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Friday, November 06, 2015

Let's Talk Hunches

Hunch: a feeling or guess based on intuition rather than known facts. That's what the dictionary says. A hunch is not based on facts, but is a matter of intuition. So, I say, "The Bible says that homosexual behavior is a sin" and they tell me, "That's your hunch."

Now, typically I leave out the ever popular texts on Sodom and Gomorrah. People have a too-ready answer of "It was inhospitality, not homosexuality that was the problem there." But if we're going to go with facts, I have to address this one, too. First, The Bible says "Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord." (Gen 13:13) No debate possible here. God opted to destroy the cities because "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave." (Gen 18:20) Abraham, the first Jew, managed to whittle God down to an agreement to not destroy the cities if He could locate a mere 10 godly people (Gen 18:23-32). God couldn't. And when God's emissaries went into Sodom to take a look around, they were confronted by "the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man" (That's a long way to go to explain the extent of the confrontation.) who demanded to "know" Lot's visitors (in the biblical sense) and couldn't be dissuaded even after being struck blind (Gen 19:4-9). "No, that's just about hospitality." Really? "Well, yes," they assure me and point to Ezekiel who wrote, "This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy." (Ezek 16:49) And I wouldn't like to argue that Sodom was not inhospitable. But Jude specifies that Sodom and Gomorrah were an example of God's punishment because they "indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire" (Jude 1:7). Sorry. That's not inhospitality; that's sexual sin, specifically of the homosexual kind. Not a hunch; it's what it says.

Further, I don't know why we need to continually trot out the biblical texts on this. It's not like no one knows they're there. But ...
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Lev 18:22)

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Lev 20:13)

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Rom 1:26-27)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)
Straightforward and clear.

"Oh, see, that whole 'men who practice homosexuality' phrase there is a mistranslation," I've heard. "It actually refers to pederasty." Look, even the people at glbtqarchive.com, a pro-homosexual website, understand that "Recent scholarship has shown conclusively that the traditional meanings assigned to these words stand." They explain that the Greek term used in the text is coined by Paul as a Greek version of the Leviticus phrase. They say (not just me), "The word was almost certainly coined by Greek-speaking Jews. Understood in the context of what we know about role playing in most ancient same-sex relationships, malakoi are the receptive parties and arsenokoitai the inserters in male-male anal intercourse." Not my "hunch."

These are the facts. (Remember "hunch" is defined as intuition rather than facts.) Further, Judaism before Christ and Christianity since has universally understood these to mean exactly what is being said, that God classifies homosexual behavior -- sex between two people of the same gender -- to be sexual sin. Not a hunch; historical fact.

How about sin? I say, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Rom 3:23) Is that a hunch? You decide. I base it on these kinds of things. There's the text I just offered. There is the assault on "the basic goodness of mankind" in Paul's letter to Rome. "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Rom 3:10-18) A rather lengthy and thorough depiction. There is God in Genesis -- "The intention of man's heart is evil from his youth." (Gen 8:21) -- and David in Psalms -- "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psa 51:5) and "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies." (Psa 58:3). (Side note. I saw an interesting study from the National Geographic channel, no less, that claimed that children as young as 6 months old were shown to be lying to their parents. Not my idea; those scientists said it.) Paul -- you remember, the one whose name is often preceded with "Saint" -- complains "I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh." (Rom 7:18) And he warns, "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom 8:8) Isaiah describes us as sheep who have all gone astray (Isa 53:6). Solomon says, "Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins." (Eccl 7:20). John warns, "If we claim to be without sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8). Humans are described as "blinded by the god of this world" (2 Cor 4:4) and the Bible says of Natural Man, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor 2:14) "Oh," they tell me, "that's your hunch. People aren't all as bad as you describe." Not a hunch, as this limited and long list of biblical texts demonstrates.

And this whole Bible thing itself. Is it my hunch that the Bible is God's Word? In order to shorten this already too long piece, I'm simply going to point you to some other things I've written on the subject. Recently I wrote four articles here on the subject. And look, it is not me, but the Bible itself that claims "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17) You decide. Did I offer my conjecture, my intuition, my gut feelings? Or did I offer Scripture (facts) and evident reason (as opposed to "intuition")?

