Last week the Supreme Court of the United States may have showed its hand by staying a ruling of a lower court which ruled against the gay marriage ban in Virginia and thereby affecting similar laws in other states. Many political insiders and judicial watchers believe this decision is an indication of how the High Court will eventually rule. Many cultural experts, and seemingly most Americans if we believe the polls, suggest that gay marriage is inevitable. The cynic in me, or maybe I should say the realist in me agrees with their assessment.
Approximately six years ago I was serving in a new church and one of my parishioners approached me with several questions regarding my position on certain doctrinal and social issues. (As a side note, this member served for a period of time in the Clinton administration, and the reason I make mention of this is that it may help to clarify his own political views and the context of our conversation. To say the least, we had our differences but got along well as brothers in Christ.) One of his questions concerned my views on homosexuality and why my sermons early on at this particular church seemed to focus on the gay marriage debate. My answer; “Gay marriage is the number one social issue on the horizon, and how we handle it may very well determine the direction of the Church in America and our country for generations. It’s only a matter of time before gay marriage will be made legal in all 50 states. Once it’s the law of the land the homosexual agenda will turn its focus on Christian organizations including the Church.”
This may have seemed like an exaggeration at the moment to this former church member, but time I believe is proving me right. I wasn’t speaking then nor am I now as some sort of prophet who foretells the future. I’m simply an observer of our culture and its rapidly changing beliefs. These changes reveal much about our view of the Scriptures and God’s authority. The Bible once held in high esteem apparently no longer serves as America’s moral compass.
To be frank, gay marriage is only the next step along this path we’ve been on for years now, and when proponents have raised questions concerning other “sins” the Church has often appeared to minimize their seriousness in comparison to homosexuality. Adopting a “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” philosophy regarding sex outside of marriage seems to be the case across the broad spectrum of the Church. This is a problem, but a problem with differences. As a pastor I can honestly say most clergy probably don’t address fornication in its various forms enough to help our congregations maintain a sense of real purity. We don’t speak enough about the battles men and women face with pornography and how to overcome its addictive draw. There’s no doubt sexual immorality is an issue even among seniors who now have one of the highest STD rates among all age groups in America. (Report: STDs on the Rise Among America’s Senior Citizens)
The real issue is the attempts made by gay marriage proponents to normalize a sinful behavior as non-sinful. A large portion of the Church still acknowledges any sex outside of marriage as sinful and not something to promote as right and wholesome. This would also hold true for most who watch pornography. If these were not still considered sinful behaviors then individuals wouldn’t have such strong desires to keep their actions secret from family, friends, and the Church.
I recently watched a commercial on a local station with the tag line “Marriage is Marriage.” The advertisement showed three gay couples and two straight couples in supposed marital relationships with young families in tow. The message was clear; the union of a homosexual couple is just as normal and legitimate as that of a heterosexual couple. According to God’s Word “Marriage is NOT Marriage” in a homosexual context. From the earliest of times marriage has been recognized as the union of a man and woman with God performing the first recorded marriage in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:18, 21 – 25). Even Christ confirms the idea of marriage being only between a man and woman in Matthew 19 when He states:
Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV) He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Please permit me just a few more thoughts on the subject.
Christian, husband, father, pastor, friend, and lover of the Word of God!