Modern Believing

An Invitation to the Feast: A Positive Biblical Approach to Equal Marriage

Modern Believing (2017), 58, (1), 41–53.

Abstract

This positive biblical argument for same-sex marriage begins by noticing that it is unlikely Christianity should be interested in marriage at all. That interest comes from the eschatological account in Isaiah and Revelation of the relationship of God and creation as one of marriage. This eschatological approach enables a deeper reading of the household code in Ephesians and its account of marriage. The paper then turns to an account of Gentile inclusion as a model of how the Church might accept gay and lesbian people. It challenges Andrew Goddard’s use of Acts 15 to reinforce the prohibition of same sex relationships, by drawing attention to the way in which the Council of Jerusalem uses scripture. The paper challenges the way in which the enforced celibacy imposed on gay clergy undermines the liberating origins of Christian celibacy. It argues that Genesis 2 is badly misused to support compulsory heterosexuality. The paper then identifies a number of gifts that same-sex marriage brings to straight marriage, not least an undermining of patriarchal structures. Finally, the paper turns to the First Letter of John and warns that in failing to recognise love in same-sex relationships, the Church is in danger of failing to recognise God.

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Author details

Taylor, Simon