Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Goo or Genesis

An excellent little article on why the debate about marriage is at heart a theological one (for those on both sides of the isle) and why Christians must begin with Genesis and NOT with 'traditional' values. Here are some nuggets:
Marriage is a political act, and not an individual choice. How you marry is a way of testifying to what city you belong to. Who defines marriage? The difficulty we are having in our generation in answering this question shows how theology shapes and drives everything.

If God created the world, and put one man and one woman in it, married them to each other, and established that as a pattern for the rest of human history, then marriage should be defined in accordance with that reality. If He did nothing of the kind, and we actually evolved out of the primordial goo, then we get to shape and define it however we would like it to go.
One other item of Christian theology has to be taken into account, and that is the reality of the fall into sin. The Christian approach to marriage in the context of mere Christendom deals with both of these realities -- the creational given of male and female, and the sinful propensity we have to hump the world. Creational sexuality and sinful sexuality are both factors.
Our laws about marriage must therefore do two things, not just one. They must honor what God has established in the first place, and they must restrain (by not honoring with the recognition of marriage) any of the other forms of sexual congress that sinful men have come up with... 

... The marriage debates are a prime illustration of why governmental neutrality on basic religious issues is an impossibility. He who says A must eventually say B, and now that we are getting to the end of this seamy chain of syllogisms, we are confronted with the demand to allow homosexuals to marry. But this is not the end of it, and shows why it is so important to get down to first principles.
The secularists want to say that in addition to straights, we have a range of options with the fetching label of GLBTQ. Anybody who thinks that list of letters won't grow just isn't paying attention. Pederasty, bestiality, hetero-polygamy, hetero-polyandry, and bisexual-polyoptions are all waiting in the wings.
The reason why homosexual marriage won't end the debates (and the hate crimes of those who take up the wrong side of the debate) is that these marriage "reforms" clearly have not solved the problems of the bisexuals. With our arbitrary limitation of marital status to two and only two people, we are plainly telling the bisexual that he must choose between a heterosexual marriage or a homosexual marriage, but that he can't do both. "But I am both!" he wails . . . suppose this poor little buster wants to express all of his sexual yearnings within the holy bonds of matrimony, and the clerk down at the county courthouse, just seething with hate, won't give him a license with a place on it for three signatures. And then the Muslim guy, next in line, wants one with a place for four signatures... 
... Christians can't fight this on the basis of "traditional values." The sexual traditions of humanity, considered apart from God's Word, have contained way too many child brides, harems, serial polygamists, and concubines to provide us with the appropriate guidance here. 


Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sparkyhopkins said...

Hi Tim,

This article makes some very good points - if marriage is a creation ordinance, which God intended to be between a woman and a man, then a Christian marriage is God's to define and not humanity's to redefine. This would be my objection to a Christian church performing a gay marriage.

However, I take objection with the argument that the intention of atheists and Christians who are in favour of gay marriage would also endorse any kind of polygamous or bestial marriage. Yes, there are doubtless people who do think like this, but my gay atheist friends who do wish to get married with to do so to strengthen the monogamy of the relationship, not to open the door to marrying multiple partners. They would want the government to permit secular gay marriage in order to cement a hopefully lifelong union, not to permit licentiousness!

Also, there are some slight inaccuracies in your article regarding bisexuality. Most bisexuals (obviously I can't speak for all) do not seek to have a threesome with a man and a woman at the same time. They see themselves as sexually attracted to both men and women but many hope to establish a faithful relationship with one or the other, so a homosexual or a heterosexual marriage would be perfectly adequate.

I agree that permitting polygamous marriage, as a Christian, would cause significant problems, such as a man wanting to marry several wives. Whatever my personal feelings about gay marriage, I do feel deeply saddened that many Muslim, and/or African countries (Nigeria for example) seem to advocate the death penalty for homosexual relationships whilst polygamy is permitted without question. To my mind (and I realise this is not an uncontroversial view), any monogamous relationship, be it homosexual or heterosexual, is preferable to a polygamous one.

Whatever the government decides about whether to legalise gay marriage, or else to not to and continue to permit civil partnerships, the question remains to us as church leaders - what will we do when it comes to sharing the gospel with such couples and to welcome them in the cases where they want to come to church? That is the big question on my mind at present!


(p.s Sorry had to delete and reenter this comment - got my blog address wrong. Still getting used to this whole blogging malarkey!)