Author Topic: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.  (Read 11220 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #75 on: March 13, 2021, 12:52:24 PM »
Unfortunately, some current pastors stress their own subjective opinions on  Holy Scripture.
However, this method fails to let Holy Scripture speak on its own terms in the total context
as God's inspired Word.  Christian theology allows Scripture to interpret Scripture.


I was certainly looking at Scripture to interpret Scripture. Deuteronomy 21:15 shows that God assumed polygyny would occur among his people.


2 Samuel 12:7-8 has the prophet Nathan speaking the LORD God's words to David: "I gave your master’s house to you, and gave his wives into your embrace. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. If that was too little, I would have given even more."


It seems that according to Nathan, God gave David Saul's wives; and would have given him even more wives had he not committed his sins against Bathsheba and Uriah.


Often, I've found, when people argue about "Scripture interpreting Scripture," they only want some verses to be used in interpreting scriptures. Granted, Luther did that, too. As I recall, he said that the passages we understand clearly should be used to help interpret the passages that aren't so clear.
"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]

peter_speckhard

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #76 on: March 13, 2021, 01:06:27 PM »
God brought one wife to Adam. That is the template for marriage. Polygamy came later. After the fall into sin a lot of things happened. God said they ought not have a king, then gave them one anyway, for example, and used the resulting kinship as a type of Christ.

Your line of reasoning falters because it is biblicistic and relativistic at the same time. You don’t understand or apply the relationship between the written and Incarnate Word. You just study ancient texts a lot and offer glib contradictions.

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #77 on: March 13, 2021, 01:11:25 PM »
God brought one wife to Adam. That is the template for marriage. Polygamy came later. After the fall into sin a lot of things happened. God said they ought not have a king, then gave them one anyway, for example, and used the resulting kinship as a type of Christ.

Your line of reasoning falters because it is biblicistic and relativistic at the same time. You don’t understand or apply the relationship between the written and Incarnate Word. You just study ancient texts a lot and offer glib contradictions.


I don't see contradictions. Polygyny came about when there were more women to possess. God formed one woman from Adam's side. There wouldn't ben enough left of Adam had God formed as many women as Solomon "possessed."


You've made up your mind as to what Scriptures will say and make sure it fits into your box. I try to let scripture speak for itself without imposing boxes around it.
"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]

peter_speckhard

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #78 on: March 13, 2021, 01:13:51 PM »
God brought one wife to Adam. That is the template for marriage. Polygamy came later. After the fall into sin a lot of things happened. God said they ought not have a king, then gave them one anyway, for example, and used the resulting kinship as a type of Christ.

Your line of reasoning falters because it is biblicistic and relativistic at the same time. You don’t understand or apply the relationship between the written and Incarnate Word. You just study ancient texts a lot and offer glib contradictions.


I don't see contradictions. Polygyny came about when there were more women to possess. God formed one woman from Adam's side. There wouldn't ben enough left of Adam had God formed as many women as Solomon "possessed."


You've made up your mind as to what Scriptures will say and make sure it fits into your box. I try to let scripture speak for itself without imposing boxes around it.
Agreed. Even when it is fulfilled and definitely interpret by the Author, you still keep an open mind. You know nothing because you can’t make up your mind.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #79 on: March 13, 2021, 02:01:32 PM »
God brought one wife to Adam. That is the template for marriage. Polygamy came later. After the fall into sin a lot of things happened. God said they ought not have a king, then gave them one anyway, for example, and used the resulting kinship as a type of Christ.

Your line of reasoning falters because it is biblicistic and relativistic at the same time. You don’t understand or apply the relationship between the written and Incarnate Word. You just study ancient texts a lot and offer glib contradictions.


I don't see contradictions. Polygyny came about when there were more women to possess. God formed one woman from Adam's side. There wouldn't ben enough left of Adam had God formed as many women as Solomon "possessed."


You've made up your mind as to what Scriptures will say and make sure it fits into your box. I try to let scripture speak for itself without imposing boxes around it.
Agreed. Even when it is fulfilled and definitely interpret by the Author, you still keep an open mind. You know nothing because you can’t make up your mind.


