Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Extra-biblical versus Un-biblical

The recent move by the Episcopal church to change the working definition of marriage to include the marriage of two persons of the same sex comes as a result of a decades-long effort to re-write scripture so that the clear and common sense meaning is diminished through the process of muddled and obtuse word parsing and revisionism.

Episcopalians have always prided themselves as looking at things through a different set of lenses, so let me ask them to try these on for size.

Traditionalists see the changes in liturgies and canons and cry, "It is un-biblical!" Indeed, they have a very strong argument. There has yet to be proposed a convincing argument that the Bible contains any positive references in support of re-defining marriage to include same-sex marriage.

Unfortunately, the use of the word "un-biblical" is considered as mean spirited and cruel and invariably leads to the retorts of "fundamentalist", "literalist", and to charges of "opppressor" and "hater".

We need a new term to deal with this "new revelation" regarding marriage.

Here is the new "revelation" as one nameless Episcopal bishop described it,
“God has given us a new revelation not shared with our forefathers in the church,” the bishop said. “As such, we must proceed slowly and with generosity of spirit,” to ensure that the revelation given to the majority was not in error. The bishop said the history of the surrounding community, Mormon Salt Lake City, was an example of what not to do. - Anglican Ink
Since this is a new revelation to the church, and as such it must now carry a status equivalent with scripture, let's characterize it as "Extra-biblical".

Since our foes themselves have named it a "revelation", or as something not found in Scripture or tradition, would this not be an appropriate term to use going forward?

"Extra-biblical" might be seen as less mean-spirited and might be one way of moving the conversation in the right direction.



  1. Extra Biblical as in Book of Mormon

    1. Interesting that the newest revelation was codified in Salt Lake City. No one has said anything about the revelation that same-sex marriage is a sacrament was written on a gold tablet.