Learning my lines . . .
. . . discovering what it means to follow Jesus, seeing my story swept up into his . . .

A Christian Approach to Same-Sex Marriage. . .

the new manLast year one of my college friends, Dan Doriani, released a new book on being a man. Dan’s book, The New Man: Becoming A Man After God’s Heart, is one I’ve been reading carefully for my own personal enrichment. Dan’s goal was not to write the typical book for men that’s full of lists. Rather, he encourages us to be shaped by knowing God and His Word. It’s been a good, a challenging, and an encouraging read. It touches on everything from marriage, fatherhood, friendship, work, wealth, health, and play.

Throughout the book, Dan has inserted some pastoral thoughts (or what he calls “A word on. . .) on some of the more pressing cultural issues of the day. . . things like pornography, play, working too much, etc. I found Dan’s thoughts on same-sex marriage to be especially helpful. With Dan’s permission, I’m encouraging you to read the full text of his “Word on the Legal Status of Marriage in the West, ” which was penned well over a year ago. . . .

At the moment that I write this short essay, socially aware Christians are justifiably concerned about the legal and institutional status of marriage in the West. The focus of attention today is on same sex marriage. Throughout Western Europe and South America, several nations have decided to legalize same sex marriage or to recognize civil relationships so that same sex couples have the legal rights and privileges of marriage. In America and other federalist nations, the same shift occurs on a state-by-state basis. Courts increasingly argue that interference with same-sex marriage is a prejudicial assault on human dignity and a deprivation of human rights. This positions conservative Christians as foes of human rights, which is hardly a welcome development. There are several results. First, wherever we live, same-sex marriage either has come or is coming soon. Second, it will not be easy for Christians to gain a hearing for their position. Third, we now know, if we ever doubted it, that there are no Christian nations. In pluralistic democracies, leaders are beholden to the will of the people, not the will of God.

Christians have a variety of opinions about these developments. Many are pleased by the way rights have been extended to an often oppressed group. Whatever our view of marriage may be, we should know that the law of Moses often insists on equal legal protection for all (e.g. Exod. 23:8, Deut. 16:19, 21:15-17). On the other hand, Genesis states and Jesus reaffirms God’s good plan for marriage: “From the beginning the Creator made them male and female… For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Matt. 19:4-5).

As always, we need to put current events in context. Specifically, Western nations have been falling away from biblical norms for decades. Divorce has become easier and easier, accelerated most notably by no-fault divorce laws that allowed either party to a marriage to terminate it at will (that is, regardless of the wishes of their spouse). Decades ago, easy divorce codified disregard for Jesus’ word, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6).

A few decades ago, cohabitation was rare, and widely considered shameful. The term for it, “shacking up,” suggested that it was a practice for the underclass. Today pre-marital cohabitation is typical. Studies have found that a period of cohabitation already preceded most first marriages by the mid-1990s. Today, that number is far higher. We now ignore another biblical norm. In America, the most recent studies report that 41% of all children are born outside of wedlock. In Great Britain, the number is 47%. These numbers are rising steadily and in almost every demographic group. Yet deliberately childless marriages are more common. Finally, there are ever more marriages with no sexual intimacy. This means that Western cultures have disregarded the created order – marriage, then sexual intimacy, then children. Today there is no strong link between sex and marriage, sex and procreation, or procreation and marriage.

The confusion about the order of cohabitation, marriage, sexual intimacy, and procreation will create additional challenges in coming years. For example, everything is in place for polygamy to become the next challenge to God’s design for marriage. Advocacy groups already make the case for polygamy and unofficial polygamy is on the rise. It will be all too easy to make a legal and  experiential argument for polygamy.

Legally: At the moment, polygamy is illegal in all Western nations, but enforcement is lax as officials increasingly tolerate unofficial polygamy among Muslims in France and Mormons in America. Reports say that Canadians leave their polygamists alone. If an official hauled the members of a local polygamist community into court, how (unless the accused chose to incriminate themselves) could they prove that the group is practicing polygamy? If society sees no essential connection between sleeping in the same bed and marriage, what evidence could be presented? Besides, if “male and female” is irrelevant to marriage, how can the number of participants become its one immutable feature?[1] Can anyone argue that a marriage between two men promotes the social good more than a marriage between one man and two women? Moreover, the so-called right to privacy assumes that governments have no legitimate interest and no right to intervene in private acts between consenting adults.[2] As a thought experiment, try to construct a principled argument (as opposed to an emotional or historical argument) against polygamy that doesn’t also condemn same-sex marriage. If we approve one, we must approve the other.

