Sunday, October 9, 2016

Response to "The Ever Shrinking Case Against Same-Sex Marriage"

In an article published on an ABC Religion and Ethics webpage The Ever Shrinking Case against Same-Sex Marriage, Rev Dr Keith Mascord of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney the author refers to "maximally-strong arguments [that Christians once had at their disposal] against same-sex marriage".  As the arguments are critical to the overall article, I thought that an analysis of the arguments was worthwhile.
free and unattributable

Mascord's been in the news lately.  See this link.


Following a heading "Contemptuous arguments against same-sex marriage", Mascord's argument in the article follows a popularist path.  In order he identifies:

- Quotations of four credible theologians - all of which frame Biblical sound quotations that identify lusts against nature as sin (possibly all led by an understanding of Romans 1).
- To then, conjecture from these quotes that i) the church found it intolerable for the church to open the institution of marriage to homosexuals, and that in turn the church applied its intolerance by criminalising and pathologising homosexuals (in context Mascord is effectively accusing the church of exercising hatred).
- Such that the church owes a long overdue apology to homosexual persons.

- Then, Mascord frames a popularist appeal.
- He proposes that Christians can no longer accept that people are homosexual as a result of a rash of reasons.  The reasons are arguably incomplete or inaccurate across current Christian considerations ("not because they chose to be gay, or because they hate God, or because they have given in to detestable passions").
- To which end, Mascord's recognises that homosexual persons have remarkable gifts and much to offer to Australian society.  And popularly, that Christians all know homosexual persons within their broader family set.

- To cement the popular appeal, Mascord then makes narrow scriptural reference to two Leviticus verses.  Mascord subtly dismisses the verses as ancient by referring to them as from the "Hebrew Bible". 


I stopped reading the article at the point of the quotation of the Leviticus verses. 

There are oodles of cultural Marxists or libertarians propping up pro-same sex positions without me caring to listen to a member of clergy adding to their voice.  Mascord is perhaps guilty of a phenomenon that Don Carson observed.  Carson proposed that many people seek to master the Bible rather than being mastered by it.  Mascord has spoken on Romans 1 in a way that proposes the author Paul did not know what we know today (current man being fulfilled with scientific knowledge).  Isn't Mascord - as a function of his license - due to hold the Bible inerrant, complete and to hold to a thorough understanding that Paul's writings were divinely inspired?  Has Mascord benefitted from the same experience that Paul had in receiving a marvellous insight into heaven (2 Corinthians 12)? 

Does Mascord understand that when God abandons a nation he gives the nation over to pornography, sexual immorality and all kinds of degradation?  If Mascord is prophesying a 'new word' on homosexually, has he sought to convey a suitable panel of peers so that his prophesy may be tested?

I hope that Mascord appreciates that he drew a long bow in his article in turning from the quotations of theologians to the comment: "The idea that a society should open up one of its most treasured institutions [marriage] to people who are inherently evil and whose passions come straight from hell is unthinkable for those who draw on what has been almost universal Christian teaching, teaching which led to homosexuality being criminalised and, more recently, pathologised as a mental illness or correctable defect."  The theologians he quoted (with the most recent ageing to the sixteenth century) would never once have thought marriage was due homosexuals.  Their quotes are to be read as sound to Biblical interpretation rather than as being in any direct or indirect reference to the relatively current notion of broadening of the definition of marriage.

I hope that Mascord appreciates that the Leviticus verses that he identifies as being in the "Hebrew Bible" are also in the "Christian Bible".

What upsets me most is that a Mascord - a Moore Theological College educated, and Anglican Diocese of Sydney Minister, plays his hand at narrowing an argument towards a popularist viewpoint and in so doing disregards sound holistic Biblical exposition by pointing to select Biblical verses.  Mascord is arguably well aware that it serves the pro-same sex marriage lobbyists to scoff at the Leviticus verses without offering them contextual meaning across the whole of the Biblical canon.  Paul, for instance, in the Corithinans letter identifies how all Christians were bought for a price such that they should wish to serve God with their bodies through natural sexual relations:

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV

Mascord advocates to a politicked heading: "Contemptuous arguments against same-sex marriage".  Is that in itself contemptuous?


Note 1: all links current as at 9 October 2016

Note 2: Mascord does not currently hold a license from the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

Note 3: The Anglican Diocese of Sydney's churches once had a magazine made broadly available to his pewsitters that once published an articles that spurned the notion of pewsitters consuming web based sermons.  In this post I have linked both a Mascord sermon from Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill of December 2012 and a Pastor John Macarthur sermon from October 2012.  I'll leave you to determine which of these two sermons the people of Dulwich Hill would have been better to listen to.

No comments:

Post a Comment