Tag Archives: The Ethics of Sex in The Bible

You Do WHAT in your Bible? The Ethics of Sex and the Demiurge (edited)

Sooo… I have to put an apology in here.  I posted this in a haze of tiredness and just-get-it-done.  I left out some thing that may be important.

Here is the edit.

Trigger Warning: Elliot Rodgers quotes.  Quotes from the Bible involving damnation. Discussion of  Biblical stories involving sexuality- some of them abusive.  Discussion of rape. Discussion of animal sexuality. Discussion of BDSM. Discussion of Jack Crabtree’s version of God meeting  the technical definition of a sadist.  Discussion of the version of God derived from the Bible (when this is treated as an authority) having analogy to a misogynist serial killer. Use of Sarcastic language throughout, including during all the other triggers I have mentioned above.

This post is part of my response to Jack Crabtree’s lecture On the Ethics of Sex in the Bible.  The notes, which I am going over, as well as audio recordings can be found here.



The class is over, but the show goes on.

I must admit that this section held little glamour for me. I also currently consider it the longest section of anything on the face of the earth.

Troublingly enough, this section has the best claim as the explanation of what the phrase Biblical Sexual Ethics means. You know- the title subject. Which we have not bothered to define till now.

IV. Biblical perspectives that are completely at odds with modern perspectives and that must be grasped in order to understand the Bible’s view of sexual ethics:

To the ordinary ear, it sounds as though we are going to to be talking about the Bible in this section. I mean, it does to mine anyway. So imagine my surprise when-

A. God created a purposeful, telic creation. Everything has a telos, a purpose, and it has a design to facilitate that purpose.

-it turns out we are talking about Aristotle!!!

A telos (from the Greek τέλος for “end”, “purpose”, or “goal”) is an end or purpose, in a fairly constrained sense used by philosophers such as Aristotle. It is the root of the term “teleology,” roughly the study of purposiveness, or the study of objects with a view to their aims, purposes, or intentions. Teleology figures centrally in Aristotle’s biology and in his theory of causes.


Now. I cannot recall the Bible stating that ‘everything has a telos, a purpose, and is designed to facilitate that purpose.’ If there is one, and I have overlooked it, please, let me know.  In Psalms 119:91 the Psalmist states that

Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.

But the laws referred to seem to be the Judaic Ritual Law (the only law that had then been issued)?  According to Acts 15 Gentile believers are not required to follow this. All things do not serve the ritual laws as their purpose, so probably the endurance of the law is instead the indirect result of all things serving God.

However, this brings up the troubling problem that even the damned, by their damnation, serve God. If we assume that (at least part of) the Telos of humans is to ‘live according to God’s telos for them’, the damned are actually serving God by failing to enact their telos. Thus they aren’t failing in their telos and should not be damned.

If we further consider that certain passages in the Bible state that God purposed the failure of the failing-

Romans 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”…

Romans 9:19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory…?

-and actually designed them to fail, thus designing them to facilitate the purpose of not fulfilling their purpose, this statement on the part of Mr. Crabtree becomes highly suspect.

Let’s leave this ‘Telos for everything’ business aside. Maybe if we narrow our focus, things will become clearer.

Does the Bible state that God has a purpose for humans?

Yes, it does! It says that:

Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Apparently the purpose of humans is to rule the world. Some people interpret this to mean ‘care for the world in a protective/nurturing manner.’ That makes more sense, as most of our attempts to dominate the earth have been setting off processes that will eventually destroy it, if God doesn’t show back up and destroy it first.

(Question for another time. Is it a good idea to take the advice of someone who has the stated intention of violently destroying your world?)

Unfortunately, in order to maintain a stable socio-political, economic, environmental state in which the earth was cared for by the human race, the human race will probably have to find ways to limit its own growth, as a finite system cannot sustain infinite growth in any one of it’s parts. As a biological phenomena, homosexuality limits population growth without attempting to render a large segment of the human population asexual.

An attempt that was actually made by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. It worked so well that Priestson became a family name.


But we’re saying homosexuality is a horrible evil. So that can’t be it.

Tossing the Bible aside, where can we get a statement of God’s purpose for humans?

Westminster Catechism and random sermons by Puritans seem like as good a place as any, seeing Mr. Crabtree has given us no source for this statement. Telos!

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.



The trouble with this still is that Pharaoh glorified God by being destroyed.

Romans 9:17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”…

And the rebellion against God, for which he was destroyed? It wasn’t a question of predestination or free will (Exodus 9-14); God mind controlled Pharaoh so that Pharaoh would keep rebelling and God could keep destroying him until He had had enough fun destroying things for His own glory.

If you don’t love God, God is going to destroy you and glory in your destruction.

Totally free choice there.

But either way, the damned do not enjoy God.

God has still not designed humans such that their design facilitates their purpose.

Now, some kinder gentler christians have argued that hell and damnation don’t exist. Some of them say that if you don’t like God, you just go out like a candle and stop existing. Others say that eventually everyone is saved.

Here are the verses that made us think that God plans to subject everyone he doesn’t like to conscious eternal torment.

Isaiah 66: 22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. 24 “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”

Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out… 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell… 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die,
and the fire is not quenched.’

Luke 16:23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ …26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

2 Thessalonians 1:5 …as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.

Revelations 19:20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

Revelations 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 20: 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

You know where else I’ve heard this line of thought?

‘I’m going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoilt, stuck-up, blonde slut that I see inside there. All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would’ve all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them…’

It’s not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it…

‘I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male …’


 Humanity has never accepted me among them, and now I know why. I am more than human. I am superior to them all. I am Elliot Rodger… Magnificent, glorious, supreme, eminent… Divine! I am the closest thing there is to a living god. Humanity is a disgusting, depraved, and evil species. It is my purpose to punish them all. I will purify the world of everything that is wrong with it. On the Day of Retribution, I will truly be a powerful god, punishing everyone I deem to be impure and depraved.


Despite Augustine’s semantic squirming about evil being uncreated, there is only one person to blame for Hell. Mr. Crabtree himself once pointed out to me that if the New Heaven and Earth are perfect, if we’re there we probably wouldn’t sin. But we probably would have free will, or else our non-sinning wouldn’t be real- a.k.a. existentially chosen.

An argument routinely made by other Christians is that God had to allow sin (and hence evil) so that humans could have free will.

But apparently the sin we’re being damned for wasn’t necessary for the Creation to exist. God added it in because he wanted it.

And if reality is a novel that God is writing, not only is free will ultimately an illusion any way, but He could have easily written it such that everyone was saved.

If we take the parable of the sheep and the goats seriously, some of the people reading this are are goats. Goats, if there is a hell, you are going to meet me there.

Because I would rather go to Hell than to worship a Being this depraved.

Sheep, I sort of despise you. I would call you the ultimate quislings- traitors to sentient beings on every world and to all the Buddhas.

But you know what? You believe in God, and God is fekking scaring. You’re taking care of yourselves. Who am I to judge?

So much for purpose.

1. Human sexuality constitutes an objective reality to which human beings are
accountable. Human sexuality is not something that I can make into whatever I
want it to be. It is what it is (that is, it is what God designed and purposed it to
be); it is not mine to do with as I please.

If the universe is a novel written by God, the people who make sexuality into whatever they want (thus incurring the wrath of God and eternal torment), are what God designed and purposed them to be.

Sooo… why are we saying they are bad if God’s prescription sexuality is good? Or- if God can design something that’s bad, as long as it glorifies him, on what basis do we call the sexuality good just because God designed it?

Also, note the use of the word objective here. We’re still in section A. In sections C) D) and I) we are treated to a fascinating account of which parts of reality are to be treated as important- as really real. It sheds some light on the use of ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’.

Spoiler: According to Mr. Crabtree, reality isn’t necessarily the physically or experientially verifiable part.

…it is not mine to do with as I please.

Weeell, technically, even in this scenario sexuality is yours to do with as you please. It’s just that you are God’s property to do with as he pleases. If you don’t do it the way he likes you to do it, he’s going to make you wish you were never born.

2. The Biblical worldview is completely compatible with the notion that “natural laws” exist (if the concept of a “natural law” is understood in the right sort of way).

I just love tautologies.

This concept is completely compatible with that concept, as long as by that concept you mean this concept.


a) To speak of something as being “against nature” means to speak of something as being at odds with God’s purpose and design for what he has created.

A key to understanding what he’s saying here is the retroactive understanding that reality isn’t material. I swear this is actually coming- C, D, and I. ‘Nature’ doesn’t mean ‘biological existence as it actually occurs’. That would lend homosexuality and its variations the justification of being biological phenomena and actually occurring.

And we can’t have that.

No. ‘Nature’ means- ‘what the Bible says nature is’. Or rather, what Mr. Crabtree says Aristotle says that the Bible says that nature is.

(1) Therefore, to speak of sexual behavior as being “against nature” means that that sexual behavior is at odds with God’s purpose and design for human sexuality.

See? Against nature= ‘against what I think Aristotle thinks the Bible says.’

(2) Romans 1:26–2:2

Just as an aside.

Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

In my Mary Pride-filled youth, this verse was used to explain to me how women giving their babies formula (unnatural relations) instead of breastfeeding (natural relations) causes men to be gay. Also- I think- AIDS?

Or maybe that’s just what Mary Pride says the Bible says that nature is, hm?

b) When we consider what might be “natural” with regard to human sexuality,
we must ask what is “natural” with regard to human sexuality.

Hm. Interesting. Yes and no. According to Jared Diamond (author of Guns Germs and Steel), in his book, Why is Sex Fun? human sexuality has a number of traits that are uncommon or unique in the animal kingdom. He also gives fairly rational arguments as to how it evolved, and how the biological evolution of human sexuality has corresponded with human social evolution.

So yes, in a sense, humans have a unique pattern of sexuality. However, that does not mean that human sexuality is fixed. In fact, if society is to change further, I wonder if different forms of and attitudes towards sexuality might be the necessary groundwork.

I mean, not to go all John Lennon on you, but- a society without rape- where each person’s wishes for their own lives and bodies were respected and valued.

What would sexuallity look like in that society?

And wouldn’t that also have to be a world where the fact that a person was a person is more important than the religion they followed? Where people are more important than money or convenience? A world without genocide?

A world where an entire race of people couldn’t be massacred by, say, drowning them all in a flood?

(1) We cannot judge what is natural for human sexuality by observing what is “natural” in animal sexuality.

On the other hand, the author of proverbs sends his son to the ants as examples of diligence in order to learn wisdom (Prov 6:6-8) and these are moral traits. Morality is supposedly the thing that distinguishes humans and their God-yearning souls from the soulless animals.

If the Bible says we can learn moral lessons from the nature of animals, what’s the problem with learning about animal sexuality for lessons on what Nature is?

For instance- the great variety of roles that male and female play in animal societies might point towards the fact that the roles taken by male and female in OUR society are not necessarily Forms Dwelling in the Suprarenal Palace of Forms, informing all reality with our particular version of Male and Female-ness.

[Content Note: this link contains cartoon/symbolic nudity to indicate gender, but does not depict sex]

“If humans used animal mating rituals” http://9gag.com/gag/aZP2zgz?ref=fb.s

But the Bible isn’t actually important in this Biblical Sexual Ethic. Mr. Crabtree needs to not be able to learn from animals, because animals operate according to the rules of their biological existence. Other people, not Mr. Crabtree of course, would say they are ruled by Nature.

