Homosexuality: Arguments Opposed, Part 1

gay christian[This is rewritten from a post from years ago.]

There are, of course, many factors pushing marriage rates down in the West, and there have been for years. They largely fit within the rubric of “marriage is but a social construct.” And each time society pushes further in that direction, the marriage rate goes down.

It’s not uniquely homosexual marriage. Rather, homosexual marriage is just the most recent sharp nail being driven into the coffin of traditional marriage.

It goes back to the 1960s with the destigmatization of unmarried couples living together, providing a non-marital alternative, which eventually became fully socialized. As a result, the gay-marriage debate suffered from the fact that it’s now perfectly legal for gay couples to live together and be sexually active together. Hence, why was gay marriage even necessary?

The answer normally given is in terms of legal protections — tax exemptions, the right to visit a loved one in the hospital, that sort of thing — arguments that speak to nothing more than social constructs. I mean, the right to file a joint Form 1040 truly is a mere social construct.

The other argument is also legal. It speaks in terms of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Hence, marriage becomes a matter to be decided by the law — either the courts or legislatures — making marriage a matter of positive law rather than a recognition of a pre-existing reality that is in fact much higher and older than the American legal system. After all, people were getting married long before there were constitutions and legislatures of any kind. Indeed, for most of human history, the government had no involvement in marriage and hence no power to create a gay marriage.

Notice that the modern argument is couched in terms of “legalization of gay marriage” as though the question is whether a gay marriage should be legal or illegal, rather than whether there is such a thing as gay marriage at all. After all, the Supreme Court surely has power to decide such things. That’s presumptively given. The only question is whether it’s a good idea, not whether it’s within the power of government to give.

Hence, the modern trend is to treat marriage as a creation of the law — not higher and prior to the law, that is, a mere social construct — all for the convenience of the gay marriage argument and yet contrary to thousands of years of human experience.

Hence, in order for marriage to even be amenable to the power of the state to create new forms of marriage, marriage must be reduced from a God-ordained institution to a creation of government — implicitly empowering the government to create new forms of marriage at will.

And that makes marriage no more right and holy and sacrosanct than, say, a mortgage or a tax return. Marriage is cheapened when it becomes a creation of the state — especially in a world where most people have a fairly low view of those in charge of the state.

Hence, the gay lobby seeks something that will be received with all the glory of Obama-Care or the national budget. Just another law. Just another success by a powerful lobbying group.

That is, to achieve gay marriage, marriage itself must be converted into a political act achieved in all the worst ways that politics happen. The problem isn’t that gay marriage is being elevated to the level of God-created marriage, but that God-created marriage will be reduced to become the product of political hucksterism.

And the inevitable result is that marriage has become less desirable because it has become less holy. Even among the secular-minded, marriage was once recognized as a serious institution with roots independent of and more ancient than the government. But we are headed toward a world in which marriage carries all the ethical and moral weight of an extension of the federal debt limit.

Thus, couples will marry, if at all, solely to gain the legal benefits of marriage, as marriage has now been redefined to consist merely of a bag of legal gifts from Congress. Those couples who aren’t worried about joint tax returns and hospital visitation rights will see no reason to bother — except maybe to please parents who are still old-fashioned enough to find something holy, blessed, and vital in the institution.

And the only counter-argument that’s left to preserve the holiness of traditional marriage I can even imagine is to argue, not that the Bible is silent or permissive on gay marriage, but that gay marriage is ordained by God himself as revealed in the scriptures. And that’s an impossible burden of proof.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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25 Responses to Homosexuality: Arguments Opposed, Part 1

  1. jes says:

    “But we are headed toward a world in which marriage carries all the ethical and moral weight of an extension of the federal debt limit.”

    Unfortunately, this same conclusion can be made for anything we take God out of; “In God We Trust”.

    That’s why I feel it is not only a church issue, but a cultural issue with God. He will withdraw His hand (blessings) from us if we withdraw our trust in Him!!!

