Oles evidently not heeding ELCA draft on human sexuality. Duh.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) issued its Draft Statement on Human Sexuality earlier this month. Most of the interest in the Draft is related to its treatment of homosexuality but according to this AP story in the Strib titled Largest Lutheran group affirms traditional marriage in draft statement on sexuality:

The document released Thursday repeatedly states that sexual intimacy should be reserved for married couples, and condemns sex for personal gratification alone.

Married couples only?  Pardon me, but wake up and smell the coffee, Mrs. Bueller. In the recent issue of the St. Olaf College Manitou Messenger, there’s an advice column by Katherine Oyster titled Let’s talk about sex, baby.

ecla-draft-sshotPeople tend to develop routines for their sexual behavior, too; a particular “warm-up” activity, a specific position or style for sex for the main event (which generally lasts about the same amount of time), and exactly five minutes of cuddling post-sex before either falling asleep or getting along with your daily routine. This can be fine most of the time — but after a while, the routine can get pretty old. Yet “spicing things up” in the bedroom can be kind of tricky.

The column is quite a good piece, IMHO, and Katherine Oyster’s advice is appropos for the married and unmarried, gay and straight, college-age and older.


  1. David Ludescher said:

    Griff: I just read the Draft Statement. The Strib’s representation is not an accurate representation of the Draft.

    Here are some more accurate summaries from the document itself:

    1. “… the Church teaches that degrees of physical intimacy should be carefully matched to degrees of affection and commitment. This also suggests a way to understand why this Church has taught that the greatest physical intimacies , such as intercourse, should be matched with and sheltered by the highest level of binding commitment, such as found in marriage.” (line 968).

    2. “It should be noted that some cohabitation arrangements can be constructed in ways that are neither casual not intrinsically unstable.” (line 1085).

    3. “After many years of study and conversation, this church does not have a consensus regarding loving and committed same-gender relationships. This church has committed itself to continuing to accompany one another in study, prayer, discernment, and pastoral care.” (line 1116).

    Comparatively, Katherine Oyster’s column is drivel. She concludes by stating that you can get the booty that you want and deserve by pleasing your partner. Such an objectification, personalization, and trivialization of the sexual act destroys the sacredness of the miracle of life regardless of any religious affiliation.

    March 28, 2008
  2. Clay Oglesbee said:

    I agree with David Ludescher on this. Oyster’s column does not take us anywhere that is particularly interesting. You might just encourage your readers to comment directly on the draft statement since Northfield is clearly one of the world-class gathering places for ELCA Lutheranism and retired Lutheran pastors.

    This recent ELCA draft statement is about as representative of, and true to, mainline (ie “generous orthodoxy”, moderate evangelical, and moderating liberal) Christian opinion and counsel as anything I’ve seen. The United Methodist denomination holds to similar ground by and large, though at this time only at the cost of considerable internal tension and pressures around division of the national church on this matter. Our General Conference (end of April 2008), held every four years, will attempt once again to address such questions. They have been addressed explicitly, and been found to be mostly irresolvable, for the past several decades. Some Christian denominations have chosen to institute a moratorium of unlimited duration on policy statements related to same-gender sexual expression because of the widely varying and contradictory opinions among their members, pastors and churches.

    There does not seem to be a telling Scriptural or other key that unlocks this at this time for mainstream or moderating congregations. The dilemma: is same-gender sexual expression an unnatural “sin” (which cannot be denied, but which can only rightly be controlled by celibacy or re-directed toward committed, heterosexual expression), or a human right and capacity (which cannot be denied, and which therefore may be rightly expressed in committed same-gender relationship).

    Some folks figure this is a Gordian Knot which must be severed by cutting–whether by conservative or progressive slices, won’t matter much. I hope this will not prove to be so–because of the immediate confusion and disorder that will distract the churches, and also because of the bitterness and resentment that will not be forgotten soon by those who feel obliged to leave their home church or denomination, rather than violate their consciences. Others strive for an interim “consensual unity” of the churches, hoping that other means of resolution will ultimately prevail. This is frustrating, too. So far, about 35-40 years have elapsed without noticeable headway one way or another under this approach.

    March 31, 2008
  3. Paul Fried said:

    Clay: Thanks for your helpful analysis, especially in your third paragraph. It seems the media oversimplifies and sensationalizes their coverage of church documents. Years ago, when I heard of (then) Cardinal Ratzinger’s close involvement in the writing of the updated Catholic Catechism, in part from news accounts, I assumed it would be something I’d never want to read. Then I was in a church social justice group, volunteered to look up social justice teachings in the Catechism, and found many things to like. Can’t judge a book by its coverage….

