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My Dream of Equality

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In July 2013 I awoke and remembered a dream. I rarely remembered dreams during the past fifteen or so years, but I strongly remembered this dream.

In the dream, I became a world-class philosopher and theologian. I convinced all churches that marriage in the church is only for heterosexual couples. After a brief reflection on my accomplishment, I suddenly transported to another planet. On this planet, I learned that every inhabitant loved God. Some inhabitants lacked the ability for heterosexual romance and inherited the ability for strong homosexual romance while enjoying a monogamous same-sex marriage. Also, the people on this planet existed far better off than the people on Earth. The dream ended.

My first impression was to dismiss the dream. I understood that the Bible teaches that the normal pattern for marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman while typical human anatomy suggests the normalcy of heterosexual marriage. I also understood that every biblical reference to homosexual sex was a condemnation. I saw these facts as main points in a powerful argument against the legitimacy of same-sex marital covenants in the church. For a couple decades, I asserted that all Christians who long for a marital covenant and lack capability for a heterosexual romance need to limit themselves to celibacy or a heterosexual marriage. If heterosexual passions never develop despite prayer and devotionals, then Christian life for a devout believer with a homosexual orientation should include celibacy and strong chaste friendships. However, for the last several years, I supported same-sex marriage laws while I never wanted to impose all of my Christian ethics on the general population.

I also understood that Romans 1:18--32 describe a pattern of paganism-induced hyper-sinfulness including shameful sexuality. For example, this passage contains negative references to homosexual sex including the only biblical reference to lesbian sex. However, Romans 1 and the rest of New Testament never describe how a minority of chaste Christian teens develops homosexual passions during puberty while fervently praying to change those passions. Most Christian teens develop romantic passions and most develop normal heterosexual passions, but a small percentage of teens in strong Christian homes develop homosexual passions without any pagan or criminal influences in their lives.

In the spring 2012, I wrote a Theoperspectives blog series titled "Sacred Sex, Celibacy and the New Testament." When I began the series, I believed that one of my essays would unequivocally support that same-sex marriage is prohibited in the New Testament. To my surprise, I saw condemnations of various homosexual activities but no unambiguous condemnation of same-sex marriage. Despite the inexhaustive evidence, I felt no compulsion to change my view while I felt compassion for Christians with same-sex attraction who were not at least bisexual and capable of a heterosexual romance.

I believed for decades that many modern ethical issues are not directly spelled out in the Bible. For example, should a Christian heroin addict nurture or break their addiction? The answer is common sense to most people, but an exhaustive biblical concordance of any translation shows no entry for the word heroin. Likewise, Christians need to make conclusions about heroin addiction based on general biblical principles.

I believe that the Old Testament and the New Testament are the canon of God's Word. I believe that God's Word teaches that the normal pattern for marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman. For decades, I assumed the New Testament prohibited exception to the normal pattern, but the apostolic church never directly addressed genuine same-sex marriages. I prayerfully and rigorously examined the Bible and my dream from July 2013. The biblical commandments to express love and compassion, the hormonal chemistry of many LGBT Christians that makes them incapable of heterosexual romance while yearning for marriage, the lack of explicit biblical condemnation of same-sex marriage, and finally my dream eventually led me to the endorsement of same-sex marriages in Christian churches. I signed up with Accepting Evangelicals (http://www.acceptingevangelicals.org/). I felt shocked that I changed my mind after almost three decades.

I end with one final point. Some may feel that mention of exceptions is derogatory, but that completely misses the importance of exceptions. For example, geniuses such as Einstein are exceptions.

Peace to all.

P.S. This post continued my September 3, 2013, post (http://theoperspectives.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-dream-from-june-or-july-2013.html).

Copyright 2014-5 James Edward Goetz

 

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http://theoperspectives.blogspot.com/

James Goetz is a philosopher and theologian. His theories include the universal wormhole; semiclassical theism; semiclassical Christianity; Relative-Social Trinitarianism; natural law theory of identity; and conditional futurism. His (more...)
 

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