Newsweek Cover Story: The Bible on Gay Marriage

Lisa Miller, a senior editor at Newsweek who oversees all the mag’s religion reporting (and does a great job at it) has a cover story, posted online today, on what the Bible says (and may intend) and doesn’t say, about same-sex marriages and homosexuality in general.  The most surprising quote comes from Walter Brueggemann, who can fairly be described as the dean of Old Testament studies in this country.  When asked about same-sex marriage, he says, well, let me give you the lead up:

--The great Bible scholar Walter Brueggemann, emeritus professor at Columbia Theological Seminary, quotes the apostle Paul when he looks for biblical support of gay marriage: "There is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ." The religious argument for gay marriage, he adds, "is not generally made with reference to particular texts, but with the general conviction that the Bible is bent toward inclusiveness."--Newsweek.

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Read the rest of the article, entitled "Our Mutual Joy" here. And once again, when commenting, remember the dictates of charity.  (Photo courtesy of Catholic News Service.)

James Martin, SJ

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8 years 11 months ago
I have to say this article really cherry-picks its biblical quotes so as to twist meanings around and try and come up with arguments for same-sex 'marriage' from the Bible. The writer of the article should look elsewhere for support. Although, something tells me Natural Law arguments won't serve her well.
8 years 11 months ago
I suspect that I am one of the targets of the comments that one should not suggest that others leave the Church. I indirectly suggested as much by stating that I would leave the Church if I believed that the Bible condones gay marriage or that the Church was otherwise wrong about the life issues (#14). And I would. If the Church is wrong about major moral issues such as homosexuality and marriage, it has no credibility and is not divine. If the Church is neither credible nor divine, what good is it? In that case it certainly isn’t better than any other religion. I agree that a Catholic who is struggling with the faith should be encouraged to stay and find it. But we must draw distinctions. Regular old Joe Catholic who is struggling with the faith is one thing; a high profile priest who publicly promotes dissent is another. With regard to the latter, a regular Catholic, like me, is entitled to ask, directly or indirectly: what are you doing, and why?
8 years 11 months ago
All this hand-waving about 'what _I_ think the Church should think', but no references to the Catechism?! Sadly hilarious!
8 years 11 months ago
"There is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ." The message of Salvation is offered to all who are willing to follow Him and, "Love one another as I have Loved you."-Christ. "You can not be my disciples if you do not abide in my Word." Christ revealed God's intention from the beginning for the unity of Marriage: "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said,'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, no human being must separate. (Mt.19:3-6) God desires that all relationships be Holy.
8 years 11 months ago
Dear V. Ruka, By "twist meanings" do you mean interpret? Do we "twist meanings" when we argue that even though the Bible clearly supports slavery it is nevertheless wrong? Did the Church "twist meanings" when, for instance, it rescinded its Biblically based opposition to usury? Do we "twist meanings" by not adhereing to the Levitical Code - the Law which Jesus said he did not come to abolish? Do we "twist meanings" when we do not literally give everything we own to the poor? Unfortunately, Natural Law must also be interpreted, and so we have rival versions here as well (e.g., New Natural Law Theory, Revisionist Natural Law, secular understandings of Natural Law, etc.,). I think the author's point (aside from accusations of "cherry-picking") was that the Bible can provide a guide for contemporary life only to the extent that we "twist" its meanings through interpretation. Read Acts 11:1-18 for a wonderful account of the early Christian community twisting the meanings of Scripture toward inclusivity. In the Peace of Christ, Brad Ledesma
8 years 11 months ago
I am not homosexual. I thought that the church and politics were separate! And, I thought love was love! Who are you to decide who should be married and who shouldn't? If that is the cases, why don't we decide who should be allowed to have children and who shouldn't. We are all human, why should we all be seperated by what 'Christians' think. I think that to be 'Christian' is to be tolerant of all people and their beliefs, period.
