Showing posts from September, 2013

What about Divorce?

I have had a friend ask me recently about divorce. As with polygamy (below), this is rather complex. 
Beginning in Genesis, the ideal of God is heterosexual faithful loving monogamous marriage. I have already written on this (Gen 1:26–28; 2:24).  In Israel, divorce, except for extreme circumstances decided by the court, was permissible only for a husband who could divorce his wife. Instructions are given in Deut 24:1–4. When a man is displeased with his wife because of some “indecency” he writes a certificate of divorce, places it in her hand, and sends her out of the house. If she marries again and is again divorced, she is not to remarry her former husband. The Hebrew for indecency (ʿěr•wā(h)) suggests sexual infidelity. Later Rabbis debated as to whether this should be strictly interpreted purely in sexual terms (Shammai School), or more generally including such things as childlessness, religious offenses, or even the completion of household tasks such as burning bread (Hillel Schoo…

What about Polygamy?

I have been recently asked on several occasions about polygamy—marriage between a man and multiple women (polygyny) or the converse (polyandry). What is a Christian perspective?  Interestingly, the discussion is more theologically complex than that gay issue in that, whereas the homosexuality is clearly repudiated throughout the Scriptures, polygamy was practiced in Israel in OT times. As such, it is a complicated discussion. However, I think when worked through, it becomes clear that a biblically faithful Christian position would reject polygamy. The Old Testament As I have repeatedly written in terms of the gay marriage issue, Genesis 1:27–28 and 2:24 lay the foundation for Christian marriage. Gen 1:27–28 speaks of male and female as image bearers being fruitful, multiplying, and filling the earth. This applies first to Adam and Eve, one man and one woman. However, polygamy is not ruled out. Gen 2:24 is a little clearer. The writer states that a man (singular) shall leave his father (s…

Why the US Should Stay Out of Syria

First, what are the reasons that the US should go in. There seem to me to are two:  1.To send a message that use of chemical weapons cannot go by without response to warn others from doing the same. 2.President Obama stated the use of a chemical weapon was a red line, as such, the USA’s pride and honour is at stake. What would their enemies think if they don't act? 
The first could be seen as a good reason to go in. However, it depends on being certain as to who released the chemical weapon. The second seems a weak basis to act. It seems to assume that the USA is the policeman of the world. Is it? Sometimes it is better to back down. 
Reasons to not go in. It seems to me that there are many:  1.The Syrian situation is a civil war that has no relationship to the US—it is not USA’s war. Why on earth would they go in? Chemical weapons? See above. 2.The UN and even the USA’s main allies such as the UK (aside from France) are not prepared to get involved. 3.The majority of the American pe…