On a recent blog post, it was revealed that the Anglican Church is struggling with issues of identity. There seems to be a difference of opinion where it concerns certain behaviors in the Church.
One main controversy in the Church is homosexuality. Should the homosexual be allowed to attend and fellowship within the walls of churches. The spectrum of opinion runs from full acceptance within leadership to withdrawing and shunning.
I believe that we must discuss this issue with an open mind, for many social issues have challenged the Church in the past and have brought segments of change. What is the standard for marriage?
Some argue that the Church's authority resides within the covers of the text, the "Bible". These are the fundamentalists, who believe in the infalliability of "God's Word". They interpret the test literally and fear for the sake of society God's judgment, if homosexuality is condoned in any form.
Then, there are those who have "no standards" of judgment. These people believe that homosexuals are just like anyone else in this world, seeking acceptance, love and purpose. What should be the Church's stance?
I don't believe that the Church will ever fully agree on anything in this life, as disagreement has happened over the course of time in every aspect of man's existence. But, the Church is called to view marriage within certain ways. What is marriage about? Is marriage about two people, whose character's illustrate the values ofs commitment, loyalty, and love? Is marriage only about the form and purpose of sex? The Catholic Church has taken a traditional stand against homosexual relationships, because of the traditional understanding of procreation. Is procreation the only reason for sex within a Christian marriage? In fact, the Catholic Church takes a stand against "unnatural forms" of contraception .If procreation is the only reason for sex within marriage, then should sex continue after the years of child-bearing? If marriage is ultimately for child-bearing, then why do traditional marriage vows not include that aspect of marriage?
Marriage is about a relationship between two people and their vow of "forsaking all others". It is represented by identification, as Christ to the Church. Why then, is a monogmous homosexual union "unrighteous"? Is it because of a literal reading of the text of Scripture?
Some argue that homosexuals should abstain from the temptation, even if it becomes proven that homosexuality is "genetically determined". Those who argue this way corrolate homosexuality with alcoholism. The alcoholic is predisposed to the disease of alcoholism and must practice self-control in abstinence. Isn't alcoholism abuse of alcohol? Unless one adheres to alcohol as inherently evil, then it is not the alcohol that is evil but its abuse. The same argument holds for sex. If marriage is not just for child-bearing but also for the expression of sexual love and sex is not inherently evil, then sexual expression is not wrong except outside of rightful place (within marriage). As Paul argues that nothing is unlawful, but some things are unbeneficial.
Perversion can be about anything, even things that are usually blessings. This is why moderation is the character that is virtuous.
Third Sunday of Advent
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