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MARRIAGE: Christians must base belief on Bible, not culture

Letter by Jerry R. Bressler, Fircrest on May 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm with 33 Comments »
May 10, 2012 10:37 am

Re: “An eye-opening speech about the Bible and homosexuality” (Leonard Pitts Jr. column, 5-3).

Pitts says that Christians are hiding behind the Bible and need to assimilate to today’s cultural trends, including accepting homosexuality as something good.

It is true that today’s culture includes homosexuals coming out, and that Christians are in fact compromising on the Bible in order to reconcile it with culture. But two wrongs don’t make a right.

Yes, there are Christians in society who accept homosexuality, but the issue doesn’t lie in whether they are in the minority or majority, even though polls seem to offer evidence that in fact it is a minority. Simply look at the fact that 30 states are seeking to ban same-sex marriage.

The issue lies in biblical orthodoxy and not what’s in the trends today. While the Bible does condemn homosexual activities, it also condemns polygamy, incest and other atrocious evil deeds. One should not make homosexuality a special category, for it is on the list of many types of sins.

The fact still remains that homosexuality is simply an abomination to God, and this applies to the Christians today, not because I say so, but because it’s written in the Bible, and not just in Leviticus, but also in the New Testament (Romans 1 and 1 Timothy 1:8-11).

“By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith.”

Leave a comment Comments → 33
  1. charliebucket says:

    homosexuality is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, by name. YOUR interpretation of the Bible is not fact, it is your interpretation and you are entitled to live by it, and so am I, by mine.

    Further, I do not want my country governed by your interpretation of the Bible or by any one else’s, I want my country governed by secular laws. The Bible has no bearing, no matter which interpretation, in gay rights and marriage laws. Interracial marriage was also fought based on the Bible and God, this is no different.

    Quote:

    “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    —Trial judge in Loving v. Virginia

    The God argument was wrong then and it is wrong now. IMO.

  2. LornaDoone says:

    I don’t use mythology

  3. LornaDoone says:

    “Simply look at the fact that 30 states are seeking to ban same-sex marriage”

    How many banned interracial marriage, Jerry?

    The “majority” isn’t always right, besides, do those 30 states contain more people than the other 20?

    You have the talking points down pat, but you lack in non-discriminatory practices

  4. alindasue says:

    “While the Bible does condemn homosexual activities, it also condemns polygamy, incest and other atrocious evil deeds.”

    I’ve looked through the Bible and the only references I’ve seen to polygamy are references to various polygamous relationships (Abraham, Jacob) and general rules about who holds the power in the family.

    How much of it is truly “Biblical” and how much of it is preachers’ sermons?

  5. Throughout the Bible the union of a man and woman in marriage is held up as the highest ideal. Humans have messed with that ideal in a variety of ways, but it doesn’t alter the fact that for those who look to scripture, this ideal exists.

    Charlie, what do you make of the passage that says a man shall not lie with a man as he does with a woman? The word “homosexuality” is not in the passage, but the statement seems quite clear.

    If you don’t respect biblical authority, this will have no meaning for you, so those of you who do not need not feel compelled to reply.

  6. LornaDoone says:

    “Throughout the Bible the union of a man and woman in marriage is held up as the highest ideal.”

    Hyperbole much? Tell us the various levels of “ideals” and how the Bible scores other issues with this tool.

    I could give two hoots about the mythology that people want to wish upon a star….until they try to make it the law of the land.

    “The word “homosexuality” is not in the passage, but the statement seems quite clear.”

    Funny how The Bible cannot use the word “homosexuality”. “Lie with a man as with a woman” could just as easily mean “telling a falsehood”. Women were not regarded too highly in those times and possibly the word to the Levites was “lie to your woman, but don’t lie to a man”.

    Now watch the howling begin, but of course they have no proof that my interpretation is any more right or wrong than theirs.

  7. Theefrinker says:

    Since when have Christians not compromised on the bible? I’ve never met one who hasn’t; it’s what they do best.

  8. sandblower says:

    Oh no! Here we go with the bible being touted as an authority again.
    Total absolute nonsense is the only way to describe the touting.

  9. charliebucket says:

    glad you asked about what I make of that passage, sozo. In my Bibical studies, I have come to understand that passage in this historical, and linguistic, context of the day:

    that men should not subjugate another man the way he subjugates a woman.

    to put it in a nutshell.