And Nature has to be what Mr.Crabtree says it is- NOT what’s observable. Otherwise it might not turn out to be what he says it it.

So. Those physical/ biological examples you have? Ditch them. After all, who needs facts when you have a theory about what the Bible says!

3. Given that this is the biblical worldview, it makes no sense whatsoever to reject the idea that “natural law” (if that is understood to mean whatever coherence to the created order would dictate) gives us important information about how we humans ought to behave.

Woah! Shit! When did the Bible come into this?

Oh right. This is the Biblical Worldview- a horse of a different color.

…whatever coherence to the created order would dictate…

The key word here is “created.” “Natural Law” is being used to mean ‘the rules of the material world when understood as a creation of God /the Bible/Aristotle.’

Well duh. Of course that’s not going to contradict the Bible. When squeezed and mutilated into being understood as a created order as defined by Mr. Crabtree’s interpretation of the Bible, the material world is going to always, 100%, going to agree with what he says the Bible says.

Wave your flag for team Tautology.

a) Accordingly, the fact that homosexual sex is incompatible with procreation is an important datum in one’s reaching a rational conclusion about the morality of homosexual behavior.

And so now, without quoting a single verse, passage or Creation Science Study, we are assuming that the purpose of sexuality is procreation.

The Biblical Book On Sex, The Song of Solomon, is overflowing with intimate and metaphoric details of the lovers delighting in each other. And never once mentions procreation.

David’s first wife, Michal- you know, the one he bought for the price of several hundred severed Philistine dicks (oh alright, foreskins)- who was madly in love with him at the time, never produced a child in conjugal relations with him. But she saved his life when her dad ordered him killed (1 Samuel 18-19, 2 Samuel 6). Were their sexual relations immoral?

Or how about David’s pretty little bed warmer, Abishag? He never even had conjugal relations with her, but once he was dead, her remarriage was considered a political threat to his son Solomon (1 Kings 1). It wasn’t because of any children she had had or could have, but because she had been the king’s consort.

Was Abraham and Sarah’s relationship illicit (well, other than that it was incest) in the years before it produced a child? Or why were Abraham’s children by his concubine Keturah (Genesis 25:1-5) simply given a sack lunch and a walking stick and thrown out when they were too old to be cute anymore? Like dumped pets. God more or less micromanaged Abraham’s life. If he was doing something wrong, you would expect God would have popped up and smote him or something. But of all the many children Abraham procreated, only Isaac counted to him (and kind of Ishmael). If the procreated themselves didn’t matter to Abraham, how could procreation be the point of the sex that produced them?

But perhaps all those examples are not important because the Bible gives us bad examples as well as good ones, eh?

Maybe we should be looking to Jewish covenantal/ritual law to tell us what the purpose of sex is.

You know. The law that evil modern society has by and large discarded because they think that kidnapping people of a different ethnic group and selling them like talking pottery is a detestable ?

I don’t have time to go into it here. And Mr. Crabtree didn’t either. But maybe those are not important because they only apply to the Jews. Or something.

Maybe we know that procreation is the purpose of Sex because in first chapter of the book of the Book of Genesis, God says that his reason for making humankind is so that they will rule the earth and he tells them to reproduce in order to do it.

But if sex is the means of procreation and procreating is part of the reason humans exist, it doesn’t logically follow that procreating is the only reason for sex.

Your hands are useful both for lifting things up and for setting things down. If we could establish that the purpose of your existence was to lift boxes onto shelves- that might end up meaning that your hands are necessary to move the crates already on the shelves down onto the floor in order to make room for said boxes.

The purpose of your hands’ existence might be both actions, even if the purpose of your existence was only one of them.

There is a great deal in the Bible to be dealt with before one decides what God has decided the point of sex is. It has emotional, social, and political aspects as well as procreative ones- and that isn’t even starting on economics or demographics.

But to just decide halfway through a sentence- without dealing with any of this? Are you kidding me?

This is the argumentative equivalent of a Piggybank marked ‘Jesus Saves’.

(1) Because it gives us important information about God’s purpose and design for human sexuality.

A design we pulled out of our ass.

Excuse me while I have trouble taking this seriously.

B. A moral judgment with regard to sexual behavior (as with regard to any and all
behavior) must be made on the basis of a rational moral judgment (grounded in the
biblical worldview), not on the basis of what feels right, natural, or acceptable.


Polanyi`s concept of knowledge is based on three main theses: First, true discovery, cannot be accounted for by a set of articulated rules or algorithms. Second, knowledge is public and also to a very great extent personal (i.e. it is constructed by humans and therefore contains emotions, “passion”.). Third, the knowledge that underlies the explicit knowledge is more fundamental; all knowledge is either tacit or rooted in tacit knowledge.


Emphasis added.

1. The moral judgment we place on any behavior (including our sexual behavior)
must NOT be made on the basis of what seems right to us, for what seems right
(and natural) to us is derived from our acculturation in and by a particular culture.
It is not typically a function of our rational, moral judgment.

Broca’s work seemed particularly invulnerable to
refutation. Had he not measured with the most
scrupulous care and accuracy? (Indeed, he had. I have
the greatest respect for Broca’s meticulous procedure.
His numbers are sound. But science is an inferential
exercise, not a catalog of facts. Numbers, by themselves, specify nothing. All depends upon what you do with them.) Broca depicted himself as an apostle of objectivity, a man who bowed before facts and cast aside superstition and sentimentality. He declared that “there is no faith, however respectable, no interest, however legitimate, which must not accommodate itself to the progress of human knowledge and bend before truth.”

Women, like it or not, had smaller brains than men and, therefore, could not equal them in intelligence.

Broca understood, of course, that part of this difference could be attributed to the greater height of males. Yet he made no attempt to measure the effect of size alone and actually stated that it cannot account for the entire
difference because we know, a priori, that women are not as intelligent as men (a premise that the data were supposed to test, not rest upon)


The declaration that one is functioning rationality and not emotionally is no protection against cultural prejudice. The otherwise impeccable practice of rationality does not protect one against cultural prejudice.

Rational thought falls prey to culture just as easily as gut instinct does.

My suspicion is that the only real protection against cultural prejudice that exists is the injunction to know thyself- and to actively pursue knowing the culture as well.

a) To the member of a tribe of cannibals, eating his enemies (though they are
human beings) feels comfortably “right” and “natural.” Why wouldn’t it? That
is all he has ever known.

Apparently, Broca noticed that German brains were on average larger than French brains. A good Frenchman, Broca corrected his study of French and German brains to account for the average physical difference in height.

He thought it was perfectly right and natural to not correct his data on male and female brain sizes for differences in height.


Rationality won’t save you.

b) From a biblical perspective, it is important that we be willing to have our cultural attitudes and perspectives completely undermined and overturned.

Kind of like how God’s perspective was completely overturned between saying

Ezekiel 18:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:
“‘The parents eat sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
3 “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. 4 For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die…

19 “Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.

And saying

Exodus 34: 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

I mean if the ultimate cookie cutter of morality for all of reality sometimes changes his mind on what it means to be moral, we shouldn’t be afraid to either, right?

(1) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” > Romans 12:2.

In the verse before this, Paul talks about offering your body as a living sacrifice to God. One has to wonder if this is similar to what the Israelites are said to have done to the children of the citizens of Jericho.

Joshua 6:16 …Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted[a] to the Lord…

Footnote a. Joshua 6:17 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 18 and 21.

20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

Were those children living sacrifices before they were ‘given over’ to God ? Or only after?

At any rate, our minds must be renewed and transformed such that the murder of children is acceptable to us before the Biblical View will make sense.

To conclude IV B, I believe that the human mind is finite. Even if God exists and has gifted us with an absolute revelation, our understanding of that revelation is going to be limited. I see no reason to try rid ourselves of emotion (or rationality) in a misguided attempt to obtain absolute knowledge.

There is a verse in Ecclesiastes that talks about eternity being set in the heart, and a passage in Corinthians that talks about gaining the Mind of Christ. Perhaps you don’t share my bleak view of the limitations of knowledge.

Even so, no one said that the mind of Christ could be gained by simply discarding our human emotions in favor of our human mind.

C. My physical sexual nature is not an essential element of what I am as a human being— it is not an essential facet of what I am as a creature created in the image of God.

And now we are in Section C. The long awaited.

I have to ask. Did Adam, before he fell, have a body?

Gen 2:7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

God begins with straight out and out matter and adds a spirit. Adam was never without a body, even when he was without a soul. The answer appears to be yes.

Did his body have a sexual aspect?

Gen 1:27 …male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

The answer appears to be yes.

Were the body and its sexual aspects part of God’s image?

Gen 1: 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them…

Again, yes.

Was it good?

Gen 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

It wasn’t just good, it was very good.

This entire point of Mr. Crabtree’s, if the Bible is our authority, is complete bunk.

The ‘image of God’ was pronounced on Adam as a total being. There was no disclaimer made about which aspect was the Image. So, if the Image was everything he then was, how is the rejection of sexuality anything less than the rejection of God?

Well- because God doesn’t have a body- the reasoning might go. God doesn’t look like a barely evolved monkey like we do. God doesn’t have sex. He doesn’t shit. The Image of God must be something other than our physicalness.

I’m afraid I have a lot of sympathy for the Via Negativa on this. If it isn’t generally useful to pursue the Via Negativa it is also useful to not forget it. God- if such a being exists- exists outside of  the created reality that informs our concepts.

As far as we know, God doesn’t have a spirit, as we understand spirits. The human spirit or consciousness is a lonely thing- embedded in material reality- most likely an illusion created by the firing of neurons.


Hence the importance of being given a New Body when resurrected into the New Heavens and Earth. If you weren’t given a new body and new neurons in the new physical reality, you probably wouldn’t exist.

As far as we know, God doesn’t have neurons.

God, as the source of reality and as a being previous to and greater than reality as we know it, is no more accurately described by the word ‘spirit’ than he is by ‘matter’. Or ‘red’ or ‘blue’.

He’s on a different ontological level than we are.

If God can accurately be described as the author of the novel which is the universe, ‘spirit’ ‘will’ and ‘existential decision’ are just as much created items as the ‘body’ and its sexuality.  No more and no less.

If the entities that experience existence and  decision (our spirits, for lack of a better term) can be a metaphor of God, what prohibits bodies from being metaphor along with them?

1. In the biblical worldview, I transcend my body. My physical body, in general, is
not an essential element to what makes me “me.”

a) I will eventually have another, wholly new “physical” body. I don’t require
being in this present body to be me.

My impulse is to smart off, but this is an interesting question. I suspect that the new “physical” body Mr. Crabtree is talking about here is the resurrected body, alive in the New Heavens and Earth. And yet…

Your body replaces the matter you are made up of every seven years. And yet your experience of yourself as yourself persists. Different material being. Same identity. Clearly the person does transcend the body, right?

Let’s look closer. Your soul does not simply migrate from one block of matter to a different block of matter on the stroke of midnight every seventh year. It replaces that matter a little at a time. It discards and replaces the molecules you consist of according to a consistent pattern. At no time, during the seven year cycle, does that pattern simply and suddenly change. If the pattern according to which you are continually being made ever does simply and suddenly change, it’s called a genetic disorder, an autoimmune disease, or cancer, and may cause you to cease to exist in any measurable sense.

