Thursday, June 16, 2011

Marriage - redefined?

The groom and groomsmen wore zoot suits; the bride was stunning in her gown as she walked the aisle. Family and friends celebrated with the couple as they committed their lives to one another, and I had the privilege of performing the ceremony. They gave me one simple statement to include in the content of what I said: “We would like to place strong emphasis that marriage is FOREVER, and that is the only way we see it. Our trials and hard times will only bring us closer to one another, and closer to God.” This couple got it right.

That’s the good news.

Now for some bad news.
Earlier in the week, seventy clergy of a particular denomination signed a statement at their state conference that said they would “offer the grace of the Church’s blessing to any prepared couple desiring Christian marriage,” including same-sex couples. They added, “We realize that our church’s discriminatory policies tarnish the witness of the church to the world, and we are complicit.” Granted, seventy signatures represent less than 10% of the voting membership of the convention, but that such a statement originated within a church conference is noteworthy.

A few days later, I read this concerning a different, but historically more conservative, denomination: “The church has abandoned its denominational commitment to traditional marriage. Gone is the standard for ordination that requires pastors, ‘to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman …, or chastity in singleness.’”   The change removes a celibacy requirement that kept many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from becoming ministers.

When the church starts declaring “this is okay” in relationships, she does so with the presumption that she is representing God. So, how does she know God’s purposes? Does she read it through human experience, human opinions, church leaders, cultural forces, (all of which are subject to change) or someplace else?

I vote “someplace else”.

 To know God’s purposes with certainty, God must reveal Himself. And I believe He did so through the Bible. And in this book, He defined marriage very clearly:

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, see also Matt. 19:5, Eph. 5:31)

 According to these words, marriage unites one man to one woman (his wife, singular) for life (“joined”). God formed the union, designed for permanence (“let no man separate, Matt. 19:6).

Our culture redefines marriage, or says it isn’t even important. The message of the Bible swims upstream against the flow of culture. We shouldn’t be surprised when the world acts like the world, when it says something different that the Bible. We should do what we can to influence the world positively to align with biblical principles, but nonetheless, we shouldn’t be surprised.

But we should be surprised when any church or denomination says “the world’s way is okay” contrary to God’s Word. Standing for God’s Word isn’t wrongly “discriminatory,” it’s standing for what is right.


  1. Right on Roger! Men and women who would have been married a generation ago now consider marriage to be optional and move in without commitment, with only emotional and physical 'love' involved. It's friends with benefit time. Meantime Samesexers are SO aggressive about getting married! If you are not in tune with the way your representative/senator is voting, these things might be and will be forced on you, and 'rights' you never knew existed will be plucked from the tree of knowledge of what was good and now is evil. Time to join the Black Robe Regiment Roger and support a hetero federal amendment. Join caucuses and ask the tough questions, otherwise your kids and grand kids will be force fed '2' mommies or 2 dads". This slippery slope slides into polygamy, marriage to a horse, or incest. Any kind of perversion is on the horizon. God forbid. Check out your voter guides and vote for God-given family values or soon a 53 year old male will be marrying a 7 year old girl - then maybe sold into slavery overseas. Anarchy!!...A Wake up call to true Christians everywhere. Support a Federal Amendment NOW!

  2. Nail on the head, Roger. 2 Peter 2 and 3 has an excellent discussion of the false teachers of license (as opposed to liberty) and sensuality.

    License in the church is a greater threat than legalism (Colossians 2, I think), because nowadays our culture is so saturated in it. However, legalism is a natural response to license, just as tyranny is a natural response to social chaos, so perhaps we'll be seeing more of it in the days ahead.