My Conversation with John G. (on #biblicalmarriage & @chickfila)
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Anton Hill Could someone please cite the specific Bible verse(s) that explicitly (not couched in other context) define marriage? I often hear the “biblical definition” of marriage, yet never hear the citation. Last I checked, Solomon had multiple wives & rape victims must marry their rapists.
Tuesday at 2:44pm via mobile · Like · 1
John G. Since you asked:
Matthew 19:4-5 (very similar in Mark 10:6-8):
4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which amade them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 1 Corinthians 7:2:
2 let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Tuesday at 4:57pm · Like
John G. Ephesians 5 also talks extensively about the relationship between husband and wife.
Tuesday at 4:58pm · Like
Anton Hill @John So when I said “explicit” and “not couched” I meant where the Bible says “Marriage is…” and so on like any dictionary. The reason I asked for this is the claim is “biblical definition”, and yet what you cited isn’t a definition without at least some
Now, if you’re going to make claims of “the interpretation of what the Bible says about marriage in an indirect, not wholly applicable kind of way” then yeah, you got me. But that’s not what you said.
You see, nothing in the verses you cited said “only one man and one woman” and said nothing prohibiting “one man and one man or one woman and one woman.” My point is that it is (presumably) your
interpretation, and nothing else, upon which the assertion of the “definition of biblical marriage” rests.
If you feel Ephesians gives an actual, no-need-to-interpret
definition, by all means lay it on us. 🙂
But even if you do, that still wouldn’t answer why it was acceptable for Solomon to violate the “biblical definition” and why it’s acceptable for rape victims to be for ed to marry their rapists. Tuesday at 6:24pm via mobile · Like
John G. With all due respect, Anton, I think you read only my second response regarding Ephesians, a postscript to the first set of references I gave (dang failure to hit Shift-Return to put it all in to one comment!). So I’ll point out just one of those already referenced: “let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” There’s absolutely no interpretation of that; it’s very clear, designating a man and a woman.
Now… you can disagree with that all you want, but the definition is crystal clear.
Now regarding Solomon and other Old Testament references, you’re completely missing the point that with Christ (as Christian teachings go – again you can believe that or not) a new higher law was brought in, and hence the Old and New Testaments are actually vastly different. But even in the Old Testament, they speak of wives and concubines, and though I am certainly no scriptorian, I don’t know of any references which speak of rapees marrying rapists. If you could point to a reference, that would be great.
And THANK YOU for keeping this dialogue respectful – everybody can actually learn from this type of discourse.
Tuesday at 7:39pm · Like
John G. Thanks, for your thoughtful commentary. I’m glad the sober Ben chimed in. 🙂
Since you are interested in thoughtful commentary, I’ll address a few of your points here, and we can learn together and better understand one another’s viewpoints.
1. You think that the biblical definition is utterly irrelevant here. I have a very hard time seeing how this is irrelevant, because it is THE very issue that the CEO commented on, and the start of the whole thing.
2. And yes, I have known many a CEO to not impose his/her personal views on the organization he/she presides over. I have done so myself. And there is apparently no evidence of it in this case: thus far, I have not seen a single instance of where Chick-fil-A has discriminated against anybody.
3. I clearly misread your racist analogy, and thought you were saying Chick-fil-A is a racist organization. I apologize.
4. Just to clarify, you see no difference at all between a completely law-abiding, non-discriminating fast food restaurants and
similarly-law-abiding strip clubs, adult stores, pot dispensaries and the like? First of all, in the latter, there are usually zoning laws that govern this – these are already established in most cases. Secondly, I challenge you to drive down a street with the
latter-referenced establishments and NOT discover that the surrounding real estate has depressed values compared to where these
establishments are not. Thirdly, I think there is no denying that the latter-referenced subjects have at least some seedy elements to them, and indeed many parents do not want their children to be influenced those elements; the greatest influence a Chick-fil-A is going to exert over a child is that they eat like crap.
So YES, many right-wing Christians as well as left-wing liberals have been known to, I believe very appropriately, petitioned local leaders to not have such establishments in their neighborhood. On Planet John, these establishments cannot be any more different than night and day. On Planet Ben, they appear to be the same. 🙂 Which admittedly leaves me scratching my head.
There is no dis-ingenuousness in this; they are apples and oranges comparisons.
5. So all of THAT being said, points 2 and 4, above, I feel that it is absolutely wrong for a government official to use that power entrusted to him/her to ban a completely legal, non-discriminating,
unskilled-labor-hiring restaurant, based solely on the opinion of its CEO.
