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Manuscript Type

Article

Abstract

Arguments made for and against affirming same-sex marriage in Christian communities rely on typical moral background preconceptions about immanent and transcendent goods identified by Charles Taylor in A Secular Age. Arguments made only in terms of marriage’s immanent goods have the potential to diminish the plausibility of a uniquely Adventist way of imagining the transcendent good: apocalyptic consciousness focused on the imminent-immanent restoration of Eden by Jesus Christ following the second coming. Comparing marriage to divergent sets of Sabbath-keeping practices—those that provide benefits exclusive to this world and those that aim at goods beyond this world—foregrounds the availability of a moral background for Seventh-day Adventist ethics that is closed to transcendent goods. However, practices that entail giving up immanent goods for the transcendent good of Eden-restored can be authentically sustained through communal recognition. Adventism should develop such practices of recognition both to alleviate losses incurred by gay, lesbian, and bisexual Adventists who make sacrifices for traditional marriage as a transcendent good and to reinforce the fuller sense of meaning found in self-denial for the sake of the soon-coming Savior.

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