Toward an Evolutionary Christian Marriage

In discussing the issue of same sex unions (henceforth SSU) we find ourselves coming to the question of marriage – the holy union. Now when it comes to the legalities of marriage vs. civil unions vs. domestic partnerships/registered partnerships we enter into different realms of liberty. The rights of same sex couples through registrations like Civil Unions (recognized in Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey) or domestic partnerships (California, DC, Connecticut, Washington) or registered partnerships (the remaining US) legitimize some (and sometimes all) privileges awarded to married couples. Civil unions grant generally all the rights of marriage save marriage itself. Domestic partnerships grant contractual similarities to marriage and some representative similarities. Registered partnerships essentially allow for a name change and a shared mortgage.

Obviously the discussion in the church has little to do with rights, in a sense of legality, concerning SSU but raises the issue of equality and spirituality. In my opinion, this discussion is for the church not the secular world. Christians attempting to determine proper societal structures through legislation is a slap in the face to our US constitution. Taking the moral objectives of christian theology, tying an argument about the ‘definition of marriage’ to it and attempting to package the entire thought as a moral dilemma is convoluted. I do believe that faith should be a part of politics – our ethics should prepare us to deal with social situations. I do not believe our religion should be legislating arguments, our beliefs about issues (rather than god) should not be held as candid consideration for a common view. As christians we hold our faith in god, not perceived righteousness.

This discussion has breached the frustrating phrase, “the question of biblical marriage”. Now ADJ, you may have been correct citing these practices in marriage relationships throughout the origins of the Christian Tradition as a thought provoking act but I believe you fail to grasp the point. The reason these practices seem odd is because they have changed. Unfortunately no one actually means ‘biblical marriage’ when they say ‘biblical marriage’. This is mostly because the adjective “biblical” really doesn’t mean anything outside of worldview*. Thus we enter into the (more appropriate) territory of Christian Marriage – a marriage considering god, the church and the effervescent relationship between these and the two marrying. Is this concept (christian marriage) stagnant? Have Christians from the first century and onward considered marriage as we do now? How is marriage as an institution good and pleasing in the eyes of the creator?

We must begin by admitting, the joining of two persons of the same sex in holy matrimony was not practiced in early christianity. We should also admit, marriages between differing races, namely Jew and Gentile, was also considered unacceptable; remarriage after divorce was grounds for excommunication; Roman Catholics did not accept ‘mixed marriages’ in their churches until the Council of Trent. In these arenas an evolution of ‘belief’ has taken place. Though the practice of polygamy has dwindled in most forms since our hebraic heritage (save some more primal eccentricities) it would be fair to say marriage has evolved throughout Christendom.

Roman Catholics have made a few developments in their theology of marriage concerning its faculty. Before vatican two (henceforth V2) the primary function of marriage was procreation, after V2 marriage was the expression of love, for “the good of the spouses”.
In the Encyclical “Humanae Vitae” by Paul VI. They write,

Married love particularly reveals its true nature and nobility when we realize that it takes its origin from God, who “is love,” the Father “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.”

Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.

they go on,

The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, through which human life is transmitted, is, as the recent Council recalled, “noble and worthy.” It does not, moreover, cease to be legitimate even when, for reasons independent of their will, it is foreseen to be infertile. For its natural adaptation to the expression and strengthening of the union of husband and wife is not thereby suppressed. The fact is, as experience shows, that new life is not the result of each and every act of sexual intercourse.

Admittedly no consideration in these dialogues took credence to SSUs but the essence of the change, marriage as the expression of love, pertains to the gay couple.

Along with the See of the 1960s, I align this evolution with the developing view of equality women have had inside the church. They exist for more than just child bearing – women are now able to communicate fully their confessions of faith, even teach men these confessions. In Protestantism further steps have been taken, churches allow Christians to marry non-christians without fuss*, a couple that desires to marry, though previously wed, may do so with the consent of a minister. These rights were not afforded to christians in the earlier church. An evolution of belief – of marriage – has taken place.

Why then do Christians hold to a ‘traditional view’ of marriage if the ground for such an argument is so shaky? The Archbishop, Rowan Williams made this statement in his treatises for gay christianity, “The Body’s Grace

In fact, of course, in a church which accepts the legitimacy of contraception, the absolute condemnation of same-sex relations of intimacy must rely either on an abstract fundamentalist deployment of a number of very ambiguous texts, or on a problematic and non-scriptural theory about natural complementarity, applied narrowly and crudely to physical differentiation without regard to psychological structures.

