Monday, June 16, 2008

Should homosexuals be allowed to marry in the church?

Alright, this may seem to deviate from the flow of Scotland blogging...let me just add real quick that I have a running tab at the bar right now in order to be on the internet...this is a trip! We're back to struggling for wifi. Anyway, the title of this blog is pretty key to the experience of the trip along side the Chuck Hunter book I'm reading. For every leader in the Celtic Christianity Movement like St. Patrick and St. Columba, leaders in the reformation like Luther, not to even mention the apostles, there was a stand to be made. It may have been an unpopular or out of the ordinary stand, but each was firm in his or her convictions...and for many that started a revolution. One man from history that I've become acquainted with here in Scotland is John Knox. He is largely responsible for bringing a solid protestant hold in Scotland during the reformation, and began the Presbyterian Church which later became the Church of Scotland. His stand was against Catholic way of running things and the mix of the church and state politics. He was firm in his convictions and knew what he was fight for, even in his uphill battle.

So, this is where we come back around to the initial question posed, and it's a valid question. Watching the morning BBC news and then the "Today Show" like program called "the Wright Stuff", this question was raised as the Anglican Church in England is currently struggling with it. There are homosexual couples who appreciate the traditional church ceremonies and want to be able to have a traditional wedding. Now, mind you, England already has accepted civil unions for same gender couples, the question being raised now is just, should they be allowed a traditional church wedding. Some of you maybe wanting to weigh in here with your responses and I welcome you to do that (please note that I will moderate comments and pull any that are in appropriate), but the answer may not be so easy as we want it to be. Admittedly and embarrassedly I have not worked out my own response to this question. I think that we as a church have a bigger question to deal with first, and that is - What is marriage? Second, What does it mean to be a member of the church? Solidly working out these two questions (which we so often fail to do) would leave the question already answered for the Anglican church and all of the BBC viewers.

As I look at this question being raised here on the soil which I currently stand, I know that the U.S. is just a few years behind and in Chapel Hill and other progressive towns the question may be coming sooner than we think. In many ways the church is already behind on the issue homosexuality. The question requires a response and if we don't prepare ourselves, people will be turned away and led astray. What I know above all is that we as Christians need to work out our position on homosexuality and same sex unions...and we need to do it in the same love and grace we've been given. But even more, we need to be willing to take a stand when we find it. That stand will likely be scrutinized from both angles, but we need to be bold. This is an issue where we as evangelicals so commonly want to throw stones and condemn...let it not be any longer! Let's work this out in fear and trembling before the Lord. I pray too that you, my brothers and sisters in Christ will hold me to this standard.

I don't have any pictures really to go with the content except for this one bold proclamation I saw just yesterday.
I'm not real good with Latin, but I'm pretty sure this grave marker boldly says "I await the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come." Let us be so bold as the church to share and proclaim what it is that we believe.

The bar is closing and I've gotta go pay the tab. Thanks for stopping by today!

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