Moravian Forum (6): Written Questions for Both Speakers (4, 5, 6)

Fourth: As a strict (and biased) interpretation of scripture rooted in male dominion is often the direct source of the abuse that destroys the fabric of the family, would it not be more congruent with Christ’s message, and more likely to result in well-adjusted children, to adopt a more inclusive attitude toward all the manifest diversity we see in humankind and all of creation?

John’s answer: This I write about in depth, first in my Th.M. thesis at Harvard, second, in chapter one of The Six Pillars of Biblical Power, and third, in chapter seven of Genesis and the Power of True Assumptions. Three observations. First, in the biblical order of creation, the diversity in service to unity is male and female in marriage. There are no other options, and indeed if it were two males or two females, the human race would have had no future. Second, the diversity in humankind after the Fall, in Genesis 3, by definition breaks the trust as given in the original good order. Thus, any sexual relationships apart from one man an done woman for one lifetime only introduces broken trust, which eventually metastasizes on itself. And third, what does it mean to be inclusive? Jesus is inclusive in inviting us all to come to him with our weary burdens and gain rest — regardless of any other factors. But we come to him on his own terms, he who as the Second Adam fulfills and restores the order of creation, and this means that sexuality as given by God is one man and one woman in marriage. To expect any sort of sexual intimacy outside of man and woman in marriage to be affirmed is to expect Jesus to be a sinner in like manner, and to negate the power of the cross where Jesus takes our brokenness upon himself in order to restore all trust in the resurrection.

Susan’s answer: (                  ).

Fifth: Is it your opinion that our sexual behavior should be governed by our personal feelings rather than the clear teachings of Scripture regarding sexual behavior?

John’s answer: Feelings are important, and good as originally given by God. But when sin enters the picture, feelings are so easily manipulated and distorted, and thus capable of great deceit. If we grasp the story line of the Bible.=, we will see the great depths of love, anger, hope, fear, joy and agony etc., and all of it aims for redemption. Thus, the teaching of Scripture equals the boundaries of freedom for healthy feelings. For those who are blessed to grow up in a home where Mom and Dad keep the marriage covenant despite any range of trials, and then enter marriage as chaste men and women, and also keep covenant, feelings are far healthier, as there is no sexual baggage to carry — that which injures feelings as must if not more than any other variable. For those who have been robbed of such blessings in this broken world, Jesus gives invitation to his love and healing power.

Susan’s answer: (                  ).

Sixth: What is your understanding of “sexual immorality” as used in the New Testament?

John’s answer: Jesus uses this language in Matthew 15:19, from porneia, a word rooted in the idea of that which causes lust. Namely, for any sexual expression outside of man and woman in marriage; and in classical Greek literature, porneia also includes homosexual actions. The whole New Testament is in accord with Jesus on this use of the language.

Susan’s answer: (                  ).