View Full Version : Responding to "Baker's Evangelical Theological Dictionary"
02-02-2007, 02:39 PM
Here's the link.
WARNING: It is an arguement against homosexuality.
Anyone know of an existing response?
02-02-2007, 10:58 PM
I don't know what to say. It makes me want to cry. I just do not get why God cares if two men love each other and God. AAAAHHHH. FRUSTRATION!!!!
02-02-2007, 11:17 PM
It was a valiant attempt to "interpret" scripture objectively in regard to homosexuality. It was a thorough read and he did do some homework, but in the end the effort was in vain. His premise is corrupt and the essay is riddled with logical fallacies and inconsistency.
They maintain that the homosexual orientation, to the extent that it develops in early childhood or even before birth, is not consciously chosen and is therefore not sinful...There are, however, many problems with an approach that so simply makes biblical material a vehicle for experience.
He suggests that homosexuality may be an “orientation,” implying that it may be 'legitimate’ in the same sense that heterosexuality is, but it becomes clear throughout that he hails from this premise in only the most cursory way.
...Furthermore, the analogies to other modern liberation movements are dubious. In the case of slavery, for example, the biblical message is ambiguous; in the case of homosexual Acts, on the other hand, what little material we have is all decidedly negative.
He equates slavery, something with “decidedly negative” effects with the mere proclamation of something as being “decidedly negative” (homosexual acts). Another case of it’s bad “because the Bible says so” (..but only when I want it to).
At some point the behavior itself must be held up to a light other than the fire of its own passion.
Or in the case of this essay, held up to the light from the fire of his own passion.
Just one of many examples:
...he perceived a moral and not merely purity-based prohibition of homosexual Acts in the Old Testament.
First, Paul's concern is.. with rebellion against sexual differentiation or full created personhood.
Second, Paul speaks in terms of mutual consent (e.g., "inflamed with lust for one another, " v. 27), effectively including Acts other than rape and pederasty in the prohibition.
Third, the passage describes corporate as well as individual rebellion... although Paul does not address the question here directly, it is reasonable to suppose that he would consign the orientation toward homosexual Acts to the same category as heterosexual orientation toward adultery or fornication.
The "natural" or "fleshly" proclivity is a specific byproduct of the corporate human rebellion
On the basis of any of these three implications, it is legitimate to use the word "homosexuality" as it is conceived in the modern world when speaking of Romans 1 and, by cautious extension, when speaking of the related biblical passages.
And there you have it ladies and gentleman, based on the writings of the late great Paul of Tarsus, a state of being is now exactly the same as actionable behavior, and the state of 'being' homosexual is necessarily the result of rebellious 'behavior.' Therefore, loving homosexually is evil because it is the result of rebellion against God – who is Love. Ergo, Gays only love because they hate Love itself.
Yup, that's Paulian logic for ya, I'd recognize it anywhere.
Obviously this guy's definition of "orientation" was the same as "lifestyle" from the start. It seems that in order to avoid awareness of this he’s convinced himself that by using the word "orientation" he’s now thinking in terms of orientation. Thereby allowing him to think of himself as being fair and balanced in his scriptural assessment of the morality of homosexuality, while guaranteeing the conclusion that homosexuality is morally, and therefore objectively sinful.
So bravo Thomas E. Schmidt for taking that extra step to remain ignorant of your own bigotry. :applause:
Extra mile, duly noted.
02-05-2007, 05:42 PM
Emproph, I really appreciate you taking the time to go into such detail. :)
:love: :pray: :D
02-09-2007, 08:38 AM
Emproph, I really appreciate you taking the time to go into such detail. :)
:love: :pray: :D
Thanks, I actually had a little fun with that one. It was at least somewhat challenging in that he made the effort to cover the existing arguments. I've been thinking some more on the nature of the Biblical argument though so that's where the following comes from. I call it: Let me see if I’ve got this “straight.”
The Bible is used to condemn homosexuality based on several Biblical passages, and the reasoning why these apply while some others do not (like eating shellfish) goes something like this:
All Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality still apply because the New Testament prohibitions confirm the Old Testament prohibitions. Unlike the OT prohibitions against eating shrimp or pork, or wearing (cotton/polyester) blended fabrics, etc. (the NT does not confirm these prohibitions specifically)
In regard to the New Testament, the argument is then made that the word homosexuality did not exist when the Bible was written, so the condemnation of homosexuality was not referring to gay as it is known today, ie; inborn attraction/committed relationships. This puts the meaning of 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%206:9-11;&version=31;) into question.
Which is where the popularity of Romans comes into play. Correct me if I'm wrong, but It seems to me that all other Biblical texts condemning homosexuality hinge on the validity of this one text.
Re: Romans 1:18-32 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%201:%2018-32&version=31)
1) It is New Testament, therefore it validates the Old Testament condemnations.
2) It makes clear – without interpretation – that it is talking about consensual homo-sex.
3) It establishes homosexuality as a choice by characterizing it as “exchanging” and “abandoning” natural relations.
