“I’ve got a King James Bible,” Worley said. “I’ve been a preacher for 53 years. Do you think I’m going to bail out on this?”

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There are 33 Comments

Alex Guggenheim's picture

His congregation seems to be being helped, I suppose they are no one eh? But your link is from something The Reprobate Minds Socieity (LBGT) dug up from 1978. In 1978 many pulpits used such a posture. Now maybe it is unwise (you be the judge) but Worley didn't say anything MORE, someone (The Reprobate Minds Society) dug this up. They went to find dirt to smear him.

I would hesitate, rather quickly, to acquiesce to their terms. Apparently some are happy to. Not me.

farmer Tom N's picture

Aaron,

So Pastor Worley says the sodomites should die.

What do you believe should be the legal penalty for those the engage in same sex acts?

Do you take the libertarian view, "that it is none of my business"?

or do you hold to a mistaken view of the Law and Grace which pretends that the Law no longer exists?

or do you believe that the Law of God is still in effect for those who are not under Grace and therefore the punishment for same sex acts proscribed in the Law are still in effect?

Can the Supreme Court legalize sodomy? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas ]Lawrence v. Texas

Thanks for answering.

Todd Wood's picture

He is a mess. He has a megaphone to the nation, so why can't he take the opportunity to be clear with the gospel?

Let him say what John says,

"He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev. 21:7-8)

Or let him say what Paul says,
"Do you not kno that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

I don't want to hear what Worley has to say. He is suppose to be God's ordained gospel messenger, not some self appointed king of God's theocracy.

DavidO's picture

Todd Wood wrote:
Let him say what John says . . .[o ]r let him say what Paul says . . . I don't want to hear what Worley has to say.

This.

Jeffrey Dean's picture

(and all conservative believers) to disappear into a black hole of irrevelance. He is a dream for the gay agenda. He plays right to a movement that gain's inceasing legitimacy by protraying Worley's words as hate speech. What? You don't believe that it is hate speech? The gay community does. And so do an ever increasing number of voting Americans. The Worley's of the IFB world are bringing us to the point where the government will determine what can be spoken from the pulpit. We may inevitably being going down that path, but these foolish men are greasing the path.

Jay's picture

Yeah, I agree with that. Worley is greasing the skids for the removal of religious liberties here in the States. How long until this guy makes the headlines of CNN or the NY Times?

I'm reading http://www.amazon.com/Bonhoeffer-Pastor-Martyr-Prophet-Spy/dp/1595551387... ]Metaxas' book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer now, and I've come to the roughly middle of the book where the nascent Third Reich starts taking over and co-opting the German church. Some of the parallels are downright scary.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Todd Wood wrote:
He is a mess. He has a megaphone to the nation, so why can't he take the opportunity to be clear with the gospel?
He has, apparently you have failed to "take the opportunity" to read or hear online many of the clear gospel messages Pastor Worley has provided. Oops. Maybe reading only what The Reprobate Minds Society provide you in the way of quotes isn't a good idea in order to evaluate Pastor Worley.

Todd Wood wrote:
He is suppose to be God's ordained gospel messenger, not some self appointed king of God's theocracy.
I don't recall Pastor Worley teaching that he was a "self appointed kind of God's theocracy". Hmmm... maybe that is called a false accusation, at least an implied one. Not such a good thing ya' know.

Now, if Pastor Worley comes to this point and believe he is this and says it, fine. But until now I believe he made clear that his comments were with the assumption that the government could and should appreciate the view taken by God for the protection of The Theocracy of Israel and their criminalization of the perversion of homosexuality.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Jeffrey Dean wrote:
(and all conservative believers) to disappear into a black hole of irrevelance. He is a dream for the gay agenda. He plays right to a movement that gain's inceasing legitimacy by protraying Worley's words as hate speech. What? You don't believe that it is hate speech? The gay community does. And so do an ever increasing number of voting Americans. The Worley's of the IFB world are bringing us to the point where the government will determine what can be spoken from the pulpit. We may inevitably being going down that path, but these foolish men are greasing the path.
Remember dear brother, our Lord's own words were used to falsely condemn him to death while the "religious" and "theologically informed" nodded like fools. The Evil One has many devices in which good is called evil and evil good, even to the illusion of the mind which does not discern so well.

