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peppermint

The word hasn't come to an end just because the USA has same sex marriage now!

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Civil laws come and go and the USA supreme court's recent decision to disallow state based laws forbidding same sex marriages isn't one of the signs of the coming apocalypse. Life will go on for the time being and folk, especially christian folk, must learn that state support for their religion is not necessary in order to live a christian life. Christianity started in a Roman province with a hostile local government and the execution of the leader of the movement - that he rose again from the grave is a truly remarkable thing but the hostility of the local government persisted and in time grew. Eventually the Imperial government also became hostile and yet Christians managed to evangelise the Roman Empire and eventually turn it around.

 

Now you folk living in the USA, isn't your state far better than that of the ancient Christians in Judea and in the Roman Empire? Your Federal system has made same sex marriages legal but your religious organisations still get tax exemptions and nobody is arresting you or preventing you from attending church. In the wider view of world events count yourselves blessed. By all means lobby for biblical morals but do not depend on the civil authority bowing to the biblical norms. Be of good courage. Keep the faith. Preach it in season and out of season. Hold fast to the things you have received from the apostles.

Edited by peppermint

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Life will go on. The only reason religious freedom or the church in general is targeted in these matters is because of its influence and power. Socialism is quite different in other places around the world than that of America. Worst case, American churches turn out to be like Europe where the church is impotent, non-influential, and irrelevant.

 

God bless,

William

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Life will go on. The only reason religious freedom or the church in general is targeted in these matters is because of its influence and power. Socialism is quite different in other places around the world than that of America. Worse case, American churches turn out to be like Europe where the church is impotent, non-influential, and irrelevant.

 

God bless,

William

 

Impotent is it? I wonder how that statement can be made when the Vatican is in Italy and exercises influence on the morals of the nation as well as lobbying the civil authorities with some effect. The Church in Europe is diminished in numbers compared to its state in the nineteenth century but she is still alive and still free.

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The church is only impotent, powerless and irrelevant when it insists on preaching a morality the majority of it's thinking potential congregation considers dated, at best, and obsolete, at worst. Congratulations, America! Welcome to the idea that discrimination on grounds of sex, sexuality or gender has no ethical arguments in favour, and sound, valid, solid arguments against. I must say, the church should have been in the vanguard of this movement, fighting conservatism throughout its institutions, and it is shameful when society leads the church on moral matters, rather than the church leading society. The church will inevitably be irrelevant when it's main clam to relevance, expertise on morality, is so obviously questionable. The potency of the church, and it's power, depends on it being morally correct, rather than the observance of tradition. Sometimes, you just can't have both.

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

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There you go pepper. This is a prime example of the ineffective blast radius the Vatican has.

 

God bless,

William

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The Catholic Church has no choice but to preach the morality of Christ and the apostles so even if the whole world rejected it and said it was dated and useless in a modern world the Church could not listen to them and follow them. The truth is true and opinions - even majority opinions - cannot change what God has said. If one is a christian that means one follows Jesus Christ and following him one will learn to receive his teaching as truth even if it is unfashionable and unpopular. If one's religion is measured by what is popular one may as well be an atheist because popularity is the final measure of atheist morality.

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I do not suggest that discrimination on grounds of sex, sexuality or gender is wrong because that is popular. I propose it is wrong because the are sound arguments against, and none in favour. A just state has an obligation to treat all it's citizens equally in law. Does the church have a reason not to?

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

 

PS. I have elsewhere praised the Pope, in regards of his concern for the poor and for the environment. I just am influenced by the Vatican, when it is on sound moral ground. And that's despite being a non-catholic. I just reject most of the stuff it insists on regarding sex, given it's sad history on this topic. And the obvious inexperience of an (allegedly) celibate priesthood.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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I do not suggest that discrimination on ground of sex, sexuality or gender is wrong because that is popular. I propose it is wrong because the are sound arguments against, and none in favour. A just state has an obligation to treat all it's citizens equally. Does the church have a reason not to?

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

 

The only reason I can see Government involvement for policy in these matters involves children. To lessen the burden financially of raising children. Fact is, statistics from the last 50 years demonstrate children without two sexually distinct but complimentary parents are at a disadvantage, and without are more prone to crime, which involves government benefits or even law enforcement. All that has gone out the window for political motivation. But that's not the liberal or homosexual argument, it is equal rights for consenting adults, nothing is ever said about children, but only a self serving agenda.

 

God bless,

William

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I do not suggest that discrimination on ground of sex, sexuality or gender is wrong because that is popular. I propose it is wrong because the are sound arguments against, and none in favour. A just state has an obligation to treat all it's citizens equally. Does the church have a reason not to?

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

 

I do not advocate legislated discrimination by the civil authorities - in a secular state such as the USA the civil authorities ought not discriminate on the basis of private sexual congress - yet the Church cannot change her teaching on faith and morals. And while it is true that cultural twists and turns in the moral life produce some errors that take time to expose it is nevertheless true that the teaching of Christ remains unchanged even if it is not popular and the Church must always remain faithful to Christ in these matters.

 

So the civil authorities will make their laws and sometimes the law will be contrary to the teaching of Christ and when it is then the Church cannot follow the state without breaking faith with her Lord.