  2. Christopher says:

    Jay wrote:

    Hence, why was gay marriage even necessary?

    I have long suspected that the push for gay marriage in many was psychological: homosexuals want to be accepted by everyone and, out of a deep insecurity, try to force everyone to do so. How else do we ecplain the “gay pride” parades, the name calling (people who are unaccepting are “homophobes” and “bigots”), the unnecessary lawsuits against bakers or photographers and so on. You don’t see any “adulterers pride” parades, do you? SSO is a terrible affliction for which a cure must be found. But militant homosexuality is highly offensive and should be strongly opposed.

  3. Monty says:

    I agree with Christopher, it is the legitimizing that’s most important, all the other stuff was for argument’s sake. They value what they’ve never been allowed to have. They can ride in the front of the bus now with everyone else. I feel quite sure that they will not settle for Court House marriage ceremonies but will seek even further validation with big church productions and Holy words giving God’s blessings to them from an affirming Pastor.

  4. Gary says:

    Jay, I honestly believe that I have met the burden of proof time and again in my comments affirming that marriage, gay or straight, is approved by God positively in God’s plainly expressed desire that all those created in his image have the opportunity to have a spouse or life companion who is appropriate or suited for them. In the Genesis narrative that was Eve for heterosexual Adam. If Adam had been homosexual Eve could not have been an appropriate or suitable companion for Adam. Only another man could have filled that role. So today the appropriate and suitable spouse for a gay man or woman is someone of the same sex.

    I understand of course that you disagree but this issue is not as cut and dry for conservatives as you present it to be. I have wondered a number of times what you think of other intelligent, dedicated Christians like yourself but who come to the opposite conclusion on gay marriage. Walter Brueggeman comes to mind. He has spoken a number of times in Church of Christ venues. He is one of the most respected Old Testament scholars in the world today. He has a large following among Evangelicals as well as mainline Protestants. Greg Sterling comes to mind, a highly thought of Church of Christ minister and scholar who is now the Dean of Yale Divinity School. Both Brueggeman and Sterling come to the opposite conclusion that you do on gay marriage.

    How do you account for their conclusions? Are they intellectually deficient? Are they not serious about the authority of Scripture? Are they morally lacking? It is one thing to hold strongly to an understanding of Scripture. It is quite another to present your position as so clearly evident that anyone with half a brain and a modicum of Christian faith should see it as clearly as you do. You’ve never put it like that of course but that is the strong implication of your refusal to ever present this issue as one that good, sincere and intelligent Christians can disagree on and remain in Christian fellowship. If gay marriage is not a Romans 14 disputable matter then the term has no relevance in 2016.

  5. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Gary,

    Brueggemann is a good example to make the point. Here’s an article where he states his pro-gay marriage argument: http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2015/01/09/walter-brueggemann-church-gospel-bible/35739

    It’s a nice piece of rhetoric but nonsense as theology.

    Yes, the church (and most everyone else) has treated gay people abominably in the past. Does that mean the scripture no longer means what it says? The observation is true and not relevant. The scriptures are from God — and so cannot be impeached by showing the church to be flawed.

    Speaking in terms of “fear” of gays and homophobia (a very loaded, biased term) impugns the motives of those who disagree, and is 100% ad hominem and unworthy of serious scholarship.

    He finally actually speaks to scripture:

    I know those texts are in the Bible, but the Bible is a dynamic tradition that’s always on the move to new truth. If you track that out, probably the ultimate statement about that is made by Paul in Galatians 3, that in Christ there is neither male nor female, Greek nor Barbarian, slave or free. We are all one in Christ. And what we know in the gospel is that God’s love reaches toward all of God’s creatures. To sort them out in terms of who are the deserving and the qualified and who are not is imposing a judgment on human reality that simply cannot be done.

    God can make such judgments. We are judged by the scriptures. We do not judge the scriptures.

    No one has remotely questioned that God loves gay men and women. That’s not the question being discussed. It’s a strawman argument.

