By Gregg Brekke, Presbyterian News Service.
At the same time a Kentucky county clerk was being jailed for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples, Paul Kempf and Robb Gwaltney said their vows in the Presbyterian Center chapel yesterday.
An intimate group of friends, family and co-workers gathered to witness the ceremony presided by the Rev. David Maxwell, an editor at the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Kempf has been an employee of the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 2012 and Gwaltney is a former employee who helped plan and oversee the PCUSA move to Louisville in 1988.
Maxwell addressed the differing opinions of marriage within society and the church saying, “The concept of biblical marriage is very different than our modern views.”
“No biblical writer would have envisioned what we think of as a good marriage today—with concepts of equality and mutuality,” he said, noting that the Bible includes, even endorses, marriage patterns rejected by modern society such as multiple wives for men, ownership of wives by husbands and the forceful taking of wives from defeated peoples.
Recognizing the PCUSA is “grieving” individuals and congregations that have departed the denomination over its decision to allow same-gender marriage, he said, “We mourn that some have left, while we celebrate a new day.”
“‘No biblical writer would have envisioned what we think of as a good marriage today—with concepts of equality and mutuality,’ he said, noting that the Bible includes, even endorses, marriage patterns rejected by modern society such as multiple wives for men, ownership of wives by husbands and the forceful taking of wives from defeated peoples.”
It would seem that he has no appreciation for the fact that the Bible starts with monogamous marriage between man and woman as God’s design (Gen. 1.18-25), and the fact that Paul specifically requires elders and deacons (which are assumed to be men) to be “the husband of one wife” (I Tim. 3.2,12, Tit. 1.6), and that with this context, the polygamy and other distortions of the marriage covenant identified in the Old Testament Law are seen as God allowing them, owing to the hardness of the Israelites’ hearts (Mt. 19.8), but regulating them to keep abuse of the covenant to a minumum.
With such a superficial understanding of what the Bible teaches about marriage coming from an ordained officer of the Presbyterian Church (USA), is it any wonder that the denomination’s Bible Content Exam scores are so abysmally low?
very good post
These people sound like a group of pre-teens rationalizing their lives and behaviors….if anyone ever had any doubts why we are in such a sad condition in our denomination….
Acknowledging those “grieving” and the many departing congregations almost seems like a “ha-ha—I won!” I would think in order to ease this whole process, the officials at the main office would have been the last people to hold a same-sex wedding this soon. It’s an “in-your-face” act that is intentionally polarizing for the group of folks they are “pretending” to care about. God help them.
By the way…just try posting something (besides an affirming ‘three cheers’) after this full article….I did and evidently they do not want ME to “join the discussion”!
One reason I like this site is the free-flowing comments section. Only about half of my comments to PCUSA articles seem to make it through the screening process. I could understand the censorship if the proffered comments were profane or insulting, but that is not the case. They simply depart from the leadership’s orthodoxy.
Always keep in mind, the agenda. This is not about gay marriage, wedding cakes, monkey trials, Islam, or any other issues raised for the effect. That “effect” is what we must always keep in mind.