In the debate about whether homosexual love should be blessed as consistent with the Christian faith, it is frequently pointed out that it was the Apostle Paul, not Jesus Christ, who condemned homosexuality. It has often been argued that if homosexuality was really an offense to God, Jesus Christ himself would have condemned it. Instead, Jesus is completely silent on the subject.
I have also heard this same argument from silence used to justify abortion.
Using the principle that if Jesus is silent on a particular thing, that thing must be acceptable, I thought it might be interesting to consider other moral areas where Jesus was silent.
- Sado-masochistic sex
- Child and adult prostitution
- Environmental waste and destruction
Can we argue, therefore, that all of these are permissible, even blessed, because Jesus Christ failed to condemn them?
Of course not. To argue anything from silence is to argue in ignorance. Which is why, through centuries of scholarship and debate, considering the whole of the Old and New Testaments, Christian scholars have come to well-reasoned positions that condemn these behaviors. Catholicism and Protestantism have historically agreed on these moral issues.
Scripture is constantly being reinterpreted, of course, so many are now arguing for a new way of thinking about homosexuality. They base their arguments on novel (and in the opinion of many scholars, flawed) interpretations of history and Scripture as they relate to both homosexual and heterosexual behavior.
For an excellent and thorough explanation from the conservative and traditionalist side of the debate, let me refer you to the September, 2004 issue of Christianity Today, to an article by Edith M Humphrey, What God Hath Not Joined: Why Marriage Was Designed for Male and Female.
I think usury is out because of his statements about charging interest, at least to a brother. Maybe it would come out ok to do it to a nonbeliever.
Of course, there’s always the issue of things condemned in the Torah that Jesus said no jot or tittle of would be removed. That’s a direct implication of things he said even if he didn’t directly talk about about it.
I think we can argue that slavery is permitted based on the fact that it’s ordained by God in the OT as a legitimate method of dealing with excessive debt and with conquered peoples. Scripture only condemns manstealing and abuse of slavery (which most slave systems have done to one degree or other, most egregiously in the U.S.), though it’s clear that the gospel is best served if Christians weren’t enslaved, so Paul encouraged slave-owners to free their slaves.
It is only now that I am discovering many of the seemingly “hidden” extras available thru AOL. I truly enjoyed sharing this author’s experience of revelation and being secure enough to OPEN UP & shake up some falsely chosen beliefs (based on our “upbringing in a particular church/order”).
I am a seeker of the Spiritual WAY; and, find daily (if I am of enough patience) in an assortment of personal & intellectual trials, much to pry off the “message gone sideways” — & often much to lighten my load. Laughter being of great Healing to those who will let it.