Same Sex Marriage Débâcle


Tags: Fiction, Politics, .

Desc: Fiction Story: Gary, the brother of Pastor James visits his brother after many years away from him, and gives him advice on how to deal with the Same sex Marriage Debate. He follows the advice and things happen that upsets a lot of people. 5,000 words - 29,000 characters, posting as one file.



The background images are Let freedom ring (19019878849).jpg by Robert Couse-Baker and Wedding Rings.jpg by Jeff Belmont of Cuiaba, Brazil; both are used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 - found on Wikipedia sourced from Flickr. The trimming, merging, and adding of text is by Ernest Bywater. All rights to the cover images are reserved by their individual copyright owners.

Headings: a chapter in red, sub-chapter in blue, section in bold.

Table of Contents

The Prodigal Appears
Church Leadership Meeting
Religious Ripples
Registry Games

Give unto Caesar
Flow-on Effects
More Changes
Registry Games
Won the Battle and Lost the War

Headings: a chapter in red, sub-chapter in blue, section in bold.

Author’s Note: I’m very much aware there are varying views on theological issues. One is the concept we no longer need the Old Testament due to the content of the New Testament. It is my personal view the Old Testament is a very useful historical work as well as back up for what is in the New Testament which also helps to provide some things in easier to understand detail. It is also my view, based on many of the scriptures quoted in this story, where Jesus states something it overrules anything in the Old Testament said by a prophet, but not the direct word of God. It is also my personal view the statements by the prophets do not override anything noted as the direct word of God or Jesus.

The Prodigal Appears

This morning’s service is finished, and Pastor James Phillips is at the door to greet the people when they leave the church. Most are members of the church and attend most services, and, as usual, there are a few visitors today. The last in line is a tall man, almost as tall as Pastor James. After bending down to shake hands with, and talk with, the one and half metres tall Mrs Walters Pastor James looks up at the next person. His hand is already up to shake hands, his normal smile is on his lips, and it suddenly gets a lot bigger. Grabbing the hand offered to him, Pastor James pulls the man to him, and reaches around to give him a hug and pounds his back. This change in the pastor’s behaviour is noticed by the regulars waiting to speak with him after the greetings are done. The very staid pastor is being extremely physical today, so they wait and watch the two men.

The stranger looks a bit familiar, but no one can place him. The new man says, “Glad to see you looking so well, James. How’s the family?”

“They’re all well, and will be happier on seeing you, Gary! What are you doing back here? I thought we’d never see you again! I also thought you’d given up on the church and God!” is Pastor James’ response, and all the watchers wonder who this man is.

“I never gave up on God, or the church. I only gave up on the church leadership taking the people astray, as I saw it.”

“Well, come meet our members.” Pastor James turns to those waiting and says, “This is my Brother Gary. I’ve not seen him for twenty years.”

Suddenly it’s a semi-organised pandemonium while they all meet him and head to the hall for refreshments at the same time. Many ask him how he’s doing and how things are going, but none ask why he’s here today. They all want to know, but don’t ask, they’ll leave that up to Pastor James to find out. Most of the scene is repeated when they get to the hall and Gary can meet the rest of the family who went straight to the hall to prepare it for the post service refreshments period. A long time is spent talking about what’s gone on in the last couple of decades.

Night Talks

Many hours later, after a nice dinner, Gary and James are sitting in the lounge room of James’ house when he asks Gary, “Now, brother, why are you here?”

“James, I’m here to convince you to refuse a job I expect you to be offered next week. I also hope to get you to back off on your talks to the media. I don’t expect you to change your views, just how you present them to others.”

“I see! Since my only media comments at the moment are on the same sex laws before parliament, I gather that’s what you’re on about.”

“Yes! And before you start, I agree with you that same sex marriage is not allowed by the Bible or God. However, neither is the way you and the church leadership are dealing with the issue.”

Pastor James sits up straight, “What do you mean by that?”

“James, it all comes down to whether you’re a Christian following the teachings of Christ, or a hybrid Jewish-Christian following the Old Testament with a smattering of Christ’s teachings, or a Faux Christian who replaces most of Christ’s teachings with church doctrine made up in the middle ages to increase the power of the church. Which is it?”

“I’m a Christian, but why do you say there’s a difference?”

“You know I got High Distinctions doing my Doctorate of Theology and then had a falling out with the national leaders soon after I went to my first assignment!” He gets a nod in reply. “Did they ever tell you what the problem was?” A shake of the head this time. “We had some big issues with people attacking locals in same sex relationships, so I gave a few sermons on the teachings of Christ and accepting people for what they are. One of the members who hated homosexuals, and I believe he was behind the attacks, complained to the State Council and I was removed after I refused to change my point of view on the issue of same sex couples.”

“Oh, dear! Knowing you, I can understand how hard you dug your heels in when they spoke to you. But I don’t see how you support the view from the scriptures!”

“I’ll totally ignore the possibility of translation changes or errors. The main quotes against homosexuality are Leviticus eighteen, twenty-two and twenty, thirteen; with Deuteronomy twenty-three, seventeen; plus Isaiah three, nine. They all speak of same sex sexual relationships as being an abomination. There’s no dispute with that.” He gets a nod from James. “These are from the Old Testament, and are what are relied upon as the source scriptures in the Epistles. In the New Testament Jesus gives us the Two Great Commandments in Matthew twenty-two, thirty-six to forty, which say,”

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Gary stops pacing while he talks, turns, looks right at James, and continues, “They summarise God’s laws as ‘love God’ and ‘love your neighbour.’ Nothing about any restrictions in there, and they’re what all the laws hang on. Also, in Matthew five, seventeen, he tells us he fulfils all the old laws, thus they’re complete and ended.”

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Resuming his pacing, Gary says, “However you try to slice things, everything in the Old Testament is now null and void by Jesus because he fulfilled them, thus they have no relevance to Christians. When you obey the two commandments of Jesus you also obey all the laws from the Old testament. Though the Old Testament still makes a good guide to follow in life. Throw in the parable of the Good Samaritan helping a traditional enemy. In John eight, seven Jesus said, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her.’ The teachings of Matthew seven, two and three on not judging and having a mote in your eye. Nowhere in the Bible does it say marriage before God must be linked with marriage in the civil community. In fact, Jesus tells us the opposite!”

James butts in, “What’s that! Where does he say that?”

“I’m sure you remember Matthew twenty-two, twenty-one!”

James quotes from memory:

21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

He shakes his head, “I’ll give you that one, but marriage is God’s.”

“Yes and no. Marriage before God and in a church or by a minister is God’s; but marriage before Caesar is Caesar’s, not God’s. The Christian church went almost a millennium without any marriage ceremony or service at all. Then the church leaders found they had more power if they approved, held, and recorded the marriages, because that gave them power over the inheritances of the rich and powerful. That took hundreds of years to spread to the poor. It’s all there, in full detail, in the history books.”

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