A couple of days ago I was doing a Google image search for Basket Weaving Injuries (don't ask). In the results, I stumbled upon Pastor Colby Martin's 'unclobber' category on his blog. I don't know Colby Martin from Adam, and I certainly wasn't looking for a Christian Biblical take on Gay Marriage, but I found myself reading away regardless.
While there are places I diverge with Pastor Martin (being Jewish, the New Testament doesn't really apply; and also as Jew, no textual analysis of the Bible would be complete without looking at the corresponding Talmud, Mishnah and other sources), I still found his insights to be quite interesting. Consider for example, his analysis of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Or his take on the verses in Genesis talking about the creation of woman:
Although it’s not technically a clobber passage, many people will point to Genesis chapter 2 (and a hyper-literal interpretation to boot) as foundational evidence that heterosexuality is the only God-blessed union. Here’s the perennial nail in the coffin:
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
And there you have it. God’s design is for one man and one woman. Clear and simple.
However, when was the last time you backed up a few verses and reminded yourself of why God created the woman for the man?
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die.” 18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
Did you catch that?
Man had relationship with God. But still, God said “it is not good for the man to be alone.” So God set about to make a suitable helper for him.
After making a community of creatures for the man, the man still felt alone. None of them were suitable helpers for him. And at that point is when God makes a woman, who is a suitable helper for the man.
Man was alone. In spite of a relationship with God and other creatures. Man was alone.
And God said, “this is NOT good. Many other things have I created lately, and I’ve called them all very good. But this? This loneliness? This emptiness? This lack of relational connectedness I’ve discovered now exists within the pinnacle of my creation? It ain’t good. I got more work to do!”
God himself was not okay with man being alone.
In the world of polite conversation, one's supposed to avoid Religion and Politics, and this post tackles both - selecting a hot button political issue and a Religion I don't even belong to. So I present Pastor Martin's writings not as: "Aha! This is my guy, he's right, you're wrong!" but as "hey, this is an interesting voice and interesting writing."
I've also go to say that in this world of paid content, and highly processed listicals, it's nice to know that you can still randomly trip over genuinely interesting content. I didn't need a news aggregator, social network or gatekeeper to find it, just dumb luck and the power that anyone can publish on the web that wants to.
By the way, I never did find those (humorous) Basket Weaving Injury pics I was after. If you have some, send them my way.