Wednesday, 16 May 2012

From lies to clarity? From false love to charity?

Many who campaign for Same Sex Marriage are rightly pointing to the inconsistency of those Christians who take an absolute stand on this issue, based on the Bible, and yet have come to tolerate divorce and remarriage, and in some cases pre-marital and extra-marital sex.  Our Lord could not have been clearer than He was about divorce, and yet many Christian denominations permit divorced people to 're-marry.'

I use the inverted commas advisedly, because there can be no re-marriage of someone who is already married and whose spouse is still alive: What God has joined together...

So we have a delicious irony here: those who are preaching the lie of same sex marriage (for objectively it is a lie, even though I do not believe those who preach it are necessarily lying - they may believe it to be true) are giving the lie to those who preach the acceptability of re-marriage of divorcees; and all of this is pointing towards the truth, the one Christian body, the Church, that teaches clearly and consistently the whole Gospel message about human love and sexuality.

Of course, that is not their intention, but we know God's mastery at drawing good from strange sources.

The SSM advocates, who entirely misunderstand the nature and purpose of human love, tend to dislike the Church even more than all the Christian denominations which have fallen away from her over the centuries, precisely because of that clarity of moral teaching, and the clarity of vision about what human love really is.

They point, and understandably, at the many and terrible failings of members of the Church, and scarcely need to exaggerate them (though many do) to make a telling point.

So how can a Church which has undergone the trauma of discovering a small but significant number of its priests, and a smaller but still terrible number of bishops, have been actively involved with, or passively colluding with the terrible evil of child abuse... how can such a Church have the confidence to teach so high a doctrine of love and sexuality?

Firstly, because it is a true doctrine, and the Church has no choice.

But secondly, because we see it differently.  While it is scandalous and abhorrent to discover such evil in our midst, it is not surprising, and that for a number of reasons.

One is that each and every one of us knows himself to be a sinner: that's what God makes His Church on earth out of.

The second is that in His providence, He chose Judas as one of the twelve.  He told us about the cockle.  We know to expect this.

And the third is that if the Church is, as we believe, His continuing work on earth, His mystical body, then it, and especially individual priests, bishops and popes, will be under attack from Satan and all the Devils of Hell with greater ferocity than any other part of humanity.  We have Our Lord's promise that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church as a Church, but the example of Judas shows that we have no such guarantee for each individual.  So the Church not only boasts the greatest saints, but also some of the greatest sinners: and we should not be surprised that it is so, for it was so right from the time of Our Lord Himself.

1 comment:

umblepie said...

Good post, thanks.