Marriage Proposal: Gay and Otherwise

>Gay marriage, if you are unaware, has been gaining momentum and is becoming a mainstream issue in this country. I can only assume that it will become a common thing in a relatively short amount of time. Here’s what I think.

I happen to whole-heartedly agree with Tony Campolo about the issue of marriage. Let the “state” do whatever they want and legally perform unions between people, and let the church do a separate ceremony as an act of the “Christian” community. If the church does not want to support a union of any kind, then it has no obligation.

The Christian tradition of marriage has morphed into something unrecognizable from its intended purpose and early beginnings.

If a homosexual couple wants to publicly express their love and have the rights as any other married couple then let them have it.

It’s fair to say that the Bible gives a number of exhortations that even though some outside the church partake in similar rituals or attain certain liberties does not necessarily mean that the Christian community must, therefore, recognize those individuals as members of the Church. Furthermore, just because an individual is a member of the church also does not mean that the institution endorses everything that person does; however, the Church does (or should) have a set of guidelines and standards which remain steadfast in the face of opposition.

On a side-note: although I disagree with the Catholic church on a number of issues, I most respect it for not wavering on many of its fundamental practices and beliefs. Sure, it has been lenient in some respects but firm in others. As a rule-of-thumb, however, the Catholic church remains unchanging. A person knows what he or she is agreeing to when deciding to become a member of the Catholic church.

Back to the topic of marriage. I propose taking the state union and the Church union further. I propose that all individuals be “married” by the state, and if a couple wants their union to be endorsed by the church, they must adhere to specific practices and lifestyle and commit themselves to a community of believers in order that their marriage grow and flourish. They recognize that their marriage is another way that God is glorified and made known, and they acknowledge that others will be an integral part of the process. Selfishness, dysfunction, abuse and divorce are minimized and maybe even taken out of the equation as a result. They allow the Church to hold them accountable and submit themselves to the authority of the Church.

I know that some say this is impossible. We simply can’t know what every one’s future holds; after all, no one really enters marriage with the expectation of divorce. Maybe so (even though I think some people today get married for the ceremony or the dress or the children or . . . ) but the Christian community needs to begin approaching marriage differently than it has been.

The statistics of marriage and divorce for Christians are almost entirely indistinguishable from those who don’t claim religious affiliation/membership.

What does this say?

Christ should make a difference in the life of his followers, but He doesn’t make a difference in their marriages?

I happen to think that He makes a difference in all aspects of life, but we need to start appropriating Christ’s life and liberty in our marriages differently. Obviously the way we’ve been doing it hasn’t been working. Why does the Church deny, in many respects, matrimony of homosexuals when it doesn’t seem to make a difference to many with whom it is “reserved for?”

I would really love to hear your thoughts on this issue! I welcome the dialogue and the differences of thought and opinion. I await your comments.

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