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-Pope Francis Defends Traditional Marriage

by Dr. D ~ January 25th, 2016

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Pope Francis is considered to be one of the most ‘liberal’ leaders of the Catholic church ever to be elected as Pope. He is quoted often in Facebook memes that would seem to be out of character with traditional Catholic Christian beliefs and when one researches those controversial statements almost always they are taken out of context in some way or another or even complete fabrications.

Fact is, I have found that the Argentinian pontiff shows his love towards all people and sometimes that concern and respect for all is misinterpreted as respect and maybe even support for what those people stand for or may participate in. When the Pope visited the USA last year, President Obama invited all sort of activists to meet the Pope at the White House including LGBT and abortion supporters. The Pope was gracious to all regardless.

Currently the Italian Senate is debating a bill that would legalize same-sex unions. In the midst of that national conversation the Pope has reiterated the Catholic Church’s support for traditional marriage. From Reuters:

The Argentine pontiff, who generally has taken a more socially progressive line on gender issues than his predecessors, told Vatican judges

     "…there can be no confusion between the family God wants and any other type of union".

     "The family, founded on indissoluble matrimony that unites and allows procreation, is part of God’s dream and that of his Church for the salvation of humanity,"

he said in an address to members of the Vatican court that rules on marriage annulments.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Traditional Christian teaching from the New Testament supports marriage between one man and one woman. There is a lot of conversation in our culture about how churches will need to change in the future. But can a church like the Catholic Church make that change even if it has a liberal Pope in the future that supports it? Francis is the probably the most liberal leader ever but even he is not considering any change on this issue. 

Some of the more liberal churches, who no longer support the teaching of the Bible as the defining basis for their faith, have already changed and come out in support of same-sex marriage and acceptance of the gay lifestyle.

The Episcopal Church in the USA began ordaining gay folks long time ago and that denomination was recently suspended from the Anglican Convention for supporting same-sex marriage. There are real questions about whether the Anglican Convention will even survive if the Canadian Church and British Church of England end up supporting same-sex marriage like many expect them to.

Right now the United Methodist Church is in the middle of a battle over the issue and some are expecting a major split over it in the near future. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is already in the throes of major division with prominent conservative congregations trying to leave the denomination after their most recent convention voted to support gay marriage.

There is no real controversy over the issue in the largest American denomination –the Roman Catholic Church which Pope Francis represents or the largest protestant American denomination- the Southern Baptist Convention. Except that any independent SBC congregation (like the one in California last year) that does come out in favor of same-sex marriage is subject to expulsion from the denomination. Nor do any of the Orthodox Churches seem to be considering a change in their teaching.

At some point every church in America must make a decision on this issue. Independent Churches may go one way or the other. However, do not expect most Biblically-based conservative churches to cave in to the building cultural pressure to accept same-sex marriage and the gay lifestyle. Remember this is not the first time the Christian church has been faced with the gay issue. At the very beginning the church was born in a Jewish culture which rejected gay behavior but grew up in a Greek and Roman culture that accepted it. It was because of Christian teaching, which eventually dominated European culture, that gay behavior was put in the ‘closet’ in the first place.

Expect this issue to lead to ever increasing problems for conservative churches, Christian organizations, and members in the future when it comes to religious liberty and freedom of religion.  LGBT civil rights have been trumping religious liberty in the courts somewhat consistently in the last several years.              *Top

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