Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Statement Against 10-A

Statement Against 10-A, by Amy Kosari

A vote against 10-A is a vote for justice. The other day I was reading the theologian Mark Achtemeier’s address to the Covenant Network and the accompanying article. He said that he had once “succumbed to the temptation of ecclesiastical tunnel vision.” “I read authors I agreed with, I talked with those I agreed with, I hung out with those I agreed with.” That is a good warning to all of us and heeding it I would like to try to get to the crux of the argument of the other side: For five hundred years Protestants have preached that we are justified by faith in Christ, “the justice of God by faith in Jesus for all believers.” All believers, Paul wrote, not some. America sought to do justice to her slaves and later to women. Now it is proposed that we do justice to women who love women and men who want men--And why not? Are not there women and men who are faithful to their partners, even “till death do us part”? And do not they wish to occupy our pulpits to proclaim their faith in Christ? Surely it is meet and right that we extend to them the right hand of fellowship after so long a time when we blocked them from proclaiming this faith?
But what if justification by faith in Christ is a wrong translation? What if justification by faith is in fact when a man marries a woman? Again I ask, what if justification by faith in Christ is a wrong translation? What if, as some scholars now say, we are justified by the faith of Jesus? I think there is an even better translation. We are justified by the "establishment" of Jesus. After all, what is justice? Justice is when (to quote Isaiah 53:11 and 55:3) “the just one, my slave, shall justify many, by “the pities of David, the established ones”. Let me break that down. Justification is when the righteous slave of Isaiah 53 makes many, a numberless many, right when they were in the wrong. And how is it that the slave, the man of sorrows, Jesus, how is it that he justifies many? Isaiah 55 tells us, it is by the mercy of God, when God the Father establishes, is faithful to, the suffering servant. And here’s the final piece of the puzzle. What is the immediate effect of justification? Answer: A woman is made happy (Isaiah 54), a once despairing woman is married. And who is this woman? Zion and her assembly, “our feet are standing within thy gates.” Justification by faith, justice itself is when a man marries a woman. A colleague of mine once said, “Amy, marriage, love between a man and a woman, romance, the Song of Songs these are merely side issues.” On the contrary, it turns that romance is the good news, romance is justification, the romance between Jesus and his assembly is justification. Vote against 10-A and vote for justice.
I know what I am saying is quite new. Give me a call, talk to me. Let’s heed Mark Achtemeier’s warning and not isolate ourselves but talk with those with whom we do not agree.