8 years 11 months ago
Here in Canada we are leaps and bounds ahead of Americans. Your Country is behind us 100 years Same sex marrage no problem. They are in love and thats all that matters. Are they a threat to you??? NOT!!!! Homophobes are insecure in their own sexuality. I save Bravo to men and women inlove with the same sex. Thats what this world needs.....LOVE!!! Enough with the fight on so called terrorists. Enough hanging out in the middle east for the oil. How about keeping your noses out of peoples business and worry about yopur own familys. Americans carry guns like we carry wallets i think ypou should worry about your own Not if John and Bob get married or Susan and Kim Worry about Bert or Thelma carrying a gun and willing to use it for no reason. Here in Canada we have better laws , better lives, better society and less racism. Time the Yankies wake up smell the roses and quit sucking snot.!!! Gay straight or Bi I back you all but I dont back racist pigs!!!! I am sure you will edit this cause you have problems and much to hide. Truth hurts huh!!! Kevin S
8 years 11 months ago
As for Brueggemann’s comment – his point is a bit more subtle than saying that Galatians 3:28 provides a charter for recognising homosexuality. It does not so provide and he knows very well that this is the case – the point being made is that one can re-read Scripture against itself (much in the same way that the first Jewish Christians read against Scripture by welcoming Gentiles) in the interest of a wider, welcoming unity.
8 years 11 months ago
The Catholic Church recognizes that homosexuality is innate and beyond the individual's control, but in a glaring non sequitur, still characterizes it as unnatural and forbids people from acting as God made them. If it is innate, it is, ipso fact, not unnatural.
8 years 11 months ago
Romans 1 attempts to explain why homosexuality exists in Rome, saying that it occurs because Rome is not a traditional theocratic culture (with the exception of the worship of the Emperor). The scriptures are excellent in stating what the author's believed to be God's view when written. Changing our understanding of God's view is not the same as saying that God changes his view. To believe our knowledge of God's view on everything ever was or is perfect is hubris of the highest order. Paul saw as darkly as the rest of us.
8 years 11 months ago
V. Ruka has put it most charitably. However, that article is one of the most lame, tendentiously loopy articles I have every come across on this subject. The inclusiveness bit is nauseating. When the woman caught in adultery was confronted by Jesus he most certainly forgave her, but he also most certainly demanded that she change her behavior.
8 years 11 months ago
'Then he got into the boat with them and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded, because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.' ~ Mark 6: 51-52 I am a gay man who has been in the same realtionship for over 42 years. Walter Brueggemann is telling us that even people who are enthusiast of the Bible can sometimes not understand it. It is those that have written it 'on their hearts' who may be more likely to see the generosity and love it teaches and encourages. Recently I have done lectio on Mark. I like the way Mark can get our attention and can open our hearts and minds with continuing promise. Recently in the 6th chapter of Mark, I came across Jesus' statement that `their minds were closed'. Mark tell us this about the apostles after he tells us that Jesus had walked on water and that Jesus had calmed the storm. I think Jesus was looking for faith and attention. I think attention needs to include a fairly steady willingness to listen and to learn about what brings hope and love to the lives of people.
8 years 11 months ago
Interesting that Fr. Martin does not note that he also is quoted in the article.
8 years 11 months ago
I actually found the Newsweek article quite compelling in its argument, and not at all "cherry-picking." The author gives a much more comprehensive overview of the variety of ways that men and women are brought together in relationships (somehow the word "coupling" doesn't seem to fit here!) in both the Old and New Testaments. And yes, "natural law" does not appear in the Bible...nor do its "arguments" prove to be compelling in today's world, when we have so much more knowledge about human relationships than just that based on a presumption that heterosexual relationships are "normative."
8 years 11 months ago
This article if nothing else proves why Sola Scriptura is never a good idea. She has cherry-picked selected passages and has offered absolutely no anthropological exegesis to give us a true understanding of what Scripture tells us about marriage. Fortunately as Catholics we have a living Tradition which informs us along with Scripture. Far and away the best exegesis we have on the biblical model of marriage comes from John Paul II's Theology of the Body. In his opening 15 or 20 audiences he examines the creation accounts of Genesis, which he does for the very reason that in the Gospel which Ms. Miller cites regarding divorce, it is Christ Himself who points us to these accounts as being the model when he says 'Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator created them male and female and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and unite with his wife, and the two will be one flesh.' So it is that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined let man not separate" (Mt 19:3-5). The Word Himself appealed to the original model as that which indicates God's design for the union of man and woman in the sacrament we now call marriage. Ms. Miller is absolutely wrong to indicate that Christ was silent on the matter of gay marriage - by positively defining marriage the way that Christ did, in accordance with God's design for the union between male and female, He explicitly demonstrates for us the only kind of union that is acceptable in the eyes of God. Furthermore, Ms. Miller also deceitfully cherry-picks from St. Paul in her attempt to indicate that he left nothing of a positive image of marriage, when this is in fact totally untrue. One of the most beautiful passages Paul ever wrote in all of his epistles relates to the relationship between husband and wife, where he exhorts them to love each other with the perfect love as between Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5:21-33). (cont...)