Experientially, people will say polygamy is loving and compassionate. “Yes,” they may concede, “Monogamy is ideal, but we hardly live in an ideal world. Many women long to marry but can’t find a suitable mate because men have no money, no character, no interest in marriage, or no interest in women. If a man can support several wives, financially and emotionally, how can anyone deny an interested woman the right to love, companionship, and children? Even if it isn’t ideal, we constantly accept things – like divorce – that are less than ideal. Besides, several of the world’s religions have accepted polygamy.”

So then, how do cohabitation, common divorce, same-sex marriage, births outside wedlock, and (one day) polygamy affect the cause of Christ and the gospel? In a vital way, nothing changes. Jesus is still Lord and Savior. As Christian ethicist Russell Moore said, the gospel doesn’t need family values to flourish: “Real faith often thrives when it is in sharp contrast to the cultures around it. That’s why the gospel rocketed out of the first-century from places such as Ephesus… Corinth and Rome.” The Roman Empire lacked a moral system that promoted healthy marriages. In fact, the very contrast between Christian marriages and the wreckage of pagan marriages, which included slave concubines, easy divorce, and sexual chaos strengthened the appeal of Christianity.

A nation’s authorities may permit, tolerate, or even promote marriage-like arrangements that fall short of God’s plan. But let us remember that those acts do not compromise our freedom to love our wives, husbands, and children. Courts permit many things that are contrary to biblical morality. Abortion is legal in most countries, but we can still have children. Legislatures promote gambling, since states expect to profit from it. But the state cannot drag us to casinos any more than Rome could force its people to attend gladiatorial shows.

For those who are prone to despair, consider the status of abortion today. Through persistence and courage, abortion has declined in many areas. In the 1980s, my state of Missouri had abortion rate that exceeded 20%. Today it is 8% and the rate is lower in several nearby states. Since the abortion rate remains as high as ever in some states (near 40% in New York), it seems that gentle persuasion can create a moral consensus.[3] Not long ago, this sort of progress in the protection of the unborn seemed impossible.

More importantly, social trends in no way restrict our freedom to marry, have children, and love each other. If anything, they should prompt us to rededicate ourselves to Christ-like love in marriage. The Christian marriage ideal attracted many pagans to the faith in the apostolic age. When the Reformers restored the biblical teaching on marriage 500 years ago, it enhanced the call to the gospel. When Reformers like Martin Luther married and became faithful husbands and fathers, their conduct beautified the gospel. May our marriages become a similar testimony to God’s purposes.

Jesus said, “From the beginning the Creator made them male and female.” We use this statement to promote God’s ideal and rightly so, but let’s remember that Jesus made that statement to correct an error of his age – arbitrary divorce. On that front, church conduct looks all too similar to the culture around us. How then shall we live?

First, we should tend our marriages and regard our spouse as God’s great gift. (Prov. 19:14). At its best, Paul says, the love of a Christian marriage reflects the love of Christ for the church (Eph. 5:25). Strong marriages adorn the gospel (Tit. 2:10). Waves of good marriages will make the case for God’s plan more effectively than any state or federal law.

This year I officiated at a wedding on the campus of a major American University that was founded on secular principles. At the reception, I sat next to a professor who did his doctoral work at that school and now teaches at another secular university in the same state. He said that the great majority of his fellow professors are secular. Nonetheless, he said they love their Christian students. On the whole, they are far more likely to come to class faithfully and well-prepared. They are willing to argue their convictions, they are active in campus life, they volunteer for worthwhile projects, and they keep their commitments.

The Christian faith has lost the home-field advantage in Western cultures. We have to accept reality as it is, not as we wish it to be. That means we will need to acknowledge legal marriages as the state does. As always, we are free to distinguish between a legal marriage and an ideal marriage, between marriage as humanity sees it and marriage as God intended it (Long ago, pastors distinguished between the being and the well-being of marriage.) That leaves us free to articulate, and, more importantly, to live out our concept of marriage. May we seek lives that are beautiful and words that are coherent and peaceful. That is the surest way to promote God’s good plan for salvation and a good life, one that includes God’s plan for marriage and family.

