Episode Six of Bible Secrets Revealed – “Sex and the Scriptures” – airs today at noon/11 central

Don’t miss episode 6 of the six-part series “Bible Secrets Revealed” on History.

The final installment, entitled “Sex and the Scriptures“, debuts today, January 23, 2014 at noon/11 c. (And fair warning: it pulled a TV14 S-D rating.)

The episode explores:

“Millions of people around the world look to the Bible for moral guidance about marriage, faith and family. But could the Bible contain contradictions, or hidden meanings, that challenge our beliefs about what is right–and what is wrong–when it comes to human sexuality?”

If you missed the first five episodes, you can watch them for free online at History‘s “Bible Secrets Revealed” website.

Remember to tweet your feedback with the hashtag #BibleSecretsRevealed.

And send your questions to Bible History Daily, where I’ll be answering some of them and providing more in depth explanations of the material covered in the show.

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Phil Robertson: Making the Church of Christ Proud

Phil Robertson: Making the Church of Christ proudPhil Robertson: making the Church of Christ proud.

So let me get this straight (no pun intended):

One Church of Christ University, Pepperdine, has one of their law school professors, Richard Peterson, become the poster child of the “Yes on 8” campaign to ban same-sex marriage, and then after the school tries to claim they don’t take sides on political issues, watches their law school Dean, Ken Starr, lead the legal appeal after Prop 8 was struck down by the courts…

and now…

Phil Robertson, who attends the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, LA, and whose son, Willie, attended another Church of Christ University, Harding, makes graphic comments condemning gays in God’s name.

Can we honestly say we did NOT see this coming???

Three Iowa Religious Studies Profs Author Joint Editorial on Claims of “Biblical” Marriage

Iowa State Univertities

Three Iowa Universities: The University of Iowa, The Iowa State University, and The University of Northern Iowa.

Three religious studies professors: Dr. Hector Avalos (Iowa State), Dr. Robert R. Cargill (Iowa), and Dr. Kenneth Atkinson (UNI)

One joint statement in the Des Moines Register entitled, “Iowa View: 1 man, 1 woman isn’t the Bible’s only marriage view“, warning against those who attempt to claim that the Bible defines marriage as only “between one man and one woman”. (UPDATE: The link to the article at the Des Moines Register is broken, but there is a .pdf copy of the article on my Academic.edu page that you can download and read.)

Please read the editorial. It demonstrates the potential flaws and consequences in attempting to root modern civil and social institutions like marriage and its legislation in 2000+ year old religious documents that often say more than people think they say.

Methinks Chris Broussard WANTS to get fired

Chris Broussard

Chris Broussard

Methinks ESPN’s Chris Broussard WANTS to get fired. Following Chris Broussard’s declaration that newly-out gay NBA player Jason Collins is “not a Christian,” which I discussed yesterday, we have this interview where Broussard argues on the New York-based Power 105.1 “Breakfast Club” radio show, that gays can be saved if they ask for God’s forgiveness.

What startles me is the theological ignorance and the inconsistency and irrationality of his argument that immediately becomes apparent when he begins to elaborate his views on homosexuality, AND his misunderstanding of the relationship between the Hebrew Bible (Christian Old Testament) and the New Testament. Gone are thoughts of Jesus in Matt 5:17-19, where he says:

Matt. 5:17  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Matt. 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Matt. 5:19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Rather, we see a textbook example of the theological fallacy of Christian “Replacement Theology,” where Christians feel that the NT “trumps” the OT, but only in places they want it to. So while Broussard points out Peter’s vision of the “unclean” animals in Acts 10 is used to dismiss kosher regulations banning unclean foods, he uses the abolition of this one regulation to dismiss all other Old Testament laws…at least those he doesn’t consider to be “moral” laws.

If it sounds confusing, it’s because it IS confusing and makes no sense.

At one point, the hosts even say, “You sound like the white guy who says, ‘Hey, Im not racist. I got black friends’.”

Here are some transcripts I made from the interview:

Broussard:

“All of us fall and stumble, and I have fallen and stumbled many times since I’ve been a Christian, but I always, you know, repent and ask God for his forgiveness, and, you know, I’m movin’ forward from there. I think that’s the mark of a Christian. And I think if a person…that…

Stumbling and falling while you’re tryin’ to live for the Lord is different than goin’ out huntin’ for sin. You know, I’m goin’ out and gettin’ into it tonight. I’m gonna be mad if I don’t get into any sin. So… you know, I’m tryin’ to make you to accept my sin life. I don’t care what God said, I’m just livin’ like this. That’s different than a person who’s sincerely strivin’ to live the right way and stumbles, legitimately falls. Get back up. Get on your path. You’re forgiven. And let’s keep tryin’.”

Host: “What exactly does the Bible say about homosexuality?”

