Friday, December 19, 2008

Jesus and homsexuality

Recently one of those who responded to my critique of the Newsweek article linked to an article by Eric Koepnick who argued that the Gospels actually support homosexual relationships.

The gospel story Koepnick used to prove this point is the story of Jesus healing the “pais” (child/boy/slave/servant) of a centurion, found in Matthew 8:5-13//Luke 7:1-10 and John 4:46-54. Koepnick tries to demonstrate that Jesus was actually healing the homosexual lover of this centurion.

What follows is a summary and critique of Koepnick’s article.

Summary

Koepnick argues that the gospel story as a whole is historically reliable because it is found in the “Gospel of Q” and in the “Sign’s Source,” both of which date before the fall of Jerusalem, possibly as early as AD 50.

While “The Gospel of Q” uses the Greek word pais (child/slave) in reference to the servant in the story, the Gospel of John uses the word huios (son) instead. Koepnick argues that John was a creative editor and this suggests that John may have deliberately changed the word pais (child/slave) as he found it in the Gospel of Q to huios (son) in order to remove any evidence of a sexual relationship between the centurion and his servant.

Since, in the same story, the writer of Luke uses the word doulos (slave) rather than pais, we can assume that the writer of Luke changed the word pais in his Q source to doulos (slave) in order to identify the pais as a slave.

It is clear, Koepnick says, that the pais (child/slave) was not the centurion’s child since Augustus legally banned soldiers from marrying, so the centurion would not have had children “unless he did it on the sly….”

Koepnick argues that since the word pais also implied affection and was used to refer to a younger “partner in a homosexual relationship”, the centurion probably used the word pais in reference to “his sexual relationship with the male slave.

According to Koepnick “Scholars overwhelminghly agree that the word pais was used in the Greek language as a synonym for eromenos—a Greek word meaning ‘the boy you love’ and specifically denoting a homosexual relationship.”

For example, in Plato’s writings, the pais is made “wise and virtuous” by the “more mature lover.” In Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, Agathon is called a pais in his relationship with Pausanias. In Thucydides’ Against Timarchos the pais, Timarchos, had a reputation of taking advantage of older men which whom he had relationships. The word pais is also used in a homosexual context in an official Roman document of the second century C.E.

That Roman soldiers were often homosexual is affirmed by Plutarch who wrote of a band of 300 Roman soldiers who were “cemented by friendship grounded upon love” who were willing to “rush into danger for the relief of one another” rather than “to be base in the sight of their beloved” or “lovers.”

Koepnick argues that it is, therefore, “possible to propose that the pais was a slave in the centurion’s household who, at some point, was chosen by the centurion as a lover in order to be later freed to fight beside him in the Roman army.” Jesus would have known that the centurion was not able to marry and therefore had no wife or children, and that pais was “synonymous with the words, male lover.”

Koepnick concludes that Jesus “probably healed the centurion’s pais” knowing full well that the two were having homosexual relations. Since he failed to comment on the relationship, positively or negatively, this “calls into doubt the assertion by modern Christian conservatives that homosexual acts are inherently sinful.” It shows that “Jesus did not disapprove of their bond.”

Critique

Koepnick’s arguments are so filled with errors it is hard to know where to begin.

First, in a tangential point not related to the main argument: I find it humorous that the Koepnick bases his entire argument regarding the historicity of the passage under discussion, not on the Gospels themselves, but on two hypothetical sources supposedly used by the Gospel writers (i.e. The “Gospel of Q” and the “Sign’s Gospel”).

Those unfamiliar with scholarly biblical studies should know that neither of these “documents” actually exist. They are just scholarly speculations about the imagined sources supposedly used by the Gospel writers (“Q” by Matthew and Luke; the “Signs Source” by John).

If these sources ever existed at all—and there are very reputable scholars who call both sources into question—we know nothing about them other than what we can infer from reading Matthew, Luke and John.

Hypothesizing about hypothetical editorial changes to hypothetical documents is just silly; regardless of how often theological liberals do it. Can you imagine the ridicule conservative Christians would receive if our arguments against homosexual behavior rested on our speculation about hypothetical changes to hypothetical (non-existent) documents?

Second, Koepnick assumes that John was editing the hypothetical “Gospel of Q,” but there is absolutely no evidence that John ever saw “The Gospel of Q” at all, if such a gospel ever existed. In fact, most scholars—even liberal scholars—believe that John was written entirely independent of Matthew, Luke or the “Gospel of Q.”