8 years 11 months ago
(cont...) Ms. Miller claims that Christ ushered in a new attitude of acceptance, but she is attempting to equate acceptance with permissiveness, and permissiveness has nothing to do with Christ. Certainly Christ told the woman caught in adultery that He did not condemn her, but He also told her, 'Go and sin no more.' Nowhere did Jesus say that we must turn become permissive of sin. Nowhere did Jesus say that we must stop recognizing that sin is real. Quite the opposite. The Sermon on the Mount shows us that in Christ, the demands of the Law are even greater on the disciples than they were on the Jews (just look at all His, 'But I say to you...' sayings). But in placing greater demands on us, He has not left us on our own, but rather has offered us an eternal wellspring of grace so that we may live, "no longer I, but Christ lives within me." If people wish to make a secular argument for why civil unions between gay persons should be recognized by law, that's one thing. I go back and forth on the matter. But there quite clearly is no argument whatever to be made for a biblical support of homosexual relationships or homosexual marriage. Quite the opposite, in fact. Christ was clear about it, and the rest of Scripture is clear about it, as well. Any attempt to distort Scripture as Ms. Miller has done is blatantly deceptive.
8 years 11 months ago
My relationship of over 42 years with Joe is the proverbial picture that speaks a thousand words. It is illogical to try to force definitions such as permissive on my relationship because it is a gay realtionship. Walter Brueggemann knows a lot more about Scripture than anybody who has contributed to this thread. On a different topic than homosexuality. I recently read that the road from the Ten Commandments to the Beatitudes is long, winding and filled with exceptions. The further someone moves from general principles to specific situations, the less one can claim certainty for a particular moral judgement. I certainly hope that nobody is telling their homosexual family members and friends to become heterosexual. If they are, they are doing them great harm. I am 63 years old. It takes life time to learn what love means. It is not like learning what a tree is. Its meaning can certainly not be contained in fussy syllogisms and questionable exegesis of scripture. It takes a life time to learn about it. I am still learning.
8 years 11 months ago
This article shows why there is a need for the Magisterium to be the final authority on interpreting the Word Made Flesh, so that the Word would remain consistent, Yesterday, Today, and Always. There is only one True Word of God.
8 years 11 months ago
Ms. Miller states, 'to deny access to any sacrament based on sexuality is exactly the same thing as denying it based on skin color.' In this sentence, the word 'sexuality' refers to sexual behavior, and the words 'skin color' refer to Race. These are clearly not the same thing, nor are they related.
8 years 11 months ago
'There is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ.' All who believe in the Word of Love, the Word Made Flesh, are one Body united in Christ.
8 years 11 months ago
If one believes the the prophesies of St. Malachy the Magisterium cannot be forever, as we are probably on the last Roman pontiff if one believes that Peter the Roman is a counter-revolutionary anti-pope. Benedict XVI is the last numbered pope in the prophesies. The two becoming one flesh has as much to do with the legal standing of two married people as it does about sex. It means that when you get married, your family of origin loses its claim on you and you are owned by your spouse. The wedding ceremony is the Church's gift to the families, allowing them to consent to the new arrangements, at least tacitly. Not blessing gay unions does not really cheat the couple - it cheats the losing families. If every Catholic family with a gay son or daughter demanded its rights to a ceremony (and withheld contributions until it occurred) you would see change on this issue.
