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As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in DeBoer v. Snyder, it’s worth asking the question: Is there any reason a decent, rational, non-bigoted American might oppose same-sex marriage? Just as important: Are there any decent, rational, non-bigoted Americans who are willing to consider why other Americans might have plausible reasons for opposing same-sex marriage? This blog post is my way of saying “yes” to the first question and “let’s hope so” to the second.

I’m a pastor, and my main concern is with the church—what she believes, what she celebrates, and what she proclaims. I don’t expect the world to be the church (and I pray that the church does not become the world). And yet, no one who lives in the world (that’s all of us) and no one who cares about the wellbeing of those in the world (that too should cover almost all of us) can be indifferent about marriage. With everything that may divide us, proponents on both sides of this debate can at least recognize that something truly significant is at stake in this debate.

I’m concerned that many younger Christians—ironically, often those passionate about societal transformation and social justice—do not see the connection between a traditional view of marriage and human flourishing. Many Christians are keen to resurrect the old pro-choice mantra touted by some Catholic politicians: personally opposed, but publicly none of my business. I want Christians (who are, after all, the main readers of this blog) to see why this issue matters and why—if and when same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land—the integrity of the family will be weakened and the freedom of the church will be threatened.

I know this is an increasingly unpopular line of reasoning, even for those who are inclined to accept the Bible’s teaching about marriage. Perhaps you agree with the traditional exegetical conclusions and believe that homosexual behavior is biblically unacceptable. And yet, you wonder what’s wrong with supporting same-sex marriage as a legal and political right. After all, we don’t have laws against gossip or adultery or the worship of false gods. Even if I don’t agree with it, shouldn’t those who identify as gay and lesbian still have the same freedom I have to get married?

That’s a good question, but before we try to answer it we need to be sure we are talking about the same thing. Let’s think about what is not at stake in the debate over gay marriage.

  • The state is not threatening to criminalize homosexual behavior. Since the Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), same-sex intimacy has been legal in all fifty states.
  • The state is not going to prohibit gays and lesbians from committing themselves to each other in public ceremonies or religious celebrations.
  • The state is not going to legislate whether two adults can live together, profess love for one another, or express their commitment in erotic ways.

The issue is not about controlling “what people can do in their bedrooms” or “who they can love.” The issue is about what sort of union the state will recognize as marriage. Any legal system which distinguishes marriage from other kinds of relationships and associations will inevitably exclude many kinds of unions in its definition. The state denies marriage licenses to sexual threesomes. It denies marriage licenses to eight year-olds. There are almost an infinite number of friendship and kinship combinations which the state does not recognize as marriage. The state doesn’t tell us who we can be friends with or who we can live with. You can have one friend or three friends or a hundred. You can live with your sister, your mother, your grandfather, your dog, or three buddies from work. But these relationships—no matter how special—have not been given the designation “marriage” by the church or by the state. The state’s refusal to recognize these relationships as marital relationships does not keep us from pursuing them, enjoying them, or counting them as significant.

Marriage: What’s the Big Deal?

In the traditional view, marriage is the union of a man and a woman. That’s what marriage is, before the state confers any benefits on it. Marriage, in the traditional view, is a pre-political institution. The state doesn’t determine what defines marriage; it only recognizes marriage and privileges it in certain ways. It is a sad irony that those who support gay marriage on libertarian grounds are actually ceding to the state a vast amount of heretofore unknown power. No longer is marriage treated as a pre-political entity which exists independent of the state. Now the state defines marriage and authorizes its existence. Does the state have the right, let alone the competency, to construct and define our most essential relationships?

We must consider why the state has bothered to recognize marriage in the first place. What’s the big deal about marriage? Why not let people have whatever relationships they choose and call them whatever they want? Why go to the trouble of sanctioning a specific relationship and giving it a unique legal standing? The reason is that the state has an interest in promoting the familial arrangement whereby a mother and a father raise the children which came from their union. The state has been in the marriage business for the common good and for the well-being of the society it is supposed to protect. Kids do better with a mom and a dad. Communities do better when husbands and wives stay together. Hundreds of studies confirm both of these statements (though we all can think of individual exceptions, I’m sure). Gay marriage assumes that marriage is re-definable and the moving parts replaceable.

By recognizing gay unions as marriage, just like the husband-wife relationship we’ve always called marriage, the state is engaging in (or at least codifying) a massive re-engineering of our social life. It assumes the indistinguishability of gender in parenting, the relative unimportance of procreation in marriage, and the near infinite flexibility as to what sorts of structures and habits lead to human flourishing.

But What about Equal Rights?