Koepnick’s theory of how John edited the “Gospel of Q” is, therefore, nothing but groundless wishful thinking on Koepnick’s part. Koepnick must engage in this wishful thinking, however, because if the boy was the centurion’s son (huios), as John says, then Koepnick’s entire argument fails.

Third, since we are speculating about the possible editing of hypothetical sources anyway, we must ask how can Koepnick possibly be so sure that John wasn’t just reporting what was in his hypothetical “Signs Source” rather than editing the hypothetical “Gospel of Q”? After all, most theologically liberal New Testament scholars would agree that John probably used a “Signs Source” but they would not agree that John ever saw the “Gospel of Q.”

In other words, if the “Gospel of Q” read “pais”—which can mean either slave or child, depending on the context—and if the “Signs source” independently called this pais (child) the centurion’s huios (son) that would provide evidence that the centurion’s pais was in fact his son which would invalidate Koepnick’s whole theory. Koepnick doesn’t mention this possibility.

Fourth, Koepnick assumes that since Augustus banned marriage for soldiers, the pais could not possibly be his son. Interestingly enough, Koepnick states that in order for a pericope (a passage in the gospels) to be considered historical, it must come from 30-50 C.E.; i.e. less than 20 years after Jesus lived. Koepnick seems unaware that this (very biased and ridiculous) criteria undermines his own argument since the evidence for Augustus’ prohibition against soldiers marrying come from much more than 20 years after the fact.

But assuming that Augustus’ prohibition was historical, even Koepnick mentions the possibility that the pais could have been conceived “on the sly.” If the child was conceived “on the sly” it would invalidate Koepnick’s whole theory.

There are other possibilities as well. For example, since there were no Roman legions in Galilee before AD 44 (Marshall, I.H., The Gospel of Luke, 279), it may be that the “centurion” was not a Roman soldier at all—and therefore not subject to Augustus’ restrictions—but was in fact a member of Herod Antipas’ army organized along Roman lines. Or, the centurion could have been married and had the child before he became a soldier. Any of these possibilities invalidate Koepnick’s entire thesis.

So in other words, out of at least five possibilities 1) Augustus’ prohibition comes from sources too late and must be judged unhistorical 2) the centurion had the child “on the sly” 3) the man was married and had his son before he became a centurion, 4) the centurion was a member of Herod Antipas’ army, not the Roman army or 5) the child is a slave who is unrelated to the centurion, Koepnick ignores the first four and selects the option that can be best twisted to fit his theory.

The reader should be aware that we are not in the realm of objective scholarship here.

On the other hand, Koepnick could have avoided all of his frivolous assumptions and convoluted arguments simply by adopting the view of many conservative scholars who hold that the story in Matthew/Luke is sufficiently different from that of John to warrant the view that Matthew//Luke and John record two similar but unrelated incidents. That would eliminate Koepnick’s need to try to find reasons to explain away John’s reference to huios (son). But although that would have solved one problem, Koepnick’s case would still fail because…

Fifth, Koepnick argued that “Scholars overwhelmingly agree that the word pais was used in the Greek language as a synonym for eromenos—a Greek word meaning ‘the boy you love.” It may be that pedophiles overwhelmingly agree that pais is a synonym for eromenos, but Koepnick’s allegation that “scholars overwhelmingly agree” is groundless, and his allegation that eromenos is a synonym for pais is factually untrue. It is like saying that “sexual abuse victim” is synonymous for the word child.

Such arguments amount to saying that because perverted people in the ancient world used children (pais) to fulfill their sexual perversion, the word pais can therefore be translated as homosexual lover or “the boy you love!” This would be like finding numerous news stories about perverts who have had sex with juveniles and assuming that the word juvenile, therefore, can also mean lover!

If ancient documents also recorded incidents of Roman soldiers having sex with sheep, would we then assume that the word “sheep” was synonymous with the word “lover?”(it should be noted in passing, that although eromenos is found in Wikipedia, it is not found in Liddell and Scott which is the “bible” of classical Greek lexicons).

Sixth, among the possible meanings for pais are “slave”, “servant” or “child” (male or female depending on the gender of the word used) but it does not mean homosexual lover—but even if “homosexual lover” were one of the possible meanings of pais (it is not), there is absolutely nothing in the context of any gospel that would even remotely hint that this story has anything whatsoever to do with sex or homosexuality!

