Is that flowchart accurate? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
Several have already undertaken a look at the flowchart going around Facebook that starts with the question of if one thinks homosexuality is sinful. If someone doesn’t, then homosexuals should not be allowed to redefine marriage. So is it really sinful?
There’s a problem right at the start. We could say for the sake of argument that homosexuality is not immoral and it would not therefore follow that it would be good to redefine marriage. The other side needs to not just deal with arguments against, and this one is quite a straw man, but also present arguments for.
At any rate, let’s look at the arguments.
To begin with, it is assumed that if you don’t think homosexuality is a sin, then you are part of civilized society. This is just more of the love and tolerance we’ve come to expect. Either you agree with us or you are just not civilized. Why should this be the case? Why should those who support redefining marriage be the ones who get to determine what in society exactly will qualify as civilized?
The first statement on the left is that Jesus said so. Well Jesus never said a thing about homosexuality. That’s true. He never said anything about rape or child sacrifice or bestiality or incest either. Silence does not equal approval. However, there is a bigger flaw with this.
Jesus lived in a society where the Torah was seen as divinely revealed. Now you can say that the Torah was wrong, but Jesus did not. In fact, if anything, with the moral pronouncements of the Torah, Jesus raised the bar extremely. Now if he had thought the message on homosexuality was wrong, he could have said that. He said nothing. In that society, that would imply an implicit agreement with the Torah. When he thought something was wrong, he was quick to say so. That he said nothing about homosexuality being okay should lead us to think Jesus would go the other way.
Next we go to the Old Testament. Well the Old Testament also says it’s sinful to eat shellfish, wear mixed fabrics, and eat pork.
It also says murder, adultery, and theft are sinful. Shall we call these into question?
The problem is such an approach does not differentiate between the ceremonial and civic law and between the moral law in the Bible. Now once again, the Bible could be wrong on the moral law, but let us be sure that we are not being wrong in what it teaches. The context determines what kind of abomination something is. It does not always mean something wicked, but it can. What is the context of the condemnation of homosexuality? It’s in a list of sexual sins and right between bestiality and child sacrifice.
Somehow, I don’t think the Bible ever approves of child sacrifice nor does YHWH in the Bible ever treat it as something you need divine revelation to know is wrong.
Why are pork and shellfish not to be eat? Most likely, it’s because these mix two different spheres in some area. For instance, shellfish can be like land creatures but they are water-dwellers, unlike fish that are pure water creatures. We might think this is silly, but to the ancients, purity was huge. We have that in our own way. We sell hand sanitizer profusely and anywhere you go you can find something to clean your hands.
Another example is mixed fabrics. Why? Every aspect of the life of the Israelite was to remind them that God was pure and that went to the clothes that they wore. Note that these laws were for Israel alone. No other nation was ever punished for not living according to the law of Torah. They were punished for not living morally.
What about the rest of the NT? Well the word refers to molestation and prostitution and not to committed homosexual relationships. A number of problems. First off, we are told no Greek scholars that say this. Before we believe this, we need to see it. I know of no Greek scholar that says that about passages like Romans 1 or 1 Cor. 6.
Second, with committed homosexual relationships, in our own day and age, purely monogamous relationships that are same-sex and sexual are incredibly rare, especially among men. Furthermore, Paul would not have known what would be meant by someone being homosexual. Homosexuality was not seen as an identity but as just a behavior. A person engaged in same-sex behavior but they were not described as a homosexual.
Also, Paul said women should be silent and not hold authority over a man. Many scholars think that 1 Cor. 14 could have Paul stating what the Corinthians were saying and then responding. Note that earlier in the letter he talked about a woman prophesying. Paul may be wrong on some things, but he’s not an idiot. He’s not going to talk about women leading worship and then say the women should be quiet.
For the part about not having authority, one wonders if the writer looked at any commentaries on the passage whatsoever. It’s quite likely Paul was dealing with a certain teaching at the time and saying that insofar as leadership went, a woman was not to lead over a man. In fact, in our own day and age, there are some women who would agree with this on that level saying that there is a reason for male headship. This is not to be used to lower women. That there is a difference in position does not mean a difference in humanity or value. I’ll say for the reader, my position is not set in stone yet.
The next part is that God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.
Correct, and Jesus himself affirmed this as the design of marriage and there is no change. In the Old Testament itself, it’s said a man will leave a father and mother and be united to his wife. God could have easily created several men from scratch and several women, but he chose one family at the start and when it comes after the flood, we see no change in that.
The Bible does not define marriage as one man and one woman.
I leave that to my friend J.P. Holding here.
The last one is because it disgusts me.
Well sorry, but I don’t see that one being argued. Again, my personal tastes should not be the standard for anyone, but then neither should that of the left.
That’s my take on this poor argument. Another great look can be found by my friend here.
Don’t be a conformist. Go against the flow.