People will oppress each other-- man against man, neighbour against neighbour. The young will rise up against the old, the nobody against the honored. - Isaiah 3:5
The Spring 2015 issue of Croeso, the Diocese of Llandaff's news sheet, leads with the Archbishop of Wales' latest hobby horse, same-sex marriage dressed up as pastoral care. If marriage is a state instituted and ordained by God for the lifelong relationship between one man as husband and one woman as wife, what is there to discuss? The response of the Church in Wales is the usual, what would Jesus do if He met a gay person in Wales today?
Actually he does, everyday, for anyone who truly believes that Jesus lives. But what we are being led to believe is that Christ would update His teaching on the street today to embrace modern lifestyles. In political terms, if you keep missing the target, change the target.
The Church in Wales is being guided by their Archbishop into what appears to be his ready acceptance of same-sex marriage. If not, wouldn't it have been much simpler to re-state what Christians have believed for centuries as part of their faith?
From "A REPORT BY THE STANDING DOCTRINAL COMMISSION OF THE CHURCH IN WALES THE CHURCH IN WALES AND SAME-SEX PARTNERSHIPS":
"In studying Jesus’ initial encounters with strangers in the Gospels we discover repeatedly his compassionate and immediate response to human need. Where he does pose questions, these are invitational rather than testing: ‘Come and see’, or ‘What is it that you seek?’ Instances of doctrinal or moral challenge are usually issued not by Christ himself, but by the person with whom he speaks. [Para. 139]
condemnation and disgust." [Para. 140]
In England the Dean of St Paul's has weighed in with: "The Church of England is seen by many as 'toxic' and 'oppressive' because of its stance on women and gays, he said. Some gay Christians had even committed suicide because of the pressure of being told they had to be celibate". Calling for the Church of England to consider what accepting same-sex marriage would mean for the future he says, "We need to consider what the acceptance of same-sex marriage in the Church would mean in reality, and how it would be understood in relation to the theology of Christian marriage and the chequered history of that institution, as well as contemporary social practice around sexuality."
To 'love your neighbour' does require marriage. Labels such as 'toxic', 'oppressive' and the more customary 'homophobic' are designed to make the innocent feel guilty. For many of us our lives would be the poorer without the friendship of gay people but to believe that marriage is the union of one man and woman for life is not being disloyal, toxic or homophobic even if some find it oppressive.
The Church in Wales 'consultation' has the hallmark of a previous consultation on the Code of Practice, to be ignored if the results are not to the Archbishop's liking. Again it looks as if the Governing Body of the Church in Wales will be expected to deliver the result their Archbishop wants. If I am wrong, the faithful would have been better advised to read such as "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH: RECLAIMING MARRIAGE".