 

The USA allows same sex marriages now and that is a civil matter but the Church does not and that is a religious matter.

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The USA allows same sex marriages now and that is a civil matter but the Church does not and that is a religious matter.

 

The impact the government has in these matters cannot be ignored. Just look at no-fault divorce and the divorce rates that skyrocketed thereafter.

 

God bless,

William

 

 

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The impact the government has in these matters cannot be ignored. Just look at no-fault divorce and the divorce rates that skyrocketed thereafter.

 

God bless,

William

 

 

Civil divorce does not mean that the Catholic Church accepts the civil decree of divorce. For the Catholic Church a properly effected sacramental marriage cannot be dissolved by the civil authority and even though some seek and receive a civil divorce it does not follow that the Church will accept it.

 

In many denominations first artificial contraception and then divorce were accepted and now there are few that will stand up for christian moral teaching on these matters.

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The only reason I can see Government involvement for policy in these matters involves children. To lessen the burden financially of raising children. Fact is, statistics from the last 50 years demonstrate children without two sexually distinct but complimentary parents are at a disadvantage, and without are more prone to crime, which involves government benefits or even law enforcement. All that has gone out the window for political motivation. But that's not the liberal or homosexual argument, it is equal rights for consenting adults, nothing is ever said about children, but only a self serving motivation.

 

God bless,

William

 

 

Yes, I agree that children are an important - maybe even a fundamental - consideration. But we are in early days, yet. Let us see how the evidence unravels, and whether there is a case for, say, discouraging adoption by homosexuals, or preventing homosexuals conceiving outside their marriage, or whatever. The essence of idea we are discussing at this point is whether homosexuals should be prevented from marrying as they desire, in the same way heterosexuals do. We do not need to complicate this matter further, right now. Even if your your statistics are correct, we do not know whether that is down to homosexual parents, or the social disapproval and disadvantage of homosexual parents, or some other factor. Meanwhile, equal rights for consenting adults seems a perfectly reasonable principle, to me.

 

Best wishes, 2RM

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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... yet the Church cannot change her teaching on faith and morals. And while it is true that cultural twists and turns in the moral life produce some errors that take time to expose it is nevertheless true that the teaching of Christ remains unchanged even if it is not popular and the Church must always remain faithful to Christ in these matters.

 

So the civil authorities will make their laws and sometimes the law will be contrary to the teaching of Christ and when it is then the Church cannot follow the state without breaking faith with her Lord.

 

The USA allows same sex marriages now and that is a civil matter but the Church does not and that is a religious matter.

 

Well, it can, of course. It just needs to raise it's hands in surrender, say 'Mea Culpa! We were wrong! Even in the Gospels, Christ never once even mentioned homosexuality, only that we should love our neighbour as ourselves, which naturally implies wanting for them what we want for ourselves. Like a reliable, permanent, respected, mutually complementary, loving and sanctified sexual relationship. Of course homosexuals should have equal rights in religious life as well as nation state law!'

 

Now, I am realistic. This might take some centuries to achieve, just as it took centuries for the church to exonerate Galileo, or apologise for the crusades. But this is my point: the church needs to get ahead of morality, not lag behind it. Or it will always, inevitably, be increasingly 'impotent, powerless and irrelevant'. Perhaps the church should set up some special forces, like armies have, to get ahead of the philosophical moral game intellectually, and understand where the best of ethics is coming from, and how the church should react. A kind of counter-traditional strike force for the True, the Just, the Honest and the Good.

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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While many who rule in the denominations and in the independent meetings may change their doctrine and moral teaching to keep pace with the world the Catholic Church cannot.

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But I am not suggesting merely that the church(es) should keep pace with ethical change. I propose that they should lead it. If they are the moral experts they claim to be, they should be capable of this. If they are not, then why should they matter, anyway?

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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But I am not suggesting merely that the church(es) should keep pace with ethical change. I propose that they should lead it. If they are the moral experts they claim to be, they should be capable of this. If they are not, then why should they matter, anyway?

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

 

The Church's teaching matters for exactly the same reason that the teaching of Christ matters; in fact the teaching of Christ is the teaching of his Church.

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Though, nevertheless, the Gospels are not a manual for living, in the same way Muslims take the Qu'ran, the Shariah, the Hadiths and their tradition to be. Rather, they are the transmission of a set of implied and explicit principles to be applied to the messiness of life; chiefly, that we should love God, and love each other, and that all else follows from that.

 

As for the relevance of the Church in any matter. Despite being a believer, I cannot help but think that if the Church can be shown to be systematically morally wrong, if the Church is shown to be deficient in it's own claimed area of lifestyle expertise, morality, then that calls into question it's whole legitimacy. If it's wrong about something, it can be wrong about anything. I have to say now, I do not ever want this legitimacy to fail. But it will, and should, if the Church sustains it's relationship with the forces of conservatism.

