Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Greetings, New Year

One resolution for this blog, only one:

Be it resolved to end "debate."

I will almost certainly continue to offer an occasional opinion here, some of my ponderings and considerations and meditations on important and unimportant matters alike. But, I have simply lost the appetite for the back and forth sniping that happens to often in this ol' world.

If I offer an opinion, that is what it is. Take it for what it's worth. If you want to offer an opinion, please do so, AS an opinion, kindly offered for what it's worth.

If you have a different opinion than mine, you are still welcome to offer it, but I insist on respect and kindness and suggestions, not insistence. That is, if you disagree on matters of opinion, feel free to offer an alternative opinion, but begin it with, "...Interesting point, but have you considered..." or, "I see... but what about..."

Unless it is a verifiable fact, do not bother with posts that begin like, "You're WRONG. Here's the FACTS..."

That is, if I offer an opinion about Ben Franklin's birthday or how many years MASH was on TV or the molecular difference between blue birds and blue jays, at a species level (not likely to happen, since that is probably gibberish...), you can correct facts.

But if it's an opinion about your interpretation of a biblical passage or your hunch about what God wants or the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin or ANY opinion, do not proffer declarative statements when you are stating your opinion. You are always welcome to say, "It seems to me..." or "My opinion on that question is..." but not, "GOD SAYS you are wrong..."

If you are unclear as if your post that you'd like to make is opinion rather than fact, feel free to email me or consult a dictionary and ask.

I just don't think back and forth bickering about debatable (even IMPORTANT debatable) matters helps more than it harms. This is my opinion, to be sure, and I'm going to try to write and comment this year keeping that opinion in mind. If you'd like to post here, I'd kindly ask the same from you.

Have a wonderful new year.

May your feet walk (or "wheelchair roll...") many pleasant and thought-provoking miles and may we all live together in peace.

~Dan

98 comments:

Marshall Art said...

It seems to me that this declaration provides you the perfect opportunity to judge any and all responses to your opinions as "hunches". Debate is, by nature, a form of back and forth. It only becomes "bickering" when one side refuses to hold up its end in defending its position or legitimately showing why the opposing position has no value.

Here's the bigger problem for you having made this declaration. You are married to it, and any "back and forth" in which you participate henceforth must be shown to be within this ambiguous new directive.

But your "new" directive is quite common amongst the left. I have a far better way. I simply don't respond if I don't feel like it. That doesn't happen very often as I have no problem responding to most anything.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It seems to me that this declaration provides you the perfect opportunity to judge any and all responses to your opinions as "hunches".

Thank you for observing the request. It might seem that way to you. But all you have to do is watch and we can help implement this change. Stating "God disapproves of all gay behavior" IS an opinion, not a fact. Calling it an opinion is just noting a fact.

You are still welcome to state opinions here, I am just requesting that you identify it as such. It should not be that hard to differentiate between opinion and fact, I don't believe. We're all adults here.

And yes, I shall strive to keep my opinions clearly identified as such. I have always tried to do so, this will just encourage me to continue to strive to do so.

It is common amongst the left to identify opinions as opinions? Is that a problem?

Marshall Art said...

Here's the problem: with your own example...

Stating "God disapproves of all gay behavior" IS an opinion, not a fact. Calling it an opinion is just noting a fact.

...you've just done what you are asking not be done. In the case of your example, you've been given tons of evidence that supports what you call an opinion. You deny, disregard and ignore all of them and simply revert to "that's just your opinion".

But it doesn't stop there. You are making a truth claim by saying we are only stating an opinion. Yet you cannot support your claim that what we say is only opinion. All you are doing is asserting your opinion about our truth claims that they are only opinions.

"It is common amongst the left to identify opinions as opinions?"

I don't know. What happens in our exchanges is that you (and your lefty friends) label supportable truth claims as mere opinions. This is lying, especially since you have been unable to support your contentions.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, see the point of this post and the plan for the year:

Opinions simply ARE opinions. An interpretation of a text is an opinion. What the text literally says and does not say is fact.

I'm not debating opinions. You are welcome to yours. God bless you, have a good day.

Marshall Art said...

The text says, "thou shalt not". You need to prove that it provides some loophole for those you enable. You do not. You only offer opinion. But what the text says is what we have supported because it is indeed a fact that it says, "thou shalt not". I, and those others of like mind, defend this fact and you pretend it is only opinion. So you are debating against the fact, not anyone's opinion of what that fact means. Instead, you presume what it doesn't mean and do so without any supporting evidence. You fail your own standards once again.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

You only offer opinion. But what the text says is what we have supported because it is indeed a fact that it says, "thou shalt not"

Marshall, I have offered a verifiable fact about what the text literally says. I'm not talking about interpretations of the text, just what is literally in the text.

1. The text is written specifically to ancient Israel. The rules are given specifically to them.

Here is the text again (repeated over and over throughout these OT rules passages):

Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt... You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees.

Marshall, this is easy. Who is the text specifically written to? Who are the rules given specifically to?

Factually, "TO ISRAEL, at the time they were moving into Canaan."

Do you have any other facts to add to that very specific point?

2. Moving beyond what the text says, you say, "it says 'thou shalt not...'" but you do not offer anything else. "thou shalt not..." what? Thou shalt not cut the hair on the side of your head? Yes, it does say that in this list of rules to ancient Israel. Do you think that is a universal rule?

Thou shalt kill men who lay with men? Yes, it literally says that. Do you think this is a universal rule?

3. Clearly, you and I agree that these are not all universal rules. The difference appears to be that you think it is okay to say that SOME are and SOME aren't (even though the text literally says that these are rules for ancient Israel, as you think is true in SOME of the rules), but on what do you base the "Yes, here, no there" approach?

4. You appear to be basing it on "it's obvious," meaning, "I, Marshall, think it is obvious that verse 1 is universal, verse 2 is NOT universal, verse 13 might be universal, people disagree, but verse 15 clearly is universal (but not verse 15A)... But as soon as you appeal to "it's obvious," you are appealing to opinion (meaning, of course, "it's obvious TO ME, Marshall Art...")

And this is fine, you are welcome to your opinion. Just don't confuse it with fact.

Marshall Art said...

Well, of course it's obvious. It's obvious to anyone who truly seeks to understand the will of God. And while I've offered a voluminous explanation for why some laws might apply and others might not, I'm not looking to get into that here. At least not yet.

The reason is that it appears that this is a purposeful distraction from the one particular "thou shalt not" that is at the heart of so many of our discussions. That being the behavior prohibited by Lev 18:22, and for which punishment is mandated in Lev 20:13.

You want to pretend that everything about Leviticus was directed solely to the Hebrews, and that nothing applies today. Of course that denies the importance of the 10 Commandments and the behaviors restricted by them, because a few, at least, show up in Leviticus (Chapter 19, for example). Were these also only for the Hebrews and don't apply at all to us? But still, that strays from the point, even if you are big on lying and stealing.

The sexual behaviors prohibited in Chapter 18 are described as "detestable". They were detestable to God when the Egyptians engaged in them, and they were when the Canaanites engaged in them. God said that one defiles one's self when engaging in these behaviors. You can't very well say that this was true only for the Hebrews in that time and place when it was equally detestable for the Egyptians and Canaanites to engage in them. That being said, how can you possibly suggest that they could not be regarded as detestable still? What changed?

If there was any change at all, and I don't say that there was the type of change you must insist is true regardless of the absence of any supporting evidence from Scripture, that change could only involve the penalties for engaging in the behavior. And even if you could demonstrate how this prohibition was lifted, that still wouldn't translate into the behavior no longer being detestable to God. Further, you could not provide any evidence that, despite the lifting of any prohibition on the practice or the removal of punishment for it, engaging in the practice does not make one deserving of death. At what point in Scripture, what passage or verse can you offer, that would even hint that ANY of the practices of Lev 18 no longer defiles, that they are no longer detestable to God? When did God lighten up and say, "Oh, that doesn't bother me any more!"?

What's more, one can easily extrapolate and be confident in supposing these behaviors were common the world at the time, common in Sodom, common before The Flood and detestable the whole time.

And then, too, one can ask one's self, why would God prohibit something with which He was totally unconcerned? "Naw. I don't really find two men having sex together detestable. I'm just going to throw that out there and tell them they'll defile themselves for doing it."

And since there are no Scriptural references to any of these sexual behaviors, including homosexual behavior, being related to pagan ritual, prostitution, pedophilia or promiscuity, it is a universal disgust. One MUST inject meaning never intended to allow for any context that does not still render the participants defiled and worthy of death.

The main point here is that the behaviors aren't laws or rules. The prohibitions against them are, and the punishments for engaging in them are. The behaviors are detestable behaviors that compelled the restrictions. So regardless of which Levitical laws apply and which don't, the fact remains that these behaviors are detestable and remain so. THAT is a fact, not an opinion.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It's obvious to anyone who truly seeks to understand the will of God.

That is, of course, your opinion. But the real world demonstrates that your opinion is factually mistaken. I am factually someone who truly seeks to understand the will of God and, factually speaking, I do not think your opinion or interpretations are obvious at all.

So, before moving on, please clarify: You DO recognize that this statement is opinion, don't you?

Again, this year, I do not plan to hold discussions with folk who can't differentiate between opinion and fact. I don't think it will be fruitful or helpful.

One other thing to clarify, where you say...

You want to pretend that everything about Leviticus was directed solely to the Hebrews, and that nothing applies today.

Are you understanding that my actual point is this:

The TEXT literally says, "here are these rules for my people, Israel..."? That is simply what the text factually says and my point is that this is simply what the text factually says. Do you understand that this is just a fact, not something I want to "pretend..."?

I'm NOT saying that some behaviors that we find condemned for ancient Israel are wrong, period. Clearly, killing people is wrong. I'm not saying that, do you understand? I'm just noting the fact that the text is God speaking directly to ancient Israel, giving specifically them these rules. Factually speaking.

Do you understand this fact?

Again, please heed my desire for this blog and clarify these questions if you wish to go on.

Marshall Art said...

"You DO recognize that this statement is opinion, don't you?"

What I recognize is that one who insists sincerity in understanding God to whatever extent possible would not spend so much time labeling as opinion anything that conflicts or contradicts a favored position. one with a true desire to understand God and His will would do better than to merely pay lip service to the prospect of perhaps being wrong.

"Again, this year, I do not plan to hold discussions with folk who can't differentiate between opinion and fact."

Be honest. What you mean to say is that you do not plan to hold discussions with folk who won't adhere to YOUR notion of what constitutes either opinion or fact. That's a very handy and self-serving rule, whether you meant it to be or not.

Has this been clear enough, or should I elaborate further?

As to what the TEXT literally says, it says that...well...we now have the same discussion spanning two posts. It might be best to keep this point there (assaulting the Gospel) and leave this post to clarify how you intend to further mitigate real discussion.

Marty said...

Wow. It's been a long time since I've stopped by these here woods. Don't ya'll ever get tired of going back and forth?....Marty

Dan Trabue said...

Marty, apparently not. Although, for my part, I am trying.

Marshall...

What you mean to say is that you do not plan to hold discussions with folk who won't adhere to YOUR notion of what constitutes either opinion or fact.

You do understand, don't you, that "fact" and "opinion" have definitions? That is a fact.

So, given that fact, one does not have "notions" about whether something is a fact or an opinion. Something is or isn't a fact.

Saying, "The Bible says, 'in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth...'" is a demonstrable fact. The Bible does, in fact, in some translation, say those words. Factually speaking.

Saying, "the creation story found in genesis means that the world was factually created in six literal days..." is NOT a demonstrable fact. That is a statement of opinion.

Are you with me so far?

What I am saying is that you are more than welcome to state your opinions about ideas, as I will continue to do. I'm just asking that people admit and recognize the difference between their opinions and actual demonstrable facts.

What I am saying is that I do not care to continue to hold conversations with someone who says, "It is a demonstrable fact that the world was created in six literal days, and I am incapable of being mistaken about this fact..."

Such people are not founded in reality and given the way they confuse fact with their opinion, or their opinion with God's Word, to what end would I hold conversations with them?

THAT is what I mean. It has nothing to do with my "notions," and everything to do with reality. Just being honest.

Do you understand the opinion I am offering here?

And Marshall, returning to my question, "You DO recognize that this statement is opinion, don't you?" ...is there some reason you don't just answer directly?

What is wrong with that question that you did not offer a simple yes or no?

Dan Trabue said...

Failure to answer these reasonable questions asked above indicates to me that you are not actually interested in conversation and, given that, I see no value in your ranting for ranting's sake.

As noted above:

Again, please heed my desire for this blog and clarify these questions if you wish to go on.

Marshall Art said...

"You do understand, don't you, that "fact" and "opinion" have definitions?"

Not in dispute. What is in dispute is your honesty in applying those definitions accurately in discussions such as these. When you ask: "You DO recognize that this statement is opinion, don't you?" while referring to my position on what is obvious to honest students of Scripture, you impose YOUR opinion regarding the facts. Are you insisting that there is no difference between the Leviticus laws and the behaviors they restrict in every instance? I look at those behaviors separately from God's laws that refer to them. In the case of homosexual behavior, for example, the behavior is abhorrent to God and that is crystal clear by His labeling of it as "detestable" or "an abomination". You obviously seem to believe that God is fickle, capricious and states a behavior is wrong just because He's bored and wants to mess with us for entertainment. I believe, and base my belief on the whole of Scripture as relates to the subject, that God has something specific in mind as regards human sexuality that is related to our being created man and woman. I believe that because of everything related to Scripture as regards human sexuality, there is no other conclusion possible for an honest student of the Word. Your position relies solely and completely on injecting meaning into verses you believe give you the best opportunity to twist into positive support for your favored position. The FACTS are as Neil puts it so well:

* 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
* 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
* 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
* 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

And when one adds to this that even pro-homosexual scholars acknowledge these FACTS, I am further satisfied that my understanding of the difference between fact and opinion is quite accurate. Can't say the same for you.

