Tag Archives: Marriage

Marriage, Homosexuality, and The Bible, Part 1

Is Conservative Theology on Marriage Clear or Queer?

This is part 1 of a series on what the Bible has to say about marriage and homosexuality.

Christians that hold to a conservative interpretation of what the Bible says about marriage and homosexuality are often labeled as backwards, archaic, and on the wrong side of history. Is this the case? Or are conservative Christians correct when they say that their reading of the Biblical texts about marriage and homosexuality are timeless and not subject to social evolution?

Straw man, anyone?

What Does the Bible Say About Marriage?

The first mention of the institution of the family mentioned in the Bible is found in Genesis where God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him” (Gen 2:18, NET).

The Hebrew expression כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (kÿnegdo) that is translated as “corresponds to him” literally means “according to the opposite of him.” Translations such as “suitable [for]” (NASB, NIV), “matching,” “corresponding to” all capture the idea. (Translations that render the phrase simply “partner” [cf. NEB, NRSV], while not totally inaccurate, do not reflect the nuance of correspondence and/or suitability.) The man’s form and nature are matched by the woman’s as she reflects him and complements him. Together they correspond. In short, this prepositional phrase indicates that she has everything that God had invested in him (1).

Marriage, according to the Bible, was a creation of God. Marriage was not instituted by government, nor was it developed by a social organization. God had a plan (“I will make…) to provide a “companion” or, as other translations say, a “helper” for the man. The word for “companion” is עֵזֶר (’ezer) and is used elsewhere to describe God (Exodus 18:4; Psalm 121:1, 2). The implication here is that the wife, like God, is someone who does for the man what he cannot do for himself. In other words, the wife meets the needs of the husband. It also logically follows that the husband meets the needs of the wife. The two are an indispensable pair. This was God’s plan.

Then God gave Adam a job:

He brought them [the animals] to the man to see what he would name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field, but for Adam no companion who corresponded to him was found (Gen 2:19b-20, NET).

The point of the animals on parade is clear: none of the animals could meet Adams needs. A special creative act was required. So God made Eve. She was equal, but different. She was complementary. When Adam saw Eve, he knew she was perfect for him:

This one at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man (Gen 2:23, NET).

And then, Moses, the writer of Genesis explains this entire scene by telling us “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family” (Gen 2:24, NET).

Here we find God’s definition of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. Heterosexual monogamy is the only approved marriage relationship in the Bible.

Jesus affirms this view. He actually quotes the words of Moses mentioned above. Matthew 19 records:

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt 19:3-6, NKJV).

The only kind of marriage that Jesus endorsed was the same kind of marriage that was initiated at the beginning: one man, one woman, for life. Again, heterosexual monogamy is the only approved marriage relationship in the Bible. The Pharisees did go on and ask about Moses and his allowance for divorce, and Jesus again went back to the creation account and states, “from the beginning it was not so.” Jesus’ emphasis on the original intent of the Creator on the issue of marriage clearly shows that He would not have endorsed or condoned same-sex marriage. The very concept would have actually been unheard of in Jesus’ time. Although homosexual practice was normal and accepted, it was done for recreational purposes. Even the pagan Romans understood that marriage was and ought to be limited to a man and a woman.

The entire scene from Genesis of the creation of the man and the woman would have been incredibly radical at the time that Moses recorded it. No other ancient eastern religion honored the female as an equal partner to the man, and no other ancient eastern moral code commanded sexual fidelity for a husband and wife. In fact, the very opposite was the case. By the time the Torah was given to Moses and the Jews, religions taught unbridled sexual activity as worship to their gods. In Egypt, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Cyrus, Canaan and others, temple prostitution and ritualistic sexual acts were part of their laws and history. This practice became the norm in almost every religious system. The Babylonian goddess Ishtar had seduced a man. The Egyptian god Asiris had an incestuous relationship with his sister. Krishna, the Hindu god, was a polygamist. Zeus married his sister Hera.

