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Walter Wink, 'Homosexuality and the Bible'


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#21 Amy

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 04:06 PM

Just to follow up here, I've posted an Open Letter to Walter Wink on my blog: The Daily Weaving and would welcome your feedback, especially with regard to critiquing weaknesses in the logical arguments. I've discovered over the years in dialogue with western christians that it is the appeal to reason and logic that may plant a seed of christian growth. At least, this has been my experience.

And, thank you, Mike, for allowing me to use your spot-on quote! =-)

#22 John Holder

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:38 PM

I read your blog post, and I have had a similar discussion once by correspondence, and I took a somewhat similar tack in my words. I paraphrase them here, in case any of this may help in your future discussions:

I do agree that there are conditions that causes certain desires. But I would only call it one of the results of original sin in the world. We are not to blame for the temptation that we have particular predilections for, only in how we act upon them. Some are even genetic. I often hear the question "why would God allow someone to be born that way and have it be a sin?" in this domain of discussion. But, really, why would God allow people to be born with a genetic predilection for food, or for alcoholism, or for that matter, with genetic diseases like Down's Syndrome, or Rhett's Syndrome?

He allows it because man chose to pursue sinful desires over desire for God, and brought sin into the world. Man is at fault for the crazy corruption that is present in creation. The genetic variants of our sin are in a way a visitation of the "sins of the fathers" referred to in scripture as being visited upon the generations. I must be careful to note, that even the OT scriptures say that while this happens, the guilt for the sin is not imputed to the subsequent generations, and that every righteous one is to be counted as such. We all have some of this genetic sort of sin, for "in sins did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 50/51) But, this is quite important, the Orthodox view of the sin does not involve "original guilt". This means that, in Orthodox theology, a newborn is actually free from sin (the personal action), although still suffers as a result of original sin (from his parents) by being mortal and susceptible to many kinds of sickness and so on... including genetic sickness. This is as close as I will be able to come to there being a "state of homosexuality". As you can see, I have essential granted it, and even allow that it could be a genetic condition (although I still feel the jury is out on this), much like Down's syndrome, or genetic predilection for alcoholism.

You wrote to me that "My personal view on SIN is that it is those actions or thoughts that separate us from wholeness in our relationship with God and our fellow humans." Exactly. sin is "amartia" in Greek, "missing the mark"


In response to the above, my corespondent wrote to me:

You say that 'He allows it because man chose to pursue sinful desires over desire for God, and brought sin into the world.'

I would disagree. Remember the story of the man blind from birth. When asked who sinned, this man or his father, Jesus answer was that neither."


And I replied, again, slightly paraphrased:

I'm sorry, but I don't see how this scripture reference supports you. The blind man He healed that you mention, in John 8, (the only one mentioned as blind from birth) was blind not from specific sins of his father and mother, nor of specific sins he himself committed. This is, of course, not to say they were not sinners, just that the blindness was no result of that sin. Rather, the blindness was a result of of original sin, by which creation was tainted. For, without original sin (man (adam) choosing sin and placing himself above God) there would be not sickness or blindness or suffering of any kind. This is the sin I was speaking of below, not any specific sin by a person or their parents. A side note on this parable -- the Orthodox Church Fathers have taught this particular man was literally born without eyes, and the mud Christ took and placed on Him was used by Him to form new eyes!

If this man's blindness had been a result of personal sin, then the man healed would have had the results of his specific sin healed, but since it was not the result of specific sin, Christ was truly glorified because this healing shows that He has power even to heal corruption in the world caused by original sin. It is quite likely that some priest may have used this passage to remind us that anything at all can be healed by Christ our God - Rhett's syndrome, alcoholism, cancer, pedophiliac desires, and so on. However, for most of us, like Paul in II Cor 11, we all have our various thorns and must rely on our Lord who says "My grace is sufficient for you". How do we handle temptations in the crucible of life? We are in a spiritual battle!

When we speak of sin and salvation, we cannot speak of one and ignore the other, as Paul says, "the wages of sin is death, but the but the gift of God is eternal life". The two are forever intertwined and should always be remembered in careful balance.

Of course, we need to focus on salvation, on doing the thing that lead to life. And also by not doing the things that would enslave us to the one who would pull us down the road to death. I also agree we need to get over our sins, though confession repentance, study, fasting, etc. to position our lives to be healed by the Master rather than to work at odds with Him, and so that we might always better concentrate on the road to life.