Here's another fact: I do not "rant" in my comments and would never "rant" merely for "ranting's sake".

So here's where the discussion really stands, your New Year's resolution aside: You're holding the ball in your court and a return needs to explain your apparent belief that God is fickle about what He forbids, particularly as regards homosexual behavior. After all these years, you've yet to provide anything one can point to as a "fact" to support your clear "opinion" that God now might say, "Yeah. That used to hack me off, but now not so much." and that what clearly described as an abomination could now be regarded as acceptable in any situation. When you can do this, then your New Year's resolution won't be just another means of squelching positions you don't like.

Dan Trabue said...

Let's take this one little step at a time, Marshall, shall we?

You said...

In the case of homosexual behavior, for example, the behavior is abhorrent to God and that is crystal clear by His labeling of it as "detestable" or "an abomination".

1. Not everyone reads the Bible the same way as you do. This is a fact. Do you recognize this fact?

2. In the case of homosexual behaviors which are mentioned in the Bible, not one of those say "this is a reference to all gay behavior in all times and all contexts. This, too, is a fact. Agreed?

3. Given my point 1 and 2, it is factually an opinion on your part that the few verses that mention some form of gay behavior (men trying to rape men, for instance, or pagan rituals, for instance) do not mean that FACTUALLY God abhors all gay behavior. This claim of yours, then, "the behavior is abhorrent to God" is factually an opinion.

DO you recognize that?

I think where you are going astray is in your presumptions you make. Some of the presumptions you are making...

IF everyone agreed that there is a God,
IF everyone agreed that the Bible is God's Word,
IF everyone agreed that the Bible should be taken as a rulebook for living (ie, if we find a rule in the Bible, we can know that the condemned behavior is wrong)
IF everyone agreed that your understanding of God and interpretation of the Bible were perfectly correct...

IF everyone agreed with your presumptions, then for those people who agreed with you, you could make a case that your conclusion is sound, if not demonstrable. Regardless, it would remain an unproven opinion, not a fact.

Do you understand that?

Further, given that if ANY of your presumptions are not accepted by others, you have failed to make a sound rational argument about your opinion. I don't read the Bible the way you do, Marshall. I do not accept some of your presumptions and thus, I do not reach your conclusions. Instead, I hold a different opinion than you do.

And in both cases, they are our opinions.

Do you understand that?

I'll let you clarify your understanding of reality before moving on...

Marshall Art said...

Your level of dishonesty has no ceiling, does it?

Taking each little step:

1. Yes, it's a fact. But it is irrelevant. The point is which "way" is most accurate based upon all the data available. In this case and between our two very disparate views, the answer is, my way.

2. No. This is indeed and without reservation, NOT a fact. The verses in question do not mention "behaviors", as if there are a number of variations. It speaks to one thing and one thing only (that is, Lev 18:22): lying with a man as one would with a woman. It says it is an abomination and therefore, don't do it. End of story. Thus...

3. ...is total nonsense and BS. There is no mention or implications regarding the context in which the abominable behavior might take place. None whatsoever, and you take extreme liberties with Scripture to pretend that it does. You suggest that despite God's description of the behavior as an abomination, that He wouldn't abhor it? That is ludicrous to a degree only you would dare take it.

So this is the reality and fact: without any reference whatsoever to a possible scenario by which it might be tolerated or accepted or seen a something worthy of blessing, Lev 18:22 states categorically that the very behavior of lying with a man as with a woman is an abomination to God and forbidden by Him. This is not opinion by any stretch of the definition that YOU will try to conjure.

Marshall Art said...


---Presumptions you think I am making:

IF everyone agreed that there is a God

This is irrelevant, unless you are saying you don't agree there is a God. I assumed (perhaps mistakenly) that you did. I make my argument regarding God's position on the subject with no one BUT those who claim to believe in Him.

IF everyone agreed that there is a God

Similar to above, with the caveat that it might not include you. Your constant twisting of Scripture and rejection of that which doesn't sit easily with your personal sensitivities and perception of God as some kind of wishy-washy hippy leaves doubt.

IF everyone agreed that the Bible should be taken as a rulebook for living

Even you take this position, except you deceivingly alter the terms to allow for that which favor and deny which you don't. "Wisdom and truth" implies rules if one accepts whatever wisdom and truth one perceives. Otherwise, there isn't true wisdom OR truth.

IF everyone agreed that your understanding of God and interpretation of the Bible were perfectly correct

Obviously not the case, is it?

IF everyone agreed with your presumptions, then for those people who agreed with you, you could make a case that your conclusion is sound, if not demonstrable. Regardless, it would remain an unproven opinion, not a fact.

What is fact is fact regardless of any presumption of mine and, more importantly and to the point, regardless of yours. Fact exists without anyone believing the fact. This is the case here with you. You deny what is so clear and force feed meaning and possibilities the text itself in now way presents or allows. You do so with NO support EXCEPT for hunches and preferences on your part. This is the basis of our continued disagreement as those on my side of the issue (who care to continue---which at this point means probably just me) have yet to see anything presented by you that gives the least bit of pause to our position on the subject. We could go back to the gaping holes section of our debate if you like, as you've filled none of them in yours, nor shown a problem with any of the explanations for holes you wish existed in mine.

So as far as THAT goes, I've made incredibly sound rational arguments for my position and you simply reject them. But you never show the error in them, nor provide any sound rational reasons for believing there are any. I'm still waiting on that score. That you hold a different opinion is "DUH" to the "Nth" degree and needs no further restatement. I'd prefer that you finally get to the actual facts and evidence that supplies a basis for your incredibly insipid position on this subject.

In short, I'm not impressed with strategy of describing my fact based position as mere opinion by merely giving your opinion that it is so.

Do you understand THAT?

Marshall Art said...

One more thing, a follow up to the end of the first of the last two comments:

As we can see by the plain wording of Lev 18:22, it requires no deep thought, no years of study and work, to determine that what God describes as "detestable" and/or "an abomination" is forbidden to all and not just His Chosen People of the Old Testament. But it requires to deceitful and conniving mind to pretend that it doesn't given the absolute absence of evidence to support such a notion.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, to take just TWO points...

A. About the agreed upon fact that not everyone reads the Bible the same way, you agree but say...

it's a fact. But it is irrelevant. The point is which "way" is most accurate based upon all the data available. In this case and between our two very disparate views, the answer is, my way.

Okay, we get it that in your opinion, your way of reading is "the most accurate," but what does that mean? Do you mean, IN YOUR OPINION it is the best way to read it? Well, okay. But do you recognize that this additional statement IS ALSO an opinion? IN YOUR OPINION, your way of reading is "best," meaning that IN YOUR OPINION, you think it is most accurate.

In my opinion, I am not sure "accurate" is the right term to use. Accuracy is what is the question. Saying, "I am 'most accurate' in my opinions about the Bible because my opinions are the most accurate ones" is a circular argument, not a rational one.

Do you understand that?

B. I made the point:

In the case of homosexual behaviors which are mentioned in the Bible, not one of those say "this is a reference to all gay behavior in all times and all contexts.

In response, you say...

No. This is indeed and without reservation, NOT a fact. The verses in question do not mention "behaviors", as if there are a number of variations. It speaks to one thing and one thing only

Again, I am only pointing to facts. The fact is, the Bible does LITERALLY NOT SAY, "any and all gay behaviors are wrong forever and always." It is NOT in the Bible.

You are pointing to an OT rule specifically to Israel and saying that IN YOUR OPINION, it means "any and all behaviors are wrong forever and always." but you are not admitting that this is your opinion.

Do you truly not understand that this is your opinion? That the Bible literally does not say what you think God has said?

Here is an instance of you not being able to distinguish between reality and opinion. IF it is not an opinion, then offer some support for it, something objectively and independently observable (ie, not, "I think it is obvious" but some objective evidence that God thinks any and all gay behavior is always wrong).

You can't do it because it is an opinion of yours not a demonstrable fact.

If you can't own up to your own opinion on this, there is no point in continuing, as far as I can see.

I'll give you a chance to clarify.

Dan Trabue said...

In case you truly can't see the mistake, let me expand my point a bit...

1. We do not read the Bible the same way.

2. There is a text in the OT, a rule given specifically to ancient Israel that says "men should not lie with men. If they do, kill them."

3. There are OTHER rules right next to this text. There is a rule not to have menstrual sex, not to cut the hair on the side of your head and not to eat shrimp, because it "is an abomination..." Lots of rules in this ancient text given specifically to ancient Israel.

4. Now, IF we were people who said, "Here is an ancient holy text that we think is true. If there is a rule anywhere in the text - regardless of context - then that rule is a universal rule and it is, thus, a rule for us from God..."

IF we were those sort of people, then for people who agree with us, well, they'd agree with us. But most other folk would not be convinced simply because they hold this opinion about this ancient text and the rules found therein. Agreed? That is, just because some people believe that this ancient holy text and the rules therein are all universal rules from God to all people is NOT evidence that this is factually so. It is their opinion and their opinion alone would not be sufficient to convince most people.

Do you agree with me on that point? That some people might hold this opinion about this text does not make it a fact, right? This is a critical point and we need to see your answer to this, Marshall.

5. Now, we (neither you nor I) are the type of people described in 4. Right? Rather, you are the type to think, "No, just because some ancient rules are found given specifically to Israel in the OT is not sufficient to say that this rule found here is a universal rule. It COULD be (and is, IN MY OPINION) that some of these rules are specifically for Israel, not for everyone in all times and all places. Now, the text does not SAY that some of these rules are just for Israel and others are for everyone, that is my opinion, though..."

Am I correct that this is your approximate position (and let's not quibble about small variations)?

If so, then clearly, this is your opinion on how this text should be treated - some as universal and others as specifically for Israel. And, JUST AS with the people in 4., that some people might hold this opinion about this text does not make it a fact, right?

It remains an opinion, not a fact.

6. Now, I am not aligned with either 4. or 5. I hold that NONE of these rules are universal simply because they are found in this text. That is, that a rule appearing in the text of the OT along with other rules is not what makes a behavior good or bad.

I do not read the Bible the way you do. I have a different hermeneutical approach that helps me sort out my opinions, just as you hold a different hermeneutical approach to help you sort out your opinions. BUT, we are both reaching conclusions that are OUR opinions, not facts.

This should be an easily demonstrated, easily agreed upon point, Marshall. Take a breath, take a look at what I'm saying and see if you can't agree with this reality.

~Dan

Marshall Art said...

Saying, "I am 'most accurate' in my opinions about the Bible because my opinions are the most accurate ones" is a circular argument, not a rational one.

Well then, I'm so very glad I never said anything remotely like this. My claim is that my opinions are accurate because of the plethora of data that supports my opinions. YOUR opinions have nothing but your own assertions about possible alternatives to the meaning of the clearly presented text. In this case, the prohibition on homosexual behavior is applicable to every context in which it might take place because of the FACT that God calls the act itself an abomination. It is the act of "lying with a man as one would with a woman" that is the basis for the prohibition because that act is an abomination. There is absolutely no indication that it is never an abomination, and none can be found anywhere in Scripture without twisting meanings of passages or injecting into passages a preferred meaning. This is not an opinion at all. It is not even a misunderstanding of the truth. It is an accurate rendering UNLESS AND UNTIL you can provide some verse or passage that contradicts it. In all our years of debate on this issue, you have been woefully incapable of doing so. Thus, you match my accurate rendering with your opinions and wishful thinking.

The fact is, the Bible does LITERALLY NOT SAY, "any and all gay behaviors are wrong forever and always." It is NOT in the Bible.

The fact is that the Bible doesn't have to say this, except to those childish frauds who also need a more detailed explanation of what "no snacks before dinner" means, or what one must do every time one encounters a stop sign whilst driving on public roads.

You are pointing to an OT rule specifically to Israel...

No, I'm not. I'm pointing to the basis for that rule in defending the proposition that the rule still applies. The basis for that rule is that God regards a man lying with another man as a man would with a woman to be an a detestable and/or an abominable act. God says, "Don't do THIS because it is an abomination." It doesn't matter if it is done as a rape, as a commercial exchange via prostitution, as a pagan religious ritual or between two men with a disordered sexual attraction and desire for each other within the context of a faux marriage. The act is an abomination. Until you can provide any Scriptural evidence that contradicts this simple FACT, then my position is accurate and truthful and an unmitigated fact.

As to problems in regards to opinion and fact, those are all yours. Everything I've mentioned above regarding this prohibition is true based on what Scripture actually says, as well as what it doesn't say (that there is any possible context in which the act is NOT an abomination). You simply deny the plain truth of it.

You can't do it because it is an opinion of yours not a demonstrable fact.

If you can't own up to your own opinion on this, there is no point in continuing, as far as I can see.


Thus, you demonstrate my initial objection, that you provide yourself with absolute authority to determine what is fact and what is opinion by mere assertion, which allows you to proceed unchallenged in your lies and distortions regarding this issue.

Dan Trabue said...

No, Marshall. Factually speaking, God has not told you, "I am opposed to all gay behavior in all circumstances and thus, it is wrong always..." That is a fact.

That you hold opinions based on your reading of the Bible is fine and dandy, but it will always remain your unsubstantiated opinion until God does affirm that you are right.

That is the real world fact. Can you agree with this, or are you delusional?

~Dan

Dan Trabue said...

Or, conversely, provide some demonstrable evidence that God hates all gay behavior and thus, that it is wrong. Something observable, measurable and unbiased.

If you can provide something to support your position objectively, then this could be easily settled.

You see, Marshall, that is how facts work. They are demonstrable, provable, you can show me or 1,000,000 other people in any set of circumstances the same observable evidence and it will still be a fact. On the other hand, pointing to your opinion about what some Bible verses mean to you is not a fact, it is an opinion.

By definition.

So, demonstrate your facts with real evidence or admit you've misspoken or just go away. I'm not entertaining any further unsupported claims of "facts."

