Knowing the mind of God (hint: God hates shrimp)

God Hates Shrimp protestI wonder why, amidst all the fulmination about gay marriage and other violations of the Levitical code, more people haven’t hopped onto this bandwagon: God hates shrimp.

Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God’s law unto the heathens and the sodomites. We call upon all Christians to join the crusade against Long John Silver’s and Red Lobster. Yea, even Popeye’s shall be cleansed. The name of Bubba shall be anathema. We must stop the unbelievers from destroying the sanctity of our restaurants.

Amen. Visit the website to learn more, and then organize a protest. And, for the love of God, make sure you aren’t wearing any cotton-wool blends to the protest!

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16 Responses

  1. Matt Kennedy says:

    I wonder why those on the episcopal left, after 7 years, have never really taken the time to understand why the shellfish argument is so embarrassingly bad? Really Scott , I expect better of you.

  2. Scott Gunn says:

    C’mon, Matt. After reading my blog, I wonder why those on the Anglican right never take the time to understand that I’m pulling your chain. Really, Matt, I expect better.

    Remember, I’m the guy who invented the legend of the secret volcano lair. At least, I thought it was a legend.

    On a more serious note, the division of moral and ceremonial law is not so clear. Even if I stipulate that the distinction is part of God’s revelation of the law and of Christ’s Gospel life, there are plenty of bits that one could make a case to fit into law or gospel.

    Now go back to your volcano lair and sort this out.

  3. Matt Kennedy says:

    Hi Scott ,

    I don’t think it is all that difficult. It obviously was not so for Paul and, ultimately, the Church. All were able to make a quite clear distinction between sexual purity–which the gentiles were bound to observe– and “works of the law” to which they were not bound.

  4. Phil Snyder says:

    Scott, while you may not be serious about this, I have corresponded with people who are and you know that they exist.

    Perhaps you could show us where same sex unions are spoken of positively or as “blessed” in Holy Scripture. I can show you where Jesus declares all food to be clean as does Paul, so this argument carries no weight.

    Phil Snyder

  5. Scott Gunn says:


    You do raise a good point. These arguments have been hashed out elsewhere, by people way over my pay grade.

    Obviously, one cannot point to a same-sex blessing in the bible as warrant for present understanding. Instead, we look to the wider picture of context, covenant, and Jesus’ ministry of transforming grace with all.

    Interestingly, nowhere does the Bible forbid same-sex activity among two women, though most conservatives behave as if sex among men and among women are treated equally.

    I would also ask this one — to which I never seem to receive an adequate answer. I understand you do be saying that biblical warrants are necessary for innovations, and that we should conform our practice to biblical standards, understanding that Jesus has the final say on law & gospel. So, my question is this: as a Christian, how can you justify owning possessions (Matthew 19:21)? How can individuals in any Christian community justify continuing to maintain private property (Acts 2:44-45)? I’m serious.

    I appreciate this conversation.


  6. Matt Kennedy says:

    “Interestingly, nowhere does the Bible forbid same-sex activity among two women…”

    Yes, the NT says nothing at all negative about same sex activity between women:

    “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    You think that the parallel and the “likewise” might be a little important?

    As for “innovations”. SSB’s are not “innovations” they are direct violations of divine imperatives. One does not need to embrace the regulative principle–the normative principle is enough to recognize that same sex behavior has no legitimate place in the lives of believers than adultery or promiscuity.

  7. Scott Gunn says:

    Matt, I can see how one could read your point of view onto that text in Romans, but it’s not really the plain sense of the passage. The reference could mean lots of things, but the interpretation there is above my pay grade.

    On the other hand, there are lots of passages that are clear as a bell, and which seem to be ignored. Can you answer this one (below)? I know you must have an answer, and I’m curious.

    I would also ask this one — to which I never seem to receive an adequate answer. I understand you to be saying that biblical warrants are necessary for innovations, and that we should conform our practice to biblical standards, understanding that Jesus has the final say on law & gospel. So, my question is this: as a Christian, how can you justify owning possessions (Matthew 19:21)? How can individuals in any Christian community justify continuing to maintain private property (Acts 2:44-45)? I’m serious.


  8. Matt Kennedy says:

    Hi Scott ,

    I probably was not clear enough above. There are two competing principles for understanding the role of scripture among those who take the positions that 1. Scripture is the norma normans–the norm by which all other norms must be normed and 2. That it is inerrant.

    The first principle is the regulative principle: the Puritans, orthodox Presbyterians and non Anglican orthodox Reformed Christians generally take this view…you articulated it well above…namely that the Church can do nothing that is not authorized or grounded in biblical principles. So, for example, church polity must look as much like the 1st century polity as possible…with groups of presbuteroi and no distinct episcopoi in the sense that we know them today.

    The second principle is the Normative principle which holds that the Church may innovate so long as she does not act in a way that conflicts with what God commands. So, for example, polity may develop so long as it does not develop in a way that contradicts something that God prescribed or proscribed.

    The difference between these two principles is generally what distinguishes Calvinist Anglicans (generally normative) from Calvinist Presbyterians (regulative) and the Articles of Religion (normative) from the Westminster Confession (regulative)

    As for Matt 19:21…well I think you are simply engaging in some bad exegesis if you understand Jesus’ instructions to the “rich” young ruler as a universal prescription to the entire church.

