One of the Strategies for Making War on the Sacrament of Marriage

One of the Strategies for Making War on the Sacrament of Marriage July 2, 2015

…is to weirdly contradictory three pronged attack of:

a) claiming that the Church has always hated gays and denied them the right to marry even though Jesus “said nothing” against gay marriage. This depends on what I call the Semi-Permeable Membrane of Sola Scriptura. It works as follows:

If a thing is condemned by the Church, but permitted by the Protestant (say, gay marriage) the demand is for an explicit text forbidding it (“Show me where Jesus said one word about not allowing gay marriage! That’s just the Church imposing its purely human ideas on what Jesus came to say.”).

Conversely, if a thing is allowed by the Church but condemned by the Protestant, the demand is for an explicit text commanding it. So, for instance, we get demands like, “Where in the Bible do you find anyone asking us to pray to dead people? That’s just the Church imposing it’s purely human ideas on what Jesus came to say.”

In fact, of course, Jesus is not silent about marriage:

He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, ¶ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’? So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” (Mt 19:4–6).

Jesus’ theology of marriage is rooted in Genesis and the complementarity of the sexes. He is not silent about that.

b) the claim that the Church, so far from opposing gay “marriage” used to celebrate gay “marriage”. This is rooted in John Boswell’s exploded piece of advocacy scholarship Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe. As the link suggests, this line of argument is now being disinterred by theological illiterates attempting to make the case that the Church has strayed from its theological foundation under the influence of Dark Joy-Hating Forces in the Vatican, etc.

Problem is, it just ain’t so. The characteristically lucid Jimmy Akin explains why:

c) the claim, rooted in Reformation polemics, that marriage didn’t even exist as a sacrament till about a thousand years ago, so it’s basically just a manmade tradition we can alter at will. Thanks, Calvin. Bet you didn’t anticipate this outcome to your innovation.

This is like the argument that because the Church did not formulate the doctrine of Transubstantiation until about a thousand years ago, therefore it had no doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. It’s like saying that until vitamins were discovered, nobody believed food was nutritious.

The reality is that marriage and the complimentarity of the sexes completely suffuses the NT and informs the sacramental thought of its writers. Jesus is the Bridegroom and his bride the Church. Nuptial imagery fills the thought of John and Paul especially. Ephesians 5 is a document that can find no daylight between the marriage of man and woman and the marriage of Christ and the Church. The whole NT consummates in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.

Of course, none of this matters to the “say anything to win” strategy of gay “Marriage” apologists. But it’s good to know if you are actually interested in accuracy and truth.

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