Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Danes Go for Gay Marriage

The Danish government’s minister for church affairs has announced that he will introduce a law granting homosexual couples the legal right to be married in the Church of Denmark (Folkekirken)   [Lutheran and formerly known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark]. The law will be introduced after the parliamentary election, which must be held by November 12.

Minister for Church Affairs Per Stig Møller said he did not think this should be an issue in the election campaign. The Social Demokrat opposition also supports this proposal, so it will be introduced regardless of the outcome of the election.  [The Church of Denmark is a state church that is ruled directly by the Danish parliament (Folketinget).] Once the law is adopted, the Danish bishops will be tasked with developing the church ceremony. Evidently the ceremony for homosexual weddings may differ from the traditional wedding ceremony.

Møller emphasized that the proposed law will have a “conscience clause” providing that a pastor may refuse to conduct a wedding. Bishop Steen Skovsgaard of Lolland-Falster Diocese (islands in Southeastern Denmark) is quoted in Christian newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad as saying he has always opposed church “blessings” of registered partnerships, but he accepts the Minister’s statement as an accomplished fact.

“It is also important to stress that pastors are allowed to refuse to marry homosexuals,” said Skovsgaard. “I am also glad there is room in the Church for me, as a bishop, to say no.” Other bishops welcomed the announcement.  Bishop PeterFischer-Møller of Roskilde Diocese noted that the issue had been discussed in committees, but he was happy that the Folketing was now taking responsibility for the decision. “I am happy to call this a wedding, but one might note that we are talking about two different ceremonies.”

--Translated and sent by Chris Barnekov from a longer article in Kristeligt Dagblad (23 August 2011).

The more that we tolerate and become accustomed to error, the easier it is to embrace it and proclaim it, without any shame or embarrassment, thinking that this is what has always been, forgetting that we have breached our tie to the Church before us and made a giant leap of faith that God is doing something new, in violation of what His Word says and His Church has believed, taught, and confessed.

It must be that Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (September 8, 1783 – September 2, 1872), for whom the great church Grundtvigskirken is named, must be surely  sighing and groaning in sadness over the Church he loved.  He who wrote "Built on the Rock the Church Doth Stand" now sees the sand foundation of his beloved Church shifting with time, culture, and trend.  When I was in college we used to ask what kind of Lutheran you were -- a Kierkegaard or Grundtvig style Lutheran?  A holy Lutheran or a happy one?  Well, it seems that holiness is as lost as is the true happiness of faithfulness to Christ and the Danes have exchanged Truth for what they think is true for the moment.  And they are not alone....


Anonymous said...

The acceptance of gay-marriage around
the globe is one more sign that our
culture is corrupt. Even worse is
the fact that Lutheran Churches
around the Globe...ELCA (United States), Norway, Sweden, Denmark
condone and participate in making
a mockery of God's institution of
marriage between one man and one
woman. "Be not deceived, God is not

scredsoxfan2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BrotherBoris said...

The sad thing is, what real mechanism can the Danish Lutherans use to oppose gay marriage since their Church is controlled by the Parliament? If there were independent of the state (and thus independent of state-forced coercion, they could possibly have a way to stop this. But being a State Church, I just don't see how they can. Is there an independent or Free Lutheran Church in Denmark? If there is, how do they feel about this push toward gay marriage?

Anonymous said...

Danish Parliament Outvotes God

I don't think they are fooling Him.

I feel sorry for the children in that church. Where will they ever hear the truth?

William Tighe said...

As I wrote earlier, elsewhere, in commenting on this news item:

The Danes are, I believe, following the Church of Sweden in this
"development," although the Church of Sweden has fully accepted "homisexual marriage"
already. But it should occasion no surprise, really, for there is an exact parallel
here in Denmark as to how the purported ordination of women was introduced in the
Denmark in 1946-49. The Swedish case regrading WO is much better known,
because one Church Assembly session rejected WO there in 1957, and then
in 1958, after a highly-politicized "election" a new Assembly reversed
its predecessor and accepted WO; and from 1960 for the next four decades
(until the proscription of opponents of WO from ordination when the
Church of Sweden was disestablished in 2000) the issue was a major bone of
contention in Sweden.

In Denmark, by contrast, the government simple legislated for WO in 1946,
although all but two of the State Church bishops were opposed to it.
But then a problem arose: the only two female "ordination candidates"
were from the Copenhagen diocese, whose bishop was opposed to WO (he
changed his mind later, by the time he retired in 1956). So further
legislation had to be passed allowing the Cabinet's "Minister of
Religion" to authorize the bishop of a diocese other than that of a
female ordination candidate to "ordain" her if her own bishop would not
do so -- and the legislation went on to envisage a situation in which
all the Danish State Church bishops were opposed to WO, in which case the
Minister could authorize a pastor who was a Dean of a cathedral or a
Theology professor to ordain such women in the absence of any bishop
willing to do so. In fact, though, by the early 1960s all the Danish
Lutheran bishops but one were in favour of WO, and the last opponent
retired in 1968; and there have been none since then.

It is hard to regard the "Danish Folk Church," to use its formal title,
as in any sense a church, since institutionally it is simply a branch
of the Danish government and cvil service. It has no church asembly or,
and all decisions with regard to church organization, liturgical changes
and the like have to be approved by the Danish parliament.

Anonymous said...

"Danish Folk Church,"

kinda like

People's Republic of China

We all know that the common folk of Denmark and China fully approve. (sarcasm)

Rev. David M. Juhl said...

There is a Lutheran Free Church in Denmark. It is tiny. Very, very tiny. But faithful and in fellowship with LC-MS.

Aritul said...

I have long thought that the Church in Scandinavia was a dying institution.