He Who Must Not Be Named

I sit here at the keyboard once again with writers block. I had a vague idea of what I was going to write and I thought it would get clearer as time progressed. Well guess what….time has progressed and it hasn’t.

I kinda promised I would name our enemy. I think I may as well come straight out and say it…..his name is the law.

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?”

 Listen to the opening words of the Athenasian Creed that we confess –

  1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith.
  2. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
  3. And the Catholic Faith is this:……..

Am I being a cynic? To me this sounds like a Law – this is what you must believe, otherwise you will go to hell.

I don’t know, is it just me?

I think that if a host of Angels is going to appear to Shepherds and announce a glorious new Gospel  I would sort of expect it to be good news. If all we have to do is believe something why did Jesus have to die? Or if all we have to do is repent why didn’t God just wave a bigger stick. Something  much bigger and better happened at the crucifixion. A couple of weeks ago my Pastor delivered a great sermon and I thought I had it figured….but its gone now. The Gospel must be Good News but I can’t see it. Is it good news for the person that loses faith because he has been abused by a Christian Brother? Is it good news for someone who will never hear it? Our supposed good news is causing Gay people everywhere to live in hiding, or sending them to depression or suicide. Thousands of people march in protest against gay families???? What is this? Is this us proclaiming good news? We may be preaching the Good News in our holy huddles but the world isn’t hearing it – and it is the world that God loved.

We have got our neat little bubble of “word and sacrament”and “law and gospel” and we say that this is how God operates, so we try and contain God under our laws.

Love isn’t a decision, love can’t be explained with theology, when God looks at you he doesn’t see Jesus (contrary to what the song says) he sees you!  And believe it or not he loves you. If we have the capacity to love don’t you think the love of God would be far greater. The Good News is for the world and they aren’t hearing it. The loudest thing they are hearing at the moment is a strong and loud unified voice against gay families. Listen to the hypocricy of this, we say that families are important so then we fight against them. Their family in no way threatens or diminishes the value of yours. Imagine the damage and the anxiety we are inflicting on children in gay families.

We must return to the scriptures, we must repent, we must give our hearts to the Lord, we must commit our lives to him…..me must, we must, we must!

To those fixated on the law, the veil remains – The law is “He Who Must Not Be Named”.

Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.  But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”  (read 2Cor 3 – 4:4)

31 Responses to “He Who Must Not Be Named”
  1. Wally Schiller says:

    Sorry, Tapio, but this is again, a massive confusion. You have many snippets of statements which are true in essence, but the manner in which you apply them is entirely misconstrued – and it seems, all in the name of seeking to justify a lambasting of the church on the issue of homosexuality. I don’t know what else I can say – short of writing major essays in an attempt to assist you. May I suggest you make a time with your local pastor to sit down and engage in a thorough discussion of teaching, doctrine, law and Gospel so that you can gain a better picture that relates to life as a sinner/saint (which is each one of us) and thereby assist those whose lives are beset by the various matters that we face as a result of original sin. Trying to do that here is an enormity that will not succeed.
    Again, beautiful picture!

    • Tapman says:

      Thanks for feedback, perhaps I am not as clear as I think in my own head.

      You are right, I do have an agenda, I am doing my bit to try and right a great injustice.

      By various matters that beset us as a result of original sin I take it you mean homosexuality. Do you find it difficult to use the word abomination?

      • Tapman says:

        Damn, should count to ten before replying.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        By “various matters”, I mean exactly that: various matters that result from the Fall. Yes, it includes homosexuality, because it, like all sin, is a result of the Fall. And all sin is an abomination before the Lord. But there is forgiveness – for all! That’s what we need to focus on. Now, if I say of any sin: It is an abomination – and then say nothing more, I am guilty of betraying the Gospel. Therefore, it is always important to speak of the whole picture: sin and grace, without separation.
        Again, this is part of my reason for suggesting that you should have a long discussion with your pastor to talk all this through rather than attempting to make spurious connections on issues (such as you have done with Harry Potter stuff) because these associations fall so far short to the point where they confuse the issue entirely. I cannot hope to give sufficient response to all the confusion raised by your associations.

