But mummy, he hasn’t got anything on!

An excellent post found at http://bishopalan.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/but-mummy-he-hasnt-got-anything-on.html

One way Bishops can respond to the government’s consultation on gay marriage is sitting on our hands, staring out the window, going ho-hum, hoping that the whole thing will just go away.

Yesterday the archbishop of Wales showed a better way:
Dr Barry Morgan said the Church would not be able to ignore the new legislation on civil marriage proposed by the Government, despite the fact that the legislation would not allow gay couples to marry in church. He called on the Church to discuss how it would respond.He said, “If the legislation to allow civil marriage is passed, I cannot see how we as a church, will be able to ignore the legality of the status of such partnerships and we ought not to want to do so.“The question then as now is, will the church protect and support pastorally, faithful, stable, lifelong relationships of whatever kind in order to encourage human values such as love and fidelity and recognise the need in Christian people for some public religious support for these…"

What this discussion is uncovering for me, is the extent to which I am, at heart, an Evangelical who believes in Marriage. That’s not “Evangelical” in a Fundamentalist sense — I don’t think fundamentalism is particularly good news to anyone, not even fundamentalists.

I am Evangelical enough to believe that Christ is, in fact, risen and we are, actually, his body in the world, charged in Matthew 28 to be good news to the whole creation, by observing his commands. He didn’t say “keep everything the same” let alone “suppress gays.” He did say “Love your neighbour as yourself” and “Judge not that ye be not judged.” He did say “take the beam out of your eye before you try and remove the mote from someone else’s” and “Love as I have loved you.”

Is there  anything unclear about any of that? I don’t think so.

Therefore the highest duty of the Church is not to preserve institutions, but to be, simply and completely, good news. The gospel isn’t “good news/bad news” or “good news as long as you buy it properly.” It isn’t even “what would Jesus do?” It’s “What is Jesus actually doing through the whole creation, and trying to do through us if only we got real?”

Jesus referred marriage back to the way God actually made us. Marriage is a gift of God in creation that strengthens community and expresses divine love — that’s what’s meant by calling it “sacramental.”

In fact a very small but significant proportion of every human population is gay. If some of these people want to build stable faithful relationships based on love, that has to be a good thing. Love is love wherever it is found. We know it by its fruits, not its origins. But the fruits reveal the origin. God is love and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them. This is the good news.

Thus the prime question Christians have to ask is not “is the idea of ay marriage right or wrong?” but, whatever we make of the theory of the matter, “how can we be good news to the real human beings involved?”

Whatever the rights and wrongs of gay marriage it could be advancing the Church towards a rather healing Emperor’s New Clothes moment.

This entry was posted in Christianity, Church, Community, Culture, Evangelism, Fundamentalism, Institution, Integrity, Jesus, Law, Marriage, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

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