How Jesus Breaking the Sabbath Proves Gay Marriage is Okay

Jesus broke the Sabbath. The Bible is clear about that.

I don’t take phrases like “The Bible is clear…” lightly. When I say “The Bible is clear,” I have verses.

I’m going to show you three passages from scripture that show that Jesus defended breaking the Sabbath, and then I’m going to explain how that proves that gay marriage is okay.

Exhibit A

Passage: John 5.
Story: Jesus healing a paralyzed man.
Verses: John 5:8-11.

Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’”

Jesus commanded a man to do something that was unlawful – to carry his mat on the Sabbath. But it gets worse.

The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” (John 5:15-17)

He admitted to it! Jesus admitted to working on the Sabbath, and he justified it by saying “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” In the same breath, he admitted to it and said “It’s fine.”

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the author of John adds in this little tidbit:

 For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God. (John 5:18)

“He was… breaking the Sabbath.” (“Not only” doesn’t change the meaning.) Scripture is very, very clear. Jesus was breaking the Sabbath.

Exhibit B

Passage: Luke 14
Story: Jesus heals a man with dropsy
Verses: Luke 14:3-6

And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?” But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?” And they could not reply to this.

Jesus heals on the Sabbath. It’s very similar to the last story, but here, Jesus gives examples that are obviously work – pulling a child or ox out of a well, and says, “Wouldn’t you do it, even on the Sabbath?” Of course they would. Jesus justifies breaking the Sabbath – breaking the law – here, by saying, “Well you would, too.”

Which, let’s be honest, is a horrible argument that we all know is wrong. Except when Jesus uses it.

Exhibit C

Passage: Mark 2
Story: Jesus’ disciples plucking grain on the Sabbath
Verses: Mark 2:23-28

One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

Notice what happened: The Pharisees accused Jesus’ disciples of doing what was not lawful on the Sabbath, and Jesus’ response is not to say “No they aren’t.” Jesus’ defense is that David ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.”

Jesus doesn’t defend his disciples by saying they aren’t breaking the Sabbath. He justifies their breaking the Sabbath. The significance of this difference cannot be overstated. What’s more, he justifies their breaking the Sabbath by justifying David eating the bread of the Presence, which was also not lawful!

Jesus literally justified his disciples breaking the law by eating by saying that David broke the law by eating, so it was okay.

If I married several women and justified polygamy by saying that David did it, I would get thrown out of most churches. They would say, “Listen, there are verses in the Bible that are descriptive, and there are verses that are prescriptive. That story was descriptive. Jesus? He says that David’s law-breaking was prescriptive. And that’s just crazy-talk.

The Hermeneutic of Jesus

Jesus has this pattern of ignoring the Sabbath. In John 5, he admits to it in the clearest of terms, saying, “God’s working, and so am I.” In Luke 14, he justifies it by saying, “You’d do it.” In Mark 2, he justifies it by saying, “David broke the law too, so it’s cool.”

But there’s a common denominator in all of this law-breaking that Jesus either does or justifies. He doesn’t say that the law-breaking isn’t occurring; he defends the law-breaking. Why? Why does Jesus defend this?

Because it’s the loving thing to do.

Because, I submit, Jesus cared more about people than about obeying the law. Whenever there was a showdown between “Gosh, do I obey the law, or do I love this person,” Jesus didn’t have some internal debate. He had an external debate, and his arguments would never hold up today.

I don’t think that Jesus’ argument was his rationale. I think Jesus’ rationale was that the man was paralyzed, the other man had dropsy, and the disciples were hungry. It was as simple as that. But Jesus knew the law and the prophets well enough to justify the act of love in the most bizarre ways.

Of course, some may say, “It’s a matter of interpretation,” or, “Jesus didn’t actually break the Sabbath and (in James’ words) the whole law! We have to contextualize it…” until it doesn’t really mean what it very clearly says.

Which leads me to this: Why do the verses that very clearly say Jesus broke the Sabbath require interpretation? I submit that it’s because they disagree with our theology.

And what about those verses that seem to say that being gay is wrong? Why are they so damn clear? I submit that it’s because they agree with our theology. (Well, I say “our” loosely here. It’s not my theology).

But if we use the hermeneutic of Jesus, then we find that love for others trumps the law of the Bible – or at least recommends very creative interpretation of it.

“But God says that gay sex is wrong!”

The Bible also says that breaking the Sabbath is wrong, and Jesus did it.
And if you think he didn’t, as Mark Driscoll once said, “Skip your systematic theology; read the text.”

Seriously. Exhibit A is very clear. Jesus said he worked on the Sabbath, and the text around it says that he broke the Sabbath. It doesn’t say that the pharisees said he broke the Sabbath. It simply says that he did.

I think that if there isn’t proof that something hurts people, you should probably let them do it. If gays want to get married, let them. Welcome them. Love them. Do what Jesus did: break the law of the Bible to follow the law of Love.

And that is how Jesus breaking the Sabbath proves that gay marriage is okay.

David M Schell About David M Schell
I am a doubter and a believer. I have a Master's in Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, but because faith grows and changes, I don't necessarily stand by everything I've ever written, so if you see something troubling further back, please ask! Read More.

41 thoughts on “How Jesus Breaking the Sabbath Proves Gay Marriage is Okay

  1. I think that if there isn’t proof that something hurts people, you should probably let them do it.

    This is the true principle. It’s misapplied, however. Proofs are abundant, depending only on which angle the question is approached.

    More later, but only if we’re savvy about it.

  2. David,

    Let me follow your reason and logic, since Jesus “broke” the Sabbath because HE loves people (which I agree with that part, Jesus does love people). Since you are disregarding the fact that Paul said that the law shows sin and that the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus knew no sin, instead of the fact that Jesus is simply disagreeing with the Pharisees interpretation of the Sabbath. Let’s just disregard that Jesus said ‘HE came to fulfill the law and not to destroy it’. I’ll join you on this erroneous Hermeneutic adventure that you’re on.

    You said that Jesus loves the law breaker and Jesus “broke” the law. I’ll submit to you this: with your rational and logic, David, I should be allowed to have sex with your wife, because I’m doing it out of love for you. I sincerely love you and this is how I express my love to those who I love. Therefore, you should/will accept this since this is an act of love (and sex is an acceptable behavior and with your logic having sex with someone’s wife other than your own is fine) and Jesus loves law breakers, so David, while I have sex with your wife you should be fine with this especially with the supreme fact that it is all cram packed full of love. Considering King David did this and nothing directly happened to him and besides that was “prescriptive”!

    I’m fit, good looking, smart and heck I’ll even have sex with you, and I’ll be doing this out of love and not to make you feel left out, too because I love you! I would prefer to have sex with your wife though. The verses in Leviticus that says “And a man who lies with a male as one lies with a woman, both of them have done a detestable thing, dying they shall die…….by being stoned” That’s just prescribed, right? Or wait (disregarding the Golden Rule of Interpretation)!!!!! maybe……. it’s literal prescribed? Yeah, because it’s just referencing two man who are “stoned” (puff puff). Yes that’s it!!!!!!!!!!

    That’s also another subject for another time of “the Misadventures of Horribly Erroneous Hermeneutics”.

    So David, when and what day is it good for me to have sex with your wife?