6. THAT being said (point #5, above), if a consumer wants to boycott such a restaurant, that’s completely fine. Likewise, if anybody wants to show impassioned support for the same, groovy. I mean, it’s not like we live in a country that forces consumers to purchase a good or service. Uh oh… I just opened another can of worms. 🙂
7. Lastly, in my view, I think boycotts, for whatever reason, are a waste of time and energy at best, a self-inflicted punishment at worst. So long as a legal entity is providing a good or service that has value, I would absolutely make the purchase if it was something I wanted/needed, irrespective of whatever the employees may have. An example I like to give is that I absolutely cannot stand some of the causes Johnny Depp supports. However, he’s not in the business of said cause, policy, etc.; he’s in the business of entertaining, and he does that extremely well. It’s silly of me to not make the investment in his product, because he’s a great actor. Personal beliefs are irrelevant, at least in my book.
So there you have it. Thanks for the thoughtful commentary, as I said. I hope we both at least saw and understood a different viewpoint, even if we don’t agree with it. And oh… yes… I really DID try to understand your viewpoint that restaurants equal strip clubs/adult stores/pot shops… I saw it; just can’t understand the logic in the viewpoint. But that’s just me…
Tuesday at 10:46pm · Like
Anton Hill @John Let’s get our mutual due respect on! 🙂
I understand my following point is ultimately one of semantics, but it seems to me that the clauses regarding “…every man have his own wife…” don’t mean “exclusively.” “Own” is a possessive adjective designating “wife” to “man.” The word contains zero connotation, implied or otherwise, that should a man have a wife, he should not have a husband or more than one wife. The phrase gives no instruction. It gives no prohibition. It only makes clear the indicative fact that a man does have a wife. It’s also not a definition in the sense that everyone means when everyone says “definition.” Of course feel free to disagree.
I’m so glad you brought up the Jesus-changed-everything argument because this is what Jesus said about that. “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)
I’m surprised you’re unaware of the law commanding rapists to marry their victims. “If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)
There are also several narratives in which God commands his people to attack towns, kill the men, take the women, children, and livestock, and enjoy the spoils. One is: Deuteronomy 20:10-14.
Wednesday at 2:26pm via mobile · Like
John G. Wow. What the heck version of the Bible are you quoting from??? The most commonly accepted version of the Bible, though still full of translation errors compared to original manuscripts, is the King James Version. And what you quote from Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is VASTLY different from the KJV. It reads, “(28) If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; (29) Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.” That is, again, VASTLY different from “rape”. I can’t believe how many whack-job versions of the Bible are out there. And again very different versions of the other passage of Deuteronomy you quoted. The version you quoted conveniently leaves out going unto cities to declare peace on to them, but if they do not, then it is justified to have battle with them, and then to take care of the conquered people.
Wednesday at 2:56pm · Like
John G. Ben, that’s because liberals like to just do whatever they want to do, and never be obligated to take any responsibility for it. Instead of actually taking on any accountability for ones actions. 😦 Wednesday at 3:24pm · Like
John G. The truth is painful sometimes. 😦
Would you feel better if I quantified that to say “most” liberals just do whatever they want to do without taking any responsibility for it? 🙂
Wednesday at 4:43pm · Like
John G. Isn’t it true, though? Doesn’t the evidence suggest that it’s OK to go sleep around, and if anything bad happens as a result, there’s a liberal program out there to take care of you so you don’t have to be responsible for your own actions (even Obama by executive decree scrapped the work-for-welfare reform that Clinton brought in)? And isn’t it true, too, that evidence points to the fact that if you throw the bad guys in a country out of power, the liberals want to abandon that country and leave them on their own to go forward? History of such seems to be pretty supportive of not taking
responsibility for one’s actions. 😦
Wednesday at 4:53pm · Like
Anton Hill @John I didn’t translate from the original Hebrew & Greek, so I can’t comment on the translation (though I can certainly find the KJV stuff later–though it itself is only what we’re used to, not inherently superior in translation), however I can question the divine wisdom of the verses I quoted.
Are you saying that a guy “laying hold on her”, banging her, and paying for her are acceptable social behaviors?
Are you also saying that if a foreign entity doesn’t immediately accept an offer of peace, genocide is justifiable? I question your rationalization of “take care of.” If such action were the goal, I fail to see the purpose of conquest in the first place.
I notice too, that you had no comment on my citation of Jesus maintaining the old laws and commandments.
