Saturday, May 14, 2016

How I Came to Change My Mind on SSU: Part 18. Creation and New Creation

I have argued that the Old Testament story about Sodom and Gomorrah is not relevant to Christian reflection on gay and lesbian sexual relations (more accurately, I linked David Gushee’s argument to that effect). I have also argued that the labeling of male homosexual behavior as an abomination in Leviticus might be more complicated than often assumed. The more significant passages of the Old Testament to the discussion are the creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2.

Genesis 1:26-28 says humans are made in the image of God, created with “sexual difference” as male and female, and commanded (blessed) to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and “subdue” it. Genesis 2:18-25 depicts God’s recognition of the loneliness of the original man and his need for a helper/companion/partner; taken from the man’s rib, this partner is woman. The final two verses function etiologically to explain the origins of marriage, as the first man and woman are called “man” and “wife.”
– David Gushee, God made them male and female

In the first chapters of Genesis, we have the first scriptural installment of a doctrine of humanity set before is “in the form of a story” (Gregory of Nyssa).

In two earlier posts in this series, I offered some thoughts on maleness and femaleness and marriage in relation to same-sex unions. I’ll just refer back to them here:
1. Maleness and femaleness are essential aspects of humanity. Marriage between male and female with the resulting potential for biological procreation is a blessing of our creation. It is a fundamental good. But, is it the only good? I have argued that one can embrace the distinctive goodness of that estate, while also embracing the possibility that monogamous, covenanted same-sex unions can be a distinct, parallel, and similarly blessed state.
(See, Why I Am Disinclined to Vote for Revising the Marriage Canon)

2. Maleness and femaleness are essential aspects of humanity. But, maleness and femaleness are not primarily about marriage and marriage is not the essential location of their coinherence. 

Jesus emphasized the new community that became the Church over other forms of community. He identifies himself the Bridegroom of that community. For Christians the basic social unit is not the married man and woman. It is not the individual. It is not the biological family. It is not the country/nation. For Christians, the basic social unit is the Church.

In the Church, as the body of Christ made up of married couples, children, singles, monastics, etc.; humans, male and female, live in communion with one another reflecting the image of God.

Besides referring back to those two posts, I refer you to David Gushee’s post from which I quoted above: God made them male and female

And this one in which he offers three proposals for responding to the very important claim that God’s design in creation rules out any same-sex relationships, a claim derived from Genesis 1-2:

Next: Conclusion

Previous: Abomination (ii)

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