's leave that obvious point aside for the moment), the description of the appropriateness of homosexual behavior in no way hinges upon whether or not they are idolaters.  Rather, such relations are said to be "against nature" and the acts themselves are called "shameless," and that they are a punishment for the specific sin of (crude) idolatry but the judgment regarding such activity is not so bound.

Good points, Scott!

This weekend I should finish my book "Bearing Their Burden" which should be just shy of 400 pages on this issue.  It should be out by the end of October.

Cool.  I look forward to it.

Mike Bennett

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #87 on: October 08, 2010, 04:49:02 PM »
Ptmccain's time-out has taught me well.  ;)


 ::)
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22