Is such a view characterized by the life produced from heterosexual marriages? Is it the propensity to produce life an argument for what makes a marriage valid, even right? Such a clear distinction is lacking in the scriptures. If one were to apply a basic hermeneutic to passages relating to relationship, take a recently used passage in Matthew 19. One can clearly see the point of the passage in context: we were made to commune – to love one another. “Therefore what god has joined together, let man not separate!”

Let me attempt to argue for the gay christian marriage. Take two individuals, both male. Let us attest these men to separately being christ-followers. They live confessing, worshipping and communing as faithful church attendees. The two meet, fall in love and develop a desire to consummate their union with the blessing of the church. What the two lived out separately, they will continue to live out together. This is the model of the Christian marriage. Their love for one another is god’s doing. I write again, “Therefore what god has joined together, let man not separate”.

Again, this is less about legalization than it is about civil rights and equality. If only one goal is reached it should be the protection of the gay christian as a valid member of the communion. If indeed it is sin, let us fight for the sinner, that grace may convict him. If indeed it is not, let us pray that same grace convict us. If we fight against injustices done against him, we have stepped into an all together holier ground.

*In saying “worldview” I hold regard to communities who practice exegetical methods of biblical interpretation as well as those who fly liberally and conservatively on a whim of cultural normativity**. Thus biblical means ‘correct’ or ‘accepted’, as scripture is inevitably interpreted through the lens of partiality.
**Yes, Jeremy there are cultural norms.
*Though already permitted the in the Pauline corpus this was later outlawed in early practice.

Advertisements

44 Comments

  1. For what it’s worth, it bears repeating that I wasn’t even intending to make a point with the previous post. I mostly intended to be mildly facetious in linking to and reposting that article. Why more people didn’t just get a chuckle out of it and move on still confuses and amuses me in equal parts.

    However….

    On the whole, however, I tend to agree with the thrust of your piece.

    And I think it begs this question;

    What if two people, a man and woman, who are not Christians and may or may not even believe in God, go ahead and have a Christian marriage in a church for the sake of tradition? You know, to keep family happy or whatever. Many people do that.

    In the church’s eyes, is the heterosexual “Christian” marriage of two non-Christians more valid than two Christian homosexuals wanting to be married in the sight of God because they believe in Christian marriage as an extension of their faith? Aren’t the non-Christians “just as bad,” in a manner of speaking?

    One could easily argue that the straight couple is doing the right thing (getting married in God’s eyes) for the wrong reasons and the gay couple is doing the wrong thing (getting married, or even living, as a gay couple) for the right reasons.

    Is that coherent?

    Because in the end, I think you are right, this is not an issue for the political realm. Sure, Christians should vote their conscience, but they must also must realize that not everyone in the US is a Christian. Forcing a belief system or certain practices through government and legislation on people who do not hold the same belief system is historically a bad idea. And it often has the effect of making those outside the belief system resent the believers even more simply because it’s being forced on them.

    Does that make sense?

    Reply

  2. ADJ~

    Well, whether you were attempting to make a point or not, you should. The fruit of your lack-of-labor shows the subject has merit.

    I think your question is an interesting one. I find it interesting, non-christians being coerced into christian marriage through peer pressure. Part of the big problem with this is – the determination for how one is qualified in the realm of faith can leave the subject ambiguous. Many people who are born into a christian family, never step foot into a church, nor crack a holy page, consider themselves ‘christians’.

    What is great to me about being gay, you can’t half-ass it (and please let the pun of that soak in for a moment). Being gay and a believer is difficult – it is the collision of both worlds by active choice to live within the dissension they cause.

    Is this point a double standard? Maybe. The argument isn’t whether or not one should be christian and participate in christian marriage, the argument is the question of christian marriage itself.

    … but it does bug me.

    Reply

  3. This is my brief response, I may have a longer one shortly.

    Sounds a lot like an argument that Foucault would make. Morality is similar to language in that it is defined in the realm of the current sociological normality.

    Often times we discuss the issue of homosexuality (and for that guess heterosexuality) without ever addressing the question: What is the purpose of sexuality? Maybe this has been addressed elsewhere, or in the comments above (I didn’t read those), but I am curious as to how you would address the issue of sexuality in general without the concern of homo/hetero-sexuality . . .

    Reply

  4. “The fruit of your lack-of-labor shows the subject has merit.”

    Now that made me smile.

    And I think it is actually a very interesting question. I’m not just flattering myself here, okay, it has really gotten me thinking this evening.

    I’m going to consider the implications and get back to you guys on this one. Maybe with a serious post.

    It just seems odd.. that there is no public outcry from the church to keep traditional Christian marriage for Christians only. The only people they’re trying to keep out are the gays, whether they have faith or not, instead the straight (acceptable) yet unreligious folks.

