In October 2013, the Anglican Diocese of Sydney passed the following motion:
33/13 Domestic violence and educating clergy
Synod requests Moore College and Ministry Training and Development, in consultation with the Safe Ministry Board and appropriate experts as required, having reviewed the input they already provide, to investigate and, as needed, develop an effective approach to educating ordinands and clergy in regards to domestic violence and how to respond when it comes up as an i ssue in marriage (and other relationships).
I was reminded today of a tremendously important and compelling argument against redefining marriage—not from a Christian point of view, but a libertarian one. The case was made—cogently, I believe—by Jennifer Roback Morse last year. (more…)
Well, to think that I almost didn’t write yesterday’s post, because my relatively few friends on Facebook had said it all… Since then I’ve trawled through over a total of 700 comments (and counting), between this blog, the Drum (on ABC) and various friends’ FB links. Today I am going to attempt a few follow ups. (more…)
I’m single. I live in Sydney’s east with my two flatmates and my cat. (The crazy-cat-lady litmus test is that you know you’ve become one and you don’t care.) I’m in my late thirties. Many of the struggles that surround singleness are my struggles too: tossing up between living on my own (and being lonely and possibly broke) or living with flatmates (and regularly having to find and get used to new ones); turning up to things on my own all the time; feeling the unvoiced wonderings of friends, who think I’m too fussy, or gay, or weird; feeling surprised and disappointed that I’m not married by now, and wondering what’s wrong with me. I tire of all of those things. (more…)
There’s nothing like a bunch of marriage books to make your head spin. Mostly I avoid them—too many guilt-producing suggestions about the ‘must-dos’ of a relationship—but I’ve been writing a seminar on the topic, so it was time to hit the books. (more…)
Last week, I wrote Submission and the Clash of Cultures. This week I want to follow it by writing about subjugation and the clash of cultures. For in website and blog comments regarding last week’s article the clash of world views became very obvious. The word ‘submission’ is, as I suggested, the presenting issue of something much bigger; it is a difference over “the nature of marriage, of human relationships and humanity itself”. (more…)
Behind the media brouhaha about the word “submission”, lies a clash of world views. It is a clash that feels difficult because of the heat of debate, but one that exposes something of the difference the gospel makes—not just in theory but also in practice. (more…)
In this post, I’d like to make a few observations about the nature of a husband’s sacrificial love based on Ephesians 5:25-32, and then invite others to contribute examples of how this sacrificial love might work itself out in different situations. (more…)
A few days ago I wrote a short article in which I used the word ‘submission.’ I’ve just now realized that by using this word, I was being a bit naïve. The realization of my own naivety came when I read Kara Martin’s helpful review of the book Fifty Shades of Grey on the Sydney Anglicans website. Kara’s review made me realize that what we Christians mean when we use the word ‘submission’ is often entirely different to what our non-Christian world thinks when it hears the word ‘submission.’ That’s because Christians and non-Christians are spending their time reading two very different books. As a result, Christians and non-Christians are having their passions and desires shaped by two very different worldviews. (more…)
Regarding Julia Baird’s opinion piece in the SMH today… (more…)
A furore has indeed erupted over the use of the dreaded ‘s’-word in certain proposed new marriage vows. The word ‘submit,’ of course, comes from the Bible (e.g. Ephesians 5:22-24); the proposed vows are an attempt to give couples the option of using biblical terminology in place of the traditional, often misunderstood, term in the prayer book: ‘obey.’ The inclusion of the ‘s’-word, however, has caught many people’s eye (and ire). It needs to be said that the word ‘submit’ can never be understood alone. The concept of submission in marriage is always part of a package deal. It’s one side of a double-sided coin: the other side is the husband’s responsibility to sacrifice himself for his wife, loving her tenderly and caring for her (e.g. Ephesians 5:25-30). That, in itself, should rule out any suggestion of abuse of women by men. (more…)
Everyone’s commenting (in my part of the world) on the front-page SMH article on the proposed new vows in an additional order of marriage to be considered for inclusion in the new Sydney Anglican prayer book. I agree: well done to Rob Forsyth and Andy and Steph Judd for their comments. (more…)
Last year, when I published my article on same-sex marriage, commenters asserted that the academic literature suggested children with gay or lesbian parenting situations did just as well as those with heterosexual parents. As I looked into it, even as a non-specialist, I could note that many such studies displayed methodological weaknesses such as the lack of control groups, or self-selection and self-reporting by participants. This should have cautioned against such dogmatic conclusions. (more…)
To dye or not to dye? This question came up on Jenny’s blog, and I just couldn’t resist jumping in with a typically over-long comment! Here’s an edited version of what I wrote, for women considering the pressing question of whether or not to dye greying hair. It’s not a bad test-case for issues of beauty and personal adornment.
Like all things the Bible doesn’t legislate on, whether or not to dye your hair comes down to the freedom to serve one another in love (Gal 5:13). It’s the teaching of demons to declare a created thing “bad”: it’s good if received with thanksgiving (1 Tim 4:1-5). We’re not to submit to rules like “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch!” (Col 2:16-23).
So yes, hair dye, waxing, and, dare I say, even botox and surgery to improve appearance are not evil in themselves: (more…)
I saw an excellent interview on Australia’s Channel 7 Sunrise program recently. Christian leaders were being asked about their opposition to proposals to redefine marriage, and were discussing the Bible’s view of marriage. At one point, the interviewer asked a question which is often brought up in these contexts: Doesn’t the Old Testament condone polygamy? There was, of course, a question behind the question: Since the Old Testament says polygamy is OK, why should we listen to it on any moral issue? (more…)