Yup. An open mind allows God to continue to teach us. Scriptures quite often talk about people with "stiff necks" and "hard hearts". As Lowe & Nida say about πωρόω and its use in the NT: "to cause someone to be completely unwilling to learn and to accept new information" (Mk 6:52; 8:17; Jl 12:40; Ro 11:7; 2C 3:14) and πώρωσις: "stubborn unwillingness to learn" (Mk 3:5; Ro 11:25; Ep 4:18). This is not presented as a good trait for believers.
"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]

peter_speckhard

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #80 on: March 13, 2021, 02:24:52 PM »
God brought one wife to Adam. That is the template for marriage. Polygamy came later. After the fall into sin a lot of things happened. God said they ought not have a king, then gave them one anyway, for example, and used the resulting kinship as a type of Christ.

Your line of reasoning falters because it is biblicistic and relativistic at the same time. You don’t understand or apply the relationship between the written and Incarnate Word. You just study ancient texts a lot and offer glib contradictions.


I don't see contradictions. Polygyny came about when there were more women to possess. God formed one woman from Adam's side. There wouldn't ben enough left of Adam had God formed as many women as Solomon "possessed."


You've made up your mind as to what Scriptures will say and make sure it fits into your box. I try to let scripture speak for itself without imposing boxes around it.
Agreed. Even when it is fulfilled and definitely interpret by the Author, you still keep an open mind. You know nothing because you can’t make up your mind.


Yup. An open mind allows God to continue to teach us. Scriptures quite often talk about people with "stiff necks" and "hard hearts". As Lowe & Nida say about πωρόω and its use in the NT: "to cause someone to be completely unwilling to learn and to accept new information" (Mk 6:52; 8:17; Jl 12:40; Ro 11:7; 2C 3:14) and πώρωσις: "stubborn unwillingness to learn" (Mk 3:5; Ro 11:25; Ep 4:18). This is not presented as a good trait for believers.
No, it prevents God from teaching you anything; you still haven't learned and don't know what God has taught you already because you haven't made up your mind as to whether it is true. God says x=4 and you keep as open mind as to whether x=4 or not. Your perpetually open mind is incapable of holding truth in it. 

You endlessly quote Scripture but you have no idea what any of it actually means or how to apply it. You just like that it is Scripture. If someone says salvation is by grace, you point to James to posit that it is by works according to Scripture. If someone says murder is bad, you point to all the times God commanded His people to kill others. If someone points out that you don't go by Scripture, you point out that nobody goes by Scripture because we don't stone disobedient children to death. It is all glib nonsense from you, all day every day, but always exhaustively researched and quoted from definitive sources. Scripture to one who thinks like you is all just lines on a page that may or may not have any bearing on anything. There isn't a line of the creeds you wouldn't argue against just to get someone who believes it to be more open-minded about the possibility it is false. You are not a friend of the Christian faith but of doubt of the Christian faith.

To that you'll likely say, "Yup! Its my Myers-Briggs personality at work...[insert seventeen cut and pasted quotes from dictionaries]...because we aren't saved by doctrine but by Jesus!" Then when someone points out that the word "Jesus" has to refer to something with a definition but that you've rejected all such definitions as needlessly limiting, you'll just change the subject. 

Charles Austin

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #81 on: March 13, 2021, 02:40:16 PM »
Those are rather harsh, judgmental, condemning words, Peter.
Directed against another member of this forum, and someone whom I assume you have never actually met face-to-face.
Anybody see anything wrong with that?
Once again, the discussion takes to turn the place where it becomes more important Who and what ideas we exclude rather than who and what ideas we might discuss.  It seems as if your faith requires such a hard certainty in so many things, that I sometimes wonder whether it is Faith at all.
If I described  biblical conservatives here in a certain way, I would be roundly criticized. Yet you, Peter, and others throw bricks at your view of what progressives are week after week.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 02:42:03 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

Tom Eckstein

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #82 on: March 13, 2021, 02:43:34 PM »
God brought one wife to Adam. That is the template for marriage. Polygamy came later. After the fall into sin a lot of things happened. God said they ought not have a king, then gave them one anyway, for example, and used the resulting kinship as a type of Christ.

