Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mere Christianity

A few months back I read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and found the work thought provoking, logical and relevant. The recent discussion in social media regarding same sex marriage reminded me of the book. The following are two excepts from the Mere Christianity.

From the Preface:
"In Book III, which deals with morals, I have also passed over some things in silence, but for a different reason. Ever since I served as an infantryman in the First World War I have had a great dislike of people who, themselves in ease and safety, issue exhortations to men in the front line. As a result I have a reluctance to say much about temptations to which I myself am not exposed. No man, I suppose is temped to every sin. It so happens that the impulse which makes men gamble has been left out of my make-up; and, no doubt, I pay for this by lacking some good impulse of which it is the excess of perversion. I therefore did not feel myself qualified to give advice about permissible and impermissible gambling: if there is any permissible, for I do not claim to know even that. I have also said nothing about birth-control. I am not a woman nor even a married man, nor am I am priest. I did not think it my place to take a firm line about pains, dangers and expenses from which I am protected; having no pastoral office which obliged me to do so."

From Book 3. Christian Behaviour, Chapter 6 Christian Marriage:
"Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question - how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult to every one."
"There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members."

The words written by Lewis sixty years ago relate well to the current debate and polarization on the issue of same sex marriage. Not to mention they match quiet well with my own personal view of the subject.

Thankfully we live in a society where Christians have religious freedom and can view same sex marriage as going against Biblical teaching. The same freedom of our society provides equal rights to all people including the right for two homosexual, consenting adults to share in the benefits given to heterosexual adults.

Thinking logically about a more pertinent moral issue, based on Biblical teaching, that has a much broader impact than same sex marriage is gluttony. Currently, 68% of Americans are overweight or obese.

Logic, common sense and moderation seem to be lost in public debate whether discussing marriage, tax code, or the environment. It seems the sinful behavior that is most damaging to our society may actually be pride.

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