I try to back up what I write with facts. I try to use Scripture ... heavily. I try to demonstrate content and context and give reasons why I conclude what I conclude. I try to be sure that I'm not alone in it, that I'm aligned with historical, orthodox Christian views. Oh, sure, there are hunches, guesses, opinions. But I try to point to those as just that. The stuff I offer as more concrete I offer on the basis of Scripture and evidence. It is no hunch to say, "Christ died for our sins." It's a quote (1 Cor 15:3). It's not hunch to say that Christ is the only way to God. It's a quote (John 14:6). It's no hunch to say that the unsaved face eternal torment. It's a quote (Mark 9:47-48). So when I quote Scripture and say, "God says ..." and you say, "That's just your hunch", that is precisely the same thing as "Did God say ...?" And those who oppose much of what I write do so based on the accusation that it's just my "hunch". You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

9 comments:

Bob said...

it is easier for the critic to attack the messenger than to justify why he disbelieves the scriptures. argumentium adhomonim, if we can discredit the messenger we can discredit the message. once this is accomplished, then we can apply the red herring, by redirecting the argument in a different direction. exp; Stan doesn't really like homosexuals, he is homophobic so as a result, his bias causes him to misinterpret scripture. besides God is love, and since God is love, he loves everyone no matter what.

Stan said...

It IS interesting that I'll write "Here's what the Scriptures say" and they'll say, "That's your hunch" without addressing THE SCRIPTURES. I suppose if you can shoot the messenger then the message can be ignored.

Marshall Art said...

I encounter the same poor debate techniques. I am "speaking for God" by restating the exact words that appear in Scripture, as if I made it up myself and merely claimed it is what God says, means or thinks. There's simply no need to do so when Scripture states things so clearly.

Nor is is "opinion" when having re-typed the words of Scripture, or even copy/pasted it from an on-line site that presents multiple Biblical version (KJV, NIV, ESV, etc.)

Now I'm told I am "assigning meaning" to words whose meanings are well known and easily verified by a look at any dictionary.

Worse, of course, is that while our "hunches" are supported by actual verses and passages in Scripture, no such support is offered for either why we are wrong or any alternative "hunch" favored by...well...you know who.

1eternitymatters said...

They tip their hands by never applying the "hunch" accusation at the Leftists who (mis)quote their preferred scriptures with such confidence.

And they tie themselves in knots with the Ezekiel thing. Just ask them if they think the book of Ezekiel is the word of God. [Awkward pause] If so, they need to account for the rest of what it says. If not, why are they cherry-picking that verse?

And do they not realize that God had decided to destroy S&G BEFORE the angels went there? It was going to burn whether they tried the homosexual rape thing or not.

I'm glad you highlighted the part about them persisting even though literally blinded. They groped for the door. Any similarity to the LGBTQX lobby is purely deliberate.

Oh, and why do they ignore 2 Peter and Jude?

2 Peter 2:6–10 . . . if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Jude 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Craig said...

Of course, we can't forget that commonly used technique of determining that any teachings (Particularly of Christ) that don't line up with Progressive dogma are redefined (using our human Reason) as being "metaphor". That way we don't have to take them as seriously as the rest. "Well, I'm not arguing that Jesus didn't say XYZ, but it is clearly metaphor and therefore we don't really know what He meant." The problem is that these folks have no way to explain what the metaphor means in any way that makes any sense. So they just conveniently ignore those or assign them a lesser value and go back to focusing on the parts that say what they want to hear.

Stan said...

Yes, "metaphor" or "myth" without clear explanation of what either was intended to mean. Another favorite is "hyperbole" by which they mean "It means absolutely nothing of the sort." (An example would be when Paul wrote "There is no one who does good; no, not one" which they tell me is "hyperbole" because "Lots of people do good" ... which nullifies the intent of the hyperbole.) In other words, many ways to return to "It doesn't really mean what it appears to say in opposition to what I believe."

Just the notion of "hunch" does that, doesn't it? "Everything is 'hunches', so it's really not possible to actually say with certainty what any of it really means." Which is intended, in a similar fashion, to get you and I to stop saying what it means ... because it disagrees with what they want.

Craig said...

Of course when they say "Lots of people do good" they are faced with the problem of what good actually is. I think someone said "There is no one good but God." or words to that effect. The problem is that in becomes necessary to shoehorn God's view of things down into something that can be defined by the English language definition of words. I'm not sure why the concept that God may have a different view of good than we do is problematic, but it seems to be with some folks.

Stan said...

It is my suspicion that trying to shoehorn God into our parameters is an extremely common problem.

Craig said...

I suspect we all do it to some degree or another.