Pattern transcends matter.

But what governs this pattern?

Your DNA.

What is DNA made of?


In any sense we can verify, your physical body is the essential element of what it means to be you.

2. When it comes to my sexuality, it is helpful to think of myself as a person—a
being created in the image of God—given an animal-like body through which to
act and express myself.

Maybe I just have a dirty mind. But you know what this person/animal/sexuality dynamic reminds me of?


Ponyplay is a combination of BDSM and erotic role play where the bottom assumes the role of an equid and becomes a ponygirl (or ponyboy)…

I would classify ponyplay into two very general types:

“Forced” ponyplay in which the pony still considers himself to be a human but is treated as an animal and is compelled by his trainer/owner/handler to behave as an animal. This type of ponyplay typically involves humiliation since the pony is a human who is forced to take on the role of an equid and may thus feel degraded.

Note: While it should not have to be said, it is still worth noting that in forced ponyplay (as with BDSM generally), the pony has consented to play and is not literally being forced. Ponyplay is consensual!

“Equine role play” in contrast, is when the human “becomes” an equid and does not have a human persona while in pony role. Humiliation does not typically play a role in this type of ponyplay since animals are generally not considered to be able to be humiliated, and in any event there would be no reason a horse would feel humiliated simply for being a horse.


If we assume the body is an Animal that I, the Person, have to indwell- it sounds vaguely like God is into ponyplay.

a) The animal-like body through which I do and must express myself is a less
noble, less eternal, and less beautiful facet of who I am.

And not just Equine Role Play, either. God is going the ‘forced’/humiliation route.

b) It is my true identity as a “person” that constitutes the ultimate, eternal, noble,
beautiful, and essential facet of who I will be.

Let me reiterate something here.

Note: While it should not have to be said, it is still worth noting that in forced ponyplay (as with BDSM generally), the pony has consented to play and is not literally being forced. Ponyplay is consensual!

The difference between BDSM and actual torture and humiliation, as I understand it, is that the person being done to, in BDSM, has voluntarily entered their role.

As I understand it no one in the ‘created’ universe has entered their role voluntarily. The Bible is at pains to emphasise that point.

Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
those who are nothing but potsherds
among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
‘The potter has no hands’?

Romans 9:20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”

God hasn’t just created a kinky universe, where he has People running around in Animal bodies.

God is actually a sadist.

“You are a person, a beautiful image of the Most Holy. But I have you in my power and, without your consent, I’m going to trap you in an animal body that will subject you to horrible perverse urges. I’m going to watch you continually to see if you slip up and have your fellow Animal People butcher you- like an animal- if you fail. You have NO RIGHT to want anything other than what I want, so if you dare to be angry or resentful of what I’ve done, or do anything other than praise me and /or beg for forgiveness for your continual failures, I’m going to take you back out of the body and drown you in fire which will torment you but of which you cannot die.”

If being a Person is different than being a Body- who the hell would do this?

The Gnostics (of whom much has been written and of whom I do not feel qualified to speak authoritatively), seem to have believed that People were different entities than their bodies. Their responses to this belief differed. Some, I believe, proscribed ascetic practices, constricting and controlling the body so that it would not interfere with the Person. Some  were said to have proscribed complete licence. After all, if the body is so unimportant, what does it matter what the Body does?


But they tended to agree that the Creation of the material universe was not the work of the Good God. Creation was the act of an evil minor deity- the Demiurge.  Where Christians longed for a New Earth, the most sensible thing the Gnostic could long for was that Creation would dissolve completely and the work of the Evil One would be undone. The trapped souls then would be released to return to the Good God from whom they had been separated.

I have to hand it to them. The Gnostics were at least sharp enough that they didn’t worship the Demiurge.

3. Sexual desire per se is not spiritual, transcendent, eternal, or even ennobling. It is
not an ultimate good. Indeed, being connected with an inferior animal-like facet
of who I am, it has the potential to be demeaning.

Actually, according to the first chapter of Genesis.

You know.  In the Bible.

It’s part of the Image of God.

Not to bring up the sadist thing again- but given Mr. Crabtree’s Worldview why exactly did God/ the Demiurge trap People in bodies that reproduce sexually?

The last time I read anything about it, asexual reproduction is a pretty viable solution to the problem of biological death. God/the Demiurge either knew that humans would fall or created them broken to begin with. He also apparently has this very particular taste in human sex such that he needed to make all these rules and is upset if we don’t follow them.

So why not do some damage control and foreknowingly make the physical bodies ones that wouldn’t get on his nerves in case of Fall?

Did he want to pack in the most humiliation and brokenness possible in retaliation for humans not being good enough? Or what?

a) So long as the expression of my sexuality is kept within the bounds of its God-given purpose—it can be an expression of what is good, noble, right, and of God. But, if it is not kept within the bounds of its God-given purpose, then it will become evil, dirty, demeaning, and unclean.

So, the other day, I was walking along and saw a smashed set of earbud wires lying on the side of the road. I picked them up, cleaned them up, braided them into a single strand, and made them into a DYS, totally punk necklace.

Their original purpose, for which they were made was to transmit sound. The purpose I used them for was not that.

Some people don’t like Punk very much and that’s ok. But pretend you like Punk. Or that I had striped the plastic off and used them to wire a machine that makes shoes for orphans or something. You know what those wires were when I repurposed them?

They weren’t evil. They weren’t dirty. They weren’t demeaning. And they weren’t unclean.

Now, in real life (or in in the hypothetical version where I know how to wire machines), the purpose I put the earbud wires to was either innocuous or down right noble.

What if I had instead used them to strangle some one to death?

The wires would still not be evil. Or dirty. Or unclean.

You know what would be unclean if I decided to use the wires for murder?

Me. The person who had commited murder. And only me. The wires would be just what they were before.


(1) While it is true that sexual desire and sexual behavior is not necessarily “dirty,” neither is it “transcendent,” beautiful, and a higher aspect of my being.

Either sexuality is morally neutral or it isn’t a possible element of both Good or Evil. Get your story straight.

(a) Sexual desire and behavior can readily become “dirty,” when they transgress their created purpose.

Sigh. There goes birth control.

And yet, the lecture is about how homosexuals are dirty. Pick on the minority, will you?

(2) While it is true that sexual desire and sexual behavior is not an inherently good and ennobling facet of who I am as a human being, yet it is nonetheless true that sexual desire and sexual behavior can become an expression of and a part of that which is good, righteous, beautiful and noble.

So, dispite the fact that sexuality is neither dirty nor trancendent in and of itself, it is for some reason not morally neutral either. When used for ‘the good purpose’ it is taken up into the Telos and becomes a moral good. When used for anything else, it is a perversion.

(a) Our physical sexuality is NOT inherently noble and good, but it can be taken up into that which is noble and good.

Is it just me, or is there a lot of repetition in this section?

(b) This is where the biblical worldview parts company with the Platonic worldview that has infused so much of Christianity.

Uuuh. I’m not going to try and figure out what he thinks the Platonic/Christian hybrid is with regards to sexuality- given that Christianity has by and large taken an extremely low view of sexuality since the time of Augutine (a Platonizer in other respects) whereas Plato described sexual attraction as a rung on the ladder that we climb to reach the Good. A very low rung, but a rung nonetheless.

The real difference from Platonism itself may be that Christians often think that there is an alternative to God (who nominally corresponds with the Platonic Good).

In the Platoninc universe, what Christians call evil can be created by stopping on any given rung of the ladder- loving the beauty of the body and not going on to love the soul as well results in lust- loving the beauty of one particular body/soul and not the beauty of all body/souls results in covetousness, loving people only and not the harmony of people desired by the laws of the polis results in political discord. Etc.

But in Plato’s universe, there only exists good which has not been taken far enough to be Good. There are only deficiancies of Good.

It seems to me that Mr. Crabtree believes in Evil as well as Good.

You can subjegate a thing to a Good Purpose. And then it is a step towards the Good. But there exists Evil Purpose as well. And the thing you subject to the Evil Purpose becomes a step towards Evil.

This, despite believing that God is Good and that everything in Creation is produced by him and is intimately under his control.

Somehow, Something, Somewhere, exists that is Against Him.

O Uncreated, speak thy name.

4. If I choose to act sexually in a manner that is inconsistent with what is morally good, then my sexuality has become beast-like.


Note the dichotomy that’s been set up here. Physical desire (“urges”) are beastlike. What he says Aristotle say the Bible say God says, on the other hand, is morally good, despite being incredibly not well justified Biblically.

One’s sexuality is defined by the choice one makes.

One one hand, if his theory of sexuality is treated as a theory, he forces you to chose between verifiable reality, the nature of one’s own body and one’s own consistent physical responses- and how he believes things ought to work. Believes, I might add, in direct contradiction to the Bible, whilst claiming the Bible as his authority.

If you don’t chose his theory, you are beastlike.

On the other hand, if his theory were to be treated as the Moral Good that he says it is, one is forced to chose between material reality (the Animal body you have been trapped in by God/the Demiurge) and the immaterial reality of the Good.

You must reject material reality entirely if you want to be accepted by the Good.

a) It is not the God-created person inside of me that is determining what I do with my sexuality; rather, it is the animal-like body I have been given that is determining what I do with my sexuality.


In the previous point Mr.Crabtree said you could act inconsistently with his moral good if you  chose to do so. Here, he’s saying that if your actions are inconsistant with his moral good, it is not the Person who is determining your actions but the Animal.

Guess what? “You” are not the God-created person. “You” have a God-created Person contained within your borders-

but the God-created Person is not the part that choses.

If “you” are capable of choosing between being a Person and being an Animal, I have to ask-

What are “you”?

Isn’t the point of Existentialism that since you are a Person, you must chose?

Maybe I misunderstood existentalism.

But at any rate, the Gnostic soul/body Good/Evil split is being furthered. One must escape what is normally referred to as reality and superimpose on yourself the world of your mind. Ah. Well. Jack’s mind.

And, conveniently, Mr. Crabtree has found a way to claim that his opponents are literally Animals.

Thanks so much, teacher.

5. The physical (animalistic) nature of my sexuality is, in and of itself, morally undiscerning and does not discriminate between various sexual behaviors. (That is, there is not a class of sexual behaviors that is inappropriate to the animal in us.) Hence, physical sexual response can be influenced, trained, or channeled to respond to anything.


I hate to bring this up. However.

The physical (animalistic) nature of my sexuality is, in and of itself, morally undiscerning and does not discriminate between various sexual behaviors.

I am suspicious that Mr. Crabtree doesn’t know anything about animals. Animals may not be morally discerning. But most species of animal are definitely discriminatory about sexual behavior- unless being raped by a human. Most animal species have sexual patterns, some of which are different than normative human patterns. But individual animals of the species stick to their species’ pattern.

The only species that breaks pattern, by, for instance, occasionally raping animals of a different species, is the human one.

What Mr. Crabtree is calling animalism is actually pretty unique to humans. If I were assuming a Christian worldview, my first impression would it was a direct result (via the Fall) to human moral nature.

Animals just don’t do shit like this.

(That is, there is not a class of sexual behaviors that is inappropriate to the animal in us.)

Appropriate? I think you would have to be either an anatomist or a biologist to say yes or no to that. I am neither.

Hence, physical sexual response can be influenced, trained, or channeled to respond to anything.