Since we are writing about our understanding of our faith, please understand that in no way do I intend any of this letter to involve any condemnation, for I am not qualified to judge hearts of men, and only our God can do that. But I have tried to lay out, as best as I can with my imperfections, the understanding I have, and that I also understand what I have written to be fairly close to the view of the Orthodox Church. If I am incorrectly representing these views, then I submit myself to the Church's understanding of these issues and upon Her mercy.


Please feel free to correct any misunderstanding I have, and forgive me.

#23 Nina

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 02:47 AM

How can people stone each other today, after Christ already has come and has said: Let he who has no sin cast the first stone. (?) Christ reminded us all that in a way or another we are all sinners.

#24 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 07:33 AM

How can people stone each other today, after Christ already has come and has said: Let he who has no sin cast the first stone. (?) Christ reminded us all that in a way or another we are all sinners.


Indeed. But I think what distinguishes many homosexuals today is the way they deny the sin and parade and celebrate it even if they are believers. As an example, last month at an ancient church in London, a Church of England priest 'married' two male Church of England priests using the entire BCP marriage service save minor amendments. The guests (there were 300) said it was a 'gorgeous' day. I think we can and should condemn such things.

#25 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 12:45 PM

How can people stone each other today, after Christ already has come and has said: Let he who has no sin cast the first stone. (?) Christ reminded us all that in a way or another we are all sinners.


It is one thing (a bad thing) to kill homosexuals. It is something else entirely to celebrate them (also a bad thing). We can still acknowledge what sin is and why it is bad, without throwing stones.

Or so it seems to this bear of little brain.

Herman the Pooh

#26 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 05:35 PM

Can we imagine a future, in perhaps 100-200 years, where homosexuality will be the norm and heterosexuality an abnormality?

Each year homosexuals are becoming more vocal about their rights and their needs and the legal justification of their lifestyle choice. Homosexual marriages are now legal and the next step of course is their right to adopt children legally - this is already in force in some countries.

The rights of the children are not considered of course.

Each person has the right to decide what kind of life they will lead, but it is not right that one small group of people should be in a position to force their choices on the rest of the population.

There is a high percentage of homosexuals in the arts and given the fact that most people spend perhaps 50% of their time in front of the TV, homosexuals have become a part of our lives whether we like it or not.

TV has given homosexuals the perfect outlet for their cause. it's a shame that those of us who have normal, happy families are not given the same respect - instead this kind of family life is now made fun of, made to seem "old-fashioned" and somehow backward.

As I said, perhaps in the future everything will be reversed.

Effie

#27 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 05:41 PM

Can we imagine a future, in perhaps 100-200 years


Hopefully, the parousia will occur sooner.

#28 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:00 AM

Dear Paul

During the last three decades scientists describe the "feminization of nature" which causes infertility and sexual abnormalities.

http://misha.pblogs....n-biologia.html
I don't know if this is a conspiracy against mankind or just a technology's side effect but i'm sure that it's true and continues to happen.


Feminization is also a bi-product of fluoride ... it makes men more prone to being homosexual and it biochemically alters our disposition to be more (... the word isnt coming to me .... I am looking for the opposite to "andreia" a Greek word ...).

#29 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:03 AM

Can we imagine a future, in perhaps 100-200 years, where homosexuality will be the norm and heterosexuality an abnormality?

Effie


Yes, we can ... the Old Testament has covered every topic (prophetically and in its wisdom) including a dominant homosexual culture .... and we all know what happened to that story (wink - BOOM - anyone for some pre-armageddon appetisers?)

#30 Nina

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 12:05 PM

I am looking for the opposite to "andreia" a Greek word ...).


It is slang but maybe 'softies'?

#31 Deacon Jonathan

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:34 PM

I didn't know what andreia meant, but if "softy" is the opposite then I can get the meaning: "manliness", for want of a better word.

The opposite to that would be effeminate, I think, which is not the same meaning as "feminine", because that applies to women only and is complimentary. Effeminate is almost always applied to men and is derogatory. Other words you could use are sissy, prissy, or mincing, and yes, I do see these attributes a lot among men who are not actually homosexual, so it may be something biochemical is causing this trend. And I thought flouride just caused children's teeth to go mottled! Another worry to add to the list...