    April 2, 2008
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    David, thanks much for digging out the pertinent paragraphs. The AP article that appeared in the Strib appears to have missed the boat.

    I do believe it’s best when ’rounding the bases’ (degrees of physical intimacy) is matched to degrees of affection.

    But I don’t see how preaching that the commitment of marriage is required for intercourse. “Going all the way” is widely seen as part of the getting-to-know process as well as a path to greater degrees of affection. And not just among the young. I’d venture that vast majority of divorced adults operate by this ‘standard’ when re-entering the dating scene.

    And just because Katherine Oyster’s column in the Manitou Messenger didn’t mention degrees of intimacy, I don’t see a reason to dismiss it. It’s just a sex-advice column, preaching the importance of working at variety…. which is one of many ways to maintain a healthy, monogamous relationship.

    April 2, 2008
  5. Clay Oglesbee said:

    Paul, the Catholic Catechism is an unusual, elegantly ordered and comprehensive teaching document. I don’t agree with everything there by any means, but there is much to admire and much to which persons of conscience or faith can freely consent. What a wonder it is–to draft something applicable to so many human situations and dilemmas, derived from the basic catechism (Lord’s Prayer, Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed) and the Scriptures. Frankly, I think all the churches would benefit from close study and teaching from that catechism. It is one of the most important of the legacies from Pope John Paul II.

    Griff, the sex advice in the Catechism is pretty limited. One of the things I don’t think folks understand well about Catholic teaching (or generous Christian teaching?), and which they make fun of because they don’t, is that the underlying ethic emphasizes reflective self-restraint, rather than unconsidered self-expression, as a key means to building relationships.
    In our Romantic/Utilitarian culture, humility and self-restraint are not partcularly appreciated, valued or celebrated in the public venues.

    April 2, 2008
  6. David Ludescher said:

    Clay: Thanks for excellent and concise analysis of the ECLA document and the United Methodist statements. Your description of the Catholic Cathecism is as kind, and as generous as I have ever heard publicly. Thanks.

    Griff: The ECLA document does a fairly good job of explaining why the greatest physical intimacies (intercourse) have to be matched by the greatest levels of commitment (marriage). Intercourse for the physical pleasure reduces sex to a commodity to be bought, sold, or traded without regard for the affection of the other. However, even the genuine affection for the other can be deceiving to those involved. Think unwanted pregnancies that destroy either the affection for each other, or in the most radical cases, destroys the unborn life for which sex is not only biologically designed, but also ultimately directed.

    Only in cases where the two persons have made a permanent and monogamous commitment to each other can we be assured that the sexual act, and its intended purpose are fulfilled for its designed purpose, rather than for the sake of individual fulfillment. Pope Benedict defines it as the difference between a love that is selfish and demanding and a love that is other-seeking and giving.

    April 2, 2008
  7. Paul Fried said:

    Clay: I agree with you on the elegance of the CCC structure, and in theory, on the counter-cultural value of humility and self-restraint (although I’m still working on them in practice)….

    April 2, 2008
  8. David Ludescher said:

    Griff: I would be interested in your thoughts after you have had a chance to read the ECLA document. It is a very readable, and pastoral document, and quite unlike the dense, philosophical tone of the Catholic Catechism.

    April 4, 2008
  9. John George said:

    I’ve been gone for a week, due to the death of my mother, but this is an issue that I have some strong feelings about. I have not been a member of the ELCA for over 35 years, so my opinions of their position really don’t matter much. I did grow up in that denomination, though.

    It seems that all branches of Christianity are wrestling with what to do with this lifestyle. Our greatest challenge is how we interpret the Biblical passages on this subject, since Christianity is based on Biblical interpretation. There are, I believe, some quite clear directions concerning homosexuality, but I won’t bore you all with those. The greastest stumbling block we of the Christian faith face is the politicalization of what we consider a behavior. This has been bestowed certain human rights so as to threaten our freedom to embrace and defend the Biblical texts as we see fit. If you don’t believe me, just look at some of the definitions of hate speech that are being bandied out there. Also, take a look at what has been enacted in Canada concerning what pastors may express from the pulpit.

