Saturday, July 27, 2019

Concerning Theology & Praxis

Concerning Theology and Praxis

Praxis is a technical term denoting the way in which theology is played out and expressed in practice. It is obvious that our theology concerning a particular issue needs to precede its practical application.

The supporting theology for the proposed endorsement of same-sex marriages by our church seems to run as follows:

God is a God of love and justice
LGBT+ persons have been and are currently being treated unjustly and unlovingly.
To prevent any further discrimination we must be prepared to marry them.

It is not difficult to see the disconnect between the statements which precede the therefore and that which follows.
It is like saying, “Children are being abused therefore we should give children sweets.”
No, if children are being abused we should stop abusing children.
Whether it is good to give children sweets is another matter entirely though doubtless that is what they would like.

The word ‘therefore’ is in fact a non sequitur in both instances.
That LGBT+ persons should be treated with love and justice goes without saying and the church has much to repent of for not having done so.
This is a justice issue.

However whether or not same-sex persons should be married is a holiness issue, and if we wish to apply the phrase, “in the sight of God” to such union then God needs to be consulted.
This is a holiness issue.

We may not drag the holiness issue under the banner of justice by means of a false ‘therefore,’ and call the whole thing a matter of ‘justice’. To do so is pure sophistry.

It would seem that the cart, consisting of the proposed praxis concerning same-sex marriage, is being pushed by humans. This is hardly surprising as the theological horse intended to draw it is too puny for the task. Too puny by far.

Peter Frow

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