Jim's picture

Who asked:

Quote:
What do you believe should be the legal penalty for those the engage in same sex acts?

My question for you: "What do you believe should be the legal penalty for those the engage in same sex acts?"

Greg Long's picture

Farmer Tom, I believe Paul makes it clear that we are no longer under the OT Law but rather under the Law of Christ as contained in the NT. There is no NT warrant for corporal punishment.

I wonder if you would argue for the death penalty for all OT capital offenses?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Jim Peet wrote:
Who asked:

Quote:
What do you believe should be the legal penalty for those the engage in same sex acts?

My question for you: "What do you believe should be the legal penalty for those the engage in same sex acts?"

Are you saying, Jim, that no enlightenment can be gained or is permitted to be gained from the law which mandated the Theocracy of Israel protect its perpetuity through punishing sexual perversion? I see no such prohibition in Scripture.

So long as no one advocates it is binding on non-theocratic governments but that we may still be free to utilize such insight regarding social or humanitarian preservation, prey tell where is this forbidden??

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Greg Long wrote:
Farmer Tom, I believe Paul makes it clear that we are no longer under the OT Law but rather under the Law of Christ as contained in the NT. There is no NT warrant for corporal punishment.

I wonder if you would argue for the death penalty for all OT capital offenses?

The "we" refers to "the people of God" which now is identified by those who have placed faith in Christ and that law refers to Theocratic law. It never refers to any legitimate non-theocratic law under which divine establishment principles function and under which you are obligated to respect, observe and obey including the criminalization of sexual perversion. Show me where you have been emancipated from such and you might have an argument. But that will not be forthcoming.

Greg Long's picture

Alex I honestly have no idea what you are saying.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Jay's picture

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
The "we" refers to "the people of God" which now is identified by those who have placed faith in Christ and that law refers to Theocratic law. It never refers to any legitimate non-theocratic law under which divine establishment principles function and under which you are obligated to respect, observe and obey including the criminalization of sexual perversion. Show me where you have been emancipated from such and you might have an argument. But that will not be forthcoming.

Actually, it is forthcoming:
Romans 10:1-12 wrote:

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

and

Hebrews 8:6-13 wrote:

But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

For he finds fault with them when he says:

“Behold, the days are coming,
declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand
to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.

And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

The reason I say Worley is not helping anyone is he is breeding confusion on the subject... and many are confused enough, as this thread demonstrates.

A few facts that might help:

  • Under the Mosaic Covenant lots of things were "abominations," including certain foods (Deut.14:3) idols (Deut. 7:25-26) and dirty money (Deut.23:18), and cheating in business deals (Deut. 25:15-16) just to name a few.
  • Under Moses, many things were punishable by death, including worshiping another god (Deut.17:2-6).
  • In OT times, cities--even entire nations--were destroyed for things other than homosexuality (Deut.18:10-12)

It's impossible to use the the OT as a basis for putting homosexual conduct in a special category... and the NT is even less amenable to that.

It ought to be obvious that the Christian way to handle homosexual conduct is as we handle every other sin.

1 Co 6:9–11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. NKJV

While it's true that legal codes against homosexual conduct would not be outside the right of a government to impose, Scripture gives Christians no call to advocate that, and in the times we live, it would be both pointless and self-defeating--not to mention making us extremely easy targets for the "hate" narrative.
(I'm generally in favor of defending existing laws where there is a long-standing tradition, but imposing new ones wouldn't make any sense.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
The reason I say Worley is not helping anyone is he is breeding confusion on the subject... and many are confused enough, as this thread demonstrates.

A few facts that might help:

  • Under the Mosaic Covenant lots of things were "abominations," including certain foods (Deut.14:3) idols (Deut. 7:25-26) and dirty money (Deut.23:18), and cheating in business deals (Deut. 25:15-16) just to name a few.
  • Under Moses, many things were punishable by death, including worshiping another god (Deut.17:2-6).
  • In OT times, cities--even entire nations--were destroyed for things other than homosexuality (Deut.18:10-12)

It's impossible to use the the OT as a basis for putting homosexual conduct in a special category... and the NT is even less amenable to that.

