Recently we at the IRD exposed the existence of a small, but growing pro-incest lobby that is making use of the very same arguments the gay rights movement used to overthrow traditional marriage.
One of the sexual revolutionaries quoted in our exposé penned a response to our article, a response that we can use as an object lesson in how the body of Christ should address these new sexual radicals.
This sexual revolutionary identifies herself as “Janedoeofks” or as we shall call her in this article “Jane Doe.” She runs a website dedicated to the “intelligent discussion of romantic relationships between family members.” By her own admission she has had sexual relations with her own father since she “was almost 20 up until [she] was in [her] late 20s.” Her father broke off the relationship because he feared getting caught and had a pang of conscience about the taboo nature of their liaison. She blames society’s “ridiculous taboo” against incest for the failure of their relationship. Most shocking, however, is that Jane Doe claims that she would “consider [her]self Christian” and uses theological arguments to make the case that God is okay with incestuous behavior.
Now that the table is set, we will begin with a refutation of her position. Not every point will be addressed, as we are primarily interested in theological and moral frameworks. Our critique will be formatted in the same manner as her article, namely a quote from her piece followed by our response.
Jane Doe makes use of red letter Christianity, a favorite tactic of the gay lobby, which isolates and emphasizes the direct teaching of Jesus in the Gospels to the detriment of the rest of scripture. To that end she claims Jesus did not mention incest and it is thus “irrelevant to the faith.”
Can this religious person DENY that Jesus did not mention either homosexuality or incest, and provide a quote from Jesus to prove me wrong? No, he cannot, because no such quote exists.
Jesus didn’t mention rape or pedophilia in his earthly ministry either. If Jane Doe insists that things that are not included in the earthly ministry of Jesus are “irrelevant to the faith,” then she would have to say that ethics and laws against rape and pedophilia are “irrelevant to the faith” as well.
More importantly, her claim that Jesus never spoke against homosexuality and incest is demonstrably false. Jesus claims to be one with the Father (John 10:30), which means all of God’s dialogue in the Old Testament belongs to Jesus. In Leviticus chapter 18:6-17 God (Jesus) condemns incest, calling it “depravity.”
Prove me wrong pastor… where apart from a single passage in leviticus (a book most people now largely ignore because of the stupidity of it’s regulations and it’s irrelevance to modern life) is there any condemnation of Incest?
In I Corinthians 5:1 Paul condemns the Corinthian church for allowing “immorality…of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.” In verse five, Paul doubles down, saying that he has “decided to deliver [the incestuous man] to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” [Emphasis Added].
It is worth noting that the term “father’s wife” was a Hebrew euphemism for stepmother. If relations between stepfamily members are considered so immoral that it is “not tolerated even among the pagans,” and it is so horrible that Paul felt compelled to “deliverer [the man] to Satan” to save him from the sin, then it stands to reason that relations between actual blood relatives would be just as, if not more evil in the sight of God. In short, not only is incest condemned outside of Leviticus, it is condemned in the strongest possible terms.
Furthermore, if incest was so bad, why in Genesis is Abraham a prophet when he is [incestuous] himself, being wed to his sister Sarah? If God was anti-incest, he would not choose a[n] [incestuous] person to be the founder of the three largest religions of the world, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Can’t have been that much of an issue now… can it?
There are three ways to answer this objection.
First, we must remember that God’s selection of human agents is not a validation of their life choices. When God raises up men to do His bidding He is choosing from a pool of sinful people (Rom. 3:23). God chose Paul to spread the gospel, despite the fact that he murdered Christians. God chose Sampson and he was a promiscuous womanizer. God chose David to be king knowing he would commit murder and adultery. If we take Jane Doe’s argument to its logical extension she would be forced to say that God’s selection of these people means that God approves of murder, adultery, and promiscuous womanizing. This is obviously false. God selected Abraham as the father of the faith in spite of his incest rather than because of it.