      • Tapman says:

        Thanks for clarifying this. This is exactly where I have issue. What you….and many others are saying is that forgiveness is offered for being gay. Being gay is a result of the fall etc.

        In a spiritual sense, we as Lutherans believe that after the fall we are 100% dead to God. Being dead we have no way to save ourselves. Thus we play no part in our own salvation, how can we, we are dead. Our spirit is not distorted it is dead. But what about our bodies? We are alive – so in this place called earth we are partly alive – distorted so to speak. I have no problem with you saying that we are all distorted. All of creation is distorted. If a person is born blind would I say to him that he was steeped in sin at birth therefore he is blind? Being blind is not a sin one doesn’t have to repent of this. I don’t think it wise to start making levels of distortedness – I as a heterosexual am born under the same laws of nature as the homosexual. You even agree with this point. Where we differ is in that you say that being gay is a sin, or that gay is more distorted than us. The burden “you” place on the gay person is different – in fact it is such a crushing burden that most who issue it would not be able to live with it themselves.

        Please note – the word distortion is one I would prefer not to use because I don’t believe LGBTI people are distorted in the way that the word could well be interpreted.

        Wally – I will try and write as clear as possible. I am trying to keep it simple, perhaps I am not achieving this. I try to only make one important point in each post to avoid confusion. If you disagree, that is fine, it would be helpfull if one point of disagreement could be dealt with at a time.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        It is somewhat impossible to pick up one point in what you write and deal with it, because of the intertwined nature of the way you write – you make a given point (which may well be right) but then you associate it in a way that is not. For this reason, I say again: it is probably better to sit with a pastor in your area and talk these things through so that you do not end up in incorrect associations. Further, it will also assist you in understanding more of original sin, grace, forgiveness and the resultant need to live in the dual situation of sinner/saint. It is not easy – and no one suggests it is. Homosexuality is not by any means the only issue that arises from the effect of original sin – there are others. Yet we seem to see the need to justify this situation which we don’t do for others. If I am born with kleptomania, I can neither claim justification for it on the basis that “God made me that way” not can I seek endorsement for any actions that I might choose to follow as a result. I also may never be cured in the sense of being totally free from that desire, but, if repentance takes place and grace is brought to bear through forgiveness, I do have the cure of God’s love – and that’s a different cure. It is a cure that enables me to live with the difficulties that my sinful nature still causes me to bear. The latter gets better with time and reaches its fulfillment in the life to come.

      • Tapman says:

        Pastor, I know it has been a while so I hope you see this reply – Your mind is obviously in darkness and has been made that way by your worldy outlook so I can’t be bothered to take your reply seriously. That is what I feel like writing because that is what I feel when you write to me. But I won’t say what I feel like saying. You tell me I make incorrect associations yet have not named one of them – you have associated kleptomania with homosexuality – The way you have said this is both wrong and insensitive.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        1) You name the enemy as the law – correct. But you do so in order that you can justify something that is not endorsed by Scripture.

        2) You pick isolated statements out of the Athanasian Creed and identify them as law – correct. But you do not take the whole of the creed, or its context into consideration.

        3) You make the statement: “this is what you must believe, otherwise you will go to hell” – the first part is correct, the conclusion does not follow in such isolation. You therefore present a confusion by failing to discuss this in the context of salvation.

        4) You state: ” If all we have to do is believe something why did Jesus have to die? ” Completely wrong association, because again, the first part is correct in its rightful context, but the question does not follow. Rather than one being exclusive of the other, they are intertwined.

        5) You say in the next sentence: “Or if all we have to do is repent why didn’t God just wave a bigger stick.” Haven’t got a clue what you mean by this? And who said: All you have to do is repent? Same confusion as in 4) above.

        6) The confusion continues in the sentences that follow.

        7) You state near the end of that paragraph: “Thousands of people march in protest against gay families????” Probably true, but then: “against gay families”? Don’t think so! Maybe rather against their actions in constantly throwing their views into the faces of the others and expecting them to give legitimacy to such actions. In any event, I do not endorse that kind of protest action – doesn’t work.

