BreakPoint: America’s Reversal on Gay “Marriage”

What Really Happened?

The fight over same-sex “marriage” already seems like a distant memory. But the way it was fought is the mother of all worldview lessons.

According to recent surveys, Americans—especially younger generations—are more supportive of gay “marriage” than ever before. One Gallup poll revealed that a strong majority—64 percent—approve of the rights invented and bestowed on same-sex couples by the Supreme Court in the Obergefell decision.

And the Barna Group recently reported that teenagers today are at least twice as likely as American adults to identify as LGBT.

All of this, despite the fact that in 2011, a vast majority of U.S. states had defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. How could it be that, in just the next four years, state after state would strike down those marriage amendments, public opinion would shift by ten points and finally, in 2015, the Obergefell decision would make everything official?

At least part of the answer is found in how entertainment reshaped our collective imaginations. From “Will and Grace,” to “Glee,” to “Modern Family,” Hollywood spent years, and millions, portraying homosexuality as funny, normal, natural, and even wholesome.

Around the same time, in another sphere of culture, politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton “evolved” on the issue, and their base—which was already largely pro-gay—responded with a fast and radical leftward swing.

In a cultural moment, political liberals went from tolerating disagreement on marriage to demonizing anyone who still affirmed “one-man-one-woman,” as bigoted, hateful, homophobes.

Business, too, played a major role in this shift. The success of the Human Rights Campaign in pressuring companies to actively promote LGBT causes is, well, incredible. And government leadership in state after state, with rare exceptions like North Carolina, caved to the corporate financial leverages that were being threatened against them.

But decades before all that happened in entertainment, politics, and business, there was something else that made same-sex “marriage” basically inevitable: the formal divorce of marriage and procreation.

As University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus has convincingly argued, “the pill” alone was enough to sever the link between sex and procreation, changing how Americans thought about love and marriage. No longer did those two things necessarily lead to that “baby in the baby carriage.” Protestants, evangelicals, and the Catholic laity mostly accepted that change without a peep of protest.

The divorce of marriage and procreation led to all kinds of unintended consequences. Marriage was popularly transformed from being a nest for children to being an expression of adult feelings. And once it was no longer “about the children,” “no-fault divorce” legally redefine marriage in the law.

Fast forward a few decades, removing any remaining stigmas on sexual behavior, and then terms like “husband and wife,” “mother” and “father,” and ultimately, “male and female” lost their defining power. Same-sex unions were then just a very short step away.

Which brings us to today and the news that an up-and-coming generation may be the most pro-LGBT in history. Those of us who believe in God’s design for sex face a daunting task. Reversing Obergefell and rebuilding the shattered consensus on natural marriage won’t happen quickly. But here’s what we can do…

First, we can help our children understand what went wrong, especially the wrong ideas about sex, marriage, happiness, and procreation that permeate our society. Second, we can help them know what’s right about God’s design for marriage, sex, and procreation.

But remember, this battle was lost, not by argument, but in the imagination. And so we must embody God’s design in our marriages and in our communities.

And finally, we should repent of the ways in which we embraced the deadly wrong ideas of this social revolution.

 

America’s Reversal on Gay “Marriage”: What Really Happened?

John has called believers to repent from a casual acceptance of the sexual revolution’s ideology, and has encouraged us to embody God’s design in our own marriages. Teach your children the truth for marriage, sex, and procreation, and be an example in your families and communities.

Resources

Get Ready, Youth Group Leaders: Teens Twice as Likely to Identify as Atheist or LGBT
  • Kate Shellnutt | Christianity Today | January 23, 2018
In U.S., More Adults Identifying as LGBT
  • Gallup News | January 11, 2017
Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage
  • John Stonestreet, Sean McDowell | Baker Publishing | July 2014

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  • Andrew R

    People meet more gay couples, realise they’re no different to straight couples, and so see no reason for them not to marry. Same as happened with inter-racial couples 50 years ago. Meanwhile, evangelicals lost any claim to moral authority when they gave their enthusiastic support to thrice-married Donald Trump, who boasts about trying to sleep with married women.