Your line of reasoning falters because it is biblicistic and relativistic at the same time. You don’t understand or apply the relationship between the written and Incarnate Word. You just study ancient texts a lot and offer glib contradictions.


I don't see contradictions. Polygyny came about when there were more women to possess. God formed one woman from Adam's side. There wouldn't ben enough left of Adam had God formed as many women as Solomon "possessed."


You've made up your mind as to what Scriptures will say and make sure it fits into your box. I try to let scripture speak for itself without imposing boxes around it.
Agreed. Even when it is fulfilled and definitely interpret by the Author, you still keep an open mind. You know nothing because you can’t make up your mind.


Yup. An open mind allows God to continue to teach us. Scriptures quite often talk about people with "stiff necks" and "hard hearts". As Lowe & Nida say about πωρόω and its use in the NT: "to cause someone to be completely unwilling to learn and to accept new information" (Mk 6:52; 8:17; Jl 12:40; Ro 11:7; 2C 3:14) and πώρωσις: "stubborn unwillingness to learn" (Mk 3:5; Ro 11:25; Ep 4:18). This is not presented as a good trait for believers.

Brian, see Romans 12:1-2.   God does NOT want us to be open to anything and everything - including the false teaching you espouse.  Our minds are to be CLOSED to the lies of the world and OPEN to the Truth of God - and regarding what marriage is, Jesus' interpretation of Genesis in Matthew 19:1ff makes it clear that marriage is for ONE man and ONE woman, and this is so important to God that He even speaks of His relationship with His people in terms of MONOGAMY!!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 02:54:11 PM by Tom Eckstein »
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

Tom Eckstein

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #83 on: March 13, 2021, 02:52:50 PM »
God brought one wife to Adam. That is the template for marriage. Polygamy came later. After the fall into sin a lot of things happened. God said they ought not have a king, then gave them one anyway, for example, and used the resulting kinship as a type of Christ.

Your line of reasoning falters because it is biblicistic and relativistic at the same time. You don’t understand or apply the relationship between the written and Incarnate Word. You just study ancient texts a lot and offer glib contradictions.


I don't see contradictions. Polygyny came about when there were more women to possess. God formed one woman from Adam's side. There wouldn't ben enough left of Adam had God formed as many women as Solomon "possessed."


You've made up your mind as to what Scriptures will say and make sure it fits into your box. I try to let scripture speak for itself without imposing boxes around it.
Agreed. Even when it is fulfilled and definitely interpret by the Author, you still keep an open mind. You know nothing because you can’t make up your mind.


Yup. An open mind allows God to continue to teach us. Scriptures quite often talk about people with "stiff necks" and "hard hearts". As Lowe & Nida say about πωρόω and its use in the NT: "to cause someone to be completely unwilling to learn and to accept new information" (Mk 6:52; 8:17; Jl 12:40; Ro 11:7; 2C 3:14) and πώρωσις: "stubborn unwillingness to learn" (Mk 3:5; Ro 11:25; Ep 4:18). This is not presented as a good trait for believers.
No, it prevents God from teaching you anything; you still haven't learned and don't know what God has taught you already because you haven't made up your mind as to whether it is true. God says x=4 and you keep as open mind as to whether x=4 or not. Your perpetually open mind is incapable of holding truth in it. 

You endlessly quote Scripture but you have no idea what any of it actually means or how to apply it. You just like that it is Scripture. If someone says salvation is by grace, you point to James to posit that it is by works according to Scripture. If someone says murder is bad, you point to all the times God commanded His people to kill others. If someone points out that you don't go by Scripture, you point out that nobody goes by Scripture because we don't stone disobedient children to death. It is all glib nonsense from you, all day every day, but always exhaustively researched and quoted from definitive sources. Scripture to one who thinks like you is all just lines on a page that may or may not have any bearing on anything. There isn't a line of the creeds you wouldn't argue against just to get someone who believes it to be more open-minded about the possibility it is false. You are not a friend of the Christian faith but of doubt of the Christian faith.

