Monday, December 8, 2008

Theology According To Newsweek

If you haven't already heard Newsweek has decided to let America know what the Bible Really has to say about marriage. I mean they are professional journalists so they should know more about Biblical interpretation and application than seminary trained pastors right. Those who are in support of gay marriage are in shock that the same people who showed up in great numbers to vote for Barack Obama could have voted for heterosexual marriage only. You see the problem with getting all those black and latino voters to the polls was they are religious people. So Newsweek feels it is their responsibility to correct these ignorant religious people on what the Bible really has to say about homosexuality and marriage. So what do they have to say?
Let’s try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. “It is better to marry than to burn with passion,” says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?
Had Lisa Miller, the writer of the article, any real understanding of scripture (or any plan to actually explain it) she would have known the stories of Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon's love lives were there to explain how they were sinners who missed the mark; they are not an instruction manual for marriage. Miller also says "Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family." So lets look at Jesus' words on marriage found in the Gospel of Matthew.
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Seems hardly indifferent to me, but what do I know. Perhaps she confused Jesus stance with Paul's "lukewarm endorsement" of marriage. Paul says
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
Wait, I thought Paul only wanted marriage as a last resort for hornballs who couldn't keep it in their pants. Why then would he associate these people with the relationship between Christ and the Church? Does that mean Paul thinks Christ is like those lesser married people? Or is it perhaps Miller missed, or purposefully excluded, the true feelings of the Biblical authors toward marriage. I suggest if Miller really wants to be religious journalist then she actually get a basic understanding of what she chooses to write about.Perhaps she could start with some lessons in Greek or a Church history class.

Get Religion covered this article much more extensively.

1 comment:

Tom 1st said...

Just got the issue in the mail today...will look forward to reading it and then your post.