Episcopal church without gay marriage

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Jellies, Jul 23, 2021.

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  1. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I had to read your post several times before I finally accepted it said what it did. You say no dogma of marriage has been violated by the TEC permitting two people of the same sex to be married. I would be obliged if you can show where Holy Scripture, the Fathers, the Book of Common Prayer or the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion permit or encourage same-sex marriage.
     
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  2. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I cannot, because no such passage exists. I also contend that there is no defined dogma on the subject. It is a disagreement on a matter of discipline, and on the Church’s relation to the State. That is my opinion as a layman. I think it gives ample room for both sides to express disagreement, even vehement disagreement, without having to resort to mutual accusations of heresy, which to me seems unwarranted and counterproductive.
     
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  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    It will indeed be a matter of discipline. When those who rationalize away the sinfulness of their habitual sodomy stand before the Almighty, they will be disciplined. People who chose to believe the lies of a new society, rather than trust what God has set forth in His written word on the subject, will be in peril of immense, eternal loss.
     
  4. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    No, it is a pastoral issue on which legitimate disagreement may exist. Compare to something like polygamy, which still exists in plenty of places in the world. What do you do when a (lawfully) polygamous family, say, in Africa or in the Middle East, declares an intent to convert to Christianity? The Church has always taught monogamy; it has also always taught the indissolubility of marriage. Which one of these do you relax in order to allow the family to convert? Let’s assume it’s the former: would it not therefore be within the Church’s competence to “bless” such a family, i.e., that God will bestow good things upon it, even though it might depart in some essential way from the Church’s ideal? This is basically how the Eastern Orthodox view second (and third) marriages. That is one way of looking at the matter, by analogy. It involves what discipline is to be maintained, not only for current members, but also for future members as this relates to evangelism and preparation for baptism.
     
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    False equivalence. Polygamy was practiced by some Israelites (consider King David). The Bible says elders should be the husband of just one wife, which implies that some people in Israel at that time had more than one wife, but it also implies that having no more than one wife is better. I can appreciate an argument that polygamy could potentially be a "pastoral issue on which legitimate disagreement may exist," for no scripture explicitly or implicitly condemns it. But polygamy cannot be compared to homosexual activity, which is explicitly condemned as a sin (and a serious sin at that); the scriptures which state this can leave us little doubt that, by implication, any attempted 'normalization' of such activity (via so-called "marriage" or otherwise) cannot in any way alleviate the sinfulness of the activity. (David loved Jonathan, but we have no reason to think they ever committed sodomy, let alone made a habit of it, let alone got married.)
     
  6. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    It is not a false equivalence. On the contrary, you are relying on a false distinction. We are talking about arrangements which various States allow as a matter of law, which the Church must address if it is at all interested in evangelism. A deviation from the ideal is just what sin is: “to miss the mark”. It is not a question of what the Bible says; it is a question of what pastoral remedies are appropriate.
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    What else would you include then which is not permitted or encouraged by any of these sources? Are we, the church forbidden to do anything which is not expressly allowed in Holy Scripture, the Fathers, the Book of Common Prayer or the Thirty-nine Articles. Where does conscience and the guidance of The Holy Spirit come into our decision making? Is the church's praxis entirely dictated by the words of scripture, the Church Fathers and the Thirty-nine articles, and do those words preclude the doing of anything not mentioned by them, such as 'blessing' a pledge of fidelity between two people of the same sex? Which should the church support, fidelity or infidelity?

    One might as well ask " where in Holy Scripture, does the Fathers, the Book of Common Prayer or the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion give permission or encouragment to picking one's nose and eating it, peeing in the shower, invading someone's country or driving an SUV and adding to global warming". For all the church knows or asks of the couple concerned, they might intend to do any or all of these things after the 'blessing'. Just as any heterosexual couple may.
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  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Well, if that were a correct definition of sin, I might be forced to agree. But it isn't. I agree that God's 'mark' is ideal perfection, but many deviations from the ideal are permitted to us without them being sins. For example, 2:24 p.m. might be the ideal time for me to drive to the store tomorrow, but (barring an express instruction from the Lord) I'm not sinning if I wait until 6:00 p.m. to go. Or perhaps I'm not wording this reply in the most perfect manner (the way God would word it), but that doesn't make my reply a sinful one.