Also contemporaneous with the early Jewish religious law was the practice of homosexuality. Gender, when it came to sexual activity, was a non-issue. This can be seen in the laws of Leviticus 18 where God warns the Hebrews against sexual immorality:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord (Lev 18:1-5, NKJV).

They were obviously very familiar with the sexual practices of the Egyptians and would see the same things happening in the land which there were about to enter.

This is the historic and cultural context into which the Torah entered. And it was this kind of thinking that God was trying to get the Hebrews to unlearn. In the Hebrew religion, man was not conceived in a sexual act, but created in a supernatural one. Sex is not recreational activity or worship to their deity, but a sacred act reserved for a matrimonial union. Thus, any sexual activity outside of heterosexual monogamy was prohibited. This was contrary to the aforementioned religious ideologies and shows that the Judeo-Christian God is countercultural, and therefore not just some idea conceived in the mind of man.

Tomorrow we will look at what the Bible has to say about homosexuality.
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Is It Apparent That A Parent Is Not Necessary?

gayparents-20117
Sadly, this child will never know what it is like to have a mom.

I had an interesting discussion today with a gay friend today regarding a picture he had posted that asks the question “So same-sex couples don’t make good parents?” Then proceeds to answer the question by asking, “When was the last time a gay couple disowned their child for being straight?”

Aside from the glaring logical fallacies in the argument, it addresses what ought to be the central focus of the gay “marriage” discussion…children. (See the discussion in its entirety here.)

My only question was, “Which parent is unnecessary for the raising of children?” To which I never received a direct answer.

The primary premise of my argument was that the traditional family unit with a male AND a female parent is the foundation of civilization. If a male and a female are both needed for procreation they are also both needed for parenting. The response to this argument that my friend seemed to settle on was that no parents are necessary because cloning is not just a possibility but will eventually be the reality. Apparently, since cloning requires no parents, the children of the clone also require no parents.

Prior to the cloning argument, was the “it takes a village” argument. However, villages/communities/civilizations are outgrowths of the family. No civilization would exist if not for a male and female parent producing children, and more male and female children producing more children.

The experiment with the family that has been conducted over the past 30+ years with no-fault divorce has shown that “the decline of two-parent, married-couple families has resulted in poverty, ill-health, educational failure, unhappiness, anti-social behavior, isolation and social exclusion for thousands of woman, men and children.” 1 By the way, that experiment was conducted in one of the greatest “communities” in the history of the world, these United States of America, and it has still failed.

Gay “marriage” advocates argue, without evidence, that parents are either unnecessary or interchangeable. The false assumption is that the male and female of the species offer nothing unique to children. Robert Oscar Lopez, a self-declared bi-sexual, argues against gay marriage because of the negative impact on the children forced into these “families”. Like Lopez, Dawn Stefanowicz was raised by homosexual parents and staunchly opposes gay marriage.

When it comes to personal, sexual gratification, homosexual activists clearly recognize the difference between the sexes. But when it comes to the more important priority of child rearing, they completely dismiss and ignore these differences. The adults get what they want while the children have to take what they are given. Does this seem backwards to anyone else?

Marriage: Why Our Survival Depends On It

And we should keep it that way!

With all the news of Rob Bell and Hilary Clinton supporting so-called “gay marriage”, a possible Supreme Court battle on marriage, and all of the rhetoric floating around out there, the historical purpose of the institution of marriage has been lost. Unfortunately, the truth does not always fit into a cute little slogan, a 5 minute you-tube video, or a 60-second sound clip. Sometimes the truth takes time, and effort. Please, take a little of both and educate yourself.

Marriage is the very foundation upon which civilization is built. Strong marriages insure a strong posterity. Without marriage there would be no stability for children and, therefore, no stability for our entire civilization. In fact, marriage is the oldest and most basic of the three foundational institutions of Western civilization (the other two being government and the church), and the most basic of the three because without children there would be no need for a government or a church. Furthermore, a church cannot fill the parental role, and regardless of what Marx may have believed, the government cannot parent like a biological mother and a father.