~Dan

Marshall Art said...

For your next dance:

1. No kidding.

2. Again, no kidding. Not the point regarding that particular rule.

3. Irrelevant to the rule in question.

4. Not an argument I am making, and thus also irrelevant. It seems clear here that you are altering my position to better argue against it. But I will not defend an argument I am not making.

5. You're not even trying to understand. My position regards this particular rule that has been the basis for so many blog debates between us (due to your inability to defend your position--since it can't be defended legitimately). This particular rule still applies (as some laws of Leviticus do, while others don't) because of the underlying fact that God regards the specific act of men engaging in homosexual sex as an abomination without any subsequent verse or passage giving any indication that His position on the act has changed in any way for any reason in any context. This is clearly and absolutely NOT an opinion, but a fact I continue to proclaim to those like yourself who prefer to assert an opinion as a legitimate alternative without evidential support of any kind.

6. I hold that NONE of these rules are universal simply because they are found in this text.

As is so common in your deceitful debate practices, you insist on bringing up that which is irrelevant to the point in question. The rest of the rules of Leviticus do not matter unless you can provide something about any of them that supports your heresy about Lev 18:22. You can't. Instead, you wish to refer to trimming the hair on the sides of our heads as relevant to the point about why 18:22 still applies today. This stinks of dishonesty.

I have a different hermeneutical approach that helps me sort out my opinions, just as you hold a different hermeneutical approach to help you sort out your opinions. BUT, we are both reaching conclusions that are OUR opinions, not facts.

Now THIS is an opinion, suggesting that we doing the same thing but merely coming to different conclusions. When I submit an opinion, I offer it as such. My position regarding 18:22 is not an opinion. It is absolute fact with which even pro-homosex scholars agree, such as Louis Crompton, Bernadette Brooten, William Schoedel, Martti Nissinen, Dan O. Via and even your favored Walter Wink.

Lev 18:22 still applies because of the underlying reason why it was instituted in the first place: sex with one of the same gender is an abomination. Find some Scripture that suggests the behavior is NOT an abomination, or that some context exists wherein it is not or is no longer an abomination, and then you can talk about what is an opinion and what is a fact.



Marshall Art said...

You jumped in between my two comments, so I'll address them both now.

Your last sentences proves again my observation of your intentions with regards to your New Year's resolution. I have indeed proven my point with fact. The underlying basis for Lev 18:22 is the textually accurate FACT that God has described sex with one of the same gender an abomination. You ignore this. You pretend that somehow, without any shred of evidence or Scriptural support, that this clear and unequivocal description of homosexual behavior cannot possibly apply to every possible context or scenario in which homosexual sexual activity might occur. You just make shit up. If it does not mean ALL, then how do you support this contention? Answer: You don't. You just make shit up.

Here's another possibility: It is YOU who is delusional, seeing in Scripture what doesn't exist.

Try THIS fact out for size: I do NOT need to prove that Lev 18:22 is NOT universal, that God is NOT including every possible context or scenario in which sex between two of the same sex might take place. Why would or should I given the clear explanation for why the behavior is forbidden (it is detestable/an abomination)?

But YOU, on the other hand, need to provide some kind of evidence to support the fantasy that He would not also include "loving, monogamous people of faith" or whatever the hell your exception is. You don't. You never have. You can't. You merely assert and pretend you've come to some studied conclusion.

The FACT is that God calls the behavior detestable. That's all it says, so what more could it mean and why? When will you provide an answer for this years-old question? Don't give me crap about "opinions" or "hunches".

God's description of the behavior is an observable and proven fact that you STILL ignore, pretending I have to explain and prove what you don't want it to mean. That is NOT how facts work. Find a way in that craven heart and mind of yours to be at least a little bit honest in this discussion.

Dan Trabue said...

Unsupported claims with zero observable evidence to support them are opinions.

Confusing your opinions with facts is irrational at best and delusional, at worst. Confusing your opinions with God's Word is potentially blasphemous.

Good day. Come back any time you have some actual evidence.

Marshall Art said...

It is NOT an opinion that God calls homosexual behavior an abomination is it? Yes or No.

It is NOT an opinion that God gives no scenario or context by which engaging in the behavior is NOT an abomination, does He? Yes or No.

When do I get to see YOUR evidence to support a "No" answer to either of the above questions, which actually gets to the heart of the issue? Likely never, because you deny the truth about what is or isn't factual about Scripture, and particularly on this issue. Instead, you ask foolish questions or make foolish claims, by which you can insert and assert your favored position into Scripture. There is no legitimate reason to suppose that God is not opposed to all gay behavior in all circumstances based on what Scripture DOES say unless you insist on injecting some personal preference into Scripture to make that supposition work out. How childish. How childish also that you refuse to defend this heresy with anything other than evidence supported opinion. Hypocritical, too, given your demands on those who disagree with them.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It is NOT an opinion that God calls homosexual behavior an abomination is it? Yes or No.

Yes, it IS an opinion that God thinks of all gay behavior as an abomination.

The Bible factually, literally does not say this and even if it did, it would still be up to interpretation what that text meant. (Just as you interpret Jesus saying "Blessed are you who are poor" to mean something other than the literal text). In both cases, when one interprets something, they are delving into opinion.

IF God came down and told us all, "I disapprove of any and all gay behavior, anywhere. It is wrong." THAT would be a definitive answer as to what God means in this text. Short of that - and being that we are NOT God - we are only offering our opinions as to what various texts means.

That is a fact.

It is NOT an opinion that God gives no scenario or context by which engaging in the behavior is NOT an abomination, does He? Yes or No.

Any opinions about what God may or may not think about any or all gay behaviors are, BY DEFINITION, opinions. God has not told us, we can form opinions, but God has not told us specifically, literally what God's opinion is.

When do I get to see YOUR evidence to support a "No" answer to either of the above questions, which actually gets to the heart of the issue?

My answer is literally MY opinion, just as your answer is your opinion. What evidence do I need to "prove" my opinion is my opinion?

Marshall, I think your problem here is that you are confusing defending how reasonable your opinion is with how factual it is. You may well think that your opinion is quite reasonable and that my opinion is NOT reasonable, but they remain our opinions, factually speaking. Just because you may think your opinion is greatly more reasonable is not evidence that it is factual.

Do you get that?

~Dan

Dan Trabue said...


Marshall...

There is no legitimate reason to suppose that God is not opposed to all gay behavior in all circumstances based on what Scripture DOES say unless you insist on injecting some personal preference into Scripture to make that supposition work out.

You are welcome to that opinion, Marshall. In the real world, good Christians of good faith and intent sincerely seeking to do Right and walk in Jesus' steps disagree and think there are good reasons to disagree with your opinion. Otherwise, we wouldn't hold our opinions.

Factuallly speaking, not everyone reads scripture the way you do.

Factually speaking, people of good faith do not share your opinions of what God would or would not support, nor your interpretations of what the Bible does and doesn't teach.

You are welcome to hold whatever opinions you deem best. We shall do the same.

God bless.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"Yes, it IS an opinion that God thinks of all gay behavior as an abomination."

That wasn't my question at all. What fear do you have in answering the question posed? I asked if it was a fact that God stated in Lev 18:22 that homosexual behavior was an abomination, didn't I? I didn't ask anything else.

In the next question, I asked if there is any Scriptural evidence of God providing any context or scenario by which the first FACT does not apply. The correct answer is "NO". There is no evidence whatsoever that one can find in Scripture that overturns or mitigates the FACT and TRUTH that God described homosexual behavior as an abomination. This is not an opinion. It is what the text says. This is not an interpretation. It is a direct presentation of the text itself. Thus, I have stated a clear and unequivocal fact.

But instead of responding to the question related to this clear fact, you choose to answer what was not asked in an effort to dodge the truth in favor of your favored position that you continually fail to support with anything akin to actual evidence from Scripture.

"Any opinions about what God may or may not think about any or all gay behaviors are, BY DEFINITION, opinions."

I've not offered any opinion regarding what God might think. I've only offered what He has specifically said in Lev 18:22.

"God has not told us specifically, literally what God's opinion is."

This is an unmitigated lie. He tells us specifically in Lev 18:22 that the ACT of a man lying with another man as with a woman is an abomination. It says nothing more. It offers no possible scenario by which one can presume it can be perpetrated and NOT still be an abomination. EVER. ANYWHERE in Scripture. This is a FACT.

"My answer is literally MY opinion, just as your answer is your opinion."

Again, I've offered no opinions here. I've only restated what Lev 18:22 states.

"What evidence do I need to "prove" my opinion is my opinion?"

Stupid question as I have not requested any such thing. Again, you dodge the real question and substitute a deceitful, but purposeful re-statement of my request. I've asked for proof that lends support to the ludicrous assertion that Lev 18:22 would not necessarily include ALL scenarios in which homosexual behavior might occur. Your "opinion", such as it is, is no better than the philanderer who would presume that God would not have any problem with him sleeping around with as many women who gave their consent. There is no Scriptural evidence to suggest that, either. But like the philanderer, you pull your opinion out of your backside and shore it up with incredibly dishonest misapplications of passages or verses you think accomplish the purpose.

What's worse, is that you don't just state an opinion, you act on it throughout your life defending the proposition as if your opinion CAN be justified with Scriptural evidence. If you would say something akin to, "Well, in my opinion, God doesn't regard ALL forms of homosexual behavior as abominations. But since I cannot offer any legitimate Scriptural evidence to support that opinion, I must go by what Scripture says, which is that homosexual behavior is an abomination." This would at the very least show some semblance of honor and true devotion to Scriptural teachings. But you're more concerned with posturing yourself to sinners as tolerant and loving regardless of the truth, than you are with truly devoting yourself to God, regardless of the consequences.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

I asked if it was a fact that God stated in Lev 18:22 that homosexual behavior was an abomination, didn't I? I didn't ask anything else.

I answered. Directly. I'll repeat:

The Bible factually, literally does not say this and even if it did, it would still be up to interpretation what that text meant.

I'll repeat it, including your exact quote, for clarity:

The Bible factually, literally does not say this -> "God calls homosexual behavior an abomination" - and even if it did, it would still be up to interpretation what that text meant.

Again, another way:

The Bible literally does not have God saying, "Homosexual behavior is an abomination."

It factually, literally IS NOT THERE.

Do you understand that?

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, I think your problem here is that you are confusing defending how reasonable your opinion is with how factual it is."

No. My problem is the person with whom I am debating. I confuse nothing about that, either. You keep reversing the order of my position. It is formed by the fact of the clearly revealed description of homosexual behavior by God in Lev 18:22. I don't start with an opinion, as you do, and inject it into the verse. I can do nothing more than what the verse leads me to do without something more than what you laughingly have described as serious study. This very point regarding 18:22 very clearly belies your claim of serious study since you cannot bring yourself to admit the simple fact of what the verse says.

My opinion is not merely reasonable, it is an accurate representation of the verse in question without the need to inject any personal preference, since my opinion is based upon the simple fact that God has so described not a behavior, but a specific act upon which the behavior is recognized.

In the meantime, your opinion is analogous to one who would say that "fire is hot...unless..." or "the smell of poop is disgusting...unless..." There is no "unless" provided in Scripture regarding the act of engaging in homosexual sex.

"In the real world, good Christians of good faith and intent sincerely seeking to do Right and walk in Jesus' steps disagree and think there are good reasons to disagree with your opinion."

You keep saying stuff like this as if it lends any credence to your heretical positions. It doesn't. It only highlights your lack of good faith and intent to do whatever. It is nonsensical without some compelling justification which solid Scriptural evidence should provide if the opinion was worth a damn.

"Otherwise, we wouldn't hold our opinions."

Given the centuries between God's giving of the the Law and contemporary psuedo-Christian positions such as yours, it is more accurate to say that serious propagandizing, rather than study, has led to so many preaching your nonsense. This, again, is supported by the dearth of credible Scriptural evidence that cannot be easily rebutted.

"Factuallly speaking, not everyone reads scripture the way you do."

Even amongst those who ARE serious about their spiritual pursuits, this has never been debatable. No need to continually bring this up.

"Factually speaking, people of good faith do not share your opinions of what God would or would not support, nor your interpretations of what the Bible does and doesn't teach."

Really? How many of them deny that Lev 18:22 clearly reveals God describing the homosexual act as being an abomination? I mean, besides yourself. And when will you answer the question of whether or not it does?

Marshall Art said...

"You are welcome to hold whatever opinions you deem best. We shall do the same."

No doubt. Never debated, either. The debate involves how you defend your heretical opinions, which you refuse to do. Oh, sure, you offer some weak descriptions of what led you to your heresy, but you flee from any real inquiry into your justifications. Two posts down, it looked like we were going to engage in exposing and/or filling holes in each of our positions. You left that dangling in the wind as it appears you're about to do again here.

I don't fret over anyone questioning my positions. I am more than willing to defend them to the best of my ability for as long as it might take AND, should I fail, to perhaps learn why my positions my be worth reconsidering. This in no way seems to be the case with you. You simply insist on holding fast to what you cannot defend regardless of all the truth and facts brought to bear against it. You do so by denying the truth and facts, but never by truly arguing what is wrong with what you mischaracterize as "opinion".

But here, I'll make it easy for you to focus. My opinion is thus:

Because Lev 18:22 clearly states that God regards the act of a man lying with another man as one would with a woman, that is, homosexual behavior, as an abomination, and does so with absolutely no loophole provided by which one might engage in the act without it being an abomination, the prohibition against the behavior handed down to the Hebrews is among those laws of Leviticus that is applicable today. There. An opinion and the FACTS upon which it is based. THAT is how one forms an opinion...on the facts that are indisputable, such as the fact of God calling the act itself an abomination.

One could speculate about what a verse or passage or teaching doesn't say, but only one who is self-serving would dare act on that speculation. It is the act itself that God calls an abomination, so any speculation about the context in which the act might occur is irrelevant without a clear verse covering such.

