“Government to hear testimony on the re-definition of marriage”
“Biblical definition of marriage questioned”
I didn’t rip these headlines from today’s blog roll. Not yesterday’s either. Yes, I know they are an accurate description of the state of the marriage debate our country is currently facing, but we’re not the first society to wrestle over the subject of marriage.
These headlines describe what was happening in 16th century England during the English Reformation. In case it’s been awhile since you sat in a world history class, here is a crash course. Pay attention to the parallels between what was happening then and what is happening now.
- King Henry VIII wanted his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled.
- Catherine had not yet given Henry a male heir, and he had a sudden and passionate interest in a new lady, Anne Boleyn.
- This ignited a frenzy of public debate about marriage, government’s involvement in marriage, and the limit (if any) of the Bible’s authority in our private lives.
- It became a political affair centered around a theological dispute.
- Because of the invention of the printing press, more words were written and circulated than ever before. If you had an opinion, you had the option to share it beyond your immediate circle.
Ultimately, Henry split from the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church and created the Church of England to get his annulment. Why am I taking us so far down this ancient path?