(*** DISCLAIMER: I want to offer a little explanation about my cartoons and posts. When I do a cartoon or a post, I always imagine running into the person I may have critiqued in a coffee shop later that day and being able to sit over a cup of coffee. Always fair and never mean. This might be a hopeless hope, but I do hope the people I critique will be able to say, “I can see your point even though I still stick by mine!” I hope I’ll get a chuckle or at least a smile out of them. Like today’s. I think it’s funny. But what kind of sicko laughs at his own jokes? Right?)
Okay, I’ve read Tony Jones There Are Two Marriages: A Manifesto on Marriage.
Actually, I agree with Jones in places. But I don’t think marriage is a holy, sacred thing any more than anything else is. I believe we live in a sacramental world. So for me, marriage is a human, social agreement, contract and event recognizing a committed relationship. I think it should be only legal. The church of those getting married can be present to bless it or not. I think this is an elegant solution that would solve a lot of problems.
There aren’t two marriages. There’s only one! There’s only one relationship. How different institutions or entities consider it is another issue. But these various considerations don’t divide a relationship. The relationship is still one. There’s one marriage, many opinions.
My concern about this document is what it opens the door for. As I wrote in my blog post Tony Jones on Mark Driscoll: What Came First, the Thug or the Theology that started this whole thing,
“Theology is our creation. It is a reflection of our drives and desires. Then, not satisfied to only be the product of our drives and desires, it also becomes the producer of them. Theology is a vicious cycle of our desperate need to understand and control our universe.”
It’s not so much about our theology as it is our pathology. We may create theologies that bring out the best in us. Or, sadly, we may create theologies that not only validate but encourage the worst in us. We can form theologies that may encourage inappropriate emotional attachments to another person. We can even create theologies that endorse affairs and adulteries. It is only human to theologize our way into exactly what we desire. Like Jones makes clear in his marriage manifesto: it’s so much easier to get into a sacramental marriage than to get out of a legal one. So let’s create sacramental marriage. Problem solved!
Here’s an analogous parallel:
Do we really believe the prosperity gospel created rich pastors?
Or did rich pastors create the prosperity gospel?
I’m not judging people because they have money or affairs. What I’m analyzing is how we develop theologies that always magically put ourselves in the best light.