Same-sex relationships


#131

I wonder what the viewpoints are here about premarital sex. That issue seems to be ignored in the debate.


#132

I actually addressed this (to a degree) in my essay on the creation narrative (which I linked to earlier). There are several things that are not affirmed in the Bible, including yoga, masturbation, and consumption of coffee and junk food. Are those activities also immoral since they’re not affirmed in the Bible? If not, why not?

Also, Justin Lee (GCN founder) and Gareth Moore have made excellent broad theological arguments for affirming same-sex relationships. So, again, I recommend Justin’s essay (free online) and Moore’s 2003 book. I have repeatedly cited and recommended them in this thread. (Just a friendly reminder :slight_smile: )

Some have argued that in that era and culture, “eunuchs” as a category included what we would today call “gay men” (men that were sexually attracted to other men, not attracted to women, and could reproduce). This has been argued by Faris Malik (amazon.com/Children-Are-Free … 0971929602), among others. If that’s true, then they would have us wonder why Philip didn’t ask the eunuch about it in Acts 8. And they also wonder whether Jesus was referring to them when he said that “eunuchs from birth” weren’t required to follow the model of one man and one woman. However, those strike me as weak arguments from silence - just as weak as the argument that “scripture never explicitly approves of same-sex relationships”. I used to make those arguments back in 2004-2006, but have since abandoned them. My point is that the argument from silence can go both ways.

Here’s a quotation from Justin Lee’s essay:

That said, I personally believe that sex is not reserved for marriage. And while we’re on that topic, I want to point out the irony of conventional Christians (who condemn non-marital sex) quoting the OT to condemn same-sex relationships, but then overlooking the fact that polygamy and sex with concubines were either condoned or flat-out endorsed. Not that I support either one; I just wanted to note the irony.

Best

  • Pat

#133

Sex is not reserved for marriage? What about other types of sex- bestiality, incest, polygamy- are these fair game as well?


#134

Not in my mind, but many pro-SSR people disagree with me and believe that sex is reserved for marriage (I cited one example in my last post).

For now, let’s stay focused on SS relationships. I would prefer to discuss the other issues in other threads. If you insist, we we can delve more deeply into the question of sex outside of marriage, but let’s not (yet) get into incest and bestiality (totally separate topics). My claim is that there are no good arguments against same-sex relationships - the Biblical, social, and philosophical arguments are all weak IMO. My claim is that same-sex eroticism is permissible at least in a life-long commitment.

  • Pat

P.S. Again, it’s ironic that you mention polygamy, which was affirmed in the OT. But again, for now, please focus on SS relationships unless it is vital to discuss polygamy.


#135

I do believe sex is reserved for marriage, but…

It’s not the topic of this thread! So I’m going to START a premarital sex thread

Roofus, I’ve said my peace - I think the OT is generally a really poor place to try to glean sexual moral guidance(!), and I think Paul was condemning pederasty in Romans and elsewhere, (which I doubt many gays, Christian or otherwise, would condone).

But the “oh yeah, how about sex with an elk…is that fair game?” (puntended!) line is weak. The question is SSR in a committed relationship, and it’s not easily dismissed.

Now off to start my premarital sex thread!

Someone else can start the “Sex with Ann Elk” thread…


#136

In response to:
“But the “oh yeah, how about sex with an elk…is that fair game?” (puntended!) line is weak. The question is SSR in a committed relationship, and it’s not easily dismissed.”

I didn’t mention the OT, did I?
You say that the line is weak, yet…you have no demonstration as to why so? That is called a “bald assertion” and is weak in itself!
The point is that the same justifications that Pat asserted could be asserted for those sexual activities as well. Also, the justification of SSR in “committed relationships” (whatever that means) would have to apply to premarital heterosexual relationships as well.


#137

Fair enough R, though I wasn’t saying you were quoting OT, I was trying to condense my own view of the scriptural prohibitions on ssr in any form. I think the OT is compromised as a “Guide To 21st Century Godly Sexual Behavior”, and I think NT (read Pauline) denunciations were directed at the despicably vile but widespread and condoned pederasty of his time.

Baldly asserted, Strawman arguments ARE weak. In fact to say they are “weak” is to overstate their strength, because they don’t actually argue against something your opponent advocated. I see no-one defending beastiality; if you want to make the case that defending ssr is tantamount to defending Beastiality, fine. But then you have to carefully MAKE that argument. Just saying “well I guess Beastiality is fair game, then” may insinuate that you feel that there is an argument to be made, but it does not actually make that argument.

