BP_blog
Why Christian Supporters of Same-Sex 'Marriage' Are Wrong

All Things Examined



kirstenpowersFox News political analyst Kirsten Powers is a Christian who supports same-sex “marriage.” In her moral imagination, the only thing fueling the opposition to “marriage equality” is anti-gay bigotry. She suggests that if Jesus was a baker today he’d bake a cake for the ceremony. Her reasoning? In part: “Christianity doesn't prohibit serving a gay couple getting married.” (My emphasis.) I’ll come back to the “argument from silence” in a moment.

Scarcely more than a decade ago, Christians who favored homosexual “marriage” were in the minority, at around 40 percent. No longer. Contrary to biblical teaching and historical church doctrine -- not to mention millennia of cultural tradition -- the support of same-sex “marriage” among Catholics and white mainline Protestants is the same as for the general public: 53 percent.

Strengthening the trend is the growing number of churches endorsing same-sex unions by way of consecrations or other solemnizing ceremonies. Among them: the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

As to how their faith informs their stance on gay “marriage,” Christians parrot arguments demonstrating little understanding or acceptance of the faith that Jesus taught. Below are some of the most common arguments, followed by their counterarguments.

Marriage ‘equality’ follows Jesus’s teaching about love and inclusion.

Love Incarnate once said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” Among His commands is the prohibition of sex outside of marriage. As he gave no expressed or implied allowance for same-sex “marriage,” his prohibition includes indulging homosexual desires, regardless of a committed relationship, church blessing, or legal union.

Considering the disproportionate incidence of substance abuse, mental health problems, disease, mortality, and suicide among homosexuals, loving them as Christ loved is not affirming their choices and practices, but challenging them to live in accordance with the created purpose of sexuality and encouraging them in their efforts to do so.

As to inclusion, while it is true that Jesus extended His invitation to all, His call was not without conditions: Nicodemus was told he needed to be born again; the disciples were told to deny themselves and carry their cross daily; a rich man was told to give up all his possessions; a prostitute and a lame man were both told to stop sinning; and, in a parable about the kingdom, a man was turned out, of all things, for wearing the wrong clothes.

The good news of the kingdom is that “many are called,” but the requirement of repentance means that “few are chosen.”

Since God made people that way, He’d have no problem with them marrying.

The Creator’s design of sexuality is intended to satisfy the good and essential function of reproduction. It is a function that same-sex couples are incapable of accomplishing. They can only mimic the sex act for the purpose of sensual gratification.

The suggestion that God would frustrate His expressed purpose of sex with an untoward desire is unreasoned. Whatever causes same-sex orientation, it is not God, any more than He is the cause of congenital disorders like club feet or cleft palates. The person who insists that homosexuality is “how God made me” is conflating a dysfunction with a design.

But setting aside its cause, a homosexual orientation, while dysfunctional, is not a sin. Same-sex attraction is no different from other desires that run counter to the created order: All are products of the Fall propagated by an unsettled combination of nature and nurture.

The bad news is that the effects of the Fall are universal: We all have a sinful bent, whether to anger, violence, gossip, promiscuity, or “fill in the blank.” The good news is that our desires are nothing more until acted upon -- and even then, they are forgivable for the repentant person.

Proscriptions against gay marriage neglect the personal experiences of homosexuals.

While personal experiences may be genuine, intense, and heartfelt, they are not a reliable guide to truth. Depending only on our experiences, we would think the earth flat in a geocentric cosmos where time and space are absolute. It is only because we have discovered laws transcending personal experience that we know that reality is sometimes radically different than what our experiences suggest.

That goes for moral truth as well. The experiences of one person convince him that homosexuality is intrinsic to his personhood, while the experiences of another convince him that it is not. Kim, a commenter on a blog post of mine, is among the latter:

“As a person who was once in a same sex relationship for many years, I know first hand how people can be fooled to think that this is the will of God for their life. . . . I was unable to stop the lifestyle that I was living no matter how hard I tried, but when I really started to seek God for deliverance through prayer and His Word, I was able to stop seeing myself as someone who was gay and started to see myself as God created me to be. I have only been delivered from homosexuality for 13 years and in that time God has given me a loving husband and 2 beautiful sons, but as the years go by I see more and more how God has given me everything back that I was so willing to give up.” -- Kim

Like a 5’4” 130-pounder looking for a spot in the NFL, Kim realized that there was a mismatch between her desire and God’s design.

