Homosexuality

Netti-Netti

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From what we see today, male homosexuals are the ones that will engage in sex in public--public restrooms for example. I don't think I've ever heard of a couple of lesbians having sex in the ladies rest room.
This undercuts a uniform opposition to homosexuality and posits public visibility as a primary basis for an objection to male homosexuality.

I've recently heard about a couple of fifth grade boys performing a homosexual act on another boy at at school, on the playground, during recess, as an act of aggression/bullying/mocking.
I'd say this is more a reflection on attitudes/social reactions that they've picked up on. If lesbians became more visible, would a lesbian act be more likely to be used as an act of aggression/bullying/mocking? My point is that visibility does not explain much. Btw, what are the chances of fifth graders having had a chance to observe gay male PDA somewhere, thus priming them for an aggressive adaptation?

When children start pickup up homosexual acts, and use them as a bullying/mocking tactic, the practice might become quickly ingrained within the culture.
I expect the kids' use of the tactic tells us something about their parents' attitudes.

In between the lines your argument is something like: "let's ban homosexuality in order to eliminate negative social reactions to it or involving some adapation of overt forms of it." My reaction is: if you want to minimize aggression, wouldn't you want to work on the social perceptions/reactions rather than try to suppress gay rights?
 

seattlegal

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This undercuts a uniform opposition to homosexuality and posits public visibility as a primary basis
for an objection to male homosexuality.

I'd say this is more a reflection on attitudes/social reactions that they've picked up on. If lesbians became more visible, would a lesbian act be more likely to be used as an act of aggression/bullying/mocking?
Hmm, it's possible. Right now, the only way I can think of it being used in this manner is as a means for women to tease men.
My point is that visibility does not explain much. Btw, what are the chances of fifth graders having a chance to observe male PDA somewhere, thus priming them for an aggressive adaptation?
We have a big problem with public restrooms in this area. :eek:

I think the tactic probably tells us more about their parents' attitudes.
Please explain.

If you want to minimize stigma and aggression against gays, wouldn't you want to work on the social perceptions rather than try to suppress gay rights?
Actually, I'm trying to understand the scriptures, and understand the social perceptions behind them first. I did start out by writing that it was speculation on my part.
 

Netti-Netti

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Actually, I'm trying to understand the scriptures, and understand the social perceptions behind them first.
ok, let's go back to Leviticus real quick.

The part about 'Do not lie with a man" appears to be an aspect of a generalized objection to anything resembling idolatry, including but not limited to the temple prostitution of the Canaanite religions. {See also the prohibition against sacrificially offering your offspring to Molech (Leviticus 18:21 ). Btw, that prohibition against child sacrifices appears directly before the one about "Do not lie with a man." }

It's important to note that Leviticus represents a shift. We know that homosexual prostitution was part of the early Jewish religion - just like the Canaanite religions- because it took place within the Temple of Jerusalem. In Kings we find reference to "the male shrine prostitutes, who were in the temple of the L-RD" (2 Kings 23:7)

Dating of the Kings books is somewhat controversial. It appear to be shortly before Leviticus - which has been linked to the time when the Jews were in Babylonian captivity (550-400 BC). Leviticus appears to be an articulation of the "chosen people" theme that called for the Jews to separate themselves from Canaanites. The Jewish religion was going to be different from the idolatrous pagan Canaanite religions. In other words, it represents the development of distinctive tribal criteria for sexual conduct that affirmed Jewish identity vis a vis the "people of the lands."

One might argue that the concern about tribal identity was anticipated in the prohibition against marriage between Jews and the Canaanites. This was even before Kings because you find it in Deuteronomy, which has been dated to the 7th century BC.

I deduce that Leviticus was part of a mechanism of ideological-based identity formation and social control, which had been operative for some time. The Jewish ethos persist to this day. For example I can spend hundreds of hours a week talking with Jewish people about their religion but they always draw the line: they can't teach me anything about the Torah unless I convert.
 

seattlegal

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ok, let's go back to Leviticus real quick.

