15
Jul
10

Reconciling Religion & Polyamory/Homosexuality: A Reply

A friend sent me this link, to a site called CrossCultureBDSM, and I tried to reply to it on the site. However it appears to be down now and while I don’t normally quote an entire post my reply would make no sense at all without putting the entire piece up here.

This post contains my beliefs about various things, many of which relate to my identity as a Christian and how I have reconciled my faith with the kind of stuff I usually write about here.

If any of you get really angry about religious stuff, or if you can’t handle someone having a different view than you, you’ll probably want to just skip right over this one.

This post was originally written for my private journal about two years ago. After reading through it again, I can say that it is all still as true to me now as it was then. And the discussion with my family that I reference at the end… It went well. My parents are now at least accepting, and my sister is very supportive. I continue to talk openly with my parents regularly. They have new questions for me each time and they seem to understand it more with each discussion.

So here it is:

I have spent, literally, 7 years wrestling with my feelings and beliefs about these issues. I have studied, prayed and sought advice. I have written pages and pages in a private online journal that I keep for nothing else. These beliefs are my own, and while I do sincerely believe them, I acknowledge that I could be wrong. The beliefs that I have settled on (relating to these specific issues) are:

Love

1. People were meant to love each other.

2. Love is good.

3. Love comes in many forms, from platonic to romantic.

4. Loving one person does not inhibit your ability to love another person.

5. People, therefore, have an infinite capacity for love.

Relationships and Marriage

1. The bible shows that God condones, encourages, and awards marriage styles that are not monogamous.
See: THIS POST for more details

2. The bible shows that God often punishes people for sexual indulgence, but never punishes people for loving, committed, consensual partnerships, regardless of the gender or status of the people involved.

3. There are at least three examples in the bible where committed same-sex relationships are described, all of them are glorified.
See: THIS POST for more information on these.

4- Relationships which are committed and loving, regardless of gender or numbers, are good.

Sin

1. Each and every person has an inherent knowledge of right and wrong.

2. Sin is rooted, not in actions, but in intentions. In other words, it’s not what you do that is sinful or not, but why you do it.

Sex (Defined specifically here as: Intercourse)

1. Sex is meant to be an expression of romantic love.

2. Sex is meant to be shared only by people in a committed, loving relationship.

3. Sex in the absence of love is wrong, whether or not the people in question are married.

Happiness

1. Happiness and pleasure are not the same thing.

2. Pleasure can be derived by sinful means.

3. Happiness is a state of harmony.

4. True happiness can only be derived from a virtuous life.

5. Therefore, nothing that makes a person truly happy is wrong.

As a result of these beliefs in conjunction with personal introspection, I can, at this time in my life, feel comfortable in stating the following:

1. I believe that people are not limited in love, and can, through devotion, honesty and consent, establish committed, loving and healthy relationships with multiple partners, and that this act is not in conflict with the will of God, but is, in fact, encouraged in the bible.

2. While I do not identify as homosexual or bisexual, I cannot believe that a loving, committed relationship between same-sex partners is a sin. I believe that organized religion and its teachings, have manipulated its followers into believing that the bible condemns same-sex partnerships.

3. I believe that sex is meant to be an expression of love. I also believe that the act of sex is a promise of life-long commitment and devotion. For that reason, I have abstained from its practice until I am ready to make such a commitment, whether that be in the form of traditional marriage or not.

This was spurred by a lot of things, but chiefly a new girl, and the fact that I feel like I can’t talk about her with a lot of the most important people in my life, namely my family, because of their views. I have resolved to have a “bible-off” with my parents to see if I can’t convince them that their traditional views are not might not be correct. They already know a lot of these things about me, but they pretend they don’t because it bothers them. I’m hoping, given my more recent and extensive experience with research and studying, that I can out-Christian them. Depending on how that goes, I may or may not set my sights on my extended family.

