Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's time to make the separation formal.

After having to participate in a congregational prayer about abominable same sex marriages (and civil unions were added) I have decided to terminate my membership at my church.

More to follow...


<--See also: "The Sunday Trap"

I have a genuine love for the church that I grew up in. I have basically stopped going to church because it causes tension with my family members and I as I have elected to stop taking communion. One of the requirements of communing the church is that a person must be instructed in the teachings of the church and hold them to be true. I no longer consider the teachings of the church to be absolutely true. For example, I don’t believe that person is damned to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus. That’s what got me started on my movement away from the church but it’s stance on homosexuality is pretty much the driving issue.

In my time there I have seen four pastors and countless vicars come and go. There has not been one sermon, prayer, or point made about homosexuality. It really has been largely positive with broad preaching about the saving grace of Jesus. Today while conducting the congregational prayer the pastor spent a good time about the abomination which is same-sex marriage. He even went further to condemn the secular civil unions.

Until that moment, the only time homosexuality was even brought up was during catechism were we learn the doctrine of the church. So that’s how I knew about the church’s official stance on the matter.

It stems from the Sixth Commandment. I’ll quote from the book:
You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean? We should fear and love Go so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.

The definition of marriage as being between a man and woman is supported by Gen. 2:24-25 and Mark 10:6-9.

The stance on homosexuality stems from Rom. 1:24 & 26-27 and 1 Cor. 6:9-10.

I think that I have moved away long ago from paying attention to the literal reading of biblical scripture and accepting philosophical notions that don’t make sense to me because it cannot explain my own experience in life. I have lost faith. Not in God but in the church because I see it as fallible as I am.


Stacey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TardisGirl said...

I understand where you’re coming from. I’m also struggling to come to terms with a church that not only isn’t relevant to modern life but also has doctrines that flatly contradict the Scriptures.

My dad was a church employee for 37 years. Every time the doors were open, we were there. In fact, it seems my whole life revolves around the church (I currently work for them). To walk away means leaving behind my family and most of my friends.

But I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

John Provis said...

It's a really curly question... for what it's worth, my perspective as a strictly Bible-believing Christian is as follows (shamelessly copied although slightly edited from my old blog post here):

The Bible comes out very squarely against homosexuality, but I don't see that this necessarily needs to continue into a prohibition of gay marriage in society in general. The religious and legal definitions of marriage are strangely intertwined in our legal system, and I'd actually be more than happy to see a complete division between a religious marriage and a legally-defined 'domestic partnership' or whatever you want to call it. A marriage can be a domestic partnership, but I don't see that every domestic partnership necessarily needs to be a religious marriage. Most modern domestic partnerships - even those between a man and a woman who choose to go through a legal wedding ceremony - are some distance from the purest Biblical definition of a marriage anyway. For those (like me) who see the traditional marriage man-woman partnership as the way they'd prefer to do things, that's all well and good - but I don't see that we need necessarily to impose this ideology on those who don't share our beliefs.

This isn't a particularly common attitude among Christians, and would almost certainly be unpopular with the 'religious right' - but just because they so loudly claim that God is on their side, doesn't necessarily mean that he is. And faith needs to be between you and God, anything at all that's set up by man will be fallible.

David said...

^I see where you are coming from. The argument that neutral state marriage has been floated but it is rejected by both sides of the issue. Proponents of gay marriage say that anything less (even something as simple as a label) than what the straights gets is a concession and still relegates them to second-class citizenship. Opponents would say that doing so would devalue marriage.

I make a distinction between a state-backed union and a religious one. Sign a certificate/contract for one, go through a ceremony for the other. But that's not how many people view it here.

Those somewhere in the middle ground say that civil unions as they are currently designed give homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. Of course, that's wrong. The "benefits" of civil unions in the places that have them vary and none of the equal marriage.

I would be happy if a domestic union (let's use a non-inflammatory term) came about, recognized by the federal government and all the states, that would be the same for all partnerships--essentially gays get the same "everything" that straights get.

The religious part of being married would be up the Church. Gays can get married in a gay friendly church. Those who don't care for gays can exclude them for their church.

As for your last sentence, I like most protestants, believe that I have direct access to God. It's not that I am losing faith in my relationship with the almighty but I do mourn the loss of the community that I worshiped with.