    With that being said, my brother-in-law, who is a ELCA pastor in Iowa, gave me the best definition of their position that I have heard. He says that he sees homosexuality as a a condition consistent with the fallen nature of man, just as lust, gluttony, lies, etc. This being the case, he can concure that there are people who are born that way. That we are born under sin and cannot free ouselves is part of the Lutheran Liturgical confession. What he sees, and this is what I think has wisdom, is no Bibilical support that homosexuality, as the other sins, is part of the new nature that we receive from Christ and are encouraged to walk in.

    Are homosexuals welcome in our church? You betcha! What they will hear, though, is not a justification of their lifestyle but an offer for freedom from it, just as there is freedom available from any other sin. We need to allow each church to arrive at their own interpretation of scripture and the freedom to believe and express that interpretation. To force a narrow definition of tolerance upon churches based upon current societal opinions, such as hate speech and civil rights, is to violate the First Ammendment separation of church and state, IMO. I know this will fly in the face of many who comment here, but I ask just this one question. Which part of the Word of God is not true?

    Griff- you talked about degrees of intimacy corresponding to degrees of affection. I would define that more along these lines- degrees of intimacy should correspond to degrees of commitment. It is commitment, not affection, that holds relationships together.

    April 5, 2008
  10. Felicity Enders said:

    There are two basic civil rights under seige during the discussion of gay rights. First, the right to not be personally attacked, physically or with hateful words. Second, the same rights and protections that come with the standard monogamous married relationship should be given to all who commit to such a relationship. Both are basic human rights within our society. I think the government has every right to enforce both for all people.

    April 6, 2008
  11. Felicity Enders said:

    By the way, John, I was sorry to hear about your mother. My condolences.

    April 6, 2008
  12. Patrick Enders said:

    John George wrote,

    The greastest stumbling block we of the Christian faith face is the politicalization of what we consider a behavior. This has been bestowed certain human rights so as to threaten our freedom to embrace and defend the Biblical texts as we see fit.

    I’m sorry, but I also have to disagree with you on this. Your interpretation of Christian scripture is your own. It is something that people must voluntarily agree to embrace, as an expression of one’s personal Christian devotion. That is all good. But it doesn’t, and it never should have, the force of law.

    Our laws apply to everyone – Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, and Atheist, alike. They are enacted by legislation, but they must be compatible with the central freedoms laid out in the Constitutional amendments and legal precedent. The “human rights” you decry are fairly basic ones.

    One: freedom of speech (First Amendment). They can say in public, “I am a homosexual.” (Similarly, you can say, “I believe homosexuality is a sin.” You can also, as you say, “defend the Biblical texts as we see fit.”)

    Two: equal protection under the law (Fourteenth Amendment, or Equal Protection Clause). “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; ….nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” That is, the laws should apply equally to all persons. If you can touch a consenting adult intimately in the privacy of your home, so can they. Civil Rights law also guarantees protection in employment. You cannot be fired for what you do in the privacy of your home. Similarly, John George cannot be excluded from employment because he is white, because he is a Christian, or because he is a man. And a citizen who happens to be a Lesbian cannot be excluded from employment because of that, either.

    Homosexuals are also allowed to vote, assemble, and be protected in their physical persons.

    John, I have to ask you, which of those fairly simple human rights do you take exception to?

    April 6, 2008
  13. Patrick Enders said:

    Also, John, I am sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. I wish peace for you, her, and your family.

    April 6, 2008
  14. John George said:

    Patrick & Felicity- Thank you for your condolences. They are much appreciated.

    Pat- You said, “…as an expression of one’s personal Christian devotion. That is all good. But it doesn’t, and it never should have, the force of law.” Since marriages are both a civil and religious entity in our society, can the government, if same sex marriage is legalized, force this standard onto the churches who have a conviction against same sex marriages? I haven’t heard a definitive legal opinion on this, but I don’t trust the rhetoric. When Roe vs, Wade was established, I was told that abortion would not become a method of birth control. That is exactly what has happened, so I don’t see any hopeful precedent that same sex marriage will not be imposed upon the churches if it becomes law.

    As far as your position on human rights, I concure wholeheartedly. I know that there have been very insensitive and hateful salvoes against the gay community from the Christian community. I know of two churches in San Francisco that had two entirely different approaches to the rise of the gay community there. One very sanctimoniously spewed judgement and damnation against any person who would dare to come out and confess they had gay leanings. The other church, who still preached the interpretatiion of the Bible that homosexuality is a sin, began reaching out to the gay community. They cared for them when they were ill, taking them to the various treatments and doctor appointments they required. They cooked meals or otherwise took food into the ones homebound. They repaired leaky plumbing, roofs, etc. and just spent time with those who were lonely or had been outcast by their families. Now, who do you suppose really demionstrated the Gospel to these people?

