Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What does this mean, "Queering the Marriage Discussion"?

Donna ‘Riley’s posting at More Light Presbyterians is “Queering the Marriage Discussion.”  She states that “there is something decidedly queerer at stake here than marriage equality. As with ordination the heart of this issue remains: they call queer relationships sinful; we call them holy.” In explaining the meaning of her use of the word queer Riley quotes Jamie Heckert:

To queer is to make strange, unfamiliar, weird; it comes from an old German word meaning to cross. What new possibilities arise when we learn to cross, to blur, to undermine, or overflow the hierarchical and binary oppositions we have been taught to believe in?

And this is basically what Riley’s posting is about, how to blur, undermine and overflow the biblical meaning of marriage, that is, marriage between one man and one woman. And since Riley pigeonholes biblical marriage in the same slot as racism and suggests that it leads to unjust economic systems she is attempting something more than seeking marriage equality.
Added to her renunciation of biblical marriage Riley believes that those opposed to same sex marriage are frightened of, as she puts it, “the realities of unmarried queers in deeply meaningful spiritual relationships.”

Frightened of people and their relationships, never!  But yes, we are troubled and longing in prayer for those whose sinful relationships and attitudes lead away from the embrace of God’s forgiveness. God loves the sinner, God longs for the sinner, God forgives the repentant sinner.

There is a family that is not the ‘nuclear’ family but the household of God, those who are centered on the Lord Jesus Christ and his word. Among the family members are married men and women, single moms and dads and the unmarried, all who have repented of numerous and various kinds of sins.

Jesus was a friend of a family of three single people, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. He praised Mary for sitting at his feet listening to his words. She had chosen the good part and it would not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42) The household of God, the community, the body of Christ, sits at his feet. They listen to the words of Jesus.  They obey his word, the holy Scriptures.

Not just Riley, but all of us, God calls to his righteousness, his purity, his forgiveness.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified  in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9-11)

"The troubled find their peace
In true surrender.
The prisoners their release
From chains of anger.
In springs of living grace
I find a resting place
To rise refreshed,
Determined to follow"

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