    • Godwin Manuel

      I believe gay people are some of the most wonderful people around and they are loved by God. The same can be said of unmarried couples who have sex and couples who have an “open marriage” etc. Being nice and having similarities to straight couples does not make homosexual acts and unions acceptable in God’s sight. For Christians the standards of morality come from God’s revealed word – the Bible. If society’s opinions and feelings determine morality then anything can be normalized. Gay people and straight people are called by Jesus to repent of sin (living outside of God’s will) and deny their sinful desires and live a holy life as God gives them strength. This is not possible unless one has a spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ. Even then, some will face an intense lifelong battle with sin. But God’s grace is sufficient for all who struggle and strive for holiness.

      Trumps character flaws are glaringly obvious. I hope he recognizes his sins and repents.
      I believe many evangelicals voted for Trump because they saw him as the lesser of two evils. Those who criticize him for being thrice married and boasting about trying to sleep with married women are invoking a moral law – from the Bible. The same book tells us that God does not approve of same-sex relationships. God calls gay and straight people to repent of their sexual immorality and live pure and holy lives. This is a CROSS to bear for those who struggle with same-sex attraction and it is a CROSS to bear for heterosexual single people who struggle with chastity and even married straight people who struggle with lust – and that’s a lot of people!. The cross is an instrument of death and Jesus calls all men and women to die to sins and lifestyles outside of God’s will. Yes it is a straight and narrow road. Jesus tells us only a few will travel on that road that leads to eternal life. That road is still open for those who seek life and the freedom Christ offers.
      God bless you Andrew R.

      • Scott

        This is a magnificent reply!.. God bless you Godwin Manuel.

    • Thomas Mantooth

      There is one major difference between straight couples and gay couples, as this article points out: gay couples cannot procreate. The baffling thing to me is that an evolutionary worldview dictates that homosexuality is a dead end because it cannot survive! They cannot justify it from either view of creation.

      As for Trump, many evangelicals were more willing to show grace and believe that he has changed (remember that one recording was over 10 years old). They found him more acceptable than a candidate who, among other things, still supports the killing of unborn children well past the point of viability.

      • Andrew R

        “gay couples cannot procreate”
        So what? Lots of straight couples cannot procreate either. There’s no fertility test for marriage. We don’t stop post-menopausal women marrying either.
        “homosexuality is a dead end because it cannot survive”
        Yet we keep getting gays, so it seems like they’re surviving fine. You might as well say nuns and celibate priests are a dead end because they don’t have kids either.

      • Andrew R

        “They cannot justify it from either view of creation”
        Evolution is descriptive, not prescriptive. It says nothing about how one SHOULD behave.

    • Steve

      Trump’s policies trump his personal life.
      If you are going to look for a perfect leader, there is only one and He died on the Cross 2000 years ago.

      • Andrew R

        “Trump’s policies trump his personal life”
        Yet 20 years ago Bill Clinton’s personal life was all the right could talk about. Funny how times change, isn’t it? If people’s personal lives are their own business, why the fuss about gays?

        • Steve

          The LGBT people are making the fuss. They insist on others embracing their choices, not just tolerating them. No one has the right to force me to believe in an ideology, and that is what they are trying to do.

          • gary hild

            I believe gay marriage is prohibited by the Bible and wrong for me. Where does the Bible tell me to make other people do as the Bible says? Do other people have freedom to practice their religious beliefs?

          • Scott

            “Where does the Bible tell me to make other people do as the Bible says?”

            “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
            Matthew – 28:19-20

            “Do other people have freedom to practice their religious beliefs?”

            Yes they should.

          • Andrew R

            “They insist on others embracing their choices”
            How are LGBT insisting on you ’embracing their choices’ in a way that, say, interracial couples do not? Christians try to get teacher-led prayer into schools and Ten Commandment plaques into courtrooms – how is that not trying to get others to ’embrace your choices’?

