Blogging is essentially a compulsive obsessional disorder. It is compulsory to write about what is obsessing the blogger, so at risk of disorder to one's diary, I post, therefore I am. One difficulty with obsessions is that one may rule over another, in which case the secondary obsession is somewhat deflated since a secondary obsession is not a real obsession.
Lately I have been obsessed by diocesan matters. Only in passing have I been able to observe that the deflated obsession here - marriage etc - could be re-inflated. Various correspondents have alerted me (thank you) to a series of articles re marriage and gay marriage. Looking them up has alerted me to an avalanche of reaction to one publication in particular, a C of E Report men and women in marriage which can be found here.
I do not have time this week, even this month, to read this, but perhaps you do and would care to comment here.
Some reactions are here (a conservative concise critique), here (a liberal critique with variant here), and a Thatcher-like Church Times No, No, No here. Bishop Alan Wilson possibly condemns Belgium while condemning the report! Charlotte Methuen is obviously a fan of the 'open society' as she helped write the condemned-on-all-sides-report and then effectively condemns it herself here. At this point I hand you over to Thinking Anglicans and the many links made there in recent days to comment.
Across the Atlantic, the ever thoughtful Albert Mohler makes astute observations about the course of debate over gay marriage in the States.
Even here in NZ we have a form of public discourse, exemplified recently by Rex Ahdar as he writes here and then is soundly fisked by Lynne Jamneck here.
As best I can make out, what is happening in the UK, USA and here is that
(1) some not very good arguments in favour of the status quo of marriage being between one man and one woman are being trampled over by some arguments which excellently dispatch the not very good arguments;
(2) a zeitgeist is blowing through our respective societies which cannot be resisted by yesterday's arguments and might not be turned back by better arguments produced today;
(3) the key mistake Christian 'resistance' to societal change to marriage is making, is failure to grasp that the full extent of secularization is being utilized, that is, politicians are organizing society without reference to God; a secondary mistake is to think that there is anything instrinsic to marriage in a world without God - in that world, marriage is whatever we wish to make of it.
(4) conservative (i.e. preservationists of the status quo to date) Christians on marriage are being challenged to work out what the grounds are on which they are founding their arguments, with a relentless work ethic on the part of liberal (i.e. intent on disturbing the status quo) Christians who are intent on mercilessly exposing bad foundations.
Thus, to give but one example, it is now quite dodgy to argue that the 'majority' view on marriage is the status quo, because the 'majority' view is rapidly becoming marriage is between any two people. The status quo is evolving.
To my mind, a Christian needs to work out what God has revealed to us about marriage. And not depend on what nature teaches or culture supports as a way of explaining or justifying what God has revealed to us. The way of discipleship is mostly counter-natural and counter-cultural. But more needs to be said, and time is up. Marking, preparation, a meeting of Bishops to attend, a discernment weekend ... posting might be light for the remainder of the week.