LifeSite News reported that Dr. Bob Edgar, the general secretary of the National Council of Churches, said “Jesus never said one word about homosexuality, never said one word about civil marriage or abortion.” He said this to CBS News at a recent gathering of liberal Christian leaders in Washington.
Sadly, this is a common sound bite from people who should know better. Their reasoning goes like this:
- Whatever Jesus did not specifically condemn in the Bible is morally permissible (or unimportant).
- In the Bible, Jesus did not specifically condemn abortion or homosexual behavior.
- Therefore, abortion and homosexual behavior are morally permissible (or unimportant).
There are several problems with this reasoning.
- As you may have noticed, their “logic” goes off track in the first bullet. In the Bible, Jesus also didn’t specifically mention slavery, drunk driving, child sacrifice, and many other sins, but they are still sins.
- Jesus is God (and anyone quoting him like Edgar did should know that), so He authored all the moral laws in the Bible – including the crystal-clear ones against homosexual behavior and murder. And He created the institution of marriage, of which 100% of the verses refer to the ideal as a one man/one woman union.
- He may not have specifically mentioned these issues because they weren’t hot topics for his primarily Jewish audience. And Jesus reiterated the original purpose for marriage, and noted that it involved one man and one woman.
For “leaders” like this to (mis)quote the red letters and to commit the logical fallacy of arguing from silence is negligent and foolish.
Hat tip: RealChoice blog