The Babbler Has The Last Word
Paraphrasing something from Mark Osler:

Marriage, like Baptism and Communion are Sacrements.

What I see in the Bible’s accounts of Jesus and his followers is an insistence that Christians don’t have the moral authority to deny others the blessing of holy institutions like baptism, communion, and marriage. God, through the Holy Spirit, infuses those moments with life, and it is not Christians to either give or deny to others. A clear instruction on this comes from Simon Peter, the “rock” on whom the church is built. Peter is a captivating figure in the Christian story. Jesus plucks him out of a fishing boat to become a disciple, and time and again he represents us all in learning at the feet of Christ.

After Jesus is crucified, a different Peter emerges, one who is forceful and bold. This is the Peter Christians see in the Acts of the Apostles, during a fevered debate over whether or not Gentiles should be baptized. Peter was harshly criticized for even eating a meal with those who were uncircumcised; that is, those who did not follow the commands of the Old Testament.

Peter, though, is strong in confronting those who would deny the sacrament of baptism to the Gentiles, and argues for an acceptance of believers who do not follow the circumcision rules of Leviticus (which is also where Christians find a
condemnation of homosexuality). His challenge is stark and stunning: Before ordering that the Gentiles be baptized Peter asks “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we  have?”

None of us, Peter says, has the moral authority to deny baptism to those who seek it, even if they do not follow the ancient laws. It is the flooding love of the Holy Spirit, which fell over that entire crowd, sinners and saints alike, that directs otherwise.
It is not a Christians place, it seems, to sort out who should be denied a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that Christians find through baptism, communion, and marriage. The water will flow where it will.  Intriguingly, this rule will apply whether Christians see homosexuality as a sin or not. The water is for all of us. Christians see the same thing at the Last Supper, as Jesus gives the bread and wine to all who are there—even to Peter, who Jesus said would deny him, and to Judas, who would betray him.

The question before Christians now is not whether homosexuality is a sin, but whether being gay should be a bar to baptism or communion or marriage. Why will you stand in the path of those seeking a Sacrement when even Peter, The Rock, said to do so is wrong?  Why deny us the "blessing" of the Sacrement of Marriage... you do not deny us the Sacrement of Baptism OR the Sacrement of Communion!


07/08/2012 8:00am

Not much to add to this as I am not a bible scholar but it seems to me the Christians of this world spend a lot of time judging and trying to destroy others not like them than saving souls.

05/28/2013 4:22am

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    The Babbler reserves the right to take both sides of any discussion, change his mind in the middle of a sentence, & be offensive if need be.


    June 2012

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