Jane Doe’s position can also be refuted by the progressive revelation of God’s law. For example, in Genesis 9:6 God said that murder is to always be punished by death. And yet when Cain killed Abel in Genesis 4, God not only abstained from executing him, but he put a mark of protection on him. Why did God do this? We don’t know, but it is ultimately irrelevant for contemporary times because Genesis 9:6 inaugurated a new paradigm in which murder is punished by death.
In the same way, we are not told why God did not crackdown on incest at the time of Abraham, nor are we told why God had Cain marry one of his sisters at the beginning of the human race. But it ultimately doesn’t matter. What is important is that God’s standing order is that incest is illegitimate in all circumstances (Lev. 18:6-17).
Finally, fornication and adultery are clearly condemned in scripture-including in the New Testament in general and the direct ministry of Jesus in particular (Matt 15:19, I Cor. 6:9;18, I Thess. 4:3). Incestuous activity always necessitates at least one of these practices. It is therefore considered evil in the eyes of God.
Desperate and out of options, Jane Doe, like the gay rights activists before her, attacks the scriptures themselves in an attempt to separate them from the words of our Lord.
Do we follow the letter of the Bible which is as flawed as the humans that wrote and translated it, or the spirit of God’s law, which is the law of love, which requires freedom?
This question is as problematic as it is contradictory. First, how does Jane Doe know that God’s law is the law of love apart from the words of Christ as reported in the Bible? If the Bible is as flawed as the people who wrote it, how do we know it is accurate when it claims that Christ told us to love God and love others? Apart from the Bible, how does Jane Doe know how God defines “love?” How does she know that God’s definition of “love” requires “freedom?” How does she know for certain how God defines “freedom?” Without the scriptures, we have no way of knowing the answers to these questions. When one looks at the scriptures one finds that Christ said we demonstrate love by obeying his commandments (John 14:15), one of which was to abstain from incestuous behavior. It is therefore incoherent to say that God’s definition of love includes approval of incestuous relations.
Second, it is impossible to be an informed Christian and claim that the Bible is “as flawed as the humans that wrote and translated it.” The Bible presents itself as the word of God rather than the word of man. II Peter 1:20-21 states “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” [Emphasis Added].
Jesus, who all Christians acknowledge as God, said that the Holy Spirit would echo what He tells Him to say to His disciples (John 16:13-15). The Holy Spirit is God, just as Christ is God (Acts 5:3-4). In Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit fell upon Peter. Peter said that Paul’s writings were scripture (2 Peter 3:16). Paul said in II Timothy 3:16-17 that all scripture is “God Breathed.” Since Jesus is God that means that all scripture is “Jesus breathed.” That means that the scripture-the Bible-ultimately came from Jesus not men. To drive a wedge between Jesus and the scriptures is therefore unsound, as they will never contradict. Since the Biblical scriptures are the Word of God, they reveal the “spirit of God’s law.” The scriptures clearly forbid incest in all circumstances, which means incest is against the “spirit of God’s law.”
Next, Jane Doe tries to make the case that Christ argued for the abolition of the Mosaic Code in his dispute with the Pharisees.
[T]he Holy Spirit, trumps legalisms. Didn’t Jesus himself break Judaisms laws by doing good deeds on the Sabbath, thus enraging religious authorities? Yes he did… therefore it is reasonable to conclude that Jesus would not want the ancient Judaic law enforced, especially not in this day and age. We should have moved past such BS by now.
Sexual revolutionaries have always capitalized on ignorance and there is an abundance of ignorance in the Christian community when it comes to Christ’s dispute with the Pharisees. People who just give a surface glance of the disputes would think that Christ was criticizing/abolishing the Law of Moses, despite his clear declaration to the contrary (Matt 5:17-19).
A more careful look at the tenants of the Pharisees shows a different picture. Christ never criticized the Mosaic Law in his dispute with the Pharisees. He criticized their traditions, their unbiblical additions to it. For example, there was no law in the Mosaic code that forbade Jesus from healing on the Sabbath; it merely forbade “work” on the Sabbath. The Pharisees made up additional regulations to the statue that God never authorized. Christ was merely demonstrating the inconsistency-and hypocrisy-of their position (Luke 13:15-16).
At no time did Christ call for the abolition of the legal and moral prohibition against incest.