Uh. Wrong.

For the human race as a whole, I would refer you to the biologist. I have no clue. I do believe that the normative human sexual pattern is not fixed, as we have already been able to watch ourselves moving away from harems (characteristic of some species of apes and the patriarchs) towards monogamy.

However, as individuals go- there are some humans who will never find ponyplay appealing. No matter how much training is applied towards that end.

Some individuals will never be turned on by cars. Some individuals are asexual- and will never be turned on by another individual of any species.

Some people will never be turned on by people of the same gender.

And do you know what?

That is totally ok.

I believe it is necessary to respect other beings and not force on them behaviors that they don’t understand or do not consent to. But other than that, no two people are exactly alike. And while you can probably force someone to CLAIM that they respond to certain things, by, say, threatening to take them outside the city walls and throwing rocks at them until they’re dead- you can’t threaten, influence or channel a person into actually changing their preference.

a) Therefore, the things in which human beings become sexually interested should come as no surprise to us. Just because a human being finds something sexually interesting does not make it “natural” and, therefore, moral.

Because “nature” means “Mr. Crabtree’s interpretation of the Bible” instead of “the physical/material/biological structure of the universe”.

But, yes. I am ceasing to be surprised.

Thus ends Section IV, A through C. Next time? Section IV, D through J.

Because Section IV is the longest section on earth.

Thank you, whitechocolatelatte, for pointing out Gnosticism. That was incredibly ept.

Back from Beyond


This was quite a hideously interesting break from blogging.   I got a lot of work done that I would not have otherwise and also fruitlessly banged my head against several things that cannot be changed.  I got over a couple things, took certain items to Goodwill, and attempted to work for the greater good.

This attempt did not render me able to fly or even make me look good in spandex.  Much to my disappointment.

I have started in on the incredibly long Section IV of Jack Crabtree’s Lecture, The Ethics of Sex in the Bible.  Jack has asserted that he has an animal-like body, that is an inferior (“a less noble, less eternal, and less beautiful”) facet of his self.  Which God gave him.

On purpose.

Homosexuality is so much worse than Gnosticism, after all.

Anyway, whilst I finish that post, here is a passage that has been on my mind the last week or so.  It is from the book Letters and Papers from Prison, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

There is no longer any need for God as a working hypothesis, whether in morals, politics or science.  Nor is there any need for such a God in religion or philosophy (Feuerbach).  In the name of intellectual honesty these working hypotheses should be dropped or dispensed with as far as possible.  A scientist or physician who seeks to do otherwise is a hybrid.

At this point nervous souls start asking what room there is left for God now. And being ignorant of the answer they write off the whole development which has brought them to this pass.  As I said in an earlier letter, various emergency exits have been devised to deal with this situation. To them must be added the salto mortale back to the Middle Ages…But that is the council of despair, which can be purchased only at the cost of intellectual sincerity. It reminds one of the song:

It’s a long way back to the land of childhood.

But if only I knew the way!

There isn’t any such way, at any rate, not at the cost of deliberately abandoning our intellectual sincerity. The only way is that of Matthew 18:3 i.e. through repentance, through ultimate honesty… God is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without him. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us (Mark 15:34)… God allows himself to be edged out of the world and onto the cross.  God is weak and powerless in the world, and it is exactly the way, the only way, in which he can be with us and help us.  Matthew 8:17 makes it crystal clear that it is not by his omnipotence that Christ helps us, but by his weakness and suffering.

…Man’s religiosity makes him look in his distress to the power of God in the world; he uses God as a Deus ex machina.  The Bible however directs him to the powerlessness and suffering of God: only a suffering God can help.

Why must God suffer?

Why is the Dying God the only one who is of value to Bonhoeffer and not the Warrior King- who created the universe by telling it had better exist or it’d be sorry- who brought you into this world and can take you out of it?

Perhaps it is because, as Aphrodite embodied the lovely desire of one for another, the Dying God Jesus personifies empathy.

I’m not going to argue about what aspect of history triggered the story of Jesus here.  But as the story stands, not even Jesus could save all humans from hell.  He couldn’t even make their lives on earth less nasty brutish and short.

But he could feel what they felt.  He could suffer too.



god help me if I ever try to retire- aka required reading for The Ethics of Sex in the Bible Section IV

Alice Dreger is a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She has written for The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

(blurb from The Pacific Standard)

Her article, here quoted, was published in The Pacific Standard, on May 12, 2014.   It can be found here, if you would like to read it in full.


Discussions and debates over the origins of homosexuality have tended to focus on two possibilities: You’re either gay because you’ve got a “gay gene,” or you’re gay because of some aspect of your upbringing. (The latter option is usually imagined to involve something nasty, like a pedophilic priest.)

These two options—gene-gay and turned-gay—fit neatly in the (yawn) nature-nurture debate, and that probably explains why almost everyone seems to keep ignoring a third option, one for which there is astoundingly robust data: womb-gay.

The official name of the womb-gay idea—bestowed by Ray Blanchard, the man who articulated the phenomenon—is the fraternal birth order effect. Blanchard is head of clinical sexology services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

The upshot of the fraternal birth order effect is this: “In men, sexual orientation correlates with an individual’s number of older brothers, each additional older brother increasing the odds of homosexuality by approximately 33%.” And this isn’t because big brothers somehow socially pressure their little brothers into becoming gay. Another sex researcher, Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in Canada, has shown decisively that it isn’t due to family environment; adopted male siblings don’t show the fraternal birth order effect, and the effect holds even when biological male siblings are raised separately. It doesn’t happen in females, and female fetuses don’t add to the effect. The effect happens only among male siblings who have inhabited the same woman’s womb.

So if you are a man, the farther down the reproductive chain you were in terms of male fetuses inhabiting your biological mother’s womb, the greater the chance you are gay. Blanchard estimates this effect accounts for the sexual orientation of somewhere around 15 to 29 percent of gay men.

Why on Earth would this happen? That’s not at all clear, but the researchers who have looked at this phenomenon think it may involve some kind of immunological response a woman’s body exhibits to carrying male fetuses, a response whose effect on male fetuses grows stronger with each successive male-fetus pregnancy. This etiology remains theoretical. But the effect does not. In spite of the long-running “gene-gay versus turned-gay” discussions of homosexuality, we have far better data evidencing womb-gayness than we do gene-gayness or turned-gayness.

The fraternal birth order effect, incidentally, is a great starting point for telling just-so stories of evolution. For instance, isn’t it interesting that traditional religious societies often feature large families and polygamy? So wouldn’t a neat way to explain this be that the fraternal birth order effect co-evolves successfully with polygamy, because in a situation where you have one brother snatching up a bunch of wives, it would be good if a lot of the other brothers didn’t care? (When I asked Blanchard what he thought about this ironic possibility, of traditionally homophobic religious societies producing more gay sons on average, he responded wryly, “This proves that God is supporting my research.”)


Visceral Repulsive Update

Due to some family/ personal matters, I am going to have to take a short break from this blog.

I should be back around the 31st of May.  At that time, I intend to go through Mr. Crabtree’s Section IV, in his lecture The Ethics of Sex in the Bible.

Section IV is a very exciting section that everyone is going to want to hear about, as it contains statements such as:

The moral judgment we place on any behavior (including our sexual behavior) must NOT be made on the basis of what seems right to us…


Some things are viscerally repulsive to a person for aesthetic, psychological, emotional, and/or physical reasons. Other things are viscerally repulsive to a person for moral reasons.

Let’s hope “seems right” doesn’t include “visceral repulsion”, eh?  If it does, I won’t know what to do any more!

And in the meantime, or at some point, we may or may not have a guest post, also addressing Mr Crabtree’s series. My suspicion is that it will have far more intellectual poise than my reviews, but I can’t claim enough certainty of knowledge to be sure…  😉


You do WHAT in your Bible? Part III- How the Bible is Done

III. What is the “Teaching of the Bible” with regard to sexual ethics? 

Ok.   We have, in previous posts, discussed Section I and II in Jack Crabtree’s lengthy handout.

The handout can be found here, along with a link to audio recordings of his lectures.


In Section I, Jack explained to us that Moderns won’t think his view of sexuality is cool.   He also displayed, I thought, a marked lack of familiarity with the Modern Mindset.  And he attributed an attitude he does not approve of (a ban on interracial marriage), which is clearly expressed in a text he considers authoritative (Ezra), to a source other than the authoritative text (Book of Tobit/ first century Judaism- which I don’t think are actually even the same thing).  Implying that said ban was a deviation from, rather than a feature of, Biblical Sexual Ethics.

Which it actually is.

Making his maneuver fairly dishonest.


And he explains what kind of person his view of sexuality will appeal to and says they should all form a cult together.  Sorry- ‘underculture’.  Which no one will ever, ever, ever join just because they want to be part of a club.  No siree.

In Section II, Mr. Crabtree explained about the Bible being an authority for Jesus Followers.  The closest he got to telling us what a Jesus follower is that they are people who consider the Bible the highest authority (so, presumably all non-Protestants are out). Except in the case of Science.  Science, it appears, has authority alongside the Bible.

Let’s hope they never conflict, right?

Anyway, Section IV is going to be really interesting, because that’s where he starts talking about sex.  In the meantime, in Section III, Mr. Crabtree explains how he derives his view of the sexuality from the Bible-  his method, in other words.  And that’s pretty interesting too.

A. To understand what the Bible “teaches” on sexual ethics, one must understand the entire biblical worldview and the ramifications of that worldview for sexual ethics.

If my memory serves (which it may not), in the Middle Ages, the people of Europe had the idea that the collapsed Greco-Roman civilization previous to them was more learned than they were, and that the beliefs of the Greco-Romans were pretty nearly true.  They therefore took all of the remnants and fragments of Greco-Roman literature that they still had, derived from them the entire Greco-Roman worldview, then spent a lot of time philosophizing about the Greco-Roman worldview’s ramifications.

The trouble turns out to be that, while the Greco Roman civilization had built up a higher concentration of learnedness than the  Medieval Europeans, they also had, in their learnedness, many different theories about how the universe worked- some of which were mutually exclusive.

The Medieval Europeans had created a theory of the world in which all of the fragments they had access too appeared as compatible parts of a coherent system- even the bits which had, once upon a time, been diametrically opposed.  This marvel of interpretive ingenuity (the product, if not the process) is described in CS Lewis’ book The Discarded Image.  It is probably my favorite book by that author, and is highly readably.

It was later discovered was that this synthetic monster did not match either reality or really even the views of the Greco Romans- a fact which allowed ‘Enlightenment’ thinkers to refer to the Middle Ages as ‘The Dark Age’ and preen themselves on being smarter than people who were essentially trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, but with Huns.

In the later portion of the Christian Bible, Jesus (ethical teacher extraordinaire  and deity of the Christian religion) claims that The Law and the Prophets (the then existent portion of the Christian Bible- sometimes referred to as the Jewish Bible) can be summed up in the phrase “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12) (Rabbi Hillel said more or less the same thing, shortly before Jesus’ time)

In the Law and the Prophets, at one point God is said to have commanded his followers to kill all the men in certain cities and treat the women and children as plunder to be used- and in certain other cities to simply kill everything- old or young, animal or human (Deuteronomy 20:10-18).  These cities are said to have sinned such that they deserved to be massacred and have their land given away as a present to some other group.