Society Rewards Marriage Because Marriage Rewards Society

There are demonstrable benefits for a civilization that come from having strong families. Marriage sort of acts as a security system for a society. When marriages and families are strong, the society is strong. When they are weak, the society will become sick. In other words, as goes the family, so goes the nation.

Marriage:

  • Lengthens life spans of men and women

  • Civilizes men and focuses them on productive pursuits

  • Protects women, who often give up or postpone their careers to have children, from being abandoned and harmed economically by uncommitted men

  • Protects mothers from violent crime. Single mothers are twice as likely to suffer violent crime as married mothers

  • Lowers welfare costs

  • Encourages an adequate replacement birthrate for the sustainability of society

Children that are raised in homes with a biological mother and father are:

These benefits of marriage are not new and not unique to our society. Marriage has been the bedrock of human social structure since the dawn of humanity. British anthropologist J.D. Unwin wrote in his book Sex and Cultureabout his study of 86 civilized and uncivilized cultures spanning 5000 years. He discovered that those civilizations that were most prosperous coincided with the maintaining of a strong marriage ethic. Those that divorced their society from this ethic, including the Roman, Babylonian, and Sumerian empires, experienced a downfall soon after embracing a licentious attitude toward their sexual behaviors. A society will not long endure once those that are supposed to be the responsible ones abandon their children (or just abort them) as well as one another in favor of sexual pleasure outside of natural marriage. And that is exactly what we are seeing in this society.

No-fault divorce was just the beginning of the undermining of this cornerstone of society. Think back to the times before no-fault divorce, or, if you are not that old, watch an old family sitcom like Leave it to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, or Father Knows Best. From a societal standpoint, are we better off now than we were then? I would argue that the answer is no. Now, the courts want to take us down the slippery slope and force on us so-called gay “marriage”, and polygamy is working its way through that very same court system, using the same logic.

Imagine a society where there are fewer and fewer stable families and individuals are forced to fend for themselves. Without the natural family structure – which provides people with their most basic needs – social chaos will breakout.

Marriage: Do It For The Kids!

The necessity of marriage is especially evident when one considers that men and women can do just about everything alone (eat, sleep, breath, think, move, etc…) without anyone else. The one exception is procreation. It seems obvious, but as George Orwell stated, “we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men,” thus I must state the fact that without the procreative union of a man and a woman no one would exist, including homosexuals. Whether you  believe that we were created or that we evolved, it is clear to see that the male and female of the human species were intended to procreate together and thus parent together. Procreation alone ought to prove the importance of marriage.

Yes, I do realize that not all heterosexual marriages produce children. But those are the exceptions. We are not talking about the exceptions of marriage, we are talking about the institution of marriage. And while a small percentage of marriages do not produce children, the ones that do form the foundation of the future of our civilization. If there is any institution designed for the good of children and society, it is natural marriage. In other words, do it for the kids! . . . In more ways than one.

Who’s Your Daddy?

One problem with same-sex marriage is that the children are denied either a mother or a father. And while it is possible for children to succeed in homes without their biological moms and dads, that is the exception and not the rule.

Let’s rephrase the findings listed above so we can better understand the impact of families without a father.

First, children from fatherless homes are:

  • Seven times more likely to live in poverty

  • More than twice as likely to commit crime

  • More than twice as likely to become pregnant out of wedlock

  • Worse off academically and socially

  • Worse off physically and emotionally when they reach adulthood

  • Six times more likely to commit suicide

Second, children from fatherless homes account for:

  • 60% of America’s rapists

  • 63% of America’s youth suicide

  • 70% of America’s long-term prison inmates

  • 70% of America’s reform school attendees

  • 71% of America’s teen pregnancies

  • 71% of America’s high school dropouts

  • 72% of America’s adolescent murderers

  • 85% of America’s youth prisoners

  • 85% of America’s youth with behavioral disorders

  • 90% of America’s runaways (Source)

Are You My Mother?

