Church still in the mist on sexual mattersBy Norman Wilkins
I will continue to unpack the story of the launch lost in the mist when heading out of Havelock.
Last time I said that I discovered that thoughtful people outside the Church consistently saw the Church’s role as being to be a moral influence in society and we were expected to help those who most needed it.
The leaders of our community were not interested in what the Church did in our “happy hour” on Sundays.
That was the reality of the terrain in which the boat had to navigate. That expectation of the Church was the hills and the navigable channel that determined our course.
‘The boat was lost’
However the boat was lost and actually heading in exactly the wrong direction; I believe that describes much of the Church.
We are too concerned with what we believe and not enough with what we do. Affirmation of our faith on Sundays is emphasised but society doesn’t care one bit about that.
I maintain that society sets the scene and that has always been the reality in which the Church operates. The Church thinks it knows best at its peril, just as much as our launch was in peril if we hadn’t noticed the compass bearing and turned on the radar so we knew the reality of our situation.
The Church succeeds in fulfilling part of its function in society; it helps many who need help through social programmes, op shops, food baskets, support of aid agencies and as individuals the smallish number of Church members “punch above their weight” in their invaluable service to all sorts of voluntary organisations.
However, much of the Church is truly heading in the wrong direction in some of the social policies it espouses.
‘Should hang our heads in shame
It fails to be the moral influence expected of it. We Church people should hang our heads in shame over the attitude we had in the eighties over the Homosexual Law Reform Bill; likewise our past negativity towards Civil Unions and Prostitution Law Reform
Now it is our negativity towards the Marriage Amendment Bill. Very few Christian communities are actually truly accepting of gay people.
The official position of the Presbyterian Church is not to accept gay people, or those living in de-facto relationships in leadership positions. The Catholic Church does not even yet accept women as priests.
Our immorality is to have a heartless conservatism especially over matters sexual. Next time I may say more about that or possibly focus on Christmas; I’ll see what the Editor wants.