Another work shift down, it’s time to sit down with some Ramen noodles and finish re-listening to Michael Salinas’ excellent premier podcast from his blog. I almost said freshman effort but that would be one pun too far…
33:15 The sound quality is all right for the speech. The intro music was difficult to discern.
33:30 recap (For those of you who have not been listening so far, Michael repeats his excellent list of points about homosexuality, and I will retype them here because they are worthy to be retyped.)
1] Homosexuality is not a choice. The behavior is a choice but the attraction is not a choice.
2] Christians are simultaneously justified and sinners. Their old nature still wants to sin and God still calls them righteous. They pursue Christ, putting off the old Adam in repentance.
3] Homosexuality is not a greater sin than any other.
4] The church has to be able to (and its theology) handle sin in its grit and corruption, so that they can then talk about the limitless grace of God.
35:00 Point 5: Someone who is exclusively attracted to the same sex as a Christian, marriage is unlikely.
Good point. It’s also good to point out that some people are delivered from homosexuality, and others God says no and does not deliver them, you said.
I think, rather, that God says yes to both sorts of people. Some are delivered as Israel from Egypt, brought out of their bondage. Some are delivered as Daniel in Babylon, blessed, loved, and protected though they remain in their situations. To say that ongoing temptation is not delivered, when Jesus was tempted repeatedly by Satan… well… Dunno. You said yourself that temptation is not sin, and we know from Hebrews that Jesus has been tempted in every way just as we have.
36:30 and on. I love the two points that you make to those called to celibacy instead of family. (It’s worth mentioning all the more as the American culture worships the family, even outside the Christian-influenced churches.)
1] You are not alone. You will not walk alone. There are those who will walk with you and fight alongside you. God’s grace is sufficient for you.
37:16 You say: “I promise you that God will give you the opportunity in your weakness to show his strength.” Are you saying that those called to celibacy are weaker or less than those called to marriage? Contextually it seems so since this point is made in the middle of that topic, but I will refrain from definitive response.
38:00 Amen. God truly can and does deliver people from homosexual lifestyle, including into marriage and family.
39:25 and on: Talking about the group who can marry but still struggle with homosexual temptations: Amen that can happen. In terms of feedback, isn’t it encouraging that such people aren’t any different than any other married person? They are given someone to cherish, nurture, and love in a physical representation of Christ and the church, blessed with the joys of physical union, companionship, and hopefully a continuing family. But where is the difference between denying the temptations to heterosexual or homosexual adultery? Both are called to faithfulness to their marriage. Yeah, you mentioned it’s a rocky road, but isn’t every marriage? I think the future for this situation is brighter than it seems at first.
40:45 Point Six on Identity:
Homosexuals seem to define themselves by their sexual orientation. YEP. Very accurate.
“It’s literally asking them to give up what they are to be that which Christ transforms them into by his grace.” Well put. I like how Jesus puts it in Matthew 16:24-26
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Or as Dietrich Bonhoeffer puts it succinctly: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
43:00 EXCELLENT application of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Amen! Very well done in application to identity in Christ instead of identifying ourselves by our sins. (Do you notice the use of the definite article in this passage for those who are not in Christ? THE sexually immoral, THE adulterer and so on… I think that’s the critical difference between Romans 7 and 1 Corinthians 6, and you nailed it in your earlier point when you said that those of us in sinful lifestyles apart from Christ put our identity and energy into those sins. But compare and contrast that to St. Paul in Romans 7, who though he struggles with sin, fails, and does what he does not want to do, his focus, goal, and hope are in Christ Jesus!)
43:00-44:30 Double barreled blast of Gospel! Amen! Yeah, it got emotional, but emotion is, dare I say it, appropriate here!?
46:30 AMEN! God calls us to love homosexuals, not to hate them. I would say that the more we want to change someone, the more that godly love, patience, and kindness are the order of the day, because those are the very things that
Michael, I think that’s a very good start as a lay theologian. You hit law and gospel with diligence, compassion, and clarity. Overall, and I hope this came through, this was an amazing start to what I hope will be many podcasts to come.
I only have one more bit of feedback, and it is something of a food for thought idea. The most tense and uncomfortable sounding portion of this podcast was the segment concerning those called to celibacy, which you addressed as God saying “no”. This also touches on something I told you about on Twitter before, how though I love the Lutheran confessions, I think that they are not infallible interpretations of God’s word, and celibacy tends to take it on the chin in them. That’s understandable in context since Luther is reacting to the monastic ideal and the Cluniac rule of celibacy forced upon all clergy.
That being said, the Cluniacs (and later the entire Catholic church) did not hit upon celibacy in some random act of insanity. While the Catholic church was and is historically wrong forcing all of its clergy to celibacy (it was an attempt to fix rampant sexual immorality in the late 9th and early 10th centuries), I think the Lutheran and American protestant movement is just as wrong to shout “Jesus = The biological nuclear family” and have a sort of handicapped parking space for those poor people.
If, in the future, you are searching for comforting and encouraging words for those of us who are celibate, may this humble monk put forward three main passages which are quite encouraging. Both Jesus (speaking about celibacy and marriage as part of his teaching on divorce in Matthew 19:10-12) and St. Paul (addressing marriage and singleness in his letters to the Corinthians, noticeably the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 7) listed celibacy as the first choice, marriage as a fine and honorable second choice, and divorce as really terrible. Finally Revelation 14 cites a big pile of virgins who are first-fruits unto the Lamb.
While the Catholic church regarded celibacy as mandatory (wrong) and modern culture tends to look at is as a subtle concession to some deviance or deficiency (even more wrong), scripture and the first millennium of the church viewed celibacy as the first and best option, and honored marriage as the most common and blessed situation for people.
I’m not trying to force or command anyone to celibacy. But I refuse to contradict scripture and accept celibacy as a second-class Christian status. This holdover from the Reformation needs a bit of reformation in the modern church, I think.