Wednesday, 6 June 2018

90 years ago: Scottish Episcopal Church eliminates the word "obey" from its marriage service

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing...
...and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Ephesians 5:22-24, 33b

Liberalism had already begun to set in by June 6, 1928, when it was reported that the Scottish Episcopal Church had eliminated the word "obey" from its marriage service. The Provisional Synod, which had been revising the canons and prayer book in use in Scotland, decided by majority vote of the Upper and Lower Houses to substitute the words: "Wilt thou love him and comfort him?" for "Wilt thou obey him and serve him?" They also decided that instead of the woman promising to "love, cherish and obey" she should undertake "to love and to cherish."

The Scottish Episcopal Church Marriage Liturgy 2007, which is still effective in 2018, has done away with the distinctions between "him" and "her," and the question now for both parties is. "Will you love him/her, respect him/her, and be for ever faithful to him/her?" (p. 12). "To love and to cherish" is still there (pp. 21-22).

The position of the Scottish Episcopal Church on same-sex "marriage" (December 6, 2011) is one of opposition, but it's worded in such a way that one can easily imagine the church going the other way in the near future:

The Canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church (Canon 31) state that the doctrine of the Church is that marriage is ‘a physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman created by their mutual consent of heart, mind and will thereto, and as a holy and lifelong estate instituted of God’. In the light of that Canon, there is no current basis for agreeing that the law should be changed to view marriage as possible between two people of the same sex.

As mentioned above in the introduction and in response to Question 1, the question of same sex unions in general is the subject of discussion within the Anglican and Porvoo Communions. Within those Communions, and within the Scottish Episcopal Church, the blessing of same sex unions is a matter on which there is a variety of views.
(p. 4)

In other words: Not yet. If the experience of other mainline churches (with "evangelical" churches quickly coming up behind) is any indication, the Social Justice Warriors will keep pushing until they get what they want, and the minute it tips in their favour, "a variety of views" will be reduced to one view.

The Scottish Episcopal Church position on the blessing of "civil unions" seems similarly wimpy, leaving the door open to subversion by SJWs:

The Church does not give official sanction to informal blessings but each Bishop would nevertheless expect to be consulted by clergy prior to the carrying out of any informal blessing of a civil partnership in his diocese. The College is of the view that a decision as to whether or not to attend such an informal blessing should be a personal decision of the individual Bishop in question.

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