Ah the supposedly “liberal” Anglican church.
Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, is not “liberal.” He demonstrates this in his explanation of the Anglican demand for wifely sumbission in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Many of our young people want to be ”wives and husbands” rather than simply ”partners” and in their weddings they come as ”bride and groom” rather than simply two individuals. They believe that expressing these differences, including different responsibilities, makes for a better marriage.
Both kinds of promise are provided for in the Sydney Anglican diocese’s proposed Prayer Book, which has been the subject of commentary this week.
There is nothing new in this – it is the same as the Australian Prayer Book which has been used for decades.
Did you spot the oh-so-subtle dig at same-sex marriage? I know you did.
And then the nothing new nothing to see here move along – well lots of things aren’t new, but that doesn’t make them good. We’ve been doing lots of things for decades, in fact centuries and millennia; some of those things are bad things to do.
Where different promises are made, the man undertakes great responsibility and this is also the wording of the book, as it has always been. The biblical teaching is that the promise made voluntarily by the bride to submit to her husband is matched by the even more onerous obligation which the husband must undertake to act towards his wife as Christ has loved the church. The Bible says that this obligation is ultimately measured by the self-sacrifice of Christ in dying on the cross.
That’s what we’re always being told about Islamic laws of marriage. It’s such a great deal for the woman, because the man has to support her and all she has to do is surrender all her rights. And all that crap about as Christ has loved the church and the self-sacrifice of Christ in dying on the cross – what’s that got to do with anything? What does it even mean? How has “Christ loved the church”? By doing the dishes one evening a week? Flowers? Diamonds?
And anyway what is the point? It’s a way to end arguments. Yes, but not a good way, and how is that the archbishop’s business anyway – how other people end their arguments?
This is not an invitation to bossiness, let alone abuse. A husband who uses the wife’s promise in this way stands condemned for betraying his own sworn obligations. The husband is to take responsibility for his wife and family in a Christ-like way. Her ”submission” is her voluntary acceptance of this pattern of living together, her glad recognition that this is what he intends to bring to the marriage and that it is for her good, his good and the good of children born to them. She is going to accept him as a man who has chosen the self-discipline and commitment of marriage for her sake and for their children. At a time when women rightly complain that they cannot get men to commit, here is a pattern which demands real commitment all the way.
Along with inferior status. What “glad recognition”? And who says it’s “for her good?” It’s all purple language – so typical of churchy types – that doesn’t say anything. They can both perfectly well choose self-discipline and commitment without one of them having to be inferior to the other. Just get over it, dude – it’s not written in the stars that women are required to “submit” to men.
Secular views of marriage are driven by a destructive individualism and libertarianism. This philosophy is inconsistent with the reality of long-term relationships such as marriage and family life.
Referring to ”partners” rather than husband or wife gives no special challenge to the man to demonstrate the masculine qualities which he brings to a marriage.
Boy, that’s their go-to reason now, isn’t it – the alternative is ew ick secularism and individualism. The pope does it, the archbish of Canterbury does it…It seems to be all they have left.
It is a pity that the present discussion has been so overtly political. Instead of mocking or acting horrified, we should engage in a serious and respectful debate about marriage and about the responsibilities of the men and women who become husbands and wives. The Bible contains great wisdom on this fundamental relationship.
The rush to embrace libertarian and individualistic philosophy means that we miss some of the key relational elements of being human, elements which make for our wellbeing and happiness. It’s time to rethink marriage from first principles. It really matters.
The bible contains great wisdom on marriage? Please.
This kind of thing reminds me why I’m a gnu atheist (with or without pluses). That article is so annoying – all that windy dignified word salad, saying very little and that little totally wrong. It’s perfectly possible to have a serious and respectful debate about marriage and about the responsibilities of the women and men who become wives and husbands, but the bible has nothing to contribute to such a process.
Religion simply obstructed Peter Jensen’s ability to say anything even faintly relevant or interesting or useful.
(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)