“Whatever that means” seems dismissive and condescending, but perhaps there is good faith misunderstanding:

Committed: adjective

. 1. Bound or obligated, as under a pledge to a particular cause, action, or attitude. Opposite of uncommitted.
2. Associated in an exclusive sexual relationship; also called attached. Opposite of unattached.


#138

I do believe this is possibly the most tasteful and tactful assessment of same sex marriage that I have ever read.

You sound like a professional diplomat…You might be Tribe of Benjamin.


#139

Interesting discussion. :laughing:


#140

Why is it the sex related threads get so many views, like 100 each day. Other threads just a small fraction of that. Real viewers? Auto-bots?


#141

Could it be a certain someone has a proclivity and need for resurrecting such 2yr+ old posts on such matters?? :open_mouth: :unamused:


#142

What you refer to is a small number (about 3 threads in total, 1 of those deleted, another of them now locked) relative to the many other old threads i’ve contributed to on other subjects.

And all of those 3 in the past few days, & for the benefit of a board member having a crisis of faith, as i had no personal interest in the subject myself, being dead to the whole world of sexual desires. Though it would be useful to know what are the precise limits of freedom of speech here & how exactly the rules [or modus operandi] have suddenly, and dramatically, changed re sex topics. And if those who engage in certain sex practices are not saved, how is it that such sex topics are totally unrelated to EU? As posted on page 1 of this thread:

Do not the Scriptures themselves refer to specific sexual acts? Yet the mere mention of them is not allowed here, all of a sudden, even though they were allowed before, including in this thread?

Neither does your remark explain the disparity in views, as in 100 a day vs a small fraction of that on other topics i’ve tracked.

As for moderators not having time to properly moderate the forums, maybe it’s time for a thread to recruit volunteers? I can think of some posts i’d like to “zorch”. :laughing:


#143

Everyone is saved, Origen. Everyone. That’s what “universalism” means.

As to whether this or that practice can be continued in perpetuity, I don’t think any of us have the answer to that question, except for the obvious cases. For example if you enjoy torturing kittens, you might have to give that up. As for the controversial stuff, well, we don’t know. It’s controversial because people have differing opinions as to whether or not it’s sin. I would say the answer to that would be whether or not it is loving–but again, that’s not always easy to answer. Then there’s the question of whether or not the thing or act in question will become outmoded, and again, we don’t know. Will sex as we know it now continue once we have resurrection, spiritual bodies? I don’t know. I think when the time comes, we’ll be okay with it either way–because if a good thing ceases it will cease in order that it may be replaced/superseded by a better.

Do you or anyone else need to stop a given practice? That’s between you and God. If it’s a “gray area,” and not addressed in scripture to your satisfaction, or maybe even not addressed at all, then you or anyone else will need to seek God about it. For a human to say ‘thus far and no farther may you go’ is not profitable. Each person needs to be guided by love (not lust) and by the voice of the Spirit in his or her own heart. That’s difficult to do when every hormone in your body is screaming at you to ‘just do it,’ but many things in life are also difficult.

Of old, the remedy has been not to enter into situations of temptation because if we are tempted, history and our own experience teaches us that we will very often and ALWAYS eventually succumb if the temptation continues unabated. You are right to point out that our practice of marrying much later than previous societies makes it harder on young people. One thing to consider, however, is that it has historically been mostly the females who were married young, to older males. Males had to build a home and establish a business/career/income-of-some-kind in order to have the ability to support a wife and family. Many men who never married cited this as their reason–that they had never succeed in amassing sufficient funds to provide for wife and family. Thus, the sex who are screaming for “it” the loudest are the very ones who were very often denied that relationship (whether self-sacrificing or self-satisfying) which they desired. If you wanted it badly enough, you worked hard to achieve it (like Jacob, for example).

Today, we still want the gratification, yet often without the dedication. The ready availability of pornography to both sexes online doesn’t help. Consumption of pornography increases already robust appetites and blunts the satisfaction of the natural means of fulfilling desires. We hunger and we eat but we are not satisfied. So we find new ways of consuming and for a while it helps, but it never lasts. The analogy to food is apt because food is another thing which in itself is good, but which we over-consume and consume badly and sometimes wrongly deny ourselves of, and perhaps seek unnatural versions of (excessive refinement, excessive sugar content, etc.) which while we crave them, yet they harm us. And while satisfying us, they awaken greater and greater appetite in us. We become addicted. One can also become addicted to sexual stimulation in very much the same way. In a situation like this, one’s appetite will never be fully satisfied because neither sex nor food were intended to be used in the ways we use them.

