Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gafcon and the love of Christ

I am Anglican. My Lord says to me to judge nothing before the time. If two people come to me saying they have given their lives to Christ, if they have the mind to live together in Christ, I will trust him to teach them his way.

I think he will pay them a penny who came at the 11th hour, just as he will pay the penny to me. But I will not complain as if I had borne the heat of the day, because I know his love and it undermines my desire to lay down the law for someone else.

Their love is not unequal or exploiting or violent. So I do not condemn them. They and I may yet have many things to learn together. Christ Jesus teaches such acceptance through his death - our death in him. The result of such a gift is known only to those who obey it. It is not revealed to those who exploit positions of power or live by fear or impose their rule on others whom they do not understand.

If those in such positions of power knew the love of Christ, they would reason differently. They would say perhaps - 'not yet - for some will be offended' or they would say perhaps - 'it is time, for we have failed some who are different from us who also must now be accepted'. Then they will learn to read the Scripture better also and the Lord will show them what he has done.

It hurts me to write that those in power - specifically the religious power of the cloth - have been the worst abusers in the matter of sexuality. Release from these historical errors comes neither through licentiousness nor through legalism, but only in a new creation by the Spirit through the death of Christ. If the religious had known this, they could have saved themselves.


codepoke said...

I'm always interested when I agree with all the points an author makes, but don't agree with the conclusion.

Love, good. A penny apiece, good. Acceptance, good. New creation and Spirit, good. Lovingly accepting gay marriage, not so good.

Things that make me say, "Hmmm."

I'll tell the passage that comes to mind. It's 1 Cor 5. Paul points out that the Corinthians were proud of being so accepting, but that they ought not to be.

Peace, brother.

Bob MacDonald said...

I must admit that as it would have been easier for Paul to advocate circumcision of Gentile converts, (Galatians 5:11) it would be easier for me not to support committed same-sex relationships. I, like my wife, have had concerns with the word 'marriage' in relationship to this issue of our times.

As to 1 Corinthians 5, is a man living with his father's wife an equal relationship? We don't have much information.

I know of two men bringing up two adopted brothers, now in their teens, and both children with some issues of difficult to manage behaviour, perhaps fetal alcohol effects. I consider that these two men are doing a good job for their children - and these are children who were not being adopted by a 'normal' family. The men in question have both given their lives to Christ. What will he do with them? Perhaps they will secretly learn celibacy! Is it not God who sees in secret?

This is a civil marriage with all the financial and legal protection that such an arrangement allows. It can never be a fruitful marriage in one sense but it may not be so impossible to see fruitfulness in another- much the same way as a heterosexual marriage that is barren but where the partners have a wide ranging effect as teachers.

(The men had asked my wife and me for advice. Two of my four children are adopted and one with FAE. It is a very difficult problem.)

Thank you for your comment and your blessing. Today I need peace - I had to be backup DBA for a very difficult support call - now not to be resolved till Monday.

codepoke said...

I'm sorry for the tech issue. I fix those for a living, and I know they're not fun for anyone, even if they're not as knotty as the subject of this post.

I did not doubt there was a way to see 1 Cor 5 as inapplicable to the question, and I appreciate the possibility that it is not. It is a knotty problem, though, and cutting true with hand tools through knotty lumber is more art than science.

May the Spirit guide your hand.