Monday, August 06, 2012

Seattle Times Turns Spotlight On Archbishop Sartain. But, Why?

I've seen it before.

The Seattle Times has turned the spotlight on Seattle's Roman Catholic Archbishop, J. Peter Sartain.

Why? Well, they say, the archbishop "remains somewhat of a mystery to many in Western Washington."

A mystery?

The Times reports that the archbishop who arrived in Seattle in 2010 is a nice, warm, relational man who is humble and serves as an excellent mentor to other younger pastors. Well liked by many---but not all.


The Times reports, "But it's Sartain's other priority---promoting marriage and family according to the teachings of the church---that's garnered the most attention. That was especially true of his decision to urge parishes to gather signatures for Referendum 74 to overturn the same-sex marriage law."

Okay, so its not a spotlight---its a blowtorch. They disagree with his position on biblical marriage.

The Times says it like this: "A portrait is emerging of a man who is warm, humble and kind, while at the same time a leader who can be out of touch with the lives and concerns of some in his flock."

They say he is particularly "out of touch with gay and lesbian people and liberal Catholics."

They are suggesting that the church must be shaped by contemporary culture, rather than being a beacon of light and guidance and shaping individual lives and the culture with timeless biblical principles and Truth.

KOMO's Ken Schram took on the Archbishop when he asked his parishes to gather signatures. Now the Times is, in different form, carrying the torch.

The Times says this is, "One of the archdiocese's most forceful thrusts into the political arena in years."

It isn't a political battle, it is a spiritual one.

The Times quotes Rev. John Whitney, the pastor of St. Joseph Parish on Capitol Hill, as affirming that Sartain is nice enough but, "He reflects a trend in the hierarchy that the answers are already there and if you need it, we'll talk about it until you come to my position."

Herein is the crux of the cultural battle.

Sartain is expressing his (and that of his church) belief that the Bible gives the absolute model for marriage, which is the model of one man and one woman defined at Creation. A model that Jesus Christ Himself affirmed. A model assumed and practiced by every successful civilization in history and advocated by every major religion. Pastor Whitney's frustration is likely based on his willingness to redefine not only marriage, but Scripture as well, while ignoring the value of historical, natural marriage in every culture.

To Sartain, the answers are already there. We are not making up truth as we go. And it's interesting that whether it is Janet Tu at the Times or a homosexual activist who is advocating for redefining marriage, they will always refer to deeply held biblical beliefs as "your" position, rather than a "biblical" position, because they can only see things through the lens of relativism---in this case secular relativism. And see, nor recognize anything higher than the human dimension.

Whether you are Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Mormon---whatever, if you stand for biblical marriage with any influence, you will be called out. And there will be an attempt to undermine you in some way. Sometimes overtly---sometimes subtly.

I commend the Archbishop for his stand for marriage and would urge my evangelical brothers to lay aside the restraints that sometimes silence us and both stand and speak the truth.

This is the time.

Be Vigilant. Be Bold. Be Discerning. Be Blessed.

12 comments:

  1. Please Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, hold to the truths of the Bible and don't acquiesce to the culture today or the morals and standards our debaucherous society is trying to impose. We as Christians must stand up for what is righteous and what the Word of God says. His words are for all time, past...present...and future, if our culture is to survive.

    Thank you for your stand on this issue. God bless you and the Lord be with you.

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  2. "He reflects a trend in the hierarchy that the answers are already there and if you need it, we'll talk about it until you come to my position."

    That is sort of a bishop's job.

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  3. Gary, thank you for consistently turning on the lights to the inuendo of the press. It is very helpful. I doubt they will vote you or Sartain man of the year. God bless and strengthen you.

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  4. Spot light-blow torch. Cool. Thanks. How true.

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  5. The spotlight or blow torch needs to shine on all of us standing for the truth instead of sitting silently in the pews. Then their flames will be silenced by "halos' instead of halon. Let's all join together in standing for God's truth, and especially now, take up the sword and wield it against same sex marriage and the leaders who support it.

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  6. Those that are suggesting that the church must be shaped by comtemporary culture, need to read what God's word says about this in Pr. 30:5&6. As follows
    5) 'Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6) Do Not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.' (NIV)

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  7. RE: "They are suggesting that the church must be shaped by contemporary culture, rather than being a beacon of light and guidance and shaping individual lives and the culture with timeless biblical principles and Truth."

    A little history lesson: The church has already been shaped countless times by contemporary culture. Slavery, female inequality, interracial marriage bans -- all of these ideas were once widely supported by the culture and upheld through Biblical teachings. It’s as easy to find Bible verses that advocate these positions as it is to find anti-gay ones. But, as the culture changed, the church eventually -- and often reluctantly -- changed with it.

    Was that the right thing to do? Well, I don’t hear many churches advocating a return to slavery, female inequality, or interracial marriage bans. So you tell me.

    Was God wrong? No, but maybe we don’t know God’s will as well as we think we do…

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    Replies
    1. Your history of Christianity is skewed. It was because of biblical teaching that slavary, women's inequality, and objections to interacial marriages were shown to be wrong. Christianity follows Christ and he spoke against immorality. The Bible is very clear on perversion.

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    2. A little Bible history lesson: it expressly forbids the kidnapping of people for the purpose of slavery; it also honors women for the roles they play in the home and society, it doesn't call for women to be treated as doormats; there is also no proscription against interracial marriage, only interreligious marriage as a guard against idolitry.

      It was only when the church returned to biblical teaching that they began to speak out en mass against the abuses you cited. When the church is influenced by the culture is when they err. Greed, power and arrogance is what corrupted the church then and is always a danger, even now. It's full of imperfect people, like you and me.

      Again, that the church changed has nothing to do with culture, only with a return to sound doctrine.

      Craig in Lacey

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    3. pastorblastor is correct. Isn't it interesting that the very person who is trying to make the Bible say something that it clearly does not is the one blaming other for taking it out of context.

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  8. Phooey on those who claim to be "Catholic". If they can't abide the teachings of the church, then leave, and take your liberalism with you.
    Those who are outside the Catholic church, can keep your opinions to yourself.
    We love the archbishop and he is here to keep us on the right path.

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  9. "Okay, so its not a spotlight---its a blowtorch." Gary, that is some great writting! The scripture says God makes His ministers flames of fire. The Arch Bishop has The Truth which is Jesus Christ inside of him and he, as well as all, who have courage to speak the truth of God's Word will not perish.
    People in the gay lifestyle need allot of unconditional love and to be given the correct information. They were not born that way. They can come out, come out, of the closet, and the lifestyle. The Arch Bishop is willing to listen and help. We applaud him and you Gary.
    Strength to you!

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