The crotch and the crucifix
Originally posted by xpert11
Has anyone ever asked Christians about the likes of the Ancient Greeks? Here is where I am coming if being Gay was a sin then why wasn't it a problem
in Ancient Greece despite there own different religious beliefs? And what about Ancient Egypt which existed long before Christianity and
Is this a question about why pagans had different morals from Christians? I guess the basic answer is that the evolution of a culture depends on so
many variables: the founders' culture, other frame conditions such as the availability of food, water, land, labour and the like, the actions of
neighbouring cultures, various random incidents over history... one could go on and on.
Moral relativism is something I despise instinctively. I'd like to believe, hard as it is to do, that there are
such things as moral
absolutes. But I don't think any society or belief system has ever perfected morality. The Classical Greeks didn't, the ancient Egyptians didn't,
and no Christian sect ever has.
The ancient Egyptians were, of course, long gone before Christianity came to be. Little was known about their culture in early Christian times; we
know more today, but our knowledge is hardly encyclopaedic. We do know that ancient Egyptian royalty practised incest (brothers married sisters),
which would have been a problem for Christans (or Jews). From all you read in Exodus and elsewhere, it's clear that the ancient Hebrews didn't
exactly approve of the morals of 'Pharaoh' and his chums.
As for the Greeks, well, the Classical era, from which most of this stuff about homosexuality and sex between adults and adolescents comes down to us,
was well over by the time Christianity finally made it to Greece (in the third century). But Hellenistic culture was largely continuous with Classical
culture and lasted until Christianity itself swept it away. So the early Church did have to confront these practices in Greece, as well as just about
everywhere else (homosexuality is universal among humans). Predictably, they didn't like it, as we may see from St. John Chrysostom's
Fourth Homily on the Epistles of St. Paul to the Romans
. Chrysostom, one of the greatest of the
Church Fathers, lived at Antioch in Syria, smack in the middle of the Greek cultural universe in that period.