BryanH wrote:Anyways the most important thing you should take into consideration before you quote the bible, is that the word "marriage" is NEVER used in the bible.
The word marriage occurs 21 times in the KJV Bible, 5 times in the Old Testament and 16 times in the New.
Hebrew word for marriage from Strong's concordance:
a primitive root; to give (a daughter) away in marriage; hence (generally) to contract affinity by marriage:--join in affinity, father in law, make marriages, mother in law, son in law.
The Greek word for marriage from Strong's is:
of uncertain affinity; nuptials:--marriage, wedding.
The word is found in the following passages: Gen 34:9, Exo 21:10, Deut 7:3, Josh 23:12, Psalm 78:63, Matt 22:2, Matt 22:4, Matt 22:9, Matt 22:30, Matt 24:38, Matt 25:10, Mark 12:25, Luke 17:27, Luke 20:34, Luke 20:35, John 2:1, John 2:2, 1Cor 7:38, Hebrews 13:4, Rev 19:7 and Rev 19:9.
The word wedding occurs 7 times in the Bible, all in the New Testament.
The Greek word for wedding is the same as the Greek word for marriage, Gamos.
The word is found in the following passages:
Matt 22:3, Matt 22:8, Matt 22:10, Matt 22:11, Matt 22:12, Luke 12:36 and Luke 14:8.
You'd think Bryan that you could have done just a little study, instead of claiming that the word is never used.
BryanH wrote:I don't agree with God being the creator of marriage. God only speaks about the union between a woman and man. Period. If you analyze the history of marriage you will learn that marriage was more like a business arrangement between 2 families of same caliber. So again, marriage at its origins was a contract. Later on in history, marriage was given a spiritual characteristic.
BryanH wrote:So you see, in terms of history, God didn't invent marriage, but people did. So saying that God is against gay marriage is somehow out of place.
I have been offered some quotes from the bible which say that same sex relationships are against the word of God (by Reactionary and Jlay), but none of those quotes is very clear and they can be interpreted both ways.
The fact that some people have chosen to enforce a certain interpretation of some scripts from the Bible, well, maybe it's time for things to change. Maybe the people who interpreted those quotes were against gay relationships in the first place. So here we are today having this discussion.
Your statements are consistent with those I've heard before which are non-Christian and subjective. I checked your profile and your not a Christian so nothing new in your statements.
BryanH wrote:Why did you lose them as friends? I don't get it. The fact that you are against gay marriage doesn't change who you are and doesn't change who they are... What happened?
I've been childhood friends with a friend of mine, got to know his entire family. His younger brother I'll call Jim was dating a woman when he was sixteen. The relationship failed and then he decided he didn't want to date women anymore but men. He knew I was a Christian but nothing was brought up about my faith until he decided to get married and asked me to his wedding. I refused to attend, citing that I was Christian and believed strongly in the Christian definition of marriage. JIm replied by quoting Saruman from the Lord of the Rings, and he said to me, "Do you seek to humble me with your new found piety?" I said no, I was simply stating my Christian position on the subject. So I was called a homophobe and ostracized from the family except for his mother, which as the only semi-religious person in that family, understood where I was coming from.
Well, about a year and two months after that, Jim was killed in a car accident at an intersection by a tractor trailer. I went to the funeral. His mother was completely distraught and even fainted three times during the service. Jim's fiance, killed himself shortly after the accident. Ever since that time, that entire family changed. They are now Catholics and go to church three to five times a week. From his mothers point of view, only Jesus Christ could give her the comfort over the loss of her boy.
BryanH wrote:I think that by now we know that the bible does have a large number of metaphors and interpretations. What happens if you misinterpreted some bible scripts and you said some wrong things to people? What will you say then? Your actions could have changed someone's life for the worse...
You don't believe in Christ Bryan, so you evidently then don't believe in Satan.
You see Bryan, I've studied the character of Satan intently over the last few decades, trying to understand the enemy. As the apostle Paul said:
2Cor 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
This is a part of a paper I wrote about Satan a number of years ago in university:
The greatest of God's creations, in the beginning, was Lucifer, whose name in the Hebrew language means the bright morning star. Of all of God's creations, Lucifer was given the greatest gifts of power and knowledge. He was obedient to God and worked his way to the position of walking upon the holy stones of fire until the time arose that he spied the mercy seat; the throne of God and coveted it. But when he realized that in attempting to become God he simply became an instrument in God's overall theme in the devising of things which he had not imagined, then his power and knowledge were turned to evil purposes and he squandered his strength in violence and tyranny. From splendour he fell through arrogance to contempt for all things save himself, a spirit wasteful and pitiless. Understanding he turned to subtlety in perverting to his own will all that he would use, until he became a liar without shame. He began with the desire of light but when he realized he could not become God nor possess the Earth for himself he descended into darkness and the darkness of deception he used most in his evil works upon Earth. Human beings he found to be the easiest of prey and allured them with lies and treacherous gifts.
Satan would like nothing better than a person like yourself to wimp out and not be controversial against Satan's conspiracy. Do you know what Satan's conspiracy is Bryan? That Jesus is not God, the only Son of God and that His Word doesn't matter.
God instituted marriage right from the beginning in Gen 1 and 2 and Jesus sanctified it in the New Testamant. If you read Ezekiel ch 16, God Himself marries the landmass of Israel. But since you are an atheist and probably disagree, ask yourself the following questions:
1) What is it that makes human actions "wrong" or "right", which applies to all of humanity?