The trouble, for me, is the children.

They cannot in any meaningful sense have participated in whatever crimes those cities committed.

If I were guilty of some crime that deserved death, I would not want my innocent children to be executed along with me.   If I were guilty of some crime and my children were innocent, I would certainly not want them to be treated as plunder by an army that is authorized to use prisoners as slave-wives (Deut 21:10-14).

God- said to be the source of the moral order of the universe- ordered his followers to treat others in a way that no one wants to be treated.

The Law and the Prophets cannot be summed up the way Jesus says they can.

Unless, of course, the Law and the Prophets are secretly a polemic against God, but they say that they aren’t and I’m not doing conspiracy theories in this post.

The Christian Bible seem to me to be written from at least two different ethical worldviews, diametrically opposed to each other. Possibly more. Mr.  Crabtree clearly believes that the Bible is learned and (with the exception of Ezra?) more or less true.  What Mr. Crabtree has not told us is why he thinks it is permissible to derive from the Bible a single ‘entire’ worldview.

1. I will not know what the Bible “teaches” simply by discovering what I take to be a decisive verse. I know what the Bible teaches only when I understand the entire, coherent worldview of the Bible

If we had some reason to believe that the Bible presents a single coherent worldview, this, I suppose, would be fair enough.  Only the sum of the whole can explain the parts, and so forth.

So, all we have to do is come up with The Correct View of Life, the Universe and Everything from a book that has spawned two thousand years worth of arguments, heresies, failed theologies, and multiple contradictory ‘successful’ theologies.  We can then derive our sexual ethics from that!

Sounds easy, right?

Furthermore, one finds out what the sum of the parts is by examining the parts and adding them together.   If Mr. Crabtree is taking this Sexual Ethics thing seriously, I would expect at least to hear a list of relevant passages, what each one is talking about, and then hear how the whole can be derived from them.  It doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

Furthermore, once you have found out the sum of the whole (the total worldview  that has created and informed all of the  particular passages) you could at least expect that all of the relevant verses would be explicable in terms of that total worldview.  There wouldn’t be any individual verse that CONTRADICTED the total world view, right? Because then the theory you had derived from them would be proved incorrect.

None of this has to be a problem.


Given the fact that Mr. Crabtree essentially discarded a Biblical passage (Ezra) that expresses an attitude he condemns, then blame shifted, accusing another group in a different era of history of producing the idea.

And is now distancing himself from “decisive verses”.

I have a bad feeling about this.

2. To make moral judgments consistent with what the Bible teaches, my moral judgments with regard to sexual behavior must be made on the basis of the theory of human sexuality that is taught in and/or assumed by what the Bible asserts.

At first blush I thought he was just repeating what he had said in the first two points,  but he is emphasizing here that one’s specific moral judgments come from the theory, not from applying specific verses directly to specific situations.  There is an intermediary. That intermediary, the theory, is the thing we operate from.

I like to work from an understanding of things, not a list of rules, so I guess I’m down with that.  If it could be proved that the Bible has a single consistent theory of ethics, that is.

But it hasn’t.

And there is the Book of Tobit/Ezra still hanging over our heads.

I have a bad feeling about this.

a) The Bible teaches more on sexuality than what can be found in the explicit assertions of individual verses.

Oh god.  He’s not just going to discard passages that say things he doesn’t like.  He’s going to “find” things that it doesn’t say.

Why cloud your own opinion with a bunch of textual references, Mr. Crabtree?

(1) I cannot find a “verse” that teaches that adult-child sex is a sin. Yet, in the context of a biblical theory of sexuality and sexual ethics, adult-child sex would clearly be considered evil from the perspective of the Bible, even though there is no “verse” that says so.

Well.  The Bible also doesn’t have a verse (that I recall) that says when childhood ends.

Our legal definition of adulthood is 18 years old.  The physical and hormonal changes that begin in children during puberty, between 8-12 years old, don’t really level off before then. Also, before that age, young people have too little experience of the world and themselves. They haven’t had the experience necessary to learn what physical desire means and doesn’t mean, what emotional and romantic attachment is and they don’t have the life experience to know a good person from a seducer. They have no defenses.

Thus, we treat adult/child sexual contact as a crime.  Because, even if it’s consensual, one of the involved parties isn’t yet developed enough to give informed consent.

Do you like charts?  Here’s an overview of human development.


The Jewish coming-of-age ritual takes place at about age 13.  I don’t believe they currently use this as a legal age of adulthood.

Consider this.

In the the list of unlawful sexual relations given in Leviticus 18, the unlawful relations are given in terms of social roles, familial relationships and rituals.  

Don’t sleep with your father’s wife (assumption of polygamy/concubinage), don’t sleep with your half-sister, don’t sleep with the children of your children (assuming that your children are old enough to have children and are still called children suggests to me that the grandchildren here referred to as children are not necessarily young. it means they have that role in relation to you- no matter what their age). Don’t sleep with a woman during her period. Etc.

In 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34  we learn that Josiah was eight years old when he became king in Jerusalem.

In 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 22, Joash was seven.

Why? There is no possible way that either one could have been ready to govern a nation.

Despite the fact that they were otherwise and in every other way too young, these two children were made kings because social roles, familial relationships and ritual demanded it. 

God spent practically the entire Book of Exodus instructing the Jews in detail about what kind of tassels he wanted them to put on the curtains of the Tabernacle.

And yet, he didn’t bother to address adult/child sexual relationships even once.

Why aren’t there any verses that address adult/child sexual relationships?

Interesting fact.

Most sermons I’ve ever heard on the subject hypothesize that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was about 14 when the whole pregnancy incident happened, due to this being “the right age” for her to be engaged to Joseph.





So, according to our standards of informed consent (potentially applicable to the free existential choice Mr. Crabtree is so fond of), Mary was to young to agree to sexual activity with another human, let alone consent to bear and give birth to the Son of God.

God is a pedophile.

(2) There is no “verse” that tells me it is perverse to have an erotic attachment to my automobile. That does not mean that the Bible would consider it morally acceptable.

Uh.  Actually, there is.  Given that there is no human female or animal involved, I’m guessing this would probably fall under the category of nocturnal emissions- Deuteronomy 23:9-11, Leviticus 15:16-17.  Ejaculating right out into nothing and not into a vagina/womb.  It’s not forbidden, but you aren’t allowed to participate in any ritual activities the next day.

The thing that’s weird about this fetish (and at some point in the hazy days and sleepless nights I looked this up, but I’m not going to again for a link) (DO IT YOURSELF) is not the fact that some guys do themselves on their cars, but that they describe it in romantic terms.  For that I’d say, maybe too much Thomas the Tank Engine as children?

But nowhere in all the rules did I noticed the Bible mentioning anything about romantic attachments- one way or the other.  The closest thing I can think of is  the story of Jacob and Rachel, Genesis 29. The romantic attachment in that story was more or less incidental to the dynamics of marriage  and the story itself except to explain why Laban could charge such a high price for his daughter and get away with so many shenanigans.

Oh gosh.  David and Michal! 1 Samuel 18. Same deal, although there’s are a lot more being dealt with in this passage than just marriage.  The romantic attachment is there to explain why Saul can make his prospective son-in-law David risk his life collecting so many… Philistine… foreskins… Presumably, as a willing sexual partner, Michal is more desirable and therefore Saul can make David pay for her as part of his scheme to get David killed.

And then there’s the Song of Solomon. The great erotic poem of the Bible, written by David’s son Solomon. Solomon, of the 700 wives and 300 concubines.  Solomon who collected women like some men collect. Well. Cars.

No one ever said that Rachel was in love with Jacob.  Given that her opinion didn’t count, how exactly was this different from doing a car that you have a crush on?

(3) If it were the case that no “verse” tells me it is wrong for “marriage” to occur between two human beings of the same sex, would that fact entail that the Bible would consider same-sex marriage morally unobjectionable? The answer is “no.”

He’s saying, again, that you can derive from the theory things that aren’t explicitly stated.

Sort of like how you can derive from Jesus saying ‘treat others the way you wish to be treated’ the theory that you shouldn’t commit genocide.  Then, even though God never commanded anyone NOT to commit genocide,  you can know that he would never ever ever command anyone to do something so utterly morally reprehensible!

Oh shoot!  That’s just what I wanted God to be like!

b) What the Bible asserts in individual verses must be understood in the light of
the Bible’s theory of marriage and sexuality, and in the light of its entire

You can beat a dead horse to water but you can’t make it have a single consistent theory of sexuality and marriage.

Don’t look a gift horse in the Ethics. It might be as old as the Bronze Age.

He’s saying what I said about the parts having to be explicable by the whole- the  worldview/theory you construct from them. Except he’s leaving out the part where they also have to not contradict the whole or the whole is invalid.

We’ll see why in a minute.

(1) “Love your neighbor” clearly cannot be construed to mean “have sex
with your neighbor” (as the followers of Moses David taught).

Wow.  Something we agree on. Yes, that is an obviously stupid reading of that passage.

I have no idea who Moses David was or what his followers taught.  I don’t care. I’ll assume he was some hippy Mr. Crabtree knew back in his longhair days.  Moving on.

(2) To construe the handful of relevant verses as suggesting that Jesus
taught that divorce is NEVER morally permissible is to ignore several
facets about the biblical worldview.

Remember back in A.1) when I said that you could derive a theory from a set of facts/verses, and use them as an interpretive framework, but none of the facts/verses could contradict the theory, or the theory would be wrong?

And then in A. 2) b) he said more or less the same thing, but left out the part about how, if facts/ verses contradicted the theory, the theory was wrong?

The ‘handful of relevant verses’ constitute EVERY SINGLE TIME Jesus gave instructions about divorce.

Matthew 5:30-32

Matthew 19:1-11

Mark 10:1-12

Luke 16:18

“To construe... said verses… as suggesting Jesus taught divorce is never morally permissible…” is putting rather a fine point on it.

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matt 5:32

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery. Matt 19:9

He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” Mark 10:11-12

Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  Luke 16:18

Jesus explicitly stated, every time he addressed the issue, that divorce is never morally permissible except in the case of adultery.

What grounds does Mr. Crabtree have for saying that we misconstrue Jesus when we say Jesus believed what Jesus explicitly stated he believed?

Deuteronomy 24:1 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house,and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Divorce was a normal transaction in the Old Testament.  There were certain restrictions on it, but they were nowhere as severe as Jesus’.

The ‘indecent something’ the man discovers about the woman?

Leviticus 20:10 “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

It wasn’t adultery.

Its as if Jesus and the writers of the Tanakh were working from two completely different views on the matter. They absolutely contradict one another.

Interestingly enough, Jesus himself knew of and dealt with this discrepancy.

Mark 10: 2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

“What did Moses command you?” he replied.

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

Moses permitted this in cases other than divorce.  And yet Jesus has said that he agrees with the Law of Moses- Matt 5:17-20. What’s a Jesus to do?

Mark 10:5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Jesus explains that there IS a single coherent ethic that informs both his teaching on divorce AND the Old Testament’s teaching.  However, he says, the Jews back in the day weren’t ready to drink God’s ethic straight. So God watered it down for them and allowed them to divorce for reasons other than adultery.

Divorce for reasons other than adultery- the Moses’ law- is a corruption of God’s ethic.

