Retraction (sort of)

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This post at Thinklings has led me to reconsider my decision to let my Abominations post stand without revising it but simply explaining as an addition what I really meant. Read below the fold for why.

Update: First I want to say that rethinking this as I revised that section of that post has led me to consider one thing that hadn't occurred to me originally or in all the responding to comments I've done. My original point was about the logic of the argument against homosexual sex. The logic is that God had ordained sex and marriage for one purpose: to reflect something about the relationship between Christ and his bride (the gathering of believers around God's throne in heaven, i.e. the church). That will be fulfilled in the resurrection and thus will no longer be in place to serve as a reason for anything like sex or marriage. Then I said that if there's something like sex it may not be restricted to male-female couples since there won't be any, and by the same reasoning it may not be restricted to male-female relations at all, since there might not be any of them either. Well, what occurred to me is that there are two scriptural grounds for male-female relations. One is the relation between Christ and the church. The other is the relation between Father and Son in the Trinity. This comes out most clearly in I Corinthians 11:3, though I see elements of it expressed elsewhere. Most of the other passages about marriage or sex distinctions don't deal with this, though, so I wasn't really thinking about it. Should this undermine what I said? I don't know. If it does, it also undermines the reason I gave for why Jesus said there won't be marriage in the resurrection. So I'm not sure if it changes anything because I'm not sure what to say about it at all.

The reason I didn't want to change anything is because I was convinced that if I changed a word someone would call me dishonest, pretending I didn't say what I had said. I bet that will still happen, but I have reason to revise the post. Originally, it was just a fringe group of racial separatists who like to call people bad names if they're gay, Jewish, black, or have any connection whatsoever to anyone in one of those groups. Those people will say bad things about me just because I follow Christ and realize that there is one church whose spiritual reality involves all of us gathered around the throne in heaven as one people from many nations. If they want to add further things to that, it's not going to harm me much and will just increase my links and thus my visibility in the blogosphere. I can't complain if they want to help me get out a message that they hate. If you want to see for yourself, do a search for Little Geneva and Badlands. I won't link to them.

However, people whose moral compass is halfway decent (I don't think anyone's works properly) have just plain misunderstood what I wanted to say, and it may be that a few crucial words as they are right now are what's getting in the way. Jared at Thinklings thinks the way I've worded it without having changed anything has given more of a sense that I'm trying to start controversy than anything else. I just wanted to make a logical point, and I can make that point without saying things the way I did. I wrote the post in a hurry on Tuesday night after having spent three hours teaching about the moral issues raised by abortion and the grounds for punishment on different moral theories. I finished it one minute before the Christian Carnival deadline. I also wrote it less than a week after our house turned fairly chaotic even in comparison to what it normally has been with only two extremely energetic kids under the age of four. Now we've got three, my wife was still recovering from an ordeal in the hospital, the kids were sick, no one was sleeping, and it's fair to say that I wasn't at the top of my game in saying things as carefully as I could. I insist that someone really thinking carefully about the post in its context could figure out quite easily what I meant, and I know that because a number of people did. Still, I think it's worth changing for the sake of those who aren't just trying to find someone to feel morally superior to who also haven't put in as much effort to try to grasp the merely logical point I was making.

If Jared is right, the words I used have disguised my main point, so I'm altering the text to make that point clearer. If anyone has problems with that, rest assured that I'm not hiding my beliefs. I'm clarifying them and allowing the post to represent me better than it did originally by incorporating the clarification I had earlier written into the argument itself. I'm being honest that I've done this, so if anyone claims that I'm hiding anything just point them to this.

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Given today's political climate there is much sound and fury over the two verses declaiming homosexuality as an "abomination". One side declaims that this is to be obeyed and is perfectly clear. The other that, since we (as Christians) don't eat Kosh... Read More

2 Comments

I think you've made a good call in deciding to edit for the purposes of clarifying. I also understand why you were reluctant to--when you edit after the controversy erupts, there are always those who will say you're either backtracking or disguising what you really think.

Blogging (or web writing) is unique, really, in that something can be editted like that even after it's published, which is nice, but it's hard to know when its right to use our editting ability. In this case, since your purpose is clarification, rather than real change in content or coverup of content, it seems like a good thing.

[This is an edited version of the comment I left in response to you in the thread at Thinklings.]

I wouldn't criticize you for being dishonest if you changed your statement. And you certainly don't have to change it for me! Only do so if you're convinced it would strengthen your argument. I think it might, because as it is, it only detracts from the context.

People like me won't think you're being disingenuous. We'll think you are careful and considerate; we'll think you are able to admit when you might have erred. Those are good qualities.

As you said, the people who will think you're being dishonest don't count anyway.

Not that I do. I'm just saying you should feel free to follow your conscience and not worry about what me or anybody else will think of you for merely changing what you think needs to be changed.

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