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Same Sex Marriage: the simple A-Z Biblical response

June 1, 2015

Train crash

Christian A reads their bible earnestly and thinks that all christians should oppose the legalisation of same sex marriage.

Christian B reads their bible earnestly and thinks that christians should not support same sex relationships, but legalisation is a matter for government, not church.

Christian C reads their bible earnestly and thinks that all christians should have freedom of conscience under grace, not be bound by Law, and so thinks same sex relationships are a matter of conscience, like eating pork.

Christian D reads their bible earnestly and thinks all christians should manifest the ideal of heterosexual monogamous marriage.

Christian E reads their bible earnestly and thinks all christians should manifest the ideal of material prosperity.

Christian F reads their bible earnestly and thinks that all christians should embrace voluntary poverty.

Christian G is about to give up reading their bible earnestly because of all the shoulding.

Christian H reads their bible earnestly and thinks all christians should loyally support the government – including a government that would legislate same sex marriage.

Christian I reads their bible earnestly and thinks all christians should participate in seeking justice and righteousness, even when it means protesting a government that would legislate incarceration of children who have crossed our borders.

Christian J reads their bible earnestly and thinks all christians should participate in seeking justice and righteousness, even when it means protesting a government that would not legislate for same sex marriage, even though Christian J thinks same sex marriage is not part of a biblical ideal of marriage: Christian J thinks the rights of same sex attracted couples are to be upheld by secular governments as a matter of justice, despite a personal understanding of same sex attraction as sinful.

Christian K reads their bible earnestly and thinks all christians should participate in seeking justice and righteousness, even when it means protesting a government that would legislate the incarceration of children, even though Christian K thinks the children have crossed the border illegally.

Christian L reads their bible earnestly and thinks all christians should unite on the issue of same sex marriage – and support it.

Christian M reads their bible earnestly and thinks christians should be silent on the issue of same sex marriage, just as Jesus was before Pilate.

Christian N reads their bible earnestly and thinks christians should participate politically according to their conscience, even if this means conflicting views from christians are heard in public.

Christian O reads their bible earnestly and thinks one authoritative public christian figure should be the sole spokesperson for all christians on public issues, to avoid confusion.

Christian P reads their bible earnestly and thinks that christians should not participate in politics, but each christian should always be prepared to speak with their friends about their faith and beliefs.

Christian Q reads their bible earnestly and thinks that churches should not participate in business or own property.

Christian R reads their bible earnestly and thinks churches should be leaders and innovators in entrepreneurial enterprise and business.

Christian S reads their bible earnestly and thinks churches should be given tax breaks by government.

Christian T reads their bible earnestly and thinks christians should be law abiding citizens.

Christian U reads their bible earnestly and thinks christians live by God’s law above the law of the land.

Christian V reads their bible earnestly and thinks christians should work to influence government to make laws that are in line with christian teaching.

Christian W reads their bible earnestly and thinks christians should work to make the church a distinctively alternate community to secular society.

Christian X reads their bible earnestly and thinks children need both their male and female biological parent to be healthy.

Christian Y reads their bible earnestly and thinks children need multi-generational community with relationship with both males and females older and younger themselves; christian y also thinks marriage can only be between one man and one woman, but this is not related to how children should be raised.

Christian Z reads their bible earnestly and thinks the church models an alternative non-biological family in which family is replaced by the egalitarian, common life church community.

20 comments

  1. Oh Beth, Beth, Beth! ‘Tis a beautiful messy tapestry you weave! I can’t love this more. Thank you, thank you.

    (P.S. -I’m really not sure, but is there a typo in ‘Christian Y’ section? Should the subsequent ‘Christian X’ in that section be ‘Y’? 😛 )


    • fixed. can’t have errors, now can we?


  2. A very REFRESHING response! Thank you.


  3. Romans 1:24-27 (NIVUK)

    “24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is for ever praised. Amen.

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    Seems fairly unequivocal. Which translations are B-Z reading?


    • I use the NRSV most of the time for study purposes. I am not an A on this list.


    • Not every issue listed was about homosexuality.