In other words, even IF a possible meaning for pais was “homosexual lover”, trying to read “homosexual lover” into the context of this gospel story would be like finding stories about people hiding their treasure in “trunks” and transferring that meaning of "trunk" into an entirely different context about elephants in an attempt to prove that some people hide their treasure in elephant’s noses (trunks). Context is critical!

Seventh, even if we were to suspend all reality for a moment and suppose that the pais really was the centurion’s homosexual lover, it would be invalid to assume that Jesus’ healing of this servant, therefore, implied acceptance of that lifestyle. The fact is that the gospels contain stories about the healing of numerous people by Jesus—even Gentiles—in which the gospels never record whether or not Jesus challenged their lifestyle.

So even if the pais was a homosexual lover (he wasn’t!) the fact that the gospels do not record Jesus specifically challenging this lifestyle would not lead us to conclude that Jesus condoned it—especially in light of the fact that Jesus preached against sexual immorality (Mark 7:21; Matthew 15:19) as defined by Jesus’ own Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) which specifically condemned homosexual sex, calling it an abomination and saying that God would “vomit” out the nations who practice such behavior. Koepnick is simply trying to twist the Bible to support his own preconceived position.

If Koepnick followed his own arguments to their logical conclusion, however, I guess he would also have to conclude that Jesus was not only pro-homosexual, but pro-slavery and pro-pedophile as well!

This is an important point: Although Koepnick himself doesn’t go there, his arguments sound more like a defense of homosexual pedophilia than just homosexuality. Jesus said it would be better for someone to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than to cause a little one to sin (Luke 17:2; Mark 9:42; Matthew 18:6). In Greek the phrase “cause to sin” is from skandalidzo, which can mean “that which gives offense or causes revulsion…” (BAG, 753). I think that would fit pedophilia pretty well.

Conclusion

The idea that Jesus was giving his approval for the homosexual (pedophile) relationship between this centurion and his child-servant is not only absurd and exegetically fallacious, it is thoroughly disgusting and sick.

12 comments:

Kevin said...

Another fantastic post. Thanks!

Jason said...

Your seventh point came to mind immediately after reading the the argument by Koepnick.

Steve said...

1. Since even you must acknowledge that the gospels were written long after the events described, what do you think the source material was? The existence of sources like Q is accepted by most biblical scholars. There are certainly biblical sources that have not been discovered yet.

And "Can you imagine the ridicule conservative Christians would receive..." is a typical silly argument you always make, usually about the media ("Can you imagine the uproar in the media if a conservative..."), which is especially ironic and hilarious in the context of discussing arguments about hypotheticals.

2. Almost no one believes the centurion was referring to his actual son because synonyms used for pais contradict the idea that he was his son but don't contradict the idea the he has his lover.

3. When you say "It may be that pedophiles overwhelmingly agree that pais is a synonym for eromenos" you once again try to smear anyone that disagrees with you as a child molester. It is a particularly sleazy form of argument you engage in regularly when you are on the losing end. Historians and scholars report the facts about cultures that have different moral values than ours, cultures that approved of slavery, stoning people for adultery, marrying off underage girls, leaving infants to die and sexual relationships between boys and men. Many of these values, which we find immoral, were accepted by people who wrote the Bible as well. When a historian writes about a culture that does not necessarily imply acceptance. That is not a historian's job. Unfortunately, you are caught in a quandary because the Bible does not condemn certain things we find repugnant like slavery and yet you claim we must accept everything in it as the word of God. So you have to make enormous leaps of logic and attack historians that don't share your agenda in order to resolve the contradiction.

4. You write: "If Koepnick followed his own arguments to their logical conclusion, however, I guess he would also have to conclude that Jesus was not only pro-homosexual, but pro-slavery and pro-pedophile as well!" See that's the problem with trying to base your modern morality on the Bible. We don't know that Jesus was against slavery. In fact in Matthew 10:24 he condones slavery saying, "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master." The Old Testament, which you claim Jesus followed to the letter, approves of slavery numerous times, and was often used by southerners to justify owning slaves. And marriageable age among Jews during biblical times was 13 for boys and 12 for girls. Certainly we would find biblical attitudes toward slavery and marriage between 12 and 13 year olds repugnant today. Don't you? So how can you base your morality on a book where such things are permitted? And how can you claim that the Old Testament is right about homosexuality but wrong about slavery?

St.Lee said...