How can I say another human being doesn’t have the same right I have to get married? That hardly seems fair. It’s true: the right to marry is fundamental. But to equate the previous sentence with a right to same-sex marriage begs the question. It assumes that same-sex partnerships actually constitute a marriage. Having the right to marry is not the same as having a right to the state’s validation that each and every sexual relationship is marriage. The issue is not whether to expand the number of persons eligible to participate in marriage, but whether the state will publically declare, privilege, and codify a different way of defining marriage altogether. Or to use a different example, the pacifist has a right to join the army, but he does not have the right to insist that the army create a non-violent branch of the military for him to join.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex partnerships publicly validates these relationships as bona fide marriage. That’s why the state sanction is so critical to gay marriage proponents and so disconcerting to those with traditional views. The establishment of gay “marriage” enshrines in law a faulty view of marriage, one that says marriage is essentially a demonstration of commitment sexually expressed. In the traditional view, marriage was ordered to the child, which is why the state had a vested interest in regulating and supporting it. Under the new morality, marriage is oriented to the emotional bond of the couple. The slogan may say “keep the government out of my bedroom,” as if personal choice and privacy were the salient issues, but same-sex marriage advocates are not asking for something private. They want public recognition. I don’t doubt that for most gay couples the longing for marriage is sincere, heartfelt, and without a desire to harm anyone else’s marriage. And yet, same-sex unions cannot be accepted as marriage without devaluing all marriages, because the only way to embrace same-sex partnerships as marriage is by changing what marriage means altogether.

Enough Is Enough?

So why not call a truce on the culture war and let the world define marriage its way and the church define marriage its way? You may think to yourself: maybe if Christians were more tolerant of other definitions of marriage we wouldn’t be in this mess. The problem is that the push for the acceptance of same-sex marriage has been predicated upon the supposed bigotry of those who hold a traditional view. The equal signs on cars and all over social media are making a moral argument: those who oppose same-sex marriage are unfair, uncivil, unsocial, undemocratic, un-American, and possibly even inhumane. If Christians lose the cultural debate on homosexuality, we will lose much more than we think. David S. Crawford is right:

The tolerance that really is proffered is provisional and contingent, tailored to accommodate what is conceived as a significant but shrinking segment of society that holds a publically unacceptable private bigotry. Where over time it emerges that this bigotry has not in fact disappeared, more aggressive measures will be needed, which will include explicit legal and educational components, as well as simple ostracism.

We must not be naïve. The legitimization of same-sex marriage will mean the de-legitimization of those who dare to disagree. The sexual revolution has been no great respecter of civil and religious liberties. Sadly, we may discover that there is nothing quite so intolerant as tolerance.

Does this mean the church should expect doom and gloom? That depends. For conservative Christians the ascendancy of same-sex marriage will likely mean marginalization, name calling, or worse. But that’s to be expected. Jesus promises no better than he himself received (John 15:18-25). The church is sometimes the most vibrant, the most articulate, and the most holy when the world presses down on her the hardest.

But not always—sometimes when the world wants to press us into its mold we jump right in and get comfy. I care about the decisions of the Supreme Court and the laws our politicians put in place. But what’s much more important to me—because I believe it’s more crucial to the spread of the gospel, the growth of the church, and the honor of Christ—is what happens in our local congregations, our mission agencies, our denominations, our parachurch organizations, and in our educational institutions. I fear that Christians are losing the stomach for principled disagreement and the critical mind for careful reasoning. Look past the talking points. Read up on the issues. Don’t buy every slogan and don’t own every insult. The challenge before the church is to convince ourselves as much as anyone that believing the Bible does not make us bigots, just as reflecting the times does not make us relevant.

This blog has been adapted from Appendix 1 in What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?

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88 thoughts on “Why Not Gay Marriage?”

  1. Philmonomer says:

    Straight people make babies.

    But we’ve already established you would extend marriage to straight people who cannot make babies. So that cannot be the fact that marriage is based on.

  2. Philmonomer says:

    Or, put another way: “Sure, straight people make babies. But we allow exceptions. Life for the elderly and gays.”

  3. John Mills says:

    The privileges extended by the state to hetrosexual couples who ask to be “married” are conferred irrespective of whether they have children, intend to have children, or even can physically produce children. Because the state decouples marital privileges from children, then it’s awfully hard to condition the privileges of marriage on what sort of sexual activity two adults find amusing.

    The state’s interest in the welfare of children similarly is wholly independent of marriage. Child protective services responds alike to married and unmarried households. AFDC and TANF benefits require adults with children, but these programs don’t depend on whether the caregivers are married.

    So, while it’s true that hetrosexual sex is the customary way to produce children, that fact is rather immaterial to the state’s interest either in marriage or in children. Some people might want the issue of children to be pertinent, but it simpy is not and never has been pertinent to the state’s involvement in marriage.

