Courtesy of Shi’ite Christian Joe Guarino, who, unfortunately, speaks for a nontrivial number of other Americans:
The phenomenon of the liberal mainline Protestant denomination is relatively recent in the context of history. But entire groups are now unfortunately caught in this particular cesspool of scriptural revisionism. Many of these have endorsed same sex marriage publicly; have allowed practicing homosexuals to serve as clergy; and/or have allowed same sex marriages to be conducted in their churches.
Let’s list some of these denominations:
1. The Presbyterian Church (USA): This is the denominational home of Senator Kay Hagan and the Republican judge who helped solidify gay marriage in North Carolina– Bill Osteen. But it is also the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States. The group, by the way, happens to be pro-abortion.
2. The Episcopal Church: This particular denomination even permits gay bishops. It is the predominant Anglican denomination in the United States.
3. United Church of Christ: This denomination came out in favor of gay marriage nearly ten years ago. It was at the “forefront” of encouraging this change.
4. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Gay/lesbian clergy were first allowed during 2009. The denomination now has a gay bishop. This is the predominant group of Lutherans in the United States; and it is also pro-abortion.
5. The Alliance of Baptists is a group of progressive Baptists, not a denomination. But it is quite clear where they stand. They also are pro-abortion. The American Baptist Churches and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship allow individual churches to make their own decisions on these issues.
African-American churches are not monolithic on gay marriage. Some hold traditional views on marriage and sexuality; but a number began to support gay marriage when Obama and the democratic socialists overtly crossed that threshold a couple of years ago.
There is another group on the other side of the spectrum, directly opposite the liberal mainline denominations. I will collectively refer to these as orthodox Christians. These include devout members of the following faith traditions: Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, evangelicals, other conservative Protestants and Mormons.
Unfortunately, many of the liberal mainline denominations have elected to embrace sin and immorality. They have collectively decided to reject and revise scriptural teaching on matters related to sexuality, reproduction and the family. They have engaged in rationalizations, and have explicitly repudiated God’s natural design for these items. And some of these denominations have unfortunately become thoroughly permeated with evil and apostasy under the guise of extending “rights” and tolerance and “justice”.
For Christians, the issue of homosexuality requires a proper balance between extending God’s grace and upholding God’s righteousness. That balance has unfortunately gone askew within these faith traditions.
The various liberal mainline denominations have helped enable legal changes that take away the religious liberty of orthodox Christians. They have inevitably made themselves the enemies and de facto persecutors of orthodox Christians. This is an utterly tragic situation. The new institution of gay marriage is simply incompatible with religious liberty for orthodox Christians.
So much DERP in so little text.
Let’s grant for the sake of discussion that the liberalization of mainstream Protestant denominations has in fact contributed to the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, a phenomenon that Guarino calls “relatively recent in the context of history” as if that’s something bad. Guess what? Opposition to slavery also is “relatively recent in the context of history,” in the U.S. (where it persisted for 250 years) and worldwide. And opposition to slavery, and to its toxic remnants such as Jim Crow, by mainline Protestant denominations also is relatively recent; the Southern Baptists, a denomination born in adherence to slavery, didn’t get around to apologizing for it until only about 20 years ago. That long delay was a good thing?
Guarino also goes sideways in claiming that to accept and bless same-sex marriage is to “reject and revise scriptural teaching on matters related to sexuality, reproduction and the family.” Sorry, Joe, but according to my King James, Jesus says the same thing today that he said 2,000 years ago: Your greatest obligation is to love God; your second greatest obligation, and the way you carry out your greatest obligation, is to love your neighbor as yourself; and everything else in Scripture as it was understood in the time of Jesus — all the Law and the Prophets — is to be understood in the context of those two great commandments. Nothing has changed about that in 2,000 years, despite Guarino’s sloppy attempt to recast a belated willingness to comply with these commands into the scriptural equivalent of judicial activism.
Guarino calls understanding Jesus’s great commandments in that way “rationalizations,” although Jesus made them very clear and easy to understand because he knew how difficult they would be for bigots like Guarino to obey and he wanted no confusion on the issue. He also charges that these denominations “have explicitly repudiated God’s natural design” on matters of sex and reproduction, again overlooking Jesus’s clear direction on how that design as presented in the Law and the Prophets was meant to be understood.
He claims that some Christians “have unfortunately become permeated with evil and apostasy under the guise of extending ‘rights’ and tolerance and ‘justice,'” when Jesus made it quite clear that to arrogate to oneself what one would deny to others, as Guarino advocates, violates one the two Great Commandments. Worse, he implies that he and people who think as he does not only have the right to speak for all Christians, but also that they have the right and duty to use the powers of a secular government to impose that viewpoint not only on all Christians but also on all Americans.
This is not Christianity. This is both blasphemy and theocratic totalitarianism. It is, in a word, bullshit from both a theological and a constitutional standpoint. And because a nontrivial number of Americans believe as he does, it is a danger to our freedom.
The Framers wrote the Constitution precisely to protect us from the likes of Joe Guarino and his ilk. Guarino and they are the evil ones, and they need to confess and repent.