Table of Contents
Authority of the scriptures
The Bible contains volumes of information that shows the scriptures as authoritative and therefore binds all Christians to adhere to the teachings, laws and commandments contained in them. The authority of the scriptures can thus be defined as to the extent to which the laws and teachings of the Bible have influence on the conduct of human beings. The authority of the scriptures plays out in a wide range of ways in both the new and the Old Testament.
First, it is worth noting that the Bible depicts the scriptures as God’s own words that are passed to human beings through revelation His prophets. Since Christians recognize God as the sole authority over mankind, it follows that His word is authoritative and must be followed to the letter without questioning. This is reinforced in the book of Genesis where the scriptures clearly state that in the beginning there was the word and that word was God. Given that scriptures are the word of God, they are authoritative and must therefore be adhered to by the Christians. For instance, the scriptures are referred to as the sword of the spirit and as being sharper than a double edged sword. The swords usually depicted symbols of authority in the ancient kingdoms and civilizations. As thus, this particular scripture shows that the Bible is a symbol of moral authority to the Christians and they must not therefore depart from its teachings.
Christians throughout the world recognize God as the sole creator of the world and everything in it. As a part of the creation, Christians are thus expected to follow the laws and commands of their creator. Failure to adhere to the authority of their creator leads to punishment. For instance, when the first human beings, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were banished from the Garden of Eden. Prior to the incident, they had been forewarned that they would die if they ate the fruit in the middle of the garden. Given that this came to pass, this shows that the scriptures are authoritative and anything that is stipulated in them will surely come to pass.
The scriptures can be said to be authoritative in nature as they were inspired by God who is the ultimate source of all authority on earth. This is due to the fact that the writers of the Biblical books did not write the scriptures out of their own imagination by all the things that they wrote were inspired by God. In a way, they were merely conduit vessels of passing across God’s message and authority to the human race. The writings of the apostles and the prophets are authoritative since they contain God’s direct command to the human beings. This is reinforced in the biblical verse that stipulates that all the scriptures did not emanate from the imaginations of prophets but were revealed to men through the Holy Spirit.
God is the chief custodian of authority. Throughout the Bible, He has led to the rising of nations and falling of others. This in itself shows that the Scriptures-God’s instructions and message-to the masses carries authority. In addition, scriptures carry authority as they contain God’s direct words to the world. For instance, the Bible contains numerous verses that read “And God said”. For instance, the book of Exodus contains the phrase, “God spoke to Moses”.
Marriage and family
The theme of marriage and family features prominently in the Bible by critically analyzing the Bible, one is able to understand the various perspectives that Bible has on the institutions of marriage and family. The first reference to marriage and family in the Bible appears in the book of Genesis. In the book of Genesis, Christians get to learn that the institution of family is ordained by God. God saw that Adam was lonely and he thus decided to create him a helper. This shows that one of the main roles of marriage in the Christian context is for companionship. Moreover, according to the book of Genesis, the Bible advocates for a heterosexual marriage. Had God intended otherwise, He could have created Adam a companion of the same sex. In the same book, it becomes clear that reproduction is another main goal of marriage. After creating both woman and man, God gave them dominion over all the other creatures and asked them to multiply and fill the earth.
The book of Genesis emphasis on the importance of heterosexual marriage when it says that a man shall leave is mother and father and become one flesh with his wife. In the book of Genesis, the scriptures seem to advocate for a monogamous marriage and family based on the union between one man and one wife. However, some of the Biblical characters that were true adherents of the Mosaic Law were polygamous. For instance, Jacob and David are depicted as being polygamous characters. As thus, it is not explicitly clear on whether being polygamous is a sin as it is usually preached by western based Christian preachers. The becoming of one flesh is symbolic. It may mean the man and woman coming together to being forth off springs. From this part of the scripture, it is apparent that the Bible supports the raising of families through the institution of marriage. In addition, the biblical verse on human beings multiplying and filling the earth seem to show that the children are at the epicenter of any family or marriage institution. It also brings into contention the modern issue of family planning. This is due to the fact that family planning seems to stand on the way of Christians multiplying and filling the Earth.
