Defining Moments Cultural Address: A Biblical View of Sexual Identity, Morality, and Marriage

August 24, 2015 — 3 Comments

August 23, 2015 ()

Bible Text: Genesis 1-2, Leviticus 18-20, Romans 1 |

Series:

St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Montgomery, IL  ::  August 23, 2015  ::  Genesis 1-2, Leviticus 18-20, Romans 1

At the intersection of church life and secular culture there is an ongoing discussion regarding sexual identity, human and civil rights, the definition of marriage, and how we understand what is moral and what is immoral. Since the June 26, 2015, Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, people of faith are examining once again what we believe, and why.

Homosexuality is in the spotlight with regard to all of these questions, both inside and outside of the church.

Today's message is meant to clarify what the Bible has to say regarding homosexuality, and in light of God's Word to us, how we ought to live and respond as followers of Jesus Christ.

jskogerboe

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Psalm 24:7 & Luke 10:42 >> Like David, and Mary, I'm in pursuit of my one thing. I'm the Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL. Pastor, teacher, writer, communicator, designer, and drummer. I definitely got the better deal in my marriage to Amy. And I couldn't be any more proud of my five amazing boys. Deeply grateful.

3 responses to Defining Moments Cultural Address: A Biblical View of Sexual Identity, Morality, and Marriage

  1. Listened to the whole sermon–thanks! I appreciated that you situated the discussion in what the Bible says and in St. Olaf’s adherence to what the Bible says as inspired and authoritative. A weak point was the bride/groom example as an example for this situation of God designing complementarity, as academics would argue back that unlike male/female, which is more convincingly essential (though not beyond question), bride/groom is a sociocultural construct. But this was not an academic discussion, and your heart and God’s truth are a blessing. 🙂 If you seek, you will find…praying that seekers will find their way into this conversation. 🙂

    • Thanks Shay! I really appreciate you taking the time to listen and for the feedback. The Bride-Groom example was actually one example of a much bigger paradigm of PAIRS complimenting one another and coming together in God’s great redemption story. Man and woman. Evening and morning. Heaven and earth. Bride and Groom. Creature and Creator. God and mankind. So yes, I understand your point – I maybe failed to make the greater point of God’s consistent use of language in His plan of redemption to communicate the final ONESHIP of all things under Christ Jesus in the great consummation at the end of days.

      Thanks, too, for your intelligent and clarifying comments on Facebook. VERY helpful.

      I always appreciate your insight. God bless you every day.

  2. Even so, the characteristics of humanity’s biological sexes are distinct, as are the qualities of evenings and mornings, Heaven and Earth, creature and creator, God and mankind. More amorphous are these categories: bride and groom. For example, polygamy. Are wives in polygamous social settings less bridal because there are several of them? Is the groom not a groom the second or third time around? Many of God’s men throughout history took multiple wives. God himself said that he gave Solomon his wives (not just the first one). Polyandry would be the flipside of that situation, and it’s not found in the Bible, though it is found in some cultures in the world, and it (supposedly) operates as a tool for land distribution towards sustainability for the communities that have it (I say “supposedly” because I haven’t myself examined these cultures that other researchers have written about). Marriage, in every earthly case, is a social or legal category with far-reaching social and economic implications. That’s the point I was making as far as bride/groom being a unique construct among your examples…the very construct that is being re-examined in our culture today for the meaning it has had as well as any meaning it might be given in a pluralistic society, where the principles of democracy rather than the Bible are relied on for the equitable distribution of rights, goods, and social acceptance. I understand that you are addressing the meaning marriage has for the Church, but oneship rather complicates things, don’t you think? The Bride is everyone in Christ, without deference to sex or sexual orientation. How does this ultimately model marriage on Earth? It’s a reasonably difficult question to answer, and most answers are laden with assumptions. For example: the ability to procreate as definitive of an appropriate standard (biology) for marriage. Procreation is actually hard to work into a definition of marriage. While having children is the norm, and each child results from the biological union of cells from one man and one woman (no matter how the union is orchestrated), childbearing is not a marriage imperative. There are many marriages that are childless, either by choice or circumstance. There are Biblical examples of this as well, and they are still marriages. So the Church cannot use procreation to define marriage, though it can point to the spiritual blessings over children born to believers. Sigh…just thinking about these things with you. I was glad that Jon Hunt also mentioned how believers tend to hit a wall in their thinking as soon as they consider the sex act/s of homosexual behavior. Seriously–I’ve heard people say gay marriage is wrong because homosexual behavior is…gross. Well, thinking about any sexual behavior can get pretty gross. Or funny. 🙂 But you know what I mean. Sex is important, but how we define healthy relationships usually centers on characteristics like faithfulness, honesty, kindness, etc., not sex. And I’m sure believers the world over know homosexuals who are no less faithful, honest, and kind in their relationships than are heterosexuals…even more faithful, more honest, and more kind than some believers that they know. I really think at the end of the day, we can most confidently look at what God says about homosexuality, not what he says about gay marriage. God said nothing about gay marriage that I know of off the top of my head, because all He had to say was that homosexuality is wrong for His people, regardless of kids, kindness, and culture (implied: So don’t write it into your church constitution.). The real question people are wrestling with is, as you clearly spoke on, Biblical authority, because they are asking not just “What has the Bible said?” but also “What does the Bible mean for today?” Ah, faith…the only thing more complicated than culture. 🙂

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