June 18, 2018
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For liberal Christians, the marriage conversation is over

By Debra A. Wagner, Special to the BDN

For liberal Protestant Christians in Maine, the marriage conversation is over. Within their denominations, there remain only the converted, the marginalized, the silenced and the so-called victors. And they mean to do the same to any Mainer who believes in traditional marriage.

Just look at how a few lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists in the Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian churches advanced their repressive agenda using political ends to gain institutional power. By giving preferential authority to their personal experiences and sexual relationships, they, in effect, silenced any opposition that questions its authenticity.

Fellow Christians of good will who support traditional marriage are subject to complaints, lawsuits, raised voices and cries of “hater” and “bigot.”

These are Christians marginalizing other Christians. Imagine if the voters change the definition of marriage. Religious freedom for Christians, Muslims, Jews or anyone who upholds traditional marriage would be in jeopardy.

Freedom does not have to be explicitly taken away in order to be lost. You just need to frighten people. The sorry spectacle of the Treworgy Family Orchards, Chick-fil-A and others begins the process of turning off the light of freedom.

Many in the church know about that fear and loss. Unlike what many leftist Christian leaders believe, their opinion has not pointed to a deeper truth that brings people into their pews. Their agenda does not resonate with human sensibilities or point to a Biblical foundation. The fruit of their narcissistic faith has been numerical decline, lack of vigor, loss of relevance, lawsuits and the embrace of human power to advance their intolerant position on human sexuality.

The idea that truth can be local is a slap in the face to the universal Gospel. It cuts us off from accountability to our sisters and brothers in Christ around the world and has led us down the slippery slope of self absorption. It makes our churches racist, racist, culturist and intolerant.

Many of these Protestants, primarily white, liberal, descendents of Europe, have used a political process to change their church’s definition of marriage. They are adept at making a small group appear to represent the greater body of the church.

For example, in a July 27 BDN article, same-sex marriage proponents claimed support from “nearly 350 members of the clergy and lay members of faith communities around Maine.”

Not so.

Look behind the curtain. The updated 486 named signers for the affirmation of same-sex marriage at the Religious Coalition Against Discrimination web site includes only about 20 clergy signers from Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian denominations.

Beware Mainers because a theology of power is being foisted on us, wherein might makes right, words mean only what those who hold power at the moment say they mean, and recourse is not to reasonable debate but coercive and abusive language.

Their conversation begins with: “God doesn’t make junk. God made them the way they are, and God had better like it.” They have exchanged the concept of a renewal of our minds for an “I’m OK; you’re OK” re-education camp.

Except of course when it’s not OK for you to uphold Scripture and the historical teaching of the church in regards to marriage. So you may hear about these clergy holding conversations about marriage, but just remember that in their own churches they converse with empty chairs.

Debra A. Wagner, the wife of the rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Lisbon since 2007, served on the National Board of Episcopal Life from 2002 to 2007.


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