Listing some data about OT regulations and then making a conclusion without the arguments or reasons as to how you came to your conclusion and why this is binding is a lacking appeal. You may have an argument but you have not demonstrated it and why it is "impossible" to see the value of a segment of an OT theocratic criminal code and not another. I see no inherent argument in the data.

And as for the NT, I see no where that the NT is less amenable to a non-theocratic government seeing the value of an OT criminal regulation and utilizing it. Where is prohibition this in the NT?

Aaron Blumer wrote:
While it's true that legal codes against homosexual conduct would not be outside the right of a government to impose, Scripture gives Christians no call to advocate that, and in the times we live, it would be both pointless and self-defeating--not to mention making us extremely easy targets for the "hate" narrative.
(I'm generally in favor of defending existing laws where there is a long-standing tradition, but imposing new ones wouldn't make any sense.)
It may give no "call to advocate" that government see the value of this OT criminal code but it does not forbid it. This is called liberty. You do many things in the name of God for which you are not specifically called but are freed to do.

"And in the times we live it would be both pointless and self-defeating". This is a matter of opinion, at best and certainly cannot be one of forceful theological imposition. But your suggestion about new laws, that "imposing new ones wouldn't make any sense" is based on what principle? We, as a nation, pass all kinds of new criminal codes. Why is the perversion of homosexuality an exception in your mind.

Now granted, socially with respect to the culture of the world and the United States tolerance of this perversion, it would not make sense but I believe we are arguing from biblical principles. So at best this is a matter of opinion as to what government ought or ought not do within its boundaries of its liberties which makes the issue far less rigid than those who insist Pastor Worley is completely wrong and out of bounds and they be in bounds.

SamH's picture

Worley's version of the Good News is distorted in terms of his doctrine of sin, and thus the doctrines related to grace. He clearly gets it that man with man and woman with woman sexual intimacy is a crime against God. In the OT covenant, such crimes within Israel's political domain were punishable temporally. Temporally in terms of stoning--which ushered them into the eternal.

There was (from what I can see) no Sinaitic Covenant mandate to take the sword (or in this case the stone) and move out into Babylon, Philistia, Samaria, Syria, Assyria, Egypt, etc. and enforce this among the pagans there. It was for Israel--its enforcement was for the Israelites first, and for foreigners in their midst. Any other judgment of this sin, or other sins and sinfulness was to be carried out in the instances when God called Israel to act as His tool of judgment (temporal, and once their lives were taken--eternal judgment) in taking the sword to Canaanite nations. But, the reasons for this temporal judgment upon pagan Gentiles was for their idolatry and for the fact that such idolatry had reached God's limit of patience. If any Canaanite sin is mentioned it is still with the idea that they are idolators. Any crimes done against Israel by outsiders or by Israelites was to be handled by the God-ordained civil authority in place at the time--no lex talionis was allowed.

With the coming of the Cross and the Church, Paul's (especially) teachings on the idea of the Law's jurisdiction changes how God's people are to look at sin and its temporal consequences. The Church can and must discipline sin among its members in a local congregation, comply with the God-ordained government in terms of what the consequences of that sin may be, and not disobey the God-ordained government in doing these things. If obedience to the government requires a believer to disobey God's moral code for the Church, then that believer must demur and obey God. The Law of the Spirit, the biblical teachings of grace, and the like must guide us in how we respond to sinfulness.

The answer to what Worley sees as such a threat is the Gospel itself, not vain, or even hypothetical visions of how same-sex sin is to be handled. Worley's gospel is deficient because he has bought into the idea that "being gay" or "being lesbian" is unchangeable. The proof of this is in his desire to treat them the way he says to treat them. This desire speaks more loudly than any Gospel invitation he may tack on at the end of his sermons on these matters. He may hate what is happening to this country in terms of morals and legislation, but temporal judgment and legislation is not going to change the hearts of these Lost souls engaged in these sinful behaviors. They are not the tools God uses--He uses the Gospel; a Gospel that understands that sin (any kind of sin) is heinous, and infinitely punishable by a holy and righteous God. A Gospel that understands that if someone wants interment and death for sinners engaged in same-sex sins, then he would have to desire interment and death for gluttonous, fat Baptist preachers, or for disobedient children, or for liars, thieves, viewers of internet porn, lustful men, gossiping women, etc. And there is no call for this kind of action by the Church dictated by God. Instead, His call is to those who are lost--come to Christ, admit you're a sinner against God, believe that Christ the Son of God died in your place for those sins, and call on Him to forgive and save you from those sins. The church is called to promote righteousness, and at the same time live in a manner pleasing to all men--without sinning.