Opposing gay marriage represents a moral judgment about others, something Jesus warned against.

The same goes for endorsing gay “marriage.” Not only is endorsement a moral judgment about the practice, it’s a moral insinuation, if not judgment, about those who disagree. In fact, “disagreers” are routinely called (and judged as) homophobes, haters, and (recalling Ms. Powers) anti-gay bigots with impunity.

But popular proof-texts notwithstanding, Jesus never said that Christians shouldn’t judge the actions of others; He taught that we should remove our “specks” so that we can “see clearly” their specks, and He told his disciples, “If your brother sins, rebuke him.”

Jesus not only expects us to make moral judgments about people, He expects us to confront them and invoke discipline when necessary. The apostle Paul dressed down a church for neglecting to do that for a member involved in sexual sin.

In a fallen world where virtue and vice exist side-by-side, everyone must judge what they will believe and whom they will trust. The person who can’t or won’t judge truth from falsehood or good from evil is destined to be a victim of those who are skilled at parading one for the other.

Jesus never said anything against homosexuality or gay marriage.’

If the “argument from silence” settles the morality of homosexual behavior, it does likewise for child sacrifice, pedophilia, slavery, rape, bestiality, and a host of other practices that Jesus never mentioned, by name.

That said, it is telling, given the prevalence of, and the general attitudes about, homosexuality in Jesus’s day, that He didn’t expand marriage to include same-sex couples. Instead, he reaffirmed the institution as originally established. He also said that for reasons of nature, nurture, or the purposes of the kingdom, that marriage is not for everyone. Although he mentioned eunuchs specifically, the exception would apply equally to homosexual pairings because, like eunuchs, who can form emotional attachments, they cannot fulfill the purpose of marriage nor conform to its design.

In a disarming passage, the apostle Paul uses marriage as a word picture for the church, and it is clear why. Just as the complementary design of man and woman creates “one flesh” out of two people for the purpose of multiplication, so the complementary gifts of the Holy Spirit create one Body out of multiple members for the same end.

Most significantly, both marriage and the Church are divine institutions. Thus, man can no more revise marriage by putting together what God has left asunder, than man can revise the Church by including people who haven’t accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Granted, man can call a coupling a “marriage” that isn’t a marriage, just as man can call a person a “disciple” who isn’t a disciple. But, in the courts of Heaven, the only thing that counts is what the Man on the throne calls them.

Image copyright Fox News, courtesy of Media Matters.

Regis Nicoll is a freelance writer and a BreakPoint Centurion. Serving as a men’s ministry leader and worldview teacher in his community, Regis publishes a free weekly commentary to stimulate thought on current issues from a Christian perspective. To be placed on this free e-mail distribution list, e-mail him at centurion51@aol.com.



Articles on the BreakPoint website are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BreakPoint. Outside links are for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply endorsement of their content.

Comments:

Something for everyone?
Okay, I got here by way of Breakpoint: Reviving the University of Virginia… So my arguments and questions will largely fall on deaf ears. (Didn’t realize the date until after thinking too much! LOL)


GARY:
The article above was written as 'argument, counterargument' and you addressed neither. "Blah, blah, blah..." is no way to persuade anyone. You have a problem with the above; then please take the time to articulate it.


EICHLER:
While I agree with much of what you said, you also made this comment: "THE TRUTH IS MARRIAGE AROUND THE WORLD FOLLOWS THE BIBLICAL DEFINITION." But it seems that redefining marriage and the breakdown of the family is happening all over the globe. I don't know of any time in history when the homosexual experiment ended well (How long did it persist in the Greek and Roman cultures?) and this time it's global...


MATHISEN:
While many will see that as reactionary—already we have seen much of what they told us would not happen (even the Church of England has been sued!). And while it doesn't necessarily mean that such heinous acts will follow, where and why we draw arbitrary lines does seem to emerge. (The common objections I get are simply these: Animals can't sign their name or give verbal consent. That's it!!!)


