Same sex Marriage Debate
There will be a postal plebiscite within weeks. You and I will get the opportunity to let our politicians (our children, grandchildren and our nation) know what we believe is the best way to live. Laws never make people live or believe. They allow and punish but they also express values and educate. I believe that Jesus way to live is best for people. Though we all fail to live it out perfectly, God’s way is best not just for those who follow Jesus but for those who don’t. Clearly I will be voting no to changing the existing marriage definition to include any 2 adults. I urge all members to make your views known, no matter what your opinion. This is part of being a loving citizen.
I also commend the letter below by Canon Sandy Grant which was submitted to the Illawarra Mercury this week.
If Stephen Jones thinks freedom of speech should be silenced because of the rude language and threats of a small minority, then he knows the building unions would have been shut down a long time ago. But the vast majority of unionists are far better than that.
Sadly abuse and threatening language has gone in all directions in the marriage debate, as I can testify from personal experience. So the first thing I say as a church leader is to those professing to be Christian: if you can’t participate in our democratic process without being rude and aggro, then leave the campaigning to others. Jesus teaches his followers to love those who oppose them and to pray for any persecutors. That never stopped him speaking out on moral issues. But he calls Christians to leave anger and terms of abuse behind.
I think of Jesus’ reply when they dragged a woman caught in adultery before him. It’s the famous let-he-who-is-without-sin-cast-the-first-stone comment! Jesus’ actions teach me three things. Firstly, it’s always good to protect the vulnerable from bullying. Secondly, though Jesus often said adultery was sin, he did not condemn the woman. But thirdly, Jesus still challenged her to change.
Deep compassion does not require us never to disagree with others. And I will continue to speak in defence of our current marriage law. But Jesus did not merely judge. He displayed a compassion that touched people. Would that more of us – on every side – could act this way to those we disagree with.
Rev Sandy Grant
St Michael’s Cathedral, Wollongong
Your brother in Christ, Graham Crew