Worley has all the appearance of a false teacher because in the name of God he proclaims a gospel without Good News. He stands without defense. He must recant. To defend him with "at least...." is to miss the point of sin, the depravity of mankind, and the way he is causing the Gentiles to blaspheme God's name.

SamH

farmer Tom N's picture

Jim Peet wrote:
Who asked:

Quote:
What do you believe should be the legal penalty for those the engage in same sex acts?

My question for you: "What do you believe should be the legal penalty for those the engage in same sex acts?"

I honestly don't know how to answer that question.

What I do know is that all unbelievers are still under the Law.

"The wages of sin is death," Romans 6:14 and other passages about grace (Gal.) are directed to believers. Romans 8:2 makes it very clear that believers are no longer subject to the "Law of Sin and Death," and unbeliever is still under that Law.

How then does this relate to civil(secular government)? Well, to claim that the OT Law is no longer in effect for unbelievers is a distortion of the Truth. Unbelievers, and by extension all humans living under any form of civil government are still subject to the moral (natural) law of God.

And great minds who have thought long and hard on this subjects came to a common conclusion. Augustin, Aquinas, Locke and Blackstone all concluded that any human law which does not conform(agree) with the Law of Nature and Nature's God is no law at all or is unlawful, or is lawlessness.

As quick reference of those mens work, I'll point you to Letters From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, John Locke in his, "Second Treatise of Government" and Sir William Blackstone "Of the Nature of Law in General"

Suffice to say, All of human kind is subject to the Laws of Nature and Nature's God. And the Law of God proscribes the penalty of death for sin. For adultery, for bearing false witness, and for sodomy. The Law of Nature and Nature's God is still in effect today, especially for unbelievers since they are not under Grace.

We can offer the sodomite hope however. We must teach and preach that the penalty for sin is death. Always death. And that apart from the saving Grace of Jesus Christ, they are without hope. One can not offer the hope of salvation to someone who is not lost. Therefore it is necessary and proper to teach the Law, because,

Quote:

Romans 3:20
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Quote:
Romans 7:7
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Quote:
Galatians 2:16
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

You want to help the sodomite, tell him he is a sinner. And that the Law requires the penalty of death.

Greg Long's picture

The above two posts offer a perfect summary of two contrasting positions on this issue. I subscribe to Sam's view and reject Tom's.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

farmer Tom N's picture

Greg,

Are unbelievers under the Law?

Greg Long's picture

It depends what you mean by "the Law." They will be judged by God's righteous law. But the OT Law of Moses contains the specific stipulations of the covenant God made with his people Israel. There is no indication that God punished the Hittites for failure to keep the Sabbath or for eating pork, for example (unless eating pork was something they did during their idolatrous worship or was otherwise related to idolatrous practices).

And even if one were to disagree with what I just said and hold to the idea that unbelievers are under the OT Law, the question is what are we to do with them if they break that Law here and now in the NT economy. I see no basis for arguing for their execution.

Do you think unbelievers should keep the Sabbath and be executed if they fail to do so?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

farmer Tom N's picture

In your opinion then, Leviticus 18 is only directed to the Children of Israel and not the the inhabitants of the land of Canaan? Or had God in fact passed judgment on the people of Canaan for the lawless behavior?

