A Log of My Progress, 2002-2005
My apologies to all of you who have checked back to Musings On and not found any updated articles over the past three years. In February 2002 my article, “A Conservative Christian Case for Civil Same-Sex Marriage,” was discovered by someone in my former denomination, touching off a controversy that spread not only throughout my home denomination, but several other Reformed denominations as well. As a result, from March 2002 to April 2003 I was repeatedly threatened with church discipline if I did not comply with shutting down this website. In the end, I never did shut down Musings On and charges never were brought against me.
My energies, as a result, became focused upon defending the articles I had posted on this site against those who alleged that my views were heretical and therefore in violation of my church’s membership vows. Being disciplined would have meant being formally charged and tried in the church courts. Although I never was put on trial, the controversy did result in my husband, an ordained minister, being brought to trial on two charges. In January 2003 one of the charges against him was upheld in court (his subsequent appeal in June 2003 was denied), resulting in him being indefinitely suspended from the ministry. We left the denomination in October 2003 and ended up dissolving our congregation, Redeemer Chapel, in December 2003.
I have spent the past fifteen months, from January 2004 to March 2005, putting together a chronology of the controversy, complete with the documentation of my own case as it was examined before my Session (board of elders). For those who may be interested, it is posted here on my husband’s Upper Register website.
Understand, however, that this is not your typical civil same-sex marriage debate. I am a Reformed Christian (a Calvinist), and many of those who opposed my views were either part of, or highly influenced by, a faction within Reformed Christian circles known as the Christian Reconstruction movement (sometimes known as “theonomy”). For background on Christian Reconstructionism, see Walter Olson’s excellent article, Invitation to a Stoning, posted on the Independent Gay Forum website.
My objective in these discussions, then, was not simply to defend my views on biblical grounds, but to demonstrate that my understanding of the nature of homosexuality, and my defense of the right of gays and lesbians to enter into civil same-sex marriage, stemmed specifically from a Reformed theological outlook. In other words this was very much an in-house debate, in which the use of Presbyterian-speak, appeals to confessions and creeds of the Reformed tradition, and casual reference to the hard-core, cosmic theological concepts that characterize a Calvinist worldview can be bewildering to the outsider looking in. Let that not discourage the morbidly curious from slogging through it.
Posted on April 18, 2005
© 2005 by Misty S. Irons