Monday, February 2, 2015

TRUTH: The New Super Power

This morning a good friend of mine asked me to read and give her my take on an article on The Daily Beast entitled "Jesus Christ Wasn't Down with Marriage".  She felt I was the best she personally knew to pick apart this particular atrocity of "journalism".

First off, propaganda isn't journalism.  These are two very different things.  If you're going to call yourself a news source, then please learn the difference and behave accordingly.  This article is atrociously slanted toward the LGBT movement.  There's nothing wrong with that - but it does tend to taint the reader in one direction or the other straight off the cuff.

If you're going to refute Christianity using the Bible, stick to the actual facts.  The Biblical implications in this article are simply partially correct.  The author chooses to pick and choose her battles...and does not pick them very wisely. 

Let's tear into this with the meat of her "defense" that Jesus was not in favor of marriage.  I'm going to skip the political posturing on both sides of  facts and break this down into the 5 major claims made by the author, starting with the portion on the New Testament since according to this author only the Old Testament supported the institution of marriage:

1. Wedding of Cana

Claim: "facilitating drunkenness at the Wedding at Cana is less evidence of Jesus’s support of marriage than of his desire to keep the party going" First off this miracle was performed at the request of Mary, not on Christ's whim. Secondly if the family could not provide an adequate feast, it was a shame upon the entire family within their community. Imagine going to a wedding, being told there's a full reception, and you get there and it's fish sticks, mac and cheese, and watered down lemonade with only enough to feed 1/2 those in attendance. It doesn't look kindly on the bride, groom, or their families. Some things don't change.

2. The disciples abandoned their wives to follow Christ.

Claim: "Jesus promises the disciples that anyone who leaves “brother or sister or father or mother or children” for his sake would be rewarded in the age to come. And he’s not just a home wrecker in theory; tradition maintains that some of Jesus’s disciples were married, but their wives are not mentioned in the Gospels."

Mute point. All of the disciples were SINGLE MEN. They were not married and none had children. So.....not so much. How does one establish a celibate priesthood by bringing married men and their children on the road?

3. Be celibate if you can. If not, get married.

Claim: "Paul is clear that he would prefer that followers remain unmarried and celibate like him. If you really can’t handle celibacy and find yourself on fire with lust, then you should marry."

TRUTH. Finally - a piece of this that actually WORKS. Yes, Paul called all people to celibacy but if they could not, then they should marry. Easy enough. In fact, the Church STILL does this today, calling noble men and women across the globe into holy servitude as priests, nuns, friars, brothers, sisters, and a myriad of other things.

4. Romans were pro "Traditional Marriage".

Claim: "In the first two centuries of the Common Era the real advocates for “traditional marriage” were the pagan Romans. The Christian tendency to reject marriage was one point of contention between the imperial authorities and the fledgling religion. In the legends that describe the activities of the Apostles, Jesus’s followers preached celibacy and sexual abstinence to the Roman aristocracy. And according to Christian apocrypha, sabotaging the sex lives of Roman officials was a surefire way to lose your head." I'm 100% certain St. Valentine of Rome who was martyred in approximately 380 AD would help me refute this as well. He was martyred for performing Christian marriages, primarily for the soldiers of Rome. Christians rejected Roman marriage - which allowed for easy and simple divorce, was often prearranged between families, and contained very little, if any, moral obligation. They favored (as the Church does today) Sacramental Marriage.

The easiest way to break this down is to look at the Church today in Europe. Marriages *must* be performed by an agent of the State in Germany (and other European countries). They cannot be legally performed by clergy. They must take place in the courthouse and are more legal proceedings than "weddings". So those who are getting married in the Church go first to the courthouse and then go to the Church and get married in the eyes of God. You get married twice in order for a marriage to be Sacramental. This is even common among those who are not of the Catholic faith.

So......same thing. You can be married as a Roman, but to be Christian (Catholic) you must be married in the Church and follow HER rules for marriage, not just Rome's (which were severely lacking).

5. Young Christian women were encouraged to abandon their families and husbands for missionary work.

Claim: "There’s no shortage of stories of young Christian women who abandoned their families and husbands in order to join Christianity and branch out on their own as missionaries. When she overheard the Apostle Paul preaching through a window, a young woman named Thecla was inspired to abandon her fiancĂ©, cut her hair short, and dress as a young man spreading the good news. A cross-dressing single woman with a successful career?"

The closest to proof this author can provide is Thecia leaving a FIANCE to follow the Apostle Paul. Ummm....if all these wives were abandoning their children and husbands, why not use one of THEM who is well documented as an example....?

Oh....wait.....that's because there aren't any. This is a favorite passage of the Bible for me. Thecia chooses to be one of the first female religious! She sets a pattern we still follow 2000 years later! She followed her heart, found the strength to tell her fiance "Sorry, but this isn't a good idea" and off she went. Talk about the strength of women through Christ!

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