    I have personally been called a homophobe, bigot, hatemonger, what-have-you by those who oppose me taking the position that homosexuality is a sin. There are also laws on the books in Canada that would define my stating of my position as a hate crime. There is also a movement in this country to put these same laws on our books. This is what I am reacting to. I have no more rights than any gay person, but the converse is also true. They have no more rights than I.

    If you want to get an interesting discussion going about the likening of the gay rights movement to the civil rights movement of the “70’s, just talk to a person of color who is part of an evangelical church. I think you will hear a different viewpoint. A number of years ago, I heard Chuck Colson say it this way, “They don’t want my permission. They can do whatever they want. What they want is my praise, and they will never get that.”

    One of the accusations that seems to be coming through against the ELCA is that their position on homosexuality is flawed and they should have not made it. It is that opinion that I disagree with, and, if I understand what you are saying, it appears you disagree with that opinion, also. You two are very reasonable people.

    As far as me being excluded from a job because I am white, affirmantive action has made this commonplace. If a place of employment is trying to achieve “racial balance”, and I and a person of color both applied for a position, I could legally be passed over in liew of the person of color no matter what the qualifications might be. Also, if I was a college student, could I apply for and recieve a scholarship from any of the person of color scholarship funds? And, do I really have freedom to express my position on homosexuality openly without fear of recrimination, especially here in Northfield? Just wondering.

    It would also be interesting to hear some of the edicts of the Koran and the Muslim community on this subject. This is an area in which I have no expertise, although I have heard a couple of observations.

    April 6, 2008
  15. Paul Fried said:

    I think John G. is talking more about church than civil laws, and in some traditions, they take certain parts of the bible very literally, and have a tradition of interpreting certain passages in certain ways. In other traditions, they pay more attention to the actual details of the biblical text, and to the culture in which the story was produced, and less attention, perhaps, to some traditional interpretations that may distort the original meaning.

    But things change: Even during Jesus’ time before the crucifixion, the scriptures show him as being open to change. He emphasizes that it’s better for people to be like the Good Samaritan than to be restricted by obscure religious laws that keep people from being kind to one another (on the Sabbath or otherwise). He heals the sick and cures the lame on the Sabbath.

    So then Christians who are payingt attention might be in a biblical pickle: If Jesus was clear about the fact that some things do change, and should, then what should change, and what should not? They prohibited eating shellfish, owlmeat and pork in the Old Testament. We eat some of that now (tho’ I haven’t had an owlburger in a while). Jesus might be very saddened by some modern industrial practices related to livestock.

    Was the prohibition of homosexuality a cultural thing related to patriarchy and various forms of oppression or injustice that we see now, and are we ready (in the spirit of Jesus?) to move on? Or is homosexuality one of those things that is “unnatural” and will always be condemned? (Probably by some Christian denominations).

    I have been an interested follower of these discussions for many years. When I was a church music director, some of the kindest, most generous and talented people of good conscience that I knew were certain music directors who were gay, some of whom have since died of AIDS.

    The Catholic church has struggled with this issue, in part because of how it has changed in its approach to sexuality in general. There were certain saints and historical figures who held that sex was always sinful, but participating in God’s creation was it’s only redeeming feature. Others thought it was always sinful, period. The Old Testament view is not so prudish. Catholic teaching has come a long way on this, claiming that the “purpose” for sex is not just pro-creation, but that it also has a “unitive” function (helps people express, be, stay in love). But most of the authorities in Rome are not yet quite ready to claim that the unitive aspect is just fine without the procreative aspect. If a widower has had a hysterectomy and therefore cannot have children, is it right for her to remarry? (Usually it’s allowed, but some fringe conservative Catholics sometimes argue it’s against God’s “plan” and, if she’s lonely, she should, instead, get herself “to a nunnery” as the Bard used to say. Some of these same ideas then get applied to the question of homosexuality.

    Christian churches have a lot of historical baggage to deal with. This includes some of their richest inheritance, and also sometimes seems like a millstone around their necks. There are so many barnacles on the boat, there comes a point when it’s hard to tell what was the original boat, and what’s being held together only by the glue of the barnacles’ secretions. What is of value, for only a passing age, and what is of lasting value? In the Catholic church some talk of the “development of dogma,” and others speak as if it’s delivered by Fed Ex from the hand of God.

