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Kingdom Perspective, Sunday

A Socio-Theology Of Same Sex “Marriage”

Posted: Jul 19, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Kingdom Perspective

The entrenchment of same-sex marriage as the “new normal” in the United States through the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell versus Hodges, has opened up a debate on a socio-theology of the new status quo.

It is not an entirely new debate. It has been on since the ordination of an openly gay priest, Gene Robinson, as a Bishop of New Hampshire by the US arm of the Anglican Church, the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) in 2003. Robinson, who retired in 2010 has since divorced his husband, Mark Andrew. And the Anglican Church has remained disunited since then.

As we noted last week, at the centre of the renewed debate are such Christian icons as Thomas Dexter Jakes, the well-known Black American presiding Bishop of The Potter’s House, a   multiracial, nondenominational church;  Rev Franklin Graham, current President of his famous father’s ministry, Billy Graham Evangelical Association (BGEA); ex-President Jimmy Carter and Brother Kenneth Copeland, who needs little introduction.

T.D. Jakes, we reported last week, was of the opinion that the judgment should be of no concern to the church. He said: “…I think that we should not lose our mind about the world being the world and the Church being the Church. This is not a news flash. The world is gonna be the world and the Church is gonna be the Church, and you have to understand the difference…The Supreme Court is there to make a decision based on constitutional rights and legalities that fit all Americans. They are not debating Scripture.”

In agreement with Jakes was the one they used to call the peanut president, because he was a peanut farmer, ex-President Jimmy Carter. Answering a question on Marc Lamont Hill-anchored HuffPost Live, the 90-year-old  Baptist former Sunday school teacher said: “Everybody deserves the right to marry, it’s no problem with me…I believe Jesus would. I don’t have any verse in scripture. …I believe Jesus would approve gay marriage, but that’s just my own personal belief. I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else, and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else”.

On the other side of the debate, as we have already noted, was Franklin Graham, whose reaction was one of it’s not a Church versus the World issue, but one that affects the nation of America. “Our nation”, he said among other things, “has a spiritual problem and we need God›s forgiveness and we need to repent of our sins and turn from our sins because I do believe that God›s judgement will come on this nation.”

One of the most comprehensive contributions to the debate was that published on the website of Kenneth Copeland Ministries (www.kcm.org). It was written by the well-known American evangelical Christian conservative political activist and author, David Barton. Oft-vilified by the liberal press, he is the founder of WallBuilders, a Texas-based organization, which insists that the view that the United States Constitution entrenched strict separation of church and state is a myth.

Barton, with obvious support from Copeland and his Pentecostal/charismatic camp, faulted the Supreme Court ruling on three levels – moral, constitutional and structural – and went on to look at the road ahead.

At the moral level, Barton argued that the SCOTUS’ decision “violates the moral standards specifically enumerated in our founding documents” – The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He pointed out that SCOTUS had already acknowledged that “the latter [Constitution] is but the body and the letter of which the former [Declaration of Independence] is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.”

Barton then examined the contents of the Declaration which gives the Constitution its spirit. His words: “The Declaration first officially acknowledges a Divine Creator and then declares that America will operate under the general values set forth in ‘the laws of nature and of nature’s God.’ The framers of our documents called this the Moral Law, and in the Western World it became known as the Common Law. This was directly incorporated into the American legal system while the colonies were still part of England; following independence, the Common Law was then reincorporated into the legal system of all the new states to ensure its uninterrupted operation; and under the federal Constitution, its continued use was acknowledged by means of the Seventh Amendment in the Bill of Rights.