Debate on Gay Marriage

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Over the past two days, I have been watching an online video of a debate regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriages and whether or not they should be legalized.

Gay Marriage Debate at Fora.tv

Parts of the discussion were fascinating, parts were offensive, and parts were really informative. One issue that I had not thought about was this:

Why does the state involve itself in marriage at all? What is the governmental reason for establishing the institution of marriage? Is it to somehow legalize two people falling in love? Is it to provide special benefits to people who walk the aisle? Or is it because governments have always been pseudo-religious and our governmental heritage is no different?

The argument proposed by the lady in the interview is that the state sanctions marriage as an institution to protect and provide for the children who would naturally come about from sexual union. Therefore, it is argued, marriage as a state recognized institution assumes heterosexual partners.

Additionally, there are some in the show who would argue that to give one category of people the right to “marry” and to give another category the right to enter “civil unions” is akin to “separate but equal” laws like telling blacks they needed to sit in the back of the bus. It is clear that the LGBT community will not settle for different terminology other than the word “marriage” because to them “marriage” is about love even though to many Christians, marriage is about sexual partnerships and family stability first and foremost. (Specifically, the Bible never tells people to marry the ones they love, but to love the ones they have married.)

Therefore, it seems to me that the time has come for two things:

  1. Civil Marriage needs to be given a more specific definition that is recognized by both the state and the culture.
  2. The church must identify what is meant by Religious Marriage so that there is a clear foundation for “religious freedom” arguments in the face of potential future legislation.

Is marriage fundamentally a sexually stabilizing institution or is it fundamentally a state-recognized love commitment? Is it discrimination to use “marriage” to refer to heterosexual, state-endorsed covenants while using “civil union” or some other term to refer to other state-endorsed interpersonal covenants.

7 comments

  1. Kathie

    I like your viewpoint. I have a daughter who is Lesbian. She is also a Christian. I have written a book and keep a website: http://www.kathiehynes.com.

    I have had to do intense research into the homosexual community in order to understand my daughter. She and I have always been close and we talk about everything. She was thrilled with the ruling a couple of days ago, however, she said “marriage isn’t my thing right now.”

    Most homosexuals have given up on God based on how the church treats them. A great majority of them were asked to leave their homes due to the religion of the parents. Of the homeless “teens” in downtown Los Angeles alone – 46% are homosexual having been asked to leave their homes and their families.

    Many religious people are embarrassed by their homosexual child, afraid other people might “find out.” To me, that is not how we, as Christians, should represent our Lord and Savior! What would Jesus do? He would love them, he would care for them, he would nurture them, he would tell them what he has to offer.

    While we all sit around and debate “Marriage v. Civil Unions”, there are many, many children out there seeking food, shelter, medical attention, and love. They have given up on God because of how he is represented by us Christians ~ and turn to drugs, sex and many are subjected to human trafficking and sexual violence. Some are even murdered by Christians who feel they are doing the work of God.

    I have read over 300 obituaries of transgendered individuals where the perpetrators were given a year at most. The defense? Self-defense! How absurd is that?

    I think, and pray, that the debate need not be about the word “marriage” verses the words “civil unions” and more along the lines of how can we bring these beautiful children of God back to God. How can we behave as Jesus asked us to in order to show this huge community that God is there, waiting for them. Raul Rees, a Pastor at Calvary Chapel, once said, “When you are not in God’s office, you are in his waiting room!”

    Let us Christians show this population how to “knock” so the “door will be opened.”

  2. deborah webb

    @ Kathie, you have given a wonderful and most thoughtful response. I understand that homosexuality is not acceptable according to scripture, however, those who God created are acceptable. We are commanded to love each other.Of course, how can we say we love God, whom we cant see if we dont love our neighbors whom we see every day. Thank you for that affirmation and the opportunity to open the door for someone whose life style and choices dont fit into the nice tidy description that some christians reserve for themselves.

  3. Kathie

    Thank you, Deborah….More and more churches are becoming “welcoming” churches, where the homosexual community can go to worship. I am so happy that is becoming more and more frequent. How can these children know and love God without the fellowship and community that the church can offer. It is only by our example will we lead others to the Lord. The sad thing is that still the majority of churches are not welcoming, making it very uncomfortable for these children to attend.