    At the end of the day, I think that religions should not claim the right to hide behind the robes of an almighty. People may feel that scriptures and prophets have a transcendent source for their teachings, and if you’re a prophet, tapping into a sense of transcendence and mystery is essential. But religions are made by people, not gods. And gods usually get by just fine without religions (if they’re omnipotent, anyway); it’s humans who need religion, not gods. To the extent that religions are insightful and “full of grace,” they’ll last and bear good fruit. If they’re distortions and idols, they’ll prove unuseful over time.

    Even if you’re of a mind to say that homosexuality is inherently unnatural and sinful, well, there are many things that heterosexual couples do, and do to each other, that are unkind, unloving, hurtful, selfish and sinful, and there’s a good chance that some homosexual couples are far less sinful than some heterosexual ones. There’s that recurring theme in the gospels about “judge not that ye be not judged,” and “before you take the splinter out of your neighbor’s eye, take the plank out of your own.”

    Given all that, the last job I’d want to have would be that of a bishop in any Christian church, charged with interpretting and applying a long tradition to the question of homosexuality. There’s a truth in the conservatives who claim that we all come from a sperm and an egg, and that’s natural; there’s also truth in those who observe that there’s much more to nature than that.

    The most heartening thing when I read church documents on sexualtiy is that it seems some churches are moving toward compassion. It’s a slow curve, but sometimes you get a glimpse.

    April 6, 2008
  16. Patrick Enders said:


    Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, the beginning of a busy week is upon me, so I’ll be very brief, and I may not be back for a couple days.

    I only weighed in because you had brought up concerns about the legal/civil rights of persons who are homosexual. When it comes to the ELCA and related church policies, I have no relevant opinion one way or the other.

    I am glad that you are willing to state your opinions openly with persons who do not agree with you, and I hope and expect that no recriminations will fall upon you for doing so.

    Also, I believe that religious marriage and civil marriage are two different things; the problem is that they currently share the same name. I would be happy to get the government entirely out of the “marriage” business, and limit it to issuing everyone only “civil unions.”

    On the “hate speech” issue in Canada, I’m kinda with you there: I’m not very sympathetic to the one instance I’ve heard about, either. I caught a piece on it on NPR’s “On The Media” today, and you might find it interesting – you can listen to it online if you want to, and it’s pretty unsympathetic towards the lawsuit in question. More interestingly, (and distrubingly) I learned that Canada does not have a constitutional guarantee of free speech that is anywhere near as protective as ours.

    As for affirmative action, I’ll only say that I have never felt disadvantaged in any way by my maleness or my whiteness.

    Apologies for the digression from religious matters. Paul seems to have steered this thread back on track, and I’ll get out of the way now.

    April 6, 2008
  17. Griff Wigley said:

    In last week’s Wall St. Journal: Sex Education by Donna Frietas:

    The question remains, though, why students who feel bad about hooking up, who wish their peers would act less casual about sex and who dream of living with at least some restrictions on their sexual relationships then choose to act as they do. The answer lies in community. Most campuses do not provide an environment where acting on romantic desires, rather than sexual ones, is feasible. It takes a village to set standards for dating.

    Frietas is a professor of religion at BU, a blogger, and author of the new book SEX AND THE SOUL: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America’s College Campuses.

    April 13, 2008
  18. Ani Lovoll said:

    Sex education and sex research has always seemed somewhat interesting to me. I remember reading a lot of tidbits from Dr. Kinsey’ research in my psychology class a few years back, and I know it was extremely controvercial, as society was much more conservative and christian than now.

    I think it’s quite clear that such a large denomination (even liberal ones) as Lutherans are not ever going to agree that pre-marital sex or homosexuality is right in the eyes of God, as the bible directly speaks against such acts. This isn’t to say that there are Lutherans that believe differently, and act differently, but as a group they can’t speak that way without appearing to be unholy and going against the one thing they believe in the most: the bible.

    The article has very clever wording in order to show that they understand society’s changes, and take things like that into consideration, but must stand by the bible as thats what that religion is designed to do.

    (some of this might have been repeated above…a few of the responses I skimmed because I have class in about half an hour…)

    Oyster doesn’t go along with this, yes, but she is an individual who is able to state her opinion without speaking for the entire group, so she is able to be a little more liberal in her wording.

    In argument with the statements made that her articles have no merit and are just ramblings on how to get booty, you might say the same thing about Cosmo articles, and things of the like.

