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Friday, July 20, 2012

Jesus Never Said

How many times have I heard it? "Jesus never said anything about homosexuality being a sin!" The conclusion? Well, obviously it must not be!

Of course, that's clear rubbish. He never said anything about rape, pornography, or child molesting either. I suppose you'd classify them as perfectly good since "Jesus never said anything" about them? No, of course not.

But is it actually true that Jesus never said anything about it? I might beg to differ. In Matthew 19 the Pharisees came to test Him. Their trick question? "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" Jesus wasn't falling for it. Without offering possible reasons for a valid divorce or enumerating the good versus the bad causes for divorce, He simply offered the longstanding, traditional definition of marriage: "A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" (Matt 19:5). His conclusion was that this union is binding and splitting it up is a bad idea.

So far we have one statement from Christ on the subject. We know what Christ thinks is the definition of marriage. It is "man" and "woman" and "one flesh". Try, if you will, to fit "man and man" or "woman and woman" into that structure. It won't fit.

Jesus wasn't finished. His disciples were a bit dismayed. "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry" (Matt 19:10). Jesus offers two possibilities here. First, there is "man and wife in union". If not, there is one other option: "eunuch". (Interesting that some of these "eunuchs" are born that way (Matt 19:12), isn't it?) So Jesus says "Marry or be a eunuch" or "Be a husband or a wife or be celibate."

Again, it appears that "man and man", "woman and woman", or any other combination except "husband and wife", in terms of sexual relations, do not fit into this arrangement. You can try, but it won't work.

Jesus did not say, "And I hope you understand that it's not okay to have sex with animals, either." He didn't have to. He didn't say, "It should be abundantly clear, then, that adultery would be wrong." He didn't need to. He didn't say, "Clearly sex between men and men would fall in the category of sin as well." That was already understood.

No, Jesus didn't mention explicit options of various sexual practices. On the other hand, it is abundantly clear that Jesus laid out 1) what He considered to be "marriage" and 2) in what context sexual relations of any sort were moral and, outside of marriage, no sexual relations were moral. Please, by all means, draw your own conclusions. But I'm not at all sure that it's really fair to conclude that Jesus "never said anything about" this question.

6 comments:

Dan said...

Of course you realize that the people making their case using this sort of logic don't really care what Bible says. Every person that ever lived was either for Jesus, or they were against Him. The many who are against him have never had a problem twisting logic and His words to legitimize or promote their own sin.

Stan said...

Now, Dan, when people claim, "Jesus never said anything about ...", they're not twisting His words. They're pointing out He had no words on the subject. Let's be fair!

(No, I suppose "fair" or a legitimate understanding of Jesus's views are not the point when people claim that Jesus never said anything about their pet sin, is it?)

4simpsons said...

I can't think of one person who has used the "Jesus never said anything about . . ." argument who wasn't a false teacher or professed non-believer.

I also like to point out to self-proclaimed followers of Christ that they must believe that Jesus is divine and thus in agreement with all of the Bible, not just the "red letters."

Stan said...

Building a religion based on the words of Jesus (of which we have pitifully few) is a pointless effort. Christendom is built on Scripture, the Word of God, who also has a name, Jesus (John 1:1).

TrueFemininity said...

Enjoyed this post! I've been hearing this one a lot lately.

Stan said...

Haven't heard from you in awhile. Hope you are well.