June 22, 2014: When is enough, enough?

Posted on : Jun 19th, 2014 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Last Sunday when George Lynch was liturgist, he satirically said to me, “Why did you give me the scripture passage from Genesis that is always used against gays and lesbians?” The scripture he was referring to is Genesis 2: 24 which follows the creation story of man and woman. It concludes with these words: “Therefore, a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

I responded, “Well, my reading isn’t any better. I have Genesis 1:26-28, ‘So God created humanity in God’s own image…male and female God created them.’ And God bless them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it…’”

Even today, many use those two scriptures from Genesis 1 and 2 to support their theory of compulsory heterosexuality and the limiting of marriage to opposite gender couples only. The following phrase became very popular among the compulsory heterosexual crowd: “God made Adam and Eve… Not Adam and Steve!”

Years ago when we were part of the Presbyterian Church, we simply wanted the right to “bless” same gender relationships. It was in the midst of that struggle that this “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” thing emerged.   A friend gave me a button that I loved to wear to national church gatherings. It said: “God created Adam & Steve, Amy & Eve, and Adam & Eve.” Some got it; most didn’t. When people would ask me what it meant, I would answer them, “Do you think that God who creates no two snowflakes alike and no two grains of sand the same would create all humanity only one way?”

Of course what was behind this way of thinking was that all families were alike – husband, wife and kids – and one, if not the most important purpose of marriage, was for procreation. Today, the issue isn’t about the genders of the persons in a relationship or marriage, the issue is procreation, or more exactly, overpopulation.

This Sunday we are going to look at this scripture in a wider context. In Israel’s history, this “go and procreate” passage was understandable and in many aspects, an important part of Israel’s faith. Today, our reality is quite different. Our global population is increasing at an alarming and unsustainable rate. Experts in population growth estimate that it wasn’t until the very early 1800’s that the population of the world reached 1 billion people. That’s roughly about 300,000 years plus or minus a few thousand years. The exact number of years pales in relation to the current situation. From the most recent demographic surveys it has taken only 12 years to add an additional 1 billion people to the global population. That occurred between 1987 – 1999, and 1999 – 2011.

The spiritual and moral question we face today is not to be fruitful and multiply, but what do we do when we are too fruitful?

I invite you to join me as we continue our journey through Genesis, and as we focus on our relationship with God and with the human community.

God Bless!

Dan

~ This Sunday’s Scriptures ~

 Genesis 1: 27- 31

 So God created humankind in God’s image,

   in the image of God, God created them;

   male and female.

God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so.

God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

 

Genesis 2: 18-25

Another Account of the Creation

Then God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ So out of the ground God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then God took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that God had taken from the man God made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

‘This at last is bone of my bones

   and flesh of my flesh;

this one shall be called Woman,

   for out of Man this one was taken.’

Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.

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