Go Team Tolerance! {high-five}

My Reply:
I cannot believe that

If you change that “cannot” to “choose not to” it would really make this whole post make more sense as well as be truer. You didn’t address your claim at Christianity at all, nor its teachings. Rather you posted on your feelings and non-biblically based musing that allow you to hold onto the beliefs that you already want to hold. Since you are going to arrive at the conclusions you already desired to reach, one is forced to wonder would bother to research an issue?

I agree with your points under Love, tho saying infinite is a going more than a little overboard. But its under the Relationships And Marriage where you go astray. Having not read your link on #1, I agree. Polygyny is a common and blessed form of marriage in the OT, and referenced in the NT. The remainder of this section is an attempt to say that homosexuality can’t really be bad as long as the partners are loving. You are deliberately overlooking the express prohibition on men having sex with men. Its the same prohibition that is put upon bestiality. Because you are no doubt aware of this it leads to the obvious conclusion, as I stated above, that you simply choose not to believe it and instead try to make close relationships into sexual relationships when the text doesn’t support it. It is a very popular activity in the GLBT community to take famous and/or important historical figures and make them out to be gay so as to bolster their image while impugning those who are dead and therefore cannot counter the claims. Its also self serving and disingenuous at best. It is quite possible to be “bosom buddies” without actually ever having sex or an attraction to the other person.

Sex
#1 & 3. Sex is a physical act meant to propagate the species. We are blessed in that it is also pleasurable and can knit two people together emotionally and spiritually. #2: Sex is meant to be within marriage. A marriage is between one man and one or more women who are exclusive to that one man.

Happiness
Therefore, nothing that makes a person truly happy is wrong.
Wow, too many ways to go on that one. Simply put, many such things are indeed sinful. And with that I note that sin doesn’t seem to be the standard you are applying within this post. You are speaking to right and wrong that is based upon your humanistic viewpoint. This may be common to your posts, but this is the only post I have read so far.

The remainder of the post is really just a bunch of tired old humanism. It is a completely different worldview than the Christian worldview so I am confused as to why you label yourself a Christian. You say your parents are Christians, but that doesn’t mean that you are. Christianity is not a hereditary faith.
End Reply

Feel free to add your thoughts here or there should it come back up.

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14 Responses to “Reconciling Religion & Polyamory/Homosexuality: A Reply”


  1. July 15, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    Good response. All I saw there was someone that has spent 7 years desperately trying to convince themselves that their sin is justified through the Bible.

  2. July 15, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    I’d be happy to debate the topic with you. But while I gave biblical references, you did not. You have listed a bunch your own philosophy based on years of dogmatic teaching that has little or no relationship to the text of the Bible.

    But if you want to debate, let’s be real clear. If you’re going to quote old testament at me to justify your position on homosexuality, be ready to claim that you’ve never worn mixed fabric clothing or worked on the Sabbath. Because those prohibitions are on the same page and had more to do with the health of the people than the will of God.

    Second, find me anywhere in the bible where it describes the ceremony of marriage and what that entails. Because you won’t. Instead, you will find a lot of references to marriage which actually sound more like a description of sexual intercourse.

    So with that in mind, feel free to justify your positions with anything in the Bible, as opposed to random, baseless philosophy about right and wrong.

    So far, you are the only negative response I have received. All others have been either agreeing with me or asking reasonable questions so that I can explain by position further. You are the only one that has resorted to things like saying that I’m not Christian because of these views or claiming that I haven’t researched the issue, even though you openly admit to having not followed my links to the posts where I explain my research.

    So like I said. I’m happy to debate with you, but if you aren’t willing to use logic and reasoning and critical thinking, then I’m not going to waste my time on you any further because YOU have no interest in pursuing truth, only clinging to what you’ve been taught.