I am not arguing that the unbeliever must keep the ceremonial law, but Natural Law, (natural/nature),

see Romans 1:26,27,31 , Romans 2:14, I Corinthians 2:14, I Corinthians 11:14, I Corinthians 15:44, Ephesians 2:3 and II Timothy 3:3

Repeatedly Paul makes the argument that natural man is not capable of obedience to the law, and is a natural law breaker. Read Romans 2 again. Even those who do not have the one thing which makes the Jews better than everyone else, (The Oracles of God, Romans 3:2) are by their very conscience (Romans 2:15) convicted of the Law. An attempt to suggest that unbelievers are not accountable for the Natural Law, seems to me, to be a very slippery slope. On what basis is anyone guilty before "the Law" if the Law is no longer the righteous standard? (Romans 3:20) Is Christ's death only necessary for those who are believers, since they are now under Grace or did Christ die for all men, men who were under condemnation of the Law?

My other question would be this, you referred to,

Quote:
now in the NT economy
How exactly do you describe this "economy"? Are non-believers now under grace? Are you suggesting that after Christ's death on the cross, the Law was completely abolished for all of mankind? That sin is no longer sin, because Christ's death covers that sin of everyone, believer and unbeliever alike? Why then is salvation even necessary? If the unbeliever is no longer under "the Law" is he already forgiven for something which used to be sin, but is now not sin in this new economy?

In this new economy is murder, adultery and bearing false witness no longer sin? If it is sin, by what standard do you establish what sin is?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Alex wrote:
Listing some data about OT regulations and then making a conclusion without the arguments or reasons as to how you came to your conclusion and why this is binding is a lacking appeal. You may have an argument but you have not demonstrated it and why it is "impossible" to see the value of a segment of an OT theocratic criminal code and not another. I see no inherent argument in the data.

Interesting that you conflate "have not demonstrated" with "I see no inherent argument." I accept that you don't see it.
As for taking some laws (an arbitrarily defined "segment") from the Mosaic code and not others, I "see no inherent argument in" why it would make sense to do that.
It isn't obvious that rape of a betrothed (Deut.22.25-27), adultery with a married woman (Lev. 20:10), prostitution by the daughter of a priest (Lev.21.9), various forms of incest, etc. are a different "segment" from homosexual conduct.

Alex wrote:
"And in the times we live it would be both pointless and self-defeating". This is a matter of opinion, at best and certainly cannot be one of forceful theological imposition. But your suggestion about new laws, that "imposing new ones wouldn't make any sense" is based on what principle? We, as a nation, pass all kinds of new criminal codes. Why is the perversion of homosexuality an exception in your mind.

I don't think I claimed any "forceful theological imposition." My aim was to show that the argument in favor of that kind of legislation today lacks support in the Bible.

Imposing new laws that govern the sexual morality of the behavior of consenting adults in private is pointless and self-defeating for multiple reasons I thought were already common knowledge:

  1. The purpose of government in Rom.13 does not extend to regulating sinful relationships between consenting adults
  2. "Immoral" and "unethical" and "illegal" are distinct categories. Not everything immoral or unethical ought to be illegal (for example, hate. For another, idolatry.)
  3. Laws aimed at regulating what consenting adults do in private are nearly impossible to enforce (and though there is sometimes value in the moral symbolism of an unenforceable law, it's not wise for a state to dilute its legal currency by doing that too often)
  4. There is no public will either to pass or to enforce laws like that in America today. If there was a strong moral consensus that homosexual conduct is wrong, we could pass laws like that and maybe sort of enforce them a little--but in that case, they'd be unecessary (1 Tim.1:9).
  5. The reason I already mentioned above: seeking this kind of legislation makes us easy targets for the hate narrative. Why do that when there is less than nothing to be gained?

    I suspect that even in Moses' day, laws like that were rarely enforced. But the Mosaic code was much more than a legal document. It was a religious, spiritual document defining a nation's relationship with God (and let's not forget that the priests had use of the Urim and Thummim and other processes for deciding cases where solid evidence was hard to obtain--we don't have these tools.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Interesting that you conflate "have not demonstrated" with "I see no inherent argument."
Right, which means you argue from an assumption without making a case. I see your assumption but you have not presented any argument. Only when there is something prima facie do we cite it based on its plainness. No such plainness exists here. The passages from earlier were just that, passages which required interpretation and application along with their principled applications in other areas. None of that was provided. In other words you failed to explain your use of them. Hence, you are still left with a brown bag and no contents.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
As for taking some laws (an arbitrarily defined "segment") from the Mosaic code and not others, I "see no inherent argument in" why it would make sense to do that.

