Biblical or Traditional Marriage

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Joined in 2005
July 5, 2012, 09:24

The opponents of Gay Marriage frequently call on history or the Bible as their source of truth to deny equality.

The thing is – thats a very shaky thing to do. The bible doesnt actually define what marriage is – and the marriages we see in the Bible – the churches oppose ( I find it kind of odd the the same people who argue they want "traditional marriage then say allowing Gays to marry could then allow polygamy – and yet – ploygamy is all through the Old testament and God had no issues with it at all – so its clearly traditional and biblical – not that Im arguing for it – Im just noting the inconsistancies in calling for Biblical or Traditional Marriage)

Anyway – Here are two more articles Ive found on the subject I thought people might like to discuss….. as always comments are encouraged.

"For the first thousand years of church history, marriage was not recognized as a specifically Christian institution. During this period, marriages between Christians followed the Roman model that a couple married themselves, though they may have asked a blessing from their parish priest. Even when marriage was recognized as a sacrament in 1215 A.D., canon law followed the custom that the couple married themselves, the one sacrament that did not necessarily require a priest. The Protestant Reformation, which did not view marriage as a sacrament, called on the developing nation-states of Europe to provide oversight of marriage as an institution."

and another one also

When you have a ménage a trois, they must not include a woman and her daughter. “That is wickedness.” Says the Lord. And when a man sells his daughter to another man, he must refund the money if the buyer finds the sex unsatisfactory. ……. Lamech took two wives. Esau had three. Gideon had many wives. King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Rehoboam took 18 wives, and 60 concubines. Abijah had 14 wives. Caleb had children with at least two partners. David had eight wives, an unknown number of concubines and a relationship with Jonathan.

Lets face it – THIS is marriage according to the bible – not some fantasy made up by ignoring most of the bits they dont like by Pell and Jensen – and you can't do that. You have to take it all or else – its just the word of a man !

(thats what I think anyway !)

Thoughts anyone ??

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
July 5, 2012, 20:15

Hi Shadow Boxer

Thanks for provoking thought on this.

And apart from marriage there's the unthinkable things like pederasty and how Lot was willing to send his daughter out to be pack raped by an angry mob! I mean, what's with that?? And yet bible believing Christians can gloss over that stuff without so much of a worry. It's in the bible so it must be alright! Ah … NO!

On the subject of marriage and all kinds of things, we really need to look at context and apply critical thinking along with tuning into our consciences.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2012
July 6, 2012, 14:48

A Uniting Church reverend that I met with the other day explained it very well to me. I asked how I could actually know that loving another woman isn't a sin. How do I know that I'm not the one picking and choosing parts from the Bible for my convenience..

The reverend told me to never believe what other people tell you on face value. He said to always do your own research and use this information to discover what your conscience tells you. Our conscience was given to us by God. So therefore what we truly believe to be right and wrong (without letting the opinions of others influence us) is most probably correct.

I thought that was a pretty good explanation.

The Old Testament is ridiculous in parts to be honest. Doesn't really seem to fit well with Jesus' teachings.

Joined in 2009
July 7, 2012, 09:59

I think it pretty clear that there are no "straight" answers concerning marriage in the Bible. Even in the New Testament Paul said that an elder should be the husband of only one wife – hence, there must have been people in the early church with more than one wife? It is amazing how Abraham is quoted as a great man of faith, yet he was a polygamist. And of course how many fundamentalist ever quote the fact that Jonathan loved David "more than a man could love a woman."

In Biblical times Eunuchs were defined as being not just castrated men (hence there is a female term for Eunuch in Hebrew). Jesus said some people "were born eunuchs". Perhaps if we dig deeper into the scripture we have a statement from Christ that says some people were born same-sex attracted?

Again, there are no straight answers!

Joined in 2005
July 7, 2012, 10:19

Hi Jamesn

I think its one of the most underlooked points in all this is when opponents of Gay Marriage cite Polygamy as a threat – they CONVENIENTLY ignore that Paul's admonition is JUST for church elders. In OTHER words Polygamy is very biblical and very traditional..

Ive come across another speech on the topic of Gay Marriage by Malcolm Turnball which i quite enjoyed here

and this bit talks about the LEGAL origin of the one Male and One Female in English law

"it was in the course of that judgement that Lord Penzance gave what has been an enduring definition when he said:

“I conceive that marriage, as understood in Christendom, may for this purpose be defined as the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others.”

It is important to bear in mind that what he was stating was in truth little more than a statement of fact. In Christian countries at that time marriage was generally so defined. Utah at the time was certainly not regarded as part of “Christendom”.

It is worth asking what Lord Penzance would say today. Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, Argentina, Portugal and Sweden would all have been regarded as being part of “Christendom”. So too would the American States of Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia. And the Governments of the United Kingdom and of France, which already provide for civil unions for same sex couples, have announced they will legislate for gay marriage as well[3].

So if “Christendom” means countries where the majority of the population that adhere to any religion adhere to a Christian denomination or even if it means countries whose culture and history is essentially a Christian one, then Lord Penzance, were he alive today, simply could not make the statement in the terms that he did in Hyde v.Hyde.

He also cites some interesting statistics – which show to me that while focussing on the Gay issue the Church is really fiddling while Rome burns

In the last twenty years the percentage of marriages in Australia conducted by ministers of religion has dropped from 58% in 1990 to 31% in 2010[15]. Most couples are getting married today without the benefit of clergy.

About 30% of marriages conducted in 2010 included at least one party who has been married before, which means of course that most of those marriages would likely be regarded as adulterous and invalid by several of our leading Churches

Now remember that at best there are ONLY a few verses (the so called Clobber verses) that MIGHT even discuss homosexuality in the bible. (of course nowadays Secular scholars doubt several of these verses even mean homosexuality and others they think can only be read in the context of temple prostitution but even ignoring that – its a TINY TINY TINY % of the bible) Jesus NEVER mentioned it. Its JUST NOT A FOCUS. The focus is on other things. Always telling the truth for example. Looking after the poor, the downtrodden, the sick. Jesus NO where mentions homosexuality – but he does command us to do those things So – why is there so much time and effort and focus put in the chuch on something that ISNT in the bible – when they ignore things that run ALL through the bible.

Simple – its easier to point at others and call sinner than to actually do what Jesus commanded us to do. Its all about misdirection.

Joined in 2005
July 7, 2012, 11:35

For those interested – here is the herald write up on M.T's Speech

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