Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Gay Marriage and Remarriage, What's the Difference?

I got into reading a discussion on the World Magazine blog the other day. This particular discussion was about the United Methodist Church allowing a UMC gay group to use its facilities. As you might expect, people were upset.

Here are some comments by the anti-gay side:

"On Labor Day weekend, the United Methodist Church’s main conference center will host “Hearts on Fire,” a homosexual rally. Reconciling Congregations, the homosexual group putting on the rally, seeks to overturn the church’s official stance on gays. “Since Lake Junaluska’s own internal rules require it to rent its facilities only to groups that share the ‘mission’ of the United Methodist Church, it seems highly inappropriate to rent those facilities for a rally for same-sex ‘marriage,’ homosexual clergy, and various exotic forms of sexual expression,” commented the Institute on Religion and Democracy's Mark Tooley."

"No doubt you are correct about the Wesley brothers. Now extrapolate those tears and imagine the LORD's reaction to the terrible apostasy of His Church...when even the Church embraces blatant sin, one begins to understand the horror of what is happening in our world."

"I don't think Whitney came across as an elitist. "The [goal] is to have fellowship with everybody and talk about how they feel in their relationship with God -- what that means to them personally, and what special purpose God has for us as gay persons," That quote makes no sense. People living in unrepentant sin don't have a relationship with God, or at least not a positive one. The special purpose God has is the same for everyone not something special for gay persons. The purpose is to obey His teachings and if we don't then our purpose is to be forever cut off from Him. You could also look at our purpose as being the Greatest Commandment "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind". This is the purpose for all His people."

Here is why the gay group said the UMC let the group use the facilities:

"The [goal] is to have fellowship with everybody and talk about how they feel in their relationship with God -- what that means to them personally, and what special purpose God has for us as gay persons," says James Rideout, a member of Foundry United Methodist Church in Northwest Washington."

As you can imagine, the arguing went back and forth and got very heated. Some people brought out the completely untrue Cameron statistics about gays having a life expectancy of 42 years. Others accused gays of recruiting children and molesting them.

I tried to stay on topic. And here is what I said (twice), with no answer given:

"I think I may be coming late into this discussion. But, for those that have said that being gay is explicitly condemned by the Bible, and therefore should not be accepted at all, and all unrepentant gay people are sinners not capable of a relationship with God, I wonder what the view of remarriage of divorcees is.

Sure, the bible does allow some divorce and remarriage, but the restrictions are very limited, and the Methodist church at large (and most Protestant denominations) do not follow the biblical restrictions. Sure, no one celebrates divorce, but they do allow the remarriages which are more often than not biblically sinful. Why are we allowed to break from clear biblical rule in the case of divorce, but we have no room for the much fewer admonishments about gay people."

If anyone would care to answer my question here on this blog, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm sorry that the World Magazine blog was reduced to arguing and name-calling instead of debating real points.


At 7/8/05 11:43 PM, Anonymous Ron Belgau said...

I think your point about divorce and remarriage is right on. I'm opposed to gay marriage, but I think that divorce and remarriage is doing far, far more social damage than gay marriage ever will do.

Moreover, I think part of the motivation for condemning gay marriage comes from needing a scapegoat for the problems that are occurring in the family due to a wide range of heterosexual sins.

I dealt with the issue of divorce (among other things) in a speech regarding homosexuality I gave at Georgetown a couple of years ago: The Love that Does Not Count the Cost.

At 8/8/05 12:29 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Hey Ron, thanks. I enjoyed reading your speech and have enjoyed some of your comments on other blogs too.

I find your viewpoint very well thought-out, heart-felt and compassionate.


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