Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Kiwi response to the Scots showing the English the way forward (Prelude)

A few posts ago, some sharp questions came in responsive comments. I identify these questions as particularly sharp (in my view):

(1) "“Oh, you might say, but we need to press for the 'truth' to win. I agree but I find there are two different versions of what is 'true' about same sex marriage and they are pushing together like two scrums with no signs of one buckling and the referee is getting impatient for the ball to come out. And the different scrums are composed of friends of mine. I would like to not ditch one set of friends for another.”

Hmm, two different truths .. 2+2 makes 4, AND 2+2 makes 5 .. both true? Both acceptable? Requiring those in the math class to learn a new set of ‘truths?’ Peter, if you have friends in both scrums, as indeed I hope we all do, then what sort of friends are they that they don’t deserve to hear your particular version of the two truths? I suppose I must ask again, where exactly is the line you draw .. or is there not one at all?"

(2) "How would opting out line up with the religious exemption in the Human Rights Act? You could hardly argue that something is core to your belief if half of your fellow believers thought it was not."

(3) "I agree that living with difference is a model that can work for "disputable matters".
But why not apply this same logic to priests living in a de facto relationship? That is a widely accepted practice in today's society but it violates God's commandments to us in the same way as active homosexual relationships do.
Once you start down the road of "co-existence" or "living with difference" you need very clear guidelines about what is disputable and what is not. 
To follow your analogy, are we still really a team if we're wearing the same jumper but every player plays according to their own set of rules?"

(4) "Obviously, choices in this life involve many possibilities, and some possibilities may clearly lack other and crucial qualities. The suggested "solution" in your post values expediency and a form of "peace" over principle and a struggle for revealed truth. I'll let you decide whether, in view of the following quotes, a possibility heavily-based on expediency is something you commend to any Christian denomination. My views is that any denomination that places a high value on expediency is due for reaping a deserved low respectability rating from the general populace together with a concomitant, nominal status the denomination will occupy in the life of that population.

"Enter by the narrow gate. Wide is the gate and broad the road that leads to destruction, and many enter that way; narrow is the gate and constricted the road that leads to life, and those who find them are few." Mt. 7:13 (REB). "'Make every effort to enter through the narrow door; for I tell you that many will try to enter but will not succeed.'" Lk. 13:24 (REB)"

(5) "Once the pass that "marriage is for life" was surrendered, the insistance on "one man, one woman" becomes clearly about attitudes to homosexuals more than about "retaining marriage as it was". The on-this-site oft-repeated "two wrongs don't make a right" sounds extremely hollow after many years now of nothing being done about the first "wrong". The plain reading of the Bible is much clearer about the first wrong than the second, and, casuistry notwithstanding, the issue is much deeper than agreeing, as is easily done, on a God-sourced anthropology. The integrity of Christianity is at stake when those who in NT-Jesus terms bless adultery and fornication of sequentially-monogamous heterosexuals, but vociferously condemn homosexuals seeking to express God's lifelong covenant in their relationship."

(6) "[After 2 points made] 3. Lastly, and vitally, given for the moment that the two stances as outlined in Motion 30, 1 (a) and (b), do have their respective “integrities”, and given a way forward can be found institutionally whereby these two might live ‘under one roof’ [both massive assumptions, I realise], nonetheless what integrity might this new entity itself possess?

Well; there we all have it ... And the outcome of such careful archaeological/genealogical work will, I suggest, only show how illogical and impossible it will be to keep these ‘good folk’ within one and the same house ... And thereafter history, especially eschatological history, will be the judge."

(7) "Peter, Mike has a point. This really is not for me to say, but do evangelicals need to repent of allowing an almost sacramental divorce. From a sola scriptura point of view, gay marriage is trivial if you allow heterosexual divorce."

I hope over coming days to offer some thoughts on each of these seven. I note that in the comments to the original post some replies are already given by others.

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