Explaining an accepting evangelical position to gay marriage- any tips?

(66 Posts)

Just trying to think how I can explain an accepting evangelical position with regard to gay marriage.

Does anyone have any tips?

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Mon 13-May-13 09:24:22

I agree, but the evidence seems to be that living to gether first doesn't stop you breaking up, or make it less likely, which you 'seemed' be suggesting up thread.

I don't think it makes you less likely to break up, but stops you spending a lot of money on a wedding if you discover you are not compatible.

Compatible to get married?

Compatible full stop.

But there may be a lot of people who lived together and then broke up, maybe many years later. This may well have been devastating for one or other of them and the lack of legal clarity around kids/property/money etc may have made it worse.

Might also be easier when there's no legal matters involved. I know a girl who's been getting divorced for nearly three years now and there's only a house to deal with no kids, no other complications.

I meant gay people running a b and b for other gay people and being unhappy to find it being used by hetrosexual couples.

I don't think it would be right to only allow gay people to use the b&b, that would be exactly the age discrimination.

I mean they would want to run it for the benefit of gay people....

That's ok, and you can do things to promote the place as somewhere for gay people to stay, but they shouldn't be able to stop straight people staying if they wanted to.

Of course they want people staying but that is not the same as renting out rooms to people who they would feel uncomfortable having stay. You can say no smoking in your hotel room, for example.

Smoking is very different. Apart from there being laws around it, it has a detrimental effect on the room and would put off non-smokers using the room afterwards.

You can certainly have things which shouldn't be done in the room for legal reasons (drugs, etc.) or for reasons of maintaining the property (smashing the tv, smoking, etc), but purely based on someone's sexual orientation is just wrong.

niminypiminy Mon 13-May-13 11:08:41

Backonlybriefly: I think you are playing the 'let's interpret selected Bible verses absolutely literally and without any regard to context or scholarship, and then say that any Christian who does not do the same is not a real Christian' game. That's not a game I am willing to get into.

As Greenheart has said the Bible is a complex document. I suggested a way forward is to weigh the fairly small number of verses that deal with sexual acts against the large number of passages that set out the ideal of fidelity and love in human relationships. I stick by that, and I am prepared to defend that theologically.

It's easy for this kind of conversation to get stuck in details, like the B&B example. But the real test is what we do. Do our gay family and friends see us a Christians living out kingdom values? do they see us welcoming the stranger? do they see us loving our neighbour as ourselves? If they see that it will because we are building the kingdom where we are: we are welcoming them and loving them.

And, as I said before, since Christianity has love at its centre, the only question that is really relevant is 'are gay people able to love selflessly, to be faithful, and sacrificing in their relationships?' If they are -- and my own knowledge of the lives of my family and friends tells me that it is, then that is all the answer we need.

Italiangreyhound fair enough. (I'm taking a look at the links ty) When I say 'homophobia' I'm mostly thinking of those who thump the pulpit and say that homosexuality is the work of the devil and must be stamped out. I am truly amazed that they are basing it on something the bible doesn't even say (unless those translations I have seen are direct lies. After all I don't speak the language so I can't check).

It's always been possible to work around the passages in the bible by talking of metaphor and such, but I thought the bible literalists were at least being consistent. After all if you genuinely believe that these are your god's direct words - that the creator of the universe has told you to do something - it must be hard to disagree. If they know the bible may not even say it in the first place then my estimation of them drops further.

For those who think the bible was not dictated directly by god there is room to choose an interpretation. That many are looking for a way not to see it as an order is a good and hopeful thing.

niminypiminy "without any regard to context or scholarship".

I pointed to a scholarly disagreement in the translation and expressed my surprise.

niminypiminy Mon 13-May-13 12:45:55

I'm not biting. Engage with what I am saying, if you like.

niminypiminy Mon 13-May-13 12:46:52

(PS I'm going to be offline now for a couple of days so can't join in the discussion till I'm back)

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Mon 13-May-13 18:28:15

And, as I said before, since Christianity has love at its centre, the only question that is really relevant is 'are gay people able to love selflessly, to be faithful, and sacrificing in their relationships?' If they are -- and my own knowledge of the lives of my family and friends tells me that it is, then that is all the answer we need.

Except that's your opinion and there's a ton of Christians who disagree with you and take a different interpretation.

Pedro re living together I have to emphasis again that this is my view for me. I married a few years back and I have been truly blessed with most amazing (and at times amazingly annoying!) husband. I know lots of people have had a shitty deal from marriage and relationships and would be in no rush to get married again but would not want to be alone either. My friend is in just such a situation. She is not a Christian and has never asked for my views on sex before marriage and I have never sought to offer them (as far as I remember). When things were on the rocks if she asked my advice I tried to give it as best as I could to her situation, neither encouraging her to marry nor to stay single nor to live with him. Just to do what is right for her. I can see your point about long drawn out divorces and I think that the reason God is keen on commitment is for our protection, not to get our hearts stompped on, and not to tie us into unhappy long term relationships.

