Topic #3: “Why Not Let Homosexuals Marry?”
With the legalization of same sex marriage on June 26, 2015, by the Supreme Court, you might think this blog is irrelevant. However, just because gay marriage is now the law of the land, doesn’t change the reasons why Christians should discourage it and be able to explain to our children why we do. Abortion was legalized almost half a century ago, but serious Christians still oppose it and try to discourage it.
I’ve heard it asked many times, “Why do you Christians care what goes on behind closed doors, between two consenting adults? Who cares? Why not let gays marry?”
The idea behind this argument is that if our objection is sex outside of marriage, then let’s solve it by allowing homosexuals to marry. If homosexuals marry, the moral objection to same-sex, sex goes away, just as it does when heterosexuals marry. Problem solved!
First, a few Talking Points on what the Bible says on this subject for your children, then we’ll cover some of the ways this issue will affect your life and their life, in ways you might never have imagined. They need to know this is not simply a matter of what goes on behind closed doors! The Bible and Marriage While it’s true that the scriptures do not outright prohibit same-sex marriage, marriage is always described in the Bible, as between a man and a woman. The first chapter of the Bible says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Differentiation of the human race into two complementary sexes (“male and female”) is the first fact mentioned in connection with being made “in the image of God.”
In Genesis 2, which describes in more detail the process summarized in 1:27, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). Genesis then applies the example of Adam and Eve to all marriages: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
This “one flesh” sexual union was thus established as the pattern for marriage generally, and Jesus reaffirms that teaching when he cites Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 as the normative pattern that God expects all marriages to follow when he restated these verses in Matthew 19:5, “And (Jesus) said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’.”
Therefore, Jesus and Paul both assume the logic of sexual intercourse implied in Genesis: a sexual bond between a man and a woman requires two (and only two) different sexual halves (“a man” and “his wife”) being brought together into a sexual whole (“one flesh”).
Finally, to justify same-sex marriage strictly because the Bible doesn’t specifically prohibit it, strains incredulity. It gives equal weight to an argument from silence, against hundreds of examples of married people in the Bible who were only married to a person of the opposite sex. It’s a disingenuous argument and cannot be taken seriously by any true biblical scholar. This is an obvious application of the old adage, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”.
Divorce and Gay Marriage “The Bible is against divorce and yet the church has accepted that as a fact of life. Why not accept gay marriage in the same way?” argue gay Christians. Divorce and same-sex, sex, share this in common; both are forgivable sins for those who repent. However, neither in scriptures, or in the church, has divorce ever been celebrated as a part of “the glorious diversity of the body of Christ,” as gay marriage is being touted. Divorce is, and has always been, viewed as an example of sin in a fallen world. That’s why we don’t have divorce ceremonies in the church, blessing its occasion. We recognize it as a tragedy and not God’s intention.
Other practical reasons why gay marriage is very unwise The legalization of gay marriage has repercussions way beyond what two adults do behind closed doors. Here’s just a few of them, most people have never considered;
Children: • Same sex couples always deny children either a father or a mother. It’s both conventional and biblical wisdom that the optimal environment for raising a child is one in which the child’s mother and father are married to each other. • Therefore, if a gay couple adopts, their children will have only the influence of one sex, living in that home. Even worse off, are the children of a divorced couple, if one of their parents comes out as gay and eventually lives with another gay or lesbian partner. Because of custody law, these children are forced to live with and be exposed to this gay lifestyle and the friends of the gay parent, completely against, what the heterosexual parent desires!
Education: • Schools are being forced to teach homosexual behavior is normal. Sex education in Massachusetts’s schools have already been expanded to include sexual instruction on masturbation and oral and anal sex, in an effort to end taboos on gay and straight sexual behaviors. • Students are being taught that a homosexual family is normal and good and will be tested on their answers in the affirmative (I Am Daddy’s Roommate and Heather Has Two Mommies, are already mandatory reading in New York and California public schools.) • Christian teachers in public schools are required to teach a lifestyle as normal, that violate their religious beliefs, such as acceptance of gay marriages, gay families, and gay sexual behavior.
It legitimizes immoral behavior: • To endorse same-sex marriage, is an endorsement of same-sex behavior. Sexual union is implicit and even honored in marriage. When we accept same-sex marriage, by implication, and over time, the sin of homosexual sexual behavior will be legitimized by us, and our children and future generations.
Freedom of religion: • Our civil rights to object to homosexual behavior as wrong may disappear. Only months after legalizing “same-sex marriage” in Canada, activists there successfully passed Bill C-250 criminalizing public statements against homosexuals or homosexual behavior, punishable by up to two years in prison. • Churches may be legally pressured to perform same-sex weddings. In Massachusetts and other states, the ACLU has already filed suits to revoke the tax-exempt status of churches, which discriminate against same-sex unions, or will not perform same-sex weddings.
Do you really expect gays to be lonely and celibate all their life? I can’t imagine how lonely it must be for some people to live all their lives alone. I love being married, having children and grandchildren. But in answer to the question, “yes,” God does expect unmarried believers to remain celibate all their life. But, God expects the same thing – celibacy, of unmarried heterosexuals as well. So, God isn’t requiring celibacy of gays alone.
Paul goes out of his way to make the case for all Christians to remain unmarried, in 1 Corinthians 7. Almost the whole chapter is devoted to the advantages of being single. He begins with this statement “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.”
Then, in verses 32 and 33 he says, “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—“
For 2,000 years unmarried Christians have lived productive, spiritual, and fulfilled lives, without marriage or sex. It not only can be done, it has been done, and done well!
What does the Bible allow? So, I’m putting the following out-of-the-box ideas forward in an attempt to begin looking for creative, practical, yet biblical solutions to these real “loneliness issues.” If you’re like most Christians, you’re initial reaction may be shock. But, I want to explore ways we can show grace to serious homosexual Christians that do not violate any biblical prohibition. Please pray about them and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you. At the end of this blog, I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts.
1. A Christian gay man could consider cohabitating with a Christian lesbian woman Co-habitation is a serious problem today as more and more unmarried couples, especially heterosexuals, are living together, without any legal or moral commitment to do so for life. Co-habitation is a serious issue for Christians for two reasons. It’s generally understood that an unmarried man and woman living together are fornicating – an old fashion word for having sex outside of marriage. It’s also a problem because it’s an alternative to God’s design for a true family anchored by a man and woman committed to God and each other for life and committed spiritually, morally and legally to any children they may have.
We have no problem with two heterosexual Christians of the same sex living together, rather than living alone and lonely. Why would we have a problem if a Christian gay man and Christian lesbian woman lived together? There’s no sexual attraction. In fact, living together may actually help each of them resist the sexual temptation they’d have if they lived alone or with someone of the same sex.
2. A gay or lesbian could marry a heterosexual person of the opposite sex and have a family I know of a celibate gay man who felt called to be a pastor. He graduated from a conservative seminary and began a friendship with a heterosexual woman. As the friendship deepened, the man admitted to this woman that he was gay, but said his desire was to marry, live his life with her, have a family and serve the church. He had to admit that their sex life would undoubtedly never be what she might desire, but he loved her and was committed to live as faithful loving husband all of his life. After much prayer and in consultation with her pastor, she agreed to marry him. They now have three children and he is still a pastor of his church.
I find no biblical reasons to prohibit a marriage like this and I find it to be an elegant solution to the problem of loneliness. This isn’t a “cure” for gay-ness. So, while the same-sex attraction will always be a temptation for him, it’s no different than the sexual temptation any straight pastor faces.
Question: What do you think of these ideas and do you have others you’d like to share with us?
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