New DVD Series Considers Bible, Sexuality and the Church

Faithful and Inclusive: The Bible Sexuality and The United Methodist Church

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A very true statement

"Fuquay compares the words and actions of Jesus in the New Testament Gospels to the words of Jewish law in the Old Testament. Death was the prevailing answer to homosexual and other sexual behaviors in Jewish law. However, Jesus never condemned anyone to death for their sexual sins."

The reason he did not condemn anybody to death during His first time here on earth was because He knew He was going to ultimately suffer the death penalty on our behalf.

betsy 10 days ago

Ironic

"The whole concept of sexual identity was only developed during the twentieth century." How is it that it's ok to argue that the only reasonable approach to scripture is to see it in the context of the time and historic/cultural setting in which the human agents of authorship lived, but we can't grasp that a concept that's only emerged from 20th century Western modernism should also be understood as grounded within THAT historic/cultural setting instead of extrapolating it as though it were universal, eternal truth.

If, as John ends his gospel, Jesus did so much more than has been recorded, then is it not unreasonable to conclude that he said much more than what's been written down? It's preposterous to assume that what some editions print in red is the full extent of what Jesus said. (Was he mute until he taught in the temple at age 12, for example?)

John 10 days ago

Challenging questions

"How is it that it's ok to argue that the only reasonable approach to scripture is to see it in the context of the time and historic/cultural setting in which the human agents of authorship lived, but we can't grasp that a concept that's only emerged from 20th century Western modernism should also be understood as grounded within THAT historic/cultural setting instead of extrapolating it as though it were universal, eternal truth."

Are you saying that 'sexual identity' didn't exist prior to the 20th century, since the Bible didn't mention it?
That's kind of like arguing that dinosaurs didn't exist since they aren't mentioned anywhere in the Bible.

Re: Words of Jesus
It's certainly understood that He said more. But what do you want to extrapolate those 'unknown words' to be? Unless someone comes up with some text that can be validated (and even then, if it goes against what you know via 'Tradition', would you accept it?)...

JR 10 days ago

Not quite...

Mr. Gangler, not I, made the statement that "the concept of sexual identity was only developed during the twentieth century." My point is that IF that is a true statement (and I believe that it is), then there must have been a complete epistemological vacuum regarding "sexual identity" for hundreds of thousands of years (or simply thousands, depending on one's cosmology). And, because epistemological frameworks are rooted in worldviews that are shaped by ever-shifting historical, cultural, and social environments (which is why the study of those contexts is foundational to sound biblical hermeneutics), we must therefore understand that what we term "sexual identity" has absolutely no meaning apart from our own modern, Western worldview and its underlying framework. It would have been a foreign concept to the biblical authors, to the patristics, to Aquinas, the Reformers, and the 18th and 19th century revivalists. And it would have been foreign to Plato, Aristotle, and the great intellectual, pre-Modernist thinkers down through the ages. (And admittedly, thanks to my own modernist, Euro-centric mindset I’m focusing primarily on the names of Western minds. Non-Europeans or Euro-Americans will only bolster those examples.)

The scriptures don't mention plutonium either, but it's preposterous to suggest that the absence of a mention means that it can't exist. It's quite another thing to suggest (like Fuquay) that something WAS NOT said because of the absence of any reference, either positive or negative. We CAN legitimately say that the scriptures are silent on whether Jesus spoke to matters of homosexuality, but it's a pure fallacy to argue that Jesus was silent.

It IS reasonable to say, however, that IF we understand that the scriptures were written by human authors superintended by the Holy Spirit (and that is the main current of historic Christian understanding), then we won't find Jesus in conflict with the plain teaching of scripture (or else the Second Person of the Trinity would be in conflict with the Third Person). Now, did Jesus clarify the scriptures or correct erroneous teachings based on those scriptures? Of course he did. That was part of his mission and why he said he came not to destroy (or abolish) the law or the prophets but to fulfill them. We can get into dangerous territory whenever we “extrapolate” or “interpolate” words that are not in the scriptures. While it’s a time-honored maxim that scripture interprets scripture, recognizing that the superintendence of the Holy Spirit over scriptural authorship results in a harmonious written revelation, we should also recognize that not all scriptural gaps can be safely bridged.

John 10 days ago

And exactly what are your credentials

that allow you go against long held Judeo-Christian thinking and understanding? Besides, my own personal experience tells me that it is not about who I think I am, it is about who God intended me to be and the triune God who was capable of bringing the world and us out of nothingness is, if I am willing, entirely capable of healing my misconceptions of myself--of which there are many, including that it means something in particular to be a United Methodist. I absolutely believe this statement from Oswald Chambers who was an early 20th century Wesleyan scholar; it is from his book Biblical Psychology:

"Unless my relationship to God is right, my sympathy for [other persons] will lead me astray them also; but when once I am right with God, I can love my neighbor as God has loved me. How has God loved me? God has loved me to the end of all my sinfulness, the end of all my self-will, all my selfishness, all my stiff-neckedness, all my pride, all my self-interest; now He says I am to show to my fellow men the same love."

And no, I do not interpret that to mean that I must force you to believe as I do, it means that I will continue to disagree with you while respecting your right to disagree with me. We will truly never understand each other because we come from completely different perspectives and understandings about God, us and the church.

I also know for a fact that the American United Methodist Church is not in possession of a clear, true, robust Wesleyan understanding of historical Christianity because it began drifting from it in the latter part of the 19th century. That is why there are so many theological factions; that is why fundamentalism and progressive thinking are in existence. True historical classical Christianity has absolutely nothing in common with either of those ideologies. True historical classical Christianity is the great equalizer in that we all begin at the same place: we are all—every last one of us--sinners who fall short of who God wants us to be. And at the second coming of Jesus we will all learn where we got off the mark when it comes to understanding a truly holy and divine God and His intent for us.

betsy 7 days ago

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