When I was a kid my grandparents had this book by P. D. Eastman titled Are You My Mother?. It was about this newly hatched bird whose mother leaves the nest just before he hatches. Not knowing where his mother is he sets off to find her. He comes across a kitten, a hen, a dog, and a cow, asking each if they are his mother. They all reply, “No.” Then he comes across a car, a boat and a plane. Obviously, they are not his mother. Finally, he climbs into the bucket of an excavator. As the machine lets out a loud “SNORT” the baby bird says, “You are not my mother! You are a SNORT!” The excavator then picks up the bird and drops him back into his nest just as his mother is returning home. This classic story illustrates as important a fact as the statistics listed above. Children need a dad and a mom, and nothing can replace the real thing.

Gay activists argue that parents are interchangeable and that gender does not matter. Two men can do just as good of a job rearing a child as a mom and a dad because the differences in the gender roles don’t matter. (By the way, they make these claims based on zero reliable evidence.)

This raises a very important question: Why are men and women interchangeable as parents but not as sex partners? If there is no difference between men and women, why not just marry someone of the opposite sex?

The glaring inconsistency is an obvious logical suicide. When it is about personal gratification and desire, there is a difference in the genders. But when it comes to the more important issue of raising children, gay activists say there is no difference. You can see how children are being sacrificed upon the alter of sexual perversion. As Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse states, “[Homosexual] adults are entitled to have what they want. Children have to take what we give them.”

Anyone that denies what is best for children in order to get what they want is usually referred to as an irresponsible parent, and usually the courts take those children away. In this two-and-two-make-five society in which we live, the courts are not only giving children to those kinds of people, but in some cases are denying Christian parents the ability to adopt if they teach that a homosexual lifestyle is wrong. The world is indeed up-side down. Marriage is about more than just coupling and sex . . . any child knows that. It is about the perpetuation of our society.

Our nation is on the brink of collapse. And it’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the morality, stupid. The best way to destroy anything is to weaken the foundation. Liberals have done a great job of attacking that foundation by eroding the family unit. If we want to reclaim and restore America and make her great again, we should start by fighting for marriage and the family instead of buying into the smears and misinformation.

Gay Love Wins With Rob Bell

Gay Love WinsThis past weekend, former Pastor Rob Bell was the guest speaker at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, where he came out of the closet with an endorsement for sodomy (listen to it here).

Bell answered a question about gay marriage by saying, “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”

When asked about his thoughts on the future of the Evangelical church, Bell stated:

I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn’t work. I think there is a very narrow, politically intertwined, culturally ghettoized, Evangelical subculture that was told “we’re gonna change the thing” and they haven’t. And they actually have turned away lots of people. And I think that when you’re in a part of a subculture that is dying, you make a lot more noise because it’s very painful. You sort of die or you adapt. And if you adapt, it means you have to come face to face with some of the ways we’ve talked about God, which don’t actually shape people into more loving, compassionate people. And we have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent.

Ironically, Bell accusing conservative Christians of being part of a subculture that is supposedly dying in a liberal Episcopal church that is part of a subculture that is demonstrably dying.

I wonder if Bell thinks that Jesus would have adapted His very narrow position on marriage to conform to the popular position:

Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no lover two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate (Matt 19:4-6, NASB).

Based on what the writer of Hebrews said about Jesus, I think it is pretty safe to say that He would have disagreed with Bell. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8, NKJV). Interestingly, the next verse offers a warning against those doing precisely what Bell was promoting on Sunday. “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Heb 13:9a NKJV).

And if that isn’t convincing enough, James stated that “there is no variation or shadow of turning” with God (James 1:18, NKJV). Not to mention the numerous other places in the Bible where it states that God and His Word are unchanging.

Rob Bell offers a choice, “die or adapt”. Jesus chose to die, as for me, I will do the same.