How do we know which Scriptures are applicable today
and which should be considered culturally irrelevant?
by John Piper
I think there are principles that can help us answer almost all the questions, and then there are going to be some gray areas.
I think the holy kiss is a gray area. Why did he say that ("Greet one another with a holy kiss")? Does that mean "shake hands"? Or does it mean "do some culturally-appropriate significant act of affection"? Why wouldn't that be a kiss?
I know men who, when I meet them, kiss me. I won't name them, but they're friends. It has zero homosexual implications, and they are very manly, and it is deeply moving. They kiss me on the cheek. I see them a year later, they hug me, and then they kiss me on the cheek.
That's why I say that the holy kiss to me is not a done deal. Maybe we should. But maybe we shouldn't. Maybe an embrace is good enough, and in our culture a kiss might not be as appropriate as it was then.
The question here though is: How do you decide?
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