  4. Albert Combrink says:

    Ideological homophobic drivel.

  5. Adam says:


    that fact is rather immaterial to the state’s interest either in marriage or in children.

    Then why does the state give tax breaks to people with children? When my children are no longer dependents, my tax burden will increase. Child bearing is indeed central to the reason the state endorses marriage. My tax bill proves it.

    Phil…I think you should take on elderly first-time marriages as a legislative initiative. Take it to Congress. Make it a party platform. You’ll do well in Florida, I’m sure. ;)

    Look, homosexuality offers society no tangible benefit. Them’s the facts. No kids, no future generations, just feelings. I wish you all the best. I’m sure you’ll win in the courts, if you haven’t already. Have a nice night. I’m out.

  6. James says:

    Let me preface by saying that I am Christian. But I have a few questions/concerns with this post.

    1) The argument that redefining marriage often comes with attributes such as, “then when will it end?” Bestiality, pedophilia, etc. are proposed to be some sort of obvious side effects of gay marriage. So is it proven that in states where gay marriage has been legalized, bestiality and pedophilia rose in numbers? In states where gay marriage was legalized, does polygamy follow consequently? As far as I know, these are just IDEAS proposed in counter-argument. If someone can show me otherwise, I will humbly study.

    I would also like to point out that I simply hate the pedophilia argument. Of course eight year olds can’t marry–they can’t consent. Two adults who wish to partake in gay marriage are two consenting individuals.

    2) Isn’t marriage a fairly recent thing for the church? Recent, as in, considering the long span of our history, we only adopted it a few hundred years ago. As far as I recall, it began thousands of years ago as a contract between a father and son in law; an act of ownership of the bride, often as a business agreement. The church adopted the title of marriage some hundred years ago because it had benefits that you mention.

    But shouldn’t we understand, from these historical facts, that marriage in the Bible and marriage in our society are two separate entities? One is the image that God gives us in the Bible; the other is a contract and legal document that was borrowed by the church some hundred years ago because it was beneficial. So therefore, what we know of marriage today never actually belonged to the church.

    3) If we’re arguing that marriage should stay between a man and a woman because it benefits society and community and our overall human existence, then why do we allow marriage between infertile couples? The elderly? Why do we allow marriage at all if the two individuals entering into the union cannot gift us with these attributes you describe?

    I will remain (for now) one of those Believers that may not personally agree with the lifestyles of homosexuals, but will not try to argue they don’t deserve marriage equality as God’s children. There are, as you mention, benefits to getting married. Financial ones are the most prominent in my mind. Rewards, so to speak. Should a gay couple be refused some of those rights because we don’t agree with their lifestyle? What if a gay person’s partner is dying, having surgery, etc.? Should they not be allowed to be with their loved one just because they’re not legally family?

    I don’t think that a gay marriage will disempower my own (I am happily married of 14 years this June), because I know that my marriage is something different and special than the legal worldly marriage that we are discussing here. My marriage is the one that God proposed when he described the union of man and woman.

    I will worry about the sin in my own life instead. The marriage of my neighbors does not effect me in the slightest. I love them, because they are God’s children and He told me to. We are ALL of sin. That is why we need Christ. I can pray for my neighbors, but in the end, God’s judgement is the only that is just and final.

  7. Curt Day says:

    What is sad is how many times you harp on this subject while ignoring many other sins. And not only do you harp on this subject, you do so from a Christian paternalistic view: we must control others, according to you, for society’s good. And prohibiting gays from marrying the partners of their choice, is control. It is a control that not only keeps them in the margins, it inhibits monogamous relationships between gays.

    It is sad that you cannot see your way clear to share society with those from the LGBT community as equals. Again, you insist that Christians must step in to save people from themselves. That hero role is the excuse you need to assert Christian control over others in society.

    And it is sad that you have not listened enough to see why the right to marry is important to many from the LGBT community. Of course to listen to them might involve treating those from the LGBT community as equals.

    But perhaps what is the saddest thing in your position is that you don’t believe that evangelism alone is enough to warn people about what God says about homosexuality..

    In the meantime, you are silent on economic exploitation and classism, environmental destruction, and militarism and war. You are silent.

    The combination of your promoting Christian privilege and your silence on these other sins is providing stumbling blocks to many who would otherwise listen to the Gospel. Do you understand? It isn’t the mere disagreement with or personal opposition to same-sex marriage alone that causes intolerance. It is your intolerance dressed as trying to be society’s rescuer that will cause intolerance to the Christian view of sexuality. Don’t believe me? Then try supporting same-sex marriage in society while preaching the Gospel and see how much push-back you get.