BENICA:
That first paragraph is all too true... May the Church repent of this tragic failure…

All of Romans 1 seems to be a description of this day-and-age.

Regarding gay Christians, it does seem that we would do well to be careful here. For sure, you can be a Christian and struggle with SSA issues (and I don't envy anyone who struggles daily with any kind of sexual temptation), but to habitually live as a homosexual while claiming to be a follower of Christ, that is another matter. Given the sensitive nature of the issue, we have to choose our words carefully and separate the struggle from the act. (Just a word of caution while largely agreeing with your post.)


PIANOPLAYER:
I'm afraid you've pushed one of my buttons! (Bear with me a moment!) This is part of the reason many think that Christians like to beat people over the head with the Bible—you gave them all of the judgment, but none of the hope! You cite a great passage what should convict us all, but let us not forget the beautiful message of restoration presented in vs. 11: "And such **WERE** some of you: but ye are WASHED, but ye are SANCTIFIED, but ye are JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”


AUSTIN:
In order for that to be true, you must first define what marriage IS. Also, you appeal to a standard of fairness as a moral absolute, so WHO or WHAT is your moral authority? For the Christian, that is the Bible, and the Bible teaches that homosexuality is an abomination (while the behavior itself is deviant [biologically speaking] and often inherently dangerous). And if we extend these tax exemptions to any two people—then what of roommates, siblings, or anyone else who may share a residence or financial burden? Defining what marriage IS becomes increasingly more important—while the culture and the children continue to suffer the consequences of societies failure to uphold natural marriage. Whatever marriage is, it isn’t merely an emotional partnership. Your argument is invalid and the conclusions you assert does not follow from the premise. But nice job of trying to cram your own views down the throat of the general public while assuming something you’ve made no effort to prove. Also, we’ve seen nations like Russia and Nazi Germany impose ‘order’ by the means you suggest… and that is not America.


STAN WILLIS:
It does seem that the most fundamental question simply isn’t being asked. The media talks of marriage equality, yet nobody is talking about what marriage IS, why it is important, it’s contributions to society, or it’s impact on woman and children. All the brokenness, dysfunction, pain, suffering, poverty, etc., that has resulted from the first time we redefined marriage (no-fault divorce) is just a part of the way the world is today, so what is one more step in the direction of the slow-fade?


FRED WEAVER:
But I’m sure you will agree that far too many conflate ‘love’ with ‘acceptance.’ My mother used to say that sin craves company…


KATIE:
Your post only begs the question: What IS marriage? If it is merely to affirm the emotional feelings of any 2 people (why the arbitrary limit on love?), then it is an institution that we don’t need. Heterosexual relationships (biological unions) are fundamentally different than homosexual partnerships (sterile by definition, biologically deviant), and this difference is a matter of principle (gays have zero potential for creating life, while heterosexual unions are absolutely necessary). Real marriage benefits woman and children—serves a purpose beyond ‘feelings.’ Also, you are failing to recognize this matter of principle that applies to ALL human beings (regardless of religion, creed, personal beliefs, or sexual orientation) and confusing it with personal beliefs. Nature doesn’t sing a different tune depending upon what you believe. But I love how you have given your decree based upon your personal (and hardly breaking the surface) view of the issue, while denying others the same privilege you grant yourself (while your entire, rather emotional rant, is largely self-referencing). Hey, if you can do it, why can’t everyone else? What just happened to EQUALITY?


MIKE JONES:
But let us keep in mind that there is a ‘growth’ curve and that many well-meaning Christians have been mislead or are simply ignorant—perhaps just infants in the faith. We need to be patient with those people, reason with them from the scriptures, explain the arguments, and see if they don’t come to that place of greater understanding and repentance.


MICHAEL SNOW:
Define love and contrast it with truth… (Eph. 4:15) For sure, too many Christians have been caustic and unloving toward those who identify as homosexual, but bridging that divide can be a tricky one. They get their sense of identity from their sexuality and reject out-of-hand any reference to ‘behavior’. ALL men are created in the image of God and are therefore EQUAL; ALL behaviors are not. Communicating this truth in a loving and whimsical way—a tall order when it comes to those who view any opposition as hatred and bigotry. Got any suggestions?


