23 April 2012
The Message of the Bible
The Message of the Bible
An Orthodox Perspective
by George Cronk
The shamefully fallen RocorMP has included this book in their Holy Trinity School curriculum.
George Cronk is a CRANK!
In Chapter 2 of Message of the Bible we read Cronk's explanation of the incident after the Flood when Noah got drunk and lay naked in his tent:
The essence of Ham's sin is expressed in the phrase, "saw the nakedness of his father," a phrase which must be understood in the light of chapter 18 of the book of Leviticus. In that text, God proclaims that it is an abomination for a man to "uncover the nakedness" of his father, his mother, his sister, his children, his grandchildren, his aunts and uncles, his sisters-in-law and his daughters-in-law (Lv 18:6-16). What is condemned here is any act of incest. And it is quite clear that the expression "uncover the nakedness" refers to various forms of sexual intercourse. It should also be noted that homosexuality is condemned in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, and in Romans 1:26-27. What Ham did, then, was to engage in some form of incestuous and homosexual intercourse with his father. (It is, by the way, interesting that the Bible contains no suggestion that Noah's drunkenness was in any way reprehensible).
This is not the Orthodox interpretation. It is a crack-pot interpretation, utterly intolerable, disgusting and sickening. Somebody has to have a "dirty mind" or a very small mind to think that. The incident has absolutely nothing at all to do with sex. It has everything to do with honoring thy father, and having respect for our elders. [Something kids are not taught today.] When we find our parents [or elders] in an embarrassing situation, we do not point and laugh. We don't bring others in on the joke. We don't ignore their need. Instead we do as Shem and Japheth, and respectfully do what we can to repair the embarrassment of their situation.
Here is what Fr. Seraphim Rose writes in Genesis, Creation and Early Man Chapter Nine, 1st edition:
Why did Noah, a righteous man, get drunk? Perhaps, as St. Ephraim suggests, it was because he had not drunk wine for many years; he had been a year in the Ark, and it takes several years to plant the vines and to get grapes with which to make wine. Or else, as St. John Chrysostom suggests, wine was actually not even drunk before the Flood. Noah was the first to cultivate vineyards. Therefore, he would not have known the power of wine; he drank it to see what it was like, and it overwhelmed him. If this was the case, wine-drinking goes together with meat-eating as one of the new conditions of the post-Flood world.
Genesis 9:21 again calls Ham "the father of Canaan" to remind us of his uncontrolled nature.
What was this sin of Ham? The sin was not so much that he saw his father naked, because then they were not nearly as fastidious about that kind of thing as we are now. Rather, his sin lay in the fact that he saw him in a shameful condition – drunk, all sprawled out – and therefore he mocked his father; he stared at the spectacle and went out and spread tales about his father's sin.
In English, a "ham" is an actor who makes a big show of himself. In Russian, the word "ham" means something much worse. It refers to someone absolutely shameful, without any manners, politeness or decency [like Soviets in modern times].
The sin of Ham was the sin of being totally shameless. His brothers, on the contrary, came in with respect, covered up their father, and thus covered up the whole thing before it could be spread about. Thus Ham, the second son, now became the youngest.
But why was Canaan cursed instead of Ham his father? St. John Chrysostom says it was because Ham once received God's blessing, and now the curse must be on his offspring, which hurts him too. Moreover, Canaan probably also sinned. St. Ephraim suggests that it was actually Canaan, as a small boy, who went in and was the first to see Noah. He went out and told his father, so he himself is partly guilty.
Read more here