[1] Mark Steyn, “The Marrying Kind,” Atlantic Monthly, May 2005, 142-3.

[2] Unofficial polygamy means there is one legal wife. Additional wives are not reported at the courthouse or claimed on tax returns, but the additional parties still take marriage vows before witnesses.

[3] These statistics are the most recent numbers from U.S. government web sites. We understand that trends may continue, accelerate, or reverse themselves and that abortifacient medications introduce uncertainty about the real abortion rate.

 

1 Response

  1. The question of homosexuality has become a very serious issue, not just in America but in the world in general. People a being imprisoned in connection with their jobs for exercising their right to religion, simply because someone out-there decided to redefine marriage, forcing others to compromise their fundamentals on marriage. One very developed African country was asked by a powerful leader to legitimize same sex marriage, and the leader found it against his conscience to do such a thing. World powers were planing to deny financial aid to uncooperative lesser developed countries under human rights violations. This is a serious problem, and because liberals have been able to gain a majority over the years by using the media, they now want to move a step forward by forcing their immoral policies on others. In some cases, employees have to place their personal signatures on documents and certificates they disapprove of. What will they do next, compel church ministers to sign same sex marriage certificates? That’s forcing people to give consent.

    This thing has gone far enough, and the silent minority has to start speaking up. It’s the reason I’m publish my opinion out there, because homosexuality has also been classified as a disability by liberal media, and in some cases, even associated with disabilities on documents employees are asked to sign prior to ones employment. I will fundamentally state, that homosexuality exist only among human beings, and other creatures who have also been created like us are all heterosexual. Doesn’t that ring a bell that we human beings are indulging in things that create the problem.

    Disabilities also exist in other animals just as it exist in human beings, which shows commonality to the fact that it’s a problem by nature. But there is no commonality with homosexuality, and I’m asking people to disregard these false statements and instead, get to the root of the problem.

    There were several studies conducted within the 1970’s – late 1980’s that have been thrown out the window and hidden from the general public by liberals especially the media that is pro liberal. Before I continue, let me say as a God fearing person, I will attempt to separate religion form practical things that we can universally relate to, knowing that liberals make the accusation that people of tradition and religion are trying to impose their religious views on others. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. As a result, I will use just simple logic to prove my facts.

    Animals have been studied in the past years, and it has been found that hetero-sexuality exist among them because the young ones follow what they see the older ones doing. A large percentage of their learning from infancy is by watching and following what they see. The fact is, homosexuality doesn’t exist as a practice, obviously causing the young to grow up not knowing it. Having said that, I can hear liberals saying, though they don’t know it, is anything wrong if they learn it. It all boils down to what was created by the creator and what he wanted. We see his consistency not just in some animals, but all animals he created. No one can deny we all exist because we were created by a power far superior than us.

    However, the fact that we understand the fundamentals regarding how all other creatures find their sexuality, we also have to realize that our children also learn based on things they get exposed to. There were several studies conducted within the periods earlier mentioned, that showed homosexual pedophilier had been on the rise, indicating this not only was a growing problem, but would one day resurface at adulthood. The evidence has now manifested itself and conditions continue to get worst as more and more young children are being encouraged by the media and schools to support this life style. To make matters worst, when a child encounters homosexuality in it’s early sexual encounters, it is likely to pass it on to other children. Many times when children play together, the problem is transferred through fondling. Homosexuality is not something that’s a disability, it’s something that’s transmitted from person to person. In many cases, due to exposure to a combination of both sexes result in bisexuality.

    This is not something God created as we are being taught, but has always been a pagan practice associated with the occult. Homosexuality gives one godship over you, and connects to a superiority chain via a chronological command structure in the occult. But there are also other studies that show when children (boys) grow up effeminate in personality it relates to how they see themselves or the gender they’ve identified with from infancy. This also relates to what I spoke about earlier, that a child indulging in homosexual acts whether through fondling or playing, has adverse psychological effects on the mind. One has to realize that females are attracted to strength, which is the reason why women are attracted to muscular men. Due to the fact that this makes her more submissive by nature, also creates a similar effect in a male who sees himself as a female. This is internally a degeneration of masculinity. There are also studies that show the mind plays a significant part in generating hormones in our body. For example, when a male constantly thinks of sex or does physical weight lifting, his body produces more testosterone.

