Some bad, if unsurprising, ecclesiastical news: last week, in what has become a cringing trend among American Episcopalians, that denomination’s bishops junked Scripture’s remorselessly explicit standards and endorsed a rite for the blessing of homosexual relationships. I suppose you could call it “same-sex marriage light” (or “light in the loafers”, if you prefer). Delegates, moreover, rallied to keep the church door open for the ordination of “transgendered” individuals.
Good news surfaces, however: a few days previously the Presbyterian Church (USA), doing what any organization claiming Biblical fidelity ought to do, scuppered a move to jimmy with it’s constitution’s definition of marriage. Henceforth, civilization’s chief institution remains “a civil contract between a woman and a man”, instead of being reduced to merely “a covenant between two people”. The group’s General Assembly also upheld a ban on officiating “gay” weddings. High-fives should be offered all around.
Further to this whole distortion-of-marriage fray, the church-world delivers additional gladsome tidings —
from a pleasingly unexpected source, to boot: an alliance of black pastors is entreating fellow African-American believers to scrap support for our suddenly homosexual-marriage-friendly president.
“By embracing gay marriage, President Obama is leading the country down an immoral path,” announced Rev. William Owens, president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP). “[W]e are calling on black pastors and black Christians to withhold support from President Obama until he corrects course.”
Owens’ apolitical, non-denominational group styles itself “a grass-roots movement of African-American Christians who believe in traditional family values”. Their statement was released earlier this month on the occasion of the “African Methodist Episcopal (AME) 2012 Convention” in Nashville, TN.
“In the midst of this great moral struggle, we are also asking the great AME Church to reaffirm biblical views on marriage,” challenged Owens. He noted the AME Church (a sizable, predominantly African-American Christian denomination) “has not taken a position on this important issue in more than twenty years, and it’s time to got off the sidelines.”
I’m inclined to wonder if, along with his Bible, Pastor Owens has been lately imbibing a bit of Dante Alighieri. That medieval Italian poet scaldingly ruled, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
“Sidelines”? For any Bible-based outfit worth its KJV, Owens and his intrepid cadre of black clergymen commendably recognize there is no “sidelines” option when it comes to this generation’s pedal-to-the-metal bombardment of husband-wife matrimony
Over four centuries ago, Martin Luther, a German priest whose 20th-century namesake, an Atlanta Baptist, became the icon of black Americans’ civil rights struggle, warned, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are attacking at that moment, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.”
Rampaging homosexual activism and its abettors have become the cultural steamroller du jour — rumbling forth to flatten traditional notions of sexuality and family wherever they might pop up. More acerbically, AME pastor Luke Robinson charges that Obama’s latest perversion-pandering, gay-nuptials turn “is, in fact, a direct attack on the God of the Bible and the Christian faith”.
A stinging missive from CAAP to the White House lamented, “President Obama is the fulfillment of our dreams for our sons – and he has broken our hearts by using his power and position to endorse as a civil right something that is simply wrong.” Owens summarizes, “We were once proud of President Obama, but our pride has turned to shame.”
The courage of this band of African-American clerics is nothing short of stirring. I probably don’t need to point out they’re a harried minority among a black demographic which, in 2008, cast 95% of its ballots for Barack Obama.
But when I first read their anti-Obama pangs, I confess I had to scratch my head. Did I detect some bewilderment regarding the policy paths pursued by our current, radical Leftist-in-Chief? What did Barack Obama’s history and reputation prime them to expect from him?
Long in the Lavender Lobby’s back pocket – excepting his brief, politically-calculated dabbling with “marriage-is-between-man-and-woman” rhetoric during his presidential run – there was never any substantive reason to suspect Obama anything other than the typical Democrat: an all-in “gay rights” crusader.
Were those suddenly crestfallen over this springtime’s “same-sex marriage” flip-flop napping when, pre-Oval-Office, Obama was caught deploring those “bitter” Americans who “cling to their religion”; sneering at the New Testament’s anti-homosexual proscriptions (“an obscure passage in Romans”)?
Since assuming the Chief Executive mantle, virtually every move he’s made touching on LGBT concerns has oozed animosity toward biblical convictions: abandoning enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act, repealing our military’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell code, surrounding himself and stacking his administration with pro-gay firebrands.
His return to support for homosexual unions was always inescapable – the inevitable capstone observers should have anticipated if they’d paid attention to Obama’s previous words and public record.
The CAAP’s Owens has audaciously claimed “the black church has always been the conscience of America.” A pronouncement that bold carries with it a sobering load of responsibility. Owens and his like-minded colleagues are taking their part discharging that responsibility, confidently reiterating truth about human sexuality and marriage. A, potent, attention-grabbing starting point was attesting that Barack Obama is not on the side of authentic marriage.
Not that he ever really was.