    I am looking forward to having sex with your wife! This will be such a great injection of love into both of your lives. I’m so excited about expressing the fullness of my love for you both!
    Please post this where ever this article has been posted, because I want all to see my love expressed to you.

    • Short version:

      Love is the fulfilment of the law. Love does no harm to a neighbor. If you had sex with my wife (and/or me) against my (and/or our) wishes, you would be doing harm to us and violating the very principle that I am claiming here. That would not follow the hermeneutic I claim is the hermeneutic of Jesus; rather, it would be a violation of nearly the worst kind.

      Long version:

      I think you are a bit confused.

      First, you take issue with my claim that Jesus broke the Sabbath, failing to recognize that the claim is not mine, but the claim of the scripture passage I quoted. You don’t want Jesus to have broken the Sabbath because it would mess up your neat theological package. But scripture says that Jesus did indeed break Shabbat. It is not ambiguous on that point. Notice, however, that, though it says Jesus broke Sabbath, it does not say that he sinned.

      Second, you’re confusing “love for me” with your claimed expression of that love, which is altogether unloving because it causes me harm. Scripture says that love does no harm to a neighbor.

      You are doing precisely what all those who abuse scripture do: They confuse what they think is good for others with Real Love, which does not harm a neighbor.

      The inquisitors, for instance, felt that real love for their neighbors would be to compel them to accept Christianity, and as a result, they tortured them (did them harm) and called it love because the view of love that you are (quite incorrectly) ascribing to me.

      Based on your misunderstanding of my post, you would likely say that same-sex sex is inherently sinful and causing of damnation, and that real love for gays would result in preventing them from acting on their sins at all costs.

      You’ll find that scripture says that love does no wrong to a neighbor. What is “wrong” done to me, in this case, is not relative to your perspective on what is wrong, but mine. (Similarly, what is wrong done to you is not at my discretion, but yours). If I am harmed, then your act of having sex with my wife is not loving to me, because it harms me. As C.S. Lewis’s professor put it, ” Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?”

      I should by no means be “fine” with you causing me harm (in this case, emotional) by having sex with my wife. This directly wrongs me.

      In addition, I am not claiming that everything that King David did was prescriptive. I am merely pointing out that Jesus partook in very creative interpretation of that passage to say that what his disciples did, though it was wrong in the sight of the law, was not morally wrong or wrong in the eyes of God, and Jesus did it because it was good for his disciples and would not harm them.

      This does not apply, however, to the view of gays. You would likely claim that being gay is harmful because the Bible says it’s wrong. Being gay isn’t hurting anyone except (spuriously possibly) those who participate in the acts.

      Perhaps I should have clarified that I meant that love does no harm to a neighbor and always seeks for their best. You may claim to believe that your rhetorical orgy would be for our best, but ultimately, I am the final arbiter of whether your acts cause me harm or are for my good, not you.

  3. I should add, for the sake of clarity for some, that love is relative to the person being loved, not to the person expressing it. Love does no harm to a neighbor, so, contra Barabba Or’s comment, not just any act that the giver decides is loving counts. The receiver must agree with that claim for it to be love.

    Of course, there will continue to be sticky dilemmas and situations where loving acts may not be immediately perceived as loving (the parent who causes his child to be vaccinated, for example), but many of these are situations in which it can be repeatedly and objectively proven that what the lover is doing is in fact in the best interest of the one being loved.

    This is different from religious claims because it is not obvious nor repeatable to claim that, for instance, persons who act on same-sex attraction will be damned for all eternity. One may claim that scripture says it, but that is not nearly the same as decades of scientific evidence that people who come into contact with deadly pathogens against which they are not inoculated tend to die.

  4. David,
    First, you have committed several fallacies. The cup and the coin fallacy. This is when there is a man with three cups (or any number of cups) and under one of the cups there is money. The man moves all cups around and you need to guess which cup has the money under it. You’ll consistently change (move the cup with money under it) the definition of the word you are discussing (whether it is love/hurt) to best suit you.
    Second, David, you say that love your neighbors is doing something that does not hurt them. Now, your best friend/wife may tell you “David, you are the most self-center, selfish, know-nothing, imbecile”, just because it hurts you, does not eliminate it from being either: LOVE OR TRUTH. The fact of the matter is that statement can be both love and truth.
    With your logic that “Love does not hurt your neighbor” (Romans 13:10) then Jesus should have never rebuked Peter (or for that matter Paul should have never rebuked Peter, because both of those really hurt Peter, which leads to the fourth point.
    Fourth, you affirm the consequences. Since me having sex with your wife (even if she wanted to have sex with me) would hurt you and “violate” the Scripture that says “Love does not hurt your neighbor”, you take it that since this hurts you that this is not love, affirming the consequences.
    This also leads into point five.
    Fifth, You take the part to represent the whole (a la synecdoche), with that Romans verses and many other verses that you use you do this in order to ascertain the whole. This would be like me saying that in book twenty one of the Iliad verse 121 since Achilles keeps killing Trojans that this whole book is about killing Trojans.
    Sixth, it comes down to who defines truth, love, and hurt. You would say that you define them. Very relativistic since everyone would have their own definition of those three words. Since you change the meanings and terms of those three words to suit what is bests for you, the conclusion here is that you don’t know what those words truly mean, don’t really care what they mean as long as they suit you since you define them. For example, you say that you define hurt and then You say “that love is relative to the person being loved, not to the person expressing it.” This leads into two points here which will become point 7 a and b.
    Seventh, you are saying that the person doing the love isn’t really loving unless the other person acknowledges it and that you define hurt. So with your logic here as well the one person loving can be able to define love whether the other person acknowledges it since with your reasoning you define what hurts the person doing the love can define that it is love and it doesn’t matter if the other person thinks it is or isn’t. Because the person getting hurt defines what being hurt means and with your reasoning that if a person does get hurt (unless excluded by David Schell’s criteria that he listed) it is defined by the person getting hurt not anyone else. Yeah, relativism escapes reason. Who defines those three words?
    In conclusion, since you mince and cut the Bible, I could do the same with the Iliad. In the Iliad it says that it is good for a man to have sex with another man’s wife because it brings out her passion, using your very own logic with the child getting the vaccination (where as the initial getting the vaccination hurts but the benefits far out weigh the hurt and actually the benefits go beyond hurt into superb region), that me having sex with your wife may hurt you but in the long run the benefits far out weigh that small hurt you felt. Which gets into essentially that slippery slope that you try to hold onto.
    So, I ask again, when is it good for me to have sex with your wife?
    Please post my post where every you have posted this article.

    • First, you have committed several fallacies. The cup and the coin fallacy.

      First, I have not. I never commit fallacies. Ever.

      Second, The Cup and Coin Fallacy is not a fallacy. You invented it.

      Third, that last sentence was a fragment.

      just because it hurts you, does not eliminate it from being either: LOVE OR TRUTH.

      I believe I already addressed that:

      Of course, there will continue to be sticky dilemmas and situations where loving acts may not be immediately perceived as loving (the parent who causes his child to be vaccinated, for example), but many of these are situations in which it can be repeatedly and objectively proven that what the lover is doing is in fact in the best interest of the one being loved.

      Your fallacy is that you failed to read the comment before replying to it. This likewise addresses your supposed third fallacy.

