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Gay marriage is issue involving religious freedom
The Billings Gazette ^ | January 3, 2009 | ERIK J. THORSON

Posted on 01/03/2009 1:57:28 PM PST by presidio9

This past year, we have seen a flurry of activity around states either permitting gay and lesbian couples to marry or defining marriage as a union only between a man and a woman.

The conflict in our culture is often misconstrued as a standoff between religious persons and nonreligious persons. This does not ring true for me or for many of the Christians I know.

My own church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has been engaged in a long, cautious process of investigating whether the unexamined conventional wisdom we have received from our ancestors in the faith rings true: Is homosexuality really a sin?

It seems that only five or six verses in the Bible are said to apply to gay and lesbian persons, where, from what I can see, the Bible does not really contain the concept of sexual orientation, and those verses seem to be written for heterosexual persons with a twisted and abusive view of sexuality.

I think that the rest of the Bible is written for gay and lesbian persons - all of the words about God's love and redemption. That's what we should be listening to.

It is said that the "biblical model of marriage is a man and a woman," where I see marriage changing throughout Scripture, being a kind of property arrangement in ancient times, sometimes permitting a handmaiden to bear children for the husband, at other times, a king can have thousands of wives and concubines.

In the New Testament, marriage is only grudgingly permitted for Christians, who are urged instead to be celibate, in anticipation of Christ's thought-to-be-imminent return. The reason for grudgingly permitting marriage was to contain the power of sexuality within an ordered relationship.

As far as I can tell, similar motives drive the state's interest in marriage today. Law recognizes the social benefits of partners who remain exclusively faithful to each other.

My own church does not yet recognize gay and lesbian marriages, and, yet, I have been party to several same-sex marriages, performed for Christians with the understanding it is the promises, not the gender of the partners, which make a marriage.

My experience of these couples is that, when they keep their promises, it builds up my own marriage promises rather than detracting from them.

Though the question is not settled for Lutherans, I take great exception when other kinds of Christians seek to settle the question by imposing their own views of Scripture onto our public laws. This really is a religious question, not a legal question, and our constitution is quite clear about establishing the views of one religious group over another.

Should my own church ever decide, in good faith, that gay and lesbian couples should get married, I would not like the state to say that they must "live in sin."

Erik J. Thorson is the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; News/Current Events; US: Montana
KEYWORDS: elca; homeosexualagenda; homosexualagenda; lutherans; samesexmarriage

1 posted on 01/03/2009 1:57:28 PM PST by presidio9
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To: presidio9

Pick-n-Choose Christianity.

‘Glad I don’t read The Bible that way.


2 posted on 01/03/2009 2:20:56 PM PST by onedoug
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To: presidio9

This pastor serves a Master other than the Lord.


3 posted on 01/03/2009 2:21:00 PM PST by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: presidio9
Is homosexuality really a sin?

"Homosexuality" has to be broken up into the various things we mean by it for this question to be intellegently considered:

1) Being capable of being attracted sexually to a member of the same gender.

2) Being primarily attracted to those of the same gender (the way most are attracted to the opposite gender).

3) Activly indulging lust for a person of the same gender.

4) Participating in a sexual act with a person of the same gendger.

5) Having an ongoing sexual relationship with a person of the same gender.

6) Same as 5 plus presenting this relationship as a marriage.

Jesus makes it clear that 3 is a sinful action when the person you are lusting after is not married to you. While common sense implies 4, 5, and 6 involve 3.

While 1 and 2 may or may not be considered part of a sinful fallen state, they are not sinful actions.

4 posted on 01/03/2009 2:23:15 PM PST by AndyTheBear
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To: onedoug
Pick-n-Choose Christianity.

Sounds like way too many Catholics in New England, New York, and New Jersey.

5 posted on 01/03/2009 2:23:18 PM PST by Clemenza (Red is the Color of Virility, Blue is the Color of Impotence)
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To: presidio9
It is said that the "biblical model of marriage is a man and a woman," where I see marriage changing throughout Scripture, being a kind of property arrangement in ancient times, sometimes permitting a handmaiden to bear children for the husband, at other times, a king can have thousands of wives and concubines.

What a dufuss. Marriage never changes throughout the Bible. Just because the Bible documents sinful behavior does not mean it endorses such behavior or somehow changes what marriage means.

6 posted on 01/03/2009 2:26:01 PM PST by Always Right (Obama: more arrogant than Bill Clinton, more naive than Jimmy Carter, and more liberal than LBJ.)
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To: presidio9

This man is a pastor, I tremble for him. How will he look the Lord in the face and explain how he called sin good?


7 posted on 01/03/2009 2:26:24 PM PST by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: presidio9
It seems that only five or six verses in the Bible are said to apply to gay and lesbian persons, where, from what I can see, the Bible does not really contain the concept of sexual orientation

That is because it is a choice, not some genetic orientation.

8 posted on 01/03/2009 2:28:06 PM PST by Always Right (Obama: more arrogant than Bill Clinton, more naive than Jimmy Carter, and more liberal than LBJ.)
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To: presidio9

Sounds like you have already made up your mind but if you really want to read a good analysis of why Judaism (and then Christianity) rejected homosexuality, I suggest you read this.

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles2/PragerHomosexuality.shtml


9 posted on 01/03/2009 2:51:00 PM PST by koraz
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To: presidio9
n the New Testament, marriage is only grudgingly permitted for Christians

a liar and a fool.

