More important to me than being pro- or anti-Equal Marriage, is that a person’s position is considered and respectful. I genuinely thought somebody of NT Wright’s stature would be able to do better than this. Whether deliberate or not, his tone is patronising and his reasoning is fear-mongering. Whatever conclusions the Church of England comes to regarding Equal Marriage, we need to be more grown up in our discussions than this.
He begins with Hitler and Stalin, throws in that gender and complementarity are cross-cultural norms ‘without any particular Christian presuppositions at all’, and ends with Tony Blair (the final point being cut off, was to show how the public can be fooled by politicians needing to get on the ‘right’ side of history).
And nowhere does he talk about love or covenant. Not once.
Equal marriage? “It’s a nonsense; like a government voting that black should be white.”
The clip can be found here:
Do you agree, or am I being harsh?
To be fair, I am not a fan of NT Wright’s Big Story approach to the Bible. I think it’s all a bit too simplistic an approach to the Scriptures. Seeing that being applied yet again is a bit tiresome. More than that, though, it kind of reminds me why I shrink back from such an approach – just as his Big Story seems to dominate the diversity in the Scriptures, so it seeks to dominate the complexity of human life. Everything has to fit into the Story. I’m not sure the God who made such a complex cosmos can really be contained so easily, nor the creatures that he made.
Thing is, alluding to Hitler and Stalin doesn’t help answer the question, but frames it in a context of fear. Especially when he uses phrases and words like “You really should watch out,” and “chilling.”
Also, if a Christian wishes to argue the case for complimentarity, they really shouldn’t try to do that by saying it is cross-cultural, because it isn’t. Nor that gender is ‘given’, because it isn’t.
Whether for or against, to brand Equal Marriage “a nonsense” is to forget that what is being discussed in the Church is not primarily an academic argument involving a Greek word in Romans. It is about people who were made by God, and whom God has called us to love. If we can’t remember that, then it doesn’t matter what conclusion we come to; the Church is already lost.