To that you'll likely say, "Yup! Its my Myers-Briggs personality at work...[insert seventeen cut and pasted quotes from dictionaries]...because we aren't saved by doctrine but by Jesus!" Then when someone points out that the word "Jesus" has to refer to something with a definition but that you've rejected all such definitions as needlessly limiting, you'll just change the subject.

Peter's words above regarding Brian show that Brian is like the person Paul describes in 2nd Timothy 3:7.  I do not say this out of anger at Brian but with the same spirit Paul had when he rebuked Hymenaeus and Philetus (2nd Timothy 2:17-18) - that they might repent. (2nd Timothy 2:25-26)
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

jebutler

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #84 on: March 13, 2021, 03:24:26 PM »
Those are rather harsh, judgmental, condemning words, Peter.
Directed against another member of this forum, and someone whom I assume you have never actually met face-to-face.
Anybody see anything wrong with that?
Once again, the discussion takes to turn the place where it becomes more important Who and what ideas we exclude rather than who and what ideas we might discuss.  It seems as if your faith requires such a hard certainty in so many things, that I sometimes wonder whether it is Faith at all.
If I described  biblical conservatives here in a certain way, I would be roundly criticized. Yet you, Peter, and others throw bricks at your view of what progressives are week after week.

No, I don't see anything wrong with what Peter said. Brian has made it clear that he doesn't believe that God created marriage; the word doesn't exist in the OT and he rejects Jesus' argument that Genesis sets up the marriage template. Marriage is only a human construct. He has further said that those who disagree with him are "people with 'stiff necks' and 'hard hearts.'" We are "completely unwilling to learn and to accept new information"  and  have a "stubborn unwillingness to learn." Finally, "This is not presented as a good trait for believers."

Given those charges, Peter's response makes perfect sense. (But, for some odd reason, you neglect to look at Peter's words in context.)

Not to mention the fact that we've been down this road with Brian before over many years. Peter points out how he consistently deals with issues.

If you have a different viewpoint, all you have to do is research past posts and demonstrate that Peter is wrong. But you either can't or won't do such a thing.

The problem is quite simple. Many in the ELCA have come to agree with the UCC that "God is still speaking" and that one should not put a "period where God has put a comma." What they refuse to see is that God has spoken and has not changed His mind. Moreover, we should not be putting commas where the Lord has written periods.

Let's play with this question: How many years will it be until the ELCA allows people in polyamorous relationships to be ordained as pastors? My guess is that by 2030, Living Lutheran will be boasting about the first throuple to be ordained and serving together.
The truth we preach is not an abstract thing. The truth is a Person. The goodness we preach is not an ideal quality. The goodness is Someone who is good. The love we preach is God himself in Christ. --H. Grady Davis

RDPreus

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2021, 03:27:33 PM »
About forty years ago, LCUSA published a report that delineated differences between the LCA/ALC on the one hand and the LCMS on the other.  One of the differences was that the LCA/ALC viewed doctrinal inflexibility as a sin for which we should repent while Missouri disagreed.  That difference persists to this day as the conversation on this thread illustrates.  Can we be certain that our doctrine is true?  Or is this carnal pride?  Speaking as a conservative, I concede that there are among us conservatives bullheaded and arrogant people for whom doctrinal correctness is a weapon to be used against others.  On the other hand, among liberals there are those just as bullheaded and arrogant.  Strong doctrinal conviction is not arrogance.  While the faithful are always plagued by doubts, doubt is not faith.  It's no virtue.  Doctrinal certitude is no vice.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #86 on: March 13, 2021, 03:58:43 PM »
God brought one wife to Adam. That is the template for marriage. Polygamy came later. After the fall into sin a lot of things happened. God said they ought not have a king, then gave them one anyway, for example, and used the resulting kinship as a type of Christ.

Your line of reasoning falters because it is biblicistic and relativistic at the same time. You don’t understand or apply the relationship between the written and Incarnate Word. You just study ancient texts a lot and offer glib contradictions.


I don't see contradictions. Polygyny came about when there were more women to possess. God formed one woman from Adam's side. There wouldn't ben enough left of Adam had God formed as many women as Solomon "possessed."


