Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thou Shalt Not: A Christian View on Gay Marriage

Two days ago, President Barak Obama announced his unequivocal support for Gay Marriage. See video here.  While no one should be very surprised, given the president's unbelievably Liberal agenda, what did amaze me was how nonchalant he was in talking about it.  He spoke about this earth-shattering announcement as if it were as unique and interesting as his last trip to the dentist.

It should also not surprise us that the only way he could defend his choice, and really the only argument anyone can make for Gay Marriage is that it is about "fairness".  In that viewpoint, marriage is a right that belongs to all people for any reason and there is a segment of the population that are being denied that fundamental right.  Suddenly it is a civil rights battle pitted between progressive, compassionate, Liberals and backward, cold-hearted, Conservatives.  Furthermore, the only reason the Conservatives might have for denying gays the right to marriage, that view would say, is parochial tastes.  I like vanilla, not chocolate.  If the argument remains couched in that sort of thinking, the fight for "traditional" marriage is already over.  I would like to give a more accurate representation for the "Conservative" side.

God created.  God spoke forth and all that is came into being.  He made things and he made them good.  They functioned the way they were supposed to.  Nothing died, nothing wore out, nothing ventured outside its role.  Adam and Eve were married in an idyllic state.  She was presented to her husband and they were blessed.  They were to live and be fruitful and rule over the earth forever.  Until, that is, they sinned by attempting to usurp God's authority and become gods themselves.  They moved outside their role.  Because of their sin, they were cursed with pain, suffering, more sin, and death, and they passed on, spiritually and physically, that curse to each successive generation.  Humanity has continued to sin for all these many years down through the ages.  We have a cancer that is virulent and terrible and cannot be cured by any science we possess.  Despite our best efforts, we remain cursed.  Only through faith in God's sacrificial atonement in the person of Jesus Christ can we be brought into right relationship with God once again.  That will not cure the physical condition of the curse in this life, but it does cure the spiritual one.

This concept, the Christian understanding of the depravity of man and the need for salvation, has largely been lost.  It is lost from our classrooms, it is lost from the public square, it is even lost from most of our churches.  It has been replaced by a narrative of recent development that says man evolved from simple creatures over many millennia and, therefore, there was no Creator, no design, no purpose or role, no sin or curse, and no (need for a) state of grace.  All there can be is what we can see and measure through our scientific achievement.  We are the only gods we are ever going to know.  Therefore, why on earth would one group distinguish against another group?  One action or belief is only as valid as another.

The argument for civil rights has taken a substantial turn.  Civil rights (abolition, integration, women's rights) used to be couched in the concept that these were humans created in the image of God, and therefore they deserved equal treatment in society and under the law.  Now civil rights (mainly homosexual rights) are couched in the concept of that all humans have evolved similarly so no one can say that their view is more "right" than anyone else's.

The argument for some is about fairness.  But I would argue that for those who hold to the Judeo-Christian explanation of the origins of life and humanity, the argument is not about fairness at all, but about what God has said.  Our understanding of marriage is based on Scripture because we believe God has spoken.  God's creation of one man and one woman and his desire that they be united in monogamy was for a purpose - the ordering of a family (Genesis 2:23-24; Ephesians 5:21-33), and the production of offspring (Genesis 1:28; Malachi 2:15).  Neither happens correctly within a homosexual relationship (or even in a "progressive" heterosexual relationship where roles are redefined and procreation is prevented).  God has ordered marriage in a specific way for several reasons.  First, because the marriage relationship glorifies him because it is how he created humanity to function in his wisdom.  Second, because he is glorified when we are satisfied with what he has given.  Third, because marriage protects the family (the needs of the husband to work, achieve, and be respected; the needs of the wife to care for those around her and to be loved and defended; and the needs of children to be loved, directed, and channeled toward fruitfulness).  Fourth, because marriage protects the fabric of our culture (the rise of crime and sin has escalated exponentially with the breakdown of the marriage covenant).  What some groups would call a relationship of controls, God calls a beneficial restraint of sin.

A completely different aspect of this argument is whether or not we should ensconce support of sinful behavior as a part of our laws.  God has declared homosexuality to be a sin (Leviticus 18:22; Genesis 19; Judges 19; Ezekiel 16:49-50; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).  Currently, in most (all?) states, there are laws that punish homosexual behavior (they are usually unenforced).  While I think some of these laws should be removed, I don't think that we should also enact laws that support homosexuals and their activity.  Some would say that homosexuality is a victimless crime, but homosexuality rips at the god-ordained and defined sanctity of marriage and so destroys marriage and its preserving influence on our culture.  Further, homosexuality is a diversion from god-ordained sexuality in form and purpose.  God did not design male or female bodies for same-sex sexual function.  Medical journals have shown the many problematic effects that can occur from homosexual activity, particularly between men.  Sinful sexuality (particularly homosexuality and bisexuality) introduced the world to AIDS.  Even if these situations were not the case, however, homosexuality still stands in opposition to God.  Should we, as a nation of law and order (if that is even what we are anymore) enact laws that make us all complicit in this sin?

The issue is not and has never been about fairness, but whether or not God has spoken.  Those who hold that he has cannot and will not support Gay Marriage or laws that support homosexuality.  Furthermore, I will not vote for any president or presidential candidate who will advocate for or support it.

1 comment:

Reagan and Kara Marsh said...

Great article, brother. Thanks for articulating the issues clearly.