The part about 'Do not lie with a man" appears to be an aspect of a generalized objection to anything resembling idolatry, including but not limited to the temple prostitution of the Canaanite religions. {See also the prohibition against sacrificially offering your offspring to Molech (Leviticus 18:21 ). Btw, that prohibition against child sacrifices appears directly before the one about "Do not lie with a man." }

It's important to note that Leviticus represents a shift. We know that homosexual prostitution was part of the early Jewish religion - just like the Canaanite religions- because it took place within the Temple of Jerusalem. In Kings we find reference to "the male shrine prostitutes, who were in the temple of the L-RD" (2 Kings 23:7)

Dating of the Kings books is somewhat controversial. It appear to be shortly before Leviticus - which has been linked to the time when the Jews were in Babylonian captivity (550-400 BC). Leviticus appears to be an articulation of the "chosen people" theme that called for the Jews to separate themselves from Canaanites. The Jewish religion was going to be different from the idolatrous pagan Canaanite religions. In other words, it represents the development of distinctive tribal criteria for sexual conduct that affirmed Jewish identity vis a vis the "people of the lands."

One might argue that the concern about tribal identity was anticipated in the prohibition against marriage between Jews and the Canaanites. This was even before Kings because you find it in Deuteronomy, which has been dated to the 7th century BC.

I deduce that Leviticus was part of a mechanism of ideological-based identity formation and social control, which had been operative for some time. The Jewish ethos persist to this day. For example I can spend hundreds of hours a week talking with Jewish people about their religion but they always draw the line: they can't teach me anything about the Torah unless I convert.

I'd like to see your sources for dating the scriptures. Deuteronomy also specifically prohibits temple prostitutes:
Deut 23
Cult Prostitution Forbidden

17 "No Israelite woman is to be a cult prostitute, and no Israelite man is to be a cult prostitute. 18 Do not bring a female prostitute's wages or a male prostitute's [b] earnings into the house of the LORD your God to fulfill any vow, because both are detestable to the LORD your God.​
2 Kings 23:2 specifically mentions that all the words of the book of the covenant found in the temple were read out loud to the people, which resulted in the removal of all the temple prostitutes and got rid of all of the rest of the prohibited practices.
 

wil

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The Jewish ethos persist to this day. For example I can spend hundreds of hours a week talking with Jewish people about their religion but they always draw the line: they can't teach me anything about the Torah unless I convert.
Find some other Jews. There are plenty of folks taking torah classes right now.
 

leastone

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Can anyone guide me to those segments of Scripture, in the Law and Prophets, in the Messiah's teachings, or in the letters of doctirine and pastoral counsel of the early church, or to those works of the Fathers (Tradition), that prescribe how same-sex "couples", or "partners," should relate to one another in relationships; within the congregation or community of homosexuals; within the society at large, and, in particular, within the Church of Christ, His Body?

Should there not be any such segments of Scripture to guide homosexuals with the same loving care and attention non-homosexuals seemed to have received, would that be an oversight or neglect on the part of the Spirit of Holiness?

I ask, because it amazes me that pages can be devoted to the re-interpretation of just a few words or odd sentences to find some "Scriptural" legitimization of homosexual relations, while the absence of anything that specifically tends to their eternal salvation and temporal social needs goes unmentioned.

It might be that I have not discovered them yet. I'm still learning.

Respectfully,

Learner
 

wil

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Can anyone guide me to those segments of Scripture, in the Law and Prophets, in the Messiah's teachings, or in the letters of doctirine and pastoral counsel of the early church, or to those works of the Fathers (Tradition), that prescribe how same-sex "couples", or "partners," should relate to one another in relationships; within the congregation or community of homosexuals; within the society at large, and, in particular, within the Church of Christ, His Body?