        8) In the next paragraph, you say: “We have got our neat little bubble of “word and sacrament”and “law and gospel” and we say that this is how God operates, so we try and contain God under our laws.” The first part of your sentence is a snide reflection on clearly accepted teachings that cannot be debunked (ie, Word and Sacrament, law and Gospel) and then in the end, you say we “try and contain God under our laws” – an utter confusion, because Word and Sacrament is not “contain(ing) God under our laws”, and nor is the Gospel.

        9) Your next paragraph starts: “Love isn’t a decision, love can’t be explained with theology, when God looks at you he doesn’t see Jesus (contrary to what the song says) he sees you!” This is really sad! You start with clauses that maybe fine (although I would suggest that God’s love for us is a decision on his part), but you then follow it with an amazing assertion! There is a clear and wonderfully reassuring teaching emanating out of the song words, yet you dismiss them out of hand. Yes, of course, you are correct in that “he sees you”, and “he loves you”, but why do have to debunk the other? That is just confusion! Oh, and in case you don’t understand the song words, they so wonderfully imply that in looking at us and seeing Jesus, we have the greatest assurance that sin is no longer “seen” by God, but that instead he sees the righteousness of Jesus and therefore we can stand in his presence. Is that what you want to debunk?

        I think I have made the point – and I haven’t even referred to the previous posts of your Harry Potter associations where many suffer a similar problem.

        It so often happens, that, when people get onto a pet issue, they will clutch at anything in an attempt to support that issue and in the finish they make all kinds of association which destroy fundamental truths.

        As for your last reply, it is sad to see you write like that. That you judge me by saying “Your mind is obviously in darkness and has been made that way by your worldy outlook” is more a reflection on yourself than on me. I cannot for a moment work out how you come to the conclusion of a “worldly outlook” when I gave you a clear message of repentance, grace and forgiveness.

        So, I repeat my earlier encouragement to you to go and sit with your pastor for a discussion – it will help you immensely. It is decidedly difficult to explain some of these things in this forum when there is no face to face discussion – the latter is much more effective.

      • Tapman says:

        Thanks Pastor,

        Firstly I thought I’d better reply seeing as though I baited you. I am tempted to reply and explain each of the points you listed but to do so right now would be a novel. Quite a few of those items will be expanded on in due time anyway.Think of my post about “He who must not be named” as an emotional outburst rather than a theological debate. Your beliefs are obviously important to you for you to respond me as you have – My post is responding in sadness, frustration at what I see as a church returning to a law based mentallity – and this is important to me. I admit I am an iconoclast and purposely attacked cherished beliefs…..besides never really liked the Athenasean creed. I will defend myself a little – I am sick of the church looking down on the opinion of the “world” and of “sinners” as if they are blind, I know many people who have a capacity to love far greater than what I have witnessed in any church and I do not appreciate the christaian church talking down at them. The church needs to humble itself and admit to the mistakes it has made in the past eg, slavery, treatment of women, racism – and notice it is acting in similar arrogance now calling those fighting for human rights as blind. Unfortunately have to go now hope I didn’t cause you too much stress.

        Put your mind at rest I was not saying that “Your mind is obviously in darkness and has been made that way by your worldy outlook” what I am trying to say is that, that is how I feel you speak to me. I am not real smart but I have been a Christian awhile and feel as though my voice is not taken seriously. I do respect the work of Pastors but also believe that sometimes people can’t see the woods for all the trees so to speak. BTW the associations I made are valid and deserve to be listened to.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        Well, it appears you are indeed carrying a lot of baggage – but to vent it in a forum such as this where there is the distinct possibility of you being misunderstood, is not a good option. You are clearly frustrated at the church, and sadly, you make assumptions and misjudgments as a result, not to mention statements that you then have rephrase entirely. So go talk to your pastor – much better than this forum.

