Should Christians Support Gay Marriage?

This week we wrap up our marriage and family series. Pastor J.D. jumps from talking about traditional marriage and family to answer a controversial family question.

Show Notes:

Two perspectives to this: 1. Is it biblically permissible? 2. Even if it isn’t, is this one of those ‘live and let live’ areas? Not everything Christians believe about morality do we believe should be put into laws others who don’t share our beliefs should live by.

NOTE: Please listen to the full length episode for full context. Do not rely solely on these show notes as they do not paint the full picture of what Pastor J.D. is communicating.

Part 1: Six biblical passages–every mention is negative, either prohibiting or condemning such behavior and all very clear. 1 Corinthians 6:9–11, for instance, refers to “men who have sex with men” as a vice that would prevent a person from entering the kingdom of God. The two Greek terms he used, malakoi and arsenokoitai, were the common terms of the day to refer to a broad range of homosexual relationships.

Common objections: 

  1. “Jesus never spoke about homosexuality.”
  • This is a claim that is true only in the most technical and unhelpful sense. No, Jesus never uttered the word “homosexual.” He also never mentioned (by name) rape, child abuse, fraud, or idolatry. But his stance on each of those issues is, nevertheless, quite clear.
  • There are two ways that Jesus could have established what was right and wrong in regards to sexuality. He could have talked about every possible variation of the wrong, condemning each aberration one by one. Or he could put forward a vision for what is right. Think of it like this: if five women were standing side by side, and one of them was my wife, I could identify her in two ways: I could say that each of the other four were not my wife; or I could say, “That wonderful woman there…she’s my wife.” Jesus repeatedly affirmed the Mosaic understanding of the sanctity of sex within heterosexual marriage, and by doing that he disallowed all deviations.
  • Furthermore, saying “Jesus never talked about it” pits the words of Jesus against the rest of the Scriptures. But Jesus himself said that all of the Scriptures were inspired, which means that the black letters in our Bible have as much divine authority as the red ones.
  1. “What Paul had in mind was not the same as homosexuality as we know it today.” 
  • He was, they argue, thinking of male prostitution, rape, or pedophilia. Committed same-sex relationships didn’t exist in Paul’s day, so Paul’s words don’t apply.
  • This is, simply put, not true. Historian Thomas Hubbard (not a Christian), wrote an exhaustive (and exhaustively long, nearly 600 pages) work on homosexuality in the ancient world, entitled Homosexuality in Greece and Rome. He demonstrates that homosexuality existed in a wide variety of forms, much like today. And that included committed, lifelong, same-sex partners. Had Paul wanted to distinguish between valid and invalid forms of homosexuality, he could have done so.
  • Or consider Romans 1, in which Paul talks about humanity’s rejection of God’s authority. Because we rejected God’s authority, “God gave them [that is, us] 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” (Romans 1:26–27). As Richard Hays says concerning this passage, Paul depicts gay and lesbian activity as an outward epitome of the inward posture of sin—rejection of the Creator’s design.

Part 2:
But can’t we believe that it is wrong and still allow marriage? Christians don’t think every wrong thing should be illegal. J Budizewski says, “The New Testament contains literally hundreds of precepts.” Unlike Islam, we don’t think the government should enforce the vast majority of them. “Christianity is not a legislative religion.” In Mosaic Law, Moses believed divorce was wrong but made an allowance for it.

Should we apply that to gay marriage? No, marriage is such a building block. 

    • Between genders; the place of pro-creation and the harmony of the genders in the home where love is demonstrated among differences. 
      • A man and a man or a woman and a woman do not bring to the table what a man and a woman bring.  A man cannot be a mother and a woman cannot be a father, each brings something unique to the family that children miss out on when one of them is not present. Who is unnecessary? The Mother or Father?
  • Homosexuality in the home also distorts a child’s understanding of his/her sexuality. 
  • When this breaks down, or its centrality is compromised–whether through same-sex marriages or polygamy or whatever, society is weakened–the family breaks down, society breaks down
  • Slippery slope: “Love is the basis of marriage. You can’t declare who someone can love.”
    • Why exclusive? Permanent? Why only two persons? 
    • Brother and sister? Man and two women? Multiple marriages? “I don’t want to go there!” You have to! 
  • Important insight: Government doesn’t create marriage, it recognizes it as fundamental to the creation
    • Our rights are that way. Our constitution acknowledges that rights are not created, but recognized. If the government creates the right, it can be taken away… MLK
  • What about civil unions?
  • We should acknowledge that marriage is not really what the homosexuals are after (by admission of some of their own top leaders). In Netherlands, where gay marriage has been accepted for a long time, upwards of 80% of kids born out of wedlock.

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