Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Some Things Shouldn’t Need Specifying

Elsewhere, LLC comments:

“At our last business meeting (December), our pastor and the deacons proposed an addition to our statement of faith, affirming that marriage is between a man and a woman. The older members of our church were surprised on the grounds of “We thought it was already in there.” The pastor, the deacons, and the secretary had gone back through thirty years of church records and couldn’t find it anywhere ... so the change was made.

I suspect we’re in the minority of churches.”

I suspect LLC is correct.

Wikipedia quotes James Neill’s “The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies” (2009) to prove that throughout history various types of same-sex unions have existed around the world, ranging from “informal, unsanctioned, and temporary relationships to highly ritualized unions that have included marriage”. Interestingly, Wikipedia’s link to the Neill book conveniently omits the single page that contains the relevant material. And very little investigation shows Neill says no such thing: his observation is limited to 18th century China and does not appear to include marriage at all.

Despite the progressive proclivity for rewriting history to suit the trends of the day, for nearly two millennia the words “between a man and a woman” have been uniformly unnecessary in any mainstream discussion of marriage. It would not have occurred to the vast majority of Christians to contemplate marriage on any other terms.

The majority is not always right; in fact, it may be that is rarely the case. But if you are advancing an interpretation of scripture that has never been countenanced anywhere in 2,000 years of church history at any time prior to the last few decades, you are almost surely wrong on that basis alone.

And that’s before we get into exegesis of the relevant passages.

Some things really shouldn’t need specifying.

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