      • Tapman says:

        There is no assumption and misjudgement made on my part – the church deams homosexuality a sin, the church refuses to accept gay marriage – the church is similarly refusing to listen to women in this church who feel a call to ministry, there is no misjudgement or assumption. This is fact. Emotion doesn’t mean baggage – every one of my statements carries a truth if you do not wish to listen that’s fine.

      • Pastor says:

        I stand by all have said. It seems you do not want to accept the message of the Gospel and I will leave it to the Holy Spirit and pray that he may be able to reach your heart – and I will leave it at that.

      • Tapman says:

        Thank you – I don’t agree with you but appreciate the fact that you dropped in.

  2. Erich says:

    Perhaps I can help you unpack this a bit more…

    “Listen to the opening words of the Athenasian Creed that we confess –
    Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith.
    Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
    And the Catholic Faith is this:……..
    Am I being a cynic? To me this sounds like a Law”

    The Athenatian Creed is one of the three Ecumenical Creeds of the Church. It is also my favorite. I do understand how this can be a troubling creed; there is that introduction; as well as this:

    “…all men shall rise again with their bodies;

    42. and shall give account of their own works.

    43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

    44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.”

    That sounds like works righteousness to me, but it is not. From a Lutheran perspective these are not additional Laws, they are not things that we must do to be saved, but rather evidence of being saved. Thanks to our faith in the promises of Jesus to the Grace of God we know that even though we are sinners that Grace works through us and produces the good works that we will be held accountable for. The introduction to the Quinque vult is a comfort, not a condemnation.

    “Is it good news for the person that loses faith because he has been abused by a Christian Brother? Is it good news for someone who will never hear it? Our supposed good news is causing Gay people everywhere to live in hiding, or sending them to depression or suicide.”

    Yes the Gospel is good news to people who suffer. It is the promise of forgiveness of sin. It is freely given to all men. It is unfortunate that some people cannot see that due to the unchristian actions of sinners purporting to be Christians.

    There is a story (most likely apocryphal) that a man once asked Luther what happened to all of the heathens that never get to hear the Gospel. Luther’s response was that there are angles in heaven stripping the leaves from willow branches for people who ask such questions. Basically saying remove the Log from your own eye.

    It is a sin that preachers do not give the comfort of the Gospel to those crushed under the hammer of the Law, or what they perceive that hammer to be.

    The problem is that Law and Gospel can be abused, can be misused. when one is suffering under the Law, and I would say that all suffering is a work of the Law, that person should be given the Gospel. Likewise one who is secure in his sinning must first repent of that sin, recognize that sin or the Gospel will be no comfort. I realize I’m using must as if it is a work that one must do, but it is not. It is more a recognition of ones state so that Grace may be recognized than a work that must be performed in order to receive that Grace.

    This is exactly the condition of the Father seeing the Son when he looks at man. We are sinful. We are filthy with original sin. The Father sees his beloved Son who loves us when he looks at us. He does not see our corruption.

    You are correct that there are a lot of so called Christians, of many denominations, who seem to be more concerned with the Law, or what they perceive the Law to be, than proclaiming the Gospel. They are doing great harm, but that has nothing to do with the Creeds, the Confessions of the Church, or our catholic traditions, and everything to do with sin, and arrogance.

    • Tapman says:

      Thanks for commenting, I will re-read what you wrote again later. My small mind couldn’t fit it all in in one hit. What I wrote was very much a response to how I am feeling about the conservative Christian Church at the moment and it doesn’t apply to every church or every pastor. It is a universal groan. I have no problem with the creeds or the faith of most Christian denominations – but my post is put out there to challenge how we are thinking and what I believe our world is seeing. It doesn’t matter what we think we are saying if the world hears something different. Jesus challenged the Pharisees about “having Abrahem as their Father” I know for myself I have had to reassess why I consider myself Lutheran and am still in the process of doing so. From what I hear and see it seems that our church has a similar attitude… “we are the church of the reformation, we have the creeds and the book of concord etc” while we pat ourselves on the back thousands of hungry people go unnoticed and unfed. Cheers

      • Erich says:

        I certainly understand your groan, and I can understand a challenge to show the Grace that we’ve been given. I am however unsure about your concern regarding how the world sees Christians. Remember that the world is fallen. The world is enslaved to sin and under the Law. Nothing good comes from that. Those who live in that state cannot see Grace until they realize the state in which they are. They claim that that have no sin, and as the confession goes: “if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” They will always see us as, at worst, the enemy, at best, fools.

