Monday, November 17, 2008

And now, the Heartland?


Remember this? The organization known as "the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" invades the Catholic Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco. Fast forward to California's Prop 8 battle where the electorate reverse the presumption of the courts and established that marriage is between a man and a woman in California, by imbedding it in their constitution. As you who regularly read here know, I don't even believe "gay marriage" is possible, whether declared legal, or not. Sure, those who think it is possible will use those words and perform ceremonies where it is legally "possible," but that does not make it any more a reality than the moon turning out to be made of cheese.

I disagree with Prop 8 because it attempts to codify something I don't believe to be correct in an attempt to head off the specter of "gay marriage" by defining marriage as one of it's parts; Heterosexual Monogamy. I'm all for Heterosexual marriage, but of course believe that polygyny is part of the Heterosexual marriage spectrum.

Nevertheless, Prop 8 opponents came perilously close to getting their way and they know it. The incidents of intimidation in the wake of Prop 8's success show it for what it it really is, a failure. Less than 2.3% of the voters of California need to change their minds for the pendulum to swing back the other way. Out of 12,153,632 votes cast on the issue, 263,802 voters need to change their minds or 527,603 more gay marriage sympathizers need to show up and/or register to vote. That's certainly within the reach of voter fraud.

The Orange County Register -SANTA ANA - "Proposition 8 leaders gathered Friday to denounce their opponents' post-election tactics as harassment, intimidation and – in the case of white powder sent to two Mormon temples – 'domestic terrorism.' "


There are many other incidents. Gay rights activists are emboldened. They foresee a greatly more liberal judiciary under Obama and the Democrat near super majority in Congress. They're pressing their advantage. Prop 8 was not a win for "traditional marriage" advocates. This attack was repulsed. The next will not be. Or the next, or the next....

The Lansing State Journal - Delta Township - "Protesters who entered the Creyts Road church along with worshippers surprised the congregation when they stood up during the service, threw fliers at churchgoers and shouted slogans such as 'It's OK to be gay,' and 'Jesus was a homo,' according to David Williams, communications director at the church. His father, Dave Williams, is the church's longtime pastor. He was not preaching at the church Sunday.

Another group of protesters demonstrated outside the church at the same time as the indoor protest."

The Eaton County Sheriff's Department responded to the scene Sunday but no arrests were made."

Eaton county has about 104,000 people in it. By comparison, Orange county California has over 3,000,000 people. More than 4 times as many people cast their vote against Prop 8 (for "gay marriage") in Orange county than live in Eaton county Michigan, 15 times as many than the number of people who live in Delta Township where the Mount Hope Church is located.

The behaviors of the Gays in both cases recalled here are reminiscent of the Angels experience at Lot's home in Genesis, and later that of the Levite in Gibeah. These people will not give up, their tactics are thousands of years old. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Israel razed Gibeah, we do not have that option. Short of evangelizing them all, they're going to keep coming back. This is also a prelude to suing the churches to gain acceptance in the congregations.

Let me warn you about what is coming in the legal fight to keep gays out of the conservative churches. You Will Lose. Not the Gays. You Will. Conservative Christians. I am one of you. The difference between you and I in the Conservative Christian Camp is that I am more conservative than you are. You are not simply Conservative Christians, you are Cultural Christians.

If you're going to hope to win this battle or at least stall it's progress into the foreseeable future, you need to stake your ground out in the Bible. Not in the west. Not in the traditions of the Reformation. Not in the Catholic Church, IN THE BIBLE.

Your problems are several as noted often before here in this blog. Christianity, as based in the Bible, does not condemn some forms of marriage that Cultural Christians who imagine themselves conservative, condemn. Polygyny is never discouraged or frowned on in scripture. It is perfectly acceptable.

The monogamy only doctrine has been the result of over a thousand years of spin and nuance and interpretation. It is a doctrine of men. When you defend Heterosexual Monogamy as marriage itself, you add to scripture. In doing so you have established the church, the ecclesia, as having the authority to define marriage politically or arbitrarily. These are simply words for majority rule. Most of you see it that way, that's why it is that way.

Gays will seize this. They will not only invade your churches, they will take you to court and they will find a venue in which they will prove that YOU have twisted scripture to define marriage culturally. They know you will not give this cultural vision up. They have you. You're toast.

Once it is proved that your defintion of marriage is arbitrary you will be liable for damages. You may have to compensate gays by allowing them into the governance of your denominations. They will pursue you wherever you go.

Or, you can give up your pride now. You can reexamine the scriptures. You can admit that you have been conned into believing that marriage is monogamy. You can give up the notion that marriage occurs in churches and/or courts or it is no marriage. If you define marriage Bibilcally, you can in fact hope to defend yourself in court, because when you pull the Bible out, and they pull the Bible out to defeat you with your own book, they will not be able to. That will be because you defend Scriptural territory, not your cultural heritage.

Culture changes. God does not. Stake out your territory near God, where you can defend it. You're not there now.



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2 comments:

Lucille said...

If I thought "sola scriptura" were a sound concept maybe I'd agree with this post. But I don't think it has any sensible backing. For starters, before you talk about the Bible you first have to establish what the Bible is. And whichever canon you use to determine which writings you consider Biblical - the Catholic, or Orthodox, or standard Protestant canon - you're already bringing Tradition into the matter.

The Pharisee said...

Lucille,

It's all about where the battle occurs. If the homosexual rights advocate wishes to approach my denomination with the 66 books we "traditionally" call canon and argue the definition of marriage, my denomination will lose if the gays bring up polygyny.

If what they wish to do is approach my denomination and insist that other writings be included as "scripture," that will be far more difficult. From it's inception that canon has been agreed on.

If they wish to approach the Roman Catholic Church, there are books like "Wisdom," (Sirach) or "Judith," which we would not include, and the RCC would. That's not our problem, that would be the problem of the RCC and whomever comes after them legally. To my knowledge, none of those books redefine marriage from what it was depicted as in the Old Testament either.

Likewise anything in the Book of Mormon would be the issue of the LDS or any of it's sects vs their enemies. The difficulty for both the LDS and it's sects and the RCC is that they both still believe in Prophetic revelation. The LDS is younger than our country and has amended its faith to ban polygyny. The majority of strict conservative reformation denominations do not. They are cessationists and think revelation has ceased. Our appeal is not to scripture and scripture alone. That is not the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. We nod to the history of the church in the verification of an accepted document or verification of an existing argument. The latter being a claim that there is no new understanding of scripture because that would be new revelation in and of itself.

Focusing back on my denomination and it's companion denominations, we have the knowledge that while in a minority, polygyny advocates have been with us longer than monogamy only advocates. Thus this is a historical position of the church, albeit in recent years, a distinct minority in the church.

Never has there been any time that homosexuals have been accepted. This is not surprising in view of the fact that scripture roundly condemns the behavior. We have a problem though because the strongest clearest statements against homosexuality are in the Old Testament, and we accept them, while rejecting its declarations about heterosexual marriage.

I know of no contemporary of the Apostles that writes clearly against polygyny. It was only after revelation ceased did the doctrine of "monogamy only" rear its head.

Since that is the case, "monogamy only" is a concession to "changing times." To hold onto "monogamy only" is to affirm that the church changes in response to political pressure or essentially that the gifts which include the writing of scripture, have not ceased. "Monogamy only" as a doctrine denies the truth of the Old Testament and does so on the basis of interpretation, the interpretation of those not gifted to receive prophetic utterance. Proving that in court would then prove we aren't strict adherents to "the Bible" as we see it. Showing that to be true, means we discriminate illegally against gays. I think we lose that fight.