Peter Ould of An Exercise in the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy posts a (long) comment made on the Fulcrum Forum by a man called Ken Petrie. I cannot locate that comment on Fulcrum so the link below is to Peter's posting. I offer the post here (i.e. excerpt and link) not so much to endorse all that is said (though my own sympathies are very much in the direction of what is said) but to offer an example of how one can write sensitively yet directly about a controversial matter.
"Because marriages, like everything else human beings touch, will always bear a certain amount of taint from human sin, it follows that a certain humility is necessary in our approach to this divine institution which we mar through our involvement.
"Sadly, the Church has not been very good in its witness to these two truths. For whatever reason, bishops and clergy are too keen to celebrate marriage only as the good gift of God and to ignore the shortcomings of human beings. Therefore, when it was suggested there might be some penitential element when a marriage was celebrated for a couple, one of whom had a previous spouse still living, the General Synod rejected it. I believe the ordained members felt that if a marriage could be seen as sinful it shouldn’t be happening at all, and to make provision for a flawed marriage was somehow to undermine the ideal itself. But the contrary is true; it is only by acknowledging our failings that we uphold the ideal which, for us, is unattainable.
"I wonder whether this is because the English Church is quietly absorbing the sentimental over-expectation of our host culture, or because it has never been able to grasp the implications of Luther’s slogan, Simil justus et peccator. We live in the tension St Paul decribed in Romans 7.21-25 and it is only through Christ that we can amount to anything worthwhile at all. The warning at the end of verse 25 is also apposite. If we seek to enslave ourselves to God’s law we will only become slaves to sin."
The whole may be accessed here.
Marilynne Robinson on Writing
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