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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

God: Natural vs. Unnatural

Webster's Dictionary defines natural as something that is derived from, part of, exists within or has its origins in nature. Natural can be used to reference something that is innate or not manufactured by men. The word can also be used to distinguish between something that is a part of the physical realm from the spiritual realm or to denote the appearance of something or someone that is expected or "normal."

Hence, if we employ these standard definitions of the word natural, I guess we would have to conclude that God is unnatural. Think about that for just a moment. God is not derived from, a physical part of or constrained by nature. God is the Creator and Sustainer of all that is natural. What's more, God could certainly never be characterized as "expected" or "normal" within our reality. The fact is that God is of the Spiritual realm.

As humans, we get caught up sometimes in the distinctions between what is considered natural or unnatural. Moreover, we tend to attach a negative connotation to anything that we consider to be unnatural.

The Grand Canyon is natural, but a symphony or painting that is produced by a man could justly be classified as unnatural. We could say that it is natural for humans to have two arms and two legs. According to our definition, we could say that anyone who is born without arms and/or legs, or loses them in some accident, is unnatural (I'm not saying that). Likewise, we could say that the ability to see, hear, taste, smell and feel is natural, but what about those souls who are born without those abilities or lose them somewhere along the way?

Is it natural for someone who is blind to use their fingers to read braille? Is it natural for someone who is hearing impaired to use their fingers to communicate in sign language? Is that the natural way to use fingers? What about prosthetic arms and legs? Are they natural? Is it natural for humans to attempt to compensate for the circumstances they happen to find themselves in during the course of this life's journey?

We have discussed perspective on this blog before. Does perspective play any part in what we are discussing today?

Many of us would characterize certain sex acts as natural, while condemning others as unnatural. Don't most of us tend to think of sexual intercourse between a man and woman as being "normal" and natural? Likewise, don't most people look at homosexual practices as being abnormal, abominable and unnatural? What makes those practices unnatural in our eyes? Remember too we are talking about natural vs. unnatural, so we are prevented from appealing to Scripture in this instance. We are talking about our human perspective of these terms and behaviors.

In this connection, I think it would be instructive to ask ourselves a few questions about our perspectives on heterosexual intercourse (especially in light of the fact that many of my readers would find an exploration of the other behavior so odious):

Does natural heterosexual intercourse always and only involve the genitals?

Are other body parts ever associated with heterosexual attraction and intercourse? (I'm thinking about things like eyes, hair, lips, mouths, legs, buttocks, breasts, musculature, etc.)

Is missionary-style heterosexual intercourse the only natural and acceptable practice for humans? Are other postures prohibited by either natural or Divine Law?

Is sexual intercourse between humans solely for the purpose of reproduction? If so, why do childless couples continue to engage in the practice?

Finally, what if a person is born with a predisposition to be attracted to the same gender? Could that mean that same-sex attraction is natural for some individuals? Or would an attraction to the opposite sex still be considered natural for them even if it went against their nature?

When we really think about these questions of what is natural and what is unnatural, don't we begin to appreciate how different perspectives might shape how we characterize someone or something as being one or the other?

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