Christians and Gay Marriage

  • Secularists argue that excluding gays from marriage is unjust and uncaring: if two people love one another, why should they be prevented from expressing that in a public marriage commitment? Many in our society are angry when religious leaders assume they have the authority to define what’s acceptable for everyone else.
  • However, until recently, most religions and societies have had similar views on this subject. Those who resist the idea that a homosexual union is equivalent to marriage are simply upholding what has been widely accepted for a very long time.
  • Faithful Christians have a special dilemma here: they want to uphold biblical teaching about marriage and sexuality, but they don’t want to be unjust and uncaring and they don’t want to alienate the many people in our society who support the idea of gay marriage.
  • For Christians, there is the particular issue of being faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. He endorsed the view of marriage presented in Genesis 1-2 when he said, ‘at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female”, and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh.’ (Matthew 19:4-6)
  • Jesus affirmed the purpose of marriage in the created order. God made us male and female so that we could be united in an exclusive, lifelong, one-flesh relationship. Biblical teaching about adultery, other forms of sexual union and divorce helps to define and protect the institution of marriage as God intended it.
  • So when Jesus said ‘what God has joined together, let no one separate’ (Matthew 19:6), the challenge was to uphold and maintain God’s purpose for marriage, not just to protect individual marriages.
  • The committed union of a man and a woman makes it possible for human beings to ‘be fruitful and increase in number’: to ‘fill the earth and subdue it.’ (Genesis 1:28) This one-flesh relationship is not just for pleasure or mutual fulfillment. It is not even simply for the giving and receiving of love, but for the procreation and nurture of children in a way that fulfills God’s purpose for us all in creation.
  • This is not just a message for Christians. The well-being of our society depends on having stable, loving families, where children benefit from the care and commitment of a father and mother who love each other through all the ups and down of life. If Christians care about these issues, they cannot remain silent when others propose changes to the institution of marriage as God intended it.
  • Of course, there are many reasons why the biblical ideal is not fulfilled in practice: marital unfaithfulness, inability to conceive children, sickness, divorce and death. But that does not mean we should change the definition of marriage in law. Issues of justice and fairness for gays can be met in other ways, not by broadening the definition of marriage in a way that actually reduces its significance for our society.

2 Responses to “Christians and Gay Marriage”

  1. Tim Tunbridge says:

    Hi David

    I wish to offer my congratulations on this article and especially on your excellent and very encouraging letter to the Manly Daily on 21/5/2013.

    Regards

    Tim Tunbridge

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