Broussard:

“It says it’s a sin. First Corinthians chapter six verse nine says fornicators, homosexuals, robbers, thieves, adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God. It goes on to list a few other things. Romans chapter one says it’s unnatural. Obviously the Old Testament talks about it bein’ wrong…”

Host: “Well Chris, Deuteronomy 14:8 condemns the eating of pork, but I bet you love bacon.”

Broussard:

“I sure do, man, I sure do. But, you know, the Old Testament dietary laws don’t apply in the New Covenant. Acts chapter 10, Peter, you know, talks about that as the Lord revealed it to Peter, so all of the Old Testament laws, there’s 613 laws in the Old Testament that they had to follow under the old covenant. We’re under grace. We don’t have to follow all of those 613 laws to have peace with God. But the moral covenant, because it’s outlined in the New Covenant, the New Testament, as I said, First Corinthians six, Ephesians, Romans, Galatians chapter five, talk about the new covenant still following the moral code of the Old Testament. So the moral laws of the Old Testament that we were taught still apply, but not eatin’ shrimp, and wearin’ blended cloth and fabric and things like that.”

So wait, because ONE of the laws (dietary) are trumped in the NT, ALL of the OT laws are dismissed? And who distinguished the ‘moral’ laws from the…well, what do we even call the ‘non-moral’ laws of the Old Testament?

This is one of the most ignorant, uninformed understandings of the Hebrew Bible I’ve ever heard. (Actually, I’ve heard worse, but…) Note how Broussard says, “We’re under grace. We don’t have to follow all of those 613 laws to have peace with God.” Note he said we don’t have to follow all of them…just the ones he wants to continue to enforce, like condemning gays.

But it gets worse:

Broussard:

“I’m married seventeen years. Never cheated on my wife. But man, I’ve been tempted. You know what I’m sayin’? I mean, I cover the NBA. I see beautiful women all the time. I’ve had actresses throw me a little rhythm. But I gotta resist. I gotta fight against temptation. And that’s the life of a Christian. That you fight against the temptation. And if you stumble and fall, then you get back up, you repent, you ask God for forgiveness, and you move on. And I think that applies to homosexuals as well. If a person who’s a same-sex attracted, you know, is sincerely tryin’ to live for the Lord, and they fall, and they fall in the same-sex relationship or act, and they, they is really tryin’ to serve the Lord, they repent, and they ask for forgiveness, and they keep trying to serve God and they fall time and time again consistently, I believe that person is a Christian.

But that’s why I said yesterday it’s about unrepentant sin. There’s a difference. Am I repenting, or am I just saying, ‘Yo, this is how I am God, I don’t care what you say. I don’t care what your word – I’m not even askin’ for forgiveness. How you gonna be forgiven if you ain’t even askin’ for it?”

Then Broussard continues:

“The question is your heart. Add you know that. Are you really tryin’ not to fornicate, not to sleep with that girl over and over again. Because God…the Bible says God is not mocked. God ain’t no punk. You ain’t no punk. I ain’t no punk. None of y’all punks. If I come to you and I say, ‘Yo man, I wanna be in covenant with you, I wanna be your boy. We cool.’ But behind your back, I’m goin’ out time and time again and dissin’ you and doggin’ you on purpose, but when I see you in your face, I’m like, “Yo man, you know, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry man,’ but I don’t really mean it, then, you ain’t gonna go for that once you find out the truth because you ain’t no punk. You ain’t mocked. And it’s the same thing with God. We created in his image. So if we ain’t punks and gonna fall for that, then he certainly ain’t gonna go for that. BUT, if I’m your boy and I sincerely mess up. I just happen to do something wrong against you and you know I’m really sorry, and I’m like, ‘Yo man, my bad. I ain’t gonna do it no more, dog. I’m sorry,’ then you’ll forgive me in many cases, and it’s the same with God.”

Again, this is an example of theological dilettantism.

So, in Broussard’s mind, it’s OK to sin again and again and again heterosexually, and if you ask for forgiveness, you’re OK, because “God knows your heart”, and you’re “his boy”. BUT, if your sin is homosexual and you sin again and again habitually, and you ask for forgiveness, then you’re “not God’s boy”, because “God ain’t no punk”. And since homosexuals are always “goin’ out huntin’ for sin,” they aren’t asking for forgiveness, so they aren’t Christian. Because “God ain’t no punk” and “God is not mocked”. But if you’re straight, and you “ain’t gonna do it no more, dog,” then God will forgive you (“in many cases”).

Now I’ll ask again the larger question:

  • What does ANY of this have to do with Jason Collins announcing he’s gay in the NBA?
  • How is a theological conversation and condemnation a topic for discussion for ESPN?
  • And why would ESPN want THIS conversation about the condemnation of homosexuality entering into the conversation about a professional policy of tolerance for different sexual preferences in the NBA?

