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March 22, 2009


Derek Rishmawy

I think McGrath makes a good point, even if he overstates it. We pick and choose the sins we want to talk about as being really bad so we can feel better about ourselves. We self-righteously point out the sins of others while covering up our own. When the Prop 8 thing was going on, I thought it was really ironic that the YL churches were all out in force to support it "for the sake of marriage", even though half of the people with the signs had been divorced and remarried.

That being said, I do think McGrath overstates the case. Not everybody who preaches on the subject or aims to defend Biblical morality, marriage, etc. has these ulterior motives. Some people truly are trying to be faithful to speak truth on a subject that is at the center of great controversy and confusion both within the Church and without. I've had to think about and discuss the issue a lot with people, not because I have a particular fixation on the subject or that I think its the worst sin, etc. (indeed I go out of my way to point out that it isn't), but rather because the issue just keeps coming up. I can't tell you how often the subject has presented itself, uninvited, and I've had to deal with the issue, defending a position that I think is Biblical, in as thoughtful of a manner as I could. That's why broad statements like, "Clearly it is not a desire to be faithful to the Bible that is at the heart of this" are inaccurate and distinctly unhelpful. They ignore the possibility that in the middle of all the self-righteous scapegoating, there are some who are trying to faithfully witness to the truth on an important subject because they recognize the timeliness of the issue, even as they recognize there are other issues that need to be addressed.

The flipside are those who don't address this issue at all or simply castigate those who do as agitators. Many try to ignore it or push it to the side without first addressing it. For some it is an act of humility in confessing they are unsure and don't want to mislead. For some, they simply are sick of the subject and want to move on to something else. For others, I suspect there is something deeper going on. There is an unwillingness to be in conflict with the surrounding culture out of fear or a misguided notion of what it means to love the world. There is a certain cowardice and unlovingness in not being willing to speak truthfully at this point to the world. And so, we cover it up our real reason for wanting to avoid the issue, with arguments that sound a lot like McGrath's.


I think quite simply that the horse has left the barn on the divorce thing and the gay marriage topic can still have something done about it. Divorce is legal (while not right, there is nothing we can do about it legally now), but gay marriage isn't legal (yet). I'm sure if people had a chance to debate whether to legalize divorce you would have a passionate battle there too.

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