Saturday, August 27, 2011
The Danes Go for Gay Marriage
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....