    Sin is a deed of disobedience to a divine law. God does have a 'best' or 'perfect' plan for each person, but we also can do thing that are within His permissive will and they are not sins. However, sodomy is an act of disobedience to divine law.

    Nor should we be talking about the temporal legalities within various States; rather, we should be focused on divine law. Your comment seems to suggest that the church is somehow damaging the cause of Christian evangelism by standing fast on the moral principle that sodomy is a sin. That should not even enter into consideration, because sin is always sin and Christians must not compromise on the principles set forth in the word of God. Sodomy is always a sin, whether it's legal or not, and institutionalized sodomy (gay "marriage") is always a sin, too.

    Legalizing sodomy was done under the concept that it's no business what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms. Legalizing homosexual 'marriage' takes the sodomite practice out of the bedroom, puts it on public display, provides a license for it, models it as normative, and fairly screams at us, "What we are going to be doing in our bedroom (and you know darn well what we'll be doing) is moral and good, and you can do it, too!"
     
  9. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    “Missing the mark” is just what the word “sin” means in the original languages. That’s not controversial.
     
  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    But that seems to me to be mentally reducing the marriage ceremony, (and my opinion is that the word can only really apply to a union betwixt a man and a woman), to being merely a license to f***. Is that really the way we want to view marriage? Is that the way we want to view Christ's relationship to the church? Wouldn't that be reducing the whole concept of marriage to a base and carnal official permission from God to have sex without incurring judgment for fornication? Surely marriage is more than just that, and in fact not just that.

    Remember - Adam and Eve were never married. They were given no licence, held no reception, had no bridesmaids, no stag or hen night, one of their kids turned out a bad'en and they lived in sin all their lives.

    What do we think the human race needs a saviour for? Not for those of us who don't hold with gay marriage and are not guilty of robbing banks? No! He came to lead ALL sinners to repentance. Luke 13:1-9. Jesus has a remedy for sin. It involves piling s**t on people who don't cooperate, in the hope that they will produce fruit Gal.5:22. Who are we to say at what stage in that process any individuals may be? It's only after death that we can be certain that our fruit is acceptable enough to be offered by the vinedresser to the vinyard owner. And Jesus gives most of us more than just 3 years to come up with a decent crop. How much s**t has Jesus dug around your roots in your life so far? This parable is not put here by accident, right after the examples of supposed MEGGA sinners. We are all sinners. Take the warning, and stop pointing fingers. Luke 13:4-5.

    I really do wish the church had refused to use the word marriage in connection with same sex relationship blessings and made it clear that the only thing being blessed are the couple themselves and their commitment to monogamous fidelity together. Everything else is their own responsibility, just as it is their own responsibility for any heterosexual couple. I believe the church should not rule over a couple's sexual activity or over their contraceptive policy or over whether they use the missionary position or any other position or even whether they remain celebate for life by mutual agreement with one another. That should be entirely their own affair, and their vinedresser's.
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  11. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Tiffy here "gay marriage" and trad marriage are different things and should have different words to describe them. If I pay to see a tennis match I am told if it's a doubles match or a mixed doubles match.
    Sorry Tiffy but I disagree here, they didn't sin living together, or their children sin with having sex with close relatives(presumably) as the law forbiding this hadn't been written or enacted yet. I don't think God's laws are retrospective.
     
  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Church Fathers clearly teach on marriage, should I get you some quotes? And I bet I could find some councils which taught it definitively.

    There is of course the most sacred Scripture which teaches the nature of marriage.