What's more, none of your equally weak arguments regarding the other passages that refer to this act can mitigate this fact EVEN IF we concede that those other verse speak of specific contexts themselves. That is to say, just because a verse might speak of murder by knife, it wouldn't mean that murder by gun might be acceptable. It would still be murder, which is prohibited. In the same way, a verse that might refer to, say, shrine prostitutes doesn't mean that homosexual acts between any other two men could be acceptable. You still have to resolve the clear description of the abomination of homosexual behavior stated in 18:22. If your opinion is that it doesn't mean ALL homosexual acts, how do you support that with no Scriptural evidence of any kind? You don't, because you can't. I've been trying to pull that freakin' tooth out of your mouth for years with no success or progress.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm sorry, you have failed to address my question to you, Marshall.

I just pointed out that LITERALLY what you said is factually not there. Are we agreed upon reality?

I'll tell you what, I'll make this much easier for you: YES, of course, God never one time literally says, "homosexual behavior is an abomination."

That line is not in the Bible. It factually is not in there, literally speaking. This is just observable. So now, assuming you can agree with reality to at least that degree, you said...

Because Lev 18:22 clearly states that God regards the act of a man lying with another man as one would with a woman, that is, homosexual behavior, as an abomination...

Yes, the line exists in Leviticus that "men should not lie with men, it is an abomination, if they do this, kill them." That IS in the text.

Now, the question is, what do we do with that text? You go on...

...and does so with absolutely no loophole provided by which one might engage in the act without it being an abomination, the prohibition against the behavior handed down to the Hebrews is among those laws of Leviticus that is applicable today.

You have reasoned out beyond the factual claim that the text exists, to this new OPINION, that this is a condemnation of all gay behavior, and it is God saying that all gay behavior is "an abomination" (like, you know, eating shrimp) and thus, YOU REASON, it is wrong.

That is YOUR reasoning. You have reached this opinion. But it is not a fact, it is an opinion, to say "God opposes all gay behavior and thus, it is wrong."

God has factually not said this, you have zero evidence to support that God said this, it is, IN FACT, your opinion.

Agreed?

Again, this is just demonstrably observable, Marshall. There really is nothing to do but agree.

Look, I read the text in the NT where Jesus says "blessed are you who are poor..." and think that, in my opinion, Jesus is clearly teaching that in some sense, the literal poor are blessed. But Jesus is not here to confirm my opinion. No matter how clear I think that might be, it STILL is my opinion. Factually speaking, it just is, unless we could confirm it.

Do you see what I'm saying? OUR interpretations of texts - no matter how clear we think the meaning may be - is always OUR opinion.

If you can just agree with this basic observable reality, Marshall, we could move on to discuss the relative merits of your opinion or my opinion, but I'm not going to continue until I'm sure you are able to distinguish fact from opinion.

~Dan

Dan Trabue said...

Or, to put it yet another way for your consideration...

There are TWO things at play here, Marshall:

1. What the text SAYS. What it literally and factually says.

2. What the literal words of the text MEAN.

The former we can speak of factually. We can open a text, look at a translation and agree in the real world, "YES, Genesis 1:1 says, 'in the beginning, God created...'" or we can say, "No, it does not say, '6000 years ago, in May, God created the Earth...'" That is easy. Either the text says something or it doesn't.

The LATTER, however, is a matter of interpretation. PERSONAL, opinionated interpretation. Yes, the text SAYS "men should not lay with men, if they do, kill them..." and, a few verses before, "Don't cut the hair on the side of your head..." but what does that mean? This HAS to be a matter of opinion because we can not confirm the interpretation we walk away with.

Agreed? What the text says, it says. Factually. What it MEANS is opinion. Factually.

Marshall Art said...

Really Dan? You're really going to take the position that we can't know what "thou shalt not lie with a man as thou wouldst with a woman" means? REALLY? Are you that given over to your immoral position that you would actually try to run that angle and expect anyone to regard you as truly sincere in your study of Scripture?

I have no problem conceding that there exists that which is not clear in Scripture. But this is not an example of one (nor is that irrelevant and disconnected bit about how should cut one's hair). To suggest that the meaning of this verse is a mystery in any way requires dishonesty. Well done. So does your initial response suggesting I was trying to posit that the words "homosexual behavior" were literally part of the verse. It shows your are as poor as understanding and interpreting the comments of your opponents as you are of Scripture itself.

This verse has, from it's being handed down to the Hebrews, been understood to mean the act of engaging in sex between those of the same gender. Even those pro-homosexual scholars I listed above, including your highly revered Walter Wink, agree.

We can ponder its meaning if you like. To do so we must consider every possible way one might lie with a woman and the wording of the text suggests we must not do it, be it nasty anal intercourse or simply cuddling and whispering sweet nothings. But that's as far as honest, sincere seekers of God's Will can take it and still be legitimately considered honest, sincere seekers of God's Will. The wording suggests ANY manner of lying with a man as with a woman is an abomination without some kind of evidence to the contrary. You don't have any.

The FACT is that the verse calls the act of lying with a man as with a woman an abomination. This is a fact and I could provide any Bible translation not compiled by a rank agenda driven homosexual to prove it.

The FACT is that the prohibition is based upon this act being described by God as an abomination. That is clear from the text itself.

The FACT is that there is no context, scenario or loophole provided within the Levitical law or anywhere else in the Bible, that allows the behavior to proceed without that description applying to it.

YOU are the one who needs something, ANYTHING, to support your pathetic contention that it might not include a particular context in which two men might engage in the act called an abomination, and not have still be an abomination.

Between us, as regards this verse, I am the one who is dealing in plain fact and solid reality. I have added nothing to the verse. I have suggested nothing the words themselves do not suggest by a plain reading of them. Nothing before or after the verse mitigates the plain reading of it and the conclusion to which a plain reading can only lead. Nowhere have I rendered an opinion, but only stated the words themselves and what a literal reading of them could possibly mean. Thus, IF you want to insist on some meaning such a clear, plain reading does not itself provide, proof and evidence is required in order to support your claim of being an honest and sincere seeker of God's Will. Until then, you are neither.

And you dare suggest that I haven't answered your questions. Ask again, if you like, and I'll answer it again. But THIS question is at the heart of this debate. Is the act described as abomination or not in 18:22? Until you muster the courage to honestly comply, we cannot proceed.

As you haven't thus far, you can begin to understand why you have been banned from so many blogs. In the meantime, I continue, with the Christian grace and patience about which you only pay lip service, to persist in our exchanges.

Dan Trabue said...

Really Dan? You're really going to take the position that we can't know what "thou shalt not lie with a man as thou wouldst with a woman" means? REALLY?

Yes, Marshall, that is exactly what I am suggesting. That is what I have been saying for years now.

Factually speaking, YOU do NOT know exactly, without fail what "man shall not lie with man" means.

You hold, instead, an OPINION about what it means, an OPINION about what it suggests God thinks about gay behavior. It is, by definition, an opinion.

If it is a fact, please support it with something more than, "I read this passage in the Bible and the way I read it, it means this..."

That IS AN OPINION.

Do you have any facts to make me think your position is factual and not opinion?

Marshall...

But this is not an example of one (nor is that irrelevant and disconnected bit about how should cut one's hair).

And on my blog, Marshall, you are welcome to hold that OPINION, but if you do not recognize it as an OPINION, then you have crossed a line from understanding reality into not being able to distinguish reality from personal opinion.

I hold the opinion that love your enemies and blessed are you who are poor are abundantly clear. That is my opinion. You hold another opinion, as you are welcome to do. But if you want to be taken seriously, you must be able to understand the difference between opinion and fact.

Do you understand that this is YOUR OPINION?

Final chance.

Dan Trabue said...

Here, I've thought of one more way to put it that hopefully you will understand.

There is a difference between "the Bible says" and "God says."

The Bible says God/Jesus says, "Blessed are you who are poor."

BUT, you do not think that this is God's opinion.

The Bible says that God/Jesus says "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth..."

BUT, you do not think that is what God's opinion is.

Am I correct?

You do not think that "just because" the Bible says something is, in itself, proof that the line is God's Will. Rather, you interpret to mean something other than what it literally says.

Now, if I were treating you the way that you are treating others, I'd say to you, "What part of "poor" do you not understand?" and "what part of 'thou shalt not' do you not understand?"

But I don't do that, not generally, because I fully understand that we are two humans dealing with human opinions about a great and powerful God, a being beyond our understanding. Our opinions are our opinions and I'm confident you are holding your opinion in good faith, trying to do the Right and Good, just as I am.

I do not conflate that "the Bible literally says X..." with "therefore, it is a fact that God says X." And even if I did think the Bible clearly has God clearly saying something abundantly clear like "woe to you who are rich, and blessed are you who are poor," it STILL is MY opinion because I have no way of verifying that it is God's opinion. The mere existence of a line in the Bible is not foolproof evidence that the line represents perfectly God's Will or the Right thing.

You clearly think this since you often reject the literal teaching of Jesus in favor of more esoteric takes on those literal words.

Do you see, now, how our opinions about various texts are clearly our opinions?

Marshall Art said...

"The Bible says God/Jesus says, "Blessed are you who are poor."

BUT, you do not think that this is God's opinion.

The Bible says that God/Jesus says "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth..."

BUT, you do not think that is what God's opinion is.

Am I correct?"


No. As usual.

The first quote is not God's opinion. It is your opinion of what the passage means because you take your cues from liberal/socialist ideology. You think wealth is evil and nothing in Scripture implies that. You have a well known penchant for taking things out of context, and even cutting short a verse to make it fit your POV. In the case of the first quote, you constantly ignore the other Gospel version that says "poor in spirit", all the while proclaiming that you view one point in light of the entirety of Scripture.

It also suggests that the worst asshole without a pot into which he can piss is equally as blessed as one who pines for God's peace through his economic travails. "The Poor" covers a lot of ground and a lot of various degrees of character amongst the poor. Note the numbers of out of wedlock births amongst the poor, or the rate of crime amongst the poor and then try to suggest that they are whom Christ had in mind. Hard to imagine, then, that "Blessed are the poor" means what YOU think it means.

As to the second quote, this is a prime example of you ignoring the complete context from which you mercilessly ripped that quote to feed your kumabaya posturing about money. The lesson is not the we must not store up treasures for ourselves, especially given how when doing so we become less of a burden to our fellow man, as well as more of a source of relief for our fellow man who suffers, but that we must not store up treasures for ourselves without first storing up for ourselves spiritual treasures by living a good Christian life. Examples of this are plentiful enough in Scripture: Joseph in Egypt was vastly wealthy while putting God first. Job was not only vastly wealthy while being a righteous man of God, but made even more wealthy BY God after enduring his great trials. Joseph of Aramethia was wealthy. The little guy in the tree was wealthy and even after He gave so much away once becoming a follower of Christ, was still rich and Christ pointed to his example.

The important part here is that I just did what I have always encouraged you to do. I took your opinions and used Scripture (as well as logic) to show why your position about these two bits of verse are woefully misunderstood. I didn't settle for the cowardly "well, that's your opinion" which goes without saying.

More about your last two comments later.

Dan Trabue said...

While waiting for your comments (which so far, have not begun with the needed, "Yes, I recognize it's my opinion"), you said...

The first quote is not God's opinion.

Both quotes are direct quotes from Jesus. It's what the Bible says that Jesus said.

Do you recognize the reality that the text says, "Jesus said, "blessed are you who are poor, blessed are you who are hungry... woe to you who are rich..." factually and literally? Those are the direct words of Jesus our Lord. Do you recognize that factual reality?

Do you recognize that Jesus literally said, "Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth..."?

That is what the Bible says Jesus said. Literally. Factually.

And yet, you are saying that this is not God's opinion, right? EVEN THOUGH that is what the text literally says?

Marshall Art said...

I was quite clear that in my response I noted that my position does not argue against what the text claims God said, but what you twist it to mean. What you are doing here is making a case against a position I have not taken. Clearly, by my defense of the meaning of Lev 18:22, I begin precisely with what the text says and go from there.

I don't cut off a passage at a point that helps make my case, but take the passage in its entirety before beginning to analyze for meaning, as, for example, your insistence that "Don't lay up treasures for yourself..." is the central message of the passage from which you've ripped it. Clearly, the message is NOT to avoid wealth, but to avoid accumulating wealth while not living properly. This is the true message of wealth creation in Scripture, not, as you prefer it to be, the avoidance of wealth creation, and I have offered Scriptural examples of Godly men who were wealthy. Without reading the entire passage, or rather, without presenting the entire passage, you distort it and lead others astray, possibly to live more difficult lives than they otherwise would have. If you can't find a way to enrich yourself financially without idolizing your wealth, that's YOUR problem. But God doesn't deny you wealth in any way, shape or form. That's YOUR eisegesis.

The great irony here is that your poor understanding of God and money puts far greater emphasis and focus on money than the passages themselves, which are meant to retrain one's focus back onto God. I do not, nor do many, many others, make God second fiddle to my pursuit of a better economic standard of living.

In the meantime, you are not tying together what the Bible says Jesus says about money, with what Jesus says about money. I thought you were separating the two. Since you've apparently ejected that nonsense, I can now go back to my previous statement of fact, that God describes a man laying with a man as with a woman, which is homosexual behavior, an abomination. To pretend it doesn't mean what it says DEMANDS proof of some kind. All these years and you've not presented anything that isn't a clear twisting of Scripture, forcing your opinion into the text.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, you don't appear to be following my point. Let's take it one step at a time, question, answer, clarification. Directly answer the questions below or this conversation has reached its end. The reason I'm insisting on this is that you seem to keep talking past me and entirely missing my point. I am glad to engage in a conversation where it is give and take, back and forth, but, if you are not understanding my points, then there is no real reason to continue.

Answer these bolded questions, please.

1. The text in the NT has Jesus saying, "blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry, for you will be satisfied... but woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry."

Factually speaking, that text is straight from the Bible and it has Jesus literally saying those things.