    Testosterone is the male hormone that gives him masculinity and physical strength. Testosterone is produced in the male testicle or what we call the tes-tis, which is why it’s call tes-tosterone. The female produces a very small amount in her ovaries to allow her a bit of strength, but produces more estrogen the female hormone. When a child grows up with the mindset of a female, it’s body is likely to generate habits and personality traits with the sex it identifies with. These facts were established many years ago through research experts and psychologist, and it’s one of the reasons sexual identity was introduced in early childhood education, so that children understand their identity. Lots of these psychologist were either pushed into retirement or pressured into taking a liberal opinion.

    Early childhood education involved showing a family with a mother, father and kids, with the knowledge that they would one day grow up and be married, and also have a family. A few years ago, when liberals started infiltrating the education system, school curriculums began to change, and in some cases even contested a child being taught what was expected of it relating to it’s sexuality. Well, we’re now seeing what that meant and reaping the fruits of it, it’s decided to do it’s own teaching. It now has every form of media which it controls that advocate same sex marriage, from movies on modern families that advocate homosexual couples, removal of heterosexual education, and the list goes on and on. Tell me, what are we trying to create for our future generations? The core people that run these organizations know very well that it’s harder to change the sexuality of a fully grown adult, so they’ve used these studies to their advantage by tackling the very core and foundation of where sexuality begins. This is just despicable. Everything out there in nature tells them do not do it. These people are determine to create a Sodom and Gomorah. We have to pray for the future of our children, cause this will come back to hunt us.

    Having said that, we need to be aware of things being done by liberal media using psychology. They’ve brought feminist on television who state that the reason men get more respect in the work place than women, is because men dress more masculine and authoritative. As a result we see womens clothing being designed more like men;movies with popular actresses whom are admired as role models, are dressed more masculine when holding authoritative positions. There’s also advertisements with homosexual innuendo constantly testing our minds to see how far they can go. They use their advocates in social media to raise topics, view responses to measure progress, and search public thought. We don’t seem to realize it, but we are gradually being transferred through psychology.

    But their psychology goes even deeper than that. Just pay attention to the vulnerabilities they touch on. Women, who we know see themselves to suffer inequality in the work place, people with disabilities, racial inequality and several other groups have all been grouped together under the word minority, in order to lunch attacks. In each of these groups they all want something, making them the perfect candidates to manipulate to get what they want. Just imaging the fact that they’ve been able to tie respect to masculinity, what do you think is going to be marketed. That’s so unfair. A women should not have to become a man in order to get respect as a leader. But that’s what they’ve gotten the public to believe and that’s what they model. Shall we call on multiple women in history who’ve made it as prominent leaders, who did not have to become men. Why do these movements manipulate the minds of any group that is searching for equality. Men and women are different biologically, hormonally, emotionally, and the list goes on. We were created different to be in harmony with each other in carrying out God’s plan.

    But one has to also realize the objectives of some of these movements and what they stand for. There is a common belief in the occult, that heterosexuality is for procreation while homosexuality is for fun or pleasure. In-fact, historically, homosexuality has always been associated with the word fun/forn/phon. Even the word gay (having fun) derived from that belief, and ever since the sexual revolution in 1969, this was well established in the occult. It may tolerate heterosexuality but its ultimate goal is homosexuality. You may remember the song written by Paul Simon ‘Welcome to the Hotel Cali-forn-ia’, describing an occult orgy which was testified by x-occult members converted to the religious faith, who spotted the song’s description and noted to others what was going on.

    The original lyrics of that song has been change and websites are no longer putting out the original due to criticism of the song, they publish the modified version. God knows the magic of the occult has been able to mirror song changes even after production, makes it very hard to prove them. We know magic, we see it every day on Tv talent shows. But this song has been around ever since my childhood and I’m now in my 50’s, so I remember it clearly, though they may have been able to associate it with something else. I confidently recall not so long ago seeing an original which was part of the search engine and is no longer there since I wrote this document. Shows you how controlled the media is. However, in that song it originally stated “

    So I called up the Captain,
    “Please bring me my wife” (3)
    He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine” 

    Nineteen sixty nine was the year of the sexual revolution where the gay and lesbian community lunched a move towards liberation. With hope that the words explaining their liberation may not be modified at the website, I point you to an article called “1969: The Year of Gay Liberation
    ” and can be found at (http://web-static.nypl.org/exhibitions/1969/year.html). You’ll see that the spirit since nineteen sixty nine was a spirit of liberation by liberals of the gay and lesbian movement. To put it simply, it’s homosexuality. This spirit as I noted above, does not support heterosexuality and discourages heterosexuality, and instead offer what is forbidden. If there’s one thing George Bush Junior said that is correct, “it will destroy the family.”

