Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Voices of Faith: an evangelical for marriage

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Voices of Faith
Presbyterian minister Mark Achtemeier talks to Candace Chellew-Hodge at Religion Dispatches about his new book, The Bible's Yes to Same-Sex Marriage: An Evangelical's Change of Heart.

I really like his description of marriage:
Marriage is this arena where we can totally give ourselves to another person in body, spirit, and life and commitment and grow in that total gift of self which winds up being an image of Jesus’ total gift of himself for us.
Achtemeier used to be ardently opposed to marriage equality, and considered being gay "like drinking poison".  But no more:
 One of the things that was powerful for me in breaking out of that mindset was testimony about the blessings that came to gay and lesbian people through their committed relationships. Early in the book I talk about a conversation with a friend who said they knew all about identifying sin in their life and repenting of it, but when they thought about marriage to their partner, that’s what brought out the best in them and helped them learn love and self-sacrifice and nothing that needed to be repented of.

That really struck me that it sounded like my marriage.

The other thing that took me a long time to wrap my mind around is that an awful lot of Evangelicals really haven’t grappled with recognizing that this is not something you could choose your way out of. There’s always this sense of, “If you really tried hard, or prayed hard enough, you could come around.” Again, my gay friends would say, “Why on earth would I choose something like this? Who needs all this trouble?”

I think it’s the willingness of gay and lesbian people in sharing their stories that finally got it through my thick head that this isn’t an optional lifestyle, it’s a given.
Yet another reason why we must continue to come out !   Minds do change!

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