Family Values Change With The Culture But The Truth Of Scripture Does Not Change.
Contrary to what some Christians believe, family values have not been consistent over time. Our values change with the culture we confront. The way the church interacts with the culture also changes over the centuries.
Scriptural truth does not change but values have changed radically over the last six thousand years.
The vivid dress of Middle Eastern women.
Many Christians believe
that twenty-first century, Christian values are exactly the same as values in Genesis 6000 years ago. They think everyone has always been against polygamy, against gay marriage, against marrying close family members. They believe God could never bless those "lifestyles" even though scripture is abundantly clear that God did bless and affirm those lifestyles.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to demonstrate how disconnected current beliefs are from the historical record in Genesis.
Why did Adam and Eve’s children marry each other?
They had to marry their own brothers or sisters because there was no one else around for them to marry.
Marriage with close family members represents genuine Genesis family values. Their beliefs and practices were not wrong way back then.
Bedouin tribesman, surveying the arid landscape.
Those practices were culturally accepted by people we view as heroes of the faith. Adam and Eve and their children interacted with the culture of their day as they found it, which is precisely what we should be doing concerning the issue of homosexuality.Today, marrying your brother or sister would be wrong.
It would go against our modern cultural values. The truth of scripture has not changed but our cultural perceptions and our family values have changed.
We have more than six billion people on earth so no one has to marry his brother or sister. Early in Genesis, they had only a small family.
There were no marriage partners available for Adam and Eve’s children except their brothers and sisters. Our lives and circumstances are different today yet the Bible is just as true now as it was then.
What was culturally acceptable six thousand years ago is not culturally acceptable today.
The authentic Biblical values of polygamy, marriage with slaves, marriage with virgin prisoners of war and marriage with concubines, are as much a part of family values as the marriage of Adam and Eve. That does not necessarily mean we should be practicing those 5000 - 6000 year old family values today.
Some people describe Abraham as an incestuous polygamist because he married his sister (Genesis 20:2 & 12) and other women (Genesis 16:3 & 25:1-6).
Yet scripture calls Abraham “the friend of God” and includes him in the genealogy of Christ.
Have you ever wondered how Abraham could marry his sister and other women and still be right with God?
Have you ever wondered how modern Christians can hold up Abraham as an example of faith yet insist that no one today should follow his example in marriage? If Abraham was alive today, would any modern church let him preach in their pulpit or teach in their Sunday School?
No, of course they would not because Abraham had multiple wives and concubines and spent most of his adult life in an incestuous sexual, marriage relationship with his half-sister, Sarah (Genesis 20:2 & 12).
Ancient Jewish scrip-tures, a much-loved, well worn scroll.
The truth of scripture has not changed
but cultural values and our perception of what God will accept have changed. Abraham was a good man and Sarah was a good woman. He is called the friend of God. But Abraham's family values and "lifestyle" would not be acceptable to most nongay and gay Christians today.
Jacob, who endured a polygamous marriage with four women at the same time, is found in the genealogy of Christ. Judah who fathered children by his daughter in law is found in the genealogy of Christ. Those heroes of the faith practiced ancient family values which we do not practice today.
Christians do not accept those family values today
Many Old Testament family values are not acceptable today but they were perfectly fine for our spiritual ancestors. For example, God affirmed the family value of ancient polygamy by choosing children from each of Jacob’s four wives to become the twelve tribes of Israel.
To demonstrate how much family values have changed over time, God placed the offspring of Judah and Tamar’s incestuous union in the genealogy of Christ. Tamar and Rahab, both prostitutes, and David and Solomon, both polygamists, are found in the genealogy of Christ.
The family values found in scripture are much different than some Christians would have us believe.
Scriptural family values include practices modern Christians find abhorrent, such as:
PolygamyLevirate marriageIncestuous marriage
These ancient practices were considered normal by our pre-Christian spiritual ancestors but these practices are not considered normal or Christian today.
