June 23, 2007

Which Biblical Marriage Do People Really Want?

That's the question asked in this piece on Ethics Daily. This is an article that's not just worth reading, it should be studied and perhaps even printed out and kept for reference by any advocate for same-sex marriage.

One of the catch phrases the religious right spews to support their discriminatory policies is the preservation of "biblical marriage." That would presume there was one clear example of what that was. As with most of the "insight" religous right leaders share with the unwashed masses, that is not true.

As Miguel De La Torre writes, there were numerous acceptable definitions of marriage throughout the bible, some of them allowing for multiple wives (but not husbands, remember women were like property in those days) and/or concubines. In my younger days the concubine idea would have been very attractive, but now I'm just too tired and I'd have to deal with Pastor Brenda's vociferous objections.

De La Torre even points out the acceptance of slavery throughout the Bible and mocks Paige Patterson, the head of the Southern Baptist Southwestern Seminary, about including courses on how to treat slaves along with their new cirriculum for training pastor's wives.

My point here is that those who insist on taking the Bible literally miss at least one vital point; God has more to teach us than is included in His written word. God has a way of spoon feeding us, not teaching us more than we can assimilate into our little minds or more than society can adapt to.

The United States wasn't ready to understand the sinfulness of slavery until the 19th century, and even then there were men from the pulpit preaching how slavery was part of God's will because it was in the Bible. You see, there's nothing new about religious leaders working to hold back progress in society because they are incapable or afraid of moving past what is written in the Bible. That's one of the reasons God gave us the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to guide us beyond Jesus teachings and lead us to the continuing, gradual, revelation of His will.

I believe with all my heart that the complete acceptance of GLBT people into church and the society is another step in the revelation of God's will. He will never lead us to something in conflict with the Bible, but He will continue to build upon the basic foundation of faith he laid out for us.

In accounting, my vocation, I went through years of plowing through textbooks learning the basics, then continued to learn addtional skills in the workplace which bulit upon those fundamentals I learned in school.

For Christians, the Bible is our textbook, but our education is not limited to the written word. Through the Holy Spirit, He has more to teach us beyond His written word than we could ever hope to learn on this Earth.

We just have to be open to learning it.

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