    Brueggemann assumes without proof that God cannot love someone without approving their choices for sex partners — but obviously, under anyone’s theory, some sex partnerships are forbidden. Hence, God may and does place limits on human sexuality — without contradicting his love for us.

    Moreover, as shown in Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals, by William J. Webb, http://amzn.to/25Dph4I, the movement of truth in the Bible is toward greater strictness regarding homosexual acts, not lesser. While the scriptures show a marked trend toward liberating women and slaves, the NT condemns lesbianism, which the OT is silent as to. Moreover, the NT is written against a Greek culture that freely approved of homosexual conduct — and yet very counter-culturally condemns it. Rather than running against culture to provide better treatment, as in the case of women and slaves, the NT goes against culture to condemn gay sex. Brueggemann thus spouts slogans and positions but doesn’t actually engage the text or the historical backgrounds. Indeed, he misrepresents the evidence.

    Brueggemann has recently also come under deserved fire for his views on the OT (which is relevant to the question at hand, of course).

    In the name of modern inter-faith dialogue, Brueggemann and R. Rendtorf have insisted that we should hear the voice of the Hebrew text itself independent of the NT and in essence not treat it as the OT. The NT reading of the OT is thereby seen as not normative, it’s just one more imaginative construal which can stand along other imaginative construals by Jewish or secular interpreters which are considered equally valid. Brueggemann denies any organic link between the OT and the NT, and he sees the attempt to make such a link as a political power move by Christians trying to displace Jewish religion and interpretation of their own Scriptures. He also denies there is any salvation history schema that links the testaments. The goal is the acceptance of the dignity and independent value of the Jewish religion and its scripture apart from Christianity.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2016/3/18/the-struggle-to-understand-isaiah-as-christian-scripture-part-thirty-one/

    I have addressed the recent attempts to declare Jews saved without faith in Jesus. It’s political correctness mingled with bad scholarship — and presumptuous abuse of the holy scriptures.

    From the same article —

    Brueggemann even argues that the free way the NT writers use the OT provides a precedent and warrant for us to engage in equally free and creative construals of the text.

    http://www.raleightavern.org/brueggemann.htm is a paper also criticizing Brueggemann’s postmodern, Derrida-style, deconstruction of the scriptures: http://www.raleightavern.org/brueggemann.htm.

    So, no, I don’t find Brueggemann persuasive.

  6. Gary says:

    Jay, in practice we all judge the scriptures. We evaluate the scriptures and emphasize some and ignore or deny others. You choose to emphasize Paul’s prohibition of homosexual behavior although you ignore his context of describing those who have given up or exchanged their heterosexuality for homosexuality. You emphasize Paul’s characterization of homosexuality as unnatural but ignore, unless I missed it, Paul’s characterization of men having long hair as unnatural.

    You emphasize Paul’s seeming permission for divorced Christians to remarry in 1 Corinthians 7 but effectively deny Jesus’ statement in Matthew 5:32 that a man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    If I understand you correctly you ignore as no longer applicable Paul’s prohibition of women teaching in a position of authority in the assembly and see Paul’s statement in Galatians about there being no male or female in Christ as the governing principle. You ignore Paul’s admonition for women to be keepers at home as being binding on American women in 2016.

    You are not alone of course. We all judge the scriptures. Paul sent an escaped slave back to his master. Even if slavery were legal today most of us would find that to be unjust. Our understanding of God’s will would require most of us to help the slave remain free. Would we be sinning by not following Paul’s teaching by example?

    The truth is that we all follow Paul in part today and completely reject him in other ways. That being said, I believe my position on homosexuality is completely in line with what Paul writes in Romans 1. Paul only condemned homosexual behavior of heterosexuals- those who exchange or give up their heterosexuality for homosexuality. That’s what the words he wrote actually say. It doesn’t matter that Paul would likely have condemned homosexuality in any and every expression and context. Paul the man was not omniscient or infallible. Only his words in the canon of the Christian scriptures are authoritative for us today. Even then we judge Paul’s words in scripture to determine their relevance for us today.