This is not an attack on scripture or on heroes of the faith. I love the scriptures and believe every word of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
Yet we must be honest and point out that cultural perceptions of believers change over time. Our cultural perception of what God permits in marriage relationships differs from the cultural perception of our spiritual ancestors.
Most modern Christians agree that polygamy, concubinage, forcibly marrying slaves and killing captured enemy soldiers to marry their virgin daughters would be wrong for us. Such practices are not part of contemporary Christian family values.
Yet God approved and blessed those practices for thousands of years. Those practices were part of the religious culture and family values of our pre-Christian spiritual ancestors. And yet, strangely enough, those ancient Biblical family values did not destroy the family as the foundational unit of society.
Same sex marriage today is no different than polygamy, concubinage and incestuous marriage then.
King Saul (some believe this is Jonathan) listens to David playing his harp.
Many modern Christians believe that same sex marriage is wrong. They view same sex marriage as an attack on family values. They even cite polygamy and incest as reasons why it would be wrong to accept same sex marriage today. It is a strange and circular argument for anyone who knows the Bible.
After all, polygamy and incest were part of scriptural family values in Genesis long before anyone debated gay marriage.
Both polygamy and incestuous marriage were accepted by followers of God in the book of Genesis and God abundantly blessed people who lived their entire lives in polygamous, incestuous marriage relationships.
The children of Adam and Eve and the example of Abraham and Sarah prove that God affirmed polygamy and incestuous marriage in ancient times.
Dr. James Dobson, of Focus On The Family
To argue now, as do Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family, that same sex marriage will lead to polygamy and incest, would be laughable were it not so sad. The very people who claim to be upholding family values seem ignorant of the family values in the Bible they profess to believe.
Same sex marriage seems tame compared to the alternative marriage models God affirmed in millenia past. Same sex marriage expresses the joyful desire of gay men and lesbians to settle down, to embrace faithful, monogamous, permanent relationships.
One would think Focus on the Family and the church would affirm committed same sex relationships but unfortunately, that is not the case in most churches.
I respect Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family for affirming heterosexual families.
It makes me sad that they lack the Christian grace to also affirm loving gay and lesbian families.
Nongays argue that legalizing gay marriage will start us down the slippery slope to polygamy and destruction of the family. If six thousand years of incest, polygamy, concubinage and levirate marriage among believers have not destroyed the family, gay marriage certainly will not.
Helpful Links to make you think.Gay Christian 101 - Spiritual Self-Defense For Gay Christians.
There are four popular analogies which are used to validate Gay Relationships as blessed by God. Click here to examine these four popular analogies.
Here is a real-life example of a prominent gay partnership in scripture, the amazing true love story of Jonathan and David is the greatest human love story in the Bible.
Jesus identified the sin of Sodom and it was not homosexuality.
I am saying that the Holiness Code was aimed at Israel, in a specific place, the land of Israel, in a specific time period, while Israel was in the land, living under the Law. And what some Christians wrongly interpret as a universal prohibition of all gay relationships is, in reality, a prohibition of shrine prostitution in worship of the Canaanite fertility goddess.
In ancient times, what we now call gay men and lesbians were sometimes referred to as "born eunuchs."
Those who believe that the Centurion’s pais was only a servant and not the same sex partner of the gay Centurion, cite Greek lexicons to prove their case. Since most Biblical Greek lexicons do not mention beloved or same sex lover as possible meanings of pais. most nongay Christians insist same sex lover could not possibly be the meaning of pais.
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Did you know that Christians are not required to keep the Old Testament Law to be right with God?
Same Sex Attracted Eunuchs?
Our family values today are different than those of our spiritual ancestors. We must deal in a practical way with the cultural situation we face today.
Did you know that Complementarity Theory is never clearly stated in the Bible? Instead, Complementarity Theory comes from Plato, the 4th century BC Greek philosopher.
They talk about all this Biblical Complementarity stuff. What does it really mean? Should I, as a Christian, believe it?
Some Christians have the mistaken idea that, even as far back as Genesis, everyone believed in marriage just like western Christians believe it today. Nothing could be further from the truth.