    Shouldn’t this strike us as backwards?

    Reply

  5. ADJ~

    Again, the brunt of the dialogue is in Christian Marriage. Can two non believing, or non practicing persons take part in Christian marriage? I think yes and no.
    Yes, when two profess to be married in the church it is by the blessing of the father, son and holy spirit. The act itself calls for god to intervene in the relationship, making it holy.
    No, two people who are not in commune with god cannot do christian marriage. I believe the act implies a continued seeking and consultation between god and the people of god.

    JCD~

    I would argue Chomsky – our world is defined through the lens of language. This would pertain to a universal form and function of communication as well as its tangentiality – shooting off into culture, redefining our norms.

    I believe sexuality to be the commune of persons in an expression of intimacy. Heterosexuality and homosexuality alike may do this in a loving way or a non loving way. I would add the adjective “loving” to intimacy in such cases.

    I can only define sex as a function in lieu of my experience of it. Sex is foremost an act of committed, loving and vulnerable expression. I believe it strengthens the unity of the two* involved in the act and gives insight to who the partners are. When performed in love, I believe it to be a physical manifestation of god’s love on earth – exciting, explosive and utterly all consuming.

    I believe this is why sexuality is such a draw. The act requires the whole of the person as it interacts with the whole of another. The quintessential commune of the Dasein – if you will.

    Reply

  6. *in the above writing I was referring to the act between two. I do not have a formulation for polygamous intercourse. I only know it as an orgy – which I believe to be simply a carnal manifestation of selfish gain.

    Reply

  7. “Let me attempt to argue for the gay christian marriage. Take two individuals, both male. Let us attest these men to separately being christ-followers. They live confessing, worshipping and communing as faithful church attendees. The two meet, fall in love and develop a desire to consummate their union with the blessing of the church. What the two lived out separately, they will continue to live out together. This is the model of the Christian marriage. Their love for one another is god’s doing. I write again, “Therefore what god has joined together, let man not separate”.”

    Are you equating love with sex?

    IMO the most difficult problem with gay marriage is the Christian relationship btwn Christ and His bride the church.
    THAT is THE model for marriage. And I don’t see how one can view the church as male. For that matter I don’t see how divorce is viable under that model either, but that’s another topic.

    Reply

  8. Tony,

    I would say that even if a non-believing heterosexual couple should be denied Christian marriage. Christian marriage is just that, Christian; and as the liturgies go, their commitment to each other and to God is held accountable by their fellowship. This gets blurred in sacramental Churches sometimes, since the sacrament of marriage is a saving grace; but I see no reason that a priest or pastor should marry a couple they just met!

    Reply

  9. QBoA~

    Love and sex? No. These are not synonymous. I’m sure you read, just two posts ago, I used the verbs, expression, manifestation and commune – all in reference to love, a part of love.

    May I ask, do you think two gay persons are capable of loving one another in sexual expression? Is such an act simply carnal?

    You write:
    “IMO the most difficult problem with gay marriage is the Christian relationship btwn Christ and His bride the church.”

    So, what is your problem? I am trying to think of what could cause problem in your mind. The use of ‘bride’ in concordance with ‘church’ seems a silly thing to actualize out of its parabolic and apocalyptic themes. This metaphorical language pertains to the relationship between the communion of the saints and the messiah. This includes ‘married’ members of the church – who have ‘divided their interests’. Perhaps you can clear this up for me.

    ADH~

    Is holy water not holy because a non believer touches it? Is the host unblessed for when received unfaithfully?

    It is what god does that makes things holy – it is the act of christians that makes things christian. When someone proclaims two united in the name of the father the son and the holy spirit, how can you deem this as anything but christian?

    Now, I do recall a passage where ‘Paul’ writes: “husbands, love your wives as christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

    Reply

  10. Dan,

    I didn’t say that the Sacrament carries less weight, per se. Even a Catholic recognizes the “validity” of other Christians Trinitarian baptisms and marriages.

    But the truth and accountability is lost on a non-believing couple. It makes Christian marriage less believable and the Church’s testimony weak.

    Paul does speak of those who take the Sacrament without discerning its purpose after all.

    Reply

  11. doshoe,

    Great questions.

    1) “May I ask, do you think two gay persons are capable of loving one another in sexual expression? Is such an act simply carnal?”

    No I don’t. I don’t see how the two can become one flesh, nor how one can be male to cleave to the wife to become one. The only reason i ever bring up this Old testament references is because Jesus referenced them as relevant in His time on earth.