#32 Father David Moser

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:45 PM

Feminization is also a bi-product of fluoride ... it makes men more prone to being homosexual and it biochemically alters our disposition to be more (... the word isnt coming to me .... I am looking for the opposite to "andreia" a Greek word ...).


... so it may be something biochemical is causing this trend. And I thought flouride just caused children's teeth to go mottled! Another worry to add to the list...


Oh, puh-lease, not the old "fluoride" myth again. Fluoride is an element that in some places is naturally found in the water table (the front range of the Rocky Mtns for example). The "feminization" effect is more a myth than anything but has been immortalized in the conspiracy theorists who are preparing for the collapse of society and the end of the world as we know it who claim that the government is adding fluoride to the water supply to chemically brainwash and pacify the populace - ridiculous! It does however, in high concentrations, cause the enamel of the teeth to become extremely strong and slightly brownish.


Fr David Moser

Edited by Father David Moser, 30 December 2008 - 02:57 PM.
emphasis added


#33 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:52 PM

Oh, please, not the old "fluoride" myth again. Fluoride is an element that in some places is naturally found in the water table (the front range of the Rocky Mtns for example). The "feminization" effect is more a myth than anything but has been immortalized in the conspiracy theorists who are preparing for the collapse of society and the end of the world as we know it who claim that the government is adding fluoride to the water supply to chemically brainwash and pacify the populace - ridiculous! It does however, in high concentrations, cause the enamel of the teeth to become extremely strong and slightly brownish.


Fr David Moser


I guess that means that Gen. Jack D Ripper in Dr Strangelove was wrong.

Oh well....

#34 Deacon Jonathan

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 04:06 PM

Thank you, Father David for your correction. I don't think we can underestimate the influence of culture upon our behaviour, and such phenomena as "metrosexuality" have become very prevelant recently.

#35 Justin Farr

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 08:34 PM

Each year homosexuals are becoming more vocal about their rights and their needs and the legal justification of their lifestyle choice. Homosexual marriages are now legal and the next step of course is their right to adopt children legally - this is already in force in some countries.

The rights of the children are not considered of course.


Of course they want rights! They deserve rights! The state shouldn't have a thing to do with the sacrament of marriage. Because it's a sacrament. But straight people can get married without religion involved at all, and gays deserve that same right. They deserve to share all the legal benefits and hospital rights and such when things like that pop up.

Also, Effie, are you saying that it is better for children to be without a good, stable home than to be with a stable, loving gay couple as parents? You surely cannot say that. Sure, it's not the best option. The best option would be a stable family with loving parents. But we live in a fallen world. People divorce, people are raised with singe parents, etc. It is better for those kids to be adopted and have a family than to suffer all that would come with doing without that. We live in a fallen world and have to make do with it and do the best we can. So while not ideal, a child being adopted by a gay couple is much preferable to a lonely life spent without loving parents...

I also think that, in this thread, people are quick to condemn the homosexual and see it as a horrible abomination, and treat it as a separate and worse sin than others. We also need to remember that straight people do some pretty horrible things, too, that far too often we just let "slip by" because they are straight. In some parishes, I am sure, a teenage guy looking at some girls in the parish would just get a wink and a smile, but were that same guy to be looking at other guys in the parish, it'd be quickly condemned, when both are just as wrong.

#36 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:46 PM

With all due respect, if fluoride is a myth or anything I say is not exactly 100% correct could I please be corrected in a spirit that doesnt mock me ... since, I wrote it with all sincerity!

Ps, Justin ... Orthodox do not condemn homosexual people ... they condemn the act. Homosexuality (whether we can fathom it or not) IS a sin and is one of those sins that is spelled out in the Bible in black and white ... however, in the spirit of love we still look at these people as creations of God and treat them as such ... much like someone who has a spirit of adultary or fornication or ... or ... or.

What people can not comprehend any more (because of our huge apostasy to God) is that discipline (to say what is the truth and not be scared to confront this truth) is not so that we can harm a person's political correctness but to help them face the reality of the political correctness of the NEXT life and not this one.

Think that one day, we will ALL meet our Creator ... homosexuals, fornicators, adulterers, greedy etc. All of us who fall in these categories (oh poor wrteches that we are) - how can we justify ourselves then!?




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