Irish Evangelical Group Supports Civil Partnerships

Jim Burroway

December 8th, 2009

As we reported earlier the Republic of Ireland is considering a Civil Partnership bill which would grant Ireland’s same-sex couples many of the rights and obligations of heterosexual married couples. That law is exptected to pass. Evangelical Alliance Ireland has issued a statement supporting the bill.

You read that right. Even though they give no ground whatsoever on theology, Evangelicals in Ireland are supporting the bill (PDF: 333KB/4 pages):

The Christian Scriptures make it clear that God’s purpose for his gift of sex is that it would be the ultimate physical expression of love tween a man and a woman in the context of the covenant of marriage. However, the Gospel requires us that we show grace to those who fundamentally disagree with our convictions and who do not shape their lives according to what we believe is good for them. Jesus requires of his followers that they love and do good to those who oppose them or who hold to different ethical standards as they do.

The question we face is how followers of Jesus Christ are to live in a society that does not believe as they do and may even oppose principles we hold to, seeing them as out-dated, illiberal and even oppressive.

Some will criticize such a stance as a “cop out.” But the challenge to incarnate and command an alternative way of living as followers of Jesus is no cop out. We face this challenge of showing the power and beauty of marriage as God’s intended context for sex, for the raising of children and for the thriving of society. We face the challenge of showing the strength of friendships, both same gender and opposite gender, that are based on loving as Jesus has loved us. Facing these challenges is no cop out. It is the essence of Christian discipleship.

Irish Evangelicals are fare from unanimous on this. Another group, Aontas (previously known as the Association of Irish Evangelical Churches) criticizes the move.  “Aontas remains opposed to the Civil Partnership Bill because it undermines the status of marriage,” said Paudge Mulvihill, the group’s honorary secretary.


December 8th, 2009

This is what faith is truly about. They believe their principles will prevail, therefore they are not afraid of the challenge others pose to them. Instead of forcing reality to conform to their beliefs, they are willing to put them to the test.

Bigots are cowards. They are fearful of their wrongness.

Timothy (TRiG)

December 11th, 2009

I knew I’d seen the word before, but I couldn’t think what it meant. It’s on my passport: An tAontas Eorpach.


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