Should there not be any such segments of Scripture to guide homosexuals with the same loving care and attention non-homosexuals seemed to have received, would that be an oversight or neglect on the part of the Spirit of Holiness?

I ask, because it amazes me that pages can be devoted to the re-interpretation of just a few words or odd sentences to find some "Scriptural" legitimization of homosexual relations, while the absence of anything that specifically tends to their eternal salvation and temporal social needs goes unmentioned.

It might be that I have not discovered them yet. I'm still learning.

Respectfully,

Learner
Namaste Learner,

Exactly. Every statement of love and forgiveness applies to homosexuals. Top two commandments don't mention the hate that we find sometimes. And as I said earlier, we don't go after divorce, adultery or all the other commandment issues in Levitucus or the rest of the bible, we pick and choose and single out homosexuals. Why, because pointing to the foibles of others makes us feel better.
 

Netti-Netti

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Should there not be any such segments of Scripture to guide homosexuals with the same loving care and attention non-homosexuals seemed to have received, would that be an oversight or neglect on the part of the Spirit of Holiness?
Leastone,

First of all, there is very little indication that the Bible divide people based on sexual orientation. Secondly, it is unclear whether Family Law like Leviticus was religious in intent. This kind of law seem to be focused on Judaic tribal identity and solidarity. That is, it represents an attempt to deter Jews from partaking in pagan religions.

And as I said earlier, we don't go after divorce, adultery or all the other commandment issues in Levitucus or the rest of the bible, we pick and choose and single out homosexuals. Why, because pointing to the foibles of others makes us feel better.
Could be. There are also political uses.


.... it amazes me that pages can be devoted to the re-interpretation of just a few words or odd sentences to find some "Scriptural" legitimization of homosexual relations, while the absence of anything that specifically tends to their eternal salvation and temporal social needs goes unmentioned.
The Old Testament has very little to say about the afterlife and the future of the soul, so we have no reason to expect much of a link between legal codes or statutes and salvation doctrine. As for "temporal social needs," I'm not aware of anyone being punished for being gay in the Old or New Testament. It seems at one point eunuchs were valued as trusty harem keepers and enjoyed some measure of social status and privilege in this capacity.

Btw, I personally have no interest in whether the Bible supports or condemns gay sex. It's just interesting to me to me as an outside observer that so much of politically oriented discussions of homosexuality involve layers social constructions that have nothing to do with ancient Judaism and the Jewish people's efforts at preserving tribal/religious identity during their Babylonian captivity by condemning idolatry and idolatrous practices. How does one understand the law's purpose without looking at the historical context and what the law was intended to do?
 

bob x

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Can anyone guide me to those segments of Scripture, in the Law and Prophets, in the Messiah's teachings, or in the letters of doctirine and pastoral counsel of the early church, or to those works of the Fathers (Tradition), that prescribe how
people should drive automobiles, or handle manager-labor relations in an industrial plant?
For God's sake, you are looking at a book from thousands of years ago, written when people were generally very ignorant and brutal, for advice about what to do now? What Jesus was trying to tell you, although Christians seem to be the last to get it, is that you need to figure these out for yourself, taking as your guiding principle that love for others is the supreme good.
 

Netti-Netti

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What Jesus was trying to tell you, although Christians seem to be the last to get it, is that you need to figure these out for yourself, taking as your guiding principle that love for others is the supreme good.
The interpretation of a law always starts with a look at its underlying intent. The letter of the law is merely an accessble way to make sense of the spirit of the law, which is also evident from the context of its promulgation. It is important to note that Leviticus doesn't say anything about the possible corruption of the young due to the presence of homosexuals in society. It also does not make the link that the Christian right has been trying to make between homosexuality and pedophilia. Nor does it suggest that kids will necessarily see homosexuals as stigmatized peope who presumably deserve to be persecuted by excluding them from social institutions, mocking them, or aggressing against them. All of that ideology is a contemporary ideological overlay that has been promoted by means of irrational fear-mongering and misrepresentations.