You may not see any inherent argument why it would make sense to take some of the principles and not others but your confusion is because of the narrative you use to describe, in error, the approach of those that do use parts of the law and not others. You call it arbitrary but in fact, the United States, itself, used and still uses the moral values found in the OT with regard to the establishment of and criminalization of certain moral codes but with deliberate segregation, not arbitrary segregation, from other parts of the moral code it deems worthwhile. Not every law or moral code is based in the OT but some are and quite broadly accepted.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
I don't think I claimed any "forceful theological imposition." My aim was to show that the argument in favor of that kind of legislation today lacks support in the Bible.
And you did not argue from Scripture, you simply gave some citations of passages without explanation and then your general opinion. However, tt appears, here below, you will attempt this in a couple of points whose weakness I will bring to a better light.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
Imposing new laws that govern the sexual morality of the behavior of consenting adults in private is pointless and self-defeating for multiple reasons I thought were already common knowledge.
Obviously this is your opinion but on the contrary, privacy between adults has rarely been treated as sexual carte blanche in history for anything goes so that any new laws are discouraged regarding sexual perversion. But more importantly law, whether enforceable or not, has more than its enforceability in view, but its principle. It appears to you principle is to be sacrificed for the sake of expediency commonly called moral-relevance or at least a by-product of it. But to your points.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
The purpose of government in Rom.13 does not extend to regulating sinful relationships between consenting adults
Really, where does that say this anywhere in the chapter? It doesn’t. It makes clear the state is to punish those that do wrong. And at no place does it teach the state may not determine that the perversion of homosexuality is a punishable crime. It makes no such comment in Romans 13. This is an argument from silence at best but even that argument is without the slightest implication of possibility regarding what you assert one is to conclude from Rom. 13.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
"Immoral" and "unethical" and "illegal" are distinct categories. Not everything immoral or unethical ought to be illegal (for example, hate. For another, idolatry.)
Right, so what is your point here? Some things that are immoral and unethical are illegal. Frankly you make the reverse argument, that is makes clear some immorality is acceptably determined to be illegal, hence it stands to reason homosexuality can be considered.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
Laws aimed at regulating what consenting adults do in private are nearly impossible to enforce (and though there is sometimes value in the moral symbolism of an unenforceable law, it's not wise for a state to dilute its legal currency by doing that too often)
See the point of sacrificing principle for the sake of expediency above. Percentage wise, speeding laws traffic laws are quite unenforceable in many places but we do not remove their regulations because of that. That is your choice, I find it a naive approach.
Aaron Blumer wrote:
There is no public will either to pass or to enforce laws like that in America today. If there was a strong moral consensus that homosexual conduct is wrong, we could pass laws like that and maybe sort of enforce them a little--but in that case, they'd be unecessary (1 Tim.1:9).
I do agree there may not be a public will but maybe the public can be convinced, maybe not. But settling for public will without trying to convince them is not a very robust approach to social stability and high order.

However, more critically, you quote 1 Timothy 1:9 with the unexplainable interpretation and application that it deems laws against homosexuality “unnecessary”? The passage says that the law is for law breakers. This is precisely why laws are needed.

Aaron Blumer wrote:
The reason I already mentioned above: seeking this kind of legislation makes us easy targets for the hate narrative. Why do that when there is less than nothing to be gained?
Jesus was perfect and hated for many things. If it is a point of conviction and certainty that a Christian, in the context of his function as a citizen in the state in which he lives, suggests the state find value in the theocratic code in protecting society from the effects of sexual perversion such as homosexuality, he is not liable for the hatred of others with regard to the gospel. He has been given that right and duty by God.

But your argument drops on principle because the argument you make is that we cannot not do such and such because it will be misunderstood, thus we will be blamed by unbelievers. If that is the case we can do nothing because our Lord made clear that simply being identified with him will cause others to hate us. We, Christians, are only told to avoid unnecessary conflicts but if this is a necessary conflict then so be it. You can disagree but the argument that a conflict will produce hate by unbelievers isn't one that has any power in and of itself. There may be nothing to gain sometime or somewhere but that is a matter of personal opinion and is not real argument with respect to Christians and their liberties as they involved themselves with the state.

