Same Sex Theology Essay

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ΑΤΉ/93:1 A Theology of Marriage including Same-Sex Couples: A View from the Liberals DEIRDRE J. GOOD, WILLIS J. JENKINS, CYNTHIA B. KITTREDGE, EUGENE F. ROGERS, J R . * Marriage is a discipline. Marriage is a means of grace. Marriage is a discipline and a means of grace for sinners. Marriage is a discipline and a means of grace for sinners and for the whole church. It is a dis­ cipline because its vows are for better or worse. It is a means of grace because it signifies the love of Christ for the church. We argue that the church should marry same-sex couples be­ cause it requires their testimony to the love of Christ and the church, and because it recognizes that same-sex couples stand in need of sanc­ tification no less than opposite-sex couples do. In grafting same-sex marriage onto the domestic rite, the church follows the pattern of God s grafting wild, Gentile olive branches onto the domesticated ol­ ive tree of Israel (Rom. 11:24). The church does so because same-sex couples need the sanctification that marriage teaches, and the church needs the marital virtues that same-sex couples are already receiving. We would expand the theology of marriage to include same-sex cou­ ples based on our corporate life of faith in the Episcopal Church and our rereading of the Christian tradition. This vision of marriage is of­ fered not in arrogance, naivete, or spiritual enthusiasm, but in trust and with hope, as our witness to the mission of Christ. In what follows we explain how the marriage rite initiates couples into an arduous discipline, a training in sanctification. This account of marriage does not minimize procreation and chastity, but follows the Book of Common Prayer in upholding the context of those gifts: * Deirdre J. Good is Professor of New Testament at The General Theological Seminary, New York. Willis J. Jenkins is Margaret A. Farley Assistant

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