Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Response to Kirb or longo15 or Whoever!

I received this response from longo15 a while back but with Christmas, New Year, and all, I haven't had the opportunity to respond. So here is a response. I will be interspersing my responses into longo15's comment.

longo15 stated:

First of all, I have to clarify that I am Kirb, Kirb and longo 15 are the same
person, I am sorry for switching screen names on you. Yes I am only 18. Its a
shame you have bills and socks older than me.

As for your belief on the few universal truths in existence, how can you say
that the call for chastity is not one? It is clear the call to chastity is not a
person to person situation, there are no special dispensations, there are no
Joseph Smiths in the Christian Religion.

I have to wonder what you consider "chaste?" If you are going to limit "chaste" to marriage, then we need to agree on which definition of marriage we will accept. Do we accept Adam and Eve who were not married? Do we accept Jacob who was married to the sisters Leah and Rachael? Do we limit marriage to David who had many wives but was also a "really good" friend (good enough to strip in front of: 1 Samuel 18:4) with Jonathan? (Aside: I have had many friends, but there is only one that I took off my clothes in front of other than being at the gym or the pool. And that one happens to be my partner.) Or Solomon and his hundreds of wives and concubines? Or Peter who appears to leave his family to fend for themselves? These are all Biblical, so which one should be choose?

longo15 continues:

I apologize if you felt that I was condemning you as a person, for I am not. I
am, however, judging your actions. There is an absolute right and wrong, it is
not up for Interpretation. You say that because I sin I cannot judge your sin.
The difference between our situations is, I do not justify my sin as correct! It
seems now according to what you have said that we have established the correct
interpretation of Romans one, that homosexuality is included among the eternally
forbidden sins.

No, we have not established the correct interpretation of Romans 1. Unless we can go back to Paul himself, we cannot know the CORRECT interpretation. That is the point! We can make stabs at an interpretation, but we cannot KNOW this side of the eschaton. Besides, sin is sin. If you are going to buy into the venial and mortal sins classification, then this conversation comes to a halt. Sin is sin. And the wages of sin is death. ALL SIN. We all have fallen short.

longo15 says:

Let’s make a deal, I will list my sins and you can judge them accordingly. But
although you are judging my sins, I know you are not condemning me as a person,
which I agree is wrong!
1) I masturbated 2 weeks ago
2) I struggle with my lusty thoughts,(although the high school girls don’t help me out)
3) I lied to my parents
4) I took the Lord’s name in vain.
5) I used to be addicted to chewing tobacco, and still chew occasionally
6) I am often controlled by material possessions

This is what I can think of off the top of my head, although I am sure there many more. I do sin, just as all human beings, yet I do not attempt to justify my sin as correct. I feel grief for my sins, and I then attend confession and do penance. If I do not attend confession soon after sins such as lust, the grief is overwhelming.

I could care less how often you masturbate or have lusty thoughts. Welcome to the human race! I am not going to judge you. It is not my place. Did you read Romans 2:1? I will post it for you: "1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." By saying what I do is wrong, you are passing judgement. You have shown that you are of the assumption that you have the definitive interpretation of the Bible and can then pass judgement on others. Instead of being of the assumption that you have an understanding that works for this point in your life. When I was your age, I thought homosexuality was acceptable in others but not in me. Even thought I wanted to be held by my buddy, I would not let it happen. I also decided it would be wrong to have gay sex so I would have no sex at all. But my understanding of God and of the Bible changed. God is loving. God is not looking through my bedroom ceiling taking notes.

I throw parts of the Bible out? This amazes me because I do not remember ever
catching myself throwing parts of the Bible out to justify sins. The laws you
accuse me of throwing out were written for specific situations. Leviticus was
written after the Golden calf incident and were the laws of the Jews "probation"
which they were to observe during the 40 years in the desert. Deuteronomy, or as
you probably know is the "second law" was written in the fields of Moab after
the Jewish men were seduced by the prostitutes. They were then made by God to
walk the desert 40 more years.... no they weren't! God made compromises with
them. He met them where they were at during that moment in time. This is the
reason Deuteronomy was full of compromises and laws we might not follow. Laws
formed from the Jews "hardness of heart."

You might know all these things, but the point I am trying to make is that these laws were made for those specific periods in time and we are in no way throwing them out, because they never applied to our current time! They were not meant for us, so there is no need to throw them out.

You say you do not throw parts of the Bible out and then you proceed to justify not paying attention to Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Since Some say that Paul's words were not meant for us, by your logic we can totally disregard Romans and other writings. Do you pay attention to women who teach in church?

I will not elaborate why the Catholic Church, which I assure you there are many! [I have no idea what longo15 means here.] But if you can truthfully say to yourself that all human beings who are allowed to interpret the Bible for themselves with no outside guidance would interpret it correctly, there is nothing which can convince you. The Bible has other things to say on the subject though "Consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you. Speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction just as they do the other scriptures" -2Peter 3:15-16 The saints and I continue in fervent prayer for you Benton

Well, thanks for the prayers. As far as interpretation without outside help, have you read the article I suggested? This is not just me pulling ideas out of my hat. These are scholars who have done much research and have come to learned conclusions. Besides, I do not consider my opinion on these matters to be without merit. My seminary degree was earned at Trinity seminary in Columbus OH. You could not know that, but to assume that an opinion that does not mesh with your own or that which you have been told is "gospel truth" is without foundation is hubris.

I have a feeling this discussion is going nowhere. Most of the arguments you bring up are ones that I have already contemplated and found wanting. The arguments about the Catholic church are also ones that I have left behind. (I was raised Roman Catholic.)

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