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A View from the Altar / It’s amazing what you can’t see when you don’t want to
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It’s amazing what you can’t see when you don’t want to

The Huffington Post, a web site I usually avoid, has published a piece on the subject of marriage.  Greg Carey, Professor at Lancaster Theological Seminary, wrote the article.  Under the ironic heading of “Let’s Be Honest,” Mr. Carey said, “Unfortunately, many Christians use the Bible to support their own prejudices and bigotry. They talk about ‘biblical family values’ as if the Bible had a clear message on marriage and sexuality.  Let’s be clear: There’s no such thing as “biblical family values” because the Bible does not speak to the topic clearly and consistently.”

Well, yeah, we do speak on biblical values because the Bible does have a remarkably clear, clean, and holy view of marriage and sexuality.  The picture of the relation between Christ and the church is the ideal of biblical marriage, and the New Testament talks about that at some length.  They’re too long to quote, but here are a few important texts:  Eph 5:22-32; Col 3:18-21; 1 Pet 3:1-7.  I should add that when Christians use the cliche’ phrase family values, that isn’t intended to invoke a creedal formula, as Mr. Carey certainly knows.  It’s just a catchword for biblical morality as taught by Christ and the Apostles.

To be fair, Mr. Carey did mention the Ephesian text but quickly dismissed it as “ugly.”  Apparently he’s been around some people he identifies as conservatives who are embarrassed by Paul’s admonition to the women to be subject to their husbands.  Certainly that would be “ugly” and embarrassing to Christians schooled in bath house ethics.  To them, Paul was a cave man.

Meanwhile, back in modernity, how’s it working out for the crowd espousing anti-family values?  With half of America now being born into bastardy, with a president in the Oval Office who never knew his father, with Casey Anthony joining Charlie Sheen on the front pages, with politicians tweeting porn shots of themselves and others under multiple indictments in multiple countries for rape, and with me being the Bible-thumping troglodyte that I am, it seems to me that Jurassic Paul’s family values aren’t looking so bad.  Maybe Mr. Carey should ponder getting a little deeper into that New Testament to see what might be learned by seeking wisdom rather than seeking to justify a wretched and declining status quo.  Just a thought.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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