Saturday 18 January 2014

A critical question from the UCG

Browsing through the postings on a totally non-COG blog, I found this ad from the nice people in the Aussie office of UCG (the United Church of God).

Click through and there's a promo for the free booklet Jesus Christ, The Real Story. No mention of the critical question that the ad poses though, which seems a bit of a cheat.

But look at the juxtaposition: married or... divine? Shouldn't that more logically be single? If this was written by a German theologian we'd expect a long, complex series of textual deliberations around the relationship between divinity and matrimony, with lengthy exegesis.

But this is UCG, so it just means their ad writer was out of the zone when he threw this one together.

"It does matter..."


"& there is proof!"

Proof of what? That Jesus was married? That he was unmarried? That he was divine?

Define "divine"?

Or more to the point, just what do you mean - proof? In this case it probably means the lads can chuck a few New King James "proof texts" together and run them up the flagpole.

See, it's all quite simple after all.


  1. Of course Jesus wasn't married. Otherwise, there would have been sons of Jesus and grandsons of Jesus and...well, you get the idea. As it was, all of Jesus' biological siblings had disappeared by the end of the first century - along with their kids, grandkids, great grandkids and all. And, it's the same with all the apostles - no progeny's almost as if none of these people actually ever existed at all.

  2. Peter supposedly had a wife. I don't think church tradition invented any children for him, though.

  3. Maybe they should rethink the whole thing.

  4. Christianity during our time has some strange ideas about marriage. Every human institution is considered to be "fallen" except marriage. Marriage is given a waiver. It just needs work. So it is also the object of Pelagian activity. Falleness is state that is remedied by the grace of God but the fallen institution of marriage is remedied by works. Various religionists do a brisk business in publishing "marriage builder" books that essentially espouse the Pelagian do-it-yourself approach - something like The Seven Laws of a Happy Marriage. You will not find many works that assert the a good marriage is a gracious gift from God and there is little than can be done if that grace has not been extended. That idea does not sell books for the Christian press. So like Pelagius, we need to all get busy. It is just a matter of free will and it is time to buy a book written by one of the many popular religious authors and start on those works.

    But for the truly spiritual, celibacy is ineluctable. Even the guys who were married like Peter have been characterized to be bachelors. Marriage is an implementation of our biological heritage and as such bears a certain taint by nature in addition to being fallen spiritually. So to the church it has its roots in carnality yet accomplishes the awesome spiritual outcome of producing new human beings in the image of God. Marriage can be the source of great ambivalence.

    Paul's ideas on marriage are clear. I think this is a little disappointing to many marriage proponents. But, of course, HWA taught in his doctrinal classes that Paul was wrong about marriage. I was not there, of course; this was only for the sanctified but an AC student told me that HWA said he was of the same rank as Paul and could disagree with him and correct him so HWA issued a "papal bull" in favor of marriage in some Christian living class in Pasadena.

    More to the point, why would Christ want to jump into an institution that is fallen? An institution that needed the grace through his yet future sacrifice to be rescued? As near as I can tell, Christ loved human beings of either gender. But he seemed to have a "working relationship" with most of the women in his life. They had support roles in his ministry.

    -- Neotherm