You've made up your mind as to what Scriptures will say and make sure it fits into your box. I try to let scripture speak for itself without imposing boxes around it.
Agreed. Even when it is fulfilled and definitely interpret by the Author, you still keep an open mind. You know nothing because you can’t make up your mind.


Yup. An open mind allows God to continue to teach us. Scriptures quite often talk about people with "stiff necks" and "hard hearts". As Lowe & Nida say about πωρόω and its use in the NT: "to cause someone to be completely unwilling to learn and to accept new information" (Mk 6:52; 8:17; Jl 12:40; Ro 11:7; 2C 3:14) and πώρωσις: "stubborn unwillingness to learn" (Mk 3:5; Ro 11:25; Ep 4:18). This is not presented as a good trait for believers.

Brian, see Romans 12:1-2.   God does NOT want us to be open to anything and everything - including the false teaching you espouse.  Our minds are to be CLOSED to the lies of the world and OPEN to the Truth of God - and regarding what marriage is, Jesus' interpretation of Genesis in Matthew 19:1ff makes it clear that marriage is for ONE man and ONE woman, and this is so important to God that He even speaks of His relationship with His people in terms of MONOGAMY!!


In Romans 12:2: μεταμορφοῦσθε - 2 person, plural, present, imperative, passive


The present tense indicates that this transformation is ongoing or repeated. Christians are not transformed once and that's the end of it. We live our lives constantly being transformed.


The passive voice indicates that the transformation is something that happens to us. It happens to us through the "renewal of our minds." If one is closed minded, renewal and transformation cannot happen.
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #87 on: March 13, 2021, 04:45:20 PM »
God brought one wife to Adam. That is the template for marriage. Polygamy came later. After the fall into sin a lot of things happened. God said they ought not have a king, then gave them one anyway, for example, and used the resulting kinship as a type of Christ.

Your line of reasoning falters because it is biblicistic and relativistic at the same time. You don’t understand or apply the relationship between the written and Incarnate Word. You just study ancient texts a lot and offer glib contradictions.


I don't see contradictions. Polygyny came about when there were more women to possess. God formed one woman from Adam's side. There wouldn't ben enough left of Adam had God formed as many women as Solomon "possessed."


You've made up your mind as to what Scriptures will say and make sure it fits into your box. I try to let scripture speak for itself without imposing boxes around it.
Agreed. Even when it is fulfilled and definitely interpret by the Author, you still keep an open mind. You know nothing because you can’t make up your mind.


Yup. An open mind allows God to continue to teach us. Scriptures quite often talk about people with "stiff necks" and "hard hearts". As Lowe & Nida say about πωρόω and its use in the NT: "to cause someone to be completely unwilling to learn and to accept new information" (Mk 6:52; 8:17; Jl 12:40; Ro 11:7; 2C 3:14) and πώρωσις: "stubborn unwillingness to learn" (Mk 3:5; Ro 11:25; Ep 4:18). This is not presented as a good trait for believers.
No, it prevents God from teaching you anything; you still haven't learned and don't know what God has taught you already because you haven't made up your mind as to whether it is true. God says x=4 and you keep as open mind as to whether x=4 or not. Your perpetually open mind is incapable of holding truth in it. 

You endlessly quote Scripture but you have no idea what any of it actually means or how to apply it. You just like that it is Scripture. If someone says salvation is by grace, you point to James to posit that it is by works according to Scripture. If someone says murder is bad, you point to all the times God commanded His people to kill others. If someone points out that you don't go by Scripture, you point out that nobody goes by Scripture because we don't stone disobedient children to death. It is all glib nonsense from you, all day every day, but always exhaustively researched and quoted from definitive sources. Scripture to one who thinks like you is all just lines on a page that may or may not have any bearing on anything. There isn't a line of the creeds you wouldn't argue against just to get someone who believes it to be more open-minded about the possibility it is false. You are not a friend of the Christian faith but of doubt of the Christian faith.

