Jesus and Same-Sex Marriage
Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right there has been a cacophony of articles, interviews, blogposts, lectures, discussions, and conferences regarding the topic. Some of it good. Much of it wrong. However, this has all led to no small amount of confusion within the Christian community regarding the issue of homosexuality and what the Bible actually says about it. The two most popular arguments for same-sex marriage over and against the Bible is that, first, Jesus himself never condemned homosexuality. What we find in the Old Testament is antiquated and, therefore, irrelevant. And what we find in the writings of the apostle Paul is the product of a homophobe, a man heavily influenced by his first century patriarchal Jewish heritage. Secondly, if two same-sex persons are happily committed to a loving life-long partnership, that cannot possibly be wrong. We often hear the slogan--love is never wrong.
In answer to the first, in Matthew 19 Jesus is asked a question concerning divorce and responds with these words: “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’?” (vv.4-5). By quoting Genesis 1:24 with approval, Jesus affirms that marriage is to be between one man and one woman. Secondly, the text of Gen 1:24—which Jesus acknowledges to be truth—is quite clear. “A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife”. He does not say a woman shall be joined to her wife nor that a man shall be joined to his husband. Further, he states that a “man shall leave his father and his mother”. He does not say a man shall leave his father and his father nor that he will leave his mother and his mother. Jesus assumes that the natural order for society is that a man leave his father and his mother and be joined to a woman. Against this some have argued that Jesus did not forbid other forms of marriage. However, to argue that because Jesus did not offer an exhaustive list of marriages that are forbidden is to mount an “argument from silence”, which according to established rules of logic are inherently weak arguments.
In answer to the argument that sexual love between two consenting adults is never wrong, this is only a valid argument for those who deny the inerrancy of the Bible and, therefore, deny the existence of God. The Bible makes clear in numerous texts that the God of the Bible rejects homosexuality as being acceptable human behavior. “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination” (Lev 20:13). “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” (Rom 1:26-27). “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10 italics mine). Hence, the only way one can hold that homosexuality is acceptable in the eyes of God is to deny the inerrancy of scripture, which ultimately is to deny the existence of God. For if the Bible is not a trustworthy self-revelation of God, then God is either untrustworthy or he is not omnipotent or both. If God is untrustworthy, then he is no god at all for he is simply a larger version of us—dishonest, capricious, self-centered, arbitrary. Why worship a god like that? If he is not omnipotent, then he is not infinite. If he is not infinite, then he must therefore be finite. And if he is finite in his omnipotence, then he must be finite in every other aspect of his character which therefore means, once again, he is simply a larger version of ourselves. In the end, sexual love between two consenting adults can be wrong because God says it’s wrong.
Having said that, we are to love all people as Christ loved all people and seek to point them to Christ for their good and for His glory. Homosexuals are not the enemy. They are being held in bondage by the enemy.
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