    See, the real issue in the same-sex marriage debate isn’t about who is marrying whom and which sexuality is biblical, the real issue is whether Christians will share society as equals with those from the LGBT community. And it seems your claiming that we can’t afford to share society as equals with them. Believe it or not, people who are not treated as equals eventually resist to the inequitable treatment. And if we associate the Gospel with that inequitable treatment, guess how they will view the Gospel.

    Kevin, we are all sinners. We all have sins that make us equal to each other. You and I are equals in sin which is why I hate writing this way to you. What is needed concerning same-sex marriage is to find ways to share the Gospel with those in the LGBT community as equals. And asserting Christian privilege in society by prohibiting same-sex marriage prevents us from speaking to those in the LGBT community as equals.

  8. Edward Pardon says:

    One of the only points I can agree with here is that marriage is a pre-political idea. That being said, I think more people need to bring this argument away from gay marriage and more towards gay rights.

    Gay marriage absolutely should NOT be left for the government to decide. The ability to be married should 100% fall upon those individuals churches and whether or not they will allow it.

    The governments job in this should be to ensure that all people have the same rights under the law. A homosexual couple absolutely still deserves all the rights a married couple receives – be it taxes, insurance, health care, property ownership and the list goes on.

    It does not seem difficult to me that we can reach a place where homosexual couples have rights in a government recognized union outside of marraige. Let the narraige argument stay with the church to deal with as they see fit.

  9. Mike Breneman says:

    Kevin – thank you for a well-reasoned “defense” of the relationship we call marriage as the Son of God himself described in Matthew 19: 4-6.

  10. Curt Day says:

    Considering that marriage includes legal and property issues and that we live in a religiously diverse society where freedom of religion is the law of the land, I don’t see how government cannot be involved with marriage. Our lives can’t escape government’s sphere of influence. And what government should do is to recognize, under one label, all unions that conceptually make up marriage. This includes biblical and unbiblical heterosexual marriages as well as same-sex marriages. Such helps ensure consistency and fairness when legal decisions must be made about marriages.

    To say that only churches should decide what marriage is because of its pre-political origins is to assert Christian privilege over the rest of society. Again, we have the freedom of religion here, but just as churches have liberties, so they have some obligations to the government. Otherwise, the Christian complaint here is one of a trademark conflict.

  11. Edward Pardon says:


    Earlier in this very comment thread I suggested exactly what you just proposed. Marriage, as a “religious institution”, should be left to the Church to decide who they will and will not allow to get married. The government’s role should be to make sure that people have equal rights under the law. Whether those rights are granted by the title of ” marriage”, to me, is irrellevent in so far as the government goes.

    Where I disagree with you is that it has anything to do with an attack on religion itself. Very few people share my thoughts and those that you proposed because too many people are trained to the right vs. left argument and there being no middle ground.

    You say the argument can’t then be made without castigating the religious right as bigots? However, the argument against homosexual marriage and homosexuality in general is one of religious beliefs. Somewhere along the line though, homosexuality has been separated from other sin. The religious treat it differently. People get divorced and remarried. Children are born from wedlock. Adulterers walk the streets. A man can commit crimes and still get married.

    Homosexuals have been cast aside and put into a category that, based on the actions and ideals of those that oppose their rights, they are worse than any of the aforementioned groups of sinners.

  12. Joe says:

    “I’m concerned that many younger Christians—ironically, often those passionate about societal transformation and social justice—do not see the connection between a traditional view of marriage and human flourishing.”

    There may be any number of areas where the church doesn’t have an easy time drawing a straight line between what God says is best and why that thing is best–between “the Bible says x” and “here is how it leads to human flourishing.”

    Just because we can’t always connect the the dots doesn’t mean they aren’t always connected. We are not thereby excused from believing it.

    My daughter in 4th grade doesn’t always understand why it’s important to correct her math homework but I still require her to believe me and execute the assignments well because I know (even if she doesn’t) that it is necessary unto her academic flourishing.

  13. John says:

    I have no doubt the short term affects of gay marriage will benefit the LGBT community and will not negatively affect my marriage. However, it seems utterly naive to think no long-term social ill-effects will occur. Check out this warning from Canada written by kids raised under homosexual unions:

  14. Marshall says:

    There is an argument that neither side is addressing. The argument is, “What does God, the Creator of heaven and earth have to say about this matter?” To dismiss what He has to say on the subject, says one of 5 things:

    1) There is no God or Creator
    2) The Bible is not authoritative and does not apply to “these times”
    3) This is a cultural matter, not a spiritual/religious matter
    4) “Man” is wise enough to “figure this out” and come to a “right” conclusion
    5) Any majority in any matter automatically determines and underscores what is “right”

    If the Bible is not true on matters that it speaks to, there is no absolute standard. Every man can do what is right in his/her own eyes. If we live like that then we need to protect the “civil rights” of pedophiles, adulterers, kidnappers, drug dealers, murderers, etc., since those in these groups also can argue the propensity to commit their particular types of crimes, as they were born and predisposed to behave like this. Is this reasoning not folly?

