Saturday, May 17, 2014

"a subversion of the faith of the Christian Church"

"Anyone who, by this time, cannot admit that marriage between a man and a woman holds a privileged status in Scripture, in human history, and in the moral order of natural forms is deludedwhether culpably or not is beside the point.  Furthermore, the privileged status of heterosexual marriage, precisely because it literally carries with it both the generation of humankind and of the people of Israel from whom the Christ is descended, is part of what some have termed 'core doctrine.'  The subversion of such doctrine constitutes a subversion of the faith of the Christian Church.  To affirm same-sex partnerships as 'marriage' under any circumstances is tantamount to such subversion.
     "This is not a matter of simple semantic change. . . . Nor is it a matter of semantic extension. . . . Rather, the novel claim is that there is something divinely instituted called 'marriage,' to which both opposite-sex and same-sex partnerships and couplings refer.  And this makes no sense.  Once the Church affirms 'marriage' as something that is not defined at its base in terms of male-female generative union, the creative purposes of God to be found in the world's history and in the history of Israel's election and redemptive mission are hidden, perhaps even contradicted.  Scripture is set aside, the shape of human history is rejected, and the dignity of God's natural and miraculous creation is deniedthe Bible, divine sacrifice, transformed personhood, are all put at risk.  This is not a good."

"Gay marriage is not a compromise issue."

     "But same-sex 'marriage' isn't the only thing out there incompatible with such Gospel goods."

     Ephraim Radner, "Anglicanism on its knees," First things no. 243 (May 2014):  46, 49, 46 (45-50).
     A degree of clarity seems to be emerging.  Cf. Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University, before the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, on 13 May 2014:
The saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes, integrally, the teaching of his church on the profound and inherent dignity of the human person and the nature of marriage as a conjugal bonda one-flesh union.  The question of faith and fidelity that is put to us today is not in the form it was put to Peter'surely you are this man's disciple'it is, rather, do you stand for the sanctity of human life and the dignity of marriage as the union of man and wife?  These teachings are not the whole GospelChristianity requires much more than their affirmation.  But they are integral to the Gospelthey are not optional or dispensable.  To be an authentic witness to the Gospel is to proclaim these truths among the rest.
     Which, of course, brings Pseudo-Luther again to mind.  Not Luther, but quite right nonetheless, by it matters not which side she (Elizabeth Rundle Charles) is cited:
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. To be steady on all battle fronts besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
     Cf. also Russell D. Moore:
A church that accommodates itself to the sexual revolution is no longer a church of Jesus Christ.
     "The church and civil marriages:  eight scholars and writers discuss whether religious institutions should get out of the marriage business," First things no. 242 (April 2014):  35 (33-40)).

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