          • Scott

            “How are LGBT insisting on you ’embracing their choices’ in a way that, say, interracial couples do not?”

            Accept that same-sex couples are not the same as interracial couples so the two should not be compared as such. Even from the Naturalists point of view… one can can create life and one can’t.

    • Doug

      The comparison between homosexual couples and inter-racial couples is a false one. For the Christians there is only one race, the human race. Race is never a moral issue in Scripture whereas homosexual practice is strongly condemned. In the book by Norman Geisler and myself we show that this issue has been coming on for decades. As for Donald Trump, we elected him to be our President, not our Pope. If you look deeply into the character of most of our Presidents you will find some moral flaws.

      • Andrew R

        “For the Christians there is only one race, the human race”
        Christians opposed interracial marriage in the 1960s and explicitly cited religious justifications to do so, so the comparison is not only not false, it’s pretty apt.
        .
        “As for Donald Trump, we elected him to be our President, not our Pope”
        Yeah, 20 years ago Evangelicals cited Bill Clinton’s affair as a massive point against him. Now you shrug and say the President isn’t the Pope?

        • Todd

          Christians didn’t oppose interracial marriage. American society did. There’s a difference. Modern racism really ignited with Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. It’s founded in pure atheism.

    • Richard O. Mann

      But, God the Father did not. And the Bible has not changed. Sin is sin. The only answer to sin is the Blood of Jesus. But as far as this world is concerned, it has reached the end of it’s run.

  • Gary

    God has not changed His mind about homosexuality. He still condemns it. Those who call good what God calls evil will have to face the consequences of their behavior. And that they cannot avoid.

  • Arthur Powell

    Jesus never judged the World, and neither should we. Somehow, Christians in North America are stuck on this idea that the United States is part of God’s Kingdom. It is not. Jesus clearly stated that his Kingdom is not of this World, and the Kingdoms of this world are founded on violence; the United States is of this World and it was founded on violence. The United States is another worldly empire that God will use for his purposes and lower it when he wills. We should, therefore, not be shocked by it’s behavior nor think that it will align itself with our world view or morality.

    I also disagree with the an implied view (not stated, so I could be incorrect) that sex was designed by God for procreation as the primary purpose. The Song of Solomon is explicitly clear that sex was designed by God to be enjoyed and was not created solely for procreation (not mentioned once in Song of Solomon). As for the pill, it simply made the avoidance of children more convenient and reliable; cultures had been using various methods to avoid offspring since the beginning.

    What the Body of Christ has done has separated the act of sex from marriage. God never did. Sex in God’s eyes IS the act of marriage; hence why sex outside of marriage is listed as one of the sins that, if practiced, will keep one out of the Kingdom of God. It’s on the same list as homosexuality. The Body of Christ spent a large amount of monies, time and effort to defeat homosexual marriage and yet said nary a word about the singles in the Body of Christ sleeping with each other. Our focus needs to be on preaching the Gospel and MAKING DISCIPLES, not trying to get the world to conform to our behavior.

    • Scott

      “The Body of Christ spent a large amount of monies, time and effort to defeat homosexual marriage and yet said nary a word about the singles in the Body of Christ sleeping with each other. Our focus needs to be on preaching the Gospel and MAKING DISCIPLES, not trying to get the world to conform to our behavior.”

      Much of what you say I do not agree with… but this is spot on!

  • There are no PC themes in God’s word. The Lord has made it clear on his view of sin. His word is truth and His word must reign. Followers of Christ must proclaim that truth, even when it is not PC.

  • gladys1071

    This article and the comments below remind of what Jesus said “he that is without sin cast the first stone”.

    Every single person on this earth lives in sin, Christian, non-christian, athiest, buddihst, agnostic. Everyone falls short in thought and deed. Interestely enough i think God knows this and Christ has reconciled the world to himself.