    Men & women were created by divine design to mutual self-giving. When two persons of the same sex give to each other, by definition the bonding is sterile by their mutual “choice” of partner, not due to physical limitations beyond their control like a sterile married heterosexual couple. Because of this choice I do not believe that the homosexual couple are able to hold mutual self-giving it remain strictly inward self love seeking gratification in the use of another, not unlike heterosexual relationships outside of marriage.

    I should add that in Catholicism there is a whole body of theology drawn around the phrase mutual self giving –
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/jp2tb16.htm

    2) “The use of ‘bride’ in concordance with ‘church’ seems a silly thing to actualize out of its parabolic and apocalyptic themes. This metaphorical language pertains to the relationship between the communion of the saints and the messiah. This includes ‘married’ members of the church – who have ‘divided their interests’. Perhaps you can clear this up for me.”

    This is probably the most difficult part to bridge the gap btwn us, because of our different starting points. “Church” has numerous meanings depending on context. In this context (that I’m using)the church is in point of fact indefectible. That’s correct without flaw, sin or corruption. This is not just in the future at the resurrection, but currently exists today. This understanding rests with Eph 5:27- “and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

    The holiness of the church is not based on its members, but on the actions of the Holy Spirit through its members, otherwise we couldn’t acknowledging Rm 3:23 that we are all sinners.

    I don’t think I can explain/clarify this enough communicate my position to you without linking numerous other sites. So I’ll leave it as is.

    Tom

    Reply

  12. So it seems we should start denying marriage to non-Christians as a rule.

    And of course, this would have to be retroactive. People like Hugh Heffner, the obvious un-Christians, should be the first to get a notice in the mail. I think it would look like this.

    ***

    We’ve been reviewing our records and it looks like you’re married! Congratulations!

    In order to comply with God’s commands for Christian marriage, we’d now like to ask you a few simple questions.

    1. Are you a Christian? (Circle one?)

    a. Yes

    b. No

    (If you answered No, please skip to Question 3.)

    2. What church do you belong to?

    (Please provide the church’s name and address, your personal testimony, and tithe receipts for at least the last fiscal year.)

    3. Since you’re not a Christian, how would you like your marriage license revoked?

    a. I want to become a Christian so I can stay married! Please send more information.

    b. Please send a priest to my house to collect my marriage license and shake the dust off of his feet as he leaves. (There will be a 75.00 service fee.)

    c. I’ll just throw it away myself and start living in sin!

    You have 60 days to respond to this notice, or your marriage will be annulled by the state.

    ***

    Yeah, I think that should work.

    Reply

  13. Tom~

    Well, I am unwillingly just going to have to say – we must simply disagree. I see incredible logic in your point when I attempt to take on your view of the church.

    Allow me to just clarify – just for the sake of understanding
    On point 1:
    – I say, two same sex individuals can “love” each other sexually. This love is the result of their relationship with god and the church.
    – I hear you say, love should be mutually self giving. By biological design (and thus metaphysical design) the two than cannot ‘love’ one another.

    From this, I concede your point has merit – based on the propensity the opposing sexes have to give biologically, there must be some ‘above the physical’ rationale for it. I simply disagree. I believe love, the love shared between the two, is drawn from their connection with the absolute love of their creator – and thus incites physical propensity to be sexually involved.

    On point 2:
    – I say, the church is a conglomeration of fallen, wrong and immoral sinners who all confess Jesus as Lord – working out their salvation.
    – I hear you say, the church is without flaw, blemish or corruption. We are now justified as we will be on the last day.

    On this, I simply do not understand. It may be my low-church upbringing I cannot see past. I still see humanity when I see church. I agree the holy spirit – who is blameless, truthful and pure – is at work. I just accept the interplay of spirit and people as the dissonance which is the church.

    I am curious about your thoughts on these … have I characterized you accurately? What do you make of these differences?

    Reply

  14. ADJ~

    I laughed at your post, though it should be said – you are being a little too coy.

    The question really is, which are you going to defend?
    1. the sovereignty of the church
    2. the rights of its members

    I fall on number 2. Tom falls to number 1.
    I can only assume how far you are falling … 🙂

    Reply

  15. But those aren’t the only two possible answers. For that question, I’ll take the bull between the horns and choose:

    3. The rights for all people, regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation.

    I believe marriage is something practiced both within and outside of the church. IMO, the church has no trump card to play when it comes to homosexuals.

    But I realize that’s not exactly the direction you’re going, so I’ll stop hijacking your post.

    Reply

  16. Tony,

    Your glorious satire misses the point. It’s not about “revoking” people heretofore married but about what marriage in the Church is. People can get married by the State, they have no “need” for the Church.