2) Is there some standard we can all recognise to know something is right/wrong, or is it just an inward recognition of something we perceive to exist?
3) Does right and wrong really exist, or is it just an evolved feeling?
4) If right/wrong really does exist, then what is its objective reality grounded in?
5) How does this moral grounding make moral actions wrong for all regardless of what others might believe, think or feel?
6) If I go against this moral grounding, then what is it that still makes my action(s) wrong?
7) If right/wrong doesn't exist, then I can't really say another person is morally right or wrong.
An atheist is left in a sticky position, especially when critiquing God and/or Christianity as evil and immoral. Let's say evolution just caused us to feel some things are wrong. But this doesn't mean actions really are wrong. Because having found out they just evolved, perhaps for the better of society, I can just decide to discard them for my own benefit. What is morally right/wrong just ultimately becomes what I find acceptable or unacceptable, unless I decide to give this up.
On the otherhand, Theism, in particular and especially Christianity, validates as true, our moral perception that some things really are wrong and evil (e.g., child abuse), and other actions to be morally applauded as good (e.g., self-sacrificing for others). There is a moral standard built into us which came from a Creator who stands above and outside of us. Thus, what we know to be good is rooted in our Creator. And unless we are psychopaths (considered as an abnormal mental condition), our recognition of this moral standard justifies and condemns us as we live out our lives depending on whether we uphold or break it.
Atheists are people who, whether they like it or not, have the law of God written on their hearts (Rom. 2:15). They are subject to the same laws of our country (and other countries) and they have a sense of right and wrong. They often work with people who are religious and have ethical standards as well as work with other non-believers. So they are exposed to all sorts of moral behavior. In addition, they often form their own moral standards based on what suits them. Besides, robbery, lying, stealing, etc., can get you imprisoned, so it is practical and logical for an atheist to be ethical and work within the norms of social behavior, even though the reason Western socity has those laws as its benchmarks and foundation is because Western law is based on Biblical law. However you want to look at it, atheists, generally, are honest, hardworking people.
Nevertheless, some Christians raise the question, "What is to prevent an atheist from murdering and stealing? After all, they have no fear of God and no absolute moral code." The answer is simple: Atheists are capable of governing their own moral behavior and getting along in society the same as anyone else.
At the risk of labeling the atheist as self-centered, it does not serve the best interests of an atheist to murder and steal since it would not take long before they were imprisoned and/or killed for their actions. Basically, society will only put up with so much if it is to function smoothly. So, if an atheist wants to get along and have a nice life, murdering and stealing won't accomplish it. It makes sense for them to be honest, work hard, pay their bills, and get along with others. Basically, they have to adopt a set of ethics common to society in order to do that. Belief in God is not a requirement for ethical behavior or an enjoyable life.
On the other hand
Atheists' morals are not absolute. They do not have a set of moral laws from an absolute God by which right and wrong are judged. But, they do live in societies that have legal systems with a codified set of laws. This would be the closest thing to moral absolutes for atheists. However, since the legal system changes, the morals in a society can still change and their morals along with it. At best, these codified morals are "temporary absolutes." In one century abortion is wrong. In another, it is right. So, if we ask if it is or isn't right, the atheist can only tell us their opinion.
If there is a God, killing the unborn is wrong and keeping to the topic, homosexual marriage is also wrong. If there is no God, then who cares. If it serves the best interest of society and the individual, then kill. This can be likened to something called, "experimental ethics." In other words, whatever works best is right. Society experiments with ethical behavior to determine which set of rules works best for it. Hopefully, these experiments lead to better and better moral behavior. But, as we see by looking into present society, this isn't the case: crime is on the rise and most people are uninterested to know how God controls society. Adolf Hitler thought he was doing the right thing by eradicating the handicapped and the Jews.
There are potential dangers in this kind of self-established/experimental ethical system. If a totalitarian political system is instituted and a mandate is issued to kill all dissenters, or Christians, or mentally ill, what is to prevent the atheist from joining forces with the majority system and support the killings? If it serves ther self-interests, why not? Morality then, becomes a standard of convenience, not absolutes.
But, to be fair, just because someone has an absolute ethical system based on the Bible, there is no guarantee that they will not also join forces in doing what is wrong. People are often very inconsistent. But the issue here is the basis of moral beliefs and how they affect behavior. That is why belief systems are so important and absolutes are so necessary. If morals are relative, then behavior will be too. That can be dangerous if everyone starts doing right in his own eyes. A boat adrift without an anchor will eventually crash into the rocks.
The Bible teaches love, patience, and seeking the welfare of others even when it might harm the Christian though it also teaches one to defend onself from harm and also and especially to hate evil. In contrast, the atheists' presuppositions must be constantly changing, and subjective and does not demand love, patience, and the welfare of others. Instead, since the great majority of atheists are evolutionists, their morality, like evolution is the product of purely natural and random processes that become self- serving.
Basically, the atheist cannot claim any moral absolutes at all. To an atheist, ethics must be variable and evolving. This could be good or bad. But, given human nature being what it is, I'll opt for the moral absolutes -- based on God's Word -- and not on the subjective and changing morals covered in human tradition that atheism offers.
So when I stand before God on judgment day, I'd rather be in the position I am presently in, then the one you are in.
2Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Well it may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you know you gotta serve somebody. Bob Dylan
Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Jesus from John 18:37