      I recognize your fourth argument: that the Bible is flat and that I am rejecting parts that I don’t like. If you read my post titled Which Bible Do You Read, you will probably refuse to realize that you do the same. The Bible isn’t flat. We all read around the parts that disagree with us. I believe the part about loving your enemies is central to Christianity, and if it isn’t, then by golly I’m going to be an atheist. I didn’t choose Christianity because it was the most logical. I’m still here on the raggedy edge because it’s the most beautiful. If the Bible is flat and must be read in such a way that makes God both loving and violent, then I would let my brain outvote my heart and dispose of Christianity. Fortunately, however, I do not require your interpretation.

      Fifth: You refer to “relativistic” as though it’s a bad thing. It’s not.

      So with your logic here as well the one person loving can be able to define love whether the other person acknowledges it since with your reasoning you define what hurts the person doing the love can define that it is love and it doesn’t matter if the other person thinks it is or isn’t.

      1. That’s a run-on sentence. Let me try to break it down (fairly).

      With your logic, here as well, the one person loving can to define love whether the other person acknowledges it or not, since with your reasoning, you define what hurts the person doing the love can define that it is love and it doesn’t matter if the other person thinks it is or isn’t.

      2. I stand corrected. It’s not a run-on sentence. It’s not even a sentence. It’s like a zombie of a sentence. It has all the parts, but it’s missing the meaning. It took me three readings to realize that it made no sense at all, particularly the section in italics. If you’d like, you may clarify.

      In conclusion, since you mince and cut the Bible, I could do the same with the Iliad.

      I don’t care at all whether you mince and cut the Iliad. Help yourself.

      In the Iliad it says that it is good for a man to have sex with another man’s wife because it brings out her passion,

      I don’t give a damn what the Iliad says. I could quote Mein Kampf if you like, but we would only descend deeper into insanity than I have already allowed myself to be drawn. (Besides which, haven’t given a reference and I suspect that the Iliad says nothing of the kind.)

      me having sex with your wife may hurt you but in the long run the benefits far out weigh that small hurt you felt. Which gets into essentially that slippery slope that you try to hold onto.

      Very well. Let’s do it your way. Let’s make the Bible our One True Source of Truth. Let’s opt to screw trying to be as loving as we possibly can be and just do what the Bible says. The Bible says I can have male and female slaves, so whichever you are. I’m good. Put your people on notice; I hear God calling me to lead my people into battle with your people and make you my slave.

      You may respond to my responses, which I’m sure you will… Or perhaps you could aim for the heart of the matter this time: If love is not to be the primary source of morality, then what would you recommend? The Bible? If so, which part?

  5. David,

    You stated “Second, The Cup and Coin Fallacy is not a fallacy. You
    invented it.”

    This is non-sequitur, because a person can invent a new fallacy does not stop their point from being valid. There is always new logic being thought of (not all of it is valid or logical) and that is how that singular logic class that you probably took came about. The purpose of logic is to aid in the exchange of information, so please, hold off on being offended. Furthermore, just because David Schell never heard of it or could not find it on his quick google search, does not mean that it is not a fallacy or it doesn’t exist. Just because you’ve never have heard, seen, or known about something does not eliminate it from being valid or true.

    For example, you’ve might have never experienced a rogue wave (or have been to Taipei), this does not mean that Taipei is non-existent (I’ve lived there) or that rogue waves do not happen (SS Edmund Fitzgerald would beg to differ if you feel that rogue ( the cup and the coin is a true fallacy. It can also be found under the fallacy of equivocation) or something is beyond your realm, scope, or intellect, does not end it from being valid or true. To that point, who defines truth, love, and
    hurt and please provide your definitions of those three words.

    You stated ” I didn’t choose Christianity because it was the most logical.”

    With this statement you apparently know that there
    is something more logical than Christianity, what is it? Since you didn’t
    choose the most logical path should I concede that you might not be all that
    logical (I might add that you knew that there was an alternative that is
    logical as well)? I guess knowing that you made this conclusion should lead me
    to induce that logic and reasoning may escape you.

    David, then you stated ” I recognize your fourth argument”, I guess
    it’s good that you are recognize something, so maybe there is some hope here.

    You stated that “We all read around the parts that disagree with us.”

    Wow, I might have to retract that previous
    statement pertaining to you recognizing something. So,
    everyone does this? Oh my gosh, how do we learn anything when we just go around those parts we “disagree” (or lack understanding) with and heck everyone
    does that. We are just a fatuous bunch, aren’t we?

    “Fortunately, however, I do not require your
    interpretation.”

    What is your interpretation then? Since you feel that your interpretation
    should be chosen over mine (you are of such a high “perspicacity” and know my
    view even though I haven’t even stated what I believe. You seem eager to share
    how your interpretation is far more logical (even though you stated Christianity
    isn’t the most logical. This could point
    one to note that you might have some trouble with logic.) than my interpretation.

    “If you read my post titled Which Bible Do You Read, you
    will probably refuse to realize that you do the same.”

    Again, using generalities may be cute, fun, easy and nice
    because it gets everything to fit into a cute package. By doing this though, making generalizations, will usually bring with them the huge crop full (or crap field) of
    fallaciousness. Your statement here also assumes the consequence.

    “(Besides which, haven’t given a reference and I suspect that the Iliad says nothing of the kind.)”

    This is non-sequitur for the very same reason given in the first paragraph.

    “Very well. Let’s do it your way. Let’s make the Bible our
    One True Source of Truth. Let’s opt to screw trying to be as loving as we
    possibly can be and just do what the Bible says. The Bible says I can have male
    and female slaves, so whichever you are. I’m good. Put your people on notice; I
    hear God calling me to lead my people into battle with your people and make you
    my slave.”

    An appeal to absurdity, it doesn’t really get us anywhere.
    Not sure what you mean by one true source, are you trying to say that the bible
    is the exhaustive book of truth (or should I say are you trying to say that I’m
    saying that? Looking back at my posts I am not reading that I said this, so it must be perspicacity from you)

    The following line of thought is connected to what the fatuous comment was responding to, in this manner, that people bring parts of ancient books up to our standards. Then judge them through the lenses of our time and our standards. They feel that they have higher grounds on a morality level and on intellectual level to do this. Heck, those fools don’t even know how to drive a car or what a car is! With similar reasoning as the car statement justify that they are superior to those ancient people hence forth have the higher grounds. Yes, the bible
    does speak about slavery, but it also says that slaves can have their freedom
    after a certain period of time (7 years) and those slaves were allowed to
    assimilate into the culture as non-slaves if they so decided to. This was revolutionary, when you look at the surrounding cultures at the same time

    In summary, since relativism is so great or in your words not so bad, please explain what makes this quagmire so great? Please define what love, truth and hurt mean and who defines them? You said that ““Fortunately, however, I do not require your
    interpretation.” What is your interpretation then?

    • I apologize for assuming that I knew your views. I expected arguments against this post would be by persons who intended to argue that the Bible was our One True Source of Absolute Truth.

      Enlighten me. Where should we get our moral standards?

      Also, I don’t think “non sequitor” means what you think it means. If it does, then your usage is intentionally incorrect.

  6. “Also, I don’t think “non sequitor” means what you think it means. If it does, then your usage is intentionally incorrect.”

    This is non-sequitur. Non-sequitur – a conclusion that does not follow from the premises. Also, there are a dozen fallacies that come under the umbrella of non-sequitur.