    I would point you to The Episcopal Church’s liturgy for Holy Matrimony:

    The vows are taken in the “Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” in front of those gathered who agree together and who witness as the Church to their commitment. It is prayed that “their life together (is) a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world” etc… All culminating in the Eucharist, which of course only baptized believers should be taking.

    That is, the theology and accountability is absolutely nothing at all comensurate with the union of two non-believers (and perhaps even nominal believers, but that’s not a hard and fast rule).

    They could perhaps rent the building, but as far as being married by the priest/pastor…? I say it doesn’t square with what we believe the Church and marriage to be.

    Reply

  17. I think I get it, now.

    And I guess it makes me realize, I do view marriage differently than you guys do.

    I may not even belong in this discussion, since it presumes certain parameters and imperatives be met, or established as a groundwork for the discourse; things which I simply don’t acknowledge or embrace the way you guys do.

    Reply

  18. Oh, I realize that. No worries.

    It’s just that this isn’t a theological issue for me. It’s an equality issue. Theology really doesn’t enter the arena because I see marriage as a cultural practice. Church has it’s version of marriage, but I guess that doesn’t elicit a response from me other than facetiousness because I don’t recognize any claim on ‘the right way to be married’, whether from the church or anywhere else. To each his own, IMO.

    (And please, don’t get all reductio ad adsurdum on me. I know some people want to marry sheep. I don’t care.)

    🙂

    I’m not writing you guys off, either. I just want to leave room for others more suited to the discussion.

    Reply

  19. Doshoe,

    “I say, two same sex individuals can “love” each other sexually. This love is the result of their relationship with god and the church.”

    I believe that two persons of the same sex can love -Greek – eros & philia. There is no doubt that gays can recognize the good in another member of the same sex. IOW they recognize Christ within that individual.

    “I believe love, the love shared between the two, is drawn from their connection with the absolute love of their creator – and thus incites physical propensity to be sexually involved.”

    The problem with this is that the Creator gives He does not take. The love two gay members experience I would guess is one of taking it from another. There is no fruitfulness in this type of relationship. God in His relationship with us bears fruit in mankind becoming sons of God. The Christian marriage bears fruit in participating in the creating of new persons. Gay couples are unable to do so without the use of technology. Even with the technology I don’t see how this changes the relationship btwn the two in their inability to full share themselves in self giving.

    On point # two its simply too large to address here. Briefly I’ll say:

    There are from my tradition three primary aspects to the term church.
    1) The church in heaven
    2) the church suffering(Purgatory)
    3) the church militant (the present on earth).

    The last is broken down further into the church 3a)-universal (all the laity in the world, all the bishops united with the pope, all the Orthodox believers, all other Christians, and all others who are outside of Christianity,and only God knows they are members.
    3b)-local(in union with the bishop)
    3c)- the church local with the priest(relatively new concept- only the last 1200 year;>)
    3d) -the church as family

    I think you’d have trouble recognizing anything but perhaps 3c & d minus the priest. IF I only recognized those as church I’d likely support your view on it.

    Reply

  20. ADJ~

    I cannot emphasize enough that this discussion is for Christian Marriage. Should those professing belief in Christ and acting as members of the church be allowed to marry … because they are gay.

    The issue of marriage alone? There is a huge issue to tackle. I will try to stay within the bounds of the american political structure and say: state marriages sound cool to me.

    Tom~
    #1
    I don’t want to get into the discussion of love per our understandings of those two greek words. To recognize Christ within another? There!!! We can agree.

    I attempted to argue on this fruitfulness subject. The fruit of Christian marriage is love. Additional fruit is offspring. So, as I tried to convey – the merit of the Gay Christian relationship is the expression of love.
    #2
    As you rightfully said, this is not a discussion for here. I would be interested in talking this through with you though. I did grew up protestant but I have recently converted to Anglicanism (through TEC … and Wright). So I may grasp a bit better these bishops and priests of whom you speak.

    Reply

  21. Well of course.

    If one admits that gays(as an individual) can be Christians, then they have the capacity and the calling to love their neighbor as themselves. The ability to recognize Christ within others.

    On the topic of love and marriage, lets reverse the frame of reference. Is the individual able to love without marriage and without sex? I think the answer has to be yes. Indeed this may be the point St. Paul is making in that it is better to remain single then married.

    On point #2 sure be glad to. Start a different thread.

    Blessings,

    Tom/QB

    Reply

  22. Is the individual able to love without marriage and without sex?
    Yes

    I don’t believe that is the question. The real question is may the Gay Christian marry – and thus have sex through the blessing of the church.