    Of course you don’t find Brueggeman to be persuasive on the subject of homosexuality. I never thought for a moment that you would. But don’t think for a moment that Brueggeman judges scripture and you don’t. I truly believe you are a salt of the earth Christian Jay but sometimes you come across as a bit arrogant in how you can so quickly dismiss those with whom you disagree.

  7. Monty says:

    Gary,

    Paul’s argument in Romans is that men had left the “natural usage” of a woman and preferred same sex and so forth for women. He uses the phrase “natural use” twice in the KJV. Your argument, if I understand you correctly, is that God doesn’t care if its natural or unnatural, to him, there is no such thing as unnatural, except for men and boys or men who were once attracted to women but made a conscientious decision to go against what they naturally were inclined to feel? It would seem to most that natural usage was male/female sex and the unnatural was same sex sex. What am I missing here with Paul’s usage of natural and unnatural? He says it’s “against nature”. Nature clearly shows that male and female is God’s design for creation and creation or recreation ends with unnatural usage of the sexes brought on by unnatural affection (lust ) for the same sex. . When men and women are no longer naturally attracted to each but burn in their lust towards the same sex God’s design for the human race is thwarted, perverted, and changed. There is no “be fruitful and multiply.”

  8. Alabama John says:

    The key above is “To Most”.

    Those born naturally in the body opposite their mind and instinct are doing what is natural to them by going after those their mind, nerves, instinct, etc. says is natural.

    It is a sin and a different situation for those born WHOLLY of one sex, mind and body, to go after those of that same sex. Many times for some weird kind of mental gratification. Think about child molesters, abusers of all kinds, some inmates and cultures,

    That is the BIG difference. None of us before birth made the choice to be either male of female and in some it just got crossed or screwed up. Some were simply born with the wrong plumbing or in some rare cases the plumbing of both sexes. Who should they blame? If they were born that away, will they be sent to hell or will God consider the circumstances?

  9. Gary says:

    Monty, I was baptized at the age of 10 and I had already experienced homosexual feelings and arousal. Looking back now I realize of course that a child that young is not an accountable person. So I conclude that homosexual desires are not sinful and their fulfillment as an adult in a committed relationship is not sinful.

    Paul also wrote that men having long hair was unnatural. We feel free today to disregard Paul about long hair on men. I don’t believe I’m disregarding Paul regarding homosexuality but I’m always curious how conservatives can harp on one instance of what Paul considers unnatural and ignore the other.

    Apart from these other considerations what Paul calls unnatural in Romans 1 is heterosexuals engaging in homosexual behavior. That’s what Paul says clearly. Yet conservatives continue to disregard the actual words Paul writes.

  10. Christopher says:

    AJ wrote:

    Those born naturally in the body opposite their mind and instinct are doing what is natural to them by going after those their mind, nerves, instinct, etc. says is natural.

    It is a sin and a different situation for those born WHOLLY of one sex, mind and body, to go after those of that same sex. Many times for some weird kind of mental gratification. Think about child molesters, abusers of all kinds, some inmates and cultures,

    That is the BIG difference. None of us before birth made the choice to be either male of female and in some it just got crossed or screwed up. Some were simply born with the wrong plumbing or in some rare cases the plumbing of both sexes. Who should they blame? If they were born that away, will they be sent to hell or will God consider the circumstances?

    ________________

    I’m still waiting for someone here – or anywhere – to provide irrefutable scientific evidence (you know, the kind that can be verified by replication) that homosexuals are “born” with a SSO. If there is no such proof, and there is a good chance that SSO is determined by environmental factors (such as imprinting, as I have suggested elsewhere), then WHY is everyone clinging to the idea SSO cannot be helped when most every homosexual asks “Who would choose to be this way”? If, in fact, there is a way to unlearn SSO and no one investigates what it may be, then people are indeed choosing to be that way. Why am I, as a heterosexual, more interested in finding a real cure for SSO than any of the gays posting here? It almost seems people enjoy their homosexuality, despite claiming they would never have chosen to be that way.