    My questions for you are as follows. All of which, I have asked through out these posts:

    *Since relativism is so great or in your words not so bad, please explain what makes this quagmire so great?

    *Please define what love, truth and hurt mean and who defines them?

    *You said that ““Fortunately, however, I do not require your
    interpretation.” What is your interpretation then?

    *Where do we get moral standards?

    It is easy to make broad strokes about people and thoughts through the use of glittering generalities. These glittering generalities may be appealing to people because they are so quixotic. If this is what you want to do here and that is the purpose of this blog then that’s fine, but logic and reasoning are absent from both of those (quixotic thought and glittering generalities).

    • Non sequitor: Have it your way. I no longer care that you’re inventing rules of logic as you go along.

      Relativism: Relativism isn’t bad because it allows for making decisions relative to situations rather than based on absolute rules that are supposed to apply to all situations. They can’t. That’s why mandatory sentencing is evil – because it assumes moral absolutes. Relativistic thinking allows us to use the brains and consciences that God gave us rather than mindlessly following rules, which (I should note) is not a perspective of which I am accusing you.

      Truth, Love, and Hurt: It’s relative. As soon as you have a solid answer that works in every situation, you’re probably wrong.

      My interpretation: I believe I made it as clear as possible in my original post and have no desire to rewrite it in the comments.

      Moral standards: If it hurts somebody, it’s wrong. Murder is wrong because it hurts people. Rape is wrong because it hurts people. Sleeping with your neighbor’s wife is wrong because it hurts people, your bullshit argument that it’s good for them notwithstanding.

      Broad strokes and generalities: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

      I’ve answered your questions, and I’m pretty sure that paragraph after my question wasn’t an answer to mine.

      Also, liking your own post is like high-fiving yourself in public.

  7. “Non sequitor: Have it your way. I no longer care that you’re inventing rules of
    logic as you go along.”

    Just because you don’t know or understand logic, David, does not mean it does not
    exist. Also, since you don’t know how to have a logical discussion does not make
    someone pointing out how flawed your points are as invalid. A discussion might not go your way does not mean that someone is inventing new rules and somehow makes their points not valid.

    “Also, I don’t think “non sequitor” means what you think it means. If it does,
    then your usage is intentionally incorrect.”

    I haven’t taught logic in while, but here we go.
    First, the definition of non-sequitur (I am referring to non-sequitur
    not what you are putting non-sequitor):
    1) is a conclusion that does not follow the premise. 2) a statement (as a response) that does not follow logic.

    Let’s use your statement about “non-sequitor” non-sequitur. Your premise (this is the statement or idea that is accepted as being true and then is used as the basis of an argument) is that “think that “non-sequitur” means what you think it means. If it does, then your usage is intentionally incorrect”. That is your premise. Now, your
    conclusion can be deciphered from that if this is incorrect then I can wave
    off what Barabba is saying. First, I do know what non-sequitur means and I was
    using it right therefore you made a faulty conclusion. Like I said in a previous post, there are a dozen fallacies that fall under the umbrella of non-sequitur (i.e. Affirming the Consequence, Denying the antecedent).

    All those fallacies that I have stated that you have committed in your posts, whether you know about them or understand them does not matter because you committed
    them. Whether or not you know about them or understand them still stands the fact that you have flawed logic.

    “Relativism: Relativism isn’t bad because it allows for making decisions relative to
    situations rather than based on absolute rules that are supposed to apply to
    all situations. They can’t. That’s why mandatory sentencing is evil – because
    it assumes moral absolutes. Relativistic thinking allows us to use the brains
    and consciences that God gave us rather than mindlessly following rules,”

    Do you believe in the truth of relativism? Since you do, this is an objective truth.

    Relativism is a self-contradictory viewpoint therefore it should be rejected as false. If I said that “I can’t type a word of English” or “no sentence is longer than seven
    words”, you can conclude that what I just wrote in those two statements as
    false. It is apparent that I can type English by what you are reading right now and that there are sentences that are longer than seven words.

    My next questions pertains to those above statements: Is relativism absolutely true
    for everyone? You seem to have the need to persuade others to accept that your
    perspective is true so it is not just true for you, but another
    person.

    David, you stated “That’s why mandatory sentencing is evil – because it assumes moral absolutes”

    Since you are stating this, this shows that you feel that your view is superior to moral absolutes and that the other view is wrong. This is no longer a relativistic statement.

    “Sleeping with your neighbor’s wife is wrong because it hurts people, your bullshit
    argument that it’s good for them notwithstanding.”

    Here I was actually using your own logic, so it is not mine argument that you describe here but yours.

    Is this “Love does not hurt your neighbor” a relativist statement or an absolute statement?

    You try to play it off as a relativistic statement, but in your discussion of it shows
    that it is an absolute. Then you try to play it off as both. The facts that you cannot define hurt because it is “relative”, will cause there to be a dilemma. Say that someone got to know your wife and they got to know her really well to the point that she has sexual feelings for this person. Let’s say that she has sex
    with that other person and doesn’t tell you that she has sex with that other
    person. This does not hurt you because you don’t know about it. You should be fine with it because you don’t know about it, so there should be no problem here, correct?
    Or let’s say that she ask you if she can have sex with this other person and David Schell says “No, because that would hurt me!” and by you saying this hurts her. So which hurt trumps here?

    Since you stated that there is no absolute definition for hurt and love then you should be okay with someone having sex with your wife. When you say “well that hurts me”, well David Schell that’s your definition of hurt not mine. According to my
    definition of hurt you should be fine with me having sex with your wife. My definition of hurt does not include having sex with a person’s wife as a hurtful action.
    According to my definition you should not be hurt by that action. Therefore, since I don’t believe that this action hurts I am still loving my neighbor regardless of what you say because again that’s just your definition of hurt, my definition of hurt does not contain that as a hurtful action. This all comes under the relative framework, which you support.

    “Truth, Love, and Hurt: It’s relative. As soon
    as you have a solid answer that works in every situation, you’re probably
    wrong.”

    Ahhh! This is an absolute statement, again. Though, I will say that Mathematically
    and philosophically speaking, there are absolute truths.

    “Also, liking your own post is like high-fiving yourself in public.”

    The fact that you made this statement contradicts all your relativism non-sense and
    shows that you really don’t live by it. In the relativist paradigm, it shouldn’t matter whether someone ‘liked’ a response (whether it is their own response or not does not matter here) or did not ‘liked’ a response because it is that person’s interpretation. In reality, you shouldn’t really care if I ‘liked” my response or I didn’t like my response. I could like all my responses and play your relativistic asinine, fallacious view by saying “Not liking all your own post is like rejecting yourself in public”. With the statement that you made here and the statements about relativism, you have commented the self-excepting fallacy.

    • I would attempt to explain relativism to you as I understand it, but based on my experience, it would waste my time, fail to educate you, and result in you posting another infuriating response filled with poor logic, false accusations of my ignorance of rules of logic that you invented, and claims that your ridiculous arguments are somehow identical with mine.

      I would also expect no further refining of your perspective so that you can continue attacking my perspective while I continue to know nothing about you except that you disagree with me and are highly skilled at eliciting emotional responses with outlandish accusations.

      In light of this frustrating situation, I respond with a Star Wars quote and bid you good day.

