RE: Shapes of a Wedge

From: Don Perrett <>
Date: Wed Jun 09 2004 - 14:59:48 EDT

Bob wrote:
This is all beside the point that men in African cultures maintain close
bonds with other men, often including sexual relations. But these
relationships are not conceived in terms of western sexual identities. I
recall the story of a native of Great Britain living in a homoerotic
relationship in an African country with a man who was a native of that
country. Their relationship was accepted in the man's family and considered
acceptable. However, when the couple moved to England and the African found
himself labeled with our western language as a homosexual, he became quite
indignant. He simply did not conceive of himself in such terms.

This phenomenon is far more complex than we westerners realize, and appeals
to common interpretations of certain biblical passages in the abesence of
any experience with same sex relationships among friends or acquaintances do
nothing to lead Christians to give serious thought to the whole matter.
Claiming that the Bible condemns homosexuality and that settles the issue is
in my view a cop-out.

Bob Schneider

So does this mean that if it is culturally acceptable then it is acceptable
to God? If so then what does one say to a culture that allows sex with
children? Or other African practices, such as genital mutilation? Should
we also accept this? Just because it is acceptable to one does not mean it
must be accepted by all. What others do is for God to judge. I for myself
choose otherwise. I do not condemn those who sin, for I am also a sinner,
but I will not accept the fact that they are not sinning solely because
someone else says it's ok. Show me where in the Bible it allows it and I
will believe.

Don Perrett

----- Original Message -----
From: "John W Burgeson" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 4:42 PM
Subject: Re: Shapes of a Wedge

> >>How can any Christian advocate gay marriage when the Bible (both old
> and new testament) so clearly speaks out against it? I understand that
> you are not personally advocating that position, but you don't seem to
> see such a position as contradictory to the Word of God. Please explain.
> >>
> Lots of material on my website, page 2, section 10, on all sides of the
> issue. Some people here get bent out of shape when I mention this stuff,
> so I will not go over already plowed ground.
> The issue (#1) of whether ALL same-gender intimacy is sin is one issue.
> The issue (#2) of Gay marriage is another issue. I have a position
> statement on the first issue on my website, written after a several years
> study in 2001; it is still my position.
> I have not (yet) taken a position on #2, Gay Marriage, although I think
> the arguments for permitting it are strong ones -- yes, "conservative"
> strong ones. There is at least one argument against it which still gives
> me pause; it is a variation of the so-called "slippery slope" logic.
> Briefly stated, if I can approve Gay Marriage, on what grounds can I
> still oppose polygamy? I have not (yet) worked through this.
> In any event, the Bible does not speak at all to either issue, except by
> strained interpretations. The material on my site will explain why I do
> not see scripture as speaking "clearly" on either issue. There are quite
> a number of Christian scholars, clerics and lay people who argue this
> point quite better than I can. Is Paul, in Romans 1, speaking of ALL
> same-gender intimacy, or only of the kind he clearly knew about, acts
> which took place in a pagan temple between men and children?
> One of the neatest example of this is a debate between Tony Compolo and
> his wife, who hold differing views on issue #1. A link to this debate is
> on my website.
> Scholars Wink and Mauser have written position papers on issue #1, each
> on a different side. Worth reading them both; links on my site.
> The issues are not easy. The temptation to just "believe what one has
> always believed" is great. I started there; I know.
> Best
> Burgy
> Today's quip: They told me I was gullible -- and I believed them.
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Received on Wed Jun 9 15:20:00 2004

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