4) It depicts homosexuality as a visible example of rebellion against God and therefore rooted in the immorality of evil as it has always been known – harming others.
There are several problems here.
First of all, even if it could be established that a “depraved mind” or “rebellion against God” is responsible for homosexual attraction, no rational connection is made as to how this results in the absence of conscience (evil), it is simply inferred. (“Rebellion” against physical nature must be the result of “Rebellion” against spiritual nature, ergo “rebellion against God.”)
And what are we ‘rebels against God’ stereotypically known for? Arts and entertainment. (Yet they continue to wonder why Hollywood is so “anti-Christian.”)
And how ‘bout the distant father/mother theory as the “cause” of homosexuality? How does one make the case that a child with abandonment issues was given over to a “depraved mind” and “shameful lusts?”
For the sake of argument let’s say they did. Homosexuality would still be a symptom of immorality, NOT the cause of it. One is left to conclude that there is no discernable moral basis for the condemnation of homosexuality itself. (Consider the ideology behind condemning the symptoms of a cold or flu as opposed to the virus that caused them.)
If the argument is that it’s wrong simply because the Bible says so, so be it. But even those who claim this mindset are rarely sincere, as with the crux of this author’s assertions:
Responses to Paul's Proscription. The discussion does not end with the conclusion that Paul condemns homosexuality. Some argue that a modern understanding of "natural" differs from Paul's and requires that we absolve those who discover rather than choose a homosexual orientation. These, it is argued, should be seen as victims, or simply different, and our definition of allowable sexual activity expanded accordingly. The major problem with this response is that it shifts the meaning of "natural" from Paul's notion of "that which is in accord with creation" to the popular notion of "that which one has a desire to do." But deeply ingrained anger does not justify murder, nor does deeply ingrained greed justify theft or materialism, nor does the deeply ingrained desire of many heterosexuals for multiple partners justify promiscuity. Desire in all of these areas, chosen or not, must come under the reign of Christ.
Obviously the “logic” involved here is motivated by the desire to portray, without evidence, the "sinful" nature of homosexuality as being equal to the sinful nature of the desire to harm. The comparison of the desire for ONE homosexual life partner with the desire for "multiple partners" and "promiscuity" is just plain absurd, and is a false witness comparison that in itself is harmful and thus immoral.
A more honest and logical comparison to qualify the author’s assertion that the Biblical purview of homosexual “orientation” applies to today’s understanding of it, would have been with the “orientation” toward the adultery of remarriage. Immoral just because the Bible says so. At least there’s a measure of consistency there.
Paul’s word trumps Jesus’ word when the Bible is used as a tool to justify moral relativism. When it comes to condemning homosexuality, the concern is about what is called a sin, as opposed to why it is a sin. When it comes to approving of remarriage however – which Jesus Christ himself defined as adultery (http://www.ph.unimelb.edu.au/~jlc/stuff2.html) – then the standard for determining sin changes. At that point common sense applies – No harm, no foul. No victim, no crime.
Ultimately It’s idolatry in its purest form. The number one commandment in both the Old (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2020:%203;&version=31;) and New (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2022:%2036-37;&version=31;) Testaments. In instances such as this, the so called belief in the Word of God is little more than the belief in one’s own ability to define God.
The belief in the inerrancy of God’s Word (in closed cannon Biblical form) is necessarily a proclamation that one’s ability to determine inerrancy is in itself inerrant. It’s self deification, the “worship” of one’s own ego and result of pride gone unchecked (http://www.whitestonejournal.com/seven_deadly_sins/pride.html). Our egos are the very thing that tell us “I am not you.” Necessary for physical survival but the opposite of true Love – who’s desire by nature is only deeper unity.
To the extent that we are prideful we are all idolaters. The difference is in mistaking the love of one’s own pride with the love of God. Do this and one’s idolatry becomes “unrepentant.” It’s the most brilliant deception (http://www.incentre.net/tcantine/epistle.html) there is, and perhaps the most enticing. It guarantees that one’s personal viewpoint is understood to be God’s viewpoint. Scripture becomes a malleable tool to decide who or what is sinful, as opposed to deciding the nature of sinfulness.
But all things aside, taken at face value, even if same sex attraction were the result of rebellion against God, the direct “consequences” of that rebellion are the same as they are for any 'non-rebellious' heterosexual – the desire for union. No more harmful or destructive than those desires expressed heterosexually.
Compare that with the twenty-some descriptions of evil that follow in that passage that describe the radical right to a tee:
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
They take social services from the poor and give tax breaks to the richest of the rich. They ransom their children’s future in order to fund the murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens (another convenient scapegoat) out of misplaced vengeful wrath. They slander gays and spread lies about us with carefree abandon to maintain their delusions of supremacy. And they use the Bible and “God” to justify it all. There are examples for every evil mentioned above but you get my point.
So which “rebellious behavior” would you say best describes the evil nature of sin – homosexuality or unrepentant idolatry?
Of course asking a question like that is the only time you’ll get the truth from an unrepentant idolater. They’ll say that we can’t rely on our own understanding to be sure.
For that, we'd need to consult the Bible...
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