Food is intended to nourish us and give us pleasure–not to rule us nor to torture us with unsatisfiable desires which, as we TRY to satisfy them, destroy our health, appearance, functionality and pleasure in life. Sex ought to be an expression of love in a mutually committed relationship and exclusive to that relationship. It is a private thing–hence the distaste many have with discussing the more delicate details of its practice on a public forum. When one injects pornography, one’s desires begin to be twisted into unnatural shapes. We have over-stimulated ourselves (akin to eating high fructose corn syrup perhaps) and developed in ourselves unnatural appetites which no one or many women or men can satisfy. The appetite for ever more, um, innovative stimulation grows, as the does an addict’s need for his drug of choice, and it ultimately consumes any good and beautiful and lovely relationship we may have desired to have.

In the beginning it was one man and one woman. Not one man and many women, nor certainly vice versa. Because polygamy, concubinage, slavery was allowed does not indicate it was God’s desire. It was necessary to permit these things because of the hardness of men’s hearts. God’s BEST was shown in the beginning in the joining together of one man and one woman. Why would God then permit and even regulate other sexual relationships? Again, because of our hard hearts. For the same reason you may provide your child with the means of birth control–because you know your child and the rebellion of her heart and you know full well that he or she is not going to follow your advice, perhaps?

God also allows us to overeat and under-exercise. It doesn’t follow that He approves or that He blesses this self-indulgence, nor that these actions will be without consequence. Such actions bring with themselves their OWN inevitable consequences.

Over-consumption and unnatural consumption of sex also bring with them their own consequences. Among them the passage from person to person of diseases which, in a monogamous society, would never make it through the doors. Not least though, are ruined relationships–whether because of cheating or because of unsatisfiable appetites developed prior to the relationship or because of a physical relationship entered into for physical gratification where no significant commitment to one another yet exists–and thus by its own excitement and allure, the sexual activity burns out the relationship before those tenderer and higher feelings can sprout and grow strong in the sacred environment of mutual love and respect and reverence for one another.

Yet we do have this problem to deal with. Our society values pleasure very highly, leading to a desire and expectation of the same in young people who are deemed (societally) unready for a long-term committed covenant relationship with one another. Considering our lack of seriousness, lack of work ethic, and for quite some time in the lives of young people, lack of sufficient national economic prosperity to sustain the mundane needs of such a relationship, I would have to agree that most young people at or near the age of puberty should not marry–and especially young males. Even the females though, long for easy gratification, satisfaction of the desires of the physical body without the natural result of pregnancy. We can achieve that since we know how to prevent pregnancy and, failing that, we know how to “safely” kill the life within a young lady, should life take hold. This sets us “free” to satisfy all the desires of the physical body. However, this situation leads to, as I’ve said, a selfish form of what we may call (mistakenly) love–based almost entirely on what we can ‘get’ out of the relationship.

Whereas THIS is what a relationship should ideally look like: A young woman devoted to her husband and he in awe of her, reverently doing all in his power, sacrificing himself (as Christ did for the church) to serve and care for her and the children (if any) who result from their sacred union.

Now if your friend is concerned that he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Jesus, then I guess he’s not ready to do be a follower of Jesus. He still wants to serve his fleshly desires. You don’t get to ‘take up your cross’ while not taking up your cross (by satisfying all the desires of the flesh.) It’s like asking for a blue ball in a nice light pink shade. It’s like asking for a floating boulder. If you find one that floats, then it’s not a natural boulder–it’s a fake. The wishes of the flesh are meant (for most of us) to be fulfilled, but in elevated creatures–elevated by union with the Holy Spirit to one degree of another–those wishes must be fulfilled in a holy way. In a committed relationship–a relationship modeled on the relationship between Christ and the church.

If a man or woman chooses to act otherwise, that’s their prerogative. God will most likely not stop them. God won’t hate them. It will just make their journey HOME a longer journey. It will increase their sorrows in this life and multiply their pains exponentially. This is not a punishment; it is a RESULT. I don’t say that God WON’T punish us for our insistence on fulfilling our own selfish desires at the expense of others (even if the others are simultaneously using US to the same purposes). What I AM saying though, is that the deeds, the selfishness itself, brings with it its own natural, punishing consequences far in excess of the temporal pleasures involved.

