Author Topic: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions  (Read 5665 times)

James J Eivan

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #75 on: October 24, 2020, 03:43:58 PM »
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.
If you do any work on the seventh day, you are breaking God's law (Exodus 23:12; 34:11). If you are a farmer you are not to harvest grain or grapes or olives on the seventh year. That's God's law (Exodus 23:10-11). God's law also tells us to put to death anyone who works on the sabbath (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Nu 15:32-36).

I would venture to guess that there are many of the 613 commands in the Torah that you regularly ignore.
Oooh, and don't forget the shrimp thing!  You ALWAYS mention that.
Unless  Rev Stoffregen informs this humble forum that his wife from his optionally monogamous marriage wears a hat in public at all times he has little right to lecture us on the 600 some odd bogus distractions he disingenuously introduces into a discussion on Christian monogamous marriage.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #76 on: October 24, 2020, 06:01:32 PM »

I've mentioned it enough times so that I don't have to repeat myself anymore.

May we quote you on this? You know, sort of like reminding Lindsay Graham of his "you should use my words against me" quip?  8)


"Don't have to," doesn't mean I won't. :D

"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #77 on: October 24, 2020, 06:05:07 PM »
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.
If you do any work on the seventh day, you are breaking God's law (Exodus 23:12; 34:11). If you are a farmer you are not to harvest grain or grapes or olives on the seventh year. That's God's law (Exodus 23:10-11). God's law also tells us to put to death anyone who works on the sabbath (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Nu 15:32-36).

I would venture to guess that there are many of the 613 commands in the Torah that you regularly ignore.
Oooh, and don't forget the shrimp thing!  You ALWAYS mention that.
Unless  Rev Stoffregen informs this humble forum that his wife from his optionally monogamous marriage wears a hat in public at all times he has little right to lecture us on the 600 some odd bogus distractions he disingenuously introduces into a discussion on Christian monogamous marriage.


Polygamy is not legal in the U.S. "Optionally monogamous marriage" is not an option.


Again, I ask, where are the verses where God commands monogamy? I've shared verses where God supports multiple wives.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peter_speckhard

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #78 on: October 25, 2020, 01:32:23 PM »
https://juicyecumenism.com/2020/10/23/episcopal-church-marriages/

This article chronologically links the decline in marriage generally with the rise of gay marriage and civil unions. The thesis doesn't explore all the possible reasons for the correlation, but I think a church and society that is so lax about fornication and divorce has stopped taking marriage very seriously, anyway, which leaves people with no particular reason to resist a redefinition of it.

Charles Austin

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #79 on: October 25, 2020, 05:28:29 PM »
Peter writes:
This article chronologically links the decline in marriage generally with the rise of gay marriage and civil unions. The thesis doesn't explore all the possible reasons for the correlation...
I comment:
2003? That's when this guy thinks regard for marriage began to decline? I was ordained in 1967 and experienced, both as pastor and as friends of others, couples living together, "easy" divorce, and other things we might consider marriage "irregularities" practiced without much social disapproval. But is it "marriage," or is it "the Church" that fell out of favor, that lost its influence? People want marriage ceremonies, some of them "spiritual, but not religious," and there is an industry of "ceremony guides" who will craft and lead the rituals desired.

Peter writes:
but I think a church and society that is so lax about fornication and divorce has stopped taking marriage very seriously, anyway, which leaves people with no particular reason to resist a redefinition of it.
I ponder:
Just when was it that society - that is, the whole society, not just the polite minority church people - really really took marriage "very seriously"? Among our founders? Mistresses abound. In the days of the westward expansion? Marriages of convenience or non-marriages abound, partially because a lot of times there weren't clergy around to officiate. In the days of the "Roarin' Twenties"? You must be kidding. After both World Wars, when our formerly isolated citizens were exposed to laxer attitudes among our allies overseas? "How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm; after they've seen Paree?"
I think we in the church were lucky in the 1950s when "family life" became a goal and we benefited.
Today, I think we benefit when, for the sake of love or family or even as responsible citizens in society, people formerly denied the privilege of official, formal, legal, church-recognized marriage are able to seek and find it.
And it is good when divorce need not mean the end of a career, a totally shaming scandal in the community, and life long misery - usually for the woman - because a marriage failed. 
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Twice-vaccinated.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #80 on: October 25, 2020, 05:35:56 PM »
Peter writes:
This article chronologically links the decline in marriage generally with the rise of gay marriage and civil unions. The thesis doesn't explore all the possible reasons for the correlation...
I comment:
2003? That's when this guy thinks regard for marriage began to decline? I was ordained in 1967 and experienced, both as pastor and as friends of others, couples living together, "easy" divorce, and other things we might consider marriage "irregularities" practiced without much social disapproval. But is it "marriage," or is it "the Church" that fell out of favor, that lost its influence? People want marriage ceremonies, some of them "spiritual, but not religious," and there is an industry of "ceremony guides" who will craft and lead the rituals desired.