      “Only Sith deal in absolutes.”

  8. “result in you posting another infuriating response” and “frustrating situation”

    Why are you getting infuriated and frustrated? You feel everything is relative,
    right? So why get mad when someone presents a nonrelativistic view point? I thought you believed that truth, love, and hurt are all relative. Shouldn’t you see my view as just “my interpretation”?

    It’s obvious that you don’t hold to this for you feel that your view is superior and
    if a view is superior then it’s no longer relative.

    “filled with poor logic”

    Where have I used poor logic? And please demonstrate why it is poor logic?

    “rules of logic that you invented”

    I appreciate your compliment here though the fact of the matter is that logic has been around for quite a long time. This was well before I was around, so I could not have invented it.

    “false accusations of my ignorance of rules of logic”

    I apologize for stating your ignorance of rules of logic. I guess since you know
    the rules of logic, I was under the impression that you would either correct
    what is being stated or concede. Usually, when a fallacy is stated to the one who is presenting a point they either correct their argument or concede.
    They just don’t restate their point of view unless they present why the
    logical fallacy does not apply to their case.

    For example, as we know that when it rains this causes the ground to get wet
    (whether temporarily or for a time) one could make the statement: the ground is
    wet, therefore it rained. This statement falls under the fallacy of affirming the consequent (which comes under the umbrella of non-sequitur) and is false.
    Why? Because the ground could be made wet for any number of other reasons.
    Coming to the conclusion that it was wet due to rain (though it is true that
    rain does cause the ground to be wet) is flawed and faulty logic. The person that made this statement should go and correct their statement. If I would
    say I pissed on the ground, therefore the ground is wet this would just need a
    qualifier. That qualifier is that when people piss on the ground the ground becomes wet. So the argument would go like this: When people piss on the ground it causes the ground to be wet. I pissed on the ground therefore the ground is wet. As you can see I corrected my argument there so it is not logically flawed anymore.

    “claims that your ridiculous arguments are somehow identical with mine.”

    My arguments are identical to your arguments in the manner that I use your
    logic. And yes, I would agree that your reasoning is ridiculous.

    “while I continue to know nothing about you except that you disagree with me”

    This isn’t a meet and greet. You posted an article and have a response section. So I responded. One would hope that the person posting the articles would be able to logically defend what they posted.

    “If you wish to switch from “obnoxious debate” to “respectful discussion,” “

    What is your definition of respectful discussion?
    If it is stating “good post” or “go look here to see more views that
    we’d agree with” and not someone stating how fallacious the conclusion that
    this article arrived at then maybe you should change the response section.

    Since you know the rules of logic, I asked you some reasonable and valid questions in my previous post that pertain to the article and discussion at hand.

      • Great! Well our conversation was like me playing chess with a pigeon. After everything that is said and done the pigeon just craps all over the board, knocks over all the pieces while it is strutting around, and flies back to it’s flock to claim “victory”.

        • I think the reason I don’t like you is that you argue exactly the same way I would. I haven’t deleted your comments because I’ve been afraid that you’ll go back to your tribe and say,

          “That idiot David Schell deleted my comments. He knew I was right and he couldn’t overcome my invincible logic, so he found a way to silence me.”

          I’m not declaring victory because I haven’t won. I felt that your first comment was rude, and it got my heart rate up. I responded with adrenaline pumping through my veins.

          If I had won, our conversation would have involved more listening and respect – from both of us. Yes, you initiated by saying something that I found angering, but I carried on the fight by writing while angry. I tried to explain why I was right and you were wrong, and you tried to explain why I was wrong and you were right.

          But partway through, I realized that this was not the conversation I wanted to have. I realized that you weren’t even a person to me. You are just a name and a bunch of unkind words for me to reply to with more unkind words.

          I have not won, Barabba, or whatever your real name is. (Is this Scotty? James never gave me a straight answer). I have not won because civil conversation did not ensue. For me, winning would require you to either admit that I am right (which has obviously not happened and, judging from the conversation thus far, is highly unlikely to), or to admit that you can understand why I stand where I do, though you disagree. By those terms, you haven’t won either, because I obviously still disagree, and I can’t understand where you stood through my enraged bloodshot eyes.

          If you’d like to try to start again with neutral language and without emotionally charged analogies that involve you claiming that my logic suggests you should have sex with my wife, I might be willing to debate. As it is, though, I don’t like you – not because I think you’re right, but because I think you’re rude, and your rudeness has provoked returning rudeness in me, and I have allowed myself to respond out of that rudeness.

          So which will it be?

  9. This is spot on, thanks for taking the time to write it.
    This idea of working on the Sabbath when it’s clearly good to do so being acceptable is what ultimately convinces me that God doesn’t have a problem with gay marriage.

    • No, that is not spot on. We do not relyt on our own understanding.

      Proverbs 3:5-7
      “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
      In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
      Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.”

      Plus, God created Eve for Adam. Not another Adam for the first Adam.
      Also, anal intercourse is sodomy. That was part of the lifestyle/culture of the Sodomites. All the world has heard of them and their demise.

      • That’s verse strikes me as mostly a way to avoid having a conversation about whether what you think is God’s opinion might merely be “your own understanding,” which that verse says you cannot trust.

  10. Pingback: Blogue de Georges » Sabbat & mariage.

  11. I appreciate what you’ve written here. I have to sincerely ask, what do you make of Paul’s statement including “men who have sex with other men” among those will not inherit the kingdom of God in 1 Corinthians 6:8-10?
    Best

    • Thanks for your comment! I make of that verse basically what I make of all the other verses that, at least on the surface and using modern translations, seem to indicate that it’s wrong. I make of it the last paragraph of my post:

      “If gays want to get married, let them. Welcome them. Love them. Do what Jesus did: break the law of the Bible to follow the law of Love.”

      I’m not sure if that addresses your question. Was that what you were asking?

      • Thank you for the reply. I come from the same background and indeed my last pastor, a woman joined with another woman, would agree with the statement. What Jesus did was rescue and heal on the Sabbath. He let us know that we pick priorities and emphasized not being so caught up in the law that we end up sacrificing when really we are called to mercy.

        We need to defend each other’s rights to be safe in their own persons. This is a habit, and watching over to protect the least of these is the habit of every christian I’ve met.

        It seems like a fallacy however to equate rescuing people with sanctioning what is otherwise directed against elsewhere in scripture. Wouldn’t it be wiser to work towards changing laws so that everyone would have healthcare, and to define civil unions as legal valid instruments to uphold inheritance, and hospital visitation rights?

        • I think Paul was reflecting his own prejudices rather than the heart of God, which is (I think) a theme wound throughout scripture – God’s heart mixed with the words of man. In this instance, I don’t see anyone being harmed by this so-called sin, so I can’t help but think God’s heart is for equality for everyone.

          • We all do. Anyone who thinks they don’t is kidding themselves. Even someone who takes the Bible absolutely literally is relying upon their understanding. They have decided, using their understanding, whether they know it or not, that God exists and that the Bible is a reliable source for information about God.

            We can’t make decisions without our understanding. Even rolling the dice requires understanding. Even those who deceive themselves into believing they don’t rely on their own understanding but just rely on “the Word of God,” (which, by the way, is Jesus), rely on their own understanding of what the Bible says and their understanding of what it means for their lives.

