Tag: same sex marriage

Christian evangelicals in Iowa are suffering malaise, as reported in an interesting New York Times article. Deeply troubled about the direction taken in recent years, they suddenly feel isolated, and abandoned by the mainstream culture:

The change in America seemed to happen so quickly that it felt like whiplash, the Odgaards said. One day, they felt comfortably situated in the American majority, as Christians with shared beliefs in God, family and the Bible. They had never even imagined that two people of the same sex could marry.

Overnight, it seemed, they discovered that even in small-town Iowa they were outnumbered, isolated and unpopular.

…“It all flipped, so fast,” said Mr. Odgaard, a patrician 70-year-old who favors khakis and boat shoes. “Suddenly, we were in the minority. That was kind of a scary feeling. It makes you wonder where the Christians went.”

The election coming up is another source of frustration. They feel that neither of the presidential candidates reflects and represents their values:

So, in a year when many voters see nothing but bad choices, many evangelicals feel deeply torn. Long part of a reliable Republican voting bloc, many are appalled to find Donald J. Trump their only alternative to Hillary Clinton. They say he has taken positions all over the map on same-sex couples and abortion and does not have the character to be president. Others are still bewildered that Mr. Trump defeated not only Mr. Cruz — a pastor’s son who made “religious liberty” a signature issue — but also half a dozen other conservative Christian contenders they would have gladly supported.

You may read more at New York Times.

I read a fascinating article on gay marriage from “the inside”. Doug Mainwaring, a gay man who has no quarrel with gay rights, nonetheless has come to see marriage in a new light since his conversion to Christianity.

Marriage, says Mainwaring, is essentially a spiritual and theological concern. It is not primarily a problem of rights or politics or liberty; It is not a peripheral issue that is negotiable. Rather it is at the core of the gospel.

I am now a Christian, and even though I am same-sex attracted—or, more likely, because I am same-sex attracted—I marvel at the extraordinary significance of marriage in God’s eternal plan. Marriage is under siege because it stands at the heart of the Good News of the Gospel.

He elaborated further on this toward the end of the essay:

Marriage represents to humanity a taste of heaven, a blueprint of the eternity that awaits all who belong to Jesus Christ. Complementarity has never been incidental to God’s eternal plan. It is central, revealing the intentions of the heart of God

He marvels at the rapid capitulation of the culture on this issue. He asks, and answers, an interesting question:

Where does this tyranny, this powerful fury, this fierce, unearthly will to enforce such a novel idea come from? Why is same-sex marriage appearing in our nation and, in fact, all around the world so suddenly? Just a few years ago it was a laughable, ludicrous idea. Why is this strange new trajectory gripping the planet, and at such a frenetic pace?

…As a gay man, allow me to make what is perhaps a startling declaration: same-sex marriage is a great coup for the devil, far greater than individual homosexual acts or relationships ever were or ever could be. Same-sex marriage mocks Christ’s relationship with his Bride, the Church. That is the source of the fury being hurled at those who speak out against same-sex marriage.

The entire essay is interesting and highly readable. You may find it all online at The Public Discourse.

In a move that can be characterized as resembling discipline, the majority of primates (archbishops) of the Anglican Communion today voted to suspend the U.S. Episcopal Church over its acceptance of gay marriage.

From BBC coverage in England:

Anglican leaders have barred a liberal US branch from decision-making for allowing same-sex marriage.
Anglicans have been divided on the issue since the US Episcopal Church ordained an openly gay bishop in 2003.
Leaders said the church’s stance was a “fundamental departure” from the faith of the majority in what is the world’s third largest Christian denomination.

…The decision – made at a four-day meeting of 39 Anglican primates in Canterbury – means the Church will be suspended from participating in the life and work of the Anglican communion, the BBC’s religious correspondent Carol Wyatt said.

…A statement from the primates at the meeting says that the church should “no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity”.

The Church leaders added that the majority of those gathered at the meeting – which was described as “really tough” – would “reaffirm” the teaching of scripture that “upholds marriage as between a man and a woman”

Read more at BBC.

The communique issued from this conference can be read here.

From the Living Church comes this sad news:  “The Rt. Rev. James Jelinek, interim rector of St. Paul’s Parish, K Street [in Washington, DC], since August 2013, has written about the parish entering a phase of discernment about women’s ordination to the priesthood and same-sex marriage.”

Up until this time, “…in order to keep our focus on what unites us — the centrality of the Eucharist and our mission as the Body of Christ — we have tended to avoid addressing some critical issues, including the role of women clergy at St. Paul’s and the blessing of same-sex unions/marriages. During the current transition, we have begun to explore these questions.”

I think it is probably foregone how the discernments will conclude, and there is probably no stopping the progressive steamroller here as has been the case in other churches that have fallen.  Still, we should pray for this church and hope that they can keep that centrality of focus on Eucharist and mission to which they had been holding up to this point.

Read it all here: http://www.livingchurch.org/changes-st-paul’s-k-st