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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The Church has very little in common with political conservatism and never has because the goals of the politically conservative are to maintain the status quo which means to maintain the wealth of the wealthy and the power of the powerful and the poverty of the poor while the Church's goal is to overturn the power structures of this world and lift the poor out of poverty and diminish the relative wealth of the wealthy. The morals of the Church have never been those of the powerful who have always divorced and remarried as they pleased and who have always resorted to taxation to grab wealth for themselves and who have always courted the favours of the mega rich. The very morals that offend society today - opposition to artificial contraception, divorce & remarriage, fornication and adultery, and the exercise of state power to enforce national goals - are the morals that the Church teaches; who else is opposed to artificial contraception which is used to reduce the number of children born to black, poor, and disenfranchised parents and who else opposes divorce & remarriage which damages the lives of children and parents alike or who else opposes fornication and adultery which tend to destroy family unity and spread sexually transmissible diseases? It seems to me that the modernisation of morals almost always serves the agenda of those in power who want nothing more than to have the families of the poor and middle classes disrupted and broken.

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I agree with sentiment. The Church(es) just should be on side with the poor, the sick, the mad, the disenfranchised, the imprisoned, the marginalised, the oppressed. If each life is equal in the sight of God, each life is equally important, irrespective of bank balance. But, through history, the church has been an establishment that has sided with the establishment. I do not propose to tackle each and every one of your list of morals. They are each the topic of a separate thread, which I encourage you to open. Meanwhile, as far as establishment support goes, let us not forget to note that as soon as the Nazis came to power in Germany, Pope Pius XII was never that bothered by the fatal incarceration of Jews. Perhaps he thought they were not his neighbours. Or perhaps he thought catholicism more important than morality,

 

Best, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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I raised exactly three major (sexual) categories because they are all in keeping with this thread's theme.

(1) artificial contraception - which includes the pill and the pill led to such an explosion of one night stands in the 1960s through to the 1980s

(2) Divorce & remarriage which contributes to adultery and the destruction of families

(3) fornication and adultery which are the norm in society now; so much so that for an unmarried man (or an unmarried woman) to admit to being a virgin when they are in the 20s or 30s is seen as abnormal.

 

Of course each of these is part of the agendas of those who want to keep down the population especially the population of poor and disenfranchised people.

 

Now I am wondering, since this discussion hinges so much on Catholic moral teaching, what is your understanding of Catholic moral teaching? How do you see it in relation to popular moral opinion?

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I raised exactly three major (sexual) categories because they are all in keeping with this thread's theme.

(1) artificial contraception - which includes the pill and the pill led to such an explosion of one night stands in the 1960s through to the 1980s

(2) Divorce & remarriage which contributes to adultery and the destruction of families

(3) fornication and adultery which are the norm in society now; so much so that for an unmarried man (or an unmarried woman) to admit to being a virgin when they are in the 20s or 30s is seen as abnormal.

 

Of course each of these is part of the agendas of those who want to keep down the population especially the population of poor and disenfranchised people.

 

Now I am wondering, since this discussion hinges so much on Catholic moral teaching, what is your understanding of Catholic moral teaching? How do you see it in relation to popular moral opinion?

 

 

A nice, clarifying post.

 

Artificial Contraception. As far as I know, this is a social advance only the (Roman) Catholic church opposes. Yeah, conservatism in the Vatican. I cannot see the problem with women controlling their fertility. Or men, come to that.

Divorce. Not ideal, but better than a spouse (generally female) being subject to a relationship that oppresses her.

Fornication and Adultery. Never a good idea, but needs to be sensitively handled.

 

Nevertheless, all these are distinct issues, which would benefit from distinct handling on distinct threads. If you like, open such threads, which I will respond to in due course, as I am moved to, and consider appropriate.

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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Your post rightly observes that artificial contraception is so widely accepted now that virtually the only Church that opposes it is the Catholic Church but that was not so in the early 20th century. So while the Catholic Church teaches the same moral lessons that she taught then the denominations and independent meetings teach a more modern and worldly doctrine. The same applies to divorce and remarriage and increasingly it is also true of fornication and adultery. If these denominations and independent meetings keep travelling in the modern direction soon they will know of no sexual sins at all. Perhaps that goes some way towards explaining why the civil government now sees divorce & remarriage as morally indifferent, fornication and adultery are no longer civil crimes, and artificial contraception is widely promoted as a means of keeping the birth rate down and preventing the spread of sexually transmissible diseases - it may also explain why the civil government and the law courts now see same sex marriages as equally protected by the law of the land as traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

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While I agree that sex can be sinful, and that morality requires to make a judgement about when sex is, and is not, acceptable, no one actually dies of sex, except in a few, brutal, hideous cases of rape.

 

But in respect of immorality as regards economics - why, people die of hunger, for want of money, all the time, and no one seems to think that scandal. Maybe because the victims are poor, and powerless, and not Americans, or Europeans, except occasionally.

 

If society is coming round to the view that economic immorality is currently a higher priority than sexual immorality, well, that would be a development I would be pleased with.

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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I do not think we should presume we know God's perspective. Even having read the Bible. To me, He is greater and wiser even than His book.

 

Meanwhile, in this certain life, the only life we can be sure of, we do know that a premature death is the greatest of all possible evils we might face; the very fact that makes the crucifixion so potent.

 

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind

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