    However, if you look carefully at a majority of those articles, they actually do have quite a bit of merit. Although they are not cited, several communication theories are represented in these articles. They use Relational Dialectics, Social Penetration Theory, and countless others, and some even use studies done by universities. As a communication major myself, I’m able to decode all of the jargon in the scholarly articles I’m forced to read for class, but for those that are not privy to the same jargon I know, they might not understand it all. Therefore, these seemingly unintelligent articles on how to get booty might be often taken at face value, but in fact they are able to communicate how to apply these theories in order to better our relationships with people, without all of the fancy talk and expensive tuition.

    To better prove my point, in my Interpersonal Communication class last semester, we actually analyzed 3 cosmo articles and applied them to theories, and also watched 10 mainstream films and applied those to theories. You’d be suprised how many things can be scholarly and informative. Just because it’s informally worded doesn’t mean it has any less value.

    In fact, Oyster’s is probably more likely to be read than the ELCA doccument. For instance, the start of this thread was by reading an AP article, not the doccument itself, because generally when we want to read something, we’d rather be able to decode it quickly than have to weave through jargon constantly.

    Basically, I think we are in the midst of an ever-changing culture, especially in America, and Oyster is just an example of this, while the ELCA recognizes this, but attempts to hold true to their tradition. I don’t think one is more right than the other, I just think there is a difference, and don’t think you can equally compare the two

    April 14, 2008
  19. john george said:

    Ani- Excellent points, and I agree with your conclusion. This sounds like the propaganda analysis course I took in college (that’s many years ago!!). That course did more to spoil me of reading any periodicals with any expectations of objectivity than anything else I’ve heard or read. Fortunately, we do all have a free will, and we should be encouraged to use it in analyzying these things.

    April 14, 2008
  20. David Ludescher said:

    Ani: My reading of the ECLA document is that that church is struggling to define the truth about human sexuality. As Clay pointed out, there is very little scriptural basis for the churches to base their pastoral statements. Hence, they feel as if they are in a Gordian knot trying to discern truth about sexuality because they don’t have firm basis or tradition upon which to rely.

    Griff: Thanks for the reference. That short reference points out why Oles should be reading the ECLA statement and paying heed. Casual sex may be fun; but, it is generally turns out to be spirtually meaningless, and is often empirically destructive.

    April 15, 2008
  21. Does anybody know, is Oyster her real surname, or a sort of yonic nom-de-plume?

    April 15, 2008
  22. john george said:

    Nathan- We are still waiting for Oyster to come out of their shell.

    April 15, 2008
  23. Joe Dokken said:

    Interesting stuff!
    I think that the premise of Scriptural clarity and authority is being slightly misrepresented . I don’t need to have a specific verse to tell me not to throw rocks at windows. (Even though I did as a young boy) I would have great trouble finding a correlating verse. “Thou shall not throw rocks at windows.” Hezekiah 1:17.
    I think the Bible should be looked at as a (the) “revelation” of the Creator to his creation. Similar to an owner’s manual. Not every possible situation can be described and in-turn diagnosed. Yet many complementary scriptures give clear direction to life issues. For instance, Jesus speaks to the validity of the Ten Commandments and in some instances brings the original rendering, to a new and higher threshold. Old Testament, “Though shall not commit adultery (fornication)”. New Testament, “…..if you even look at a woman with lust in your heart you have already committed adultery”. Ouch!!!
    Since adultery and premarital sex are prevalent in our society and churches, clarity can be found in the above mentioned scripture. I don’t want to turn this into a Bible study but I could find 20 or more, supportive scriptures, that espouse the same conclusion. Simply stated sex outside the bonds of marriage is sinful.
    So, the weightier issue is not specific scriptures about same -sex relationships. Rather the greater Biblical truth is anyone who is not married and engaging in sexual activity is sinning.
    I didn’t stop throwing rocks because Hezekiah told me to stop. I quit throwing rocks because my Parents told me it was wrong. “Honor thy father and thy Mother”. (It also didn’t hurt that the police officer told me to stop.)
    I could justify multiple wives, by picking out certain verses from the Old Testament. For some reason beyond my understanding, God in his sovereignty, allowed certain relationships to exist. Yet no, Christian, can find any loopholes for multiple partners in the New Testament.
    Are there mysteries of the Kingdom of God beyond human comprehension? Yes.
    As to the issue at hand, the Bible, especially the words of Jesus are quite clear as to proper human sexuality.
    By the way, Hezekiah, is not a book in the Bible.

    April 16, 2008

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