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Marriage: Defined for the 21st Century January 19, 2013

Posted by Phil Groom in Life, Watching and Waiting.
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I BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE. It is one of the most wonderful institutions developed by the human race, in which two people can commit to one another, in a faithful, loving partnership, for life. There are few things in life more beautiful than an old married couple still seen together, holding hands, smiling, on their gold or diamond wedding anniversary: it’s like watching a glorious sunset lighting up the entire sky with its glow.

It is precisely because I believe in marriage that I believe the right to marry should be extended to all people, irrespective of gender or orientation: I believe in Equal Marriage; and I was delighted to discover this definition of marriage in my computer’s dictionary yesterday:

Marriage, as defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary 2nd edition © 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc.

Marriage, as defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary 2nd edition © 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc., via Apple’s Dictionary.app, Version 2.1.3 (80.4)

The significance of this can hardly be overstated as it reveals the fallacy of those who argue that marriage cannot be “redefined” — it not only can be: it has been; not so much redefined, however, as its definition extended. The old definition of “the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife” still stands, but it stands alongside a further definition: “a similar long-term relationship between partners of the same sex.”

The arguments of the so-called “Coalition for Marriage” (C4M) — which seeks to restrict marriage to heterosexual relationships on the grounds of supposed “profound consequences” that “those who believe in traditional marriage will be sidelined” — are thus exposed as the folly they truly are. The recognition of equal marriage does not sideline the “traditional” view of marriage, but simply acknowledges both.

This is not, as one of my facebook friends wrongly assumed, an appeal to authority; it is, rather, a recognition of reality. Equal rights require equal rites, and I look forward to when that day comes here in the UK.

If God does not withhold blessing from gay people, upon what basis does the church? January 18, 2013

Posted by Phil Groom in Christianity, Church, Watching and Waiting.
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The Blog of Kevin, 17/1/2013: Plucking Blackberries

The Blog of Kevin, 17/1/2013: Plucking Blackberries

FROM THE BLOG OF KEVIN, Plucking Blackberries:

Where I see genuine love, commitment, and a desire for a covenant relationship, I see God. Where I see people who love God, who serve God, who God speaks to and through as much as the next person, I see God. And to deny them equal status, to keep them at the edge like women at the synagogue, is wrong. If God does not withhold his Holy Spirit from gay Christians, how can we withhold anything?

It’s the same question the early church faced when the challenge was whether or not Gentiles could be baptised:

While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.

— Acts 10: 44-48, NRSV

Who amongst us dares argue with the Holy Spirit? Wake up, O Christians!

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