I recently responded to a young friend who sent me the following link, one that so clearly and somewhat winsomely articulates a common position among many today. Here is the link, followed by response to my friend.
Because I continue to hold you in such high esteem with deep affection in Christ, I want to respond to this article you shared with me.
Biblical marriage (man and woman) is not a peripheral thing in Scripture, nor, as this piece contends, are there merely a handful of verses that condemn homosexuality. Even if there were only a few verses, does that mean we dismiss them? Are these verses (many of them actually) true or not? That is the questions this writer should be asking. There are hardly any verses about Trinity, but does this mean we doubt the reality? But in fact, [young friend], the Scriptures (Old and New) speak about same-sex relationships over and over again, both directly (as in Genesis 19; Leviticus 18; Leviticus 20; Romans 1; 1 Corinthians 6; 1 Timothy 1; Jude vs. 7) and indirectly included in 40-50 references to sexual immorality which is a more general term understood (for 2000 years) to refer to any sexual activity outside of marriage – always (again until recent days) understood to be one man and one woman.
Marriage (from Genesis 1 to Jesus’ words in Matthew 19 about marriage, to the end of Revelation and the marriage supper of the Lamb) has always been about a man and a woman becoming “one flesh” – which is often equated merely with a physical union (which is of course important). But the one flesh more profoundly refers to you and me – we are the product (every human being is the product) of male and female union.
Too many people miss this, but <children> are the one flesh result of marriage. Same-sex marriage can never do this. Marriage, by definition, is (at least potentially) a life creating, life giving, and self-denying and self-sacrificing relationship between a man and a woman. This life-creating aspect is something, sadly but truly, same-sex relationships (as loving and sincere as they often are) can never achieve.
I think one of the reasons we try to equate marriage with any commitment between two people is that our culture has failed so hugely on marriage with radical expansion of divorce, unfaithfulness, and co-habitation. But despite these sad realities, the fundamental nature of marriage has not changed . . . until we have tried (for the sake of “equality” and “tolerance”) to redefine marriage to be something is actually cannot be. I just posted on FB recently a link to a fine, philosophical piece about this – too many people can’t handle this kind of careful analysis, but you have a good mind – challenge yourself to read it:
But let me say a few more things about the piece you sent me.
This blog post is right in this: the “wheat” and “tares” are difficult to distinguish – they do look alike. Jesus was saying that in the “visible church” – those who confess Christ – God alone knows the heart, and He alone is the Judge — Yes indeed! All good so far. But Jesus’ point was also that when people “look” like they are believers, following Jesus, we are not to throw them out. The question is: “Do people who engage in same-sex relationships look like they are following Jesus?” Are they seeking to please God with their bodies and their actions? All of Christian history has said “No, such people have rebelled overtly and clearly against the order that God has established.” Admittedly we are all rebels and sinner. The crucial aspect is that faith requires admitting sin and repenting, continually, from it.
This writer make a compelling emotional argument but, if I may say gently and humbly, a deeply confused argument intellectually and biblically. When he says, he (or she?) supports same-sex marriage because such a stance “fulfills everything I understand about what it means to follow Jesus,” because this is what he thinks the Bible means, he has placed himself outside of the overwhelmingly consistent teaching and practice of Christian faith for 2000 years. But he does this because he believes the Bible is primarily a love story.
Is the Bible primarily a love story? No, it’s the story about God glorifying Himself through creation, and redeeming creation from the Fall. Does this contain “love”? Certainly. But sometimes the most loving thing you can say to a friend is “listen to what God says about life – see your sin; admit it, confess it, and strive (even through continual stumbling and falling) to lean heavily on God’s grace for salvation. Can a homosexual be a Christian? Certainly – when they admit that their inclination (just as much as the inclination toward gossip, rage, envy, theft, or heterosexual lust or adultery admits their sin), and seek to battle it by the grace of God.
Are some Christians hateful and bigoted bone-heads? Certainly. But does that then nullify the truth of the Bible? Praise God, it does not.
And finally, does believing in same-sex marriage condemn someone or make them a non-Christian? No – thankfully Romans 10:9 is still true. Salvation is not achieved or proven by all the issues we support or believe in, right or wrong. Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone. But even the Christians in Corinth had to be taught that Temple prostitution (quite the norm in first century Corinth!) was not an option for those who sought to live in fellowship with Christ and His people.
Don’t be persuaded by emotional arguments that are deeply flawed with respect to logic, history, and basic human complementary anatomy. I know you are a young woman who seeks to please God – keep working on this. Don’t take the easy, popular path to cultural acceptance. And, if you still want to read more, take a look at my blog post – it’s the article I just wrote on this for the Geneva Courier. Let me know what you think. It’s here: https://mikebeates.wordpress.com/. Thanks for listening [friend]. I spend the time to write to you because you are important to me. Thanks for listening.