With this said, however, I think that there is a larger proposition here, embedded in this extremely controversial and polarizing subject, that troubles me greatly. Every time I contemplate same sex unions being embraced by the church, and the installment of Gay and Lesbian believers into ecclesiastical positions, such as pastors or Bishops, etc, my mind always takes me to the opening verses of Ephesians chapter 4:
"I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (vs. 1-3; NRSV; emphasis added]
Paul's subject here is unity; his tone is one of utmost urgency. The, "I beg you" disposition adds extreme weight to the matter. If you haven't heard anything I've said up to this point, please, I beg you, do not miss this! This is an injunction of unequaled importance to the Apostle Paul.
Therefore, the question is not can we do something. It is, and always has been, should we do something. All things are lawful for me, Paul said, but not all things are expedient [1 Cor 10:23]. To do something in isolation without broader consensus, is inviting dissension and disunity; a condition deplorable to Paul's theology.
Ultimately, the acceptance of same sex unions, and their recognition, their right to be, are matters of social justice. In my opinion, these are judicial issues, that will require a metamorphosis in our social consciousness. Fundamentally, this is a civil rights proposition, and should be pursued, with due diligence, as such. These matters should be addressed judicially, and I support, wholeheartedly, the granting of equality and legal status
Furthermore, as a matter of principle, I have no problem with these same people serving in the church in any capacity. It is in this domain, however, where I struggle to reconcile Paul's injunction regarding unity, with these
intermitent, rogue attempts to arbitrarily change the ideas of any given faith tradition without a broader concensus. The Episcopal Church is a prime example here. The consecration of Gene Robinson as a Bishop in 2003, absolutely shook the very foundations of the Anglican Communion. It is still reeling over the matter, and an inevitable schism is almost an absolute certainity.
This is a huge conundrum. Gene Robinson has made invaluable contributions to the church, not just in his particular faith tradition, but to the church at large, allowing us to get a glimpse of the gifts and callings bestowed upon this man, regardless of his sexual orientation. Yet, his very existence, irrespective of these inestimable virtues, is a source of huge contention.
So, I ask the question, are we doing the right thing here? Should we not work within the church to try and build a concensus that will protect and sustain these individual's right to be, and their callings, yet at the same time, perserve the unity indicative of the Apostle Paul's admonition?