My point is that whether the English “rape” is used is similar to how Christians claim that the lack of “have sex with” in Lev. 18:22, but rather “lay with…man as if woman…” still means “have sex with.” Wednesday at 6:43pm via mobile · Like
John G. Anton… Are you guys writing from London? You guys should DEFINITELY be competing in the Olympics, with the incredible leaps you guys are taking. Congratulations on your newfound physical prowess! 🙂
Wednesday at 7:51pm · Like
Anton Hill @John Interesting. I quote Jesus himself, your Lord & Savior, commanding that the old laws do not change, not even the least of them, and you have nothing?
You had quite a bit on the relative linguistic merits of rape and the social merits of genocide, but not one iota on what The Man Himself said about the ancient laws.
This is what I don’t get about Christian theology and apologetics. The Bible is either the God-breathed, infallible, inerrant Word, or it isn’t. You either can eat shellfish or you can’t. The old laws either still are in effect or they aren’t. Seems to me, according to the Son of Man, they are. So whence comes the modern, blasphemous doctrine that Jesus’ arrival changed everything?
Oh, and why was it okay for Solomon to violate the “biblical definition” of marriage?
23 hours ago via mobile · Like
John G. As I said previously, I’m not a scriptorian and don’t have scriptures memorized. And I’m now on the road, and can’t look up specific references at the moment. Christ himself, though, said that in him all things were fulfilled, in the context of Hebrew law. I’ll look it up for you at some point, if you’re really going to have an open mind about it. Meanwhile, you quote from multiple versions of the Bible, some that are vastly different from each other.
22 hours ago · Like
John G. Ahhh… I see. You’re quoting from Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount. Christ is preaching to the people, and he is saying that everything he is teaching will come to pass. But nice job taking it completely out of context. Perhaps another scripture in Matthew 7 is more relevant here.
22 hours ago · Like
Anton Hill @John Pardon my lack of context. I’m not a biblical scholar. I’ll have to look all that up later.
As for translations, I’ve been quoting from the New Living Translation and others. If you have an issue with the NLT’s translation, I suggest you take it up with the publishers. Though I do question the basis of your (implied) assertion that the KJV is more valid than other translations. More popular doesn’t equal more valid. Certainly not in linguistic theory.
No word yet on Solomon’s violation of the “biblical definition” of marriage? 20 hours ago via mobile · Like
John G. Actually, people who ARE biblical scholars pretty much universally agree that the KJV is the most correct translation, though it is still full of errors. There are numerous versions that have been “modernized” to supposedly be easier to understand. The problem is, though, that so many verses are interpreted completely differently in these versions (ie. sex being interpreted as rape). Anyway… why are we debating the biblical definition of marriage??? It’s really clear: a man and a woman. There’s even a verse that says he shall take a woman to wife and to cleave unto her and none else (I’m paraphrasing, and not looking at the actual verse on my BlackBerry). Can it be any more clear?
And Solomon? Again, Christ himself said (in just a few verses before the verses you quoted) that he came to fulfill the law. The Old and New Testaments have different laws, as Christ came to fulfill the law. But no matter what I say, you seem to trample it, so I’m not really interested in continuing this dialogue.
19 hours ago · Like
Anton Hill @John I agree that we could debate the relative merits of various Bible translations forever, but I’m neither equipped nor interested.
I took you up on your point on context. I read the Sermon on the Mount. I’m seeing what you were pointing out, but it’s still very confusing. Yes, in M 5:17, Jesus first says he didn’t come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. But then in M 5:18, he says not one bit passes the law until it’s been fulfilled. But if he’s come to fulfill it, what’s the point of mentioning the old law he’s now fulfilled? Then, in 19, he also says that we still have to obey all the old laws and if you break the least of them, you’re the least in Heaven (though, oddly, you don’t go to Hell?). And there are other
problematic verses like L 16:17 which seem to suggest that Jesus’ arrival is irrelevant to the need to keep the old law. See? No trampling. 🙂
My point on Solomon is simply that obviously one of God’s chosen didn’t find it particularly necessary to follow the law. That Jesus allegedly changed the law is irrelevant to Solomon’s life as Solomon lived before Jesus and was thus bound to different laws.
I’ve debated the “biblical definition” of marriage because, while it’s not wholly inconsistent in the Bible, I’ve not yet heard convincing evidence that supports the strength of your or any others’ absolute convictions. The conviction is “The biblical definition of marriage is one man to one woman” yet nowhere in what you’ve quoted does it actually, literally say that. No commandment. No instruction. If it were so important to God, tantamount to respect for parents, no lying, and no stealing, you’d think there’d be a specific commandment. All that you’ve said is your (and others’) interpretation. The facts are that yes, many examples of marriage are given that include only one man and only one woman, but so too, as you’ve admitted, do marriages to more than one person exist, etc. So to claim an absolute morality based on a non-absolute moral law is at least inconsistent.