WORDBASED:
If the Church (meaning those who profess to believe) had upheld the sanctity of marriage and sacredness of sex, do you think we would be having this debate today? (What if AIDS was still the death sentence is was in the ‘80’s?) We don’t need to impose anything, we need to present strong rational arguments and live out the biblical definition ourselves. The bill for this radical redefinition will come due soon enough… But then the consequences for redefining marriage the first time (no-fault divorce), the sexual revolution (epidemic levels or STD’s and sexual brokenness), and the devaluing of human life (abortion) has gone largely unnoticed… Perhaps the average America Christian today is not much different than Lot and his family were? May God forgive us! But before that can happen, we have to repent! (See MIKE JONES comment.)
Translation into English
Blah blah blah. I don't like Gay people. Blah blah blah. But we've always done it my way. Blah blah blah. In this case, tradition may not be reconsidered. Blah blah blah.
The question of whether or not biblical Christians are imposing the biblical definition of marriage or if the culture is imposing their definition should be satisfied first. The truth is marriage around the world follows the biblical definition. The culture is wanting to redefine it to suit their desires much as children want their desires to be met by their parents no matter what. So any resistance by people who hold to marriage as only between one man and one woman will automatically be held up as haters for not meeting the world's wants. Just as children telling their parents that the parents hate them for not bowing to their wants. God wants us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. How do you love your neighbor if you never tell the truth to your neighbor? By not presenting the truth in love we automatically take a backseat and allow the culture to dominate which means we really conforming to the world rather than not conforming by actively opposing what the world wants. Romans points this out in chapter 12 as does Colson in his book "How Now Shall We Live" in chapter 20 and 21. There is no middle ground. You either believe and follow the commands of Christ or you don't. To whom do you follow?
It's on the books as "Same Sex Marriage" this will be perverted by man and they will marry sheeps and goats. God save us.
Too many in the Church do not read their bibles and only know a few scriptures and only repeat those. It seems 'outsiders' know more scripture than believers since they use it to argue and twist it supporting their positions--and the believers not knowing the Word then believe them.

Regarding Christians as gays, read Romans 1:18-32 and notice the part where God gave them over to their desires because they refused to believe Him. God calls it un-natural.HE gives them over--He takes His hand off them, He does not reveal truth or try to keep them from harm,-- that is a judgement. They are judged by God and found wanting. When they agree with God (repentance) they will be healed.
God also says that those who agree with a particular sin, they will also be judged as if they do that sin, even if they don't. They just have to agree that it's ok. He says you are calling Him a liar. Are Christians to call God a liar?
About same-sex marriage: in Matthew where Jesus is talking about divorce. He points back to Genesis and shows where God created mankind male and female and expects them to marry. He then talks about divorce and the state of being a eunuch. If you divorce, you must become a eunuch. Paul even talks about this. There is no talk of being a gay Christian as some suppose He means by being a eunuch. He says some are born that way, some are made that way by man, and some choose to be that way as some do as missionaries--for the kingdom. Jesus didn't change it and there were certainly gays around in His time, even since the days before Sodom and Gomorrah.
You cannot be a gay Christian because you would still be under judgement. If you are gay and are a believer, you are to seek God for healing and a changed mind by reading His Word. Put on the mind of Christ the Word says. There is power in the Word because it is God-breathed. Agree with God.

There is also another scripture many overlook, it's Matthew 7:21-23 where Jesus says, "21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Those works are things 'Christians' would do so He's not talking to unbelievers here. But notice the last part where He says 'you who practice lawlessness.' In 1 John He says that lawlessness is sin. You are practicing sin. You are not seeking Him or reading His word to know if what you are doing/believing is sin.
Are you calling God a liar?
He says His Spirit tells you right from wrong and is a witness to you. Do you have it?
In these last days it's going to take some boldness to be different.
homosexuality
Christ's viewpoint:
1 Corinthians 6:8-10
8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God
We have to allow gay couples to "marry" (civil union, whatever the states want to call it) because there are tax credits for doing so. If we are going to give tax credits for marriage then we have to allow everyone equal access to those credits.

