Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Church Versus State In Being "Marryin' Sam"

In Lil' Abner cartoon/comics, the pastor was called "Marryin' Sam," famous for doing what most of us clergy are called to do from time to time: marry or wed people. We do this, and awkwardly so, as agents of the state, in which we--along with justices of the peace and ship captains--can wed people, signing on the dotted line of the county-provided marriage license. Thus marriages are a contract provided by the state, but officiated by clergy.

So what happens when the state recognizes a couple to be wedded together as not only a "man and a woman," but a "man and man," or "woman and woman"? Massachusetts already does this as a marriage. California is considering it (click here); Oregon, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont already provide domestic or civil unions, as do countries like Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, and Great Britain (to name a few).

While "fidelity in relationships, chastity in singleness" in several of our denominations is applicable to only "man and woman," what happens when (not if, when) the majority of the states allows unions of same sex couples?

Won't the church change?

My bet: yes!

Watch and listen, and be amazed at how God is working "where the Spirit will," says Jesus.

Peace, Brett

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