Thursday, July 31, 2008

Common sense from Nige ...

... Learning From the Past?

It is more than passing strange that Jesus, having reduced the prescriptions and proscriptions of the law to a three-fold command to love God, your neighbor, and yourself, should be resolutely ignored on this point (once the lip service has been paid), so believers can go back to poring over - and fighting over ... the prescriptions and proscriptions of the law. The strange emphasis placed by certain professed believers upon the mechanics of sex is sadly wondrous. Perhaps it has something to with our tendency, especially in this shallow, celebrity-laden era, to think of human love as something passive, something we "fall into." Whereas love is really something one does. It is, strictly speaking, benevolentia, the willing of another's good. This may sometimes mean placing another's good before one's own. That's when it starts to get hard.


  1. Anonymous10:05 AM

    But Frank, Nige goes too far I think by stating “Homosexuality is barely even marginal to any form of Christian faith.” To say this disregards Genesis, and the idea of man and woman forming one flesh in the Image of their Creator.

    One can discuss and even argue the theological implications vis a vis the practice of homosexuality for an individual, but cannot argue the point that homosexuality’s counterpart heterosexuality is important to all forms of Christian faith.

  2. I think heterosexuality's importance in the continuance of the species is self-evident and requires no buttress from Genesis. The fact, however, would seem to be that a certain minority of humans are not so oriented and to make that a moral issue is to blur matters terribly. Sexual morality is the same for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, and involves questions of fidelity and promiscuity, the treating of the other as a person and not as instrument of one's pleasure, etc. The mechanics of the matter are something else altogether.

  3. Anonymous11:53 AM

    And some imagine Jesus is compatible with war, torture & state execution. But as Jesus said, those who are ashamed of his words, he will be ashamed of later.

  4. Actually, ad, they have better case, since Jesus did actually consort with military personnel - the centurion, for instance - and did not ask him to change profession. So let's not draft Jesus into our politics. And let's not change the subject from morality to political science.

  5. Anonymous11:47 AM

    Just to clarify

    I don't know if it is a topic of morality or theology. Consider that I think this statement by Nige is wrong: “Homosexuality is barely even marginal to any form of Christian faith.”

    I think it is wrong not because of the morality (or not) of any sexual act but because homosexuality is not the sine qua non of humanity. Accordingly to Genesis the founding theological document of Christianity a hetero couple like Adam and Eve provide the blueprint for how to live in the Image of God. Genesis says that a Man is necessary to a Woman and a Woman to a Man because together they form one flesh.

    Man and Woman complement each other to form an undivided whole in the Creators’ Image. Heterosexuality is the pairing of a man and a woman like Adam and Eve. Two complementary halves come together. Like DNA mating with RNA and creating the proteins at the heart of our material realties in an eternal and infinite dance.

    Homosexuality doesn’t cut it -- two wrong halves -- no complementariness.

    But I think we have to realize that Message from Genesis is an old message. So I personally think that that crude picture from Genesis may be alleviated by Christ. In other words, even if homosexuality is something not to be followed according to Genesis, its resultant sin can be and is forgiven, like other sins.

    (Of course too, the Christian must be careful of misperception of things because of his or her own predilections, the beam in one’s eye problem. In order to tiptoe around that one you really really have to be careful about judging any one else.)

  6. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Hrm. IMO, Nige isn't making a value judgment on homosexuality in any way, shape, nor format. Just stating the obvious, neither condoning nor condemning it. The thrust of the post, ISTM, involves admitting of difference and allowing for inclusiveness in matters both sacred and secular:

    "Whatever the issue is here, it is surely cultural rather than dogmatic," notes Nige prior to ending on a hopeful flourish that the proceedings — based on accommodation — work.