  11. Gary says:

    Christopher, we know millions of boys arrive at puberty with homosexual orientations. So what difference could it possibly make whether anyone is born with a homosexual or heterosexual orientation?

  12. Christopher says:

    Gary wrote:

    Christopher, we know millions of boys arrive at puberty with homosexual orientations. So what difference could it possibly make whether anyone is born with a homosexual or heterosexual orientation?

    I would say the difference between hope and hopelessness. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that people are imprinted sexually (as are falcons and other animals):

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imprinting_(psychology)

    Then that would be SSO is merely a case of bad programming (rather than a genetic flaw) that could theoretically be debugged and reprogrammed. I should think that would represent a kind of gospel (good news) to those so afflicted. How am I wrong, if you think that I am?

  13. Gary says:

    Christopher, you obviously are straight. No gay man would think what you have put forth. Sexual orientation is firmly in place for most gay men by puberty. It can’t be reprogrammed away. If that were possible believe me it would have been done by now. You might want to Google Allen Chambers who headed up Exodus for a number of years. He ended up dissolving Exodus and apologizing to gays. But even Exodus and similar groups didn’t believe they could reprogram homosexual orientations away. Their goal merely was to diminish them and reduce their intensity. But they were not able to do even that.

  14. Alabama John says:

    The being born this way is old news for Native Americans. They have always know there are three persons and acted by making the third ones special in dress and much authority. They gave credit to the Great Spirit (God) for their being like that.

    Back in the day, in the USA there were a lot more who signed off claiming to be homos since during WW1 and WW2 and Korea it kept you out of the draft and all branches of the military service. What people will do to keep from being shot at!!!

  15. Christopher says:

    Gary wrote:

    It [SSO] can’t be reprogrammed away. If that were possible believe me it would have been done by now.

    I disagree. The history of medical science says otherwise. As I said in another, earlier comment, the brightest hope for curing cancer – immunotherapy – was discovered in the 19th century but largely ignored by the medical community; probably because of stupidity and a lack of funding. Just think how many people have died from the incredibly ineffective and almost barbaric practice of chemotherapy in the last half century – all because there were no Edisons in the medical community to work tirelessly at figuring out how something he believed would work might actually work.

    And again, I point you to the findings of recent research into neuroplasticity. For instance, take a look at these articles:

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/feb/08/norman-doidge-brain-healing-neuroplasticity-interview

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/talking-back/new-clues-to-just-how-much-the-adult-brain-can-change/

    http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/05/features/game-your-brain

    http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-1024-neuroplasticity-20151024-story.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/22/brain-aging-neuroplasticity_n_7307662.html

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/02/she_will_dance_at_her_wedding_healing_the_girl_born_without_part_of_her_brain/

    There are plenty of more articles to be found like these, if you are interested. The science seems clear: the human mind is, in fact, always in the process of rebuilding itself in response to stimuli. It can, in fact, be rewired.

    I should think this might represent new and exciting hope for people like you. I really can’t comprehend your pessimism. You sound like the Israelites who disbelieved the reports of Joshua and Caleb. Maybe, just maybe, this is precisely the sort of thing Jesus was speaking of when he said that one could move mountains with even a small amount of faith.

    Take heart, Gary. I am only trying to encourage, not discourage, those with an SSO. God bless.