    But we can also trace the history and association of homosexuality with the word fun/gay. Biblically the word forn-ication has also been substituted for homosexuality. In the book of Jude when referring to Sodom and Gomorah the word fornication was used. I also believe that in most scriptural references it does not descriptively make reference to sex before marriage and may have been an interpreted context definition rather than a descriptive one. I also believe that effeminate behavior may have sometimes been referred to as a she, for it may have been a life style that existed among biblical kings and emperors in the time of Caesar. However, this is what is believed among core members in these communities whose ultimate intent is to create this world, most likely, the lost world.

    There’s also the belief by feminist who teach other women that among lions, the female goes out and hunt for food while the male stays home and takes care of the young ones. This is a model that’s also being used to influence the minds of women. This is obviously misrepresented. Lions belong to the cat family and, if a male lion was to find a young liter it would kill all the males leaving only the females. The male lion stays an guards it’s offspring to ensure they get to adulthood. The female could not withstand a male attack, therefore the strongest guards the home. This as I pointed out is just temporary until the young are able to defend themselves, the male then returns to being a hunter.

    It is sad that when religious persons speak against what’s going on, others within religions faiths turn an criticize these comments saying ‘why pick on homosexuality, why not adultery or any other sin out there. The truth is, no one is saying adultery is right, it’s homosexuality that’s being taught as being created by God, even to the extent that churches are marrying same sex couples.

    Well, as I come to a close I would like to remind you that homosexuality is a spirit, and a spirit is an inward desire. There are clean spirits and unclean spirits that can be transferred from person to person. An example of something that is called a spirit in legal terms is alcohol, because it has the ability to control you just as demon possession (evil spirit) has the ability to control. Desires are things we can develop through habits or indulgences. There are several facts that contradict the liberal theory which states, people are created like that.

    With heterosexuality we know the female releases seminal fluid to lubricate and assist sex, but it’s not the same with the opposite. This is a clear definition of what the creator approved. We also know human beings are the only creatures involved in that, though liberals claim that animals have instinct and not intelligence, I guarantee you a male does not choose a female by instinct, it knows it’s a female. If instinct is acting on the first thing that comes to your mind without making a logical decision you act on it, then the same sexes would have been mating together by accident. But that’s not the case. Whether they use the sense of smell or sight, or whichever one of the five senses is used, the information has to be processes by the brain in making a determination. The medium or choice of senses, or whether it’s a combination of more than one is irrelevant, it can analyze data and can used that data to make an accurate decision 99.99% of the times. That’s not instinct, that’s intelligence.

    Birds can fly thousands of miles during seasons and find themselves exactly back to their old nest. The same for other animals that migrate including wales that leave Alaska waters and travel thousands of miles to the Caribbean, then return in the matting season exactly where they left off. These things are not instinct, that’s intelligence. Talk about instinct, can any of us do any of these things without relying on navigational equipment such as GPS’s, compasses etc. Even if we believe they have instinct, we also can agree they have intelligence. It is obvious these skills were given to them by their creator, allowing them to mate according to the rules of nature. As someone once said, maybe we’re the ones with instinct, because we cannot get it right.

    But let us truly analyze the problem of same sex relationships. In the case of males it’s usually a male attracted to an effeminate male, or what we call a male with feminine personality. But realize the personality the male is attracted to, or to put it quite simply, a woman in a man. In the case of lesbians, all types of sex toys such as vibrators and simulated male organs are used. One would probably classify these actions as bisexual, but you obviously realize that it’s misguided sexuality. These problems could have been avoided with simple early childhood education, and in cases of symptoms special counseling could be administered. However, things have gotten so out of hand, that it can only take parents to come together in association to set standards at home for their children by counseling their kids. Please ensure you educate your kids concerning their sexuality and work in association with other parents to keep the support going. I don’t know what’s going to happen to our kids in the future because, the sexual revolution has changed the values of our children, and our generation may not be there in the future to guide them. If you do not act now it may be too late.

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