The one thing many of us warned about in relation to gay marriage, and those who disagreed said, “You’re being ridiculous,” well…
No, not the slippery slope of gay marriage leading to the legalization of polygamy and who knows what else. That’s old news. It’s already happened. For example, cases related to polygamy have already been filed employing the very arguments used to legalize same-sex marriage. Why not? They’re the same idea.
No, something even more disturbing has rushed to the fore.
At the end of a series of blogs I wrote on homosexuality and the church in 2011, I ended with what I felt at the time was as close to prophetic as I was willing to risk: namely, that the cultural debate on gay marriage was over. Orthodox, historic, biblical Christianity had lost the argument. The real issue was going to be the religious freedom to uphold the nature of marriage as established by God and to not be persecuted for refusing to perform same sex marriage ceremonies (you can begin reading that series of blogs here).
News broke this very week that Barrie Drewitt-Barlow and his partner, Tony — millionaires who run a surrogacy company in Britain and the U.S. — told the Daily Mail they plan to sue the Church of England to get married there.
“I want to go to my church and marry my husband,” said Drewitt-Barlow in an interview published Friday (Aug. 2). “It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognize us.”
Please re-read that.
They are purposefully taking the Church of England to court to force them to affirm their lifestyle. Not accept them as people, or grant them the freedom to marry, but to force the church to affirm their homoerotic relationship and bless it.
The new law, which received the Queen’s approval last month, stipulates that no religious denomination will be forced to carry out such services.
But, as the Religion News Service reports, that’s not good enough for the couple.
“We need to convince the church that it is the right thing for our community for them to recognize us as practicing Christians,” said Drewitt-Barlow.
Neither the Church of England nor the Roman Catholic Church recognizes gay marriages. Other religious groups, including Orthodox Jews, Hindus and Sikhs do not perform such marriages.
Claiming the Christian faith themselves, but aghast that the Church at large does not embrace their understanding of sexual ethics and marriage, they want to force the church to affirm their lifestyle.
The Director for the Coalition for Marriage, Colin Hart, said Drewitt–Barlow’s comments clearly shows that churches are certain to face litigation.
In a statement, he said: “The ink’s not even dry on the bill and churches are already facing litigation. We warned Mr. Cameron (Britain’s prime minister) this would happen, we told him he was making promises that he couldn’t possibly keep. He didn’t listen. … Mr. Cameron’s chickens are coming home to roost and it will be ordinary people with a religious belief who yet again fall victim to the totalitarian forces of political correctness.”
So my shot at prediction came true.
I hate it when I’m right.
James Emery White
Trevor Grundy, “Gay couple may sue Church of England to wed in church,” Religion News Service, August 6, 2013, read online.
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. His newly released book is The Church in an Age of Crisis: 25 New Realities Facing Christianity (Baker Press). To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, log-on to www.churchandculture.org, where you can post your comments on this blog, view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.