Aaron Blumer wrote:
I suspect that even in Moses' day, laws like that were rarely enforced. But the Mosaic code was much more than a legal document. It was a religious, spiritual document defining a nation's relationship with God (and let's not forget that the priests had use of the Urim and Thummim and other processes for deciding cases where solid evidence was hard to obtain--we don't have these tools.)
You suspect? For most students of the Scriptures suspicions do not have any force without citation. But what is worse is that you argue, not from a position of principle but one of neglect. That is, you conclude that because the law may have been neglected then its principle is diminished? Really? Thank you for the exchange.

Aaron Blumer's picture

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Quote:
the United States, itself, used and still uses the moral values found in the OT

There's a difference between using moral values--which are in fact found throughout Scripture (and many of them also in human conscience and in the customs of just about every culture on the planet at one time or another)--and arguing that "because the OT penalizes homosexuality it would be a good idea to try to do that in the USA."

Just to clarify, I'm not arguing that laws against homosexual conduct "may not be considered," but rather that there are no compelling reasons to consider it and many compelling reasons not to. I'll resist the urge to recap them again.

On the scope of government in Romans 13 (and 1Pet.2:13-14): There we have a brief description of what a government is for when it exists independently of a covenant with God (a very different phenomenon than what we find under Mosaic law). What it's about is protecting the security and safety of citizens--administering justice. The passage does not include protecting people from themselves.

And, if it needs saying, the point of 1 Tim. 1:9 is that people who believe in behaving in a certain way do not need a law to tell them to do it. Because laws governing people's private lives are inherently hard to enforce, you have to have the support of a moral consensus in order to even half-way enforce them. But to the degree you have that consensus, you have no need for this kind of law.
(Laws governing open behavior and behavior where there are clear victims do not require that sort of consensus in a society where law is strong. In a highly democratized republic, you need a lot of public support to keep any kind of law going.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

On the scope of government in Romans 13 (and 1Pet.2:13-14): There we have a brief description of what a government is for when it exists independently of a covenant with God (a very different phenomenon than what we find under Mosaic law). What it's about is protecting the security and safety of citizens--administering justice. The passage does not include protecting people from themselves.

If you believe laws prohibiting, and if necessary, criminalizing with appropriate punishments, the practice of sexual perversion and specifically homosexuality and are not aware of its socially damaging if not damning products and by-products to a state at large, I have a little bridge to sell ya.

But to your point, it does not say in Romans 13 or 1 Peter that government may not protect people from themselves, they do it all the time. You may disagree and maybe I do too, but it certainly is not prohibited in Romans or 1 Peter. Again, this is an argument from silence. Again, thanks for the exchange.

farmer Tom N's picture

So far, I have failed to receive a satisfactory answer to my question about whether or not an unbeliever is under the Law.

So, let me remind all of you about a few passages which seem to have slipped your mind.

Quote:
Romans 3:19
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 6:14
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:15
What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

1 Corinthians 9:20
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

1 Corinthians 9:21
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

Galatians 3:10
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Galatians 3:23
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Galatians 4:4
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Galatians 4:5
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Galatians 4:21
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

Galatians 5:18
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

I will grant Greg the possibility that the verses in Galatians 4 and 5 might be addressed to the Mosaic Law,

But, Romans 3:19 clearly is addressing the whole world being under the Law, and I Corinthians 9:21 addresses those who are not under the Mosaic Law as being without Law, and they are under the Law, guilty of the Law.

So I ask again. Are unbelievers today, under the Law?

If they are not, by what standard is the unbeliever judged?

Is an unbeliever guilty of adultery, or are they exempt from the Law because they are an unbeliever?

Is an unbeliever guilty of murder, or are they exempt from the Law because they are an unbeliever?

Is an unbeliever guilty of sodomy, or are they exempt from the Law because they are an unbeliever?

What is the standard we preach to the unbeliever?

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