Peter writes:
but I think a church and society that is so lax about fornication and divorce has stopped taking marriage very seriously, anyway, which leaves people with no particular reason to resist a redefinition of it.
I ponder:
Just when was it that society - that is, the whole society, not just the polite minority church people - really really took marriage "very seriously"? Among our founders? Mistresses abound. In the days of the westward expansion? Marriages of convenience or non-marriages abound, partially because a lot of times there weren't clergy around to officiate. In the days of the "Roarin' Twenties"? You must be kidding. After both World Wars, when our formerly isolated citizens were exposed to laxer attitudes among our allies overseas? "How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm; after they've seen Paree?"
I think we in the church were lucky in the 1950s when "family life" became a goal and we benefited.
Today, I think we benefit when, for the sake of love or family or even as responsible citizens in society, people formerly denied the privilege of official, formal, legal, church-recognized marriage are able to seek and find it.
And it is good when divorce need not mean the end of a career, a totally shaming scandal in the community, and life long misery - usually for the woman - because a marriage failed.
Episcopal weddings are down 66% in a relatively short period. Instead of engaging in more invective, why not comment on the point of the article? Do you have a theory. Does it not strike you as important?   

Charles Austin

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #81 on: October 25, 2020, 05:45:58 PM »
The point of the article is to drum up opposition to the current leadership and positions in the Episcopal Church. I'm not very interested in doing that. The Institute on Religion and Democracy has been trashing liberal churches since the 1980s, often with lies and misleading articles, such as a Readers' Digest atrocity against the World Council of Churches back in those days. Unfortunately, the generally more sensible (though often wrong) Richard John Neuhaus was tight with them for a while.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Twice-vaccinated.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #82 on: October 25, 2020, 05:58:37 PM »
The point of the article is to drum up opposition to the current leadership and positions in the Episcopal Church. I'm not very interested in doing that. The Institute on Religion and Democracy has been trashing liberal churches since the 1980s, often with lies and misleading articles, such as a Readers' Digest atrocity against the World Council of Churches back in those days. Unfortunately, the generally more sensible (though often wrong) Richard John Neuhaus was tight with them for a while.
So you're not interested in the point of the article. Don't post about it then.

Charles Austin

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #83 on: October 25, 2020, 06:06:57 PM »
Actually, Peter, I did post about the article. And about the topic in general. You would like it if people could just throw up these far right crazy columns and we would let them stand unchallenged. I don’t think that should happen.
Do you have any answer my questions about the timing of those “glorious days“ when everybody respected marriage and practiced it the way you think it should be practiced?
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Twice-vaccinated.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #84 on: October 25, 2020, 06:34:57 PM »
Actually, Peter, I did post about the article. And about the topic in general. You would like it if people could just throw up these far right crazy columns and we would let them stand unchallenged. I don’t think that should happen.
Do you have any answer my questions about the timing of those “glorious days“ when everybody respected marriage and practiced it the way you think it should be practiced?
Actually, I posted it because I think it is a serious problem in my own congregation as well. When I first became a pastor, weddings were a pretty regular weekend thing. When I became senior pastor for the first time, about twenty years ago, I had something like 12 weddings in 11 weeks. Now I virtually never do a wedding. Between the two of us we might do a handful in a given year, generally off site. I think the younger generation's view of marriage has completely changed. If you would do something other than default to defend your side in a culture war, you might find interesting things to think about that don't relate to the virtuous left and evil right.

I think social acceptance of premarital sex plays a big role. People aren't sure they're ready for marriage even if they're sleeping together regularly. There is also economic uncertainty that makes people postpone major decisions. The two-income model in a mobile job market is also hard to pull off. And something mentioned at the end of The Social Dilemma hit home to me. One of the effects of the social media age is that a huge number of people are making it to adulthood without ever having gone on a date or had a romantic relationship of any kind. The idea that marriage is nothing different between what two men who love each other have also removes any sense of moral urgency to the decision.

As long as you keep posting WaPo and NYT, no amount of far right crazy columns will counter-balance them. Rest your little head. 