      Anyway, wouldn’t position B agree with the above text — that if God gives them their due penalty, then that governs God’s kingdom; legalisation is an issue of the government not the church?
      I know this is the argument you want to have.


  4. Nicely done Beth. I saw a friend post this, looked at the title, thought ‘nah’ then I saw your name and read it. Glad I did.


  5. Simply a very large premise. Very clever but meaningless.


    • hi Alexie – no worries if it was meaningless to you. It was a useful exercise for myself.
      Just in order to help my own reflection, however, when you said ‘simple a very large premise’ what premise do you mean?


  6. So this is ludicrous and doesn’t progress the argument, Beth. Far too much like Christianity itself.


    • In that Christianity *as the religion* itself has far too many irreconcilable Christian views that are far too contradictory and no one trusts God might know the answer and it might not be the one they think it is.


  7. Reblogged this on Sacred Blue.


  8. Interesting read, however this simplifies an argument which is not simple for many reasons. This is all based on old testament readings which are mostly upsurped by the new testament teachings of Christ, one being:
    John 13:34-35New International Version (NIV)

    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    While this is a complex topic, I don’t believe any of us are in a position to judge others for their actions lest we be judge for ours.


    • Hi Matt – thanks for your comment. I’m really intrigued by your response. It’s hard to tell if you are responding negatively. Some people have voiced a negative response – and have done so on the grounds that I complexify what is for them a straightforward thing. Or they have objected to the inclusion of ideas on wealth and poverty among issues of sexuality and politics.
      So that you saw this as ‘simplifying’ is interesting.
      A couple of things – my reflections are not all based on OT invitations: I’m in fact a NT scholar so work much more comfortably there. The call to poverty is in my mind strong in the NT in the life of Jesus and Paul. I also identify the statements which affirm and question accepting all authority as being sourced from the NT. Rom 13 deals with this and can be read either as a call to “knuckle under authority as it is God-ordained,” or to “hold it’s claims lightly, as the authority is not absolute, but under the greater sovereignty of God” – that text really can go either way.

      The most important thing, though to suggest to you, is that I did not write an ‘argument’. I wrote a poem. There is no argument in this set of statements – but a drawing together of alternate voices. And as I place them in alphabetical (not numerical) order – there is no greater weight given to one or the other. So – you’ll be relieved, no judgement in them.
      For myself, I am most taken with F.


  9. well done


  10. Ah. I’m glad I read the comments today. I appreciated the broadening of the discussion with tax and poverty and legislation and other human rights. And I see what might happen if I tried this out in a Small Group discussion with ppl from my church. If I do, I might record the questions and statements and post them here for your interest and/or reply.

    Oh, and I expect zero F’s in my Small Group. Can you guess what suburb I live/church in?


    • That would be great!
      This blog is called multi-vocality because I value many voices! they are definitely welcome here.
      My sister’s the lead pastor of a Baptist church, and her response to the post was to say that it describes her congregation on a sunday morning. Even though its in a certain suburb with a ‘profile’ (probably not unlike your suburb) all 26 of these views (or sub in others) are sitting side by side together saying ‘we are the body of Christ – his Spirit is with us – the peace of the Lord be always with you – and also with you’ (so to speak).
      Part of my need for catharsis which led to writing this A-Z poem, was that I hear all of these views regularly – all of them – but I also here just one or two of them being promoted as ‘The Christian View’ in public media.
      Some people have more money to fund their message: it doesn’t make it more christian.


  11. a lovely piece of work. We agree to differ and we celebrate that we have a basis of grace alone , not reason alone.


  12. You probably agree that you may have left some of us out . I like the one where .
    ..RTBE an. he thinks that a Christian who aim s to work in the public space should not rely on the bible or his fellow church members for position on things but use his own study and personal insights to do good and follow God with fear and trembling: knowing that most such decisions will not be prescribed nor should be from anywhere near the pulpit.
    the other one i like
    RTBE and is not called to work in the public sphere of interest. should avoid making any decisions there , but if pressed, should seek out those who do .



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