Monday, February 11, 2013

For The Record

I see that Bishop Victoria's paper on the Theology of Marriage is now published on Taonga. Head there for a read.

15 comments:

Father Ron Smith said...

"But now with the new creation in Christ, I have to ask if the union of the male and female is as important, for now it is in Christ that we are made whole, not in the marriage bed. Could this be why the Gospels are not particularly focused on marriage beyond the teaching about faithfulness? What was for many generations, a social institution understood to keep the faith community secure and the lineage pure, becomes less central." - Bishop Victoria -

Our Diocesan Bishop is here stating the fact that the institution of marriage has changed - from the need of the Israelites to ensure the increase of their people by means of procreation; to the modern era, where the followers of Christ are no longer defined by their nationality or ethnic identity, and therefore no longer identified by their ethnic status as "God's Chosen People'.

Relationship to God is no longer through a particular ethnic strand, but through the individual person's identification as a child of God - for Christians, through Baptism into the Person of Jesus Christ.

It is not necessary for a Christian to marry and intentionally beget children, in order to ensure the continuance of Christianity. There are other, single, or partnered childless couples, who can be capable of raising up and nurturing children for God. This nurture does not require, ipso facto, the nurturer to be the biological parent(s). Proof positive of this is the number of children who have been fostered and brought up by celibate nuns and monks - as well as by infertile, or otherwise childless, couples.

If marriage is, simply, the state of monogamous, loving and committed relationship between two people, no longer required to procreate, then what should prevent a Christian same-sex couple from worshipping God through their loving commitment to one another in the bonds of Marriage, en Christo ?

They are still, as a Christian couple, capable of raising up other people's children in the Image and Likeness of the God they worship. They don't have to actually take part in their biological creation to do this. By the loving quality of their life together, they could provide an equally valid example of
Godly living as any other couple.

Shawn Herles said...

Godly living means doing what God says, obeying Him, not the world, the flesh and the devil.

And God has said clearly that marriage is one man and one women for life. Thus, that is the only form of Godly marriage.

We cannot claim to be Godly, or to be advocating Godly positions on marriage, if we are ignoring God Himself.

And procreation is not relevant to the issue. A married man and women who do not procreate are still a man and a women.

Father Ron Smith said...

"And God has said clearly that marriage is one man and one women for life. Thus, that is the only form of Godly marriage."

Did you actually hear God say that?

Peter Carrell said...

That is what I hear Jesus saying!

Shawn Herles said...

"Did you actually hear God say that?"

Yes.

Here; Genesis 2 v 18-25

"Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

And here: Matthew 19 v 4-6

Jesus said: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh.

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

Shawn Herles said...

Not to mention that God also says:

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."

which the NLT translates, accurately imo, as:

""Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin."

Combined with the statements of God above, that seems pretty clear to me.

mike greenslade said...

Hi Peter,
What is your test for credibility when someone says they hear what Jesus or God is saying?

mike g

Shawn Herles said...

mike,

It should have been obvious that I was speaking of hearing the words of Scripture, which are of course, the words of God.

What is the test for credibility when someone claims to follow Jesus but ignores what he said regarding marriage?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
Please take care about the use of 'you' and 'your' language. It contributes more heat than light. This is what I am prepared to publish:

"" 21: So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man....etc. " - A Commentator -

So you believe, literally, in this explanation of the creation of Woman? Have you never been 'ribbed about this?

What about Genesis, chapter one? Have you ever read verse 23? Do you think it is exactly the same story as Chapter 2, verses 21-22?

What do you know of the alternative stories of the Creation? "

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Mike
One test of credibility is that I am hearing what the universal church has heard through the ages (which is the case about marriage being between a man and a woman).

When we say after a reading, 'Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church', how do you think that prayer is answered?

Bryden Black said...

Hi Peter,
What is your test for credibility when someone says they hear what Jesus or God is saying?

mike g

Thank you Mike for putting the nub of the matter before us - and the nub of many another matter for that matter. I have always held these debates re ss couples and related issues are at root questions of authority (and said so to our GS once). How we legitimate our beliefs and practices is the very nub of the matter! Thank you!!!

And depending thereafter upon how we answer this question: so we have the making of another Gospel, or not ...

Shawn Herles said...

"So you believe, literally, in this explanation of the creation of Woman? Have you never been 'ribbed about this?"

Literalism is not the issue. Regardless of how we understand Genesis, we take it as God speaking to us to tell us important things about the nature of creation.

Genesis tells us that God is the sovereign creator of all things, that creation is good, and that there is order to creation. It also tells us what God intended as far as male-female marriage is concerned.

Discerning all of the above does not require "literalism".

I would also point out that mainstream Evangelicals do not take a "literal" approach to Scripture. We simply take it in it's plain canonical sense. We do not for example believe that when the Psalmist speaks of God being like a rock, or having wings, that God is literally a rock with wings.

Taking the Bible seriously as the inerrant Word of God does not require superficial literalism.

In fact the charge of "literalism" is really just another liberal tactic to avoid the inconvenient questions over the teaching of Scripture that Evangelicals raise.

"What do you know of the alternative stories of the Creation?"

Good Biblical scholars have shown that all the so-called "alternative" creation stories are in fact perfectly compatible with one another, and are in truth one creation story told from different points of view.

Shawn Herles said...

Ron,

how do you understand what Jesus us saying here:

"Jesus said: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh."

Do you think Jesus was wrong? Was he being too literal?

If referencing the Genesis creation account was fine for Jesus, why is it not fine for anyone else?

Surely Jesus knows better than us on these matters, and Genesis is clearly affirmed by Him in these words.

Father Ron Smith said...

Shawn. peter has already warned me not to use the personal pronouns 'you', 'your' or 'you're' in my comments. Consequently, I am not prepared to dialogue with 'someone' on matters that 'someone' raises here, and which I find difficult to understand. I don't want to risk being thought insensitive to them.
After all, it is Lent. Shalom!

Shawn Herles said...

"Shawn. peter has already warned me not to use the personal pronouns 'you', 'your' or 'you're' in my comments."

It was the context and way they are sometimes used that Peter is concerned about. But it would be impossible to carry on a conversation if we never used them at all.

But I will rephrase the question.

If it is wrong for me, as was implied, to quote Genesis on marriage, was it wrong for Jesus to do so?

Thats an easy question, yes?