Divorce is a major threat to the continued existence of marriage and family institutions. The scriptures speak volumes on this topic that is rather controversial in nature. The Bible stipulates that marriage is a divine institution that should not be destroyed. To this end, Jesus reinforces the biblical message on that marriages should last for a lifetime when He says that let no man put apart what God has put together. From this particular scripture, it is evident that divorce is illegal in the lenses of the Christianity faith. Given that marriages are ordained by God, people should therefore avoid divorce and work hard towards ensuring that their marriages do not fall apart. The message against filing for divorce is reinforced in the Old Testament. The book of Malachi stipulates that God hates divorce.
Adultery is a major threat to the existence of families and marriages. The Bible thus forbids people from engaging in sexual relations with persons who are not their spouses. In addition, it gives account on how adultery results to wreaking havoc in marriages and families. For instance, David’s acts of adultery with the wife of Uriah led to the death of the latte. In addition, the son that David had with Bath Sheba died as a punishment for David’s engaging in adultery. From these accounts, it is clear that adultery results to death and destruction of families and marriages. The book of proverbs also speaks against the engagement of adultery in the marriage setup. In the book, engagement in this despicable act is deemed as being both foolish and dangerous.
Gender and Sexuality
Gender refers to a sense of identity. In other words, it refers to how one identifies himself as a boy/male or girl/female as opposed to the physical characteristics such as having breast or a beard. On the other hand, sexuality refers to who a person is attracted to sexually. The theme of gender and sexuality is explored in depth in the biblical scriptures. First, the Bible holds that people can exist as either males or females. It is silent on the existence of gender neutral or transgender people in the book of Genesis, God created both male and female who were mandated with the responsibility of filling up the world. From the book of Genesis, it is thus clear that one of the roles of sexuality is procreation. In Genesis, we are told of Adam knowing his wife and this led to the conception of Cain and Abe. In addition, the Bible expects people to behave in a certain manner that befits their biological sex. To this end, the scriptures forbid men from wearing the females’ clothes and vice versa.
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The scriptures reinforce that men should be attracted sexually to the females and females should be attracted to the males. It forbids the attraction of people to those of the same gender. This is reinforced in the book of Genesis where the scriptures stipulate that a man will live his father and mother and become one flesh with the woman. This in itself shows that sexually attraction should only be between members of opposite sexes. Sexual relations among people of opposite sex is frowned upon and deemed sinful and unnatural. This is showcased in the New testament where lesbians and homosexuals are condemned for engaging in acts that are deemed to be contrary to order of the nature. The Bible does not support the same sex relations as such an association defeats the primary purpose of sex: procreation. This is due to the fact that people of the same sex cannot procreate through acts of sexual intercourse with each other. Lesbianism and homosexuality therefore negates God’s command of multiplying and filling the earth.
The Bible stipulates that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. As thus, it should not be used in committing indecent sexual acts. Consequently, the Bible seems to suggest that sexuality should only be explored under certain boundaries such as in marriage. In particular, the Bible warns against exploring one’s sexuality in some avenues such as prostitution and homosexuality. It makes it clear that the prostitutes and homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. Various texts in the New Testament call for people to remain faithful to their marriage partners and refrain from engaging in immorality.
In the Bible, God created for Adam a female helper as he saw that he was lonely. This shows that the most suitable complement for a man is a woman. Engaging in homosexuality thus alters the natural design of how God had intended human relations to be like. In addition, God’s hatred for homosexuality is illustrated where He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for engaging in homosexual acts. Prior to the destruction of the city, the men of these cities wanted to engage in homosexual relations with angels
The concept of gender is well explored in the scriptures. In the book of Genesis, both man and female are given distinct roles by God. The woman was created to act as a helper for the man. In the same book, Eve is mandated with the responsibility of child bearing. Adam, on the other hand is given the responsibility of tilling the ground. From this, it is clear that both females and males have different roles and responsibilities.
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In conclusion, the three theological statements namely the authority of the scripture, marriage and family and gender and sexuality in the Church have been well addressed in the bible. Further, the Bible contains scriptures that specifically addresses these issues. Thus, the church must follow the guidelines.
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