But according to Mr. Crabtree, Jesus cannot possibly mean what he said, because the Tanakh and the theory Mr. Crabtree has constructed, must be taken into consideration as well. Jesus’ teaching must be explained in their light.

Mr. Crabtree agrees with Jesus in saying that Jesus’ teaching  and the Tanakh’s are two parts of a single self contained systems of ethics.  Like Jesus, he MUST say that one of the two doesn’t really mean what they are saying.

And, of the two, he chose to discard Jesus.

Given the depth of incompatibility some couples display and the unnecessary suffering that divorce can prevent, I can’t say that choice is wrong.

Given his statements about the Bible and being a Jesus Follower, in his own system, he totally is.

(3) Some seek to defend the legality of “gay marriage” on the grounds that
to deny the legal possibility of marriage to gay people is to violate the
Bible’s supreme ethical principle—love for our neighbor. This argument
disregards several facets of the biblical worldview.

And now he’s accusing other people of discarding things. Oh Joy. The Ocean.

The supreme ethical principle- love for our neighbor- when stated in full is, love your neighbor as you love yourself.

It was stated by Jesus (Mark 12, Luke 10 among others), his disciples (Paul- Romans 13- and James- James 2- come to mind) and some of the Old Testament writers(Leviticus 19:18) Given that they  were also all gung-ho about killing the neighboring Canaanite tribes, possibly they meant it to be limited to the Jews.  With the more cosmopolitan streams of Judaism it was applied to all humanity, as it was in the more cosmopolitan strains of Christianity as well.  Jesus gave an example of it with his parable of the good Samaritan.

Luke 10:25-37

The parable implies that ‘your neighbor’ is anyone, of any race, even if they are of a different religion, even if their religion is a  corrupt version of your religion and they leave out all the things you have labeled as purity, truth and relationship to God.

It is the reason I feel bad about treating Mr. Crabtree’s lecture with such sarcasm.

It can also be restated in a form we have previously touched on- “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  And it is fairly easy to see how the same dynamic informs both renderings.

Pretend you are that other person. Thus, their life and experience of life are just as valuable as your own.  And then, just as you don’t like it when people do stuff that harms you, don’t do stuff that harms them. Just as you like it when people do stuff that helps you, do stuff that helps other people.

How does this apply to the controversy of gay marriage?

Well- what does Mr. Crabtree want for himself?  He’s already told us.

A subculture utilizes social and cultural pressure to effect conformity. The
follower of Jesus does so out of free, existential obedience. The Bible never
advocates cultural conformity for its own sake, where no free, existential
choice is involved.

He wants to make his own choices- freely and out of the core of his existence.  He wants to be able to follow his chosen religion and (presumably) its sexual ethics, not because society or his culture has forced him to.  Perhaps by – and who’s ever heard of such a ridiculous thing!- making the normal manifestations and sexual practices of his chosen religion illegal.

But  apparently this is too drastic for him to grant anyone else.

His life matters.  Other people’s don’t.  According to him.

(a) This argument assumes that relationship is the supreme principle in
life, as well as in sexuality. Truth, moral purity, one’s relationship to
God, and, hence, sexual purity—these must never be allowed to take
precedence over authentic, loving relationship (as a modern would
define love).

Uh.  No, it doesn’t.  It assumes that truth, moral purity,  and relationship to God are matters of intense and prolonged debate, and that people should be allowed to make up their own minds about said matters and then pursue those without having to superficially conform to the  opinions of others.

Assuming that sex is more important than truth, moral purity and God sounds like something a hippy would say.  Except I suspect that a hippy would say that sex WAS truth, moral purity and God.  So maybe is sounds like the thing a person who didn’t like hippies would say that a hippy said.

Or maybe we shouldn’t pull opinions out of our asses and randomly assign them to people. As Mr. Crabtree has done here.

(b) Does love for my neighbor require that I want my neighbor to have
and do whatever he wants to have and do? Clearly not.

What the hell.  Why doesn’t it?

I’ll assume (randomly)(out of my ass) that the argument here continues; but what if my neighbor wants to have and do things that hurt me?

Like- blowing themselves up in a crowded mall so they can die a martyr and be sure of getting into heaven? Or- making illegal all expressions of sexuality other than their own because God said butt-sex is icky? Or massacring entire nation/races because God said he likes you better and you get to have all their stuff now?

What if what one person wants involves another person, but the other person doesn’t want it?

Well. This is why, to limit the limitless freedom that ‘loving your neighbor as you love yourself’ bestows upon us all, and to resolve the conflict between having not One, but Many persons (aka moral agents) in existence, we have introduced the concept of consent.

Informed Consent, no less.

One  person can only do what they want to another person if the other person understands and wants it as well.

That is my answer.  I don’t know if that was actually Mr. Crabtree’s question, since the matter was so ‘clear’ to him that he didn’t give it a bullet point of its own.

(i) However, that is exactly what we unthinkingly assume in the
context of debates like “gay marriage.”

Actually, some of us don’t assume it but come to this conclusion by reasonable processes that you are ignoring.

(c) The above argument “begs the question.” It assumes the very point
at issue: that there is nothing morally objectionable about
homosexuality as such.

No, it doesn’t.  It assumes that different persons come to different understandings of what morality is.  It also assumes that while everyone thinks that they’re right and wants to do what they think is right, no one has agreed on the details since pretty much the beginning of time.

(d) To love my neighbor is to promote my neighbor’s well-being. Don’t
I have to know what is truly good for my neighbor in order to love
him? Isn’t the entire scope of the Bible’s teaching relevant to
answering that question?

And here I thought that conservatives don’t like the welfare-nanny state.

To love my neighbor is to promote my neighbor’s well-being.

I don’t know.  But to love your neighbor as you love yourself is to allow them to tell you what their well being looks like to them, and respect that.

No one ever said you could just love your neighbor.

To simply assume that you know what’s good for them and they don’t, especially when one has displayed as impressive an ignorance of your neighbor as Mr. Crabtree has in this lecture, is to infantilize everyone but yourself and to anoint yourself the Supreme Nanny of the Whole World.

Except even your views grow and change, so you’re not qualified.

Don’t I have to know what is truly good for my neighbor in order to love


Having done your research, knowing what their various choices they face, familiarizing yourself with the processes by which they make decisions, their history, motivations, hopes, fears, etc, make you a better resource for them as they make their decisions.  That is perhaps more loving than just letting them rot in your corner while you rot in yours.

But no.  You don’t have to know.

Isn’t the entire scope of the Bible’s teaching relevant to answering that question?

uh… in the general sense that, isn’t the history of everything  ultimately related to every question? sure it is.

But to be particularly and specifically relevant, we would have to have proven that the Bible had a single ethic that informed its entire scope.

And we haven’t.

And, in fact, what we have seen has indicated quite the opposite.

Once upon a time, the Bible was considered a guide for Astronomy.  The relevant verses and the theory derived from them were studied in detail.  They caused much consternation when a man named Galileo began to popularize a theory that went against the theory that had been derived from the Bible- and in fact explained the observable data better than Biblical  Astronomy did.

Today, Mr. Crabtree claimed the Bible is relevant to ‘theology,
philosophy, and spirituality’ but had to leave Science, Technology, Engineering, and  Mathematics to wander on their lonesome. He left out Astronomy as well.

From what I have seen of Mr. Crabtree’s arguments, I’m beginning to wonder if the Bible is eventually going to bow out of the discussion of Ethics.

After all, the Bible’s claim to fame is it’s Divine inspiration.  But the Divinity, God, the Bible tells us, is perfect and eternal- the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

And the Bible both contradicts itself and shows signs of having developed.

So ends Section III


In the next section, Section IV,  Mr. Crabtree talks about viscerally repulsive sexual practices. In detail.  For pages and pages and pages.

Tune in Next Week!





You do WHAT in your Bible? How viscerally repulsive! Part II

Sarcastic Trigger Warning: Contains some sarcasm

Conformist Trigger Warning: Contains parts where I disagree with you and am not being sarcastic 

So here we are, not even through Section I, and I already had to stomp off and calm down.  It appears that in the Bible, interracial marriages may be frowned on (i.e. noble Teachers of the Law throw themselves around and cry until all the nasty ladies go away) and using war prisoners as sex slaves is ok.  It also turns out that Jack has a curious habit of avoiding facts like this, and has tried to portray them 1) as belonging to first century Judaism and 2)as some kind of bizarre aberration from otherwise normal healthy and courageous Biblical attitudes.

So far I find his treatment of this subject intellectually dishonest.  And morally abhorrent.

Clearly.  I must be nothing more than a product of my culture, that I take exception to him thus.

Oh wait.  Except the culture I’m from and surrounded by is the one that agrees with him.

I must… uh… I must…  be objecting…. because…


So. Onward.

B. For the person who has a need to conform culturally, nothing the Bible says could
possibly convince him of its sexual ethics and neither will its values resonate with him.

That conformists need to conform and that nothing will convince them otherwise is a given. It’s like the wing being the wing of a winged thing and the winged thing being winged by a wing. A necessary relationship.  Modern conformists will conform to Modernity, Catholic conformists will conform to Catholicism, Protestant conformists will conform to Protestantism.  Reformed conformists will conform to Reformed… ism.

There are, one would assume, also persons of each belief who take their beliefs seriously and hold them, not out of conformity, but out of honest intellectual agreement.

Granting the possibility that there are some non-conformist Reformists out there in the wild somewhere, I don’t understand why he’s bringing this up.  Shouldn’t he be talking about his sincere opponents?

Well, for some reason, Mr. Crabtree doesn’t feel that’s necessary.  Given the level of intellectual integrity he displayed with the Book of Tobit stunt, maybe he feels he’s talking to people like himself.

I shouldn’t be so cruel.  Maybe he was rushed prepping this lecture and in twenty plus years of Biblical studies just never heard of the book of Ezra.

And then there’s me.  Disagreeing with him!  I must be such a conformist to my culture! The culture he signs off on and helped create. I am probably the case in point, right here!

1. Biblical sexual ethics and modern cultural attitudes and beliefs about sexuality are
mutually incompatible.

Damn straight they are.  People who do shit like that go to prison.

C. The Bible is teaching a perspective on our sexuality that will only resonate with those
few courageous, fiercely independent individuals who want to honor their creator with
their lives and have no regard for the favor of the other people around them.

There’s Radical Submission for you.  Doesn’t matter if it destroys you, doesn’t matter that it’s a social menace- just do what I say God says.  Allah Ackbar!

1. Those interested in following biblical sexual ethics today must necessarily form 

an “under-culture.”

Also know as terrorist cells.

2. Not a “subculture.”

Thanks for the correction.  I was confused.

a) A subculture utilizes social and cultural pressure to effect conformity. The
follower of Jesus does so out of free, existential obedience. The Bible never
advocates cultural conformity for its own sake, where no free, existential
choice is involved.

You get inducted into the ‘underculture’ when the underculturists kill your family, take you prisoner, start using you for sex, and then call it marriage so that if you try to run away you can be prosecuted for unfaithfulness.

Girl, stop smarting off!  The Bible would NEVER-  oh wait.

It does.

I love the smell of existential choice in the mornings!

End of Section 1.   Thank Allah.

II. With regard to a moral judgment about sexual behavior (or any other behavior), the
Jesus-follower is interested in what the Bible teaches.

So… Mr Crabtree… isn’t a Jesus Follower, then? What are we supposed to take from this?