            They rely on their own understanding of which parts of the Bible are important and relevant for us today, like “love your neighbor,” and which parts we can safely dismiss. That part about eating shellfish being an abomination is a popular candidate for dismissal.

            We all adopt hermeneutics, means of taking scripture and deciding how it applies to our lives; which is to say that we all rely upon our own understanding of scripture to inform us of God’s will.

            The difference isn’t that some of us have hermeneutics and some of us don’t; the difference is that some of us are aware of our hermeneutics and some of us aren’t.

            Which is to say, the difference isn’t that some of us rely on our understanding and others don’t, but rather that some of us are aware that we rely on our own understanding of God to inform us of God’s will and some of us aren’t.

            Thanks for the question 🙂

  12. Howdy!

    I truly detest Twitter. It mostly serves as a field for shouting opinionated blurbs back and forth rather than allocating for effective dialogue. Apologies for the various typos and shorthand; 140 characters, smartphones, and auto-correct for unknown terms don’t blend well for intelligent conversation. Also, it’s quite challenging trying to follow the sequence of Tweets.

    Anyway, thank you for putting together this blog. At the very least, you raise some valid questions, which do need to be answered.

    For the purpose of this conversation, I think I would ask you to define what “sin” is. The topic of homosexuality aside, I’m very concerned by your statement: “break the law of the Bible to follow the law of Love.” Without the law of the Bible, what do we have? The Bible, as an authority, is the only objective source we possess for understanding the functionality of the Gospel, the identity of Christ/God/The Holy Spirit, and from where our salvation hails.

    This seems to, at best, define all sin as subjective. My goal here isn’t to whip around scripture as a back-and-forth duel; I believe that you and I both know we can twist Scripture into saying most anything we desire. However, I consider it curious as to how you would address the passages on keeping the Law.

    As I earlier mentioned on Twitter (and as you briefly comment on, but do not answer in this blog), James 2:10 does seem to imply that breaking any portion of the Law labels one as a transgressor of the Law, falling under the power of sin, and subsequently, condemnation. My understanding of Salvation (in terms of covering sin) holds to 2 Corinthians 5:21: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

    Based off of your most recent Twitter comments, I sense that the disconnect comes from whether or not the breaking of the Law enters one into sin. I would cite 1 John 3:4 in arguing that the two are (were) equatable: “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

    My question to you (regarding this sub-topic) is “what standard of “not sinning” was Jesus held to in order to take upon Himself the sins of the world?”

    Regarding the concept of Jesus being held in violation of the Law, I still disagree. There are valid understandings of the passages listed which do reveal that Jesus upheld the Mosaic Law.

    John 5:8-11: Show me in Scripture where picking up a mat (or anything of the like) is in violation of the Law. It’s not. It was in violation of the religio-cultural interpretation of the Law, which Jesus openly disregarded. Shabbat was to be kept holy, dedicated to the Lord and free from labor. Looking to Jesus’ words, also addressing Mark 2:23-28, it is about the heart attitude of obedience; not legalism.

    John 5:18: This is simply stating why the Pharisees were mad at him. Again, this doesn’t validate the accusation that Jesus was breaking Law; this is the approach of those who were angered at Him.

    John 15:17: I will start off by noting that Jesus wasn’t exactly known for ever defending or justifying Himself. His “admission” could be seen as sarcastic, but I think it far more likely that He was confessing to violating the extra-Torahanic Judaic customs of the Talmud and other interpretations of the Law.

    Additionally, as we are dealing with what I consider to be absolute truth, I feel justified in reverse engineering the argument. Within context, looking past most of these occurrences, John 15:10 states “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” Jesus still affirms that He has upheld the Law. Therefore, we can only make Jesus a liar (1 John 2:4) or try to argue that the Mosaic Law was not the Commandment of God (difficult, as keeping Shabbat was one of the 10 Commandments).

    Ultimately, looking at your comments both here and elsewhere, I’m unsure as to how equal our footing is. If you do not hold to the concept of verbal plenary inspiration, then we don’t have the same idea of truth dictating our lives, and as such, God’s morality. I’m not trying to play the moral high ground here; just wondering if there’s even an objective definition to be found.

    I could go on, but we’re already approaching significant length here.

    Best regards,

    David

    • David,

      Thanks for enjoining the conversation here and off-twitter. That conversation got so weird I couldn’t even find the link for this post in it and had to google it. So, to the conversation.

      First, I appreciate the depth of thought you obviously put into that comment.

      I also appreciate your willingness to own that either of us could make scripture say anything we want. An aside: My friend Joel didn’t believe me when I told him this and asked me to prove God doesn’t exist. I quoted, “There is no God,” which comes directly from scripture – directly after the phrase “The fool has said in his heart,” but it’s there nonetheless for anyone who wants to pry verses out of context.

      Judging by your comments, I think I can safely say we have a rather fundamental disagreement on how the atonement works and what it was for, and the way we see the atonement colors how we read the scripture passages you cited.

      I don’t see II Corinthians 5:21 as expressing the essence of the atonement. Someone once explained it to me this way: When Jesus died and was resurrected, it was a mind-blowing, earth-shattering, paradigm-shattering event. For the first couple centuries at least, the apostles and church fathers went writing like mad to find a way to talk about it. Some wrote about it as the end of the sacrificial system. Paul saw it as the end of the power of the law. Others saw Jesus in his resurrection as the firstborn from the dead. Some saw it as the ultimate defeat of sin, death, and the devil. I think we lose out when we see the atonement as just one thing. II Cor. 5:21 could mean a great many things. The version of the atonement that I currently find most compelling (which may or may not be the intent) is that God did not need Jesus to die for our sins, but we did.

      I find this compelling because scripture (yes, old testament) is rather rampant with its insistence that God does not do human sacrifice. Jesus was the end of the sacrificial system, but (as a guy named Nick who has a Catholic blog) explains it, Jesus’ sacrifice, his righteousness with which God is pleased, isn’t about *blood,* but about *obedience*. Jesus stands up against the powerful, and the powerful have Jesus executed. Jesus could return violence for violence (calling down ten thousand angels), but this would go against everything Jesus taught. Jesus swims upstream. If there was ever an argument for killing one’s enemies, it would be saving Jesus, but Jesus refused to fight back.

      Jesus’ nonviolent response to his execution, and his resurrection three days later, proved that Jesus was telling the truth about God and the world, and those who executed him were liars. The meek shall indeed inherit the earth, the poor and hungry and weeping and the peacemakers are blessed, for Christ is risen, the firstborn from the dead! Hallelujah! Amen.

      So when Jesus takes upon himself the sin of the world, this is not a taking-upon-himself of some large sin of the world. Jesus literally takes the sin – the violence – of the world upon himself and upon his own body. The sin of the world is metaphorical in that his torture and execution represents the sin of the world that has gone on since time immemorial. In the resurrection, God exposes the world’s violence as insufficient to solve problems, and Christ’s nonviolent response and resurrection as that which truly brings salvation.

      Salvation comes when we give up violence as the answer. Salvation comes when we look to Jesus as our example and to the resurrection as God’s salvation and validation of Christ’s sacrificial obedience in his love for his enemies.

      That is how I see the atonement.

      I hope I made it clear enough how I read it that, even if you don’t concur with my conclusions, you can see how it impacts my readings of the passages you cited and questions you posed.

