Blogging is a fascinating way to interact with people over an issue or topic.
Once in while a blog will unexpectedly come back to life after months of lying dormant. It usually happens when A) somebody references it month later B) when the topic hits the news again. The dying embers leap back to life in flame!
This week my old post on and Evangelical approach to same-sex marriage has fired back up – for obvious reasons. I’m not going to link there because I just can’t wade into the 195 comments without getting lost. I did, however, want to report about a most interesting exchange that came out of it.
Someone who disagreed with my saying that ‘homosexual’ as we currently understand and conceive of the term, never existed until the 19th century. Some people keep wanting to argue about sexual acts and missing that there are broader issues of orientation and identity that were not addressed in Greco-Roman culture or the greek language of the New Testament.
One such person – let’s call him TM – engaged the issue this way:
For example, the statement “The Bible (the inspired written word of God) is not talking about homosexuality. It didn’t exist.” seems somewhat confusing, even if we only focused on the Roman era of indulgences of the First Century. Are you suggesting that homosexuality didn’t exist in this era… simply because they may have called it something else?
This is along the lines of your attempt to make a point about television – in one sense, it didn’t exist; and yet in another, it did – as plays/theater. Are you suggesting that simply because the presentation was different that there weren’t actors and actresses who presented drama, comedy, tragedy and more to a mass audience? Are you really going to argue that because a word didn’t exist that means the concept didn’t exist?
Do you see the how the analogy works? This is really important to see because those who sincerely believe that they are being faithful to the scriptures are often mashing contemporary experiences into ancient writings in a way that is … how should I say this?
Let’s try it a different way: when your faith is constructed in such a way that you need your sacred text to speak to every area of your life – then you will, by necessity, fit your modern data into the provided molds.
My response to TM included 3 points of departure:
“TV is indeed different from ancient theatre.
1) One can sit alone in a house and watch TV, absent of the social connection and crowd interaction.
2) One can also change the channel when it gets boring. You can not do that at the theatre.
3) Plays also so do not have commercials which deeply influence us.
In those three ways I would say that one can not simply say “TV and theatre are the same” as you have.
You are comfortable mashing modern categories onto the ancient & calling them the same. This willingness to mash is why you are frustrated that the Bible isn’t talking about what we are talking about. TV is a different medium than ancient theatre – I hope that you can see that.”
It seems like a great example of the where the ‘two’ sides are missing each other in this debate.
It reminds me a great deal of the ongoing issues of conservatives ‘starting in the middle’ that I am perpetually having to point out.
That is where Ray Comfort takes the highly refined and cultivated modern banana and reads meaning, design, and intention back into it by the ‘creator’ – even going as far as it’s fit to the human hand, its easy pull tab opening, and its built-in disposal wrapping.
Maybe it would be easier for us to talk about TV & theatre in a categorical way before we wade into the elevated hostilities of the same-sex debate.