Oh, I know,  maybe Jesus Followers are interested in everything the Bible teaches, but primarily follow the teachings of Jesus.

Like when he says in  Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Actually Rabbi Hillel said that too. In the time of King Herod. The one who tried to kill baby Jesus.

“What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellow man: this is the whole Law; the rest is mere commentary” (Shab. 31a)


First century Judaism was so much like the Taliban!

You see, if I was guilty of a crime against God that deserved death, I would totally want people to kill my innocent children.  Wouldn’t you? Or  for them to be used as plunder by a victorious army– hey- I am totally down with that!

That’s why we can say that the whole message of the Law can be summed up in the formula “treat others the way you want to be treated”

Otherwise there would be no explanation for things like this:

Deuteronomy 20:4 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you.

Or, if by some chance, no one would want these things to happen to their children when they were dead, even if they did worship Baal instead of Yahweh, we may be forced into another line of thought.

Since the Law, as it actually stands, CAN’T be summarized as ‘treat others the way you want to be treated”-

What if the Christian Bible, as it now stands, does not actually present a coherent vision of ethics?

A. The Jesus believer conforms his beliefs to what he is convinced, by sound reason, is
true, not by what “appears” to him to be true.

Perhaps this was more clear in the lecture.  The distinction between ‘appears to him to be true’ and ‘convinced by sound reason to be true’ doesn’t make much sense to me.  I myself would use those phrases interchangeably.

I am curious about his use of the word conform.  A conformist being someone who believes a thing out of a psychological need to be like everyone else- what business does anyone who is not a conformist have conforming their beliefs to something they are convinced of by sound reason?  Shouldn’t what they are convinced of by sound reason be their belief already without having to conform to anything to anything as a middle step?

Possibly just semantics. Onward. Furthur.

1. We “walk by belief (faith), and not by sight” = we live and think in accord with
what we know, by reason, to be true, not what appears true to us because of our
ill-considered and uncritical perception.

forgive my crummy greek transliteration here.

The choice to translate pistews (“faith”) in Corinthians 5:7 as ‘belief’ rather than ‘trust’ is an interesting choice, but possible.   The jump from ‘belief’ to ‘reason’ in the paraphrase, especially when contrasted with ‘íll-considered’ and ‘uncritical’ makes a switch not easily noticeable in English- moving pisteuo away from meaning an intellectual commitment, which it may legitimately do, and towards meaning  rationality and the process of reasoning- more in the direction of logos.  Which is illegitimate, according to the usage and rules of the Greek language as I understand them.

That, when compared to some  random passage from Tobit, makes this point sort of smell to high heaven, but, if he would leave out the Bible verse, it would be a pretty fair argument.  Act and think more reasonably, not less reasonably.

But it’s something almost anyone, of any religion would agree to. Mm. Except the old school Abrahamic religions. In those religions nothing counts unless God says- and then you just have to trust that it’s right.

Maybe that’s why he feels he has to mutilate a Bible verse into making this point. So that he can have access to it too.

Too bad it actually says ‘we live by trust, not by sight’.

a) Typically, our unreflective perception will be a reflection of the culture that
has shaped me.

Again this holds of anyone- of any culture. If there were a culture that had discovered the god-damned Well at the End of the World, and knew all things as unquestionably as Urd, a child raised in that culture would unreflectively parrot Ultimate Truth.

That a belief is cultural is not a criteria for the truth or falsehood of that belief.  Just the maturity or immaturity of its believer.

b) 2 Corinthians 5:7 

uh- what? Yes.  See above.

2. Coming to grasp a worldview or paradigm rationally can be likened to a rock
climber climbing the face of a sheer rock cliff. He makes his way up to one
foothold from which he can then ascend to the next.

a) All too often, we become rationally convinced of an intellectual or
philosophical foothold, only to return to the familiar lenses of our uncritical
prejudices and perceptions in order to resume thinking about the topic.
Accordingly, we make no progress toward a rational conclusion in which we
have confidence


But sometimes we perceive our cultural prejudices AS footholds.  And we climb on them to dazzling heights of falseness and bigotry, without ever noticing that we have done so. In fact, we believe that we HAVE reached a rational conclusion and that conclusion does have our full confidence.

Because a false step in intellectual rock-climbing doesn’t necessarily lead to the death of the climber.  It leads to the death of the Gays. Or the Jews. Or the Canaanites. Or whoever else you didn’t have the integrity to take into consideration.

B. The Jesus believer grants authority to the Bible above any other authority. The Bible is his primary source of instruction with regard to matters of morality, theology,
philosophy, and spirituality.

Such a short paragraph, to spawn so many questions.

Is a Jesus follower defined as a member of one of the many Christian religions? Or some one who follows the teachings of Jesus as the key to understanding the rest of Scripture?  Or someone who believes that Jesus’ death was a magical act that will force God not to destroy the Earth in the Apocalypse?  Someone who believes Jesus was a great teacher? Someone who believes Jesus was God? Someone who believes Jesus was Prometheus in disguise? What exactly is a Jesus Follower?

Like the term “biblical sexual ethics” we have gotten all the way to the end of Section II without  Mr. Crabtree saying  what he means by this phrase.

Pretty odd, for a teacher at a school where I was taught to define my terms in order to communicate.  He knows he should be doing this.  Why isn’t he?

Is he trying to communicate? Or is he trying to do something else?


So.  The Jesus follower is someone, at least, who: grants authority to the Bible above any other authority.   


We aren’t told.  It does rule out all forms of the Orthodox Church and the Catholics, since they do not adhere to Sola Scriptura and hold their traditions and bodies of approved writings as authoritative along with the Bible.

Not a bad plan when you consider the role of Canonization councils in the Bible’s formation.


No one is above the Word of God!   Except for every group of bickering theologians ever. And Martin Luther, too, if he could get away with it!

And now that Jack Crabtree has taken on himself the authority  to damn two of the three major branches of Christianity,  he tells us, of the Jesus Follower, that

The Bible is his primary source of instruction with regard to matters of morality, theology, philosophy, and spirituality.

The Jesus Follower is also a male, BTW.

And curiously enough, Mr. Crabtree wasn’t really being honest with us about the whole ‘Bible is highest authority’ thing.

In the list of subjects for which the Bible is the primary source of instruction, do you see what’s missing?

The STEM sciences. And Psychology.

For authority on those subjects, one must look elsewhere. Interestingly enough, these disciplines demand their hypotheses have testable feature that allow their veracity to be determined.  Psychology must produce accurate enough results that people will purchase therapy, and that the police agencies investing in Criminal Psychology Training  will have improved results and want more.

The disciplines of which the Bible is an authority?

No verification is required.

He doesn’t tell us why he’s let the STEMs and Pych off the hook. Perhaps that’s all we need to know.

1. The Jesus-follower is not impressed by what is or is not acceptable to his culture;
he is interested above all else in what the Bible actually teaches.

Nor am I.  And so am I.

Now, we drink. Me, from my glass, and you, from yours.





Section III, coming soon.




You do WHAT in your Bible? How viscerally repulsive! Part I

My thoughts on Jack Crabtree’s lecture, which he entitled:

Part One: Considering Biblical Sexual Ethics in the Context of Modern Culture

Line by bloody line. You will find the full copy here:

Click to access EthicsSex_Handout_1_Cultural_Context.pdf

I. From the perspective of modern culture, biblical sexual ethics will inevitably seem
odd, old-fashioned, bizarre, out of touch, and uncool.

Biblical Sexual Ethics will seem uncool.

My mind- it is blown. His first thought is whether his sexuality is cool or not.

I would say that I’ve seen underwear models with about this approach to sexuality. BUT. The thought doesn’t end there.

Biblical Sexual Ethics, he says, will seem uncool to modern culture. Not just uncool, but odd, bizarre, and old fashioned. And it will seem these things inevitably.

Here, I think he’s selling modern culture short. How many lives do retro fashions have? Millions, apparently. Regurgitating a style for irony’s sake was the soul of hipster decor, the last time I peered out of the hole in the ground I hide in.

Uncool IS cool. Old fashioned is charming.

Reality, however, does not appear to be his concern. Mr. Crabtree plays a deep game.

With the word inevitable, Mr. Crabtree has introduced a necessary relationship. If you are enculturated into modernity, you WILL be repulsed by his sexual ethics.

Therefore, if you are repulsed by his sexual ethics…

Therefore, if you don’t agree with him…

He doesn’t finish the thought here. But hold on to it. He does.

A. As a matter of fact, biblical sexual ethics is radical and revolutionary relative to
modern cultural attitudes.

You want to know what Biblical Sexual Ethics AREN’T Radically and Revolutionary in Relation to?

The Bronze Age!!

You know! When ‘slave’ and ‘wife’ were interchangeable roles!

Exodus 21: 7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

Biblical Sexual Ethics- if, by this term, Mr. Crabtree means the sexual ethics taught in the more ancient portion of scripture- are totally in sync with the thought patterns of Teh Ancient World!!

Well- now at least we know where he’s getting the accusation old-fashioned from.

But does modern culture consider people uncool for treating sexuality as a master/slave relationship?

I think not! Mr. Crabtree is so shy.

1. Moderns will typically view biblical sexual ethics as an “unhealthy” repression of

Speaking as someone with a more ‘modern’ view of sexuality and a bit of a Jungian as well, this statement is incorrect.

I do view what he refers to as Biblical Sexual Ethics (I am far from convinced the Bible presents an account as coherent as he makes it out to) as repressive.

But not of people’s sexuality.

It represses their actual identities in favor of artificially constructed personas. It forces them to pretend to be things that they aren’t- to try and make themselves into things that they never will be- in order to fit in with whatever interpretation of the Bible happens to be in vogue at the time.

To cast their own souls out into the wilderness as scapegoats or else sacrifice themselves on the Altar of What We Think God wants.

Perhaps there are people to whom the sexuality Mr. Crabtree approves is normal and natural. The full expression of their identity would reflect this. An it harm none, I applaud them and wish them well.

However, my sexuality is not what is described here. Those whose sexuality is more ‘biblical’ than mine would feel incredibly persecuted if they had to spend their lives pretending to be what I am- faking their way through social situations- policing themselves to prevent any little slip up that would give the game away-

standing next to a person they were suddenly and irrationally convinced was the most wonderful amazing person in the world and possibly the reason for the existence of the universe-

And not say anything, or meet their eyes too long.

They would not like pretending to be me. So why, if we are doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, do they insist that I pretend to be them?

(of course, that’s all nonsense. If my sexuality were the social norm it would be ok to fall in love with any person of adult age. There would also be sparkles and unicorns instead of rain and taxicabs. No, just kidding. Rain and taxis are much more romantic than unicorns.)

In section 1. a) Mr. Crabtree describes ‘the modern mindset’.  The Modern, it seems believes that those who disagree with them (such as Mr. Crabtree) do so solely because the Disagreers are products of a Disagreeing culture.  The Disagreeing culture is seen by the Moderns as narrower and more irrational than their newer and more rational culture.

As a Modern, I must again say that this is entirely incorrect.  If we must go into it, I am the product of the Disagreeing culture.  I was born in it, raised in it, and had few other influences.  Of the other influences I did have, some of them were Mr. Crabtree and Company.

So that’s out.

