Thursday, June 12, 2008

Don't Forget the Kids

Revised at 9:30 p.m.

I met with a counselor/consultant yesterday to get help with a particular situation. She recommended a book Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse. It is so sad when family breaks down. Children suffer the most, and they carry scars all their lives.

What is more important than family? Other than our relationship with the Lord, family relationships are first. When I deal with troubled people, almost always family has broken down in one way or another, usually when the troubled person was a child. Families need to be taught how important their relationships are! Not first in importance, but in second place.

The Lutheran Book of Worship's now old-fashioned statement on marriage says: "The Lord God in his goodness created us male and female, and by the gift of marriage founded human community in a joy that begins now and is brought to perfection in the life to come" (LBW p. 203).

The assumption in the LBW, and for most of human society, present and past is that male+female sexual attraction leads to marriage which makes family which in turn blesses children and present and future community. It's also assumed there that sexual intercourse is intended, by God, to be confined to the marriage bed. Sex in marriage binds male and female together so children, family and society can be healthy (see Genesis 1 and Matthew 19).

It is such a tragedy when this divine pattern is not followed! God have mercy on us all.

This weekend at the Synod Assembly, we will learn more about the ELCA's Draft Social Statement on Sexuality. I've been looking the statement in preparation for the assembly. Not surprisingly, considering the more "liberal" bent of the ELCA, the Draft Social Statement does not mention family until page 13. Children are not mentioned until page 16.

To be fair, it's not until page 15 that a section begins on "...God's creative activity." The pages before that are introductory and theological. Still, I think they children and family should be more up front. After all, who are the "neighbors" most affected by proper and improper use of our sexuality and our willingness or unwillingness to be faithful in marriage? It's the kids - both ours personally and those around us.

When I read the Bible, Old and New Testaments, sexuality is connected with family as the second most important of all relationships. Why is it that it's not the same with our church's statement? Is it because the scriptures are not really "the authoritative source and norm of [the ELCA's] proclamation, faith, and life."

I've done some homework, reading through and commenting on the "Draft Statement." It will be interesting to see what comes up at the assembly.

Here is a link to the ELCA's Proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality.
Look for the "Draft Statement" link on that page.

Note added July 24, 2008: More of my personal convictions on sexuality can be found in an Interview on Sexuality. I don't expect we'll all agree... for more on that read Fill in the ___.

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