lördag, september 05, 2009

Biblical Marriage.

With kind permission of the author, The Reverend William Fleener, Sr, Priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan, retired.

“For instance, reading any statements in the Bible about sexual behaviour without recognizing that women were “things”, some-what less than men in completeness of humanity. All women were owned by their fathers until title to them was transferred to their husbands. For a man to have intercourse with a woman who was unmarried was an act of stealing from her father, who could no longer expect to receive a bride price in exchange for “giving a-way” (strange term, because it was a sale, not a gift) his daughter.

For a man to commit adultery was a matter of stealing the pro-perty of her husband.

Also, there were no “temple prostitutes”. Prostitutes sell sex for money. Baal temple priestess were fertile ground in which a man planted his “seed” in order to guarantee that Baal would bless his planting of seed in his land and his wife and the planting of seed by his male animals in his female animals. At the time of “planting” in the priestess, an offering was given to the Baal temple, but it was not to pay for the sex act.

By the time the Hebrews spread into the land after the Exodus, the Baalists had found out that some men’s families were in danger of not having good crops because those men could not respond to the female bodies of the priestess and plant their seed in them. The had chosen a few of such men and made them priests, to which the same-sex oriented family heads could go to plant their seed and guarantee Baal’s gift of grain to feed their families.

The women counted for nothing except receptacles, and inter-course with them was considered essential to good crops, not as stealing/adultery.

Such acts were abominations, not morally because they were adultery or same-sex sexual activity, but because they were acts of worship of Baal, not Yahweh, and made a man “unclean” and thus excluded from Yahweh worship.

Asking the people who had been farming the “promised” land for many generations how to guarantee good crops was no different from the English colonists in this country following the advice of Native Americans to put a bit of fish in with each mound of 4-5 corn seeds. The difference between the two is that the colonists considered the American Indians to be ignorant savages, and missed the “worship” content of the natives’ connection with the land and the Great Spirit who had given the land.

“The plain meaning of Scripture” has to take into account the meaning the words had to the original writers and hearers, not just what the words seem to us to convey in Century 21.

By the way, God seems to have negated the custom of ownership of women when Mary of Nazareth didn’t have to ask the Angel to wait, while she asked her father and Joseph for permission to accept her “call” to bear the Christ child. I look no farther than Luke 1:26-38 for the origin of the feminist movement. It took us a very long time to hear God saying women could make their own decisions, and we didn’t hear it until that idea gained popularity in our society, but it was our message originally.”

Pinched from the House of Bishops/House of Deputies (of the Epis-copal Church) list.

PS The Reverend Fleener has kindly let me know than anyone interested is free to reprint this.

9 kommentarer:

Fred Schwartz sa...

I especially like the piece at the end on Mary being the first feminist. Isn't it odd how we can make decisions about the gospel without benefit of time, place or culture? The de facto position becomes that of altering scripture to what we believe it means instead of what the meaning was at the time of the writing.

Great piece.

Leonardo Ricardo sa...

Thank you for ¨pinching¨...what a clear message!


Göran Koch-Swahne sa...

I pinched this because it was the first post in a while which I found worth reposting... I'm sooo tired of the I'm more Anglican than thou games :-(

Brad sa...

Lutheranism is even more tedious, especially here.
All it is is a bunch of Oles and Lenas exchanging lutefysk and lefse recipes, waiting for the end.
The ELCA's attendance numbers have gone down even faster than the Episcopalians; they're now under 4.7 million after starting out at 5.3 million barely twenty years ago. Most of those losses happened in the past seven years.
See a pattern?
You've wasted your life talking to someone not even there. What's worse is that you've expected your neighbors, most of whom don't believe as you do, to pay, through their taxes and church fees, for your stupid hobby.
Clearly you have no shame.

Göran Koch-Swahne sa...

Brad dear! no ones taxes are involved since 2000, except for antiquarian reasons (medieval church buildings). And the numbers game has various causes, demographic not least. Fish is spellt fisk, not fysk and lefse most definiately is Norwegian (a kind of bread?).

Brad sa...

Fine-if you're dying off no matter what idiotic program the fundigelicals think up, why should I listen to you?
I'm perfectly aware that the demography of your country is changing; it's even been reported by the Left here in North America now.
You've left the central question unanswered, replying to me with exasperation as if the question were quibbling. Why should I listen to what those who claim to speak for god say?
If you can prove what you have to say without referring to god (using statistics, logic, historical precedent, etc.), why bother with god language? Do you feel that this simply gives you added emotional resonance, without which your programs would otherwise not get a hearing? Do you just like dressing up and the smell of incense in the morning?
Do you prefer the company of old ladies of both sexes?
My apologies about the spelling.
Du gamla, du fria.

Brad sa...

Basically, then, the clergy of Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland have no shame then, since these countries still have state churches.
I'll go along with that. They certainly don't have many people inside their churches.

Tim sa...

Thanks for this, Göran. It's perhaps the clearest explanation I've yet seen regarding Biblical "sanctity of marriage" (which is to day, not sanctified at all) and idolatrous sex practices--something I'll keep handy for future reference.


Göran Koch-Swahne sa...

Thank the Reverend Fleener!