  16. Dwight says:

    And then there are the step-childs to the argument…those who are bi-sexual. They are accepted in the homosexual family of GBLT, but are also derided, because they make a choice between one or the other or both at the same time. The homosexual argument of being born one way or another is thus deficient in explaining the Bi-sexual who doesn’t appear to be born any particular way, but show a great amount of choice involved. Many homosexuals started out as bi-sexual in that they had a partner of one type, then switched to another, but then guilt makes them choose one path, because if one can choose, then one has control and one is sinning.
    I know many who have left their wife and children and become homosexual and then claim that they had been homosexual since birth, even after fathering three children, because they can recall urges as children.
    I think all children have sexual urges and depending on what they are exposed to they will go with what they find attractive to them. And then they choose what ever is accessible to them if they perceive freedom in doing so.
    I think AJ you are somewhat speaking more about “hermaphrodites”, then homosexuality, from your post. True some are born with mixed up plumbing, but that is rare, otherwise they are born with the correct plumbing. I know some men who are womanly in their actions and women who are tomboys, but they still are who they were born as in their nature.
    The latest sex-change sideshow of Bruce Jenner reflects confusion in thinking. He had been married three times, but then again so has Trump. He then during his hormone changes he stated he was not a lesbian, even though changing to a woman, while married to his wife. What?
    Then he said, I have never been sexually attracted to men, but has instead always been sexually attracted to women.”
    And he never had sex assignment surgery. So mechanically he his still a man, calling himself a woman, and attracted to women. He claims to be asexual for now, but identifies as a woman who loves women, even though a male on female steroids. He is for some reason the darling of the GBLT, even though he basically contradicts all of them…by choice.
    Ughh!

  17. Christopher says:

    Jay, why is my response to Gary not displaying? When I tried to repost it, the blog said I was submitting a duplicate comment. Is it programmed to require editorial review when multiple links are included? Please delete this post when you resolve the problem. Thanks.

  18. Christopher says:

    Dwight wrote:

    The homosexual argument of being born one way or another is thus deficient in explaining the Bi-sexual who doesn’t appear to be born any particular way, but show a great amount of choice involved.

    And it doesn’t resolve the double standard of wanting freedom to practice homosexuality and be accepted (because it is genetically determined and so cannot be helped) while condemning the behavior of, say, pedophiles even though, presumably and by the same logic, they likewise were born that way. Very Orwellian – some who are sexually aberrant are more equal than others. Gays don’t want to be told homosexuality is abnormal and wrong, but then they turn around and say the same thing to pedophiles.

    Just to be clear: I am NOT defending pedophilia. I am merely, by pointing out a logical contradiction, attempting to show the weakness of the “born that way” argument.

  19. Dwight says:

    Christopher, there is I guess even sexual snobbery in perversions, where they can be listed and condemned together, as in Deut., but some can be raised to a higher, even noble, standard by changes in society. There appears to be a love hate relationship among gays with bi-sexuals as they hate what they represent in choice, but love what they represent as an alternate sexual lifestyle. Not so, as you noted with pedophilia and even other sexual “orientations” such as bestiality and incest. Many even dislike the concept of polygamy(which is never even condemned in the scriptures) and will argue one-per-one on some “moral basis”. It is largely a self seeking ideology in that they don’t want freedom for all sexual “orientations”, but they want freedom for any sexual orientation that progresses their particular movement.

  20. Gary says:

    Christopher, I don’t believe what you propose in reprogramming sexual orientation will ever happen. But if it did it would effectively kill the person’s personality and create a new one in its place. Our sexuality is an integral part of who we are. It is not a detachable auxiliary part that can be removed without affecting our core identity. We see the fundamental nature of our sexuality in Genesis where we are told that God has created humankind male and female. We now know that being created male and female is more complex than it would first appear. Some are created male. Some are created female. And some are created as a mixture of the two. That may be disturbing to our desire for fixed and separate categories of people but God’s creation is more diverse and multifaceted than we can comprehend. We should be open to all the richness of people and their sexualitities whom God has created. Being single was not envisioned in Genesis but we accept it today and even honor those who choose to be single to aid them in their ministries for God. Scripture was never intended to be a straitjacket forbidding us from understanding ever more of God’s glorious creation.

  21. Christopher says:

    Gary wrote:

    Christopher, I don’t believe what you propose in reprogramming sexual orientation will ever happen. But if it did it would effectively kill the person’s personality and create a new one in its place. Our sexuality is an integral part of who we are. It is not a detachable auxiliary part that can be removed without affecting our core identity.

