Bravo Sir Humphrey

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Jesus on marriage

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

A denominational discussion paper on same sex marriage written by the Very Reverend Sir Humphrey Appleby.

Where Scripture speaks, we speak and especially so where it is Christologically explicit. We avoid, at our best, overzealous reasoning that seeks to conjecture and plot cause and effect from selected verses, theological systems or constructs of society and human behaviour. The Christological imperative for two becoming one flesh is clearly repeated three times in the gospels. In this imperative, hospitality to “the other” in human relationships is formed in the most extraordinary relationship of difference: that between male and female. This difference is more tangible than any construction of “other” by ethnicity, colour, creed or chosen sexual identity. We celebrate this gift of otherness and do not wish to diminish its profound formative possibilities for human relationality within communities that can be as small as a family.

As a congregational movement, we value the creativity of congregations in unique expressions of mission and ministry within their peculiar contexts. By reference to our articulation of identity in the past and anticipation toward the future, our denomination today is constrained neither to be defensive against society’s perennial groping for satisfactory human identity nor deferential to society’s variegated and conflicted articulations of human dignity.

What to do about Sir Humphrey? Cure him with a good dose of George Orwell.