Although Catholic the recent declarations by the Church of England on same sex marriage has interested me. After all this was the Church that came from its schism with Rome over marriage and, as it appears to me, here we are again.
One of the things that struck me about this BBC article Was the images of those protesting the recent church document on same sex marriage and attraction.
The ‘what would Jesus do?’ sign is interesting. To me these statements are often followed by aligning Jesus with one’s own thought.
Well what would Jesus do? In Matthew 19 there is this discussion about marriage;
3 Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” 8 He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.”[a]
10 His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
It’s clear from this that Jesus validates the scriptural statements regarding marriage; that it’s between a man and a woman.
If Jesus is God, as Christians are meant to believe, then that’s what marriage is. Some people will no doubt argue, as they do with many other issues of modern equality dogma such as women priests, that Jesus was acting within the moral constraints of his time. Well let’s look at that argument.
Firstly Judaism was unusual in its explicit refusal to acknowledge homosexual relations of being valid let alone equal. Both the Greeks and the Romans did so, but Judaism didn’t. So if you believe that the Bible is inspired by God’s word and that Israel was God’s chosen people to bring forth the messiah in a relatively holy nation, then you have to ask why this isn’t the case if that is what God wanted.
Secondly this assumption means that Jesus himself would have been at worst sinful and at best just unknowingly wrong. Yes, Jesus was wrong to uphold the definition of marriage between one man and one woman. So how does this fit with his being God? Although God’s power was limited when Jesus took on human form, we can’t square the circle with hat thought as we’re stuck with the reality that Jesus would have sinned.
Thirdly, if you’re going to suggest that Jesus knew it was sinful but was just ‘a product of his time’ that ignores the way in which Jesus was quite willing to buck the social mores of the time; talking to woman who were not his tribe, let alone his family, including the Samaritans in his dialogue, teaching women, touching women whilst on their period, challenging the Pharisees etc. The list is endless.
If Jesus upheld this as marriage then it is either marriage, or he’s wrong and he’s not God. Take your pick, but looking at it from that angle I don’t think that you can be a Christian in good standing on this subject if you reject that and campaign against it.
Did God really say….
The “What would Jesus do?” sign and “Proud to be gay….now make me proud to be Christian” signs are telling.
When Satan tempts Eve in the garden, just as when he tempts the new Adam (Jesus) in the desert, he questions God’s word and therefore his morality; “Did God really say that you could not eat the fruit from any tree within the garden?”
Nope, God didn’t say that. He said that you couldn’t eat the fruit from the tree in the centre of the garden, because if you do you will die. Eve does reply to this effect of course, but then Satan comes in with a counter punch. “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Notice the inference? God just doesn’t want you to have any fun. God just doesn’t want you to be as good as him. How many times have you heard that argument in your life? I used to know a man who taught RE and he was always advising pupils that when they were due to right their answers just to assume that Catholics would say no, because in his words, “Catholics say no to everything.” I started to respond, “Well, they don’t say no to life”.
Same argument, different mouth, same origin.
The people campaigning against the decision that same sex marriage is not Christian, saying that it is wrong in other words, are basically state they know good from evil, and denying same sex marriage makes the church evil. However in the same breath they ignore the very words of Jesus himself, or believe that they – in these more enlightened times – are in a position to correct the Lord.
Does God hate?
When he tells us not to do things, does he hate? Or is it because if we do them we will surely die? I’m not going to go into the health statistics of same sex intercourse here, but let’s just look at the hate part.
Firstly if we return to the passage at the top of the page you can see that God doesn’t just call out homosexual behaviour, but he’s not exactly easy going with heterosexual sex also. So, for example, at present you can become divorced and remarried and the Church of England will bless that marriage. But it is quite clear that for Jesus this was a big no, no. It’s adultery.
In fact in terms of heterosexuality Jesus goes further; if you even look at someone with lust in your heart you’re committing adultery. Matthew 5;
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into hell.
Yes, that’s right, tear out your eye and cut off your hand (looking at this passage as a whole you can easily see how it is argued that Jesus is talking here about masturbation). It seems that serious.
So, are you telling me that those people surrounding him at the time were not guilty of this? Are you further telling me that he hated them? Are you saying that by telling them this Jesus was a ‘hater’, a ‘heterophobic’?
So why does he tell them this? Well look around you. Look at our divorce rates, abortion, the sexualisation of everyone (I’m so fed up of hearing grandmothers who’ve been raped even, that’s how depraved we’ve become), the depression that our youngsters suffer – you think that’s good?
Who Is Marriage For?
Again, I’m not going to go into the why in this post as I think it would take too long, but it’s clear marriage is for heterosexuals and it’s for life. So how about homosexuals? Let’s look again at what Jesus has to say about marriage;
“Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
When we define eunuch this is predominantly those who can’t or don’t have sex either through birth, through intervention by another’s hand or through choice. Some would say that this refers to the reality of homosexuality, which is debatable, but if it is it agains points to homosexuality being outside of marriage.
If the CofE ruled that homosexuals could marry it would go against the word of Jesus. When you introduce other arguments after this point you move further away from your belief as Christ as God, and more towards your belief that you are.
God be with you, and please pray he is with me.