        I think that these are important things to keep in mind when we as Christian insiders (I’m not sure I like that. It sounds so elitist.) examine our Christian brothers. The Church is not called to be a social service agency, but Christians are called to Love, which includes visiting prisoners, feeding and clothing the poor and caring for the infirm. Remember that without Christ all”good works” are nothing but dirty rags. There is no good apart from Christ. That being said take a look at just what the Lutheran Church does in addition to fulfilling its call to be the church:



        I do think that the things you bring up are worth bringing up, but I also agree with Wally above that a focused discussion with your pastor. I might also recommend taking a look at the articles of the Augsburg Confession that deal with these issues.

        I’m currently reading Law and Gospel by C F W Walther (one of the founders of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod LCMS) It’s a series of lectures that he spoke to seminarians about the proper preaching of… well Law and Gospel. It may be of help.

      • Tapman says:

        I think a lot of what you are saying is what I am saying. We are called to love – my challenge is exactly what you say – which state are you in? Remember the parable of separating goats and sheep and the surprised reaction of the people – ” I prophesied in your name etc.” There is a surprise. One surprise is that quite often the person pointing at the sin of another usually has a log in their own eye. What is your opinion of being gay and gay marriage? – that is my evil agenda. I have made it clear that I am listening and continue to search the scriptures so I take on board what you and Wally are saying but – the church is using law and pointing at gay people and saying you are “sin” your marriages are damaging etc. This pointing indicates to me that much of Christendom has a veil covering their faces. Rather than trying to defend cherished beliefs I would rather tackle the question at hand – there are Lutheran congregation members who are gay or have gay children, there are people who work in the lca who are gay and are currently being discriminated against. The church is being an instrument of pain. It is not a proper use of law.

      • Erich says:

        I must admit that I agree with wally’s points above, but I can also understand your concerns, and the way some Christians, Lutherans included use the Law without the Gospel.

        In regard to Gay Marriage, that is a most difficult question, and it requires considering a lot of questions, many of which are not of a religious or faith based nature:

        1 Is Marriage a sacrament?

        In the Lutheran church it is not a sacrament. It is not a means of Grace.

        2 Is marriage a religious institution or secular?

        Marriage is a secular institution. It is a contract and an exchange of property (the woman). In the Church of the Augsburg Confession the legal aspects of the marriage were done at the home of the newly contracted couple, who were then brought to the church to have that contract blessed. The church wedding was a solemnizing act, an acknowledgement of the civil contract.

        3 Is marriage a right?

        See below.

        4 Is there such a thing as a “human right?”

        No! We have responsibilities, but not rights. Therein lies the trouble. If we are looking at this from a civil rights standpoint we must admit that there is no such thing in the Church. Marriage is not a right, neither for a man and a woman nor for two men, nor two women.

        However, if we are talking about the secular world, one in which the Church has no authority, it is the job of the government to provide equally to all its citizens.

        This becomes a little more difficult when one has a sovereign. Despite whatever the Australian constitution may say there is a divine right of kings. Monarchs receive their power from God. The Lutheran church makes this claim of anyone in power, even secular power.

        This entire question or rights and marriage equality could be settled by simply striking marriage from the vocabulary of the secular state and replacing it with something like civil unions. If people are truly concerned with civil equality there should be one secular term for all citizens, and it should not be withheld from any. Leave marriage for the Church to decide.

        This probably doesn’t solve your problem with the church, but it may be a place you could start.

        By the way, although I am a Lutheran, my husband and I were married in an Anglo-Catholic church last October. The Mass was the Tournai Mass, the Mass of the Holy trinity in the rite one of the American Book of Common Prayer, with mostly Lutheran hymns, including organ arrangements of Ein Festebourg for the prelude and postlude. We did have one Presbyterian hymn as our opening hymn because it was a metrical translation of Psalm 133:

        1 Behold how good and how pleasant it is: for brethren to dwell together in vnitie.

        2 It is like the precious oyntment vpon the head, that ranne downe vpon the beard, euen Aarons beard: that went downe to the skirts of his garments.