8 years 11 months ago
If someone is going to believe that the New Testament supports gay marriage, or that the election of Barrack Obama is a step forward for the pro-life movement, or any other patently absurd thing, I have no hope that rational discussion of these issues will change that someone's mind. All I can say is that if I believed these sorts of things I would quit the Catholic Church and join a church that has teachings that I could actually affirm. Mollie at GetReligion has a good break-down of the Lisa Miller piece. http://www.getreligion.org/?p=4204#comments
8 years 11 months ago
Regarding Post #10: Some of the contradicting comments (above) to this article duplicate my own views, based on my scriptural training, which actually bends very much toward Protestant & Jewish scriptural study, even though I am Catholic & Catholic-theology trained as well. I read widely, & some Catholic biblical criticism is doctrine-driven at the expense of the text. Nevertheless, even based on my wide reading, my opinion is that Brueggemann is showing a great deal of lack of discipline in his response, and/or has a political agenda driving his analysis. Suffice it to say that others are right in asserting that the inclusiveness of Jesus' message does not extend to a loosening of morality; if anything, his ministry points to a deepening of morality & more disciplined (while less 'technical') conformity to Jewish law. No one (including the Catholic Church) is denying that you shouldn't be able to love whom you love. It is the expression of that love that comes under the umbrella of morality -- just as it does for straight singles & couples. If I felt as you do, and I were also Catholic (you haven't said you are), I would not stay in the Catholic church, because gays trying to do so will be struggling with authority (& with acceptance of a forbidden behavior) for the entirety of their consummated relationship together. If I wanted to live out a Christian commitment in an institutional setting, without restrictions on my personal relationships, I would join the Episcopalians or the United Church of Christ (for example). I would not demand that the Catholic Church agree to Walter Brueggemann's interpretation, or that they dispense with the natural law argument that underlies their moral theology (combined with Scripture). The inclusiveness referred to in the NT exists in the context of charity & membership -- just as it does today. It does not extend to inclusive behavior necessarily.
8 years 11 months ago
I wonder why they have to write long. I have just one short comment: 'Even the devil can quote the scriptures.'
8 years 11 months ago
Olivia, The Catholic Church's current thinking about homosexuality tends to avoid bringing up Scripture in it defense. Also, it is meaningless for people to tell homosexuals it is okay for you to be a homosexual and it is okay for you to love others. However, you cannot be in a relationship. Did God some how give every single gay person the charism of celibacy? Of course not!
8 years 11 months ago
I do not find the revisionist scriptural interpretations to be convincing, but I do find them interesting and the subject worth pursuing further. For the most part, we read the Bible through the lens of our culture, and for those who read America, the dominant culture is straight, modern, and consistent with Catholic orthodoxy. However, if we were simply to look at the words of the Bible, with as few preconceptions as possible, we would see that it is easy to make an argument to support slavery, divorce, polygamy, aggressive war and other abominations, and to oppose lending money at interest and other things that we are quite willing to do. Our historical and personal situations, and our hermeneutics determine our interpretations. Certainly, more careful work must be done before the last word is written on the subject of the Bible and homosexual orientation and actions. Some of the above commenters have suggested that anyone who believes differently from the current magisterial view on this subject ought to consider leaving the Catholic Church. That, my friends, is thoroughly un-Catholic and un-Christian. On the other hand, it does seem to be consistent with the underlying tone of much of what the Church has to say on the subject. "Just go away, you bother us" is the message that so many gay men and lesbians hear from us. That is not the message of Jesus, who calls all his children to himself.
8 years 11 months ago
I disagree with the Newsweek article and agree with those who uphold our need for the Magisterium, which we can be confident has considered all that Scripture has to say about Marriage and upheld the truth these 2,000 years. But I also want to warn against recommending that people leave the Catholic Church because they don't agree with her. Our job as Catholics is to encourage those who disagree with the Church to come into agreement with her, not to find an alternative home for them, which only institutionalizes the problem of their disagreement with what God has revealed to us through his Church. The prospect of their conversion may seem unrealistic to some, but our role is to do the best we can to bring people closer to Christ, and leave the rest to God and the person we are trying to help.
8 years 11 months ago
The Sacrament of Marriage was instituted by God and can not be changed by man. "The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures and spiritual attitudes." -CCC,no.1603 Sacrament: An efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us by the work of the Holy Spirit (CCC,nos. 1131,774).