It nearly always comes down to the issue of whether Bible is God's unerring word or not doesn't it?

IF you believe the Bible, then there are two similar but distinct events. One concerns a Centurion and his servant and the other a nobleman and his son.

I believe the "source material" was just as God's word lays it out for us; the eyewitness accounts of the Apostles.

Being a "biblical scholar" does not one a Christian. Among those who genuinely are Christians, rejection of the accuracy of the Bible is generally the litmus test as to whether a person's "scholarship" is valid or not.

Steve, I find it interesting that you find fault with a Christian such as Dennis basing his morality on the Bible, and yet you (along with Koepnick) seek to find affirmation of YOUR morals by twisting the clear teaching of it.

Dennis said...

Steve wrote, “Since even you must acknowledge that the gospels were written long after the events described…”

Both theological conservative and liberal scholars agree that all four gospels were written less than 70 years after Jesus’ death (liberals and some conservatives say they were written between 40 and 70 years after his death.

Some conservatives say the Synoptics—Matthew, Mark and Luke—were written between 20 and 40 years after his death). As historical sources go, this is not a long time.

It is fascinating how so few people argue about the historical reliability of our sources for Alexander the Great, for example, even though almost everything we know about Alexander the Great comes from 400 years after he lived!

Much of what we know about Caesar Augustus who died in AD 14, comes from Tacitus and Suetonius who wrote about 100 years later. Yet few people question what we know about Augustus.

It is almost humorous how some scholars wax eloquently about the history and culture of Jesus’ times, yet the vast majority of what we know about those times comes from Josephus who writes about the same time liberal scholars say the gospels were written.

These liberal scholars are often very skeptical about the historical reliability of the gospels, but not so much about Josephus.

The point is that Koepnick apparently thinks the hypothetical sources for the Gospel stories are more reliable than the Gospels themselves. He then argues for hypothetical editorial changes to hypothetical documents!


Steve asked, “what do you think the source material was?”

The Gospel of Luke tells us what his sources were: Eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word, as well as his own personal investigations (Luke 1:1-4). You can choose to believe, or not believe the author's testimony, but to me, it carries more weight than hypothetical sources.

The ancient church was unanimous about the fact that Matthew and Luke were written by eyewitnesses, and the Mark was writing from the sermons of Peter. Modern scholars, relying on now debunked “literary” evidence pretend they know better, of course. They would rather rely on imagined hypothetical documents.

There are good reasons to believe that “Q” existed, but, in my opinion, even better arguments to believe it did not. But it is one thing to postulate a hypothetical document. It is quite another to speculate on how or why an author changed the wording of a document that doesn’t exist!


Steve wrote, this “is a typical silly argument you always make, usually about the media ("Can you imagine the uproar in the media if a conservative...").

I make that argument over and over again because it is absolutely true. If the Bible taught that homosexual sex was perfectly normal, and I tried to argue against homosexuality by saying that the “Signs Source” and the “Gospel of Q” originally condemned homosexuality but the biblical writers were creative and changed the wording to support it—you know you would absolutely come unglued! This is not even hypothetical. It is absolute fact and you know it.


Steve wrote, “Almost no one believes the centurion was referring to his actual son because synonyms used for pais contradict the idea that he was his son but don't contradict the idea the he has his lover.”

Synonyms used for pais? Pais can be translated as “son” or “boy” or “girl” or “child” or “servant” or “slave.” Those who argue that pais can be legitimately translated as "male lover" are simply in error. I challenge you to find a single Greek lexicon--any Greek lexicon--that has that definition.


Steve wrote, “Historians and scholars report the facts about cultures that have different moral values than ours, cultures that approved of slavery, stoning people for adultery, marrying off underage girls, leaving infants to die and sexual relationships between boys and men.”

Of course they do, but this has nothing to do with my post or my arguments. Beside, the writer of the article was not reporting the facts. He was twisting the facts to fit his own preconceived agenda. If you disagree, interact with my arguments instead of blowing smoke with all your irrelevant pot-shots.


Steve wrote, “Unfortunately, you are caught in a quandary because the Bible does not condemn certain things we find repugnant like slavery.” Later in his post Steve added, “The Old Testament, which you claim Jesus followed to the letter, approves of slavery numerous times, and was often used by southerners to justify owning slaves.” Then Steve added, “And how can you claim that the Old Testament is right about homosexuality but wrong about slavery?”

