Friday, June 26, 2015

Complimentarity and Covenantal Relationships: An Argument for Marriage Equality

Marriage is an icon of Christ's covenantal love for us, the Body of Christ.

We believe that a married couple -- living out the sacrificial love that this covenant demands can be a witness to the world of Christ's love for us. In reality, this is the covenantal, sacrificial love that we are called to live out with one another, like David and Jonathan, giving our soul to one another.

Let us define marriage by its nature, by its grace -- not by an unrealistic binary gender identification that is no longer a reality. 

Adam said: You are flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone. You are like me -- meaning a human made in God's image.

Complementarity comes in many forms. For the sake of the people in my pews -- and for the people who are too afraid to come in because that have been so often denied -- let us not narrow the complementarity of humanity down to a binary world.

Let us not make a second class of covenantal relationships, a second class of citizens in the Church.

Let us be fruitful and multiply. Multiply covenantal relationships. Multiply disciples. In Christ there is no us or them, there is only us.

Jane Johnson
Deputy in the Dioceses of Fond du Lac
Rector at Intercession, Stevens Point, WI

Testimony given to Committee #20 -- the Special Legislative Committee on Marriage -- at their first Open Hearing on the marriage resolutions on June 24, 2015 at the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church


Sally Jones said...

Thank you Jane for fighting the good fight! Love from your pews.

John Switzer said...

Thank you for your perspective. I am especially delighted by its emphasis on marriage as sacrificial covenant. Christ in the eucharist says "this is my body and blood for you." In marriage the couple say the same thing to one another.

But the uniqueness of the man-woman sacrificial covenant is that when they say that, their complementarity and sacrifice within the confines of their mutual covenant bears the potential for procreation. That's unique to their type of covenant. Saying so does not detract from a same-sex sacrificial covenant, but it does make it different and unique. Let's continue to define marriage as it is, and appreciate same-sex relationships for what they are. They are two different goods and should not be reduced to sameness.

Bobbie Joy Amann said...

Thank you for your testimony, and your eloquent, heart-spoken words. Let us continue to be witnesses to Christ's Love, and celebrate, and support- covenantal, sacrificial love in all it's forms.

Love knows not gender, race, social class, education, or any number of labels. It only knows the soul.

In Christ,