    The Bible is quite clear of the subservient role of women, time and again. And, funny how our laws have evolved to equalize that arcane notion, no? But some churches still do not allow women to serve. yikes, and these (same old and new fangled) churches want to set our civil law by their beliefs??? I hope you see the extrapolation there.

    Now, in case you are wondering: my understanding of another part of the Bible used to (wrongly IMO) condemn homosexuality, is that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because the people worshiped ‘other gods’. I have heard many an argument that their downfall was because of homosexuality and I disagree, based on my studies.

    and, sidenote: I agree with Lorna. and will reiterate, it doesn’t matter which Biblical understanding I have or you have, neither (especially specific doctrine) should have any bearing on civil law in this country. IMO.

  10. LornaDoone says:

    sandblower – it really gets good when The Bible is quoted as proof that The Bible is real.

    Charlie – as was told to me by a Bible scholar, with many years of teaching and divinity schooling – The laws given the Levites were much like the laws of anytime, they held prejudices based on current customs.

    At the time of Leviticus, you needed men to build your armies to kill your enemy (they weren’t real big on following the 10 Commandments) and since homosexuality wouldn’t produce offspring, it was “outlawed” (as if it were done in public where anyone would know it’s happening). This is another reason why female offspring were thought of as useless – because they couldn’t fight in battles.

    Now CT7 will add that to his list of why women should be paid less than men and sozo will claim “it’s God’s will”.

  11. SwordofPerseus says:

    When I see people who quote the Bible as a guide for modern life I have to laugh, then weep just a little for how completely clueless most people are. In the 21st century, those who still believe in some invisible sky fairy worry me. After all this time on this earth I really don’t think we are gonna make it much longer, certainly not with any kind of civilization into the 22nd century.

  12. concernedtacoma7 says:

    When I see people throw away thousands of years of tradition I feel shame and horror. Shame that I am part of their race, horror that they can vote.

    You want to have sex with a dude, have at it LD. But sex and companionship have nothing to do with the tradition of marriage.

    Societal boundaries are not a bad thing. Maintaining a civil and productive society is noble.

    One the plus side, flip flopping will not be a viable attack strategy for the left.

  13. concernedtacoma7 says:

    And have you anti-religious leftist ever reflected on why you care? Given the comments by SB and LD, you obviously feel smarter then believers. True statement?

  14. scooter6139 says:

    Which traditions got your panties in a wad, concerned? Slavery? Polygamy? Genocide? Subjugation? Incest? Rape? Idolatry?

    Maybe you would be happier living in Afghanistan or some other country based on strict dogmatic interpretation of scripture.

  15. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Moped, you have never spent any time in Afghanistan or the ME, where young men are keep for pleasure by any man of power.

    I am not a very religious man, so save your silly arguments for someone trying to make the Old Testament a Constitutional Amendment.

    Your panties comment is interesting. You are calling me feminine. Keep that train of thought going. Not too far off of calling someone gay as in insult. Ironic.

  16. I believe in Christ’s authority, not Biblical authority. Anyone who worships the human misinterpretations and human mistranslations and fallible human preachers pounding on a book written by humans instead of worshipping Jesus really shoudn’t take the name Christian.

    Maybe a Bibliophile?

  17. “When I see people throw away thousands of years of tradition I feel shame and horror.”

    Much like your ancestors did when slavery was outlawed?

  18. “Your panties comment is interesting. You are calling me feminine. Keep that train of thought going. Not too far off of calling someone gay as in insult. Ironic.”

    Especially ironic because you’ve done exactly the same thing.

  19. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto the Lord the things that are the Lord’s.

    The US is a secular country, therefore Christians have the right to their individual and collective beliefs and practices – as long as those beliefs and practice do not violate secular law or interfere with the rights freedoms of others.

  20. alindasue says:

    “What’s got your panties all in a wad?” has been a common way of saying “What’s upsetting you?” since my grandparents’ day. I don’t how you are reading any implied gender related insult into it…

  21. charliebucket says:

    C7, trust me when I say that I feel the same as you do (horror and fear that they vote) regarding people who want to stay stuck in the 15th century (or whenever) because that’s the way we always did it. As someone already pointed out….slavery was tradition for a long time, women couldn’t vote…hmm…shall we go back to those societal norms?

    nothing is constant but change.

    and times they are a changin’.

  22. wildcelticrose says:

    believe whatever you want,it’s your right.

    but it is not your right to inflict it on others.

    mind your own business, keep it in your church, home and your own life.