Europeans and Americans ripped innocent people away from their homes and families for financial gain and because of the skin color of the victims. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that justifies such an abomination.

And even though there were Christians (and those who called themselves Christians) in those days who supported the practice just like there are Christians today (and those who call themselves Christians) who support abortion today—there were also Christians, like John Adams, who always opposed slavery but were unable to overturn in.

We live in a democracy where, unfortunately, the majority are not always right.

However, it should be added, that if Americans ever decided that it was cruel and inhumane punishment to keep non-violent criminals locked up in tiny prison cells, and decided instead to “sell” them to private parties and to force them to work off their sentence on farms or highways; from a biblical perspective there would be nothing objectionable to this kind of “slavery.” In fact, my guess is that many criminals would prefer it (I know I would if I had to choose between that option and prison).

My brother is in prison. They "own" him. They tell him when to get up. When to go to bed. What to eat. What jobs he will have. What he will wear. Everything!

I suppose we could stay that this is different than slavery because the government owns him rather than private individuals—but that is not always true.

For a couple years he was actually in a prison owned by a private company. So he was “owned” by this private company contracting for the government. I really don’t see how this is so much different than slavery, and yet I don’t know anyone who would condemn it as immoral.


Steve wrote, “And marriageable age among Jews during biblical times was 13 for boys and 12 for girls. Certainly we would find biblical attitudes toward slavery and marriage between 12 and 13 year olds repugnant today. Don't you? So how can you base your morality on a book where such things are permitted?”

Steve, the issue under discussion has to do with a guy who wrote an article alleging that Jesus condoned a homosexual relationship between a centurion and his young male servant. What on earth does that have to do with the marriage customs in an ancient agrarian society for which marriages were often arranged and in which people were considered and expected to be adults by adolescence?

The Bible clearly condemns homosexual sex as sin. It does not specify the age at which two people can be married—though Jesus’ stern warning against “offending” or “sinning against” one of these “little ones” seems to me to include a condemnation of pedophilia!

Finally, as far as I can tell, several people on this blog have called themselves Steve. One said he was not a Christian, but I thought when I said you weren’t a Christian you got offended (or was that another Steve). So assuming for a minute that you claim to be a Christian, what kind of Christian are you anyway? How can you claim to be a Christian and yet argue against basing our “morality on a book where such things are permitted?”

If you claim to be a Christian but don’t base your morality on the Bible, what do you base your morality on and how can you possibly justify that as "Christian." This is not an attack on you--I am honestly confused on this and would really like to know.

Steve said...

Most scholars give a range of dates for when they believe the Gospels were written and you have mischaracterized their claims by relying on the earliest of those ranges. But setting that aside, even books written today about events that happened 40 years ago are questioned as to their accuracy. And your contention that "few people question what we know about Augustus" is patently ridiculous. No scholar believes that Suetonius and Tacitus are completely reliable sources! This is typical of your straw-dog method of argument.

Then you write: "you know you would absolutely come unglued! This is not even hypothetical. It is absolute fact and you know it."
What? You present a hypothetical situation, which admit is hypothetical, then you write that the situation is "not even hypothetical" but is a fact. I don't even know how to respond to such lunacy. That's Alice in Wonderland logic.

You then spend paragraphs and paragraphs trying to rationalize slavery, which should be a clue to anyone reading what you write that your insistence on trying to twist everything in the Bible to confirm your world view requires the most absurd mental gymnastics. I mean come on. You despise homosexuality so much that you think you have to justify and explain away slavery! Wow.

For your information most Christians do not believe the Bible is inerrant and should be interpreted literally. Even the Vatican has condemned this notion as "intellectual suicide." In The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church vatican theologians wrote that fundamentalism "refuses to admit that the inspired Word of God has been expressed in human language... by human authors possessed of limited capacities and resources" and "The fundamentalist approach is dangerous, for it is attractive to people who look to the Bible for ready answers to the problems of life. Fundamentalism actually invites people to a kind of intellectual suicide." Your defense of slavery is a pretty good example of intellectual suicide.

The idea that the Bible should be interpreted literally is a peculiarly modern that has existed only since the Reformation but gained wider acceptance only in the 20th century in America. Most Christians do not accept this idea. Most Christians do not believe that their morality must conform to every dotted i with what is written in the Bible so they don't need to go into mental paroxysm to rationalize slavery and don't feel they have to condemn homosexuality to be Christian. You are in a very tiny minority and I have to wonder why you are so sure that you know what it means to be Christian when the vast majority of Christians for the last two millennia disagree.

