Most of you who read this blog know that I normally write it as a psychologist. Today I am writing it as a Christian. So if you are not interested in the shenanigans of the Church of England you may as well stop reading now!
The church seems to be split at the moment between those who approve of gays getting married in church and those who don’t. It is mainly evangelicals who are against homosexuality and therefore against any sort of gay marriage. They argue that the church does not need to keep up with the times, as we have to follow the Bible – yet the Bible is a collection of books that often contradict each other. And Jesus didn’t have much to say about sex and sexuality, as he had more important things to be concerned about. They also argue that Christianity is not about just helping people, but also about doing what God wants – yet how do we know what God wants? Well we could start with the Ten Commandments – four are about our behaviour towards God and six are about our behaviour towards each other. The only one that refers to sexual behaviour is the one about not committing adultery. And it should be obvious why that is not a good idea.
It seems to me that many of the Jewish laws were originally based on practicalities e.g. eating shellfish could make you ill and marriage was supposed to protect women and children from irresponsible men! Homosexuality was frowned upon in those days because the Jews needed to procreate and expand their tribe. So maybe when the early Christians decided that we did not need to be circumcised and we could eat pork, they could also have decided that men and women were equal and that homosexuality was okay. Unfortunately they didn’t and it has taken the church 2000 years to agree to women bishops. I believe that the church will eventually agree to marrying gays in church and also to allowing lay readers and gay priests to marry too. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 2000 years! After all, isn’t it all about love?
In the words of Gerard W Hughes (from God of Surprises) “We need to love and be loved, because it is only through these relationships that we can come to know God, who is love.”