Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage

The purpose of this series on Hope for Holy Sexuality has not been to talk about public policy or politics.  It has been to offer hope for gospel-centered change for those who struggle with same-sex attraction. This series has also been aimed especially at Christians to understand homosexuality in light of Scripture and to respond in a Christlike and God-pleasing manner.

But the news media is FULL of stuff on same-sex marriage this week because the US Supreme Court is reviewing two separate but related cases about the constitutionality of banning same-sex marriage. What they decide could radically redefine what "marriage" is in the United States.

So, it makes sense for me to say something about it. Here I go: "Same sex-marriage" is a bad idea.

That shouldn't surprise you. It has been the majority opinion of society for the course of human history. It has been the consistent teaching of the Christian church for all of its history. Those of us who believe that marriage is intended to be a man and a woman united for a lifetime may soon be (now?) in the minority, but I choose to stand on that side of the line because I believe it is right, and true, and good.

I don't say this to perpetuate hate but to perpetuate love.

Love wants what is best for other people, and same-sex marriage is bad for individuals, families, and our society.

Here are some of the best things I have read about this recently, and I commend them to you:

Why the Arguments for Gay Marriage Are Persuasive by Kevin DeYoung.  Kevin is explaining why opinions have changed (for the worse) and explains what thinking Christians need to do next to be faithful to Christ.

Opening Remarks by Sam Crabtree.  Sam was invited to debate on the Marriage Amendment in Minnesota. He very winsomely explains why same-sex marriage is a bad idea and why LOVE requires that he speak against it.  See also his quick and wise responses to gay-marriage advocate's assertions.

God, Marriage, and the Supreme Court by Greg Strand.  Greg succinctly explains what is happening this week and calls us to prayer based upon 1 Timothy 2.

Why the Church Is So Concerned with Same-Sex Marriage and Homosexuality by Timothy Tennant. The president of Asbury explains why we Christians can't help talking about this. It isn't because we want to, or because we are sexually repressed, or haters. It's because it gets to the heart of the gospel.

Read the Fine Print Before Supporting "Marriage Equality" by Trevin Wax.  Trevin soberly gets into what is truly at stake in these matters.  We've all seen the pie-chart that says that nothing of significance will truly change if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land. The only thing will be that "gays" will be able to marry.  But that is not true. Sweeping changes like this will have consequences--some we can see and some that are still hidden.

Life Together at the End of the Age by John Piper.  Piper recently preached on how Christians should live in a time of radical moral upheaval, a time he says of "marginalization, and intimidation and even criminalization of biblical speaking and acting."

Yes, I am concerned for our culture. It seems to me that, barring a surprising work of God, we are headed towards some rough stuff for those who want to be faithful to Christ.

But even this is not the end of the world. It will not be the end of the world until the world ends. And that will be a great thing for then we will enter the kingdom of our Lord and all things will be made right again.



My position as a pastor is that I refuse to be an accomplice to a truncated definition of marriage. This means that while I will always be willing to unite couples in holy matrimony, I will refuse to sign a marriage license in any state with such a truncated definition. I believe this to be a position that evangelical pastors should take. We are under no obligation whatever to ratify the state's definition of marriage in any case, but particularly should the state so egregiously disregard Biblical teaching, the teaching of every major "faith group", and thousands of years of (mostly) uninterrupted history, all in the name of, what, "fairness"? "Social progress?" I would challenge any and every pastor to adopt a similar position. Why wouldn't you?