Inuit Wrestle with SSM as another example of European Cultural Imposition

In much of Canadian society, marriage is understood as a contract centered on the mutual fulfillment of consenting adults (with comparatively little attention paid to either elders or to children). People understand themselves as autonomous agents possessing rights, who are free to do as they please so long as they do not purposely hurt others. This vision of marriage and sexuality fits comfortably into a culture of self-fulfillment and personal autonomy, but it is at odds with biblical, traditional Christian, and traditional Indigenous teaching.

The traditional understanding of marriage as taught by the elders sees people as embodied beings placed into an ordered world by the Creator; as created beings, people are only free insofar as they align their lives with the will of the Creator. The elders describe a traditional marriage ceremony as a communal event whereby “we enact our understanding of Creation and the relationship of God to the universe.” Far from being a mere contract, marriage is, in this understanding, “an act in the spiritual realm, activated by ceremony and the commitment of love of the couples and their families” (ibid., p. 2).

Central to this vision is the created difference of male and female, who in marriage are joined together in unity. The union of male and female at once teaches spiritual truth, acts as a bridge across families and clans, and provides a foundation for future generations. In other words, marriage is not about only two people, but about a community that spans generations, and ultimately about the entire created order. This traditional teaching is in harmony with biblical teaching and Christian tradition, and is a corrective to the revisionism of the report. We desperately need the deeply rooted wisdom of the elders, particularly in our forgetful culture that hates all constraints and chases impatiently after novelty.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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