  15. Curt Day says:

    So society should enforce all of God’s laws including those regarding sex and the worship of other gods?

    Plus, tell me how those in the LGBT community are comparable to pedophiles, kidnappers, drug dealers, murderers and alike.

  16. Kikat says:

    This doesn’t seem to be very logical.

    “In the traditional view, marriage is the union of a man and a woman”- this is a simplification- after all you can have men and women living together and having children, and everyone locally aware of this, without it being a marriage. The type of “marriage” you are talking about is not a pre-political institution- you are defining marriage as a state sanctioned union.

    I think you need to start from first principles.

    i. The state is composed of the representatives of the people in a democracy. Therefore what “the state” decides is what the majority of people decide.

    ii. Even if we agree with your premise that the state (and thereby the majority of people) decides to socially recognize the relationship between a man and a woman and accord it a legal status primarily because of the ability to create and raise children,

    iii. due to advances in technology, gay couples can now create/ raise children with artificial insemination, or a surrogate mother. By that logic, the state should recognize gay marriage.

    And of course the state can change legal definitions. It does it nearly every time a new law is passed.

    A more logically cohesive argument would be God is bigger than the state, God says homosexuality is wrong. Therefore the state is wrong and Christians should object. But you wouldn’t want to make such an argument because it assumes that Christians should become involved in state affairs when “my kingdom is not of this world”.

  17. J says:

    this was a well written & well thought out article.

  18. Olivia says:

    You are a hypocrite, you say you care about young Christians and their future, but you do not. If you cared about then you would be fighting against climate change. Jesus would not be fighting against gay marriage, he would be fighting for our children’s future.

  19. Jessi says:


    Non Christians view marriage as a government action. It’s not religious. The church has made it that way but only believers care.
    We are all animals and there is no creator, meaning yes humans can do whatever the hell they want to and it won’t matter.
    Christians are moral elitist who use the bible to make claims and hold power over people.
    Why the hell do you care about this subject?
    People committing to one another is a good thing. We have way too many people on earth right now to support them, and Thousands if not millions are starving right now and they live in your backyard. Think about the bigger picture here. People deserve to be happy and feel loved and accepted. Is a man in love with Jesus considered a homosexual? He is supposed to be completely fulfilled right? But no, he’s considered good and humble. I would rather live in a world where I’m totally free to love whoever I want, be whoever I want, etc then be held back by petty laws created by a made up religion in an effort to preserve what they perceive to be the right way to live.

  20. Phillip says:

    This was the same argument Christians used to keep African-Americans away from political rights for 100+ years.

  21. anaquaduck says:

    Pr 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
    Nicely written KDY. Marriage between one man & one woman is unique, to undermine it is to undermine society & the many blessings that come from this natural & mysterious union. May God bless these words.

  22. Nancy says:

    The argument that redefining marriage often comes with attributes such as, “then when will it end?” Bestiality, pedophilia, etc. are proposed to be some sort of obvious side effects of gay marriage. So is it proven that in states where gay marriage has been legalized, bestiality and pedophilia rose in numbers? In states where gay marriage was legalized, does polygamy follow consequently? As far as I know, these are just IDEAS proposed in counter-argument. If someone can show me otherwise, I will humbly study.

    The slippery slope is not bestiality or pedophilia. If marriage can be between any consenting adults then marriage must be permitted between a father and his 18 year old daughter, a brother and sister, 5 men, etc. All research I’ve done into opinions on this topic have those who support gay marriage also support the marriage of any and all consenting adults. At least they are intellectually honest.

    I wonder also, if somewhere down the line there will be people who will try to get the age of consent lowered? If the government can redefine marriage and change the drinking age why couldn’t they redefine age of consent? Sometimes there are unintended consequences of government decisions.

  23. Paula says:

    “It assumes the indistinguishability of gender in parenting, the relative unimportance of procreation in marriage, and the near infinite flexibility as to what sorts of structures and habits lead to human flourishing.”
    You say that as if it’s a bad thing. The third is a slippery slope argument. It’s a tiny step from Asians and blacks marrying to males and males marrying. Really.