10 posted on 01/03/2009 3:15:32 PM PST by gusopol3
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To: koraz; All

I wonder if in biblical times they were aware of AIDS? Certainly they knew of anal intercourse, and if one is ok with that thought, then go for it. But then some are not so comfortable with it. As for morality, I’ll leave that to the theologians and the Pope. The bottom line is that homosexuality a fact of life and I seriously doubt that we will ever return to Biblical principles whatever they are. So many can take comfort that it is not a theocracy that rules but secularism, and that is not likely to change. And for those who abide by Biblical teachings, they are less likely to contract AIDS, so in this case it appears that heterosexuals have an advantage over same-sex couples.


11 posted on 01/03/2009 3:26:07 PM PST by street_lawyer (Truth is a defense and the best offense.)
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To: presidio9

“My own church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has been engaged in a long, cautious process of investigating whether the unexamined conventional wisdom we have received from our ancestors...”

Me, I stopped reading right there.


12 posted on 01/03/2009 3:30:29 PM PST by TalBlack
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To: street_lawyer
As for morality, I’ll leave that to the theologians and the Pope.

It ain't rocket science unless you view the Bible as a living document.

13 posted on 01/03/2009 3:44:02 PM PST by Always Right (Obama: more arrogant than Bill Clinton, more naive than Jimmy Carter, and more liberal than LBJ.)
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To: Always Right; street_lawyer

The thing about God’s truth is it is as eternal as God Himself. The U.S. Constitution is much the same, despite the liberal loons.


14 posted on 01/03/2009 3:48:00 PM PST by tioga (Rejoice, our Savior is born.)
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To: presidio9
Should my own church ever decide, in good faith, that gay and lesbian couples should get married, I would not like the state to say that they must "live in sin."

His church is free to marry whomever it wants. Secular laws don't deal with the question of whether the religious aspects of marriage are effective or not. That's up to the individual church to decide.

Just as the state can't force, say, the Catholic Church to recognize a marriage between two previously -divorced people, a Church can't force the government to recognize marriages that violate secular law.

15 posted on 01/03/2009 3:57:50 PM PST by Citizen Blade ("A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy" -Benjamin Disraeli)
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To: presidio9
My own church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has been engaged in a long, cautious process of investigating whether the unexamined conventional wisdom we have received from our ancestors in the faith rings true we can set a a new denominational record for blatant eisegesis.
16 posted on 01/03/2009 4:29:23 PM PST by Caleb1411 ("These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G. K. C)
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To: presidio9

“Gay marriage is issue involving religious freedom”

No it isn’t you stupid moron.


17 posted on 01/03/2009 5:31:59 PM PST by Hacklehead (Liberalism is the art of taking what works, breaking it, and then blaming conservatives.)
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To: presidio9

Apparently, unless the Bible has more than “6 verses” about something, then it isn’t a sin. Since he is wishing to support homosexuals in their perverted quests, then the inconvenient verses can be dismissed as something our “ancestors” were just not informed about. Puke.


18 posted on 01/03/2009 7:11:49 PM PST by HondaCRF450
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To: presidio9

“In the New Testament, marriage is only grudgingly permitted for Christians,...”

What a wierd statement from a Lutheran pastor. Jesus’s first public miracle was at a wedding feast in Cana in Galilee. Jesus spoke firmly about the one man - one woman bod of marriage.

I am continually amazed at how many variances/heresies in “Christian thinking” have arisen since the 16th century.


19 posted on 01/03/2009 8:49:19 PM PST by Gumdrop
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To: presidio9
What a crock. Even a cursory glance at the online Bible reveals a plan for marriage that existed from the beginning. Surely, in the Garden of Eden, there was no need for a property arrangement, since it all belonged to God; yet He instituted marriage from the first. As the scriptures make clear, not only was marriage a covenant with God, it sanctified the husband and the wife; and virtue was part of the design. The expectation of virtue extends to the leaders of the community, and carries through all the way to Revelation:

Genesis 1:27-28
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 2:24-25
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 3:16
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Exodus 21:22
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

Leviticus 19:20
And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Leviticus 21:7
They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.

Proverbs 12:4
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Proverbs 31:10-28 (description of a virtuous woman)
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil [other women].
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Isaiah 62:5
For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

Jeremiah 3:1
They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 3:20
Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.

Ezekiel 16:32
But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!

Malachi 2:14-15
14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Matthew 5:31-32
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 19:9
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Mark 10:12
And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Luke 16:18
Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

John 3:29
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom...

1 Corinthians 7:2-3
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

1 Corinthians 7:10-14
10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

2 Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Ephesians 5:22-25
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:28
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Ephesians 5:31
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:33
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Colossians 3:18
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

Colossians 3:19
Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

1 Timothy 3:2
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach...

1 Timothy 3:12
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1 Timothy 5:9
Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man.

Titus 1:6
If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

1 Peter 3:1
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives...

1 Peter 3:5
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands...

1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Revelation 18:23
And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Revelation 21:2
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

20 posted on 01/03/2009 9:37:07 PM PST by Albion Wilde ("Praise and worship" is my alternate lifestyle.)
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To: presidio9

Another false teacher in the pulpit. The Bible clearly teaches they will be condemned before the Judgment Seat as servants of Satan: “Go away from Me, I know you not.”


21 posted on 01/04/2009 12:09:33 PM PST by kaehurowing
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