8 years 11 months ago
From Diogenes My friend the priest James Martin says his favorite Scripture relating to the question of homosexuality is Psalm 139, a song that praises the beauty and imperfection in all of us and that glorifies God’s knowledge of our most secret selves: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And then he adds that in his heart he believes that if Jesus were alive today, he would reach out especially to the gays and lesbians among us, for “Jesus does not want people to be lonely and sad.” Let the priest’s prayer be our own. "If Jesus were alive today ..." The blunder invites the obvious response: Has Jesus died AGAIN? Why weren't we told? Miller does not put those words in quotation marks, and it's a reasonable conjecture that they represent her own obtuseness rather than Fr. Martin's. But there's an important doctrinal point to be made. Jesus IS alive, and he speaks to us, today, through his Vicar, the successor of Peter. Such is the conviction of Catholics. And that Vicar has made it radiantly clear that sodomy is contrary to God's will and that marriage is effected between, and only between, a man and a woman.
8 years 11 months ago
To Mr. Power: Yes, that particular comment of mine was not in quotation marks. And yes, I do believe that Christ is alive. My point was that Jesus of Nazareth, in his earthly ministry in first-century Palestine, reached out to those on the margins of society (tax collectors, prostitutes, Roman centurions, the sick, the "unclean") and so, analogously, if he were somehow walking the earth (in physical form that is, as an individual named Jesus) he would likewise reach out to the marginalized today, a group that would include gays and lesbians. But yes, I do believe, as we say during the Liturgy of the Mass, "Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again." As I believe in everything else that we profess in the Creed on Sundays. I would stake my life on it. Or give my life for it. To Mr. Austin: The reason I didn't mention my appearance in that piece was that I was trying to maintain a bit of humility. To other commenters: Remember that the system doesn't accept comments without email addresses. And that we don't accept ad hominem comments. James Martin, SJ
8 years 11 months ago
When Jesus told us to keep His commandments, He also said that His commandment was to love one another. Does the way we treat gays, lesbians and their families match that injunction? If the Magisterium is in violation of this tenent, then it is another strike against the Magisterium, which is at odds at times with the spirit of prophesy (which is one of the many gifts of the same spirit described by Paul). To say that today is different is to be ignorant of the situations faced by Jesus and the Old Testament prophets, all of whom spoke out against the Priesthood of their day. In the truest sense of the word, the Church's current teaching on homosexuality is mortally sinful to those who proclaim it. It results in the deaths of teens who suicide, not because the experience of being gay depresses them akin to the way alcoholics are trapped by their addiction, but because they are told their natural desires are disordered. It results in needless deaths from A.I.D.S. because promiscuity and monogamous relationship are considered equally sinful. Parents literally die of heartbreak, not because their children are miserable but because they have been told their children are disordered and in danger of damnation for acting on what science now tells us are natural desires. Under the old formula of a life for a life, the Chruch's hands are stained in blood. To not speak out against these evils is to be personally responsible for them, and for the harm that comes upon the sinner. I will not stay silent, any more than Ezekiel could when the priests of his day sinned.
8 years 11 months ago
Anne, I do indeed believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of gay couples and have seen it when one of them was sick and the other cared for them unselfishly. While not all do this, neither do all married couples. Be very careful about denying the Spirit in their lives, as blasphemy against the Spirit is an unforgiveable offense.
8 years 11 months ago
Sebastian, I agree that it is un-Catholic and un-Christian to tell others to leave. I was baptized into this faith and love the Mass and other liturgies. I am as much a member as any other Catholic and I am not going anywhere. I do not have to. I am more concerned with the hierarchy using the Magisterium as a backdoor way of reintroducing the Inquisition, which was ended by the Second Vatican Council. In light of the actions of the Council, I believe doing so should be considered gravely sinful, especially as it denies the Spirit of Prophesy within the Church (which so desparately needs Her).
8 years 11 months ago
I sent the following letter to Newsweek: I have a short history of subscribing to Newsweek, but have enjoyed my time with the magazine. During this election season I was excited to receive each new issue, and often passed them on to family and friends with high recommendations. However, during this same period of time I have always been bothered by the column written by Lisa Miller, and, in general, Newsweek’s coverage of the Christian faith. It is my impression that Ms. Miller often portrays Christianity in simplistic, negative terms (See: 'The Silent Issue,' 'Is Obama the AntiChrist,' and 'No God, No Abortions'). This simplistic, negative path of argument reached its height in the most recent article 'Our Mutual Joy,' in which Ms. Miller attacks a literal interpretation of the scriptures (on this point I strongly agree with her), but then fails to do justice to the fuller spectrum of reasons against same-sex marriage. At my own university we hosted a 'Conversation on Same-Sex Marriage' last spring which included perspectives from History, Sociology, Catholic Spirituality, and the father of homosexual daughter who has suffered discrimination – this forum, only an hour in length, was far more beneficial than Newsweek’s one-sided article. Beyond Ms. Miller’s writing Newsweek has also displayed poor judgment elsewhere. See: 'The Vatican Breaks Its Da Vinci Code' which humiliates a serious effort of the Catholic Church by comparing a Michelangelo to a work depicting Michael Jackson. What is most difficult for me to understand is that while members of the Christian faith continue to be leaders around the world in spreading justice and a message of God’s love Newsweek feels the need to focus solely on the negative. For instance here are some stories you have missed: The meeting at the Vatican between Muslim and Christian scholars, the work of Christian Peacemaking Teams such as the Frontiers, or American Catholics support of immigration reform.