  3. July 15, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    Cross,

    It would be interesting to see just where above you cited Scripture? Oh, thats right, you didn’t. Hence the reason that I did not in my reply. Also, I did read the link that I disagreed with and yes you have some Scripture in there, however it doesn’t prove your point, but rather they are instances of grasping at straws. An attempt to read meaning into a passage that just simply isn’t there. Naomi and Ruth, pillow friends? No. David and Johnathan? They kissed? Gee, grown men NEVER do that unless its sexual right? Oh, well, unless they are perhaps in Europe. But thats only a few million people right? Try to remember that as awesome as America is, its far from the only culture of earth.

    The reference to Daniel (which you have mislabeled as David) is another example of misunderstanding due most likely to the flowery language of the KJV. A word that appears 44 times and is only once translated as “tender love” does not mean that Daniel and the Prince of the Eunuchs were having sex. Daniel was a slave, and it may by that Daniel himself was a eunuch seeing as that same Prince of the Eunuchs named him. It might be worth noting that the reason men are made eunuchs is to ensure that they are not having sex with the ruler’s harem.

    So for the references to Scripture, Leviticus 20 gives the prohibition on men having sex with other men. Its not limited to that, but includes various sexual relationships/actions that are also verboten to include bestiality. It does not, however, forbid female on female sex. Some extrapolate from the ban on gay male sex to include women, but while a decent inference, the text doesn’t expressly state that. Some hold that the NT gives a ban on it in Romans 1:26-27 stating that “for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. “ This could be a complete ban, or a ban on lesbian sex to the exclusion of normal male-female sex.

    As to clinging to what I have been taught, you simply have no idea. I have cast off perhaps the majority of the traditions I was raised in, even those of Christianity if they do not hold up to the Scripture. I must also note with some amusement that your initial post was nothing more than emoting your rationalization of your sin, but then accuse me of not using logic.

  4. 4 Rachel
    July 16, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Cross, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, New Living Translation:

    9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

    It is not just the Old Testament that condemns homosexuality. It’s the New Testament too. See also 1 Timothy 1:9-11.

  5. 5 Triton
    July 16, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    DMM, if you’ve got friends sending you links of this kind, then I suggest you find different friends. This is just the same old rationalizing nonsense that antinomians have been drumming up for centuries.

  6. July 19, 2010 at 7:12 AM

    DMM,

    I doubt you’ll have an actual intelligent conversation with this guy, but good luck. I don’t think it will do any good to provide scripture as it has already been nullified by his belief in “love”. I believe the word here is “Hermeneutics”. He has embraced a method of looking at things that is not concerned with truth but arriving at his own predetermined outcome.

    FWIW in Matt 5, Mark 10 and Lk 16 Jesus teaches on divorce. In these scriptures he alludes to the fact that from the beginning God made them male and female and that sex makes you one flesh. I think the express views of Jesus on what constitutes marriage and the fact that he does not get into a discussion of other forms of marriage, and that he allows for sexual unfaithfulness to be a valid reason to divorce, to be a pretty good basis for the “Christian” view on marriage to be one man and one women.

    Polygamy may not be expressly forbidden but its practice precludes a man from church leadership.

  7. July 21, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    Res,

    I think that’s because they knew a man with multiple wives wouldn’t have time to serve the church. 😉

  8. July 23, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    🙂

    OR time for much else either.

  9. July 26, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    @Rachel

    I don’t agree with you using a Bible translation that is VERY obscure. Almost none of the translations of this passage use the word homosexual or any synonym.

    That said, I would point out the passage before using the same translation that you used:
    7 Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.”

    This section of the scripture is not about sexual sin, it’s about minding your own business when it comes to that subject instead of making an ass out of yourself by sticking your nose into other people’s bedrooms. Way to condemn your own argument.

    Oh, and what bizarre translation makes you think that 1 Timothy 1 has anything at all to say on this subject?

    @OP and a few others.

    The homosexuality debate is not about me at all. I have no self-interest in the topic and only approach it from an academic position and an interest in discerning the truth.

    Thus far, the passages used in the attempt to contradict me are either completely irrelevant (see above) or they are the writings and opinions of an individual human who had a very negative view of ALL sexual relationships, not just homosexuality. If you were to follow his advice to the letter, you wouldn’t be permitted to have sex with anyone.