The Christian right has obscured a Biblical understanding of homosexuality by reframing the issue as having a social/cultural meaning that simply can't be substantiated on the basis of scripture. This reframing serves to dramatize the issue rather than clarify it. The idea, it seems, is to use the issue as a talking point for a self-serving culture war.

From the perspective of discourse analysis, I see gay bashing as fairly typical RW hype. It gives an issue a moral significance it doesn't have in order to rally support for a power-oriented cause. The conservative preoccupation with homosexuality is unique in that it would seem to involve very little interest in the original context of Judaic law combined with deliberate misreadings and misapplications of Scripture which are apparently motivated by a desire to mislead people about what the Bible actually says on the subject.

Ostesibly, these propagandistic efforts are intended to save the world from moral relativism. Paradoxically, the folks behind it are prepared to impose on everyone else a "Biblical"view that is skewed by their own secular/political ambitions - all the while refusing to recognize that their position requires more evidence. In short, they are promoting bigotry in the name of Biblically unsubstantiated morality.
 

Dream

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Seattlegal said:
Matt 24:12
Kai dia to plēthynthēnai tēn anomian psygēsetai hē agapē ton pollōn
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
An interesting point I think (see below). Also, I haven't seen Greek morphologies displayed on the internet before. Pretty cool stuff.

I'm glad you brought this verse up for an additional reason. This whole thread was about homosexuality and the Christian view of it. I've learned a lot about that, but it has somehow directed me toward other ideas about the body of Christ. I'm thinking about where the concept of Christ comes from, what it means, and its implications upon Christianity (that is, Christian Eschatology). I'm going to start a thread about it in the Abrahamic section, but here's where the verse connects:

The 'agape' love mentioned in Mat 24:12 harks back to numerous passages in OT that connect 'Loving the LORD' with walking in His Ways. Here are eleven verses (Deut. 6:5, 10:12, 11:1, 11:13, 11:22, 13:3, 19:9, 30:6, 30:16, 30:20) which overwhelmingly show that Jesus saying 'Love of many shall wax cold' means exactly 'Apostacy' to an Israelite. Jesus' prediction is Israelites will start turning away from the LORD due to all of the iniquity around them. Previously, I tended to read Mat 24:12 as being about myself, however it is apocalyptic to the core and alludes to Daniel's war of the 'Horn' against Israelite 'Saints'! This is another piece that fits very neatly in to other things I've learned here, like that the gospel has been preached to all creation already in at least two NT verses! I'm not sure what implication it has for the usage of Mathew 24:12 in this Christian thread. Like I said, I'll be posting about it in the Abrahamic section sometime soon.
Matthew 24:8-13
All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Daniel 7:20-22
" And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."
 

Netti-Netti

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Matt 24:12
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
I don't think you'll have any problem finding a spokesperson who would contend that allowing women to be priests is contrary to G-d 's will, too. It's quite possible that a woman citing scripture is seen by some as something to be condemned - i.e., as a form of lawlessness or "inequity" - just as much as the failure to follow a Judaic moral precept might be considered objectionable/condemnation-worthy within a Jewish community.

i've posted here ( http://www.interfaith.org/forum/scriptural-basis-for-christian-objection-6391.html ) the reasons why i don't think that christianity can rely upon the "OT" for its objections to homosexuality
Based on our recent discussion of Paul's writing, it appears that the NT does not have much to add on the subject.

This whole thread was about homosexuality and the Christian view of it.
In absence of scriptural support, I think it would be fair to say that there is no "Christian" view of homosexuality. There are obviously cultural views, however. In fact, there is a wide range of acceptance for homosexuality in different countries.
Societal attitudes toward homosexuality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Dream

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Netti Netti said:
Based on our recent discussion of Paul's writing, it appears that the NT does not have much to add on the subject.
Mentally I'm able to understand, however following through requires some heart changes. Its easy to post a point of view in a forum without faces. Its another thing to go on Donahue.