    Reply

  23. Well then the Real, Real question is what is the vocation of a gay Christian. Whether the gay quality of the individual is from genetic, social or a combo of the two the Christian vocation of those individuals is not marriage. Again the bride of Christ (here I’m speaking of the church in heaven and in purgatory) has rejected gay marriage in ancient, early,middle, and high middle ages, the industrial age, the modern age. Its only in the information age say 1970 onwards that it was called into question and still hasn’t received a wide acceptance within the church(here the term is reference to the church in the time on earth & comprised of Catholic & Orthodox(who make up the overwhelming majority) and the majority of the protestant communions.

    So for you to make your case with me you’d have to widen your argument both in time span and geography and I don’t believe that is possible. For that matter I’d widen the topic base even further. There is no doubt IMO that this country will move towards acceptance of gay marriage, primarily by secular humanist and lax cultural christians.

    However the demographic will not favor that for very long. I suspect that by 2050 due to Islamic influence it will be withdrawn under a growing dhimmitude much like in European countries. But that’s way off topic into social and political issues masked by religious ones -sorry. But since Islam is now the largest monotheistic religion in the world they do not support gay marriage and would be shall be say less open to it then traditional Christianity has been.

    Reply

  24. Fascinating discussion to follow. Specifically how each person involved has attempted to dichotomize the discussion. I don’t think I have anything to add at this point. I do, however, want to make a brief comment in regards to Tom’s speculation of the future of this issue.
    Tom,
    I believe that your view of Islam is a bit antiqueted. The reason I say this is because it does not seem to take into account the massive struggles that are being had within the Islamic world in regards to equality and human rights. Much like Christianity before it, Islam has recently been thrown into chaos over the issues of first womens rights and now gay rights as well. It seems to me that Islam is not far behind Christianity in its progression toward a more equal sexual ethic. Again that was all a side not, but I wanted to speak to your “prophecy” of the future of this debate. 🙂 Perphaps your prognostication was more wishful thinking than honest analysis.

    Reply

  25. jhgharineh,

    At 1.3 billion followers lets say 10% is radical. That’s 130 million Jihadist. I crack up when I see countries like the US saying they will send an envoy to Gaza(average age 17)or West bank (age 20). Unemployed, uneducated and bearly able to shave and we send in George Mitchell or Jim Baker. Yea I’m sure they relate to that;>)
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2177.html

    There is no doubt that the majority of Islam is moderate, however the overwhelming majority of Inmans are radical. And their funding comes mostly from seed money from the Sauda’s Wahabiism and hard line views of the Qur’an and Hadith.

    Add to that Refugees are much more likely to be radicalized and one look at those numbers would like show that the 10% figure I use is lowballing it.
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2194.html

    I had a friend that works at MSP and one of the challenges he had to work with is the Islamic taxi drivers. This is a problem all over the country now about whether the drivers can apply Islam law to their cab. Shar’i law as far as I know is supported by both radical and moderate believers. This is simply the first logical steps by Muslims towards Dhimmitude. The difference btwn what we currently have here in the USA vs. Europe is that over there you have civil war. That will likely take place here within your life time.

    One needs to keep in mind that a Mosque is not just an Islamic church(which is what I find most Christians think when they see one) it is much more like a county gov’t seat as well. Islam doesn’t believe in separation of church and state. Your local young muslim working in a store sees a fertile field for conversion especially in down economic times and loyality to the local mosque is higher then to the new country he lives in.

    Sorry but the culture we currently live in has embraced the culture of death. We are in fact breeding ourselves onto the endangered species list (as far as western Christian society goes). The issue of gay marriage, abortion, divorce and contraception work as a whole against us.

    Lets face it just playing with numbers France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Britian, Japan will all be culturally dead within 50 years. No nation has ever come back when the replacement rate of a country falls below 1.7.

    Their respective religions in those countries were already on the ropes and have no hope of coming back. Think about the cross roads you guys are faced with. Greek & Russian Orthodoxy, all the reformation communions, Shintoism will all effectively will be gone in 50 years just by attrition. The only reason Catholicism will thrive is because it has already committed to the global south, India & Africa where rates are double or triple that of the golbal north.

    The conflict you say Islam is facing won’t IMO appear due to demographics. This country has already demostrated the inability to absorb the Hispanic culture. Instead the Hispanic culture is changing the native culture. I don’t have a problem with that, but with respect to Islam we will have 50 million believers in this country by 2050. That’s based strickly on birth rates not conversions. Christianity in the west is showing signs of exhaustion and unable to convert Islam.

    Sorry I knew this was going to get way off track.

    I wish is wasn’t wishful thinking. Its a nightmare.

    Reply

  26. I’m sorry, we’re an endangered species? (I assume you mean a form of Christianity is endangered.)

    Because as a race, if there was no contraception, no abortion and no homosexuality, we’d just outgrow the available habitable space on this earth faster than we currently are. Population growth is not exactly slowing down.