This is reality, correct?

2. Now, a reasonable general person would look at this text and, based on just the text itself, would conclude, "Jesus is saying the poor are blessed and the hungry now will be fed. On the other hand, Jesus appears to be warning those who are now rich and the well-fed, for things will not be so good for them later..."

Right?

Set aside the notion of interpreting and giving additional meaning to the literal text, I'm just talking about this literal text. JUST this text, taken literally, is saying "Blessed are the literal poor, the literal hungry. Woe to the literal rich, the literally well fed..." Short of any outside additional information, that IS what the text literally says.

Do you agree?

3. Now, you (rightly) say, "But wait! It's NOT just what the text says that is important, it is also the meaning, it is the context, it is the intent... these things MUST be taken into consideration, too, before forming an opinion as to the literal text's meaning.

IS that correct? Do you agree?

4. Assuming then, that 1. Yes, you agree the text literally says what I quoted and, 2. Yes, you agree the literal meaning of the text alone is just what it says, and 3. Yes you agree that we also must take into consideration other things such as context, literary conventions, intent, etc...

Assuming those three "Yes" answers, then the point I'm making is that YOUR hermeneutic for biblical interpretation includes (appears to include) this notion:

* Just because we find the Bible saying that God/Jesus said "Teaching X," does not mean that God/Jesus literally thinks/teaches "Teaching X."

IS that a correct summation of part of your approach to bible study?

If not, how would you explain this principle whereby you are foregoing the literal teaching in favor of an interpreted one?


====

Needless to say that ALL of this is besides the point about opinion vs fact. Regardless of your answers to the above, when it comes to personal interpretations of biblical passages and ideals (or presumed ideals), those will always remain opinion, not fact. But setting that aside for a minute, I'll entertain your answers to the questions above.

Marshall Art said...

Time constrains me. Clarifications to follow. My answers to emboldened questions are:

1. No.
2. Not necessarily.
3. Yes.
4. Must be "no" considering my answers to 1-3.

The problem here, with not answering as you obviously think I should, is that what you put down as actual text is not necessarily so. I suggest to copy and paste actual excerpts and add which Bible it was from which you drew your examples. Then I can be certain of how to respond to the questions.

Dan Trabue said...

re: your "No" answer to 1.

Other than a tiny mistake with no great difference in meaning ("blessed are you who are hungry" instead of "blessed are you who now hunger..."), that IS directly from the text.

Are you seriously answering "No" based on that? Because that is a difference without a distinction, it would seem to me.

As to your final answer, then I will wait for your answer to this question:

If not, how would you explain this principle whereby you are foregoing the literal teaching in favor of an interpreted one?

Marshall Art said...

"Are you seriously answering "No" based on that?"

No. I base it on your having printed a "quote" in your own words while routinely leaving out relevant bits that provide a clearer picture of the lesson intended. It is commonplace with you and I can no longer trust that you will be faithful to the passage in question without having the version you used indicated so that I can check it out myself.

" If not, how would you explain this principle whereby you are foregoing the literal teaching in favor of an interpreted one?"

Once again, with this question, you prove the point regarding your unwillingness to truly engage honestly, as this issue of "Blessed are the poor" has no bearing whatsoever on your twisting of Lev 18:22. But to answer, you mistake literal wording for literal teaching. A verse can literally say, "four corners of the earth", but the literal teaching it provides is NOT that there are literally four corners of the earth.

So a more precise question would involve the difference between an accurate understanding of the lesson, regardless of whether or not the wording is metaphor or something more straightforward, and an inaccurate lesson, taking advantage of language that isn't painting a precise enough picture that blocks misinterpretations, either honest or otherwise.

Dan Trabue said...

Here's my point, Marshall:

Gen 1 says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..." and then describes six days of a creation story. Literally speaking, taking the story JUST for the actual words, it's saying that God created the world in six literal days.

Lev 20 has God giving a rule to Israel that "men should not lie with men, as with women. It is an abomination. If they do this, you should kill them." That is what it literally says and, taken literally, it suggests that God disapproves strongly of "men laying with men" (sounding like at least some form of gay sex) and that men who engage in "men lying with men..." should be killed, according to God, taken the passage literally.

Luke 6 has Jesus/God saying "blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of Heaven is yours, blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled..." (some more and then...) "but woe to you who are rich... woe to you who are well fed..."

Taken literally, we have God/Jesus saying that the literal poor and hungry are literally "blessed" and will get an improved situation, but that the literal rich are literally "woed upon..."

I'm talking about taking each of these stories just at face value, that is what each literally says.

I'm pointing out that you appear to be okay with taking the two former stories literally, but you reject out of hand a literal interpretation of Jesus literal words.

Now, I'm not criticizing you (although I do think you are clearly mistaken), I'm pointing out that you have a hermeneutic that appears to say, "Look, just because the line is literally there in the Bible that does not mean we should take it literally..."

Is that your position? Do you agree that just because there is a line in the Bible does not mean we should take it literally?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

you mistake literal wording for literal teaching.

Okay, so enlighten me: What is your fool-proof hermeneutic/rubric for discerning the difference between when to take the literal wording as a literal teaching and when you have to take the literal words figuratively in order to get to the literal teaching?

What rubric do you have that is SO infallible as to move an interpretation from Opinion to Fact?

At your leisure.

Marshall Art said...

I'll keep up with this diversionary tactic as long as it takes me to get you to focus on the real issue that you avoid. I'll continue to answer again all the questions already answered in hopes that you'll muster the courage to engage in the topic you refuse to face honestly.

I'll put it to you in another way:

Consider the method you yourself claim as best of understanding Scripture and I do exactly the same with one caveat: I do it properly. And in arguing against the interpretations of another, I do not try to pretend an unrelated and dissimilar example is an appropriate parallel.

Lev 18:22, or even your favored Lev 20 alternative is NOT in any way the same as "Blessed are the poor". The Beatitudes have more than one presentation in Scripture and they don't quite read the same way. You ignore the one that doesn't support your wealth hatred perspective. So to speak of the differences between your examples above, there is one version of the prohibition against the VERY ACT that defines what homosexual behavior is, which occurs in ALL FORMS of homosexual behavior, versus the different presentations of "Blessed are the poor".

I can go through the entirety of Scripture, which I have, and find absolutely no justification for supposing that ANY manifestation of homosexual behavior is tolerable. One must pervert word definitions and passage meanings to have any hope of such.

But what "Blessed are the poor" means can justifiably be debated because of the different presentations of the Beatitudes which suggest more than what you need it to mean. Scripture explaining Scripture. I actually do it. You just say it.

Dan Trabue said...

Thanks for the answer.

So, I asked what your rubric is that lets you know correctly (objectively and without mistake) the "right" interpretation of a passage - when its literal message is not central and when its literal message is literal.

You answered, if I may summarize, by saying you look at all of Scripture, judging scripture passages based on other scripture passages. Is that correct?

Also, you note...

Consider the method you yourself claim as best of understanding Scripture and I do exactly the same with one caveat: I do it properly.

What "method" are you referring to here?

Assuming you mean the various rubrics I have mentioned (Scripture by Scripture, consider context, consider the cultural context, interpret the obscure through the clear, interpret the whole through the lens of Jesus' specific teachings, etc), then I would ask: ON what objective standard do you rely to know you've done it "properly..."?

Assuming your answer is, "It just seems most rational to me, like it's the only reasonable explanation that makes sense to me..." I would ask, How is that objective and not opinion?

Marshall Art said...

Look. You continue to try and get me (and others) to admit to what you need us to say in order to help you make your heretical case in favor of homosexual behavior. My answers won't change until you can provide compelling reasons or evidence for my doing so. Thus, my answer is not, nor has it ever been "It just seems most rational to me, like it's the only reasonable explanation that makes sense to me...". My "rubric" is the fact that I can respond to any challenge to my position and back it up with Scripture primarily, as well as the explanations for what Scripture is saying from any number of scholars, as well as to point out errors in the arguments of opponents, like yourself, while they try to dance and dodge and mischaracterize and deny.

You speak of your rubrics (Scripture by Scripture, consider context, consider the cultural context, interpret the obscure through the clear, interpret the whole through the lens of Jesus' specific teachings, etc) but don't truly apply them honestly or the least bit intelligently (take your pick).

I clarify here, so as not to let it be forgotten, that when I speak of my position, the word "opinion" does not apply unless I admit to having only an opinion. What constitutes an opinion is the simple fact that I cannot defend the opinion against all challenges. I do not fear such circumstances as I do not now, nor have I ever, claimed to have all the answers about every details of every book in Scripture.

But to say something as inane as "We don't know what God meant exactly" concerning Lev 18:22, is beyond the pale. So let's go back to it where we should be, instead of this redundant and superfluous blubbering about passages unrelated.

I can concede that it is my opinion that the prohibition of Lev 18:22 is still in effect for us today. But that opinion is based on the clear FACT that God called the act of a male lying with another male was with a female to be an abomination. Add to that the FACT that there is absolutely no reference to the context in which such an act might take place where it would NOT be an abomination. So I have, and really only need, two FACTS to support my opinion about Lev 18:22. Those two FACTS, without any that exist against them, renders my opinion as factual as it needs to be unless or until you can provide something as concrete as those facts. Thus far, you haven't even provided a decent weak piece of counter evidence to suggest my "opinion" is not likely a FACT itself.

This defense covers the demands of your post. It has always been thus. Can't say the same for you.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, thanks for clarifying.

But the fact is, our INTERPRETATIONS are always OUR opinions. Not facts.

Yes, I get that you can "back" your interpretations by pointing to other passages (to be clear: YOUR INTERPRETATION of other passages), but so can I, AND I have the advantage of also being able to point to plain reason (which I'm sure you think you can, too, in your opinion).

But in the real world, these are all our opinions. If you can't acknowledge the difference between opinion and fact, I do not care to carry on the conversation.

To what end would we do so?

If your "opinions" are "facts" and my opinions are stupid, (in your opinion), then what is there to say?

You have the advantage (in your head) that your OPINIONS are not opinions but facts so there's nowhere to go from there.

Good luck in life, Marshall.

If you ever are able to admit to yourself that your opinions are your opinions, not facts, come back and talk, I'd be glad to have a conversation with someone who can tell the difference between fact and opinion.

Marshall Art said...

And still you try to perpetuate this myth that I confuse opinion with fact. Fine. Be dishonest. But at least have the grace and honor to back your charge. If my fact is only opinion, then provide an argument. You don't. Your argument thus far is it that my fact is my opinion because you say so. The irony here is that you dismiss any arguments supported in this manner, but continually apply it here. By your standard, there is absolutely no such thing as fact or truth, but ONLY opinion. This is ludicrous and childish.

Another irony, if not abject hypocrisy, is how you've chided me in the past for not agreeing to the proposition that I could be wrong. As regards this topic, you give no indication that you could be, and hide behind this weak "opinion" and "interpretation" nonsense. To be honest in holding that position that you are willing to admit you could be wrong, you must at least seriously weigh the pros and cons of an opposing argument and address them directly without you tap-dancing and equivocating. But you don't and never have.

So again, if my facts are not facts but instead are personal opinion, make a case. Otherwise, you aren't serious about having a conversation at all, but are working hard to live in your fantasy world without truth and fact interfering.

"But the fact is, our INTERPRETATIONS are always OUR opinions."

This is only true because you need it to be. But it is hardly a fact. People may differ on some interpretations, but on others there is no doubt. By your standard, "Thou shalt not murder" has various interpretations, all opinion, concerning what "Thou shalt not murder" could possibly mean. Ludicrous, but your standard must apply to that as well or else it is BS. Which it is. Another fact for ya.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

This is only true because you need it to be. But it is hardly a fact.

?

Marshall, I don't know if you can appreciate how bizarre this is for others out there.

If one reads the Bible and finds specific literal mentions of "dragons," and they conclude therefore, that it is a FACT that dragons exist and they offer as "proof" that there is a line in the Bible that mentions dragons, they have not, in fact, proven anything.

Interpretations of text with no way of validating the data/ideas/facts mentioned in the text are always NOT factual, but opinion. It does not matter what the text is.

IF your opinions and interpretations are, indeed, "facts," then provide some hard observable objective data to support your opinion. Once you provide irrefutable objective data to support your opinion, THEN it can rightly be considered a fact.

Here are the definitions for fact (MW):

1. something that has actual existence

2. a piece of information presented as having objective reality

And for objective...

1. of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind

The very fact that people can read these texts and reach multiple different, opposing opinions is factual evidence that these are subjective opinions, not objective fact.

IF it is a fact, Marshall, provide your evidence.

And for the last time, "I read this passage and it seems to me and 1 million other people that the text means X" is not objective evidence.

If you respond with anything other than factual observable evidence or an admission that, "Oh, I get what you're saying. Yes, in THAT sense, of course my opinions are opinions, not facts..." then the conversation is over, there is nothing more to say.

Factually speaking, you are welcome to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

Dan Trabue said...

Just to maybe help you see (but apparently not), where you say...

if my facts are not facts but instead are personal opinion, make a case.

IF your "facts" are Facts, then you should be able to provide objective, empirical evidence to demonstrate that fact.

IF I claim that it is a fact that my car is blue, I could provide photos, paint chips or a personal visitation to demonstrate the fact. The evidence is there and visibly seen.

IF I claim that it is a fact that Obama is an alien species - not a homo sapien, at all - then we should be able to run DNA tests to prove or disprove factually this claim.

Objective facts can be supported by empirical, observable, measurable evidence and thus be established as facts.

Our opinions - no matter how sound and rational we may think they are - about subjective, unprovable matters - are, by definition, our opinions, not facts.

I'm noting the reality that your opinions are, by all evidence, YOUR opinions. IF you are trying to make a fact claim about your opinions, then the onus is on you to support them with empirical evidence.

"I think Lev 18 means..." is not empirical evidence of anything other than your opinion.

Can you really not understand this?

