Friday, April 27, 2012

My Response to the NAE Pastoral Letter on Marriage

  This is a response to the NAE Pastoral Letter on Marriage.

The letter is set up in a numbered sections and I think I will address them as such.  I didn't post the full text of the letter here but you should have no trouble using the link up above.

1.  I tend to agree with most of this statement.  I worry, though, that the exclusionary language in here could go right back to the same alienating edicts that have scarred the Body of Christ.  We don't need to agree with everything that people do, nor do we need to support immoral behavior but we also need to be really careful how we preach that.  I think it is important that we make people feel welcome with us, not afraid of our retribution.

2.  I've said it before and I'll reiterate it here.  I have no problem with gay marriage.  I know a number of gays and lesbians that I would consider far more Godly than many of the Christians I have dealt with over the years.  If they find a church that condones their marriage and a pastor that will officiate it, who are we to discriminate? We do the Bible a disservice if we forget that it was written in the words of an ancient people no matter how divinely it was inspired.  If they feel that God has brought them together then the only judge they should face is the Almighty Himself.

3.  I have to agree.  We are given this freedom in this Nation to disagree with anyone whom we see fit.  However, is it not right to respect their rights of freedom as well?  I think it is great to voice our opinions but if we do it in such a way that people go away upset and hurt are we not violating the commandment to love thy neighbor?  There is a line to walk here and I think we need to be very cognizant to walk carefully.  Christ said, "turn the other cheek," not, "preemptive strike."  Don't forget, also, that none of us really follow the Bible verbatim any more.  If you cringe at that let me ask you this --- if your sister, daughter or friend was raped in the country side do you think it correct that the rapist can pay 50 pieces of silver and marry her?  How about in Roman's where it says you have to honor your leaders because they are appointed by God.  Does that mean you support Hitler, or any other dictator?  How many of you have criticized our President?  Why is it okay to try and shove one "sin" down someone's throat when we ignore dozens of others in our life?

4.  I am not a pastor and the closest thing I do to ministry is this blog, which I suppose qualifies in some way.  I never claim to speak with authority but I do try to voice what God tells me when I pray to the best of my ability.  Now, no language of humanity can accurately convey what resonates through me so I can be wrong and freely admit that it might be so.  I think it is best for me to refer this answer to the second statement.  I think sex is best left inside a loving marriage, but what is that?  No where in the Bible did I read how a marriage is preformed.  In fact there are times that it seemed they were spontaneous events.  If two people dedicate themselves to each other in healthy ways then I see no harm in relationships that don't fit a traditional norm.  I think they should all be healthy in the eyes of God, but how they arrive at that point is up to them and not me.

5.  Again I agree.  I am much happier in God than Government.  Even though Paul beseeches us to listen to and respect our leaders as God appointed, I can't help but to criticize.  God didn't grant us reasoning levels of intellect so that we would end up sheep to whatever ridiculous cause someone in power comes up with.  God granted us wisdom so we can analyze our behaviors and make the best decisions.  If something seems wrong to you then you should clear your mind and pray about it.  Listen to the Holy Spirit and I bet it will teach you peace and tolerance.  Love is far more important that judgement.  We should leave that to our Heavenly Father, I think He is far more capable than we.

In closing I think that the letter was well written and shows a certain modern viewpoint that the Body of Christ can benefit from immensely.  With the Catholic church withdrawing itself and becoming very strict and traditional again I think that we stand in a wonderful position to shine our light as a beacon to all people and make them feel welcome.  Let us go forth and be a positive influence and bring joy not oppression.

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