    No one on this thread, thus far, has quoted any direct words of Christ as rebuttal. And when the OP chose to quote Leviticus, he failed, as most fundamentalists do, to acknowledge the fact that we have discarded almost all of the adjoining passages, such as the ban on mixed cloth and tattoos.

    As for Romans 1, putting aside that this is yet another of Paul’s rants. The worst it says about it is that it is unseemly. Far from the terse language he uses to condemn things like divorce. Yet, he is not, in fact, speaking about homosexuals. He is speaking about the entire race of man. He is building up, in the introduction of his letter (and do remember, this “book” is nothing more than a letter written by a human, not the word of God), to the point that everybody sins, everybody sucks, and we all need God to get by.

    @Res
    First of all, you don’t know me or what intelligent conversation I am capable of, and since you’ve made no attempt yourself, your criticism means absolutely nothing to me.

    Now to your points. You are correct in citing passages against divorce. Christ did forcefully and repeatedly condemn divorce and I fully agree. If you make a lifetime commitment to someone, you should follow through, for better or worse. And I said as much in my original post.

    Where we differ, however, is whether that precludes the possibility of multiple marriages. Sexual unfaithfulness, which I agree is immoral, is about deception more than anything. My wife is fully aware of my other relationships and fully supports them, as I do her’s. There is no unfaithfulness between us, nor is there any deception. In fact, there is more honesty in our relationship than in most “traditional” marriages between individuals who believe that telling a lie is a sin. Yet statistics show that over 70% of men have cheated on a monogamous partners at some point in their life, and over half of those did so during a marriage. And that’s just in America.

    I find it interesting that the Religious Right spends so much time focused on the committed, faithful partnerships of the homosexual and absolutely no attention on the 50%+ divorce rate in this country, even though the latter is the offense that was actually condemned by Christ.

    Happy to answer any further arguments.

    Be well.

  10. July 26, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    Cross,

    You reference the NLT as a “VERY obscure” translation. Lets go with some others

    KJV: effeminate
    NKJV: homosexuals
    NIV: homosexual offenders
    ESV: men who practice homosexuality
    NASB: homosexuals
    RSV: sexual perverts
    ASV: abusers of themselves with men
    YNG: sodomites
    DBY: nor who abuse themselves with men
    WEB: nor abusers of themselves with mankind
    HNV: homosexuals

    Are all of these “VERY obscure” translations as well?

  11. 11 Kay in UK
    July 29, 2010 at 12:50 AM

    “This is yet another of Paul’s rants.”? Ouch!!!!!
    ALL SCRIPTURE is God-breathed.

  12. 12 Pious Polyandrous
    August 7, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Were there no examples of polyandry in the Abrahamic faiths? I can’t believe that at that time and in that part of the world there would have been no polyandrous tribes. Such traditions, though a minority, can be found in South Asia and other regions as well, even today.

  13. August 11, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Cross, I find it interesting that you have decided to pick and choose portions of The Word to make them fit your desired outcome. You use portions of the OT (badly interpreted) to justify your position, but condemn those who use passages from the Word that are plain in it ‘s meaning.

    While I will agree with you that as Christians we are under a new covenant, it does not negate the meaning of the old covenant. The old covenant showed us the way a man could live an upright life, but also showed us the near impossibility of living up to that standard. The old covenant laid the foundation for the new covenant, and without it the new covenant is incomplete in it’s meaning.

    I would be more than happy to debate you just as DMM would, Keep in mind, cherry picking verses just does not fly. I will be more than happy to provide scripture as well. I personally use the NASB version. while not a flowery in speech as the KJV it is one of the most literal versions on the market. I do not mince words, and I look at motivations behind statements. Keep in mind I could care less about your personal life choices. You do not answer to me, Nor I to you, but we both will answer to our creator one day, and the choices we make will be judged by the Author of the Word who is the Author of our lives.


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