    I believe you are overemphasizing the importance of sexuality to our beings. I had never really thought about it much, but I think Jay is correct in pointing out that God is asexual in nature and so will be the redeemed in paradise, and that sexuality was introduced primarily as an expedient to prolong the existence of our species. We can survive without sex. Jesus and Paul were single men all of their lives. So I don’t at all agree that our sexuality defines us as people, as souls.

    Secondly, God did not create Adam and Eve the same way – a fact that has more than symbolic significance. Adam was created ex nihilo, while Eve was created from the flesh of Adam (and the terms “female” and “woman” reflect this). In sexual union, this separation of flesh is resolved as the two become one (again). THAT is the design. And God is not a God of confusion. God did not create homosexuals. Man has. This is true even if we believe those with an SSO are born that way (“crack babies” are born with an addiction to cocaine because their mothers were as well).

    In any case, it seems you are convinced of your beliefs and we all are free to believe what we will. I have proffered some of my better arguments on this matter and that is as much as I can do. 😉

  22. Monty says:

    Paul’s argument in Romans 1 still stands. The epitome of a people where sin has run amuck is same sex attraction. You find this more as someone has stated in affluent countries where the population growth of the nation among those affluent folks has come to a screeching stop. You don’t see it nearly as often in 3rd world countries where the population is exploding. If it was something you were born with then where you lived and environmental factors would play no part in it. Homosexuality was common during Rome’s hey day. The country is literally obsessed with it now. Supposedly the population of gay or lesbian is 2-3%, and yet every TV show has to have a gay person or two in it. Why? You would think at least 1/3 of the country was Gay with the amount of TV air time and publicity it receives. To me that speaks to an agenda to normalize it. It seems to be working. Never in my life would I have imagined that it would be “Cool to be Gay.”

  23. Gary says:

    Christopher, we do disagree and we can leave it at that. I’d like to comment on two details you mention. First, we don’t know that Paul was single all his life. Many have believed that Paul was likely a widower. For someone with the ties to the Jewish hierarchy in Jerusalem that he seemed to have it would have been very unusual for him to have never married. Of course the bottom line is that we just don’t know.

    Second, Adam was not created ex nihilo. That is evident in the Genesis narrative where we are told that humankind was created from the dust of the earth. We or at least those of us who are of European ancestry know now from dna that we are descended in part from archaic humans who preceded modern humans. Most white folks have between 1% and 4% Neanderthal dna. Whatever being created from the dust of the earth may mean we can know now that it involved descent from archaic humans. The presence in the Genesis narrative of a wife for Cain and of a populace from whom Cain needed to be protected shows that Adam and Eve and their family were part of a larger population of humans.

  24. Christopher says:

    Gary wrote:

    Whatever being created from the dust of the earth may mean we can know now that it involved descent from archaic humans.

    Would you care to elaborate on this statement? I am not quite sure what you are saying. Are you alluding to Darwinism? Do you believe the account of man’s creation in Genesis to be figurative?

  25. Gary says:

    Whether Darwin was entirely correct or not I don’t know but we do know now that humankind today is descended at least in part from archaic humans such as the Neanderthals and Denisovans.
    Whether the Genesis narrative of creation is understood figuratively or literally the account is loose and leaves much to the imagination. Did God literally with his hands take dirt and mold us like we would mold a clay figure? God is a spirit and we generally don’t think of him in such crude terms.

    It is legitimate to take into account what we can empirically know as we interpret Scripture. Some passages were long taken to mean that the earth was flat. Once it was proven that the earth is round those passages were understood figuratively. Similarly, we know today that our dna has come down to us through time in part from archaic humans whose remains we have and whose dna we can sequence and compare to our own.

    But regarding the original point even an entirely literal reading of Genesis contradicts the idea that humankind was created ex nihilo.

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