Richard Johnson

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #85 on: October 25, 2020, 07:31:55 PM »
The article Peter posted is indeed interesting, though it suffers from the "woe is them" attitude that often afflicts "Juicy Ecumenism" stuff. I thought a more sober (and helpful) analysis was the Living Church blog cited by the JE column, which you can find here.

I also experienced, subjectively thinking about it, a decline in the number of weddings I did over the years. Curious about my memory, I actually went back and took a look. In my first 15 years or so of ministry, I averaged about one wedding a month--the fewest in one year was 7, the most was 18. In the last dozen years of ministry, I averaged about 2 or 3 a year (in 2002, I did no weddings). It looks to me as if the tipping point was about the turn of the millennium. I did nine weddings in 1998; the most in any year after that was four, and usual it was only two or three.

Of course there are many factors that should be considered in thinking about this. One that occurs to me is that baby boomers were getting married in the 1960s and 1970s, so one would expect a higher number of weddings then; but those couples tended to have fewer children (and to marry later), which would mean a decline around the turn of the millennium. On the other hand, I suspect (but didn't keep this record) that even as the number of weddings I did was declining, the percentage of them which were second marriages for at least one spouse was increasing.

Factor into the analysis the reality that while once upon a time, even nominal Christians tended to seek a pastor to officiate at their wedding, now there are lots more options. (My pastor daughter was really ticked, when she was still in seminary, that her non-ordained brother officiated at a wedding before she did!)

And factor in also that in many churches (and especially, in my experience, and since that's what the article is about, Episcopal churches) there are very specific "rules" about what you can and can't do at a wedding relating to photography, flowers, music, schlocky add-on ceremonies, etc. In an environment where people have come to believe that "it's my day and I want it my way," sometimes they aren't at all interested in shackling themselves to the standards of the congregation.

A word about context: In my current parish, there is a pretty firm rule that only parish members can be married in the church. A previous rector told me this was because if he didn't make that rule, he would be doing weddings every weekend (quaint Victorian church in a picturesque destination town). That's an unusual situation, perhaps, but it might play into the statistics.

Bottom line, there are lots of factors involved in the "decline of marriages" in the church (not just the Episcopal Church, as Peter points out).
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #86 on: October 25, 2020, 08:08:13 PM »
And factor in also that in many churches (and especially, in my experience, and since that's what the article is about, Episcopal churches) there are very specific "rules" about what you can and can't do at a wedding relating to photography, flowers, music, schlocky add-on ceremonies, etc. In an environment where people have come to believe that "it's my day and I want it my way," sometimes they aren't at all interested in shackling themselves to the standards of the congregation.


And some couples hire a wedding planner who tries to tell the pastor what he's supposed to do.



"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #87 on: October 25, 2020, 08:16:01 PM »
The point of the article is to drum up opposition to the current leadership and positions in the Episcopal Church. I'm not very interested in doing that. The Institute on Religion and Democracy has been trashing liberal churches since the 1980s, often with lies and misleading articles, such as a Readers' Digest atrocity against the World Council of Churches back in those days. Unfortunately, the generally more sensible (though often wrong) Richard John Neuhaus was tight with them for a while.
Rev Austin ... simply because you appear to be “tight with them” in no way indicates that you have any or more or less sense than RJN ... why judge the indefensible dead?

James J Eivan

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #88 on: October 25, 2020, 08:23:23 PM »
And factor in also that in many churches (and especially, in my experience, and since that's what the article is about, Episcopal churches) there are very specific "rules" about what you can and can't do at a wedding relating to photography, flowers, music, schlocky add-on ceremonies, etc. In an environment where people have come to believe that "it's my day and I want it my way," sometimes they aren't at all interested in shackling themselves to the standards of the congregation.
And some couples hire a wedding planner who tries to tell the pastor what he's supposed to do.
Yes ... sadly including communing the bride and groom only in the midst of the pastor’s address to the couple. 🤔

Charles Austin

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Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
« Reply #89 on: October 25, 2020, 08:24:03 PM »
I’m not judging anything. Richard was an active participant in the work of  the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He and I discussed it many times. And he and I were on NBC’s “Today” show together discussing it following my story in the Times.

https://www.nytimes.com/1982/11/03/us/national-council-of-churches-faces-new-type-of-critic.html

And here RJN speaks for IRD
https://www.nytimes.com/1981/11/15/nyregion/new-church-group-assails-support-for-left.html
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 08:37:51 PM by Charles Austin »
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