    Sorry….. tangent.

    Anyway. I don’t see these things happening in America, not quite like this.

    Current trends in a population context might suggest some of that, but much sooner I see America eventually going the way a lot of European countries have, being fed up with religion and throwing it all out.

    I think churches will lose tax exempt status soon and start having to admit that they are businesses like any other country club. They have members, they have functions, and once in a while they have community get-togethers as well.

    The ones that can’t afford paying taxes will close, the ones that make it through that will have to start playing nice with their neighbors or they’ll begin losing more rights. I don’t think Islam will have a chance to get that firmly rooted before the rest of the US is just plain tired of the issues that church leaders insist getting their way.

    Science and culture are moving on. If the church doesn’t change, like it always has in the past, it will die out.

    Reply

  27. OK last time off subject.

    Can I suggest that the concept of population explosion is no longer viable. Quite the opposite will occur and the current administration will help to accelerate that global problem with its family planning via the UN.

    If you look at the latest data (use the CIA since its current to 2008 and some 2009) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html#People

    Currently we are at 6.7 billion people on earth. We will peak at 9.1 billion in 2045. We will fall off a cliff from there and we will be at 4.5 billion in 2100 and increasing in decline.

    Some factors can reverse the decline in the 22nd century but nothing can stop the decline through the end of the 21 century. By endangered I mean the majority of western civilization (which includes for this discussion Orthodoxy, Protestantism and Catholicism).

    India, China and Africa will repopulate Europe, Russia and America.

    “Population growth is not exactly slowing down.”

    Actually it has, the world population continues to rise because of the quality of health care and increased means of crop yields and preservation of food sources. We live longer, however that does not help with the replacement of humans. We’re aging to rapidly and our fertility window is shorter especially in the developed world and increasingly in the under developed one.

    That’s why half the world will die off btwn 2045 and 2100. 5 billion people total.

    Urban areas will increase in population (70%)were as rural areas (30%)will decline in population.

    I would strongly recommend to any of you if you think this is new or novel to STUDY the UN report. It will IMO provide you with the reason WHY gov’ts are pushing agendas like abortion, condoms, and HIV/AIDS “control”- etc.

    http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/pop_challenges/Population_Challenges.pdf

    Since I assume most of you are in your mid 20’s you will be about 65 (2050)when the world hits it peak population. Those that come behind you will not be able to support your retirement years simply because there won’t be enough children to support all the jobs needed.

    “I see America eventually going the way a lot of European countries have, being fed up with religion and throwing it all out.’

    Agreed.

    “Science and culture are moving on. If the church doesn’t change, like it always has in the past, it will die out.”

    While that’s see to agree with today since all the trends would indicate that is current. I’m telling you that the demographics in no way support that trend for long 25 years tops. The economic instability of this country in 25 years will be staggering. 35 trillion in medicare, 15 trillion in Social security, national debt etc. NO that spells very difficult times and people will not only question the salvation through science, but because so many will be denied their dream they will seek some type of religious expression. Whether its cultist or Islamic or Christian I don’t know.

    Reply

  28. LOL yea it comes out that way at times. I try an stick to the facts. I’ll refrain from inflicting my political views on you, since I know its far to radical for 95% of the country.

    Let’s say I’m a historic anti-federalist and the only guy I feel remotely expresses my political views would be Dr. Ron Paul.

    Reply

  29. doshoe:

    I would challenge one of the premises of this piece, to wit, that V2 changed the emphasis of Catholic teaching on marriage from the procreative to the unitive aspects of it. Both elements have long been part of Christian tradition, reflected in the marriage rite, for example. And, let’s not forget, Humanae Vitae was a defense of the church’s tradition regarding contraception.

    So, I’m not really sure how you get from Humanae Vitae’s stance on the unitive aspects of marriage to an opening for gay marriage. To make that leap, you’d have to ignore everything both pre- and post-V2 Catholics emphasized about the procreative aspects of marriage.

    George

    Reply

  30. George~

    My language in that area is a little vague – let me attempt to clear it up a bit.

    “Roman Catholics … for “the good of the spouses”.
    In this first paragraph in the issue I am trying to insist the changes that were taking place around the V2 era. Within this time period an evolution took place.

    “In the Encyclical “Humanae Vitae” by Paul VI. They write, …”
    Here I take a document written within the V2 time period and attempt to show its emphasis on deeper things than procreation.

    “Admittedly no consideration in these dialogues took credence to SSUs but the essence of the change, marriage as the expression of love, pertains to the gay couple.”
    in the words “these dialogues” I was going back to those discussions within the time period of V2.

