Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Protestant Nature of the Same Sex Marriage Debate

up I am adding a blog to the Anglican link section. That is Flocked out. He is a gay Anglican from the UK. My blog is not an internet echo chamber where I have links or just post things from the AMEN corner of what I agree with. A huge danger of social media that I think happens all the time. Also I find that prospect kinda of boring.

He( I think this might be a group blog so likely he and she plural) has a good blog and is engaging the same sex marriage and same sex relationship questions so looks like to be a good add.

I saw this post where he engages the biblical argument against same sex sexual relationships. See Going the whole hog.

This part struck me at the end:

My problem with the bible is that although I love God, and although I love and try to serve Jesus, the more acquainted I am with the bible the less it seems to offer a clear answer. The bible may be infallible but out understanding of it certainly isn’t.

Well that might be true. But one should ask if a classic Protestant argument we see even in Catholic circles is coming into play . In other words where is Church authority and yes HOLY TRADITION. Tradition seems to be AWOL in these discussions on all sides. Why?

I mention that here because Anglicans I think still believe in some version of the three legged stool and Tradition still has a place to some degree.

Thomas Peters had an excellent observations on twitter yesterday that a Methodist picked up on his blog Unsettled Christianity. At Quote of the Day, from @AmericanPapist:

If you want to discover the really good reason for Church Tradition, look at the insane ways people toss around “biblical” arguments today. – Thomas Peters

Of course, I need to add my Methodism too – Scripture, Reason and Experience.

Well that is very true. In fact the argument on gay marriage and related matters is very Protestant in two regards.

First as a legal matter the very Protestant viewpoints of some supporters (note I am not talking all nor the blogger I am engaging here) is a concern if one looks at some viewpoints at the Washington Post, USA Today, and other forums. Contrary to the conventional wisdom Protestant at first did not mean "Protesting Catholic doctrine" Protestant was first was used by those that "protested" having to tolerated Catholic practice. It seems that in some areas some are doing that as to religious liberty questions and same sex marriage and related questions.

Second it's very Protestant (the extreme kind) that believes in Sola Scriptora on steroids. Now I am not quite that familiar with Flocked out to see if he takes that view. However that last line got me thinking. When we separate scripture from Holy Tradition well heck yes some things can be confusing. Holy Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church seems to be absent. Of equal concern is Holy Tradition and the viewpoint of the second lung of the Church (the Eastern Orthodox) seem to be no where to be seen.

Beyond the issue of same sex marriage this is troubling. We as Catholics and Orthodox, do not want to give the impression that Holy Tradition does not matter. That bleeds over to other things.

However why no argument pro or con from Tradition? Well first the classic Protestant argument against supposed "man made" traditions comes into play. Second is the classic prejudice of the living that think all peoples before us were backwards or well just not very smart. I see this all the time on the History channel on shows dealing with ruins of ancient Civilizations we see around the globe.

How could these people have built such wonders. IT MUST BE UFOS and aliens that taught them. The fact that so many of us jump to that conclusion is telling.

We see this in the actions of the head of the Episcopal Church USA when she proclaims the Holy Spirit is using the Episcopal Church too enlighten the world on the true Gospel relating to same sex marriage and same sex relationships. Well that is a pretty powerful claim!!! Maybe the Holy Spirit is indeed using the Holy Spirit to correct this vast misunderstanding and perhaps the Holy Spirit is using this small part of Anglicanism in the USA as it's instrument.

However for such a startling claim I think it should be challenged a good deal.

Pope Benedict addressing non Catholic Faith Communities in New York made this point:

Too often those who are not Christians, as they observe the splintering of Christian communities, are understandably confused about the Gospel message itself. Fundamental Christian beliefs and practices are sometimes changed within communities by so-called “prophetic actions” that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition. Communities consequently give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of “local options”. Somewhere in this process the need for diachronic koinonia – communion with the Church in every age – is lost, just at the time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the Gospel (cf. Rom 1:18-23).

Indeed. The real danger we are seeing in the same sex marriage debate is this new way of looking at things will effect all sort of matters.

It is wrong to say that the mainline Protestant communities had rejected "Tradition" all together. However the mainline bodies might be headed that way.

1 comment:

c matt said...

How could these people have built such wonders.

They didn't fritter away hours on TV, the internet, movies, etc.