Gay “Marriage” – Revolt against the created order
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, ESV)
“He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 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’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”” (Jesus Christ answering a question on divorce in Matthew 19:4-6, ESV)
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:26-27, ESV)
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21, ESV)
“Marriage is to be between one man and one woman; neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.” (Westminster Confession of Faith 24.1, emphasis added)
“The state of being husband and wife; wedlock.” “The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.” – Definitions of the word “marriage” as found on p. 801 in The American Heritage Dictionary of The English Language: New College Edition (Boston, etc.: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981)
With the recent ruling of the United States Supreme Court, the whole “gay marriage” issue is once again being thrust with great force to the forefront of national discussion and debate. I must confess that I personally have little desire to address this controversial subject; there are many other topics I would prefer to address. But the times require that God’s people go back once again to the very basic teachings of Holy Scripture on the subject of marriage and make sure they are grounded in the truth of God’s Word on this foundational institution of society. The times also require that the church bear clear testimony to the biblical teachings on marriage.
To begin with, “gay marriage” is an oxymoron. It makes no more sense, linguistically or logically, than does “bright darkness” or “joyful misery” or a “married bachelor.” By definition marriage is and always has been defined as being between a man and a woman. “Gay marriage” is not merely an attack upon the traditional conception of marriage as being between man and woman; it is also an attack upon human language and basic rationality. Whatever one might think (positively or negatively) about whether some sort of legally recognized civil union between homosexual couples should be permitted and enshrined in the legal code, the fact is that no person or group of persons (including even the Supreme Court of the United States) can change marriage from being what it in fact is and always has been (at least in the real world): namely, the legally recognized union between a man and a woman in wedlock. “Gay marriage” is an idea which is ultimately rooted in the false notion that words have no objective, fixed meaning; that we have the power and authority to autonomously and arbitrarily redefine language to mean whatever we want it to mean; and that we can “create our own reality.” But from a biblical perspective, God (not man) created reality; and He created it by His Word. Like it or not, we all live in God-created reality, and in this reality marriage is between man and woman. Yes, various human languages do change and evolve over time, but basic concepts (such as the concept of “marriage”) embody a fixed, unchanging, absolute reality as created and defined by the true and living Triune God.
But to get down to an even more basic level: Scripture teaches that marriage is not merely a “social contract”; nor is it a holy “sacrament” of the church (contrary to some Christian traditions that exalt marriage to the status of a holy sacrament); rather, it is a creation ordinance intended for all mankind (both believers and unbelievers). God created Adam and Eve, male and female, and brought them together in the Garden for the very first wedding recorded in human history. When the religious leaders tried to get the Lord Jesus ensnared in a debate over divorce, Jesus took them back to the creation account, where God appointed man and woman to “leave” father and mother and to “cleave” to their spouse. The result is a “one flesh” reality which is embodied (literally) and manifested by natural, heterosexual intercourse. God created male and female genitalia to “fit together” naturally, thus producing a “one flesh” reality. (Of course, the “one flesh” reality that Scripture speaks of goes deeper than mere sexual union; but sexual union is one important aspect of the “one flesh” reality of marriage between a man and a woman.) But it is simply impossible for a man to experience this creational “one flesh” reality with another man; or a woman with another woman. That’s not the way God designed our bodies, and that is one of the fundamental reasons why the united testimony of Scripture is that homosexual sexual activity is “unnatural,” “dishonorable,” perverse and an “error” (see Romans 1). Those who support “gay marriage” might roll their eyes and sneer at this logic, or launch into emotional tirades accusing me (falsely, I believe) of “bigotry” and “ignorance” and “hatemongering”; but you can’t argue with the biological or the biblical facts.
“Gay marriage” is not merely a revolt against Christianity or against “traditional morality”; it is a revolt against God’s created order, and thus it is rebellion against the Creator Himself. The push for gay marriage is just one more piece of evidence of mankind’s total depravity and fallenness in sin. Those who support “gay marriage” as something that is ethically noble and as a “human right” are, in fact, shaking their fists at the true and living God and manifesting cosmic treason against their Creator, who ordained from the beginning of human history for man and woman to “leave and cleave” in marriage. It is also one more evidence of our need for a sinless, Divine Savior who “breaks the power of reigning sin” (including the sin of homosexuality) through the gospel. The good news is that Jesus Christ died and rose to save both heterosexual and homosexual sinners from their sins. This good news can bring sanity into the “gay marriage” debate. It can also bring the hope of forgiveness, grace and sanctification to those enslaved to sexual sin, whether that sin manifests itself in heterosexual or homosexual expressions.