    I will be a sinner and will continue to sin until the day i die and so will every single human being that has ever lived is living and will be born.

    Only Jesus can meet the standard of perfection and he did while here on earth.

    If anyone thinks they will meet the standard of perfection, well then they don’t need Christ or his sacrifice. As long as we are in this flesh we are sinners, and none of us will meet the standard of perfection.

    That is why anytime i try to point out anyone’s sin, i point the finger back at myself.

  • gary hild

    My Bible tells me to share the good news of Salvation in Christ. Who chooses to follow Christ is up to God, not me. I believe my Bible tells me to NOT impose Christ on others. For this reason I support Freedom of religion. When you impose Christian values, including marriage values, on people who do not accept Christ you are trying to be God. Let God judge non-believers on social issues. It is our job to encourage sinners to come to church, and vote to prevent abuse of widows and orphans… or the downtrodden and oppressed.

    • @garyhild:disqus : Well, the Jews practice monogamy, so this is not simply a Christian value. Also, there are practical reasons for a society to uphold monogamous, opposite sex marriage. Social science data has validated this arrangement as optimal for raising children, thus serving the greater good of society.

  • Scott

    Glenn Sunshine wrote this in another article here on Breakpoint:

    “The Bible says otherwise and assuming that we know better than either the human or divine authors of Scripture is itself an example of the sin of Pride, which refuses to recognize an authority above itself, including ultimately God Himself.”

    Friends, the only way to know God is through His word in scripture. If we believe in a creator of the universe, then it would stand to reason that He is powerful enough to ONLY allow His moral laws to be written down within the pages of the Bible… and we should recognize all else as misguided folly at best.

  • Richard O. Mann

    This is also a sign that the country/nation involved has reached the end of it’s time and will soon implode upon itself. Not long afterwards, the remains will be picked over by outside barbarians and soon become just another third world, or worse, country. History shows that when sexual perversion and immorality become normal it truly marks the beginning of the end for that nation. The US and Western Europe are now in those declining phases and will soon implode. The Muslim barbarians are already flooding into Europe and the US. The only hope for a country at this point is pretty much limited to total destruction before the perversion takes over. If you are born again, this just marks the end of this age and those who are waiting for the rapture of the church before the next phase starts, are looking up and trying to get the word out to all who will listen. Jesus is coming for his church very soon. Once we are gone all hell is going to break loose on this earth. Are you ready? Are you saved? It’s really the only thing that matters. All else is just vanity and grasping for the wind.

  • A friend of mine who emailed me this article included this excellent point:

    “One of the biggest mistakes leading to our defeat was the use of the term ‘gay marriage’ instead of ‘same-sex marriage’. If we were really defending marriage and were opposed to two men or two women ‘marrying,’ it shouldn’t matter if they are homosexual or heterosexual. The left wanted everyone to believe that defending marriage was an attack on homosexuals, and us using the term ‘gay marriage’ to describe what we were opposing supported their accusations. Unfortunately, the person who composed this headline still doesn’t get it.”

    I concur. So, along with Mr. Stonestreet’s other recommendations, I would add this : Stop calling it “gay marriage” and change the vernacular to “same-sex marriage.” Point out that it is only because of the nefarious machinations of homoerotic activists, biased media, gutless politicians and judicial tyranny that we suffer the imposition of this faux social construct.

  • gary hild

    This article seems to say that the Obergefell decision was wrong. I believe the Obergefell decision is contrary to God’s Word, and that makes it wrong for me. But, I want to understand why any Chistian believes they should compel others to abide by our Bible. I believe the Obergefell decision is correct, but I am to live according to the Bible, and I am allow others to live according to their beliefs (limited by not murdering and opressing others, we should not allow religous freedom to commit honor killings and abortions)

    • Scott

      “But, I want to understand why any Chistian believes they should compel others to abide by our Bible.”