  23. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Alindasue- you really cannot see the connection between panties and gender? Come on. I expect that from Lardnos, not you. But when it comes to political blinders I guess we are all guilty.

    CB, if you dislike or ignore all traditions it is your right. But why is that better for society? Sell your product. Why should the 99% cater to the 1%, sell their beliefs and change the meaning of a thousand year tradition.

    All ears. Thanks!

  24. vingrotto says:

    When are Bible thumpers going to understand that MANY of us do not rule our lives by “the word”? And it’s absolutely unconstitutional to expect us to do so. I am a heterosexual woman, who was married to my husband by a minister. Religion has nothing to do with my marriage. We did this for my parents, for whom I love and respect dearly. Love, respect, companionship and security with my best friend are my reasons for being married. If it wasn’t such a hassle, I would get divorced and go to city hall and get remarried under state law, because if I read into your argument correctly, if you don’t believe in the Bible and the Word of God, you don’t have the right to be married? I would rather stand on the side of my gay friends than the side of a bully(s) trying to push their beliefs on me and our government. On a side note, heterosexuals are doing a horrible job on maintaining marriages, and many of those are steeped quite deeply in religious faith. Try fixing that problem and MAYBE you’ll have a more solid soap box to stand on.

  25. LornaDoone says:

    concernedtacoma7 says:
    May 11, 2012 at 2:33 am Alindasue- you really cannot see the connection between panties and gender?

    Always seeking a higher level of conversation, huh?

  26. LornaDoone says:

    “concernedtacoma7 says:
    May 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm Moped, you have never spent any time in Afghanistan or the ME, where young men are keep for pleasure by any man of power.”

    A very, very CONSERVATIVE practice.

  27. Sonofwashington says:

    Well said Tuddo!
    Although I don’t believe in his divinity, if there is any wisdom to be drawn from the Bible, it is from the teachings of Jesus, the greatest liberal to ever walk the face of the earth. And BTW, never having said a word against homosexuality.

    I find it ironic that so many of those who proclaim their love for the Prince of Peace who preached love and forgiveness for all mankind, happily pluck out passages from the Old Testament to justify their hatred for others.

    It is also mind boggling as to how same-sex couples who seek the bonds and rights of traditional marriage in any way threaten traditional marriage. On the contrary, it would seem to be an affirmation of the institution of marriage, rather than a detriment.

  28. averageJoseph says:

    “believe whatever you want,it’s your right.
    but it is not your right to inflict it on others

    Sounds like good advice… maybe you should direct it to where it belongs. People who believe marraige consists of one man and one woman aren’t the ones inflicting their belief on others.

  29. CT7,
    Oh the shame, the horror of ending slavery, of allowing interracial marriage, of allowing women to vote, of ordaining corporations with personhood.

    When have the religious right ever reflected on their beliefs and actions beyond ‘the bible tells me so’?

    In Viet Nam, as in Afghanistan, and the ME, young girls are also keep for the pleasure of men of power (some of whom also keep boys).

    aJo – people who believe marriage consists of one man and one woman are inflecting their views on all of us who believe same-sex couples should have the right to marry.

  30. Harry_Anslinger says:

    How people can so confuse the difference between getting married in a church vs getting a marriage license from the state is unsettling. Using the Bible to subvert a gay couple’s Constitutional freedom just because people are uncomfortable with homosexuality is absurd. It takes a little Christian maturity and enlightenment to be able to seperate God from secular government functions. I have to assume that God will be the one to judge those who are attracted to the same sex and desire to the secular bonds and legal/financial protections of civil marriage. I for one don’t ‘condone’ homosexuality, but I will not vote against gay marriage. Why? It’s none of my business.

  31. averageJoseph says:

    Homosexuals have the exact same freedom as everyone else… marring someone of the opposite gender.

  32. averageJ, you say, “People who believe marraige consists of one man and one woman aren’t the ones inflicting their belief on others”

    So the whole initiative procedure and possible referendum that would deny amrriage to gay people which is legal now is just a figment of our imagination?

    Allowing gay marriage does nothing to anyone but gay people. Straights do not have to get married to a same-sex partner or even attend a gay wedding if invited. (Although a gift card or present from the registry would be a nice token of true Christian love).

  33. And I won’t even make the too obvious joke when you say heterosexual marriage is all about “marring someone of the opposite gender.”

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