  24. don r says:

    when our Father sets our morality why would we want to write manlaws in opposition to Him. Yes, there’s much sin and our santifacation is ongoing so we all are sinfull; yet we debate making legal approval for sinful behavior? the pro change argument is just rebellion. following a Holy God as best we can with help from the Holy Spirit is the Christian’s love so we trust in His power daily and stumble/repent. yes, we love others but why do so many try for approval from others when it’s God and His law they have opposition with.

  25. Curt Day says:

    Don R,
    It is called recognizing the rights of others not to follow our religion. Paul recognized this in I Cor 5:12-13

  26. don r says:

    interesting, Paul explains that the church doesn’t have authority to regulate the behavior on non-Christians, so WE should approve of changing the defination of marriage, thereby approving non-Christian behavior?
    obviously non-Christians are gonna do what they want to do regardless of what our creator God thinks but the point is we in the church don’t have to go along with them.

  27. Chase says:

    I have a problem with the term “traditional marriage.” It carries a sort of cache, making is seem as though it reaches back to the dawn of time. In fact, the notion of marriage has had many incarnations through time and across cultures. Even in our own culture, in the last generation, it’s been changing from “one man and one woman until death do us part,” to “one man and one woman, and then another woman, and then a younger woman, and then as many women in a row as will have him,” while other people go on reality shows to agree to marry the last man standing. But then you point the finger at gay marriage, as though homosexuals have singularly taken on this holy institution? The fact is, in a society where men are equal to women, women have access to birth control, married couples have access to no-fault divorce, and it’s acceptable to conceive and/or raise children out of wedlock, one hardly needs to pull the gay card out as the scape goat. Society was already well past the point of no return on this issue before the gays came aboard. Denying gay men and women the right to marry doesn’t make sense if you divorce it from this context.

  28. Curt Day says:

    It is our past attempts to dominate culture which is providing the chickens that are coming to roost here. Another way to explain the current direction of culture is to apply the principle of universality. Part of that principle says what we have done to others gives them permission to do the same to us.

  29. Cousin Itt says:

    You refer to the church as “her” so you are doing some gender-bending yourself. If anything, the church is an “it.”

  30. Julie Nichols says:

    In defense of those that are trying to uphold Biblical morality and show Christ’s love, it is possible to be very compassionate, love people, and still hold traditional Biblical values. This is the compassion vs. standards issue (by Dennis Prager). So too often on the right, we abandon compassion in the name of standards. And so too often on the left, we abandon standards in the name of compassion. There is no reason on Earth not to have both. My husband and I have three teenagers. We have tried very hard to teach them Christ’s love and compassion for mankind. They have been to Africa on mission trips and have served the poor locally. In an equal sense, we have tried to teach them Biblical values in the current culture. I can tell you that it has been very difficult in this culture. (All matters of morality) What was once considered to be immoral is no longer immoral. What was once illegal has become legal such as marijuana. As much as we try to shield our children, they see the changing culture in a way that previous generations never saw them through media and the influence in society. Within the teen culture, teens are taught that if they hold tradtional Biblical beliefs about sexauliry, they are bigoted in the same manner a person would be racist. This is confusing to kids with impressionable minds. Just because something becomes legal doesn’t make it right. Those of you that are not raising teens, give our job as parents a try sometime. The culture and what is made legal DOES effect our kids and generations to come.

  31. Jovial Jehovian Jovian says:

    After getting into this a little bit, I started to see how this argument began dribbling covert persuasion and propaganda affirmatives. So, I’ll put it to you like this so your mind can begin to breathe a little easier:

    “What you resist persists.”

