Thoughts of an evil genius. Well, evil anyway.
The comment thread is an illuminating insight into the attitudes of those in favour of change.
Gordon, I am not sure that the Church has a right to mandate society policy...though certainly it has a right to engage in societal policy. I have argued on my blog the the churches mandate is to teach the community of believers how to live as community as a subset of society. I see no record within the Bible of the early church mandating how and what marriage is... rather it taught the community of believers as how to act within the marriage context...Martin Luther said regarding priest being involved in the wedding process..."It was a worldly thing in which the church should have nothing to do with" ...this was in response to the RC church mandating in 1557 that for a marriage to be valid a priest had to preside... of course a tax....ooops donation went with that...
Craigbenno1, you are right of course to agree with Luther! But Luther would have said—as I say—that it is not about church defining marriage, or for that matter the state defining marriage. Marriage is a gift of God and as such only gets to be defined by him. We receive it, but we are not free to tinker with its basic nature.
The way I see it Gordon; the Christian mandate is to teach Christian community as to the way to live. God forbid the Hebrews from marrying others nations...yet he never forbid those nations from marring from within...Marriage in of its self I would argue is not of its self a gift of God nor is it of itself sacred. After all the nations were busy eating, drinking and marrying up to the time of the flood of Noah...Also we read that God did not recognise all marriage covenants within the Hebrew nation... he called them to divorce their wives at one time... So to say every marriage between a male and female is a gift of God is falseThirdly I have problems when marriage is tied to the Trinity. For this then leaves single, divorced, widowed people in a dilemma as to how they fit into the Trinitarian reflection of relationship. Instead I would say that the whole Church / Christian community is supposed to reflect the Trinitarian Relationship and this also is modelled within Christian marriage.While you say we are not free to Tinker with its basic nature, we have already tinkered with the Historical and Biblical nature of how we recognise marriage...such as the churches hard line stance against defacto couples who are in a committed relationship....I'm not saying that gay marriage is right within a Christian context...I am saying within a societal context we don't have a Scriptural mandate to tell society what they can do.
I used to be fundamentally opposed to any form of Gay marriage myself. A number of years ago when over 1000 Christians gathered at Parliament house to demonstrate their concern that the Government would allow gay marriage to be legal..I was there leading the intercessory prayer team in a small side room while the group met with the liberal and labour parties. I was at a parliamentary prayer meeting at parliament house when this bill was passed in the senate.Since then I have actually sat and listened to many who have struggled in the area of their identity and sexuality.. take this man's story for instance.. http://oiiaustralia.com/media/stories/story-r/He is one of thousands who underwent paediatrician gender reassignment at birth. 1 out of every 2000 babies are born with what appears to be both genitalia. He was made a girl... but he knows he is a man.. legally he is a woman. Legally he is considered to be a woman and can legally only marry a man. Biologically he is a man whose partner is a woman...legally he is a lesbian..and we the church would not freely accept him into our ranks unless he changed....God made him a man, man made him a woman. I really challenge you to read this man's story. I really challenge the church to get fully involved and informed that sexuality is not cut and dry / black and white and not as it often seems. Gordon..what would your pastoral advice and response be to a person who had undergone gender reassignment as a baby and was trapped and had huge identity issues as a human and wanted to marry someone who appeared to be wanting to marry someone of the same sex?...
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