What definitions of opinion, fact and objective are you using?

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, I don't know if you can appreciate how bizarre this is for others out there."

First, I'm not concern with how anything I submit sounds to anyone who doesn't care to visit here and provide an actual counter argument to my positions. That actually excludes you as well, since to don't provide an actual counter argument, but it's your blog and you're making the wacky and inconsistent rules regarding opinions.

Secondly, I don't hold you as an authoritative source for the views "others out there". You provide no polling data or surveys to prove that anyone at all, much less "others", feel as you do about what I say. As you love irony, this flies in the face of what you are trying to legislate here regarding opinion vs fact.

"IF your "facts" are Facts, then you should be able to provide objective, empirical evidence to demonstrate that fact."

My facts are not "non-facts" simply because you demand even more evidence added to that which I've already provided and you have yet to legitimately overturn with other facts that counter them. In fact, you have yet to even deal with the initial fact upon which my eventual opinions are based. Instead, you dishonestly refer to them as opinion, as if I need anymore reminder of your position. What I do need from you is an actual argument without any further irrelevant and superfluous references to totally unrelated and disparate passages.

"Once you provide irrefutable objective data to support your opinion, THEN it can rightly be considered a fact."

At some point, one actually has to refute what has been provided, rather than pretend none has been. It is only at that point can anyone dare suggest that my "fact" is indeed only "opinion".

"The very fact that people can read these texts and reach multiple different, opposing opinions is factual evidence that these are subjective opinions, not objective fact."

The above is, ironically, not factual at all. I say this because, like you, some people read whatever they want into the text without themselves providing concrete evidence to support what they laughingly call "opinions" or "interpretations". What's more, simply because someone holds an opposing opinion or interpretation does not, in the least, refute the factual nature of the position opposed.

"If you respond with anything other than factual observable evidence or an admission that, "Oh, I get what you're saying. Yes, in THAT sense, of course my opinions are opinions, not facts..." then the conversation is over, there is nothing more to say."

How incredibly dishonest! You haven't even attempted to dispute the facts I have provided (except to deny they are facts, also without evidence or legitimate argument), and thus, there is plenty for you to say if only you had the courage, honesty and grace to say it.

And once again, what I present as facts ARE facts until and/or unless they can be shown to be false, then, I don't even want them as opinions. Who would? I mean, besides you?

Hold your water, I will be responding to your 5:50 AM comment.

Marshall Art said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

"IF your "facts" are Facts, then you should be able to provide objective, empirical evidence to demonstrate that fact."

I've done so, and to the extent that I have, you've offered not one single hint of a refutation that was not mere diversion from the point. You haven't shown the honest willingness to truly engage, but instead revert to rehashing your "rules" regarding the difference between fact vs opinion, while showing your own disinterest in abiding those rules.

"Our opinions - no matter how sound and rational we may think they are - about subjective, unprovable matters - are, by definition, our opinions, not facts."

And yet, after allowing the use of the term "opinion" regarding Lev 18:22 still being applicable today, you dismiss the facts I used to support that opinion as opinion as well, without the grace and honor of supplying any contrary evidence or argument of any kind. In other words, you argue my facts are opinions because you say they are opinions. Your word isn't exactly the gold standard you apparently think it is.

""I think Lev 18 means..." is not empirical evidence of anything other than your opinion."

Fortunately, I'm not rendering an opinion about Lev 18, except that it is still applicable today. But I do use facts in supporting that opinion. I use facts you have yet to dispute or disprove. In essence, and greatly ironic, you have thus far only disputed my facts by rendering your opinion that my facts are only my opinion. I don't know if you can appreciate how bizarre this is for others out there.

Definitions applicable to this discussion (from Dictionary.com):

Fact: something said to be true or supposed to have happened.

Clearly, Lev 18:22 is said to be true, as is God referring to the act of a man lying with a male as with a female being an abomination.

Opinion:

1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.

Each of these apply in this discussion to one extent or other, either as applies to what might be my opinions or as evidence of others opinions that supplies evidence in support of my opinions.

Objective: not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased.

I have been quite consistent, as well as accurate, in my application of these definitions in my comments.

Still one more thing....

Marshall Art said...

Facts about Lev 18:22

-It prohibits the specific act of lying with a male as with a female

-Since the time of it being handed down, this law has always been considered a reference to what we now call "homosexual behavior"

-This verse states that God regards the specific act mentioned in the prohibition as an abomination, and this description is the basis of the prohibition. That is to say that the act is not an abomination because of the prohibition, but that the prohibition is in effect because the act is an abomination.

-There is nothing anywhere in Scripture that suggests the act is not or no longer regarded by God as an abomination.

-There is nothing anywhere in Scripture suggesting in any way that there is any context or scenario in which perpetrating this prohibited act would NOT be an abomination.

and to repeat what has never been rebutted with any factual evidence:

* 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
* 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
* 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
* 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

This should be enough for honest, rational and truth seeking individuals. Anyone with a real argument to counter any of these points (without merely dismissing them as not being factual) needs to present those arguments before daring to label any of them "opinion".

Marshall Art said...

Whilst awaiting an actual response, that may never come, to the points I've raised and the answers I've given, as well as I'm killing time before kickoff, I wish to make a few more points as regards Lev 18 in general and verse 22 in particular.

Except for the prohibition of verse 21, for which I've never heard any explanation for why it is amongst the rest of the prohibitions, all other verses refer to behaviors of a sexual nature.

Your argument is that verse 22 does not refer to "all forms" of homosexual behavior. But what of the rest? Except for verses 21 &23, all others are examples of heterosexual behaviors. That is, they all refer to men having sex with women not their own wife, be it another man's wife, his mother or daughter, his uncle's wife, a woman and her daughter, two sisters, etc. By your standard, these verses either speak to other forms of heterosexual behaviors, OR, they each do NOT speak to all forms of having sex with one's own mother, or sister, or a woman and her daughter. Clearly, the latter is ridiculous.

But the former demonstrates that God does make clear what is NOT proper for heterosexuals and thus, to assume that He would not do so for homosexuals does not make any sense and is not logical. But no, He clearly has prohibited the act that can only be interpreted to be homosexual in kind: lying with a male as one would with a female. He doesn't break it down into lying with one's father's husband, or some such nonsense, or with a man and his son. Nor does He need to considering verse 22 speaks to the act itself and not any particular context in which it might take place. Note, however, that each other prohibition is indeed a context in which a man lying with a woman might take place!

Furthermore, if we include verse 23, the bestiality verse, we can look at the entirety of Chapter 18 as God's will for us regarding human sexuality. He is listing all of what He disapproves. The only scenario missing is a man lying with is own wife. Imagine that! Sensible, rational and reasonable explanations have been given for why each prohibition has been given. They refer to sameness, be it gender or familial. Or too different, as with animals. (And the bit about menstruation has to do with ritual uncleanness.)

But again, the notion that verse 22 does not mean "all forms" of homosexual behavior would then have to mean that verse 23 does not mean "all forms" of bestiality. Or that verse 20 does not mean "all forms" of sex with one's neighbor's wife.

While "opinion" might apply to some of what has been presented above, an actual FACT is that you are inconsistent in the application of your "interpretation" of verse 22 in a way that is entirely too convenient. It requires a major suspension of logic and reason to make it work and no serious study can do that.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, giving you just a last bit of benefit of doubt, I'll have to say that I have no idea what "facts" you think you have presented. Perhaps you and I can agree on this much:

It is a fact that in Leviticus 18 and 20, there are texts in there that read like this:

"If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. "

We can agree, I'd hope, that factually speaking, that text is found in Lev. 20 in the NASB.

So, assuming we agree that this text appears, what OTHER fact do you think you have presented - an objective, measurable, discernible fact in the real world observable by all people, regardless of biases and ideology?

Just one fact.

Ball"s in yer court.

Dan Trabue said...

Here, I'll even get you started:

It is a FACT that a good majority of people throughout history who were familiar with this verse have considered it to support the notion that all gay behavior is wrong.

But that does not factually your claims (an Appeal to a Majority is not a logically sound claim to factuality).

So, how about one more honest to goodness fact about your opinion of what this verse means?

Marshall Art said...

Why not first deal with the facts that I have presented? That would be the honest and honorable thing to do, as opposed to pretending I've offered nothing factual at all. If you wish to maintain this charade, at least have the decency to attack my list and try to refute what I have called facts. Continually asking me to provide more simply confirms my suspicion that you lack the grace and honor you demand of me and other opponents.

Here, I'll even get you started:

Regarding my first fact from my comment of 1:16 PM today:

-Lev 18:22 prohibits the specific act of lying with a male as with a female.

Do you dispute this fact? Yes or no. If yes, why? What about the statement is NOT factual?

Here's another:

-This very same verse prohibits this act without any reference whatsoever to any context or scenario in which the act might take place.

Do you dispute this fact? Yes or no? If yes, why? What about this statement is not factual? Do you see anything within the verse that suggests a context or scenario by which this act might be perpetrated without the act still being an abomination?

Indeed, each of the points in that particular comment are facts by definition. They are demonstrably and provably true, at the very least, because they cannot be shown to be false.

I defy you to find anyone outside of the last...I'll give you...100 years who has tried to perpetrate the notion that Lev 18:22 does NOT refer to homosexual acts. It is not a majority (if not unanimous consensus) that offers an opinion of what this verse means. They state what it in fact does absolutely mean.

Here's one more fact: You continue to reference Chapter 20:13 as if the punishment proscribed must be acted upon in modern times in order to be consistent with the fact that the act prohibited in 18:22 applies today. How incredibly childish and dishonest. There's no basis for that when considering the question is simply whether or not the prohibition still applies, and not what we do about it if someone is in breech. How we respond is moot until the issue of its continued sinfulness is not resolved.

I've returned volley repeatedly without so much as an attempted return on your part. Neither of us lose by being wrong here if we are sincere in our efforts to understand God's will. You seem to value your position on this issue over being right with God. Not so with me and I continue to stand ready to be persuaded. Steel yourself and get on with it.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

-Lev 18:22 prohibits the specific act of lying with a male as with a female.

Do you dispute this fact? Yes or no. If yes, why? What about the statement is NOT factual?


Here is what I had already said about the similar text in Lev 20:

Lev 20 has God giving a rule to Israel that "men should not lie with men, as with women. It is an abomination. If they do this, you should kill them." That is what it literally says and, taken literally, it suggests that God disapproves strongly of "men laying with men" (sounding like at least some form of male-male sex) and that men who engage in "men lying with men..." should be killed, according to God, taken the passage literally.

That is my answer to that question. It is a FACT that the text - devoid of any context - appears to condemn male-male sex acts.

So, you and I appear to agree that the text factually says that.

Do you ALSO agree that Job 30:29 FACTUALLY says that Job is a dragon's brother?

Yes or no?

Yes, of course, that is what the text literally says. No one is disputing the texts in these cases. They say what they say and that is a fact.

What I am asking you is BEYOND what the text says, do you have any demonstrable, observable, provable facts to support your claim that BEYOND what the text says, that "factually" all gay behavior is wrong?

Or, put another way, do you have any demonstrable, observable, provable facts to support the extended claim that this text represents a rule for all people and all times (ie, no men may have sex with any men in any context ever)?

OR, can you agree with the reality that this is your opinion?

Dan Trabue said...

Whoa. Glenn stopped by to drop in four lengthy and off topic comments. Glenn, the topic is more about recognizing the difference between opinion and fact and acknowledging as much. The topic is NOT your personal opinions about what God may or may not think about various behaviors.

I've entertained some comments from Marshall that touch on the topic, but only insofar as a means of talking about being able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

As these comments are entirely off topic, I'll remove them.

If you'd like to clarify that you can understand the difference between opinion and fact, or if you'd like to comment on the topic, you are welcome to.

Dan Trabue said...

On topic: Glenn, DO you recognize that your opinions and interpretations of Bible passages (ANY Bible passages) ARE by definition, opinions, not facts?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Oh, and I knew you'd delete the comments because you don't want any of YOUR lemming followers to see the truth.

Dan Trabue said...

I deleted the comments because they were entirely off topic. They DID sort of serve to stand as an example of the sort of problem of being unable to understand the difference between fact and opinion, but Marshall's already done that. But here, I'll give you an opportunity to do it for yourself.

Glenn:
It is a fact that there is a text in the Bible where Job says, "I am a brother to dragons..." It would be an OPINION to conclude, "Therefore, Job actually was a dragon - since he was a brother of a dragon, he must have been a dragon, literally speaking..."

Do you agree that just because the line is in the Bible "I'm a dragon's brother" is not evidence that Job was a dragon's brother?

Do you agree that, in fact, it would be rather silly to presume that there was a literal Job who was literally a brother of a dragon?

The point being, we can distinguish between a line LITERALLY making a claim and the claim's factuality, right?

Feel free to respond on topic.

Marshall Art said...

"What I am asking you is BEYOND what the text says, do you have any demonstrable, observable, provable facts to support your claim that BEYOND what the text says, that "factually" all gay behavior is wrong?"

I've answered this about a billion times. But you continue to muddy the issue by referring other verses. Try to focus your attention on the only verse that matters, Lev 18:22. If you are serious about dealing with fact vs opinion, show some class, grace and honor by not engaging in diversionary tactics. Referring to 20:13 is an entirely different issue, it is NOT the same a 18:22.

So, once again, and I'll hammer this as often as it takes for you to cut the crap and actually deal with it, 18:22 speaks of a particular act, that of lying with a man as with a woman. Think of any manner in which this phrase might be applied. If you cuddle with a woman in a sexual manner. If you kiss woman in a sexual manner. If you plan a family with a woman with the intent of engaging in sexual relations....any way one might lie with a woman, the verse clearly prohibits doing the same with a man. That is to say, it is general enough to prohibit any action one might take with a man that would ordinarily be with a woman. There is no honest way to make the verse mean anything else, and I just offered the only extremes possible to an honest person.

