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Sunday, August 3, 2003

By their fruits ye shall know them.

An intriguing argument from the Very Rev. Samuel G. Candler in favor of blessing same-sex partnerships in the Episcopal Church:

Let the state do what it wants! Let the followers of natural law do what they want! The Christian Church makes another kind of claim altogether: that we are saved by the grace of God in Jesus Christ. The Church blesses faithfulness. The Church blesses those relationships and institutions which symbolize, represent, and point to, a new creation, a new order. In that new creation, grace overcomes what we think we know by nature. (This is what Galatians 3.28 means; in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female.)

His basic argument is that the church recognizes a quality — grace, God's covenant-making activity — in a variety of relationships and institutions, and blesses them for exemplifying that divine quality. This strikes me as very sound theology. Candler adds: "Relationships that glorify God bear fruit, what St. Paul called the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5.22-23)." These spiritual fruits are found not only in many male-female commitments, but in many same-sex commitments as well, as more and more of us are coming to recognize. (From the liberal Episcopalian "Every Voice Network" 8.1.03.)

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 3 August 2003 at 10:07 AM

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