I hope this goes some distance to answering your friend’s concerns. And yours if you have concerns of your own. Please though don’t ask me silly questions like “how far is too far” and where some specific line is crossed from “not-sin” to “sin.” That’s legalism. If you want to be loving toward the object of your desires and admiration, then don’t put yourself in a situation where those desires can overtake you. Don’t go parking. Don’t spend the night together. Don’t put yourselves in a compromising situation. Don’t titillate yourselves by pushing things just up to the “edge,” but not quite over it. You WILL fail to stop at some point and then you and your partner will get hurt. Whether or not you take this advice is completely up to you. God will forgive you if you fail. You will walk through the consequences of that failure, but not because God is punishing or rejecting you. If you play in the rain, you’ll get wet and most likely muddy. That’s not God’s fault and it doesn’t mean He’s mad at you. It’s just the way things work. Your clothes will still be ruined, and you may catch a cold or the flu and you may slip and fall into the mud and break your bones. God will forgive you. You will suffer anyway. Others will also suffer anyway, even though they may have had nothing to do with your decision to run around in the mud in the rain. I’m sure I don’t need to explain this analogy. Hopefully it helps–if it doesn’t, then ignore it.

Nevertheless there are ways to discuss these things without being graphic. You’re a smart guy–I don’t think you’ll find that difficult.


#144

In a perfect world there would be no STIs or unplanned pregnancies. But in the real world of married heterosexual couples such is common as well as rampant cheating. The piece of paper that creates a marriage is not the cure or saviour from such ills.

The unmarried can enjoy sex with the same or greater level of protection from STI’s & pregnancy by using “safe sex” practices that are more reliable than the average married folks use. As an introduction to this topic see, for example, the Wikipedia article on “safe sex”. One can easily reduce their risks to practically nil.

The birth control method of coitus interruptus practiced perfectly gives greater protection from pregnancy than typical condom use. Circumcision offers similar protection vs HIV as a rubber. Much more could be said about “safe sex”, “birth control” methods & what research has revealed. But not here, perhaps, since discussion (or the mere mention) of specific sexual acts seems to be - more or less - prohibited.

BTW, I wonder at what age the kids in school these days are receiving sex ed classes. It seems this site has a PG-13 limit on its content.


#145

This is so not the point. I spent a couple hours writing and revising that this morning in the assumption that you intended to engage in meaningful discussion. I felt I owed you at least the benefit of the doubt. You are nit-picking and not even nit-picking at anything resembling a salient nit.

  1. I never mentioned paper of any kind.
  2. If you value your freedom from parenthood, do not use ‘pulling out perfectly’ as a birth control method.
  3. If you engage in sexual relations with anyone infected by HIV (yes, even if he is circumcised), you not only put your own life and well-being at risk, but also that of anyone else with whom you subsequently engage in sexual relations.
  4. If you want to keep this thread, watch what you say.

#146

<salient nit - wunderbar!>


#147

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:


#148

0/1. I guess what is simply sharing a few brief points one wants to share, or knitting, is in the eye of the beholder.

  1. If one wishes to not get a girl pregnant, i suggest using the 7 sexual acts i referred to in the locked thread. Then there is no (zero) risk. Or use similar low risk activities. Or if engaged in high risk sex activities, don’t rely on a condom alone, but add to it such things as, for example, coitus interruptus, the pill, being “fixed”, etc. Then, if one knows what they’re doing, there is virtually zero chance of a baby popping in or out.

  2. For married or unmarried alike i’d suggest regular STI testing with proof shown to each partner. After all, many cheat. And who knows what your partner was doing before (or after) you met. Prostitution is kept in business mostly by married men whose wives generally don’t know what they’re doing. In addition to regular STI testing, informed proper condom use, coitus interruptus, circumcision & low risk activities reduce one’s chances of contracting HIV & STIs in general. With low risk activities there’s virtually no chance of contracting HIV, especially with condom use. Likewise with high risk sex activities combined with the aforementioned safe sex practices.

  3. I leave that in the hands of zorchers & the Divine, but usually i don’t post blindfolded. Other than that, how exactly does one “watch” what they say? Is there a list of precise rules & regulations on that somewhere? Or is it more a situation of feeling it out by trial, error, experience, locking & zorching? I wouldn’t assume that i have any intelligence when it comes to this matter, but that you are speaking to a 13 year old, maybe even one who is somewhat mentally challenged.


#149

[size=150]Why limit yourself to “this matter”… :laughing:[/size]


#150

:laughing:

Good one.

You shouldn’t, but apply it quite broadly to the entire spectrum of that which is known & knowable.