    And as we have asserted many times, there are specifically Anglican teachings which assert the nature of marriage. You have countless Anglican theologians, should I get you some quotes? There are Lambeth Conference definitions of marriage, including the famous 1998 Lambeth which defined marriage as one man and one woman and which excoriated sodomites from trying to assert their relations as similar to a heteronormative family. What exactly more are you asking for?
     
  13. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You missed my meaning. I didn't say they "sinned by living together". I said they lived in sin all their lives. Once having sinned, everyone lives having sinned, for the rest of their lives. It does not fade away over time. In fact it usually grows and further infects the older we get. That's why we need a saviour and why we are all unfit to condemn others as sinners.
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  14. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Is the difference between “dogma” and “discipline” just not being understood here? I have made myself as clear as day and yet some of you keep quoting chapter and verse to me as though these were things I weren’t aware of or hadn’t already acknowledged. Do I need to diagram the argument?
     
  15. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think the difficulty here may be that Anglicans do not consider marriage a sacrament. We only have two sacraments: baptism, and the Lord's Supper. Theologically liberal Christians therefore try to argue that marriage is not sacramental and thus becomes adiaphora and not central to doctrine. Essentially, the liberal argument is that marriage is a cultural custom, and not a doctrine of the church.

    This is a silly argument, however. The Lord Jesus specifically speaks of marriage as being God's plan for his people (Matt. 19:4-8). A man and a woman are called to leave their parents and become "one flesh". It is clear from Jesus' teaching that this is an elemental state of God's children, not a specific rite or ritual. God designed it as a basic blueprint for the family. God himself established the marriage relationship in Gen. 2:24, and it is clearly this passage that Jesus is referring to.

    Husband, wife. Father, mother, children. Any deviation from that plan is contrary to God's will.

    Thus to say that marriage is not a sacrament does not mean that it is unimportant or adiaphora. Quite the contrary. Indeed our Lord found it so elemental that the union of man and woman under God could not be broken by any act of man, but only by the breaking of the marriage covenant by one or both partners through porneia. And even then Christian teaching urges contrition, repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation rather than divorce.

    It is the height of arrogance that some will try to unilaterally change an institution that has been the cornerstone of human society for literally thousands of years. It is a breath-taking example of hubris and conceit.
     
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  16. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    With respect, I think that you are the one who is confused. If people keep telling you you're drunk, maybe it's time to give the bartender your keys.
     
  17. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You seem almost to be implying that Jesus Christ our Lord departed from God's plan for human beings, by not getting married. Marriage is not mandatory. In fact it is only recommended as a preferable alternative to burning with uncontrollable passion. 1 Cor.7:9. Remaining single is the preferable state for human beings, more Christlike as it should be. What's wrong with celebacy?
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  18. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    No, I’ve been quite clear. The biblical text says what it says. The Church Fathers wrote what they wrote. That does not alter the fact that not all teachings belong to the same category, and that it is the Church’s prerogative to determine the pastorally most appropriate way to maintain order while still upholding the ideal of the Gospel in her public teaching. Sometimes the Church will judge the matter correctly, sometimes it won’t. This is hardly a radical position to take.
     
  19. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Both Jesus and Paul make allowances for the celibate life, but even they understood that a world full of celibates would have a hard time being fruitful and multiplying (Gen. 1:28). Marriage is not some lesser or degraded state; it is God's design for human beings, so that they can come together for procreation, mutual support, and fulfillment in both eros and storge. If God had wanted everyone to be celibate, he would have designed us without sexual organs. The point of marriage is union, of taking two incomplete people and making them one whole person.

    EDIT: 1 Cor. 7:1-5 gives a good overview of Paul's views on the matter. Far from objecting to the married state, Paul actually advocates for it. Paul also reinforces Christian teaching that divorce should never happen outside of porneia, and even then reconciliation is preferable.
     
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  20. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting that Judaism interprets marriage as a command. I suppose this teaching solidified in the post-NT period when the Mishnah was being codified. Protestantism seems to have inherited the worst of both worlds by insisting neither that marriage is mandatory nor that chastity is the highest ideal.