St.Lee said...

Steve, you say to Dennis: "You are in a very tiny minority and I have to wonder why you are so sure that you know what it means to be Christian when the vast majority of Christians for the last two millennia disagree."

Steve, you have exactly nailed it! You are 100% right in your assessment of Dennis (and others who believe the Bible to be inerrant)in your sentence which I just quoted. We are in the minority. In fact the Bible even confirms that we are in the minority.

Matthew7:13-14 says "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Note the words "few" and "many" in the scripture above.

But that still begs the question, why would someone who does not believe the Bible to be God's word, or even trustworthy for that matter, bother to twist its meaning to justify their own moral positions?

Dennis said...

St. Lee,

Steve is probably using the literary convention known as "irony," that is, the use of words to convey something different or even opposite of what is actually expressed.

Therefore, Steve is probably trying to express is how much he actually hates homosexuals and how he thinks fundamentalist Christians have the absolute truth.

Steve argues against inerrancy because he undoubtedly thinks the concept of inerrancy is not strong enough. He himself may even hold to the verbal dictation theory in which every word of the Bible is literally, word-for-word-dictated by God.

Oh, I know that's not literally what Steve wrote, but you have to understand that we can't take Steve literally! We have to interpret him in light of OUR own cultural and social context.

The fact is that Steve writes about things he does not understand. For example, he attacks "literal interpretation" of the Bible, but his writing betrays no clue that he even knows what it means!

Those who argue against "literal" interpretation usually either 1) don't know what they're talking about or 2) just don't believe what the Bible says and they are looking for an excuse to "re-interpret" it.

"Literal interpretation" just means that we are trying to understand what the author was trying to communicate.

Since Steve doesn't think that this method is appropriate for understanding the Bible, I guess we should give up trying to understand what Steve is trying to communicate as well. We'll just interpret him figuratively in light of our religious culture.

Regarding Steve's contention that I have mis-dated the gospels: The fact is that many decades ago there were scholars who tried to date the gospels as late as the second century, but virtually no reputable scholar (liberal or conservative) does so today.

That is, in part, because, for example, Matthew is already quoted by Clement of Rome before the turn of the first century. Similarly, Luke's gospel is quoted before the end of the first century. And scholars have actually discovered a scrap of a copy of John's gospel which they date possibly as early as AD.125! Ignatius quotes from the gospels as early as AD 110.

Steve's contention that "The idea that the Bible should be interpreted literally is a peculiarly modern that has existed only since the Reformation" is factually in error. Discussions of literal verses "literal and allegorical" have been around since early church times and the disputes between church centers in Antioch and Alexandria.

As Ronald Reagan once said, "Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so."

But Steve does have one thing right. As you pointed out in your response, true Christians (as defined by a literal understanding of the New Testament) are--and always have been--in a minority.

I think this is the only compliment we've ever received by Steve.

Steve said...

Right, Dennis. Vatican theologians "either 1) don't know what they're talking about or 2) just don't believe what the Bible says." That's a real convincing argument.

How privileged you must feel to be among the select few God has chosen to reveal the Truth to after two millennia while leaving everyone else in complete darkness. Heaven is going to be a very lonely place but at least you'll be able to own slaves and won't have to worry about gays marrying in front of you.

St.Lee said...

I think it is only fair to point out here that Vatican theologians have traditionally believed the word of the Pope over the word of God.

Lonely? I don't think so. In Revelation it says a great multitude, which no man could number. Few and many are relative terms. Few in comparison to the many of each generation is still a great number.

I would recommend reading the book of Romans with an open mind. After all, if the Lord saved a wretch like me, it is certainly possible that he is calling you, Steve. God doesn't save anyone because of how good they are, but despite of how wicked they are.

dodge said...

Except officers such as centurions were allowed to marry. If you did not get this basic fact right, it casts doubt on the rest of your rebuttal.

Dennis said...

Dodge,

You really should read the post carefully before you respond.

It was Koepnick--the one who was arguing FOR homosexuality--who said centurion's were not allowed to marry.

My responses were showing that even if his assumption was right, his argument fail.

Since it was Koepnick who argued that centurions couldn't marry, I'm going to assume that you will be consistent and conclude since Koepnick couldn't get this basic fact right, it "casts doubt" on his entire argument, right?