Steve Hays of Triablogue defends masturbation as a good thing here. Matthew Bellisario responds to that here. I weigh in, siding (for once) with Bellisario here. Hays responds to all three of us in one fell swoop here. I’ll let Dave Armstrong and Matthew Bellisario deal with his retorts to them on their own. I’ll consider Hay’s response to me.
[A] guy named Cory also raised some objections. Unfortunately, he doesn’t offer any arguments to respond to. Just assertions.
So, Hays isn’t going to respond to me at all. Darn.
I already dealt with the “lust” objection, both practically and exegetically. Of course, I could always be wrong, but no counterargument is forthcoming from his end.
Oh, whoops! He is responding to me. I’d better start paying attention. Let’s see. He’s already dealt with the lust objection. Unless I’m missing something, he did not deal with the issue at length. This is what he said:
Traditionally, the church has frowned upon masturbation. One reason is the relation between masturbation and lust. This cannot be denied. On the other hand, lust is also aggravated by the absence of a sexual outlet. That is, indeed, in the nature of sexual tension, of a tension between sexual desire and sexual release. Unrelieved sexual tension only builds.
Interesting. So masturbation is fine as an outlet for sexual tensions because otherwise the tensions would simply build and build. This is interesting because the atheist tends to justify things like pre-marital sex, pornography, and other things I would hope that Hays categorizes as sinful by appealing to the same sort of logic. It relies on the false assumption that you can’t deny yourself sexual pleasure. Read the rest of this entry
This is a call for V. Gene Robinson, bishop of New Hampshire, to resign is episcopate because of his unrepentant sin of homosexuality.
The apostle Paul said:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 9-10, emphasis added)
Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. (1 Tim 1:8-11, emphasis added)
Based on the Law’s prohibition on homosexuality (Lev 18:22) and the apostle Paul’s clear echo of it, I would say that homosexuality is wrong. Let’s look at the qualifications for a bishop (overseer):
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. (1 Tim 3:2-7, emphasis added)
I am not considering Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson’s qualifications outside of the boldfaced terms. I hope he has been an good bishop in every other area and served his people well. However, he does not fit the qualifications of a bishop and should therefore resign his office.
Bishop Robinson is gay, and has joined in “marriage” to his long time partner. This is unacceptable. Homosexuality is a sin, and people who live in unrepentant sin should not serve in any capacity in ministry. This man is supposed to be the spiritual leader of his diocese, and he is “glorying in his shame” (Phil 3:19). This isn’t fair to the people of New Hampshire. Their spiritual leader can’t control his own sin, how is he supposed to counsel others to control their sins?
Until he repents of homosexuality, Bishop Robinson should not be permitted to continue in ministry.