CategorySexual Ethics

The Meaning of Marriage


What does marriage mean? The debate over marriage equality has forced us to ask this question. It is a good question to ask. In a 2011 article for the Sydney Anglicans website, which was later abbreviated to appear on the Drum website, Anglican Rector Michael Jensen argued that to recognise same-sex relationships as marriage would fundamentally change the meaning of marriage. Marriage, he argued...

Why Parliament & Not a Plebiscite Should Resolve the Question of Same-Sex Marriage


The modern world has been distinguished by what David Bentley Hart calls a “tilt to freedom.” Beginning with the demand that kings be subject to the law, there has been a steady process of enlarging people’s freedoms and a consequent diminishing of the coercive power of the State and of one human over another. The fundamental principle underlying this is the equality of human...

Memo to Australian Christians.


No Margaret you’re not being bullied This week former tennis great Margaret Court became the focus of media attention when she published an open letter in the West Australian newspaper declaring she would be boycotting Qantas because of statements by the company CEO in favour of gay marriage. The backlash was swift, from tweets by other tennis greats, to Tennis Australia distancing itself...

Coopers, the Bible Society, and what Christians don’t seem to understand about same-sex marriage “debate”


Like many others I watched the publicity train wreck that was the Coopers-Bible Society collaboration with astonishment. In a number of fora I’ve heard Christians lamenting that they are not able to have a “civil discussion” on same-sex marriage and that this represents the silencing of the church in public debate. They’re right on one thing. Many in our society are not...

Why you should ask your pastor to stop preaching sermons against same-sex marriage


I recently spent time with a friend who is a pastor. He was in the middle of a sermon series on contemporary issues and the topic for the following week was same-sex marriage. He held to a fairly stock-standard conservative evangelical approach and it was clear that his congregation expected him to articulate it. I suggested that when he preached the sermon his target shouldn’t be the 55 year old...

Challenges for the Church #3. Homosexuality


The week before Christmas I purchased Two Views On Homosexuality, The Bible And The Church (Zondervan, 2016), a book that brings together four authors who discuss the place of homosexuality in the church. The editor, Preston Sprinkle, notes that This book is the first of its kind to be published by an evangelical Christian publisher. I don’t think a book like this would have been possible...

Same-sex marriage and religious freedom.


In an article published on the Moore College website Tony Payne argues that this election is different from any other in that the legalisation of same-sex marriage will threaten the freedom of Christians to proclaim the gospel. He does so with some humility, recognising that he may well be overstating the threat. I think he most surely is. As I understand it, there are two sets of laws under...

Why Same Sex Marriage is Not the Issue


As we approach the federal election many Christians are declaring same-sex marriage is one of the key issues. Claims have been made that children will miss out on the right to have a father and a mother, which will harm their emotional and social development; that the institution of marriage will be irreparably damaged as it is reduced from a bond providing for the bearing and raising of children...

Why I hope they’ll teach the safe schools curriculum in my son’s school


The safe schools program has become the centre of a storm of controversy, so yesterday I decided to check it out for myself. I spent some time reading through the curriculum guide designed for students in years seven and eight. “All of us” consists of 8 lesson plans, with each lesson revolving around a video clip in which a young person tells of their experience of alternate sexuality, an...

Transgenderism, Same-Sex Marriage & Gender Roles. The Unspoken Tie That Binds Evangelical Hang Ups on Sexuality


One of the areas in which Conservative forms of Christianity seek to distinguish themselves from the wider culture is their understanding of sexuality. As I have been contemplating this in recent months I have been helped by an observation in James Brownson’s book Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing The Churches Debate On Sexuality, that the notion of gender complementarity lies at the heart of...

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