        3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dewe that descended vpon the mountaines of Zion, for there the Lord commanded the blessing: euen life for euermore.

        I hope this is helpful.

      • Tapman says:

        Thanks for reply, I have a comment in mind but because I still have to work for a living I won’t have time. ttyl cheers.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        Thanks for your comments, Erich.
        I have much sympathy with your sentiments in suggesting that the state should do away with the use of the term “marriage” and substitute it with the words “civil union” across the board. In conjunction with that, I would also suggest that the church do away with conducting any such unions on behalf of the state as we do with marriage at this time here in Australia – in which the Government “uses” us – we are not paid (which doesn’t bother me at all), but on top of that, we have to pay for the stationary to do it!

        We could then be free to conduct a religious ceremony to bless the civil unions of a male and a female and call them marriage according to the convictions of God’s Word. But, I know very well that this will not satisfy the push of the gay marriage proponents. You see, their intent is that they have the “right” to equal recognition for their state, and the suggestion above will not get them such. They will expect that the Church should also bless their arrangements in the same way. They want that recognition even though by far the majority do not really want marriage at all! There is a sad irony there – they by and large have no respect for the institution of marriage, but they want access to it for other reasons. It is for this reason that the push is seen as an attack upon marriage.

        If we get to the point where Christians as a Church are forced to denounce their long held convictions, be it this issue, or any other – convictions based on Scripture and long held over many centuries – on the basis of the push of minority interests which expect us to adopt positions that are unsustainable by Scripture, then in effect, we throw away the Gospel.

        The Gospel remains the good news of God’s love to sinners, of all kinds – every human, in fact. It cannot be dictated to by human interests based on “rights” and “anti-discrimination” rules, for to do so means the end of religious freedom. Our forebears came to this country for that very reason – religious freedom.

        As a pastor, I will continue to speak the good news of God’s love to all sinners, despite the accusation that in doing so, I am using the law. The latter assertion is simply malicious.

      • Tapman says:

        Erich, you say “Gay marriage” is a difficult question – I don’t think it is as difficult as we make it. I think my next post will be an exegesis of the main “clobber” passage regarding homosexuality. I am not saying that marriage is a right – but equality is. We now would consider it disgusting to own slaves or to hold racist views, a hundred years ago this was not the case, it was very Christian behaviour. It is no different now – we are tormenting gay, lesbian, intersex and transgender people – we are saying they are sinning in an entirely inappropriate manner. It is no different to saying a black person marrying a white person is a sin. Christian people are activeley lobbying and spreading misinformation and blatant untruths – spreading fear and hatred. I would suggest you read some of my earlier posts and listen to my next post and have a good long think. Don’t get hung up on defending Lutheran theology, we are about defending people.

      • Erich says:

        Pastor Schiller,

        I agree with you completely in regard to the Church not kowtowing to the State by witnessing their legal contracts. I do think it becomes more difficult in a country with a sovereign, even if that country has a separation of church and state as Australia does. It is much easier in a country founded on Enlightenment principles where man is the ultimate authority: the USA. But that is a whole other discussion. Civil unions for the State and marriage for the Church: neither should be recognized by the other. I’ve been saying this for a long time.

        Let the State deal with rights. As Christians we have no rights, only responsibilities.

        I’m not sure that I understand your assertion that a true equality in the eyes of the state would not be enough, or that non-Christian homosexuals would necessarily want a wedding if they had the same civil union with all of the rights that that would confer upon heterosexual couples. There would, of course, be gay Christians who would work within their church to reconcile just what that would mean, but that would be a discussion to be had with their pastor, or bishop, or whoever that churchly authority may be for that person on this earth.