    I agree, my language was confusing and may have misrepresented the ‘Humanae Vitae’ as having to do primarily with marriage and not contraception – I apologize for this.

    A better writing might be the pastoral constitution “Gaudium et Spes”. I found an article reviewing its affects on marriage.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_8_38/ai_82066336/

    My statements concerning the 1960’s RC statements was simply, “An evolution of belief – of marriage – has taken place.”

    The point being, our view of marriage isn’t what it always was. Christians have been discussing and changing little aspects of their views on marriage. My point in the end was, I believe this to be another evolutionary step in the view of marriage.

    But I would challenge your capacity to challenge me in this dialogue, didn’t you write earlier
    “I don’t have a dog in this hunt, so I’m sitting this one out.”
    Now if you have no dog in this hunt, why would an argument for the evolution of marriage – toward SSUs be now of interest to you?

    Unless by “dog” you meant the “fence sitting dog” where it is valid to have opinions on both sides.

    Reply

  31. doshoe,

    Good link it made me ill. SInce Ms. Cahill explicitly referenced me (the generation raised during Vat II) I find her data GROSSLY in error.

    “Lisa Cahill, a theologian at Boston College and the author of Sex, Gender and Christian Ethics…while Catholics who grew up around the time of the Second Vatican Council tend to fixate on those issues,Cahill said such issues have become passe for many younger Catholics who do what they think right on those matters.”

    “Joann Heaney-Hunter, an associate professor of theology at St. John’s University Catholic Americans have the same rate of divorce as other Americans: about 38 percent, said Lawler.”

    She’s correct although I’d question the 38% since its likely around 30% now due to couples simply failing to marry any more. The problem with this statement just like all the data on Catholic voting patterns is the lack of one’s spiritual life within the church.

    If you dug deeper into the data Catholic’s who attend weekly mass the figures are cut in half. If one then adds into the mix those Catholic’s who practice Natural Family Planning its less then 1%. Influence it based on what one devotes and places their trust in. Clearly Catholics (who fail to practice their faith)trust secular society more then they do the church. Or they find that the challenges offered up by the church are to burdensome to take on.

    “Culture is much more influential than church in determining Catholic Americans’ attitudes to marriage and divorce, he said.”

    Sure those Catholic’s who do not attend weekly mass naturally are receiving more input from secular society then the church. How in the world can one affect the outcome of one’s beliefs if they only go on Christmas & Easter? They aren’t availing themselves of the Eucharist nor confession nor anointing of the sick.

    What this effectively says is that you can cut the number of practicing Catholic in half from 63 million to 31 million. Its doubtful that couples with children in Catholic families who attend mass once or twice a year will end up being Catholic when they grow up.

    “‘inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative ignificance which are both inherent to the marriage act.’ (n.12) To engage in sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive’ is to violate the principle that ‘it is never lawful … to do evil that good may come of it’. (n.14)” HV.

    That’s never going to change no matter how many “spirit of vatican II theologians” you bring up. Additionally the facts especially in Africa on the use of condoms increases aids, divorce, abortions is clearly demonstrated.

    However that’s too politically incorrect to be accepted by the secular humanists and the agenda will move forward and they effectively will blame the church for the increase in AIDS/HIV when its demonstrated that its their evil.

    I really don’t see how one could consider gay marriage when there is clear physical and mental health issues associated with the behavior.

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0075.html

    What I would say in support of you perceived change with Vat II is that marriage is not couched in exclusively legal terms of rights and obligations. Personal relationships are added into the mix.

    Reply

  32. doshoe,

    We have liturgical rites which are older that the manuscripts of scriptures. If SSU are validly drawn from scriptures wouldn’t so church have supported those marriages well before the 20th century?

    I mean at least women’s ordination which I oppose as well, has some variants on deaconesses in the 1st century. SSU is simply missing from the landscape. No mention of it even if it was suppressed there would be mention of its suppression.

    I don’t see now one could support that view without essentially claiming that Christianity died with Christ on the cross only to be resurrected in the latter 20th century.

    Reply

  33. ADH,

    Since you seem to be familiar with the work. Does it make the case for “outstanding among” or “well known to”My Greek is lousy but I understand that the term is used in the elative sense meaning she was well know to the apostles.

    Next hurtle assuming that she was outstanding among is the use of the term apostle.

    There are 4 usages of the term.

    of Jesus
    of the twelve
    St. Paul
    delegated representative or messenger (cf. 2 Cor. 8:23; Phil. 2:25)

    I find it difficult at best to view the term in any other way but the fourth usage. So no ordination is even implied that I can tell.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s