Seattlegal said:
Dream, the more I think about it, the more it does seem that the "coldness of society" plays a large part...
I've been the receiver and the giver of both coldness and warmth. Sometimes when you go somewhere you can sense the warmth or coldness -- how people treat each other -- within a short amount of time.

Dream said:
I'm going to start a thread about...
Actually, I'm not going to start that project. I need to read.
 

seattlegal

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An interesting point I think (see below). Also, I haven't seen Greek morphologies displayed on the internet before. Pretty cool stuff.

I'm glad you brought this verse up for an additional reason. This whole thread was about homosexuality and the Christian view of it. I've learned a lot about that, but it has somehow directed me toward other ideas about the body of Christ. I'm thinking about where the concept of Christ comes from, what it means, and its implications upon Christianity (that is, Christian Eschatology). I'm going to start a thread about it in the Abrahamic section, but here's where the verse connects:

The 'agape' love mentioned in Mat 24:12 harks back to numerous passages in OT that connect 'Loving the LORD' with walking in His Ways. Here are eleven verses (Deut. 6:5, 10:12, 11:1, 11:13, 11:22, 13:3, 19:9, 30:6, 30:16, 30:20) which overwhelmingly show that Jesus saying 'Love of many shall wax cold' means exactly 'Apostacy' to an Israelite. Jesus' prediction is Israelites will start turning away from the LORD due to all of the iniquity around them. Previously, I tended to read Mat 24:12 as being about myself, however it is apocalyptic to the core and alludes to Daniel's war of the 'Horn' against Israelite 'Saints'! This is another piece that fits very neatly in to other things I've learned here, like that the gospel has been preached to all creation already in at least two NT verses! I'm not sure what implication it has for the usage of Mathew 24:12 in this Christian thread. Like I said, I'll be posting about it in the Abrahamic section sometime soon.
Oh goody! More 2 Thess 2...
 

Marsh

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For God's sake, you are looking at a book from thousands of years ago, written when people were generally very ignorant and brutal, for advice about what to do now?

So what you're saying, Bob, is that the Bible was written at a time much similar to our own? ;) Sorry; couldn't resist, cynic that I am.

A hardy hurrah for your second point, though, about figuring out things for yourself, which I believe is the most important part of the debate over this subject (which, the more I think about it, the less I see a need for an outward debate).

What is homosexuality? I think that's something for homosexuals to figure out, and absolutely none of my business, and if I find myself arguing over whether or not homosexuality is right, I can't help but wonder why. My purpose is to obey, not to command, and for anyone who may wish to regulate morality, I think that's a little arrogant because it presupposes that one has an understanding that most of us will never have. (actually, Bob, from what I've read, this is a point at which there is agreement between Dream and yourself at the beginning of this debate). Remember that the disciples were Jesus' closest friends and had more chance to learn from him than anyone has ever had, and yet when it came down to the crunch they were no more faithful than anyone else. Was it James who said that an act is sinful if you believe in your heart it's sinful, but do it anyways? (paraphrased, of course) Therefore, who am I as a Christian to make any judgement on a homosexual man or woman, assuming that in their own relationship they feel the love that you alluded to, Bob? None of my business.

Dream, Kudos on your theory! I think it's a very interesting take on the subject, and while I haven't thought enough to agree with it entirely, I do like the idea of signs to a nation. Homosexuality... perhaps. My personal bias is that souls have no sexual orientation, but "receive" their orientation as a response to the environment they are placed into (their body, their family, their society, their world). In this case, I could perhaps reconcile what appears to be an increasing trend in homosexuality in Canada with the changing environment in which people are brought up in. (Disclaimer: I do not believe that children are "gayified" by spending time with homosexuals; I'm speaking of other factors here). I see better connections with regards to health problems, such as cancer, which I suspect is caused by a wide range of factors that are all rooted in the changes we have made to the Earth as it was created. Equilibrium and all that. I think that the little boy I saw on the news who died of leukemia at the age of twelve was more of a sign, and had more of an impact.

