Sunday, August 19, 2012

Expanding Marriage Part 2

I realize in my last post, Expanding Marriage, I was coming from a somewhat impossible religious view. What about those who have no faith base or aren't interested in the Church's moral arguments? I'd almost think the Church is being brutish, standing up against issues like abortion or gay marriage... for allowing gays among their members as long as they aren't in an active relationship. What right does the Church have to regulate sexuality or life outside of it's boundaries? An abortion could save an unwed mother a lifetime of debt & hardship. A gay marriage could provide a couple with stability & love for the rest of their lives. A LGBT etc. relationship in a Christian context could be a good example to all because the partners love God as much as they love each other. Why be a wedge between happiness & stability? Condemning abortion, gay marriage & gay Christian relationships seems antithetical to unity within the Church & without.

Here in America, there's supposed to be a division between Church & state & each citizen is supposed to have rights to religious freedom. So the Church stands up in the halls of government & cries foul if a law that goes against the morality of the faith is passed or even considered. What right do we have? Does everyone have to believe like a Christian?

If we remain silent, are we liable for the consequences? What exactly are we fighting for? Are we seeking to maintain our own religious ideals or the belief that the morality we accept is supposed to be universal outside the Church? It may be our religious right to believe in these things & to present them to government officials, but sometimes I get the impression that we're trying to strong arm the law rather than to love the individuals the law is supposed to serve.

What is love in this case? To intervene & make life hell for others because of our beliefs? What would happen if we stood back & allowed abortions, gay marriages & LGBT etc. rights to be instituted? What would happen if we kept our requirements for morality to ourselves, within our churches, among our own members? Would the secular system disintegrate further? Would they see the error of their ways & come to us for help? Or would they revel with a new found strength & glory in their triumph over the archaic Church? Would they perceive that anything is possible, perhaps like those at Babel who tried to build the tower to heaven? God interceded post haste, lest they should get haughty & think they could actually get away with it. What is the Church's responsibility in all of this? Better yet, what am I responsible for?!

Do I have a right to say abortion is murder? Yes, I think so. Do I have the right to enforce the obstruction of choice? No, I don't think so. Do I have the right to say to a gay couple that God doesn't condone homosexual marriage? Yes, I think so. Is it my responsibility to make sure they don't join the fight to get it legalized & tie the knot anyway? No, I don't think so. Within the Catholic Church in particular, do I have the right to share with a gay couple in an “active” relationship the same thing I might tell a gay couple seeking marriage? Yes, I think so. Do I have the right to obstruct their relationship? No. But if we consider ourselves family in the Lord, I do have the right & responsibility to confront them with their sin so they may repent. If they refuse, it would be taken to someone in authority. This isn't to be mean or vindictive, but its done out of reverence for the body of Christ.

Of course, if the Church steps to the side & allows the secular authorities to have their way uncontested, the Church runs the risk of presenting a message to its people via its silence. Silence might appear to be acceptance, even approval of the things secular society desires to institute. There is a danger that the people of God will loosen their laces & be swayed by the changing culture around them. Its happened before & its happening even now... which is why the Church fights. The greater good is not for the unity, stability & “love” of the secular world to flourish, but for the Church to maintain its dedication to God, to strive to be holy as He is holy. It really does seem self-seeking at first glance, but the Church is also called to be an example to the world of the power of God & the Gospel of Christ, who came to seek & save the lost. The Church is called to be a refuge, even for those who are seemingly alienated by the morality we espouse. And yet, even the Church falters amidst scandal... Who are we to open our mouths?

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