Until activists attempted to reinterpret Scripture to accommodate their dysfunctional desires, this verse was always interpreted, translated, understood to mean sexual relations between two men. This is a fact as well, unless you have evidence to the contrary. (Good luck with that.)

There is no legitimate justification for presuming the verse might be referring to a particular context in which lying with a man as with a woman might take place. That is, none you've ever offered that wasn't pure conjecture and speculation, or more specifically, childish wishes.

What's more, I do not simply say that it is a fact that it refers to all homosexual behavior simply because the verse is stated as it is, so your "dragon's brother" crap is not the least bit analogous to my position or how I arrived at it. However, your position is about as fanciful as any that would suggest Job was literally referring to himself as a dragon's brother. But we discussed the difference between that piece of dialogue between Job and his mates versus the direct command of God regarding lying with a man as with a woman. There is no comparison, one is not like the other in any way, and you are deceitful in your attempt to suggest that anyone would or should take Job's line literally in order to be intellectually consistent. That you are not the least bit ashamed to try to run that crap speaks volumes about your character and/or intellect.

So once again, don't bring up Lev 20:13. Don't bring up Job and his dragon brothers. Don't bring up the Beatitudes. Grow a pair and address the verse in question and tell me where I have put forth opinion as fact. Without doing so, you have no credibility for suggesting that anyone else confuses the two.

Marshall Art said...

Finally, for tonight, I do wish to make one more point about opinions vs fact.

It is more than possible that one can hold an opinion that is also fact. It is my opinion that fire is hot. I can state categorically that it is absolute fact that fire is hot. It is easy to prove this fact and further justify my opinion of the general temperature of fire.

As regards the issue of 18:22 being applicable today, I have presented facts aplenty to support my opinion. I've presented enough irrefutable facts to demonstrate that my opinion is also fact. I've presented most of them in my comment of February 1, 2014 at 1:16 PM, none of which you made any effort to refute. The ball has always been in your court. I even keep handing it to you so that you can't miss it. Find a spine.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Try to focus your attention on the only verse that matters, Lev 18:22. If you are serious about dealing with fact vs opinion, show some class, grace and honor by not engaging in diversionary tactics. Referring to 20:13 is an entirely different issue, it is NOT the same a 18:22.

? Who died and made you arbiter of all discussion? Who says that the one and only verse that matters is Lev 18:22?

You have already agreed with me that context matters. Why this one verse? I'm using a verse (or verses) to help clarify, to give you multiple ways to see my point (ie, reality).

But dealing with that verse works as well...

the verse clearly prohibits doing the same with a man. That is to say, it is general enough to prohibit any action one might take with a man that would ordinarily be with a woman.

I HAVE ALREADY SAID at least three times in this discussion that, IF you lift this one verse out of all context and out of the text and look at JUST that one verse, then what you have is a verse that sounds like it is condemning men having sex in the context of whatever story that might be coming from. I have said that.

Do you understand that I have already said that? Multiple times?

Marshall...

Grow a pair and address the verse in question

If I answer it ten more times, will that suffice? How many times do I need to directly answer that question for it to be good enough?

Now that I've answered that question, again, your turn, answer my questions:

1. Do you ALSO agree that Job 30:29 FACTUALLY says that Job is a dragon's brother?

Yes or no?

2. What I am asking you is BEYOND what the text says, do you have any demonstrable, observable, provable facts to support your claim that BEYOND what the text says, that "factually" all gay behavior is wrong?

3. Or, put another way, do you have any demonstrable, observable, provable facts to support the extended claim that this text represents a rule for all people and all times (ie, no men may have sex with any men in any context ever)?

4. OR, can you agree with the reality that this is your opinion?


I will entertain direct questions to those answers or the conversation is over. Conversation has to be two way to be meaningful, rational, adult and respectful.

Grow a pair, indeed.

Marshall Art said...

"Who died and made you arbiter of all discussion?"

This question is more appropriately asked of you as you constantly apply rules of engagement that conveniently give your otherwise weak positions advantage.

"Who says that the one and only verse that matters is Lev 18:22?"

This verse matters because it is the definitive verse at the heart of so many of our discussions and within it is the fact that you dispute without supporting evidence (and instead only opinion and wild conjecture). Thus, it is the perfect example for this discussion regarding the difference between fact and opinion. 20:13 is irrelevant because the law mandated in it has not been debated as having relevance to contemporary believers. 18:22 is a prohibition. 20:13 is the punishment for the ancient Hebrews who are in breech of the prohibition. Two distinct and disparate Levitical laws. The point of debate has always been whether 18:22 still applies today, not whether or not the punishment does. We who take a more literal and proper view of Scripture have never maintained that all Levitical laws are in effect today.

"I HAVE ALREADY SAID at least three times in this discussion that, IF you lift this one verse out of all context and out of the text and look at JUST that one verse, then what you have is a verse that sounds like it is condemning men having sex in the context of whatever story that might be coming from. I have said that."

But that's not the question being asked. You routinely answer an alternative form of the question asked. Nonetheless, your case is not stronger by leaving the verse in context. It is far weaker. My point in focusing on the verse alone is in determining what is fact and what is opinion.

Out of time. More later.

Dan Trabue said...

I'll await the remainder of your answers before continuing too much, but I will address this one thing...

But that's not the question being asked. You routinely answer an alternative form of the question asked.

My answer is the only way to rationally answer the question. Look, here is your question again...

-Lev 18:22 prohibits the specific act of lying with a male as with a female.

Do you dispute this fact? Yes or no. If yes, why? What about the statement is NOT factual?


When offered a line of text, ripped from all context, all we can say is factual is that this line DOES say what it says. Can we say, "...THEREFORE, because that line is factually there, that it "prohibits the specific act of lying with a male as with a female..." carte blanche? No. Prohibits for WHO? What is the context that this statement is ripped from? We can say that IN THAT TEXT, it is condemning men lying with men, that factually is the case, but can we then extend that out as some sort of rule? No, of course not. Not just that text ripped from some source.

Look at the same scenario if you ripped out the "hair cutting" rules from a few verses earlier in the same text.

Lev. 19:27 prohibits the specific act of men cutting the hair on the side of their heads.

IS THAT A FACT? If not, why not?

The answer to that question is just like my answer to your question: In that text, it is a condemnation of men cutting the hair on the side of their heads, that is factually the case. Beyond that, with just that text alone, we can offer no facts.

And beyond that, whether we accept a teaching from this text or that text literally or quasi-literally is still going to be a matter of opinion. Is it our opinion that this text is reliable? that it is to be obeyed blindly? That it represents some literal higher Will? These are all questions of opinion, not fact. If they were factual, then we could present hard, observable evidence, but we can't. That is why they are opinion, not fact.

Now, before dealing with this, I really need to see your answers to my last comment, questions 1-4 in bold above.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I GAVE the complete context of Lev. 18:22 and yet you still deny what it says. The complete context, again, IS:

Chapter 18 starts with God saying, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you.

From this point God lists all sorts of sexual practices which were done in Egypt and Canaan, and which God found detestable. There are no other topics in this chapter; God just says don’t do any of these things because these are a reason why God is punishing the nations by having Israel drive the people out of the land. It was these practices which made the land unclean. The Scripture is very, very plain: God says all the listed sexual behaviors are an abomination to Him, and that those who practice these things are worthy of severe punishment. It is not limited to Israel, it is not limited in time or culture. Nor does it say it is only in regard to idolatry, nor are there any exceptions.

And yet you, TRABUE, have the audacity to claim the 4000 year-old-interpretation of this is only an opinion. And this is why so many people have blocked you from commenting on their blogs; your are dishonest.

Now, this comment is on topic of the comment string - are you going to delete it? Do you fear your argument isn't good enough?

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn, you are an adult, well old enough and responsible and wise enough, I am sure, to know that 10 years or 400 years or 4,000 years worth of opinion does not make an unsupported opinion, fact.

If something is a fact, it is verifiable, it is objectively demonstrable and provable to any and all, regardless of background or biases.

If people have believed for 4,000 years that "demons" cause illnesses, that 4,000 years' worth of belief is not evidence to prove the factuality of the claim. It remains an opinion UNTIL someone can provide objective evidence.

That is just a fact.

Do you have any objective evidence to back your opinion? If not, then I hope you can appreciate the reason why I am no longer entertaining commentary from people who are unable to differentiate between fact and opinion.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn, if you wish to comment here, then you can answer this question:

If something is a fact, it is verifiable, it is objectively demonstrable and provable to any and all, regardless of background or biases.

Do you agree with this reality?


No other commentary from you is accepted until I know you are not delusional and that you have some grounding in reality.

Marshall, add that question to your list of questions I need to see answers to if you want to continue commenting here.

Thank you.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,

I gave the full context, the full FACTS as stated in Scripture yet you are still dishonest so as to say it is just opinion.

Pray tell us, oh wiser than 4000 years of scholarship, how exactly do YOU interpret this passage?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Fact is that which reflects reality. Truth. Is that okay?

Dan Trabue said...

You gave the full TEXT that you picked out of the Bible. But plucking a text out of an ancient text - even a sacred text - is NOT the same as citing facts.

Here is a text from Job:

"I am a brother to dragons"

That is LITERALLY and FACTUALLY a line of text from the Bible. BUT, does that mean that Job was literally, FACTUALLY a dragon (or the brother of a dragon)?

The answer, in the real world, is no. It's literally and factually the text, but the INTERPRETATION of the text IS NOT A FACT.

Do you understand this, Glenn?

Yes or no, do you recognize this factual reality?


As to your "fact is that which reflects reality," yes, but BECAUSE it reflects reality, it should be demonstrable in the real world, observable to all regardless of biases or opinions.

If someone says "My dog weighs 15 pounds" that is a reflection of reality and FACTUAL IF we can measure/weigh the dog to confirm it. It is demonstrable to all, regardless of opinions and biases.

If someone says, on the other hand, "My dog weighs five tons," that is AN OPINION, not a fact. If we weigh the dog and it does, indeed, weigh five tons, then the opinion will be shown to be factual, but UNTIL such time as it is demonstrated/proven, it remains an opinion, not a fact.

Do you understand that, Glenn?

Answer the questions asked of you or have a nice day.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,

You are the most dishonest person I have ever dealt with.

Good bye.

Dan Trabue said...

Have a nice day.

Dan Trabue said...

I would suggest, Glenn, that a more intellectually honest to say, "I am unwilling or unable to answer that question without demonstrating that I am either unable to distinguish between fact and opinion or harming my agenda," rather than just calling names and engaging in ad hom attacks.

Sure, it might hurt your position, but you would at least demonstrate some integrity and decent character.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Trabue,

Pulling out the old victim card again. Your usual ploy when someone refuses to respond any more to your dishonesty.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm no victim, Glenn. I'm just pointing out the facts. I attempted to engage with you on a rational level, asking you if you can agree with some basic, definitional, rational understanding of what it means for something to be a fact.

Rather than answer my questions to confirm that we are two adults talking about reality on a rational level, you responded with an attack on the person, an ad hom attack.

How is asking you to verify a question "dishonest" on my part?

There is nothing to fear in questions, Glenn, it's only a basic staple of how we communicate and clarify. There is nothing dishonest in my questions. Here, I'll repeat one of them again so you can clearly see there is nothing dishonest or irrational about my question, it's a simple straightforward statement and question:

"I am a brother to dragons"

That is LITERALLY and FACTUALLY a line of text from the Bible. BUT, does that mean that Job was literally, FACTUALLY a dragon (or the brother of a dragon)?

The answer, in the real world, is no. It's literally and factually the text, but the INTERPRETATION of the text IS NOT A FACT.

Do you understand this, Glenn?

Yes or no, do you recognize this factual reality?


Rather than simply confirm a simple reality, you chose to call me dishonest.

I'm just calling an ad hom attack when you choose to engage in one. Facts are facts. Opinions are opinions. And unsupported opinions are not facts.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

the only one irrational here is you, as has been demonstrated by numerous bloggers. your dishonesty is well-known. Your twisting of Scripture is well-known. Your claiming "opinion" for facts is well-known.

Discussions with your are fruitless, since you marginalize EVERYONE's evidence as "opinion."

As I said, you are the most dishonest person I have ever dealt with. And that is not an ad hominem attack - it is a fact.

Dan Trabue said...

More evidence that you can't distinguish between fact and opinion.

Have a good day.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Oh, so it is just my opinion that you are the most dishonest person I've ever dealt with? I'M the one who has the experience. I'm the one making the judgement based on decades of dealing with people, and yet you have the gall to say that isn't a fact?!?!?!?!?!?

Shall I get the numerous bloggers I know who have dealt with you to verify the FACTS of what I said? Every one of them calls you dishonest. Which is why you are banned from so many blogs.

Post this comment to prove you aren't a coward, and so that people will know what so many good Christians know about you and your dishonesty.

Dan Trabue said...

No, Glenn, it is your opinion that I am dishonest.

In the real world, factually speaking, I am not dishonest, not terribly. That is, I never online purposefully write a statement I know to be false.

You might rationally conclude that in your opinion, I am confused, or that I am mistaken, but factually speaking, it is only an opinion (yours) that I am dishonest, because you do not know my heart, and thus can not possibly know factually that I am being dishonest. And, in fact, I am not being dishonest (and I know because we're speaking of ME).

See? Opinion, not fact.

Dan Trabue said...

Glenn...

Post this comment to prove you aren't a coward

If I post off topic, rude, ad hom attacks and that "proves" I'm not a coward, what does that say about the reality that you won't post my ON topic, polite comments and questions on your blog about your posts?

Are you, by your own measure, a coward, unwilling to let your ideas bear simple polite disagreement and questions?

Something to consider.

Marshall Art said...

I'll continue to play your silly games until you grow a pair and answer my questions as directly as you demand of me. And NO, you have not yet done that. I'll elaborate later.