      You are correct in your judgment that I may have cut off the branch I’m sitting on with my use of James 2:10. My intent was to generate a dilemma: Either

      a) Jesus broke the entire law and was therefore a sinner, or
      b) Jesus was not a sinner in spite of having broken the whole law.

      Naturally, my hope was to convince you and others that breaking the Old Testament law does not constitute breaking God’s law in general. So… that may have been a poor argument.

      In the NRSV, I John 3:4 uses the word “lawlessness,” not “breaks the law.” I don’t think the author of I John is talking about the old testament law when he uses the word “Lawlessness” (ανομια), which is the same word in the beginning of the sentence and at the end.

      You asked, “what standard of ‘not sinning’ was Jesus held to in order to take upon Himself the sins of the world?” I hope it’s obvious that (a) Jesus didn’t even need to be “sin-free” to take on the sins of the world in the manner I see Jesus as having done so, and (b) I don’t think Jesus was a sinner in spite of having broken the Sabbath, which was part of the old testament law. Which leads into the question of inerrancy, which I will go at in a moment.

      John 5:8: Picking up the mat isn’t part of my argument that Jesus broke the Sabbath. It’s the rest of the story.

      John 15:17: It seems clear enough that Jesus was working. Jesus said he was working. The law is clear: “But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work…” Even on the face of it it seems obvious that Jesus was admitting to working, which is what was expressly prohibited. I don’t see any way around it.

      This comment has dragged on long enough, probably too long. Unfortunately, I shall have to write another on reading the Bible, which is a different matter and another point of difference.

      Thanks for taking the time to engage in this conversation 🙂

    • And now, the Bible, but first, absolute truth:

      I believe in absolute truth, but I do not believe that, even if the Bible had absolute truth, having the Bible would constitute our having absolute truth. A tweet I shared recently that expresses this:

      I wrote another blog recently titled “The Myth of Biblical Christianity,” the title of which probably gives away my position. I still view scripture as authoritative, but I don’t view it as inerrant, nor do I believe in verbal plenary inspiration. I had a lengthy (and pointless) debate in the comments section of that post with someone who effectively insisted that the Bible is God, and said all sorts of ironically unbiblical things about the Bible, all while citing verses that made no movement to advance his point.

      As you may have guessed, I don’t consider verbal plenary inspiration the moral high ground, so you need not worry about that.

      But truth! “What is truth,” asked Pilate. And objectivity, and the Bible.

      You asked for an objective definition of sin. I think this is about the best I can do. I don’t pretend it is God’s definition, but I think I would define sin this way:

      Sin is that which harms us or others.

      Violence harms others, and it harms us, so I think it would (in general) be sin. Rape harms others. Murder obviously harms others.

      Of course, we can also sin, as the old prayer of confession has it, “in what we have done, and what we have left undone.” It is not only our actions that constitute sin, but our inactions as well.

      Right now I am wearing clothing that was probably made in a sweatshop in Bangladesh. People are being harmed – robbed of their wages, forced to live in horrible conditions, and some have even been burned alive because of horrible working conditions. I am complicit in this sin, and for this I seek forgiveness and, when I can afford to, attempt to get clothes sourced through righteousness.

      My standard for sin, of course, has to be provable and objective. I can’t read scriptural commands against homosexuality as authoritative and representative of God’s heart because (a) we have a history of being wrong about the Bible, as I argued in my most recent blog post, and (b) it’s not objectively obvious that people are being harmed by it. In fact, it seems to me objectively obvious that people are being harmed by our society’s rejection of those with a same-sex orientation. They are bullied and commit suicide at a higher rate, are more likely to self-harm, and are more likely to be homeless because their Christian parents are more likely to kick them out for their orientation. I can only see these as objective symptoms that we are wrong when we read the passages of scripture condemning any and all homosexuality as expressing the heart of God, the same way we would be if we read the passages endorsing slavery as expressing God’s heart.

      For me, then, with my definition of sin, love is the opposite of sin. Love is that which does good to ourselves and (especially) others.

      And per Matthew 25, when we love others, we love God, for whatever we do to the least, we do to the King.

      I hope this makes my position clear. I’d like to hope that I’ve convinced you, but somehow I think I respect you too much to think you’d be convinced by these few paragraphs of text. Still, one can hope 😉

  13. Hi David! My name is Patrick (Pat), and I came across this article because I too was troubled about this subject – will we be just like the Pharisees if we reject gay marriage? And doesn’t Jesus’ “breaking of the Sabbath” prove our guilt? All I can say, brother, is that I appreciate your ideas and find you to be a very deep and spiritual thinker, but I read an article on google entitled “Did Jesus break the Sabbath,” and it was really eye opening for me. In a nutshell, it finally made me understand that Jesus did not break the Sabbath – He merely broke the pharisaic, man made additions to God’s commandment. I am not a great writer, so I won’t try to go into further detail about this, but I think that if you check it out you will see that Jesus kept the commandments perfectly, and we can trust the written Word of God…all of it. God bless you, Pat.

  14. Pingback: LGBT Issues and My Meandering Theology – All Things are Yours

  15. First, let me say I am affirming, but I get there in a different way than you.
    Second, I accept Scripture as inspired by God and authoritative and yet it has to be interpreted by mere humans who can be selfish and otherwise make mistakes.
    I think you position is roughly correct, but it makes a few errors which are important to see as they do not need to be made; in other words, your argument could be improved. So here are my thoughts:
    1) When the Greek word nomos translated as law or Law is used, one needs to see if the book is referring to a specific law or the law in general. If nomos is referring to a specific law then one needs to figure out which is the body of law it comes from. If nomos means the law in general, it is Roman Law or Jewish Law/Torah or the Pharisees so-called Oral Torah. In other words, one needs to be able to disambiguate nomos and to do that at first one needs to know what the possibilities are.
    2) Yes, Jesus broke the Sabbath law when considered as a single law, this is what the verses you quoted are saying. No, Jesus did not break Jewish Law or Written Torah, he upheld the entire Written Torah (what we call the OT) because if he had not it would have disqualified him as a Jewish Messiah. This was a continuing theme throughout the gospels: his opponents claim he (or his disciples) is breaking Written Torah and he shows them how he/they is/are not doing so.
    3) So how can Jesus break the Sabbath single law and yet not break the entire Written Law/Torah? First one needs to see that Written Torah describes an interacting system of single laws. It is easy to show that if one takes a single law out of the larger context of the entire Written Torah, it can result in evil (atheists compile lists of such items); the solution is to not do that. Next, the question arises about what is one to do when 2 single laws are in conflict about what to do in a specific case? This happens more than one might think. There might be many ways to decide, but the way it is done in Scripture is that some commandments trump other commandments. Jesus agreed that the 2 highest commandments are to love God and love others as oneself, so if they ever conflict with another commandment, then the love commandments prevail.
    This way of understanding avoids being anti-Torah, since Jesus was not anti-Torah.

    • I agree; we should rely on the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Bible. As for I Corinthians 6:9, I think Paul was reflecting the theological perspectives of his day. He wasn’t aware of things like sexual orientation; he would have seen gay sex as an unnatural aberration.