    I truly believe God will speak to them if we can find a way to show them God in our behavior and words.

  4. Kent Matthews

    My understanding about the government being involved in marriage is that John Calvin wrestled with this issue and he decided to let the government take on that responsibility. Why I don’t know. Some have felt that Calvin made the wrong decision. To me, the chief benefit of the involvement of the government is that the government can put legal pressure on the husband who abandons his family. Now ays with so many women having jobs, we find that the number of women abandoning their families on the increase. I think there is a definite need for the role of the government.
    The comments by the above women I think validate the need for the pastor to be a man. Women worry more about people’s feelings that about God’s feelings. The Bible says that we show our love for God by keeping His word. It also says in Hebrews that all of us should forsake the sin that so easily besets us. Now that will vary from individual to individual. Each one has his or her own particular weakness that should be repented of and put aside with Christ’s help. Repentance is not an option. And putting it aside is not easy.
    It has been my observation through the years (and I may be missing some points) that churches who accept women pastors usually begin to promote hom,osexual marriages. I believe that is the case because both are using an inadequate hermaneutics.

  5. Margie Fultz

    Wow…Having been a Christian for 30 years. I am still learning and growing as to what that means. I know it does not mean that I am better than anyone in fact it means that I should be humble and realize I am a sinner and there was and is only one without sin and that is Jesus. I get my definition of marriage from the Bible

    Gen. 2:18, 21-24
    The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’…and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.
    Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
    nition of marriage from the Bible. Man shall leave his family and he and his wife shall become one flesh. I think more often we try to make our lifestyles fit into chrisianity. It just can’t unless it follows what God teaches..any..ANY deviation from God’s word would be wrong and should not be justified by anyone. I feel for people who seem lost in any sin and I pray that people will be searching the truth for themselves and reaching out for help.

  6. Michael Rebbec

    I have to say, first off, my initial response to homosexuality, is that deep inside me, I dislike it, and I start to judge it because it is different, and, while attitudes are changing, in my society it is “wrong”… what can I say, I’m human… that being said, I do try to keep this reaction in check because it is wrong, just as wrong as homosexuality itself, because while God teaches us that man is for woman and woman for man, and that homosexuality is a grievance of His, He also teaches that 1) Only he that is without sin should cast stones, 2) that we are to remove the beam from our own eye (or the sin in our lives) before removing the mote in anothers (or condemning their sin), and that 3) we are to love our enemies, we are to love those that hate us and that conspire against God, and that we are to show them love, peace, and humility while turning the other cheek. He says that we are to feed the hungry, love the loveless, open our homes to the homeless, and that if we do this in His name, we will have fed, loved, and opened our homes to Him… and with that in mind, everything said here is correct, we are to EMBRACE those that are homosexual, and we are to love them, while we are not to embrace their sin, we are to embrace them, and not judge their sin. This is a hard road to follow, but it is our commandment. Another way I tend to try to make myself look at it is this: if a man or woman gets a divorce and then remarries, or if there is sexual intimacy outside of marriage, those that did those things have committed just as much sexual sin as one that is homosexual – because they did not abide by the commandment that sex is for a man and woman, in marriage, and that if one gets divorced and marries another, they have committed adultery… Now, a church welcomes in people with divorces, or those that have had sexual relations outside of marriage, and other sexual sins, so what’s the difference with homosexuality?

    But like I said, I understand that sometimes, it is hard to overcome initial reactions that stem from having to change or the initial human reaction of hating the things that are different that you and especially the things you don’t understand… however, just because those reactions are there, doesn’t mean they are Godly, and in these instances, it is the Spirit that must be relied about rather than our own reactions…

    1. Jeff Post author

      Insightful comment here Michael. Thank you. It’s shameful that we have identified one type of sexual sin as being more deviant than another when the Bible clearly indicates that all sexuality is to be expressed within marriage, and therefore, all expressions outside of Biblical marriage are equally deviant.

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