Again, cool theory.

Marsh
 

seattlegal

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I don't think you'll have any problem finding a spokesperson who would contend that allowing women to be priests is contrary to G-d 's will, too. It's quite possible that a woman citing scripture is seen by some as something to be condemned - i.e., as a form of lawlessness or "inequity" - just as much as the failure to follow a Judaic moral precept might be considered objectionable/condemnation-worthy within a Jewish community.


Based on our recent discussion of Paul's writing, it appears that the NT does not have much to add on the subject.


In absence of scriptural support, I think it would be fair to say that there is no "Christian" view of homosexuality. There are obviously cultural views, however. In fact, there is a wide range of acceptance for homosexuality in different countries.
Societal attitudes toward homosexuality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So, is it a manifestation of so-called "collective karma," or not? (How does a society's attitude affect the "collective karma" that will manifest?)
 

Dream

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Hijacked Dondi's post from another thread.

http://www.interfaith.org/forum/if-marriage-is-redefined-what-11631.html#post203056

Dondi said:
Their are laws of custom and laws of morality. Jesus taught that it isn't what goes into a man's belly that defiles, but what comes out from the heart.He expounds of this by listing these: "It is out of the heart that evil thoughts come, as well as murder, adultery, sexual immorality, stealing, false testimony, and slander." Matthew 15:19.
Yes, those directions are separate. Custom is dependent upon morality. Custom attempts to train people in the active practice and contemplation of morality which is taught by the law, which reflects reality. The Law is rooted in visions revealed to the elders of Israel and to Moses. In a vision they stood upon a sea of glass and saw the L-RD. Do you know what they saw? A Christian should believe that they saw the Church. Amen.

Dondi said:
Furthermore, Peter in a dream was given a vision of a sheet coming down in which all animals are proclaimed as clean. Of course, in context, it was relating to the Gentiles being clean, as Peter was to witness to Cornelius the Gospel.

There was some dispute in the Church in Acts 21 between Jews and Gentiles on whether Gentiles ought to circumcised, but in the end all that was required were a few simple rules: "As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication."
Doctrinally speaking, every Christian is standing on thin ice; so we have to lean towards practical spirituality (The Church) or we slowly become Calvinists. Either we need to be told Law and drill ourselves in righteousness with daily customs or we don't.

I am realizing Christianity depends upon accepting some things: firstly that JohnB is Elijah, which is impossible -- plus some other things. These are not consistent with a real person who is messiah, which is why its a faith not a science. If I can accept Jesus as a real person, then surely I can rethink cultural taboos. I am part of his body which is the fulfillment of the Law! The word 'fulfill' indicates that the Law must be missing something, so as a Christian I must not go backwards. If I accept Jesus I must not turn around and literally follow the Law, since I am its fulfillment. That would be disgraceful! I can use the law and customs, but I cannot really claim to be following them; since I have something better: The Church.

This is why it matters whether people are naturally gay. This is why Christians may rethink the topic. I don't know how the rabbinics are doing it, but if even they can rethink it then surely a Christian can. Ephesians explains explicitly just how much authority is given to the church:

Ephesians 1:19-23 said:
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all.

  • "Far above all rule and authority" = even Moses, like it or not, a Christian is considered in a higher ecclesiastical body. This, too, is not logically possible from Scripture but is a matter of faith combined with an elastic interpretation of Psalms. Martin Luther or somebody else after him forgot to mention it, but that is Christianity.
  • "church...fills all in all" = fulfillment of the law, completion of its goals through the church, a bunch of people living 'by the spirit' Jesus said he came to fulfill the Law. "and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."(Eph 2:4)
 
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