To that you'll likely say, "Yup! Its my Myers-Briggs personality at work...[insert seventeen cut and pasted quotes from dictionaries]...because we aren't saved by doctrine but by Jesus!" Then when someone points out that the word "Jesus" has to refer to something with a definition but that you've rejected all such definitions as needlessly limiting, you'll just change the subject.


Why does "Jesus" have to refer to something with a definition? When I was born, I didn't need to know the definitions of "mother" or "birth" or "conception." Such things happened to me without my knowledge or understanding of those words.


When I was born from above through water and the Spirit, I had no definition of "birth" or "baptism" or "God" or "salvation," but salvation happened because God did it even if I didn't know the meaning of any of the words that were said.


You keep making salvation dependent upon something we know or believe. Sin is when we turn in on ourselves - even if it is our knowledge or belief.


John 9 tells the story of blind man who was healed without knowing much about Jesus. All he knew when he was first asked was: "A man called Jesus" (v. 11). Next he says that Jesus is a prophet (v. 17). He knows that he was blind and now he can see. Whether or not Jesus was a sinner didn't matter to him (v. 25). His personal experience is what matter. Not doctrines about Jesus. However, he will raise the question: "If this man wasn't from God, he couldn't have healed him" (v. 33). Often the Pharisees will say, "We know." They were certain. They were wrong. In contrast, the blind man and his parents will both say, "We/I don't know." They were open to learn more.

What I'm sure about is that God has saved me through Jesus; and God gets all the credit. Not my many years of reading and studying and teaching Scriptures; not reading through the Book of Concord. Not my many years of education.


I used to be much more like you in my thinking. I learned with John the Baptist that my reliance on myself (even my religious knowledge and faith) had to decrease so that Christ might increase.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 04:49:18 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"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]

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #88 on: March 13, 2021, 05:10:10 PM »
Words and names (and this will be hard for you) by definition refer to things with definitions. You refer back to definitions all the time. If you write or say “Jesus” but the noise/ink doesn’t refer to anything with a definition, you have said precisely nothing.

That you can be born without knowing what it means to be born, or fall without understanding gravity, or even pray to an unknown God is clear and true. But that isn’t the issue here. God tells us things. He reveals Himself. He doesn’t want you not knowing Him. When you refuse to know what He reveals, when you choose not knowing Him to knowing Him, when you keep an open mind about Jesus is true God and true man, born of a virgin, etc. you are rejecting what He says.

Open mindedness is an acknowledgment of ignorance and a willingness to learn. But if you can’t know, if you prefer remaining open minded to having knowledge, you aren’t willing to learn and therefore aren’t open minded. You have definitively closed your mind to the possibility of really knowing.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: When “homosexuals” entered the Bible.
« Reply #89 on: March 13, 2021, 05:52:12 PM »
Words and names (and this will be hard for you) by definition refer to things with definitions. You refer back to definitions all the time. If you write or say “Jesus” but the noise/ink doesn’t refer to anything with a definition, you have said precisely nothing.

That you can be born without knowing what it means to be born, or fall without understanding gravity, or even pray to an unknown God is clear and true. But that isn’t the issue here. God tells us things. He reveals Himself. He doesn’t want you not knowing Him. When you refuse to know what He reveals, when you choose not knowing Him to knowing Him, when you keep an open mind about Jesus is true God and true man, born of a virgin, etc. you are rejecting what He says.

Open mindedness is an acknowledgment of ignorance and a willingness to learn. But if you can’t know, if you prefer remaining open minded to having knowledge, you aren’t willing to learn and therefore aren’t open minded. You have definitively closed your mind to the possibility of really knowing.


I have no problem seeking to know Jesus more and more throughout my life. My problem is when knowledge of Jesus becomes the same thing as salvation by God's grace. A common question by evangelists is: "Do you know the Lord?" They equate knowledge with salvation - the ancient heresy of gnosticism. In a baptism liturgy I wrote, I included this dialogue:


But NAME are just babies!
     God isn't!

These infants don't know what's going on.
     God knows!

How will these children know what God has done for them?
     Their parents, family, friends, and we, the church,
     have the responsibility of teaching them,
     so that they grow up to understand
     what God has done for them.
"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]