What Therefore God Hath Joined Together: Remarks made at the Interfaith Community Celebration of Marriage Equality in North Carolina at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC on Monday, October 13, 2014

What therefore God hath joined together the State of North Carolina has not been able to put asunder. Amen!

What therefore God hath joined together Thom Tillis has not been able to put asunder.

What therefore God hath joined together – and I’m just loving using the King James Version for this special occasion – What therefore God had joined together fundamentalist Christians have not been able to what? —— to put asunder.

What therefore God hath joined together – homophobic straight heterosexuals, spreaders of malicious myths about sexual and gender identity minorities, predictors of the demise of the United States and the institution of marriage if marriage equality were realized, kinfolk who have not accepted LGBT children of God including some who have made life hell on earth for their LGBT relatives– none of those people have been able to put asunder what God has joined together.

We knew -we knew the promises of love made between woman and woman between man and man between a transgender or bisexual person and the love of their life – we knew the day was surely coming when those promises would not only be honored by God but would also be honored by our state and our nation. For North Carolinians, for Tar Heels, that day has arrived.

Ten years ago I had the honor of officiating at the marriage ceremony of two women who turned out to be like a second set of parents for my son. I and others gathered on that special day heard the two ladies make life promises to each other. We saw them exchange rings. We saw them kiss. We saw their mile-wide smiles as they were announced to the crowd. We saw them eat, drink and dance, shake what their momma gave them. It was a par-ty! ——Sadly, ten years ago I was unable to sign a North Carolina marriage license for them.

The days of marriage inequality in North Carolina are finally over. The state of North Carolina is no longer able to put asunder what God has joined together. Thanks be to God. And thanks to all who have worked so hard, including congregations and clergy in Charlotte, who have worked tirelessly for this wonderful day to happen, a day on which marriage promises have been made by LGBT people and on which such promises have been recognized by the state of North Carolina.

 

Pray This Prayer With Me – Joyless

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God,

We pray for those

who have known pure joy but because of loss and tragedy doubt if they will ever experience pure joy again

who have never really been joyful

whose depression prevents even snippets of joy

who have more than they can bear even though they’ve read a Bible verse indicating no one has more on them than he or she can bear

who, intentionally or unintentionally, rob others of joy

who let others and/or life events define their existence.

Amen.

Predestination A Liberal Christian Can Believe In

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Although predestination has its variants, predestination has typically been associated with the idea that God has chosen some to receive salvation and others to receive condemnation, an ideal abhorrent to liberal Christians who in response to such theological nausea flock to free will discourse.  I’m all for free will except I believe free will, in at least one respect, will be trumped.  I hold that God has predestined all of us to life eternal, that God’s love will not be defeated in one instance.  God’s love will not fail.  God’s love is so irresistible that even the strongest free will to resist will be unable to turn away from God.

Can you believe in a God whose love is so powerful that all are predestined to communion with God and each other?  If yes, how does this change your life today, in the here and now?