@bbironman: God instituted sexual relations to be something sacred between one man and one woman in marriage. But we inherit imperfect qualities and feelings, for some that can come about as homosexual tendencies. It is a sin to ACT on those tendencies in much the same way it is a sin for a straight person to act on sexual feelings towards those of the opposite sex out of the sanctity of marriage. Both situations call for self control. God sets the standard of what’s right and wrong but we are naturally geared towards deciding those things for ourselves due to our inherited imperfection. But that does not give me or any Christian the right to judge any person because only God can read the heart and know the true person within. It’s not my right to deem anyone worthy or unworthy of salvation, not even myself. Many Christians get that part wrong. Nonetheless, God still desires all of us to work hard to resist any sinful tendencies and follow his direction.
As far as your second question I don’t recall that being a command anywhere in the Bible. There is nothing that says a woman must marry the man who rapes her, neither under the law of Moses or the teachings of Christ. In contrast there is more emphasis placed on making sure you marry the RIGHT person, one that loves God and his fellow human beings including the woman he is to marry, way more than he loves himself. Such a man wouldn’t dare put his hands on anyone in an act of violence or sexual abuse.
@spareheadone: there are things God tolerated to an extent due to it being so ingrained into the culture. Recall years before the Mosaic Law, Jacob had multiple wives. By the time of the Mosaic law it was common custom to have multiple wives, recall too though that the purpose for humankind, particularly the line of Abraham at the time was to become a nation, to be fruitful and multiply.
However, there were still regulations to follow, an Israelite could have multiple wives but not if it meant marrying those of other nations. The intention was to keep their worship clean of defilement, and the nations worshipped many gods and practiced many rituals that God hates. And in fact, the Law warned against acquiring many wives (Deuteronomy 17:17) So polygamy was tolerated but also regulated.
Using Solomon as the example you mentioned, this was his downfall. Despite his wisdom, he chose to go outside of the regulations for marriage in the Law and he begun marrying hundreds of women and not having a care for where they came from. Sadly his taking on many wives of the nations led to him beginning to worship the gods of the surrounding nations, such as Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh and Molech (1 Kings 11:4-8) Verse 9 tells us God was furious with Solomon. Therefore Solomon’s example is a warning, not a model to be followed.
However by the time of Jesus, many things about the law were being re-evaluated. The “law of the Christ” was one superior to the Law of Israel. So the regulations for marriage were refined. Using Adam and Eve as the example Jesus said “...the one who created them from the beginning made them male and female... for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will stick to his wife and the two will be one flesh” (Matt 19:4,5) Therefore in our current stream of time polygamy is no longer tolerated by God. Under Jesus direction, a husband should only be “a husband of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:2)
It’s not my right to deem anyone worthy or unworthy of salvation, not even myself.
I want to indulge myself in this topic as little as possible because of the controversy, and maybe I'm just seriously misunderstanding you, but as a Christian myself, I think the part about yourself is wrong. If you don't think you are worthy of Heaven, then why should God think so? The basis for getting into Heaven is being free of sin. If you are convinced that you have committed a sin that you never repented of, then you wouldn't be holy.
I'll put it this way. You won't go to Heaven if you don't think you should. You should be convinced that you deserve a home in Heaven to even stand a chance of going there.
@cocacolaman: 1 Corinthians 10:12- “Let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall.” My point is I am not the judge of humankind, nor do I decide my own verdict when it comes to the issue of my salvation, all I can do is try my best on an individual basis to receive God’s mercy. Salvation isn’t determined solely on whether we feel we are worthy of it, God is who determines that. If that were the case we can do whatever we want good or bad and still receive everlasting life so long as we believe we do.
Heaven is a different thing entirely because the Bible only specifies a select few going there for a specific purpose, and there are multiple factors involved in that. Recall Jesus said “happy are the mild tempered since they will inherit the Earth” (Matt 5:5) and “the righteous will possess the Earth and live forever on it” (Psalm 37:29) Isaiah chapter 11:1-9 describes a perfect world under Christ’s rule with verse 10 specifying that perfect world being here on the Earth. That is the hope i am personally striving towards. I want to be there, I can see myself there but it will be God’s (not my own) assessment and judgement of my deeds and heart condition that determines whether or not I’m deserving of living in that new system of things
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