So we have options- either take away the tax credits or allow everyone to "marry" (be a legally recognized union by a state). I'm not saying every sate. Any state that chooses to get rid of the tax incentives could still "outlaw" gay "marriage". People would just move out of those states and their economies would suffer as they lose workers and spenders.

I am also not saying that churches have to marry people, or that bakers have to bake cakes for their weddings. Those churches that don't will lose the money and the positive press (not that they are seeking that from the world) that comes with being open. The bakeries would loose business, but again, they probably don't want that business anyway and other bakeries will happily take those costumers.
We used to have a single form of marriage recognized in a all states. Now, we have a least two forms, but they are not transferable. A gay couple can marry in California, but if they move to Kansas they are no longer married. How long will it be before a heterosexual couple married in Kansas will not be recognized in California? Gay marriage advocates are overturning the traditional definitions of marriage, but are not creating a new definition. That void will be filled with many things, since there is now no way to say to say what is, or is not marriage. I believe that marrige will eventually become to be seen as merely a personal choice with no legal standing at all. Traditional marriage will probably only survive as the weird practice of some religious nuts, like Christians.
@Michael Snow

"When pastors and teachers fail to ground Christians in basics like "love" the world is more than eager to fill the void."

That's the truth. The lack of proper teaching as well as courage from church pulpits emboldens not only pro-gay atheists, but also followers of other religions.

It's sad when Louis Farrakhan (a Muslim preacher) is more willing to defend the Bible's standards on sexuality than many pastors:

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/Perspectives_1/article_8886.shtml
As a Christian, the Bible speaks against homosexuality in the Old Testament and is highly debated for the difference between male prostitute and homosexuality in general in the New Testament. But either way, we still allow atheists and all religions to marry in the US. Jesus did not die for our sins and then start the United States. A US legal document and recognition never has been only attainable by Christians, therefore, is different than Biblical marriage. I am Biblically married to my husband and am recognized by the state as being legally married. But legal marriage doesn't mean Biblically married and vice versa. It's not a hard concept to figure out. As a conservative libertarian, I can't allow people of all religions to get married, but then limit it to "just not anyone who is gay." No wonder people hate Christians so much. It is up to you who you want to marry legally, and between you and God how you live your life. And taking away freedom of religion from certain individuals is also allowing others to take away our freedom of religion. I happen to be for freedom, so I am for marriage equality all the way. Back when I wasn't as close to God, I was against it. But after deepening my relationship as well as receiving a theology degree, I can't in good conscience fight against it.
There is misunderstanding about who and who is not a Christian in America. A true Christian is a person who has repented and by faith appropriated the grace of God for salvation. A person who supports gay marriage, abortion of anything the bible calls sin has NEVER repented and is therefore not born again. Our churches are filled with people who "profess" Christ but don't "possess" Christ. Repentance is NOT optional but a necessary part of saving faith. Jesus made that clear in Luke 13:1-8 that anyone who does not repent will perish. Repentance is a complete change of mind about sin in general. It means we agree with God. A person who blatantly opposes God on sin is still lost and in their sin and still an enemy of God.
What a difference a decade makes. When pastors and teachers fail to ground Christians in basics like "love" the world is more than eager to fill the void.
I have been rethinking my opposition to gay marriage. Not that I am supporting it outright but that I support the reality that marriage is a sacred notion and not a profane one. The profane thing that marriage has become, even in the Church is such that can easily be twisted to Man's wickedness and changed like a jacket when done with it or repackaged into whatever my profanity says it should be. The sacredness of marriage, the family, and even the sex act itself has been lost on an entire culture. It could be time to let' the "dead bury their dead' which I take to mean ...let the outsiders look after their mundane issues of life of which marriage has become one. Ultimately, the policies pursued by the ungodly dominant culture will destroy enough people that the Church will twig into their calling to assist in the victim's restoration. To attempt to impose our definitions on an unreceptive world will just enrage them.




BreakPoint Columns

Banner