      Jesus says:

      “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew – 28:19-20

      This will be unpopular with some/many Christians here. I think you are right, the Obergefell decision is contrary to God’s word… and yet God gives us free will. If we are to do what Jesus says in Matthew 28: 19-20, we must do it from that very same position of free will. Only a truly plural society (where same-sex unions are legal alternatives to marriage) offers such a place. I also agree with you on oppression and murder, which is why Roe vs. Wade must be reversed.

      • gladys1071

        Jesus’s command is “love your neighbor as yourself” Just as he loved us and gave his life. That is what Jesus command encompasses not control or judgment of others.

        I think following Jesus means following his example means that, means putting others before us,nothing about controlling, or compelling anyone to be righteous or religious or passing laws to enforce righteous behavior.

  • Just One Voice

    I’ve been watching this on the sideline. Time to jump in I guess. This thread & topic is a good example of why I’m thankful for institutions like BP, and the entire Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

    I’m grateful for them, mainly because they do not cringe back in fear. Instead, they continue to speak the truth in love; even though it invites ridicule. It even invites ridicule from other Christians. Ridicule that says things like “stop pointing at other people! Why don’t you focus on the log in your own eye!?” They speak the truth boldly, which offends many, but they remain uncompromising. That is very desperately needed in an ever-changing world that thinks it’s always on to something new & improved.

    The Bible foretells all of what’s happening here in the grand scheme of things. So, keep on fulfilling the prophecies I guess! And take a look at the prophecy of 2 Timothy 3 while you’re at it. Verse 12 caught my eye this time. I think because he’s being so real & straight forward with his reader:

    “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” Sweet & compelling invitation! Let’s climb aboard! *insert humorous sarcasm here*

    And verse 13: “while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” Hey, I’m just quoting what the Author already wrote long long ago.

    • gladys1071

      Are you denying the Lord’s words when he said” He that is without sin throw the first stone”?

      I think Jesus meant that we need to concern ourselves with our OWN sin not the sin of others, to me that is crystal clear Jesus message.

      I am quoting Jesus words which were actually non-judgmental.

      • Just One Voice

        First let me answer your question. No, I’m not in denial at all.

        As one Christian to another, we are certainly called to hold each other accountable & gently call out sin when we see it. (See Titus 2 and 2nd Timothy 4-beginning of the chapter) Now the funny things is that, I was originally going to say you’ve done me no wrong in light of those verses. But actually, you argue that we need not concern ourselves with others’ sin. Those verses clearly state that we do concern ourselves with others’ sins! That’s precisely what the gospel is! And the command to go make more disciples of all nations!

        Come to think of it, every day, every person concerns his/her self with others’ sin; just by the fact of whether or not we obey laws regarding lying or murder.

        By flaunting that one verse, and pointing the finger at those who are pointing the finger, isn’t that behavior judgmental, in and of itself? So, I believe you might be doing the very thing you are condemning.

        Let’s look at that verse (John 8). We don’t have to go very far to find some key things. First off, the Pharisees are simply doing exactly what the Old Testament called for: death when one has been caught in adultery. (Leviticus 20:10 says it straight up)

        Secondly, Jesus still called the woman’s sin exactly that: sin! He said, go and sin no more. But he also said to her that he would not condemn her. He certainly had the authority to, but he did not. Why? Because he knew the full story. He knew his mission: that he had come to fulfill the law by his all-sin-atoning sacrifice. That is why he treated the woman the way he did.

        That brings up another passage that is often taken out of context: the log-in-your-eye verse. Here, I’d simply like to point out that Jesus did not say to never call out sin. He said to take care of the log in our own, then we will see clearly to take care of the speckle in our brother’s eye.

        Translation: take care of the sin in our own life, then we can help take care of sin in others’ lives. Let me take care of my broken leg, then I will be more able to take care a broken arm.

        And that, I believe, is part of what BP is doing. Again, they are more in the line of analyzing social trends I think, and helping Christians to maintain a biblical worldview.

        • gladys1071

          i actually disagree with your view.

