Sweden: Many "No":s to same-sex weddings in church

The Swedish Pentecostal newspaper Dagen ("The Day") has made a survey of what the different religions and denominations will do with same-sex couples coming to them, asking to be married. Not surprisingly, most didn't want to perform such a ceremony. The by far largest denomination in the country, the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden, is, however, positive to this development. And then there is the third group, who haven't made their minds up yet.
The list of the different religious groups can be found here in Swedish, but to mention some:
YES:
The Church of Sweden
The Jews
The Quakers
NO:
The Roman Catholic Church
The different Orthodox churches
The free churches, including e.g. Pentecostals, Seventh-Day Adventist, Methodists, the Salvation Army and some Lutheran organisations
The Moslems
The Mormons
The Jehovah's Witnesses
DUNNO:
Anglicans
Baptists
Baha'i
The Scientology Church
Some Lutheran organisations
There is also the question what to do with consciencious objectors, i.e. pastors who refuse to marry same-sex couples.
In many of the above religious groups, there is an ongoing discussion about the right to perform marriages - should our church retain that right or give it up? Does the right to perform marriages include an obligation for the individual pastor to do so? Should the right to perform marriages no longer be a question for a whole denomination, but rather given individually to those pastors who have no objections to marrying anyone that the state deems worthy? These questions are far from being solved.

You know that your dog has trained you well when ...

... you have a picture of your dog in your wallet, but not one of your kids.

A beautiful priest for our wedding, please!

Many happy couples want their wedding to be beautiful. Brides spend hours at the beauty parlor and at the florists, and much effort is put into choosing the right gown. The church and the venue for the wedding feast are chosen most carefully. Bridegrooms have even been known to shower and shave before the ceremony!
Here in Finland, the demand has now arisen that we priests should be beautiful, as well - or at least, not downright ugly. Couples have turned down priests because of their weight, and have recommended others to go to a professional cosmetologist or to the same hair salon as the bride. If the priest is a woman, one might assume.
Having the choice to either laugh or weep, I choose laughing, since that is funnier. Not that this superficial trend is funny, of course.
But to my knowledge, I haven't been turned down for my looks yet. For my opinions, yes, but that is another matter.
Or is it?
Hääparit vaativat kaunista pappia (YLE 12.9.09)
Brudpar kräver en snygg präst (Dagen 14.9.09)

Lolcat evil

Schoolboy Howlers 18

Poetry is when every line starts with a capital letter and doesn't reach the right side of the page.

Biblical inerrancy or Christ?

MadPriest once again comes up with some very interesting ideas, as he writes his "Thought of the century" (7.8.09). Extract:
If the Bible is in any way inerrant, written by God or dictated by God, then what was the point of Jesus?
There would have been no reason for the Word to become flesh. [...]
If the Bible is the word of God then we better hope God isn't lying. And we wouldn't know whether he is or not. However, if the Bible is written by independent witnesses to the acts of God then we have more reason to believe that those acts of God actually happened.
In other words, the Bible is more trustworthy and a zillion times more exciting if God didn't have anything to do with its writing and compilation.
In a comment, Counterlight points out that
There is one completely inerrant book written by God himself that is so holy, some regard it as "uncreated;" with God from the very beginning of time.
That book is the Quran, according to Muslim belief. The Muslims would agree with you. They certainly don't need any Incarnate Word.
Happily, despite the best efforts of fundamentalists to turn it into such, the Bible is not the Quran. It remains what it says it is, a testament.
A few years back, I preached a sermon (in Swedish) where I made a similar point. A translation of the pertinent passage:
In our present-day Lutheran church, there are many things that need reforming, e.g. regarding bureaucracy and structures. What the edge of reform must point to is however in my opinion the misinterpretation of the expression ”the word of God” that has come to the fore and damages individuals to the core, when they are hit by loose bible verses. That is hardly what the author of the Letter to the Hebrews had in mind when he writes (4:12f): Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. In this passage, as in the New Testament in general, ”the word of God” is not a collection of texts (which usually is called ”the Scriptures” or something similar). It is to the ”word of God” that we must render an account. ”The word of God” is not the Bible, but Jesus Christ, God's living and active word that became flesh. The Bible contains words from God when it proclaims Christ, but it also contains other things, for example the Jewish ritual law that Jesus made obsolete. They have a place in the Bible because they paint a background to why Christ had to come to the Earth, but they aren't the word of God even in the sense that the phrase usually is understood.
The Bible is in itself a very good book and worth close study. But in our church it competes with Christ forthe title ”the word of God”. We have to reform this competitive situation. It is the message of Christ's love that is important, not what we happen to be able to combine from different odd verses.

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About dogs and people

Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.
- Franklin P. Jones
as quoted by the Episcopal padre

In front of one's nose

To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
- George Orwell
as quoted on the Daily Dish

That's bad!

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