      People in the Bible didn’t know the things we know today. People in the Old Testament didn’t know the things the New Testament authors knew. But that didn’t stop the author of II Timothy from pronouncing that all scripture was inspired by God and profitable for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Even as we acknowledge the obvious – the authors of scripture were wrong about some things – I believe we can safely treat scripture as inspired and authoritative revelation and witness to Jesus Christ.

      That they were wrong then and grew in understanding as God’s revelation continued, and that God is not dead (as a popular movie has it, and as I blogged recently), God was ahead of the people in the Bible – better, more loving, more righteous – and God is ahead of us today. God is still speaking.

      God was ahead of the people in the Bible, and God is ahead of us.

    • While it’s debatable if Paul is actually referencing to homosexuals in 1 Cor 6:9, if he is, what about all the other “unforgivable” sins that he lists that, like Jesus working on the Sabbath, are approached from a place of love?

      Do we say that all liars, and murderers will not inherit the Kingdom of God? It is what the Bible says, so does that mean our soldiers, or “liars” that hid Jewish families when asked by Nazi’s solders are going to hell?

      Jesus continually preached, yes, follow my rules, but use some common sense.

  16. I got this from:
    http://www.biblesabbath.org/tss/515/sabbath.html

    “…when John wrote that Jesus “broke the Sabbath” (John 5:18), he was describing Jesus’ actions from the Pharisees’ perspective (compare 9:14-1 6). Those who say Jesus did actually break the Sabbath are agreeing with Christ’s enemies—His accusers—that Jesus’ miraculous works of healing were a breach of the Sabbath law. They are agreeing with Jesus’ accusers that He was a Sabbath-breaker. To be consistent, they must also agree with the Pharisees when they said of Christ: “We know that this man is a sinner” (v. 24). The blind man who had been healed knew better than that, saying that “we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him” (v. 31). When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, He was not violating the law of God. By His actions, He demonstrated the true application of God’s laws—rather than Pharisaic traditions—that “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:12). The “law” that Jesus violated was a man made rule that was itself against the principles of God’s law. Remember: Had Jesus Christ actually broken the Sabbath, He would have been sinning. But the Scripture says that He “committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22). Had He sinned, He could not be our Savior. But He, being undefiled and separate from sinners, offered Himself without spot and without blemish to God for our redemption (Hebrews 7:26; 9:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19). No, Jesus did not break the Sabbath. He spent the Sabbath preaching, teaching, healing, honoring God and doing the good work of His ministry—the work of God. The record of Scripture is that Jesus kept the Sabbath faithfully, as God intended it to be kept. In do¬ing so, He set us an example. “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6).”
    —————————————————————————————————-
    I would like to add: We should look at our fellowman as the LORD would. That is, “Here is a soul who needs loving GUIDANCE. One who needs saving. One whom I died for but, who is overpowered and ensnared by the WILL OF MAN (with all its ideologies / lusts / culture and traditions and waywardness). One who is struggling to overcome himself. One who wants to experience Me – Who wants to belong but struggles to SUBMIT to ME.

    One who struggles with:
    1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
    1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

    Nonetheless, one whom I am patient with. As Apostle Peter explains in
    2Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

    That is the key. REPENTANCE. Acknowledge our wrong doing with the promise not to repeat it. And, if we stumble and fail but, get up and try again (even 70 x7 times) He will still overlook our faults and failures. Why? Because he looks at our honest endeavors. Not how much we fail. But, if we do not even want to try…

    He has given us His word (the Gospel) we conform to it. Not it conforms to us. His word stands.

  17. I found your blog because driving to work today, I was thinking about how the quote “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” was a good way to think about gay marriage and how to read the Bible in general. Thanks to google, this post came up near the top. I find the criticism to your post odd, but not unexpected, and I’m glad you left the “discussion” with the troll up because it is helpful to show how people’s beliefs are tied to their identity, which is why for a lot of Christians, especially those are who conservative, challenging them on the issue of homosexuality strikes at the core of who they are, the reason being that their identities are so tied up with a very specific way of reading the Bible. I think this applies to the troll as well, because it takes a certain kind of person to be more interested in arguing about the argument, than actually trying to understand the issue by engaging with others about it and growing from that process. I mean, he’s (or she, but probably he right?) has probably been damaged by someone and this is one way to cope.

    It seems obvious to me that any reading of the Bible that is used to oppress, exclude, or marginalize people, or any reading of the Bible which favors the powerful and the privileged over those who are not, needs to be read with very strict scrutiny. I mean, the entire ministry of Jesus reflects this. I’m not even saying that Christians needs to all suddenly become affirming, but the lack of self-reflection and the cavalier, smugness that some Christians have about using an ancient text to shame, demean and potentially ruin people’s lives is just a stunning exhibit of arrogance. That is absolutely the last thing the Bible should be used for, and I think Jesus would be the first to say if that’s what you plan on doing, you might be better off just throwing it in the trash.

  18. Jesus did not break the Sabbath as commanded by God. You are incorrect. The laws you are referring to where man made and added by man. Man added over legalistic view to the Commandment. The Sabbath was not broken. The law of the hypocrites that where not I’m accordanve with the intention of God’s law was the issue. Your confusing the two.

    Homosexuality is a sin today.
    Just like breaking the Sabbath is a sin today.
    Just like murder is a sin today.

    What people think is irrelevant. Taking single verses and distorting it to justify ones thoughts will do little good. We are not judged by the ideas we manifest for our blog post debates.

    You can love and be a good man and not be saved.
    Love and feel good ideas do not permit ones sins to be forgiven.

    • While I appreciate your desire to make the Bible say something that would make you feel more comfortable (“It was MAN’S laws!) that’s.. not actually what it says. John 5:18 says “He was breaking the Sabbath.” Not “He was breaking man-made laws about the Sabbath, but “He was breaking the Sabbath.”

      Jesus said “I am working,” on the Sabbath, when the ten commandments were clear: “On it you shall do no… wait for it… WORK.”

      You can try to get around those facts, but if you do that you can’t say I’m the one distorting the scripture.

      • The scripture clearly addresses the item you bring up. The Sabbath was not broken by Jesus.

        On the surface a verse or two or items out of context can be used to distort many things both in the positive and negative bias.

        If you read scripture for this answer you will find it and see clearly Jesus did not break the Sabbath.

        If anyone wants knowledge, they must search for themselves. Not trust matters of such importance to formats as trivial as blog posts.

        With a true desire for knowledge and a search for the truth, the answer to this can be easily determined.

        My only suggestion is that anyone coming across this not be so naive to form opinions of eternal consequence from blog posts.

        But to search openly and diligently for the Truth. If that is done, I know this answer and many more will become apparent.

        There is 1 God.
        The Bible is The Word Of God.
        Jesus is the Son OF God.
        Who died for our sins and rose again.
        Belief in God, The Son, and confessing that belief and Asking for forgiveness and repenting from sin. And constantly living to grow closer to Gods will through study if His Word is the way to eternal life.

        All other roads will disappoint.

        Don’t take my word for it. Or anyone’s. Search for yourself. But don’t stop at a blog post or article or two and think youve reached some answer to your search. Don’t think because there is a concensus among man that it means much.

        Read your history book. Mans concensus has always been proven wrong.

        Best of luck to all of you. No matter what anyone believes he have a responsibility as people to treat our fellow man with respect and love. If an Aethesis and a Christian can’t talk respectfully to one another, they are both wrong. You could say the same of any beliefs that contradict.

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