          When i read Jesus words, he is NOT calling us to judge anyone, he is calling us to “love one another”. Jesus words of ” He that is without sin, cast the first stone” he basically is saying nobody is qualified to call out sin, ONLY he can, and yet he did not.

          Since everyone is a sinner, nobody is qualified to call out sin AT ALL!’

          Jesus hung out with tax collectors and others that were hated by society. I mean Peter denied Jesus three times (grasp a Sin!) and Jesus did not condemn him either.

          I guess the Jesus i know is different then they Jesus you know.

          Jesus had dinner with Zaccheus, and did NOT call out his sins either , Zaccheus was transformed by Jesus love and he himself realized his own sins

          That is how the gospel works, people do not come to to the realization of thier sins by others pointing them out, people come to repentence by coming to a realization themselves, by God’s gentle softening of the heart.

          • Just One Voice

            Let me add a final softer note. You are completely correct in your last paragraph. If we constantly blame & point the finger, well yeah, nobody’s gonna want to join up. And it is, ultimately, God’s softening of the heart. We are in complete agreement there.

            But, Jesus called 12 disciples, to go and make more disciples, calling them to repent and be baptized. Repent of what? That requires addressing the matter of sin, with all patience & gentleness. Some will still reject it. Okay, shake the dust of that town off your feet. Don’t give dogs what is holy. Don’t cast pearls before swine. (two references there, can you guess them.)

  • Todd

    You keep on saying that Christians were against interracial marriage. I don’t think you know what Christianity is. Saying you’re a Christian is not the same as being a Christian. To be a Christian is to be a follower of Christ. You show me where in the Bible Christ said anything about race, and specifically how it bars interracial marriage and then we’ll talk about it. I’ll wait. Secondly, the Bible clearly articulates that ALL MEN are sinners in need of a Savior. It was here way before our knowledge of DNA. Further, at the time, even most of those opposed to slavery were still convinced of the superiority of the white race, which means your assertion that Darwin was an abolitionist, regardless of its veracity, is meaningless. So too, the insistence that “pro-slavers” derided abolitionism “as an ‘atheist philosophy.'” There are other reasons it is meaningless, i.e. no one believes that Darwin was the head of a cult, he simply introduced one influential idea. Eugenics today is typically considered a bad word, thanks to our spotty knowledge of scientific experimentation done by Nazi doctors, but the truth is that before WWII, governments all over the world were conducting similarly horrific experiments on their populous, believing that they could breed a better human race (or a better slave class.) It is happening again today under the guise of fetal screening and has never stopped in abortion. All of this is predicated on Darwin’s evolution of species.

  • 1ConservativeUSA

    I’d like to hear the opposing posters view of how they conduct themselves when with another person who is clearly in unrepentant sin, whatever that sin may be. Say you are on a street outreach and you approach a transgender person. Say you approach a person and they admit they are stealing office supplies or cheating on their tax return.

    What do you tell them about the reason you are a Christian and why you follow that Man Who hung on the cross?

    Would you tell the person their conduct is acceptable, and just to wait for the Lord’s calling for repentance? To ignore sin it is akin to aiding and abetting, enabling. Neither of these things strike me as something Jesus ever did or would endorse. His preaching to all from the start to finish was to repent.

    I believe this is the hardest thing for a Christian to navigate as we live as aliens on this earth; to speak truth in love, when another is in sin. Yes, we are all sinners, but those who are uninformed, rebellious or otherwise unrepentant need to hear the gospel and they need the love of compassionate Christians. They need to know exactly why Jesus had to come and die.

    Since love does not rejoice in iniquity, there is no other way to approach a person, but to acknowledge the sin, as Jesus always did, and to offer our support and prayers for repentance.

  • Timothy D Padgett

    Thanks to you all for your contributions to this important conversation. However, as this discussion seems to have come to an impasse, we will be shutting down the comments from here on.

    Timothy D Padgett
    Managing Editor, BreakPoint.org.