As for Mr. Crabtree himself, I recall him describing a very strict upbringing, which he may have internalized, if his story of the dream of being held down and forced to drink alcohol is anything to go off of.

But I have this hazy memory of him telling stories about being a Longhair too.

Perhaps that is not correct.  But both the Modern and the Disagreer in this story were products in whole or in part of the Disagreeing culture- and the Disagreer may actually have been a hippy for a while.

There is no direct correlation here as far as I’m concerned.

He goes on to point out, in 1. a) (1), against this idiot strawman he’s created, that the Modern may be a product of their environment too.  Uh. Sure. They may- as far as ‘no direct correlation’ allows.

In 1. a) (2) he points out how the change in culture is not ALWAYS a change from a less to more rational culture.  This, I grant him. The fall of the Roman Empire- the rise of the Nazi Empire. The rise of the Roman Empire.  These are possible examples of a culture moving from better to worse, and many more can be found, I’m sure, depending on your definition of better and worse.

However I would ask him not to rush past the point so quickly.  There is an internal logic sometimes, in the shift of culture.  Kuhn? if I remember correctly, posited that in any given scientific paradigm, there was a certain amount of time people would keep working within the old paradigm after it stopped producing interesting answers?  But then they would move on, searching for a new paradigm.

They weren’t changing to a new paradigm simply out of perversity. They were changing to a new paradigm because the old paradigm had reached the end of its explanatory power.

If Mr.  Crabtree sees people pulling out of his paradigm, is proclaiming how cool it is to be uncool really the answer?  Wouldn’t he be better served to try and find out why they’re leaving?

2. Fearful repression of sexuality results in a very different set of moral values than
does courageous, radical obedience to God’s purposes.

Well duh. They of the Teh Ancient World were interested in successful tribal warfare, not repressing sexuality. The Patriarchs were encouraged “by God” to express their sexuality on anything that could be tied down and would produce human offspring.

Fearful sexual repression didn’t come along until the Catholics and the Victorians abandoned the evil material world for the sake of Heaven. Since they both believed that the material world was governed by the rules of sexuaity Mr. Crabtree is proposing, I really can’t say I blame them for being squeamish.

a) Biblical ethics is the latter—courageous, radical obedience to God’s purposes.

b) Radical Islam (and some forms of Christianity) are very possibly an example
of the former—fearful repression of sexuality

Let me translate a couple of the words.

a) Biblical ethics is the latter—courageous, radical Submission to God’s purposes.
b) Radical Submission (and some forms of Christianity) are very possibly an example
of the former—fearful repression of sexuality

Because Islam means submission. And true obedience is also submission.

I’m confused. What’s different here?

So so radical to treat sexuality as a means of popping out enough babies to exterminate the neighboring tribe. So courageous to never question the orders of a being who will make your life a living hell if you question Him but who will give you nice stuff if you do what He says. Even if that Being orders you to commit genocide. Yay for the Bronze Age!

And yes, the Veil does remind me of the Victorians and the Medieval Catholics (putting on gloves before touching money, gah! horrible material world!) as well. Possibly, like them, Islam is having trouble integrating Bronze Age Sexual Ethics with a religion that values salvation of the individual soul.

d) Judaism in the time of Jesus and the apostles had gone beyond sexual
righteousness. In some respects, perhaps, it was more like the modern Taliban
than it was like an ideal biblical sexual ethics.

Oh my God. Christians commentating on whether Judaism is Biblical enough. This is so inappropriate and offensive that it actually makes me want to say a bunch of cuss words and just move on, BUT, that would probably not help anyone.

And unlike MOST of his points in this article, Mr. Crabtree actually gives references to support this.

The first is from Acts 15.

Oh yes. From the Christian Scriptures.

Here’s the passage.

Acts 15:22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:


24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.


30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.

Do you see where the Taliban comes into the passage?

The story on chapter 15 is that The Jewish Christian council in Jerusalem has been debating with Paul and Silas about the role of Jewish law in the lives of the Gentile converts Paul kept dragging in. They finally decided that the Gentile Christians should not be required to follow Jewish Law with the exception of 4 simple rules- don’t eat meat sacrificed to idols (aka don’t deliberately participate in other religions) don’t eat blood (ENGLAND!!! HOW COULD YOU!?! I THOUGHT YOU WERE A CHRISTIAN NATION!!! YOUR PUDDINGS ARE SEPARATING YOU FROM GOD!!!) don’t eat meat of strangled animals (cause all the blood is still in it, ENGLAND) and ‘from sexual immorality’

About which final point Mr. Crabtree has a note.  His ‘evidence’

“fornication” = marrying beyond certain boundaries (e.g., a Gentile?)

Hence, first century Jews were the Taliban! Isn’t it obvious?

Epic epic epic fail. I’m not going to get out the Greek NT (THAT JACK SIGNED) to look up fornication- this letter is addressed TO Gentiles.  Off in Gentile-land.  If it were warning against intermarriage with Jews, presumable, Mr. Crabtree should have said (e.g., a Jew?). To imply that it is describing an ‘unnecessary sexual scruple’ attempting to preventing Jews from marrying Gentiles, is such a horribly ridiculous statement that I am tempted to throw my hands in the air. And cuss. And go read a novel. Instead of wading through any more of THIS.

And then to say that this passage reflects the state of Judaism in the first century simply puts me in one of those prey-animal responses where you stop struggling and your brain stops taking in sensory data so that it won’t hurt as much to be eaten.

Maybe he said something different in the lecture itself. Maybe he didn’t transcribe his notes correctly. Yeah. That must be it.

The second reference is much better. It’s from the Book of Tobit.

The Book of Tobit is part of the Christian Apocrypha. It is not considered canonical by most Christians. It is also part of the Jewish Apocrypha. It is not considered canonical by most Jews. According to Wikipedia, “most scholars now prefer situating the composition of Tobit between 225 and 175 BC” which is roughly 200 hundred years, one way or the other, before the time of Jesus and the Apostles.  So- not even in the era of history he’s commenting on.

But what’s an era of history between friends?


And despite the fact that the Book of Tobit doesn’t hail from the era in question, there is a quote from the Book of Tobit that shows the Jews of the time had gone WAY off base Biblically.

Tob. 4:12 Beware of all whoredom, my son, and chiefly take a wife of the seed
of thy fathers, and take not a strange woman to wife, which is not of thy
father’s tribe: for we are the children of the prophets, Noah, Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob. Remember, my son, that our fathers from the beginning, even that
they all married wives of their own kindred, and were blessed in their children,
and their seed shall inherit the land.



So being like the Taliban means…?  Not marrying Gentiles, I guess? Commiting inscest like Abraham, rather contaminating yourself with outsiders?

The Bible never says anything like that! It says things that are quite the opposite!  Like this!

Ezra 9:1 After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”

When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice….

10:1 While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. Then Shekaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law. Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”

Oops. Well. Maybe the Bible says exactly the same thing as the Book of Tobit on that particular subject.

But there WERE instances in which the Chosen Ones were allowed to marry outsiders.

Deuteronomy 21:10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.

So apparently only consensual marriages with outsiders were considered unholy. If you killed Gentiles, kidnaped their daughters and then kept the daughters around the house for their sexual and presumably domestic services,  it was totally ok to call that marriage!

More and more, I’m seeing why Mr. Crabtree doesn’t quote the Bible very much, in his explanation of Biblical Sexual Ethics.

Continued tomorrow.


Confession and Prelude- Sex in the Bible

Sarcastic Trigger Warning: Contains Sarcasm

Today is Tuesday.  For a  short but significant period of my life, Tuesday was the day of Tuesday Night Bible Study at Gutenberg College.  It was the night of coffee in tall urns and teabags in little baskets- setting up folding chairs and sitting in the back of the crowded classroom so that I could draw or write bad poetry unobtrusively when my attention wandered.

It was a ritual, you know?

Then, came the awful change.

Tuesday Night Bible Study was moved to Wednesday.  Horrors.

It caused the slightest stumble in my mind when that happened.  I had to pull out some of the wires in my mind and stick them back together to get over the switch. Tuesday Night… Tuesday… Wednesday Night Bible Study!

Last week, something happened that has caused me possibly even more trouble.

Jack Crabtree, Gutenberg Tutor, began a series of lectures entitled The Ethics of Sex in the Bible.

I had heard about this lecture series.  But when I looked it up and started reading about it for myself, I realized I had to start blogging about it.

I am bisexual.  I have both emotionally fallen for and felt physical attraction for boys and emotionally fallen for and felt physical attraction for girls.  I was raised in a very Christian home where my parents referred to our one lesbian relative as Aunt Sewer.  If I go on pretending to be straight I can probably continue peaceable interactions with my family.  If I break all ties and declare myself Bi I could get- I don’t know- a merit badge from the anti-Christ? A romantic partner? Peace of mind?

Boys creep me out in theory, possibly because I’m always afraid they see me as a sexbot or something. This fear I am pretty certain I got from watching commercials and reading  the Books of Moses too many times before the age of 10. However, in person, I like certain ones pretty well.

There was a period of my life where the phenomena of bisexuality occurred in my life and I didn’t know what it meant.  I didn’t have words for it.  It was like Columbus’ ships sailing up to my island, to put it into a metaphor familiar to Gutenbergers.  I can testify that I did, in fact, see the ships.  I just didn’t know how to talk about them.  Or that there was anything to talk about.

Part of this phase was spent at Gutenberg. I can name the girls and the boys I had crushes on at Gutenberg.

There was another period in my life in which I had realized what this all meant.  I was a Christian at the time.  I believed that homosexuality was a sin, and that these impulses were impulses towards sin, but so what? Everyone has impulses towards sin.  Some people towards greed, some towards gluttony, some towards you know, normal lust- and whatever else. As long as I didn’t act on the impulse, I could still consider myself faithful. I felt very noble and sacrificial about the whole thing.

I spent many years in this phase.  I did not feel these impulses and attractions voluntarily, I thought they were sinful and that they were messing up my life. I did not feel them because I had been indoctrinated or trained into feeling them- the only experience I had was life at Gutenberg and living in a fundamentalist home/community.

Then finally has come the very recent period of my life.  It’s a story for another time, but I guess I can sum up by saying that I’m no longer concerned about homosexuality being a sin.

A detail that may be important to this discussion is that I have never physically engaged in sexual activity with anyone of any gender.  I don’t know that, if I continue my double life, I ever will.  But I have experienced attraction towards members of both genders, and I believe it is that, and my acceptance of the fact, that earns me the title.

But most of all.

I have never


had Sex in the Bible.  EW!

Get your damnation calculators running, folks. Try figuring out what percent evil I am!

I am a alumni of Gutenberg College.  I would not pick on them like this if I were a stranger. I do not feel qualified to represent QUILTBAG individuals generally, I have been too isolated and know too little about ‘non-biblical’ sexualities for that.

But I can’t let this pass.

I do better with the written word than with spoken word (hence the drawing and bad poetry during Bible Study), so I am going to be following this series via the notes Mr. Crabtree has posted here:

Click to access EthicsSex_Handout_1_Cultural_Context.pdf

Assuming he continues to do so after this first one.

If the handouts do not match what was said in the lecture, that is not my fault.  And they, just as much as the live stream, are open to the general public.  It seems worthwhile to me to respond to the Handout as a separate entity, and it is to the general public that I present my take on them.

And with that, let the games begin!