8 years 11 months ago
Specifically the magisterium teaches, 'The homosexual inclination, though not itself a sin, constitutes a tendency towards behavior that is intrinsically evil, and must therefore be considered objectively disordered.' The Vatican accepts the fundamental nature of homosexuality which is still a big question for many other Christian traditions. I don't think I need to go into all the medical, psychiatric, psychological, etc. evidence that tells us the facts about homosexuality are contrary to what the Catholic Church officially thinks are the facts about homosexuality. With respect to homosexuality, the Vatican Congregations have responded very oddly. They concede that 'being like that'(homosexual) is simply part of nature, which is to say, part of God's creative project, then it is evident that the acts which flow from that way of being could not be 'intrinsically' evil, but that they might be good or bad according to their use and circumstances, as in the case with heterosexual acts.
8 years 11 months ago
I must comment at this juncture that the term blogosphere is become appropriate here, as we keep seeing many of the same posters (myself included) saying basically the same things. It seems the blogosphere is an echo chamber.
8 years 11 months ago
The Sacrament of Marriage has not been consistent through its entire history, even within the Roman Church. It is no longer considered licit to capture your wife from her brothers in a raiding party - as was the Celtic tradition and the reason we have groomsmen. In all seriousness, this Sacrament, like all the others, has evolved through history. Most importantly, wives are no longer considered chattel. Christianity causes some of this change, although it has taken about 2,000 years for the effect of Christ's words to make it into the culture - and in some places the message still has not gotten through. The Rite has changed as well and varies from place to place, as has the view of sexuality in marriage. In former times, and in some countries still, you first got a civil marriage which was then blessed in a separate ceremony. Some also held the belief that it was wrong to consumate the marriage until days after the blessing in respect for the Sacrament. Such nonsense has mostly disappeared. Finally, polygamy was considered perfectly acceptable before God for the patriarchs - even Jesus said that they were among the living. If Marriage were immutable the Mormons and Muslims are practicing it correctly while Catholics are not.
8 years 11 months ago
Mr. Bindner, You are right when you say that we must learn to treat gay persons better, and must learn to love them better, because that is something many today simply do not do. And I agree completely with Fr. Martin that gays and lesbians would certainly be a group to whom Christ would reach out if his earthly ministry were going on right now - which is to say that Christ in His Body needs to reach out to them in a big way now. However, we must not mistake 'love your neighbor' and the idea of reaching out to those who have been abandoned and mistreated for somehow becoming permissive of sinful behavior. We cannot change divine law, and nothing can ever make homosexual relations anything but sinful. That does not mean we stop having compassion. We have to recognize how painful this sin is, and what a difficult struggle battling it entails. We must reach out to those struggling with homosexuality just the same way Christ reached out to the woman caught in adultery - we must recognize the pain of their being outcast, as she was; we must never condemn them because of their struggles with a particularly difficult sin, as He did not; but we must also encourage them to live chastely, to sin no more, as Christ exhorted the woman.
8 years 11 months ago
Michael, blasphemy against the Spirit, denying the Truth of Love which unites us to the Trinity, is an unforgiveable sin. God desires that all our relationships are Holy, united in His Spirit of Love.