1. Yes. Job did say that. But again, that is not anything comparable to God handing down a law based on His displeasure with homosexual behavior. That Job speaks in metaphor cannot, by any honest person of average intelligence and education be taken to literally mean his brother is an actual mythical creature. So you can 86 that inane attempt at justifying immorality.

2. I've done this repeatedly. But more importantly, only a child would need to have spelled out for him all the possible foods that would fall under the heading "snack before dinner". This is what you are doing with Lev 18:22.

3. I've done this repeatedly. But more importantly, it is incumbent upon YOU to provide demonstrable, observable, provable facts to support the desperate hope and wish that there exists any exemption from the prohibition that still applies today. You've never done this. At best, you've offered only the weakest of arguments based upon the most strained interpretations that cannot work based upon the words of the verses and passages into which you inject meanings you need but aren't there.

4. AS I indicated already, my opinion on this issue is as fact because all the available facts support and align with it. There are no facts that you or anyone else has offered that refutes any of it. But in truth, "opinion" is not the appropriate word here. It is my conclusion, and that conclusion is the only rational and honest conclusion to which a rational and honest person can come.

5. Yes. And everything I've put forth satisfies the demands of that question. But, as I have stated here and at my blog, you simply choose to label as fact or opinion what works best to support your case or gives you license to avoid facing the truth.

As to your answers to my questions, they are indirect answers to direct questions, and that's being gracious. Lev 18:22 doesn't in any way speak to "some" forms of an act. It prohibits a specific act. This is a fact that is as clear as the simple language Scripture uses in relating it to the reader. Whether we "rip it from its context" or leave it where it is, nothing changes regarding what the prohibition is, says and means.

continued...

Marshall Art said...

In order for your objection to have any merit whatsoever, you must also allow that there is some scenario or context or exemption for you to engage with sex with animals that isn't prohibited by God. You must allow that there is some scenario, context or exemption for you to have sex with your mother that isn't prohibited by God. And gee, what facts do you have to prove that "thou shalt not murder" means "all forms" of murder? Maybe there's some way you could find some form of cursing God that is OK, too.

Then, we see in the same verse that God calls the act an abomination. Where in Scripture has that been overturned in any way, given that the very act is what is prohibited? Ever since the Law was laid down, this verse has been understood, interpreted and KNOWN to refer to sex between males (or two of the same gender). What facts can you provide that overturns this commonly accepted fact, a fact accepted by even those half dozen pro-homosexual Biblical scholars I listed several times?

But the loosest interpretation of the verse suggests anything a man might normally do only with a woman is forbidden him should he want to do the same with a male. But nowhere is there any hint that there is some scenario or context by which this act would NOT be an abomination. Nowhere is there any evidence that God no longer regards this act in this manner.

AS I said much earlier, this prohibition stands BECAUSE the act is an abomination to God. The act did not become an abomination because God prohibits the act. Because its an abomination, and nothing anywhere lends credence to the hope and wish that it might not always be so, it is still amongst those laws of Leviticus that still apply to Jews and Christians today.

If there is some manner by which this act might be tolerated, then there would be a list of those various forms of homosexual behavior as most of the rest of Chapter 18 has done for heterosexual behavior. Most of the prohibitions are forms of heterosexual acts. But most of the prohibitions in Chapter 18 are simply prohibitions against various forms of human sexual behavior outside of the one man/one woman marital arrangement.

I'm out of time for now, but obviously, you fare worse when the verse is still within its context. Now have the honor and courage to admit you have distorted Scripture in this case, or provide the facts and evidence you have demanded of me to prove your opinion isn't just pulled from your own backside.

Dan Trabue said...

I asked...

1. Do you ALSO agree that Job 30:29 FACTUALLY says that Job is a dragon's brother?

Marshall answered...

?Yes. Job did say that. But again, that is not anything comparable to God handing down a law based on His displeasure with homosexual behavior. That Job speaks in metaphor cannot, by any honest person of average intelligence and education be taken to literally mean his brother is an actual mythical creature.

Yes, we agree that the fact is, that line factually appears in Job.

Further, we agree that, just because that line is there, it is not an indication that we must take it literally.

Right?

The point being, this:

1. One principle of biblical textual interpretation is that we should NOT just presume to take a line to mean literally what it says just because we find it in the Bible. We would be MISTAKEN to say, "Here is a line in the Bible, it must be taken as a factual point and/or a rule for all people and all times."

AGREED?

2. A second principle of textual interpretation is that we can use OUR reasoning/OUR opinions to reach a conclusion about a text's meaning/significance/literal or figurative status.

AGREED?

3. Given 1, and 2, above, IF we are using OUR HUMAN REASONING to interpret something - and IF we have ZERO objective observable facts on which to base our conclusion, then we are, by definition, speaking about matters of opinion, not fact.

AGREED?

Dan Trabue said...

I said...

3. Or, put another way, do you have any demonstrable, observable, provable facts to support the extended claim that this text represents a rule for all people and all times (ie, no men may have sex with any men in any context ever)?

Marshall answered...

I've done this repeatedly.

Okay, then OFFER ONE. Show me ONE objectively observable fact that supports your conclusion.

Right here. Right now.

You keep saying you've done this, but I have not seen it. So, do it now, or go away.

Your next statement should begin: "Here is one objectively observable factual bit of evidence to support my case..."

You went on to say...

But more importantly, it is incumbent upon YOU to provide demonstrable, observable, provable facts to support the desperate hope and wish that there exists any exemption from the prohibition that still applies today.

Why? Says who?

I'm saying your opinion on what this means is not a fact, it is a biased opinion based on whimsical approach to bible study and tradition and bias, not facts. Why do I have to prove anything?

Marshall Art said...

Point 1

Disagree. Both with the alleged principle of interpretation and the implications of it. I would submit that we suspend declaration of any text, passage or verse that gives us pause until we can confirm or reject our initial inference with facts and evidence. But some verses (or texts or passages), like Lev 18:22 do NOT give one pause due to its clear and unmistakable wording.

However, for one who whines about bullying, abusive comments and ad hom attacks, your statement implies that anyone is taking every line of Scripture literally simply because we find it there, as if some rube. How insulting!

Point 2

Disagree. I don't use opinion at all, but what reason determines is true and factual determines my opinion. At the same time, I see absolutely no evidence that you use reason at all to come to your heretical conclusions, and you provide no evidence that suggests you have reasoned. What I see is conniving and conspiring as you force meaning into text to arrive at what you want it to teach. This is crystal.

Point 3

Agree in principle, but disagree wholeheartedly that it describes in the least what my argument looks like. I HAVE offered fact. You dismiss them, just as I had said in my initial objection to your post stated. You continue to do it, that is, assuming authority to label facts you don't like as opinion, instead of offering any counter that would ever give me pause about my position. The "Nuh uh" argument just doesn't cut it. Even if the facts I offered were indeed not facts, you would still need to demonstrate why with facts of your own. Then you'd have an argument that is conducive to examination and perhaps a change of heart might be possible. When will I see such a thing? Forgive me for not holding my breath.

"Okay, then OFFER ONE. Show me ONE objectively observable fact that supports your conclusion.

Right here. Right now.

You keep saying you've done this, but I have not seen it."


Pick any of those offered in my comment of February 1, 2014 at 1:16 PM. So far, you've only offered "Nuh uh!" To insist I have failed on my end requires some counter argument on yours to make the case. "Nuh uh!" doesn't qualify.

"Why? Says who?"

Says honest people of honor and character. You need to show why that stop sign doesn't apply in all situations, as it only says "STOP". In the same way, 18:22 says "Thou shalt not..." and you need to show why it doesn't mean you or your friends. This is how debate and discussion works. The issue isn't that Leviticus was given to a specific people (and aren't all supposed to be His Chosen now thanks to Christ Jesus?), but that this, as with some other laws, still apply today. I've made my case and provided a list of facts in support. You give me "Nuh uh!"

"Why do I have to prove anything?"

Because even opinion, indeed, even outlandish, heretical and laughable opinions like yours, require some actual basis in something real and true. I've long known what your opinion on this issue is. You've offered no facts, but twisted verses to use as facts that provoke questions and concerns you never address. You claim you follow a method of study, but your comments indicate you only pay lip service to that method, while demanding the strictest adherence of others, and a never ending demand for more proof and more fact.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, let's look at just one of your "facts..." (and I'd request that you answer the three bolded questions below if you want to keep commenting)

About Leviticus 18, you say...

-It prohibits the specific act of lying with a male as with a female

Yes, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STORY, it does appear that this is what it is saying. I've agreed to this.

Do you agree that this is what it appears to be saying IN THE CONTEXT of the story, not as a blanket rule?

I'm asking a very specific question here, Marshall:

On what FACTUAL basis would we extend this to all gay men and all time (if indeed, it is speaking of all gay male behavior in Israel at the time.)?

But another thing: It APPEARS to be a blanket condemnation of all male gay behavior in Israel at the time. But to know FACTUALLY that this is what God intended (even at the time), we'd have to have something more than mere human interpretation.

Do you understand the difference between pointing to a text and saying, "I think this is clearly the author's intention" and "here is the author to clarify his intention..." beyond all doubt?

Do you understand that one is opinion and the other fact?

Marshall Art said...

"(and I'd request that you answer the three bolded questions below if you want to keep commenting)"

And yet again, you demand what you've been given, never showing any true notion of honorable reciprocation by answering any question of mine, or meeting any expectations of mine regarding the legitimate exchange of ideas and arguments. Typical. Nonetheless....

First emboldened question:

No. Once again, No. It doesn't merely "appear" to prohibit the specific act of lying with a male as with a female, it factually does so. Without question. Without equivocation. Without exemption for any possible scenario that would make doing so acceptable, and does so whether the verse remains in the context of the entire chapter, nay, entire book of Leviticus, nay entire Bible, or if removed from the text for specific scrutiny of this specific verse.

Second emboldened question:

On the factual basis that God clearly regards the behavior as an abomination, since He clearly said so.

On the factual basis that this description of the act of a man lying with a man as with a female is the basis for God prohibiting that anyone engage in it, since God clearly uses that description as such. That is, it is prohibited because it is an abomination.

On the basis that no where in Scripture is there any indication, explicit or implicit, obvious or ambiguous, that God has changed His mind about the act being an abomination.

On the basis that if it was not a universal prohibition against any scenario by which two men might engage in the act, the text would surely provide exemptions as it listed the many heterosexual scenarios that are distinct from the ideal of one man/one woman in marriage.

On the basis that there is specific language in the ancient tongue to depict the kind of temple prostitution you need the verse to reference in order to maintain your delusion that it does so.

The above are all factual until you can provide counter evidence of your own.

Third emboldened question:

I understand that the author in question, God Himself (since Leviticus 18 depicts God Himself speaking) makes His intentions quite clear and that you are deceitful in suggesting that there is the least bit ambiguity. This, too, is factual unless you have some evidence you are saving to spring upon me at some point.


Dan Trabue said...

Get help, Marshall. You can't distinguish fact from opinion.

Don't believe me? Ask a person you trust who doesn't share your agenda. You are factually speaking about unconfirmed, subjective opinions and thinking your opinions are facts. They aren't.

Get help, good luck with that. Seriously.

Good day.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm not accepting off topic commentary from people who can't distinguish fact from opinion.

Any commentary that offers opinion that acknowledges itself as opinion, not fact, is welcome. Contrariwise, anyone wanting to comment on topic with actual verifiable facts is also welcome to comment.

But verifiable facts means that it is a fact objectively verifiable by any and all, regardless of biases.

"I read a book and I think it teaches X" is not a verifiable position, it is, by definition, subjective opinion.

Dan Trabue said...

The topic of the post is about how I'm asking people to stick to making points with a clear acknowledgement of "this is MY opinion," when they offer matters of opinion and, if they are saying something that is a fact, that they offer hard observable evidence (at least if requested), not mere opinion.

I'm not interested in having people post more opinions and stating they are facts, nor am I interested in humoring people who can't distinguish between fact and opinion.

If you have a comment about the wisdom (or lack thereof) about expecting people to be able to distinguish between fact and opinion, please make it, but be sure that you are able to distinguish the two yourself.

Marshall Art said...

"The topic of the post is about how I'm asking people to stick to making points with a clear acknowledgement of "this is MY opinion," when they offer matters of opinion and, if they are saying something that is a fact, that they offer hard observable evidence (at least if requested), not mere opinion."

All this has been accepted and these demands have been met. But as I predicted and you have demonstrably shown, you are subjectively labeling as opinion those facts that are inconvenient for you in maintaining your delusions about Scriptural teachings.

The blatant problem is your unwillingness, or inability to demonstrate why or how a point is either fact or fiction, or you lack the courage to defend your counter position because doing so would require facts of your own that do not exist, as you well know they don't.

Thus, the irony here (because I know you love irony so, so much), is that you are unable to distinguish between fact or opinion yourself. Sure, you present analogies and examples you believe are good illustrations of opinion, but none of them match anything I've been doing in any way, nor do they mitigate the truth of what I defend. One must actually address the truth claim in order to expose it as untrue or merely opinion. You don't have the stones for that since you can't face the truth and maintain your delusions regarding the issue I've once again brought forth as an example of your subjective labeling.

So yeah. I also expect facts to back up opinions offered, as well as evidence that something said is a fact. But I don't dismiss anything in the cowardly way you're doing here. I address the evidence and facts directly and give counter evidence, facts and arguments to either expose the position as false and untrue, or confirm that the guy knows what the hell he's talking about. I win in either case as it either confirms what I believe is indeed true or it educates me about truths of which I was previously unaware or not clearly understanding.

You claim you are open minded and willing to alter your position in light of facts and evidence, but this whole charade here and at my blog clearly demonstrates the opposite, that you are married to a position you cannot defend for reasons superficial, convenient and self-serving, rather than God-serving.

And as if this wasn't bad enough, you delete comments for fear others will agree with them pretending that the deleted comments display some inability on my part to distinguish between fact and opinion. That's a slander, particularly since you deny others the ability to read and judge for themselves.