    I don’t have to hate homosexuals, curse them, nor deprive them of any right that I wish to receive from my Almighty Father in Heaven. You know, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Oh, but I guess that puts the kibosh on this political movement of, “I have to uphold the traditions of the past even at the expense of my Christian grace,” even though Christ specifically talks about the hypocrisy of it. He also talks about following the instructions without partiality meaning, “don’t play favorites.” Also, “don’t stand in the way of sinners.” Sinners are going to sin, that’s the name of the game. The moment I were to tell someone they can’t do something, I revoke my own faith in Christ precisely because whilst instructing others in the holy ways of Christendom politically and legally, I am not acting Christ-like, in fact, that is the definition of anti-christian behavior known as, “legalism.” That’s what Christ was talking about. “Whatsoever you condemn a man, you shall be condemned by the same measure.” So, let me ask you. If you knew this was true to the letter of His Word, would you still do it? The choice is always yours because His choice is now your choice. To do or not to do. So, I can’t condemn homosexual marriage, but I also can’t tell you that you are wrong for condemning homosexual marriage because that makes me wrong too. You know, it takes one to know one. Self-condemnation. Not gonna do it.
    So, you probably are interested or not to know what my position is? I have two positions and they work hand-in-hand all-inclusively.
    1) I am heterosexual, therefore, I have sacrificed my homosexuality to the void. That’s cause and effect. My job to fight homosexuality has met and exceeded Christ’s expectations. Thank you, Lord, for your Divine Wisdom and Presence in my life! Amen!
    2) Whatever people are going to do, I let them choose to do it of their own free-will. In fact, I advocate for them to do so! Why? Because that’s what Christ does. He Advocates.
    The FACT that homosexuality dances around, homosexuals can NEVER, WILL NEVER, EVER FOR ALL TIME have the innate ability to produce of their own naturally birthed organs reproduce with another person of the same gender retaining the same genes from both partners without scientific and government assistance. I’m not sorry, but I’m with God on this one. That’s just the way it is. That’s the choice and lifestyle homosexuals have chosen. Glad for them that they’ve found what they want, the extinction of their entire future progeny. That’s alright with me that they do this. For me to despise THEM for it is preposterous. But their is something I feel. I feel it is a waste, so where I DO have the choice in my own life, I can move forward to be the progenitor of my future progeny. My children, my children’s children and so forth for all time. That’s a lot of human lives I’m responsible for! That’s a HUGE responsibility. Not everyone is up to the challenge. That’s alright. It’s not my job to do God’s job for Him. That’d be kind of foolish in the eyes of the Lord, wouldn’t it? “No God! Just denying homosexuals the ability to reproduce amongst themselves isn’t enough me! I’ve got to DO something about THEM!” That’s hubris pride talking. You know, the cause for the fall of the devil, the TRUE ENEMY. It’s my job to do what God has anointed me that I do. Choose Him. Stay the course. Let politicians deal with politics. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Live the life I’ve been given doing what life does, procreate life. Thank you for that simple truth, Lord. AMEN! ;)

    So here is the final nail in the coffin of traditionalist, right-wing propaganda where homosexuals are pitted against heterosexuals, whites against blacks, pro-choice vs pro-life, evolution vs creationism, science vs religion, good against evil. Isn’t that what wardens of prisons do to keep the inmates fighting amongst themselves so they don’t revolt against the prison? You see. If you see something as evil, and you judge it for being what it is, evil, don’t forget it takes one to know one. Judging evil while knowing evil, judges yourself because YOUR judgement has to come firstly THROUGH YOU. :O MIND=BLOOOOWWWWNNN. Gee, yeah, let me fall for that foolishness like so many others before me, gladly, please. NOT.
    Homosexuality outside of a heterosexually married family household WILL NOT E-V-E-R DIMINISH THE SANCTITY NOR STRENGTH OF THE TRULY DEVOUT CHRISTIAN!!! THAT IS A LIE. THAT IS SAYING FAITH, TRUST AND WORKS ISN’T ENOUGH! THAT IS PRIDEFUL, FEAR-MONGERING, AND WAR-MONGERING BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO TELL YOU THESE THINGS ARE LIARS ACTING OUT OF THEIR OWN FEAR AND PRIDE. Cause if they are wrong and do wrong, and they convince you to do the wrong thing too, then that makes them right. See? That’s called, “sympathizing.” I have no sympathy for the Devil. IF THEY ARE LYING, THEY ARE NOT CHRISTIAN. WHAT HAPPENED TO ADAM AND EVE WHEN THEY LISTENED TO SATAN’S LIES? HMMM… SO I LEAVE THEM TO THEIR TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS AS GOD SEES FIT CHOOSING TO WALK AWAY AND NOT ALLOW THEM INTO MY HOME. I let God be the judge of their choices so I can get back to what HE commands me I do. So I let no man nor woman detour me from Christ’s path. Even if that means being seen as the enemy. That’s the cost of being a Christian. Gladly paid.
    So what do I say that you people should do? I don’t know. Am I you? The simple truth is, I have no say over you because you have chosen to be individuated from me. I have supported your choice, thus we are individuals standing apart from one another. So do what you Will, thus, I have afforded myself the same permissions as I have given that have been given to me since the beginning. Treasures in Heaven. I’m sorry about your struggles over homosexuals marrying, and I’m sorry to homosexuals for not being able to have marital peace of mind in an intolerant society. But what can I say? God’s favor isn’t fair. Play by His rules, you get a treat. Fight Him, and you get cast out of His home. Simple as that. Cause and effect. God’s forgiveness, on the other hand, is as long as a human life-span for every person alive; 7 Billion x 100 years long and counting. The only thing that activates God’s forgiveness is to consciously choose to REPENT…or not, perish. Adapt or die. To live, or not to live. To be or not to be. That’s the Whole of the Law. Nothing I can do to change the physics of the universe He created, can I. Can you? Best of luck with that eternal endeavor. I’ve got some Christian work to do now. Good night to all, and to all a good night. Amen. ;)

    “How you like them apples?”