  9. Phil Snyder says:


    I was unclear. We have scripture verses that show all homosexual sex in a negative light. Words like “abomination” are used. We have Jesus speaking out against pornea (which included homosexual sex) and Paul directly refuting it. So, blessing homosexual sex is forbidden by scripture. Blessing a relationship in which it is practiced is forbidden because the Church lacks the authority to bless sinful actions. Our Presiding Bishop speaks of Holy Scripture being our primary source of authority, so if we are going to claim authority to change what was considered sinful to something that is blessed, shouldn’t we see some evidence of that blessing in our primary source of authority? Where our primary source of authority says that something is sinful, we have no authority to bless it.

    As for owning posessions, I would suggest that the command against theft is evidence that one can own things because you can’t steal what someone else does not own. You will notice that Annias and his wife were not killed for keeping their posessions, but for lying about donating all of their posessions. Paul asks the Churches to give for the relief of Jerusalem. How can you give if you own nothing. Hmmmm. It seems that you are practicing “exitjesus” rather the exegesis when it comes to the status of a Christian’s posessions.

    Now, in a ideal world, populated only with fully regenerated men and women whose lives are fully animated by the Holy Spirit and empowered only by God’s Grace, then pure communism would work. But I don’t think we will see such a world this side of the eschaton.

    Phil Snyder

  10. Actually, Fr. Gunn, Jewish scholars never seem to have made a distinction between moral and ceremonial law – it’s all just Torah, and heavily centered on considerations of purity. The distinction isn’t somthing that you find in the text itself, where what we have called “ceremonial” rules are found cheek-by-jowl with “moral” ones. The whole concept seems to be an example of eisegesis.

    So yeah, God *does* hate shrimp in the Bible quite as much as he hates homosexual acts.

  11. Scott Gunn says:

    Bill, I agree that the terms “moral law” and “ceremonial law” are not biblical. However, Paul clearly sets aside dietary laws, for example, as no longer applicable. One can take that to mean that we need to engage in a contextual reading of the scriptures, and that this has been the case since the time of Jesus. The problem is that — even as they practice a contextual reading — many conservatives do not acknowledge this reality. “I am reading, your are interpreting,” they say.

    Phil, I am not necessarily saying that it’s sinful to keep possessions, merely that we are quick to nuance a clear teaching of Jesus while privileging a strict reading of, say, Leviticus. Can we all admit that we are engaged in a contextual and nuanced reading of the bible? Then we can talk about why and how.

    However, to you point, I can be commanded not to steal things without being permitted to own them. I can be indicted for lying about donating things without permission to own. You’d need to find better warrants for ownership, I think, given the command to sell what we own and the clear practice of the early church of holding things in common.

    On a similar note, it’s fascinating to me that the AAC can hold a nuanced position on divorce but clings to a selective reading of marriage. Again, let’s admit we all bring our context to our reading of the bible. Then we can talk.


    Matt, I hate to tell you this, but you are rich. By global standards you are fantastically wealthy. So please tell me again why you can follow Christ and not sell your possessions. If possessions are not important, why engage in lawsuits to keep them?

  12. KJ says:

    I have never seen those without a same-gendered sexual orientation have their hearts or minds changed by such scholarly debate (Scott, you do well to remind us that Christ was quick to speak to matters of the heart, and not interpretations of the law. When interpretations of law become the basis of a faith discussion, I often think, “It’s as if Jesus never were.”).

    I have seen the minds of GLBT believers, convinced by consciences of others, to live closeted lives that have led to loss of heart and death of sprit, and some times, body.

    However, I have also seen the hearts and minds of GLBT believers transformed by being authentic in the loving arms of their Creator, and that in turn, has transformed those around them, drawing others into life.

    In this debate, and all faith-based debates, the way of law leads into hopelessness, whereas, following Christ, leads into life.

    I chose, and choose life, and because of that choice, have seen things happen that would have only been the stuff of fantasy had I clung on to what I wanted to be true of me. Life is only found in living into what God dreams to be true for us.

    Chose life.


  13. KJ says:

    Oops! I meant “CHOOSE life!”

  14. Phil Snyder says:


    Yes, we need to understand the context of Holy Scripture. But we need to also understand the universality of scripture. It is not just a collections of writings, written over the period of several hundred years with oral tradition going back further than that. It is the Word of God.

    So, can you show me the context in Holy Scripture for transgressing, not just Leviticus, but Romans, I Cor, Matthew, and the Church’s unbroken teaching on homosexual activity?

    The attitudes of divorce are liberalized where the attitudes on homosexual activity are being liberalized. There seems to be some correlation. From what I understand in Africa, divorce is a bar to ordination.

    Now, let’s talk about the real issue – the place of authority in the Chruch. This is not an issue of interpretation, per se, but one of the limits to interpretation. Who has the authority to change the teaching of the Church? Does a province or diocese or congregation or individual? What has happened in TEC (and ACC and parts of CofE and other places) is that individual provinces or even individual bishops and priests have determined that they have the authority to change the moral teaching of the Church. Now if you want to discuss whether God blesses (and, thus, if the Church has the authority to bless) homosexual sex in the context of a marriage like arrangement, then let’s have that discussion. But to act on the new understanding before the Church has changed her mind is not prophetic. It is schismatic.

    Phil Snyder

  15. “…Romans, 1 Cor, Matthew…”

    Matthew? If you’re talking about Matthew 19:4-5, that can’t be taken as a condemnation of homosexual relations any more than it can be taken as a condemnation of celibacy.