Tied in Knots: Americans Try to Redefine Marriage

By Alan Dowd - Posted at byFaithOnline:

The Cambridge Dictionary describes it as “a legally accepted relationship between a man and a woman in which they live as husband and wife.” Merriam-Webster calls it “the relationship that exists between a husband and a wife.” But 21st-century America is not so sure about what marriage is and what it isn’t. In fact, according to recent polling some 57 percent of the American people say the definition of marriage should be changed to encompass same-sex couples. And the Supreme Court agrees, concluding in a 5-4 decision that “Laws excluding same-sex couples from the marriage right impose stigma and injury of the kind prohibited by our basic charter … it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.”

Advocates for same-sex marriage have successfully argued several points which now raise a number of challenges for Christians, including these 10.

1. Christians should applaud and support homosexuals who seek to marry because it is an affirmation of the institution of marriage.

This argument misses the point of what God has always intended marriage to be: the lifelong union of one man and one woman. This is the very foundation of God’s plan. We see this in Genesis when the Father presides over the first wedding ceremony, and again in the Gospels when the Son points to that first marriage, and again in the Epistles, as inspired by the Holy Spirit — all of which suggests that God is serious about marriage.

“A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh,” Genesis 2 declares, adding: “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” The text doesn’t say Adam and his husband, Adam and his girlfriend, or Adam and his wives. “Adam and his wife were both naked” and yet felt no shame precisely because they were married. By creating Adam for Eve and Eve for Adam, God made His design for intimacy plain: one man and one woman sharing their life and love within marriage.

Jesus, in Matthew 19 and Mark 10, affirms the original plan for marriage, explaining, “At the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul offers instructions for Christian households by going back to the beginning, to that first wedding ceremony, and quoting what the Father said: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

To be sure, some of the people in God’s family tree engaged in polygamy and adultery, but that was not God’s will. Multiple wives and sex outside of marriage brought huge problems — moral, spiritual, practical — for David and Solomon.

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