THINKING THROUGH GAY MARRIAGE QUESTIONS

In recent days there has been a world of discussion and activity around the whole subject of legalizing gay marriages. Let me be clear that I am for equal rights for all people and I am totally against a person being treated differently because of their sexual preferences. As far as politics are concerned the legalizing of gay marriages is likely going to become legal in most states in the fairly near future. The reality that one can travel to a state where it is legal and get married and return to their home state and their marriage be recognized makes the whole question more difficult. The truth is that the government whether federal or state approves of many things that ought not to be done and can’t be done without violating the Law of God.

Marriage is more than just a civil action. If it weren’t for the fact that States saw a way of making more money by charging for a marriage license there would likely never have been any state involvement in marriages at all. The Bible doesn’t ever present a specified formula for marriage. When we look at different marriages in the Bible it is obvious that they became more involved as time went by. When Isaac married Rebekah there doesn’t’ seem to be any kind of ceremony involved. When she was brought to him he took her into his tent and they were husband and wife. By the time Jesus began his ministry on earth marriage ceremonies had become very involved among the Jews with them wedding feast going on for a week’s time. In different cultures there have been all kinds of different practices around the marriage ceremony with some making them very involved and symbolic and others being little to nothing. One thing that is obvious is that the size of the ceremony for a marriage has no connection to the marriage being successful or lasting.

Something that does stand out in marriage from the beginning is that God has been involved in them all along. Jesus would say, “What God has joined together let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:6). In Malachi 2 the prophet discussed the sin of marrying the wife of one’s youth and then leaving her for a younger woman. God told the people he rejected the worship of those who came to the altar with the tears of the wife and children that have been left behind. He said, “Did I not make you one? And why did I make you one? So that you might raise up a godly offspring.” It is in that context that God said that he hated divorce. Notice that God’s whole point on not getting a divorce was based on the fact that He had joined them together and made them one. Whatever the law of the land becomes with regard to marriage law, the real question will remain as to whether or not God joins them in marriage.

Look back to the description of the very first marriage in Genesis chapter two. God saw Adam alone and declared that it was not good for man to be alone. He caused Adam to go into a deep sleep and took a rib from his side from which he made the woman and brought her to Adam. Adam said about Eve, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She will be called woman and for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh.” God’s charge to the husband and wife was that they should “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” Would God join the couple together when they didn’t meet the qualities He made as the essence of marriage? It was a fundamental aspect of marriage from the beginning that the two people would compliment each other. Eve was made as a “Helper suitable for the man.” In the New Testament in I Corinthians 7:1-4 he says, “In order to avoid sexual immorality let every man have his own wife and every woman her own husband.”

While I would certainly applaud the desire of any couple to want to be true to each other and pledge loyalty to each other for all time, the calling of that bond marriage won’t make it something that is pleasing to God or something that He involves Himself in as to joining them in marriage. I would wish that government would hold all forms of immorality as illegal but I don’t expect that to happen. From a Biblical standpoint homosexual behavior is a form of sexual immorality, but it is no worse than the heterosexual couple living together when they aren’t married. It is no worse than the sexual relations of two people who aren’t married and aren’t ever planning to be married, where sex is seen as casual and only a form of personal pleasure. If one reads I Corinthians 6:9-11 it is obvious they all fit into the same category of immoral behavior which keeps one from inheriting the kingdom of God. But it is just as obvious that one who is guilty of all these forms of sinful behavior can be completely forgiven from the sin and be right with God. Paul declared about these sins, “Such were some of you, but you are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of the Lord and by the Spirit of our God.” When we want to jump up and down about how bad homosexual behavior is, while being silent and even being involved in other forms of sexual immorality it must break the heart of God and make the devil in hell rejoice. It is the height of hypocritical actions to condemn one aspect of immoral behavior while justifying another.

No matter what the state or federal government does on the matter of gay marriage, it won’t change the teachings of God a single bit. Just as the legalizing of abortion for any cause doesn’t change the word of God in its teaching on that subject. Instead of getting too carried away on what the President has said on this subject I would suggest we get busy teaching more people what the Bible says on moral and immoral behavior and teaching those who call upon the Lord to live by His standards rather than the law of the land. God’s word doesn’t change just because the laws of men do.

I would to God that we would treat those who are involved in wrong behavior with such love and compassion that they would turn from that way of life to follow the Lord and His word on every topic. When we pick out certain sins that are distasteful to us and treat those who practice them with disdain and disgust we become better Pharisees than Christians. Christians should follow the Savior in loving the unlovable and seeking to save those who are lost no matter what the sin.

About leoninlittlerock

Preaching minister for Central church of Christ in Little Rock. Author of over 20 books including: When a Loved one Dies, Spiritual Development, Skid Marks on the Family Drive, Challenges in the church, To Know Christ and A Drink of Living Water.
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