8 years 11 months ago
'Marriage is neither a conservative nor a liberal issue; it is a universal human institution, guaranteeing children fathers, and pointing men and women toward a special kind of socially as well as personally fruitful sexual relationship. Gay marriage is the final step down a long road America has already traveled toward deinstitutionalizing, denuding and privatizing marriage. It would set in legal stone some of the most destructive ideas of the sexual revolution: There are no differences between men and women that matter, marriage has nothing to do with procreation, children do not really need mothers and fathers, the diverse family forms adults choose are all equally good for children. What happens in my heart is that I know the difference. Don't confuse my people, who have been the victims of deliberate family destruction, by giving them another definition of marriage.' Walter Fauntroy-Former DC Delegate to Congress Founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus Coordinator for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s march on DC
8 years 11 months ago
Father Martin, Jesus did reach out to the margin of society, but His goal was still the same, to set them free from sin and lead them to Salvation.
8 years 11 months ago
Not everything in the Bible is a prescription for living. The Old Testament especially is filled with accounts of how various figures lived their lives but these are descriptions not prescriptions. A full study of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar clearly shows that what Abraham did was presented as a lack of faith and obedience to God. They all suffered negative consequences as a result of those actions. Paul isn't the slightest bit ambiguous in his desciption of homosexual sex as sinful. Read the end of Romans chapter 1. He describes all sorts of sins. Jesus never condoned sin, he forgave it. He only forgave the sins of those who were remorseful, repentant and asked for forgiveness. He said strong words of condemnation for many others. Examples are so numerous I don't need to offer examples. After reading the last part of Romans 1 we need to continue to the beginning of Romans 2 where we are commanded to not judge. Since we also are sinners, to judge others is to show contempt for God's saving grace and love. But that doesn't say we are to approve of or encourage other people to sin. Clearly there is teaching against this. If you are like me you are struggle wiht the sins of self and find it difficult to nearly impossible to address such issues without becoming judgemental or condemning. That's not to say that I should become permissive. I need to spend time in prayer and ask for God's guidance and submit myself to him in these interactions.
8 years 11 months ago
'Did God some how give every single gay person the charism of celibacy?' Actually,the Catholic Church does believe that gays among the laity,like celibate priests both straight and gay, are called to asexual behavior, and that God is prepared to give both groups the grace to remain celibate.They are a special category in terms of relationships and the freedom to consummate relationships.As I said,if I were gay and felt that my sexual relationship were legitimate and holy, I would in no way remain a Roman Catholic. It is misery waiting to happen, for those who are not interested in remaining celibate.You will not succeed in getting the Roman church to change its position on sexuality in the near future. Not by ad-hoc amateurish "biblical criticism,"nor by the errant biblical criticism of Brueggemann who is not being intellectually honest, not by arguing that the Church's moral positions, which spring from what it calls natural law,do not have universal applicability. I'm not here to advocate for you on the one hand nor criticize you on the other. I'm saying that I do not believe that masochism is healthy for the human spirit.I feel for those gays who were raised Catholic and have come out since reaching majority, as well as for those who converted to Catholicism as adults, and perhaps expected that eventually they would get accepted within the church on the same level as heterosexuals.Trying to get the Roman Church to See It Your Way, no matter how convinced you are about your position, is a doomed exercise. I see this year after year in the church.Gays take on roles inside the church,both sincerely and in with additional motivation to earn legitimacy & respect,but the FUNDAMENTALS do not change, and those fundamentals are not about to, because the Roman Church holds dearly to what it defines as fundamentals. For gays, it's an exercise in humiliation,and for myself, watching that happen, it's painful.
8 years 11 months ago
I have a feeling that gays as a movement will outlast the Church of Rome in its current, exceptionalist, form. There will likely be unity with Constantinople in the next very few years, which will move the English speaking Church to create its own patriarchy (probably without the Africans who may create their own). Given that such a Partriarchy will likely include the Church of England and the Episcopal Church, you may very well see the Galatian Church in America adopting a more sensible stance toward gays and lesbians (in our lifetimes).