Why won’t Chris Broussard shut up about this? Perhaps because he knows it’s coming. And if he’s getting fired, he wants to portray ESPN as firing him for his religious beliefs, and not for his lack of professional discernment between those personal religious issues of faith, and those professional issues of policy. He knows he’s about to get fired, so he’s positioning himself as a martyr. And that will play and gain some traction among the most conservative Evangelicals in the country, who are always looking for a Christian martyr they can point to and say, “See, there is religious intolerance toward Christians in America.”

Yes. Religious intolerance in America. Against Christians. Of course.

By the way, at one point in his rambling toward the end of the interview, Broussard even talks about people who aren’t Christian using “condoms and strap-ons”, which elicits a audible sigh (“Ah, yeah…OK”) from a female host in the studio. Don’t miss that one.

ESPN might tolerate a mistake, but I don’t think they’ll tolerate an evangelist talking down to NBA fans.

Even the show’s hosts, who did an excellent job demonstrating patience throughout the interview, and asked some smart questions, tried to cut him off at the end of the interview. ESPN will do the same soon.

Maury has “You are NOT the Father”, so Chris Broussard should have a segment on ESPN called, “You are NOT a Christian!”

Maury Povich has special episodes of his Maury Povich Show called, “You are NOT the Father,” where men learn via paternity tests whether or not they are the father of a child, usually with the humiliated mother sitting there in the studio.

This travesty of American television gave me an idea following Chris Broussard’s declaration that newly-out gay NBA player Jason Collins is “not a Christian,” saying,

“I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle…if you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says, ‘you know them by their fruits’, it says that, you know, that’s a sin, and if you’re openly living in unrepentant sin…I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God, and to Jesus Christ, so I would not characterize that person as a Christian, because I don’t think the Bible would characterize him as a Christian.

Chris Broussard sat there on television and said that someone who claimed to be a Christian, really isn’t a Christian, because he disagreed with him doctrinally.

So, if ESPN is comfortable with its basketball analysts passing judgment on the religious claims of professional athletes, then I think ESPN should give Chris Broussard a new segment called, “You are NOT a Christian,” where Chris Broussard gives his ‘personal opinion’ why or why not certain athletes ARE or ARE NOT really adherents of the faiths they claim to follow.

Chris Broussard - You are NOT a Christian!

An invitation to the “You are NOT a Christian” episode of the new “Chris Broussard” show. (A spin-off from the Maury Povich Show)

It would go like this:

  • Jason Collins: because you are gay…you are NOT a Christian.
  • Tiger Woods: because you cheated on your wife…you are NOT a Buddhist.
  • Ephraim Salaam: because you are ‘walking in open rebellion to God’…you are NOT a Muslim.
  • Tim Tebow: because I agree with you doctrinally, you ARE a Christian.
  • But Ray Lewis: because of that whole stabbing thing, sorry, it was a close call, but…you are NOT a Christian.

That way, I don’t need to tune into Pat Robertson’s 700 Club on CBN to learn who really is a Christian and who I should oppose; I just need to turn over to ESPN.

Seriously, is THAT really what ESPN wants its analysts doing on TV? Passing judgment on the eternal souls of professional athletes based upon the analysts’ understanding and interpretation of his personal beliefs?

Chris Broussard - NOT a Christian

As one who has had this happen to him, I can tell you it’s sure to be a hit.

The Biblical Dilemma of Denouncing Slavery, Yet Opposing Homosexuality (again)

In light of recent claims that one most “possess the Holy Spirit” in order to interpret the Bible “properly”, I’d like to ask someone who believes he/she DOES possess the Holy Spirit and who is therefore eligible to translate this passage “properly” to interpret the following passage for me? (I only have a PhD in this subject, and have addressed this issue before, but those are the “thoughts of men” and multiple of my graduate degrees are from a “secular, public” university, so that doesn’t count to many who claim to possess the Holy Spirit.)

Would someone possessing the Holy Spirit please read the following verses and answer the following questions for me:

Lev. 25:44 As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that YOU MAY ACQUIRE MALE AND FEMALE SLAVES.

Lev. 25:45 You may also acquire them from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; AND THEY MAY BE YOUR PROPERTY.

Lev. 25:46 You may KEEP THEM AS A POSSESSION for your children after you, for them TO INHERIT AS PROPERTY. THESE YOU MAY TREAT AS SLAVES

Q1. Is this the “inspired, word of God”?
Q2. Is God the objective ethical foundation for all morality in the world?
Q3. Does God of the Bible – at ANY point – ever rescind this command regarding slavery?
Q4. Does the NT command slaves to continue to obey their masters?
Q5. Do you believe that foreign persons can be acquired as slaves, bought and sold, and passed on to subsequent generations as inherited property?
Q6. Have you written your local congressman, or donated money to, or supported a constitutional amendment banning the “redefinition” of slavery?
Q7. Have you stated publicly that regardless what our “godless, secular government” does, you’re going to still listen to a “higher authority” and condemn homosexuals and endorse slavery?