        Where do you get that most homosexuals don’t want marriage? (Actually I’d like to stop using marriage as a catch all.) Where do you get that most homosexuals don’t want civil unions equal with their heterosexual counterparts? Or are those the “other reasons” that you think they want (Ach! There’s no way around it.) marriage? I guess I’m asking: Is it really marriage that they want or civil unions for all, equality?

        I do not believe that a religious institution should be forced by public opinion, or the State. It would be a kin to the Unionism to which you alluded. As I’ve said, rights and anti-discrimination are for the state.


      • Erich says:


        I think the difficulty is in the word marriage. Marriage is a religious word, perhaps civil unions for all would be more appropriate. Then marriage could be left out of the human rights conversation. As I’ve stated I do not believe that anyone has any rights; we only have responsibilities. This is why i say that marriage, especially same sex marriage, is a difficult topic.

        I think if you can separate the religious aspect of marriage out of civil unions that the argument is much stronger and should not inflame the ire of the Christians who protest out of fear that the Church will have to do something that may be against its conscience.

        I look forward to an exigetical discussion of the “clobber” versus, and we can take up how those are properly or improperly understood by the Church on that thread, but I do think that here you are dealing with the question of gay marriage (at least in the comments section) and a separation of marriage from civil union would be helpful for a proper argument either for or against. In this way we can defend both rites and doctrine, if doctrine needs defense.

        By the Way, I have looked at your other posts.

      • Tapman says:

        The civil union thing wont work in our culture – when someone loves someone they are not going to ask, will you join me in a civil union, they will still call it marriage and by all legal implications it will be marriage. Although I am fighting for equality “for all” I am mainly fighting for the gays in our church who love God, love our church and feel on the outer, unable to be who they are. I do understand it is difficult for people to get their head around – it has been entrenched into our psyche that these people are perverts and that they have followed their twisted desires. You will probably be disappointed with my type of exegesis but hope you can look at the person being hurt here -it is not you or I, or the gospel or church.

      • Erich says:

        It actually does work. Look at the laws in the UK. The only thing that they haven’t done is change the name for heterosexuals.

        Marriage is left in the Church and priests, even though the Anglican priests are State employees, need not do a same sex marriage. All of my friends living in the UK call themselves married anyway, and if they desired their contract to be solemnized they found a church that would do a blessing after the civil ceremony. That’e exactly the way it was done in the church of the Augsburg Confession for a man and a woman. It’s what I would argue should be done in the Lutheran church today. The Church should not kowtow to the State by witnessing their legal contracts, but if it does not go against the conscience of the Church it should solemnize them. Marriage is not a sacrament in the Lutheran church.

        I also think that the marriage issue and the issue of what to do with a gay Christian, although related, are separate issues.

      • Tapman says:

        They are separate issues, agreed. I would still like the church to be able to bless same sex marriages 🙂

      • Tapman says:

        Have to say I dont like the smiley face I just applied….looks a bit manic 😦

      • Erich says:

        The church can. The Church does not.

        I just heard on the BBC today that there is a bill before the house of something-or-other that will give same sex couples the right to marry, and not just have a civil union. If it passes the State church will still not marry same sex couples.

        I wonder how that’ll change things for people who have a civil union. I wonder if they’ll want to marry even though they already have identical rights.

        Interesting, no?

  3. kevin klingner says:

    I am in agreement with Erich.Leave the rights to the government and leave the blessing of marriage as God ordained as the responsibility of the Church.I realise this wont be acceptable to Tapman and his supporters as they want or seem to want everything beneficial that the Church offers but non of the other things it offers concerning sin and grace.


    • Tapman says:

      Thanks for comment I think it great that you have the courage to have an opinion. I imagine if I was gay and I wanted to get married I would see it as a kick in the teeth that I would have to say ” I love you, pleas join me in a civil union”. Your right marriage is beneficial and I think should be offered to gay and straight.

      Your last comment leaves me wondering – what bits do you think I want to leave out about sin and grace?

      • Erich says:

        Please realize that heterosexuals would have to say the same thing, and that there are churches that would then bless that civil union for both hetero, and homosexuals, although probably not some of the catholic churches.

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