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Graeme Codrington grew up in the conservative Baptist context of South Africa and graduated from the Baptist Union Seminary in Johannesburg. For a number of years, he has championed same-sex marriage while identifying himself as an evangelical Christian. Codrington wrote the following as a defense of same-sex sexuality after his debate with James White that took place in South Africa. James White described Codrington’s comments as “damage control” because he got shredded in the debate.
Here’s some of what Codrington wrote:
In the aftermath of a formal debate I was involved in last week on the issue of gay marriage, a number of conservative Christians have told me that “you cannot argue your case (for gay marriage) from silence”. In other words, if the Bible doesn’t say “gays can get married” then they can’t.
Of course, the Bible doesn’t say you can have a heart transplant, give blood, drive a car, eat broccoli, use credit cards or vote in democratic elections… but those points seem to pass these Reformed Christians by. And they’re happy doing all those things. They are very, very good at picking and choosing which bits of the Bible they apply literally and which they don’t. And they have one set of rules for things they believe, and another for those of us who believe differently.
I want to make it clear that James White did not use the above argument in the debate. If Codrington had used the above argument, he would have been eaten alive by James White. Codrington was counting on his base to respond emotionally (as most arguments these days have degenerated to) rather than with sound biblical analysis and rational thinking. He couldn’t do the latter because the Bible and rational thinking are against his arguments.
The thing of it is, the Bible does prohibit same-sex relationships (Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:8-9), but it does not prohibit the things on the above list. They are irrelevant and were used by Codrington as a dodge, a series of red herrings to lead people away from the biblical text. Jehovah’s Witnesses do prohibit blood transfusions based on the biblical ban on eating blood (Lev. 17:24), but there is no direct command not to get a blood transfusion, something that didn’t exist.
The JWs also don’t celebrate birthdays because John the Baptist was murdered during a birthday celebration. It’s an extravagant leap in logic to denounce birthday celebrations because someone did something evil during a birthday celebration. There were trials that ended up condemning Jesus to death. Does this mean that all courts of law should be abandoned by Christians? Where does this type of nonsense stop? It doesn’t. Same-sex relationships must be protected at all costs.
Codrington also adds to his nonsense with this typical bad argument: “And show me where Jesus ever spoke out against an LGBTQI person.” Show me where Jesus spoke out against cannibals, sex with animals, or tripping blind people. He didn’t have to. Jesus points His disciples to the “Law and the Prophets.” They were authoritative (Luke 24:27, 44-45).
He said something similar in the story of Dives and Lazarus. The deceased rich man wanted Lazarus to return to speak to his brothers about the place of torment he was in. Here’s the response:
“They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.” He said, “No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:19-31).
Codrington refuses to listen to Moses and Jesus. Jesus would have said to Codrington, “You have the Law and the Prophets. You don’t need Me to tell you again what has been codified in the Law of Moses that same-sex sexuality is immoral” (Lev. 18:22; 20:13). Then there’s the creation account. Don’t forget that.”
The “logic” of this type of thinking is lost on some people. Given Codrington’s way of thinking, he would have to conclude that a woman marrying a bridge, a woman marrying her dog, and a woman marrying herself are legitimate marriages because Jesus didn’t single out these types of marriages with specific prohibitions.
Jesus didn’t have to since the standard was set at creation and reiterated by Jesus:
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matt. 19:3-6).
To offer some physical evidence, God made men and women physically different but sexually compatible so that they “fit” physically and can reproduce. No matter how many times same-sex couples engage sexually, they can never reproduce!
He says a lot of other stupid stuff that’s not worth answering. Arguments like those of Codrington go from one absurdity to another in order to justify a sexual behavior the Bible unequivocally condemns in both Testaments.