Don’t be deceived

Aug 18, 2014 by

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John R. Martin (Letters, July 21) raises an important question: “Where is the evidence that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer movement has a concern for biblical morality?” In reading Scripture, I get the clear message that any sexual relationship outside the bond of marriage of one man and one woman is a moral transgression. If society is the decider of moral truth and justice, then LGBTQ gets it right! But if God has spoken and sexual immorality is a deception, then Jesus spoke well when he denounced adultery and lust, be it heterosexual or homosexual. The Apostle John, anticipating final judgment, says, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life. . . . Outside are those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Rev. 22:14-15). To be deceived is easy. God’s love calls for repentance and obedience.

Eugene K. Souder
Harrisonburg, Va.

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  • Gary Hill

    speak the truth!

  • Erwin Warkentin

    “In reading Scripture, I get the clear message that any sexual relationship outside the bond of marriage of one man and one woman is a moral transgression.” Hmm. Do you see any scriptural condemnation of moral transgression reflected in these stories: Abraham and Hagar; Lot and his daughters; Judah and Tamar; the prostitute Rahab of Jericho; David and Michal and Abigail and Eglah and Bathsheba; Solomon with 300 wives and 700 concubines; Hosea and Gomer; and the list goes on? And in the New Testament, Jesus comments on levirite marriage without condemning it; and why does Paul need to mention to Timothy and Titus that leaders in the Church really shouldn’t have more than one wife at a time? (Because polygamy was still practiced then, and it was not regarded as sinful.)

    I’m curious why the “one man, one woman” marriage idea is ascribed to scripture? Scripture teems with examples to the contrary. And in some cases there is biblical criticism of these contrarian practices, but not always. And of course there is also criticism of “one man, one woman,” from no less a person than the apostle Paul.

    Walter Wink, who I think is still in the good books of most Mennonite thinkers and academics, has suggested convincingly that the Bible does not have a sex ethic. The Bible knows only a love ethic, which is constantly being brought to bear on whatever sexual mores are dominant in any given country, or culture, or period.

    • Bruce Leichty

      Those who wrote what are now the biblical texts didn’t have to spent a lot of time on a “sex ethic” which proscribed same sex unions because they had a lot more “horse sense” than we do today. It doesn’t take biblical authority for us to know that men and women fit sexually in the way the Creator designed them, and that there is something missing in same sex coitus. As for banishing monogamy — the next hurdle the Culture-Destroyers of America will want us to cross –the virtues of sexual fidelity to one partner also speak for themselves, independent of Scripture, even if they are not always as easy to internalize. I’m fine with the love ethic if those who implement it remember that love is not always permissive, not always “tolerant.”

      • Herbert Reed

        “It doesn’t take biblical authority for us to know…”
        No, apparently just “horse sense.”

        Okay, but recognize that you are now making a cultural argument, rather than a biblical or moral argument. Isn’t biblical/moral authority the crux of the argument for most people on your side of the issue? It seems to me that you are supporting Erwin’s points. If opposition to same gender marriage is mainly based on cultural norms, then when cultural norms change, the prohibition becomes less compelling. Polygamy is a red herring. In that case cultural change went the other way, for reasons which had little to do with biblical authority but a lot to do with a change in attitude about the role of women in society.

        • Dale Welty

          God states in Genesis that in marriage, man and woman become one flesh in His eyes. Jesus also confirms that in the NT. When God states what marriage is, He is not required to say what marriage is not. I have asked numerous times of those who support same sex unions if those individuals in this covenant union are one flesh in the eyes of God as a man and woman in a Biblical marriage relationship. What say you Mr. Reed?

          — Dale Welty

          • James Regier

            Dale, how would you define “becoming one flesh in [God’s] eyes?”

          • Dale Welty

            God has already defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
            God has the authority and ability to declare a man and woman united in
            marriage as one flesh and, as one flesh, it is a permanent relationship until
            death of one of the spouses. Man has no authority or ability to separate the two who are declared by God to be one flesh.
            — Dale Welty

          • James Regier

            In a word. Yes.

        • Bruce Leichty

          Add my voice to Dale Welty’s as one who would like to know whether you believe individuals in a same sex covenant relationship are “one flesh.” If you believe that the Scripture passages using this term (and those voices who they preserve) use outmoded language or are otherwise not normative, that would also be important to know.

          And in answer to your question — no, if I am going to argue beyond biblical authority, my argument is not from culture, it’s from nature. From creation, if you will. Huge difference. And don’t bother trotting out all your studies about homosexuality being found among animals, however valid or dubious these may be. That’s not the way those creatures were created for companionship or reproduction, either — but in any case, I am referring to “Natur-al” human sexual relationships here.

          • Herbert Reed

            “Horse sense” is a cultural argument. You don’t know how a horse thinks so when you use that term you are anthropomorphizing horses. So, in other words, “common sense,” which is a cultural concept – how people think. There is little point in my engaging in any debate about nature if you refuse to consider the actual data but instead resort to cultural arguments. Saying it isn’t so isn’t a valid argument, no matter how many times you repeat it.

            As for Mr. Welty, he is beating a dead horse. As some trial lawyers say (at least in the movies), “Asked and Answered.” In any case it is a question based on the naturalistic “is/ought fallacy, which the Scottish philosopher David Hume has already ably rebutted.'s_law

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