Morality: Slavery vs. Homosexuality: Guess which one the Bible's OK with?Leviticus 25:44-46 is just as much the “words of God” as any other biblical command regarding social institutions in the Bible. The Bible never rescinds this command(!!), and the NT only reinforces the institution of slavery by commanding slaves to obey their masters (Col. 3:22; 1 Pet. 2:18; Eph. 6:5 – thus, you can’t dismiss it and say, “Well the Old Testament was nailed to the cross”.) It doesn’t matter how one “defines” slavery; it has been defined quite accurately in the verses above above: owning people as property, and passing them along as inherited property to children. And we FOUGHT A WAR against people who attempted to argue that the above biblical endorsement of slavery should still be valid in this country in this modern time.

(Seriously, I must ask: why do so many of those who oppose same-sex marriage hail from the former Confederacy? Is there some demographic connection? Has any research been done on this?)

If you’re not going to embrace and defend slavery, then WHY ON EARTH, would you continue to condemn homosexuals?
WHY ON EARTH, then, would ANYONE continue to deny gays the same privileges and rights enjoyed by heterosexual individuals?

The God of the Bible CLEARLY says it’s OK to own and pass on slaves as property. HOW DO YOU ARGUE AROUND THAT FACT? Seriously: Have you given ANY THOUGHT WHATSOEVER about how you theologically argue around God’s endorsement of slavery in the Bible? And if so, WHY can’t you do THE SAME THING with homosexuality??

If you’re going to appeal to the “inspired, revealed Word of God”, from which you cannot pick and choose the verses you want to follow and dismiss because, “culture isn’t the final arbiter of truth, revelation is,” then why aren’t you using THE SAME LOGIC (and same hermeneutic) toward gay people as you do toward slavery?

THIS IS WHAT I MEAN when I say, “YOU ARE THOSE PEOPLE“. That’s you. When you condemn homosexuals and when you argue that they shouldn’t have the same rights and privileges as we have, THAT’S YOU defending slavery. THAT’S YOU making the SAME argument. That’s you appealing to the Bible to condemn a victimless so-called “crime” against God.

The irony, of course, is that in SLAVERY, there IS a DEFINITE VICTIM – THE SLAVE! – and it is therefore a crime. BUT, in a HOMOSEXUAL relationship between two consenting adults, there IS NO VICTIM!!!!! Point to the victim. There is no victim! And if there is no victim, there is no crime!

Slavery is ENDORSED and AUTHORIZED by God, DESPITE the obvious hardships imposed on the victims/slaves. And yet, there is no victim in homosexuality, and yet THAT is the verse you choose to defend, and not slavery????

YOU ARE THOSE PEOPLE! Those who oppose slavery yet condemn homosexuals are UNABASHED HYPOCRITES, because they read the Bible one way to dismiss slavery, and the opposite way to condemn homosexuality.

YOU ARE AN ILLOGICAL, UNASHAMED HYPOCRITE if you condemn homosexuals and do NOT endorse slavery. You are unworthy of being called “righteous”, or “scholar”, or even “humane”.

It’s that simple: YOU ARE “THOSE PEOPLE”. You should walk around with a sandwich sign around your neck saying, “I’m a Christian hypocrite, because I think some explicit social commands of God can be ignored, but others must be maintained”, especially those commands that condemn victimless activities like picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36) and homosexuality.

Let me say this to those who oppose same-sex marriage – ESPECIALLY IN THE NAME OF GOD: You are deserving of all public shame, chastisement, loss of reputation, and abandonment of friends and colleagues (both secular and Christian) that accompanied those who freely chose to defend the divinely ordained institution of slavery. You deserve the loathing you receive, for you have chosen to suppress the rights and privileges of your fellow human because you think God told you to do so, but you don’t condemn evenhandedly. You deserve to be intellectually exposed and called out publicly, because you condemn in the name of a god who ENDORSED, LEGISLATED, and MAINTAINED SLAVERY!

YOU ARE “THOSE PEOPLE”.

Marriage Equality for All Americans

Even the Bible(s and dictionaries) support marriage equality for all Americans.

Hebrew Bibles and dictionaries form an equal sign in support of marriage equality for all Americans.

Hebrew Bibles and dictionaries form an equal sign in support of marriage equality for all Americans.

I AM ON RECORD for Marriage Equality for all Americans.

I AM ON RECORD for Marriage Equality for all Americans.

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