Jane Doe’s inconsistency is on full display here. She dismisses “Judiasms [sic] laws” as something Jesus would “not want enforced” and then she turns around and appeals to Abraham and Sarah’s half sibling marriage as a model for people to follow today.
Next, Jane Doe takes issue with the idea of people letting disgust with incest justify laws against it.
Legitimate question… should legislation be based upon freedom and logic, or on what some other persons may find disgusting? Personally, I find it a no-brainer. Obviously since one could find anyone to find any other act disgusting, personal disgust should play no part in the legislative arm of government.
Jane Doe’s position collapses in on itself. She doesn’t want disgust dictating our legislation because she is disgusted with the idea.
The fact is we let disgust dictate our policy all the time. Why is rape and child abuse outlawed, except for the disgust their harming properties bring to God and man?
Questions of legislation are ultimately questions of justice and questions of justice are ultimately questions of authority. The question then becomes who is the final authority in the world? Man or God? Jane Doe appeals to her own opinion as the authority. The problem with this becomes apparent when we realize that she is just one of six billion people with an opinion. What makes her pro-incest opinion intrinsically better than an anti-incest opinion? And by what standard can she judge? Without a standard that transcends human opinion (God), she can’t. She is asking everyone to accept that incest should be decriminalized for no other reason except that she says so. This is how a tyrant thinks; their opinion is law because they say so.
Jane Doe is beat either way on this point. She can’t justify her pro-incest position because she lacks the authority to do so, and God-the one person who has authority to justify his position-has sided against her and said that incest is evil.
I have no beef with Christianity, I would consider myself Christian, I do have a major beef with those who use their religion to justify the denial of other people’s rights.
By this point it is obvious that Jane Doe DOES have a “beef with Christianity.” She hates its regulations against incest. In fact, she hates Christianity so much that she is willing to put words in God’s mouth in an attempt to deceive his Church into blessing a practice that He has forbidden. Such blatant libel against God demonstrates nothing less than utter contempt for the Christian faith. The only “Christianity” Jane Doe tolerates is one that is made in her image rather than God’s. Furthermore, on what authority is incest a fundamental right? Again, Jane Doe is expecting everyone to ignore the centuries of legislation against the practice throughout history and believe that incest is a right because she said so.
The rebuttals presented in this article provide a sound Biblical defense against the incest lobby. However, these arguments will not be sufficient to change Jane Doe’s mind.
Jane Doe is enslaved to her sin of incest (II Peter 2:19). Her enslavement has blinded her to the most obvious of facts. She already genuinely believes that incestuous activity does not bring family instability, despite the fact that she was a party to adultery with her father and had to go behind the backs of her mother and sisters to do so. She firmly believes that legalizing incest will not lead to a slippery slope towards other sexual depravity, even though her own cause is poof that the legitimization of homosexuality has opened the doors to the legitimization of other behaviors like incest.
Her enslavement to this sin has destroyed her ability to have relationships with normal men.
Worst of all, her enslavement to sin has brought catastrophic harm to others. She serves as a moderator for an online incest community, which no doubt validates the perverse impulses of people who would otherwise seek help with their lust problems. When a man with pronounced pedophiliac intentions entered the forum she and this incest community refused to give the man’s IP address to the authorities via anonymous tip because, as she said, “we were not sure about how to make an anonymous report without bringing unwanted police attention to [our incest forum].”
Anyone who would put the preservation of their perversion ahead of the safety of children is too blinded by sin to be persuaded by reason alone. Penetrating such a hard heart requires the power of the Word of God, which is “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
Jane Doe’s greatest hope is not found in defending her depravity. It is found in God the Father, who, rather than abuse her as her earthly father did, offers her the righteousness of Christ, which can make even the worst of sinners clean.
“Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:9-11). [Emphasis added]
We must pray that Jane Doe and those like her act on Christ’s offer of salvation and restoration, just as we do for the gay rights activists.
In the end, Christians can defend against the sexual revolutionary attacks with the authority of the Word of God, but can overcome and convert them only by the Spirit that gave us the Word of God.Google+