  32. Mike says:

    Interesting discussion. Reminds me that we are truly in a post-Christian era. But the world has always been in a post-Christian era…hence the cross for Christ.

    Being a Christian myself, I have found this discussion on homosexual marriage somewhat irrelevant. Like two groups talking to each other in different languages, each that the other party doesn’t understand. The fundamental difference is entirely based on one’s presupposition(s), regarding God, the Bible, morality, theocracies, etc.. Start from one place an one arrives at very strong, inflexible conclusions. Start at another and another gets the opposite conclusions, defended just as ferociously. Someone once said that it is assumed that one’s theology should dictate their morality. But as I have talked to various people over the last 40 years, the opposite seems more prevalent. Generally, their morality dictates their theology. What one believe about God is bounded by their lifestyle, personal preferences, unbreakable habits and previously defended positions. In today’s world, the average person defines who God is for themselves. Better that way…less strife, one always has a good relationship with their God, love abounds, no condemnation or judgmentalism…and one can always change the other person if/when one chooses.

    From my perspective, the homosexual marriage issue is diffused by the fact that, biblically, homosexuals can’t in fact, be “married” in any case, Biblically, the “…two becoming one…”, or marriage as the Bible defines it, is the physical act, the physical union, of a man and a woman in intercourse, using the natural, God-given, physiological organs that constitute the heterosexual sex act. This is the “act” used to bring forth life, and has been sacred to God for that reason. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on one’s presuppositions, homosexuals cannot anatomically (or really) be “married” in the Biblical sense….i.e. in God’s eyes. Two same sex partners can try to creatively, simulate, replace, replicate, re-imagine or whatever the traditional sex act between a man and a woman, but it will never be the same thing. It may be fun, fulfilling, exciting and/or endearing depending on how creative two same sex partners are, but it will never be biblical marriage. The ceremony of marriage is only that…a symbol of the actual physical union that will (or has) taken place. Hence, annulment in the Catholic Church if there has not been physical consummation. The woman that Jesus accused at the well of having five “husbands” did not have five wedding ceremonies. That was not his point. She had had physical, sexual relationships with five men. Two same sex partners may “marry” from the secular point of view to have someone to love, for companionship, tax breaks, sex (as defined by Bill Clinton) or whatever. But it is not Biblical marriage.

    As others have pointed out in this discussion, the Supreme Court and other courts or venues may change civil definitions, permissions, limitations, rights, etc, but those are secular issues that are “human rights” questions. The Biblical issue goes much deeper…all the way down to one’s basic presuppositions.

  33. Chris says:

    For those wanting to see more evidence of the “slippery slope” argument, consider the leading gay-rights activists in Germany in the 19th century (no, that’s not a typo.) As you can see in the article linked below, one of their theories involved pederasty, or man-boy relationships. They couched their arguments in the language of darwinian evolution (a la the sociobiological language that’s used today) and said that all cultures have had pederastic relationships, and that men evolved to enjoy these types of relationships later in life so that they would no longer procreate. So, there certainly is evidence that legitimizing homosexual relationship will lead to legitimizing pederasty, since that was espoused in the 19th century in Germany (and we think we’re progressive!)

    Story and evidence is found here:

    Furthermore, it is not altogether obvious to me that children cannot have the right to marriage- or rather, I should say, I don’t see this line of thinking (“children should not be allowed to marry) as holding up under the logical of our contemporary culture. Why do I think this? Well, we now give children the right to determine their gender, irrespective of their sex at birth. Many proponents of this cite the damage that is done to individuals who do not live according to their “true” gender. I ask you, then, which is more important of a decision? Which one has more dire consequences? The decision of gender is a far more important decision. Therefore, since marriage is not as important of a decision as one’s gender, I don’t think contemporary logic can deny the fact that children ought to be able to decide who they should marry. Now, it might take a generation or so to admit this, that contemporary society has no reason to deny children the right to marry; I do think it’s far too unpalatable an idea for our current generation. But give it 50 years, and it will be legalized and praised.

  34. Ruth L says:

    For Christians (in deciding to support or not support gay marriage), I believe there is one clear fact to start with. You have to first redefine Biblical marriage. There can be no further discussion unless you are willing to do that. I don’t believe that is allowed by God (even if the state redefines marriage). Let’s face it, same-sex marriage is illegitimate in God’s eyes. So no way to honestly support it if you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian.

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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