Back you said For those who think the bible was not dictated directly by god there is room to choose an interpretation. Christians tend to talk about the Bible being God-breathed and not 'dictated by God', people under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote it (not God sent it by fax). Just my view.

I am truly amazed that they are basing it on something the bible doesn't even say... I don't know what you mean at all, Back. The parts that speak about homosexuality are in the old and new testament, you can Google and read them. They appear to clearly say no to homosexual sex but there are various arguments about the meaning might be in context. I can see how easily and clearly it would be possible to make an argument either may from individual passages. What Ninnypinny and others are talking about is the context they are set in (or so I believe).

Sorry either *way8 from individual passages....

madhairday Mon 13-May-13 19:50:13

I like the caterpillar and butterfly analogy, green - that describes something of my experience - I remember the days of wanting everything to be so black and white, and gradually emerging into a deeper and fuller understanding with more fuzzy lines (but much more fun).

wrt translation BoB, that's why the church must teach people to look at the bible exegetically and hermeneutically, and not take it word for word literally - to use their God given brains, in fact. Nowt wrong with a bit of textual and contextual criticism and understanding. I believe the bible is inspired by God, and also believe God expects me to do all I can to understand what it is saying, to appreciate each genre, each analogy, each story and each nuance. A lifetimes work, really...

Shockers how are you doing? Did you get any further in your thinking?

RufflingFeathers any thoughts?

Just remember you said you ad no time to write properly. PM me if you would rather, if you want to I mean!

Pedro how goes it?

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Wed 15-May-13 10:25:24

I can see your point about long drawn out divorces and I think that the reason God is keen on commitment is for our protection, not to get our hearts stompped on, and not to tie us into unhappy long term relationships.

I think it's important to step back for a moment and look at what marriage actually is.

Marriage is an entirely human invention. It doesn't occur anywhere else in the animal kingdom. Sure, you have animals who mate for life (and others who don't!) but that's all to do with evolved survival techniques. You'll find that animals who pair up for ever will tend to share the care for their offspring which is clearly beneficial.

Marriage though, is a tool of law. It binds two people legally. This brings benefits within human society. But it's also a tool of security. The perception is that if some agrees to marry you, they are committed to the relationship. The perception comes from two angles, one is the vows which you take to commit to the your partner (though in the end, these are merely words and anyone can say them as part of a ceremony whether they mean it or not) and the other is that legally it's a PITA to separate from marriage so why would anyone bother marrying if they intended to end it.

That is a very cynical view of marriage, granted, and it's far from the commitment I made to my wife, but that's a very personal commitment which one makes to oneself.

So honestly, I don't see that marriage itself has any bearing on the success of a relationship, if you are genuinely committed to each other then your relationship will flourish, if you are not, then it probably won't. As such, I don't treat marriage as anything particularly special to my relationship. Not that it didn't mean anything to me to marry my wife, it did. But if we hadn't, I wouldn't feel any differently about her. It's a social statement to marry and carries some legal benefits. But to suggest that it would be wrong to live with someone or to sleep with them before you marry, to me makes no sense whatsoever.

So honestly, I don't see that marriage itself has any bearing on the success of a relationship, if you are genuinely committed to each other then your relationship will flourish, if you are not, then it probably won't.

Pedro clearly in light of the fact that gay people would like the chance to get married it has some bearing on a relationship. I grant you it's 'power' has been misused and to some degree it has lessened over time as it has become easier and easier to not be married having been married (which I don't see as a bad thing). However, the ideal would still be for me, and I expect for many others, to be married to the same person for a long time, to raise your kids (if you have any) with that person. It is to some seen as a gage of how committed people are, although clearly that is not always the case, either in the amount of commitment found in it or the lack of it, or the amount of lack of commitment found outside it.

Marriage is an entirely human invention. It doesn't occur anywhere else in the animal kingdom.

Pedro, I am not sure what you mean by the animal kingdom example. My response would either be well... dah (with all respect wink... animals don't use flush loos or books or eat soup, so what, it doesn't devalue those things for me as a person! Or I might say 'how do you know they don't marry? When a herd of elephants get to chatting who knows what is said!

Clearly for humans marriage is very important and that must be one of the reasons gay couples want to do it.

I think marriage has an important role in society, if nothing else it gives a definition and boundary to a relationship which is very clear and some people I know have found it to be very important (although I would not hesitate to say as before that it can be misused and abusive etc and in that sense it certainly cannot be a guarantee of any kind of relationship other than a legal and in some cases a spiritual (some would define it as such) decision to stay together with one partner for as long as you stay married.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Thu 16-May-13 19:09:14

I think if marriage itself gives you a spiritual drive to stay with one partner then fair enough, but I'd argue that you don't need it if your relationship is strong enough.

There are three reasons I think gay people want to be able to marry. Firstly, there are those who consider it a special union which they would like to enter into. Secondly, it's about equal rights, why shouldn't they be able to get married. And thirdly, there are legal benefits to it.

When I say I don't think it has any bearing on a relationship, I mean I don't think that a relationship necessarily improves or is damaged by marriage.

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