8 years 11 months ago
God’s view of homosexuality is as described at Leviticus 18:22, which reads: “You must not lie down with a male the same as you lie down with a woman. It is a detestable thing.” Jesus listed fornication and adultery among the “wicked things [that] issue forth from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:21-23) The Greek word for fornication describes all forms of sexual relations outside lawful marriage, including homosexuality. Homosexuality is not an alternative life-style acceptable to God. Both gay and liberal preachers twist the scriptures in futile endeavors to make it seem that it is. (2 Peter 3:16) Thousands of years ago Jehovah destroyed Sodom because most of the males of that city practiced it. (Genesis 19:4-25) People choose this way of life alluding they have the right to do so, free will, not taking into account God's viewpoint. In that sense, God allows them to do what they wish to do. However,Jehovah leaves no room for any ambiguity , both male homosexuality and lesbianism are condemned: “God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error.”—Romans 1:26, 27. The Bible says: “Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men, nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit God’s kingdom.” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10) Other Bible translations render the expression “men who lie with men” in various ways, as follows: sodomites, perverts, sexual perverts, homosexual perverts, homosexual perversion, and just plain homosexuals.
8 years 11 months ago
Wow. The overall synapsis? -Gross distortions of the Biblical intents to preserve (not pervert) what God explicitly says on this topic. I don't care what title, (emeritus Brueggemann) has, he and others who agree are flat wrong. He had completely shattered the meaning of the passage in Galatians where Paul, IN CONTEXT,(read ALL of Gal. ch 3 please)...is writing about the salvific acceptance of humanity -POST repentance. He and others practice an age old heresy, which is isogeting the text(placing some other meaning or ideal into something not originally there.) Exogeting is pulling out of the text the meaning in context, without adding anything to it. This is proper biblical interpretation. Furthermore, any layperson without the seminary degree easily understands that being gay is unnatural. Its no different however, to any other sin that's oft rationalized. 'I love to steal, therefore God made me this way'' isnt any more than 'Jimmy has two dads and no mom'. Its all unbalanced and certainly damnable. It breaks societies down, quickly. God calls it sin. I can't apologise for what the Creator has named. Over-educated folk such as this Brueggemann; may indeed be persuaded by the pressures of the world view, but it says nothing about reality. No one in the news media has any business nor right to redefine God's mandates or doctrines. The Laws of God bend for no one. If you disagree and remain narrow-minded yourself, you certainly have the right to and certainly have the right to be wrong. Try stealing someones property, committing adultery, or flat out killing someone. WHAT usually happens? The law of God remains just and right, -you will be punished, either here or in eternity or both, depending on you being forgiven here or not. Jesus even said certain cities would incur more judgment than Sodom and Gomorrah(judged for homosexuality), due to their lack of repentance.(Matt 11:20-24) respectively.
8 years 11 months ago
'I think that to be 'Christian' is to be tolerant of all people and their beliefs, period.' I believe you're thinking of puppies. Being a servant of God takes a lot more than your dreadfully simplistic 'thoughts' will have you believe.
8 years 11 months ago
Regrettable when people are duplicitous with the use of scripture. So much debate seems to focus on the first two paragraphs, but no one seems to care about the last eight words in this passage, spoken by Jesus. John 8:7-11 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ''If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.'' Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ''Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'' ''No one, sir,'' she said. ''Then neither do I condemn you,'' Jesus declared. ''Go now and leave your life of sin.''
8 years 11 months ago
The Newsweek article and it's basic thoughtline are preposterous to anyone who has read the Bible or studied its basic teaching! Only a limited mind or an agenda driven entity could come to the conclusion that the God of the Bible is Ok with the gay lifestyle. The simple fact that she is Religion Editor on that leftist magazine tells us where her agenda lays. Apparently M. Binder is a prophet as well as a backer of gay marriage since he favors a ''more sensible'' stance on it. Perhaps a mentalist as well, since he seems to know the thoughts of teen suicides. Diseases of the body, soul and mind need to be treated, some with medicine, some with love and understanding but certainly not with surrender.
8 years 11 months ago
In reference to Caroline's comment in Post # 45, 'Thousands of years ago Jehovah destroyed Sodom because most of the males of that city practiced it. (Genesis 19:4-25).' That is COMPLETELY untrue; God destroyed Sodom because the inhabitants there practiced violence toward strangers and because the residents were so inhospitable and unwelcoming. Instead of finding lines from the most ancient Book of the Bible, maybe Caroline would do well to read Matthew 25, where Jesus discusses welcoming the stranger. (Along with feeding the hungry, visiting the imprisoned, comforting the sick, etc.) There are a lot of rules and laws in the Old Testament (Leviticus and Deuteronomy, etc.), but Jesus really only gave one absolute commandment: His disciples should love one another. Caroline needs to read more of the Gospels and less of the Pentateuch.

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